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Travel Journaling

Hi, all! I’m back from my adventure in Japan – thank you so much to PitFace and Ironscarf for writing amazing guest newsposts while I was away. It’s so lovely being part of a site where someone’s always willing to jump in and help out (and you two in particular are some of the very loveliest people I know). :)

I’ve kept diaries off and on at various points, but never for very long because I don’t really have the patience, the memory, or the organizational skills. I do usually bring a sketchbook, but I generally only use it for things I see that are particularly notable or picturesque. Before I left on this trip, though, my Russian tutor asked me to write three sentences a day in Russian so I could continue practicing. I had already bought a sketchbook, so I figured what the heck – I’ll combine my drawing and my journaling into one awesome travel diary!

My technique was to take short notes on my phone throughout the day of what we did and odd things we saw. It’s nice to be able to draw things in person, but my family who I was travelling with rarely let me sit still long enough! At the end of the day or whenever we went back to the hotel, I’d jot down the interesting bits with a few drawings here and there. The drawings and the Russian both varied in quantity and quality depending on how tired I was. (Apologies to any Russian-speaking DDers for the many, many mistakes you might be able to spot – I’m still learning, obviously!)

I really enjoyed the process of journaling this trip! It was a nice quiet activity at the end of each busy day; there’s really only so much Japanese-language TV you can watch when you don’t understand a word of it! I think it made me a bit less frantic about having to get a good photograph of everything, because I knew I would have another record for my memories. It made me pay more attention to the little things going on around me, the funny quirks that otherwise would have slipped out of my mind in a day or two. And of course, it was good Russian practice – I think I expanded my vocabulary quite a bit. I think it even helped a bit with the isolation of being on a fourteen-hour time difference from most of the people I talk to on a daily basis. And perhaps most importantly, I think this will be a lovely keepsake to take out in a few months or a few years when I want to remember our big adventure.

Do you keep a diary? Have you ever journaled while travelling? How do you like to preserve memories, either of travelling or just of daily life?

MILESTONE

Detective-comedy comic Bruno Harm has reached 25 pages!
http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Bruno_Harm/

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FEATURED COMIC --> Pestilent

http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Pestilent/

A scratch on the arm may break the skin, but a nightmare of a bleeding woman in a dark alley runs deep. Newly widowed Charlotte is a dedicated florist at a flower shop. She loves her job even though she has to deal with her overly charismatic coworker, Mr. Tristan Burke. Charlotte's grieving process is about to get a little more complicated when Thomas, a recent customer begins to ask her questions about her late husband. It is possible that Thomas wants more than a floral arrangement from Charlotte.

The art is really, really professional and it is drawn thoughtfully using a Cintiq tablet. All of the pages are in full digital color. This story is just getting started, so it would be a great idea to hop aboard the Pestilent train while it is taking off.

Hopefully Charlotte Coppens learns to cope with her husband's death by making new friendships. Please read Pestilent by Internecinevisuals, rated M!

http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Pestilent/
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A Nearly Perfect Sunset at the End of an Imperfect Day
(by kawaiidaigakusei)

I am not a perfectionist in any sense of the word. I have been asked by strangers in passing if I was a perfectionist to which I replied, "The architecture in my university was built under the notion that only 'God can make something that is perfect', therefore anything made by man has to be imperfect, thus the asymmetrical buildings on campus." However, I do have a tendency to dwell on any mistakes I might have made throughout the day like whether I locked the door behind me; or whether I shut off the fan in the office Friday afternoon before the weekend; or wondering if the electric wax melt candle heater was left on all night long. This preoccupation of trying to avoid making a mistake is typically the direct cause of most of the mistakes I have made.

Last Tuesday was no exception for my quest toward imperfection. Here was the scene: I was sitting in a company vehicle in a cramped parking lot with more blind spots than I care to admit when I started backing up slowly and I felt a thud that spells "D-O-O-M" for any driver. I exited the vehicle to find myself in my first fender bender incident. I am fortunate to say that the other driver and myself sustained no injuries and the large bumper in the back of my car left the vehicle unscathed. Unfortunately, I could not say the same about the nearly brand new Cadillac that was involved in the accident. The incident was ruled a 50/50 fault by the on-site police officer, which was the most optimistic outcome given the circumstances.

My day was not perfect, not by a long shot, but it was the events that took place after that changed the tone of the day. Immediately following the accident, I climbed back in the car and completed my morning tasks demonstrating that I am ready to get back behind the wheel following a minor setback. Later that afternoon, I went to the bank and instead of the usual small-talk while awkwardly standing for a few minutes, the bank teller was exceptionally friendly and we had a full on discussion of which TV shows I need to watch. During my drive home, all the lights stayed on green cutting my thirty-five minute commute down to fifteen minutes.

It is so easy to ignore all the good things that happen in one day and focus on the bad. I have found that replaying bad memories in my head on repeat is a habit that I need to break. Imagine, if reliving good memories over and over came naturally to us., then the world would become a more pleasant place to be.

At the day's end, I stepped outside and witnessed a (nearly) perfect sunset with the silhouettes outlined in front of the horizon over the Pacific Ocean and I thought that a day that ends on such a pretty note could not be so bad.

-image taken by kawaiidaigakusei
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14
In the past year or so, I've noticed an interesting phenomenon taking place: The interests I had at a much younger age are coming back to me, sometimes after many years not being part of me.

I don't know if it's an effect of not having had kids of my own yet, or if it's just some cyclical mental thing that would have happened regardless. My early teens are coming back to me.

First I began wearing similar clothes to what I wore back then. Luckily, those clothes are appropriate on an adult. I feel VERY comfortable in those clothes, I realized.

