WhiteFire Comics at Hal-Con 2016 photos and review.

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I had a big goal this last year to shrink my booth and make it portable and scale, I think the mission is accomplished, It was tight behind but I pulled it off!

After a few years of setting up shop at Ottawa Comic Con I had decided it was time to mix things up and try a new convention. My new challenge? Take on the biggest geek-fest in the Atlantic provinces Hal-Con, which just happens to be located in my home province of Nova Scotia, Canada. The “Hal” part of Hal-Con is a take on the the city I was born in “Halifax”. I planned for a year with the task shrinking my booth to not be as grand(but still cool) being critical, then invested a ton of time to get 3 of my comics published. After teaching a local print company about color calibration, I was armed with the “The Forsaken Future” number one and two and a flip comic of “Gabriel – Hand of God” and “Quint”, To get me to my promised land I rented a Grand Caravan as my trusted warhorse and loaded my gear, and hit the road. The sixteen hour drive from Ottawa, Ontario to Halifax, Nova Scotia went well as we broke the trip up with with what seems to be the most popular stop-over spot of Edmustron, New Brunswick.

I ended up with a great deal on a Hilton Suites & something in Halifax that was blocks away from the Scotiabank Centre, and after transporting my gear. Finally I got to setting up my booth with the help of my sister and nephew…then I noticed something was missing at my booth… The power outlets to plug in the 47 inch TV. I had just lugged cross country with a huge stand. It was the main reason I had drove(16 hours each way) over flying(1.5 hours each way). I had confirmed I as suppose to have power via email multiple times, so I continued to set-up with my side-kicks help(suspecting villainy). Then stalked Hal-con staff and tracked down someone in “charge” (power joke) not it was no it was not Electro!. The all powerful one told me I would have power by the morning and refuted if I will not have power “please let me know so I could remove the TV from being in the way”, as it was tight behind the booth(and I am a heavy weight not a lightweight), I then again was promised I would have it. The morning of the convention came and guess what, I had no power. This was very disappointing as I had put great effort to get the TV to the convention and significant effort in to creating a slide show(that nobody would see). I counted on the TV to create interest. Of course the Hal-con staff member explained they had unexpected issues and then added a Canadian “Sorry” multiple times. All good!   Continue reading

A cheap way to create your own card set using Vistaprint and a paper trimmer.

I am always looking for different ways to do things, this week I was exploring how I can reprint or create a new WhiteFire Comics card set. I ended up finding a cheap way to do this by using Vistaprint and a bit of elbow grease on a paper trimmer. In a nutshell, what a discovered was that Vistaprint has an oversized postcard that can be print on thicker stock and on these oversized postcards you can fit 4-up standard collector cards(2.5x 3.5 inches).

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What the front page looked like in CorelDRAW X7 4-up. The lines through the middle are the cuts I had to do(they have arrowheads). The other cut-lines are done by Vistaprint.

Here is a breakdown of the process…

  1. Create your cards and art in a layout software, I use CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X7. Keeping print bleed in mind. Link to what bleed is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleed_(printing)
  2. Layout your cards to the Vistaprint oversized postcard size of Width 2135×1535 that includes the bleed. 4-up see the graphic. You will need a back and front graphic/page.
  3. Go through the Vistaprint process and make sure to upgrade to the paper stock.
  4. Once you receive the order you cut the postcards into four typical trade cards. In my case, I used a paper trimmer I bought at Staples years ago.
  5. BLAM! Now you can make your own card sets and print low numbers or high numbers of sets as long as you don’t mind doing some cuttings.

Continue reading

War of the Worlds – Goliaths

War-of-the-Worlds-Goliath[1]One of the things I like about Netflix is finding new anime to watch. “War of Worlds Goliath” is a throw back to what would happen after the well known Sci-fi book event “War of the Worlds” by H.G. Wells (published in 1898) had taken place. These books inspired T.V., radio, hollywood and now anime. This was an original take on humanity after being invaded by good old Martians! What ever would we do… It was a great find as I enjoyed the timeline, the technology and the animation. It was action packed.

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Oh my Papermate mechancial pencils RoCk!

papermate penels
I draw with mechanical pencils and over the past few years ended up using BIc’s .5 2H disposables, as it was what I saw at Staples. Even though with every minute of detailed work SNAP, a lead has broken it was tortured OI accepted from my love of drawing. Accepting the problem I would pound on its end advancing the lead and move on. It had become a way of life. UNTIL NOW! I ended up discovering Papermate mechanical pencils about a month ago and they still snap now and then but something about this pencil makes the lead way stronger. The lead strokes are as fine as needed. The one down fall is the eraser, like a person running its first marathon it wears out fast(though it works great). But HEY who really cares I got tons of erasers.

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Guardians of the Galaxy – The must see movie of SUMMER 2014!

guardiansWhat a great RIDE! This movie was a tribute to how far technology has come pulling of a huge feat in bringing a series of human actors together with C.G.I characters(Groot and Rocket) in the fun/funniest way I have seen yet. Then to top it all off they somehow perfectly blended in tunes from the 60 or 70’s into a sci-fi/hero flick ending up with a solid sound trac to boot. I knew little about the “Guardians of the Galaxy” but after this one I’m a fan, this is a space ship full of fun that is worth owning.

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The Amazing Spiderman 3 is out on DVD

p159366_p_v8_abSpiderman, The Flintstones and Hercules were amine back when I was a kid and for this reason alone I was excited to see how Marvel would introduce the villains of Electro and Rhino as they try to grow this rebooted franchise(maybe in a sinister six direction)…unfortunately I soon found myself very disappointed. I use to run out and buy every superhero movie as it was released but now I rent first and this movie was a great example of why I do such. Electro was the main focus and I really did not care for Jamie Fox at all, the acting throughout was as awkward as the story was. This super hero flick quickly lost my attention as even the quirky beauty of Gwen Stacy faded.

If you think about it Rhino and Electro are a hard sell so you do have to give Disney/Marvel props for doing such, it just did not work for me. As always the special effects looked great for Spiderman but every villains look was just lame to me.

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The Wolverine (2013)

wolverineAs usually I will not got into the plot but will mention they really tried to direct this movie to the North American and Japanese. I had read the comics around the storyline and I think it affected my opinion on the movie. While watching the movie I found I expected more and ended up more wondering about things then enjoying the movie. I think the story was fairly solid I just did not like the acting/directing of one villains, there are some things you can pull off in a comic but when not in Hollywood, it just does not work for me. Hell, I am still waiting on a the real Sabretooth and Maverick to show up in any of the X-men and Wolverine movies not some little Japanese chick side kick. Its kind of like waiting on toast in the morning, I always wonder how it will turn out, in this case its been burnt way to often. Unless Thor: The Dark World, saves the year I will see Marvel/Disney as pushing Hollywood blah over comic stuff. Stay tuned for that review same bat time same bat channel…

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Finally Wacom did it! They are relasing a Cintiq Companion which is a tablet!

Wacom announced it release of a portable Cinitq called the Cintiq Companion(released in October 2013). They really left me puzzled when I saw a windows 8 version and android, but hey it was a real happy puzzled state! Both are 13.3 inch screens and have a express keys built in which is pretty damn cool, I love these keys and used them on my Cintiq and traditional Intous 4 tablet. It also has duel USB ports, it has all the bells and whistles for an artist. But is this bad timing? They seem really late?

I waited for years for this device to come into existence before giving up and buying a Samung Galaxy Note tablet and have been very happy with it, Yes it android but the pen is a Wacom stylus and there are uTubes on configuring its pen pressure, this device combined with a bunch of note taking apps and the Autodesk Sketchbook app have left me quite happy at a third to a quarter of the price of Wacom’s Cintiq Companion. This makes me think the strength of the Cintiq Companion will be focused around Windows 8 users who want full blown applications like Corel Painter or Adobe Photoshop. A good note here would be that Windows 8 tablets without a Wacom pen(Like the Windows Surface) have no pen pressure support in Windows art Applications (like Adobe Photoshop) due to Adobe not supporting the OS drivers for pen pressure(they relied on Wacom devices in the PC market).

It is a great time for artists looking for tablets!

Some of my favorite drawing videos from YouTube.

The below uTube is a playlist of the sketching/art videos I have favorited. To select which one plays in the video section pick the playlist button and then you can choose. The video are….

– Dynamic Figure Drawing.
– How to Draw Interesting poses.
– Placing characters into Perspective.
– How to draw relaxed hands.
– How to Create a successful comic using Manga Studio.
– Explosions.
– How to shade drawing 3 different ways.
– How to apply textures.
– How to render concept art – adding color.

Hope they save you some time and helps you out ;-)!
Doran

Iron Man 3 review

ironman 3
The world seemed to love this movie, yet few I know said they liked it and after seeing the movie I
understand why. The movie left me with a weak impression of Tony Stark as they focused on his emotional state after the Avengers movie then at best the Ironman armors were lame on top of the fact War Machine became the Iron Patriot. So maybe the villains could carry the movie? ERNNNNETT!(best attempt at failing buzzer sound)… that is 4 strikes YOU”RE SOOoOoO OUT! The success of Avengers movie carried this movie to any value to watch(I did not like Iron Man 2) and then Hollywood just dumped number three on our lap. Hell even the little clip past the credits made no sense to me.

 

I gave it  2 out of 5  WhiteFire heads.. very sad…

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