Then it was movies. I was always a movie lover, and I loved Return of the Living Dead, Big Trouble in Little China, The ‘Burbs, and the Friday the 13th films. All of these films have returned to my interest lately, and I’ve watched them all regularly in the past couple of years. I noticed that a LOT of the movies that still matter to me are ones I watched right around that time.

Some of the music I loved has come back, too; I was a huge Alice Cooper fan back then, and bought the whole box set last year after having little interest for many many years. A lot of the other music I loved then still makes me deeply happy when I catch it on the radio or online.

Of course, comics are a part of my life, since joining Drunk Duck a few years ago. That hobby has been back with me for several years. But the comics and books I read back then are coming back to me. I've even hunted down some of those books and bought them again.

I wonder if it's just a quirk of the brain doing this, or just random recollections of old pleasures that I'm wanting to revisit.

But it is interesting how a lot of it is centered around what i loved at 14/15. For me, that was about the time that puberty hit me in full force.

I'd liked girls before that, but not with the consuming intensity that hit me at 15 (I think kids grow up earlier these days; for me that was the age). So maybe the stuff that filled my time and thoughts before puberty is what I'm returning to lately.

I was just reading the Martin Short memoir and at one point he theorizes that the interests we have up to age 15 or so are the interests we spend the rest of our lives processing and mixing together and playing with in our minds. I don't know if that's true, but it sure feels that way to me right now!

Does this ring true to anybody else? What did you love at 14? Have those interests left you? Stayed with you? Or are they due for a return visit?

Happy Thursday to ya!

Take care,

Banes, 14 (again)
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Quackcast 279 - Meet the Mutants!
Listen: http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/quackcast/episode-279-meet-the-mutants
Our very own heavily mutated Pitface put up a guest post about her fellow mutants, filling in for HippieVan while Hippy is away fighting the mutants in Japan wearing a tie-dyed sailor suit and riding a Volkswagen battle mecha, as you do in Japan… anyway, as a member of the anti-mutant police force, I had to drag in Pit for questioning! And that's what we did for this Quackcast. Banes and I interrogate Pit on the subject of mutants! Mutants are a forgotten race at the moment: Mutants are the zombies of SciFi in a way; a mob of anonymous monstrous minions who exist to menace the heroes and be gunned down in their thousands. But they're also so much more… Unlike zombies, mutants have a lot more personality and humanity, they can also be far more demonic and revolting than any zombie, they can be any shape, size of configuration. Mutants are so much scarier and adaptable than mere zombies, because unlike zombies they're not always degrading and falling apart, no, mutants are evolving constantly, they can get larger, gorier and more terrifying, i.e. The Thing. For mutant pathos witness the Mars mutants in the original Total Recall:There's a man with a baby in his chest and we feel for him and respect him. We have superhero mutants too in the form of the X-men. Can't forget them!
But remember also that “mutants” are also a very real thing in this world, unlike zombies, in fact we are ALL mutants in one way or another, not just those special people with a conjoined twin or extra nipples or genitals or whatever, all of us have our own exciting DNA variation! I have a big nose, crooked lower teeth and pasty white skin myself, I'm practically a Morlock. So what is YOUR “mutation”?

Gunwallace's theme for Transneptunian is a techno-operatic, expansive cyberdance.

Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
Urthe - http//www.theduckwebcomics.com/Urthe/

Pit's inspiring mutant newspost - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2016/jul/07/mutants-memoriam/

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com/
Banes - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Pit face - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/

Featured music:
Transneptunian - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/TransNeptunian/., by El Cid, rated A.

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Mutants Memoriam
So I look at Tantz Aerine and say, “hey Greekie! I gotta do a new post tomorrow. WHUT DOO AH RIGHT?” She sipped her ouzo with all twelve of her pinkies extended and said, “Mutants, dumbass.” Afterall, I came to realize that I would indeed be posting this on Mutant Memorial Day. Somber and important but often neglect. I bet none of you even remembered to buy gifts.

Any of you who’ve read my celebration of life, Putrid Meat, know that it has…well…mutants. Not quite the X-men variety, but little crawly ones. Dumb ones. Smelly ones. Live ones. Dead ones. Probably a little sticky. Why. What’s the magic in the sauce?

Being a spawn of the 80’s, mutants were everywhere, even in my ninja turtles. There was no shortage of creepy sewer dweller or outer-space mangler. Alot of them, I think, came from fear of nuclear war. The cold war was scary in that no one wanted to be vaporized; as many of us imagined would happen. The upside of this was mutants. After the Great Fallout occurred, I found myself in the company of many wonderful mutant friends and companions. They have all melted by now. Putrid Meat is my tribute to them. God speed, Sparky, the man with ashtray hands, and Danny the walking goiter. You live on.

Guest Newspost by a hippy from a small town in Illinois - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/.
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In their circles
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Have them in circles
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MOOD
I just started reading a book called “Framed Ink” by Marcos Mateu-Mestre. I'm not that far in, but it's already incredible. It's a book about visual composition…comics! Or storyboards, or even animation.

What I like about it is the whole approach to art makes so much sense. He approaches his work first from the standpoint of MOOD. What is the overall mood of the story, and the mood/emotion of this particular scene, and of this particular panel or moment? Then he figures out the intensity of that emotion, and works from there. I'll have to keep reading to see what he says next.

This is what I already believed was the way to approach things. I'd never put it into words…or coherent thought, for that matter. It's all about emotion, mood, and telling the story. Very excited to read more and put some of this stuff into practice!

Honestly, I've given very little thought to mood or emotion in terms of the comic visuals.

I mean sure, I think about facial expression, dialogue and delivering a surprise or a joke, or the occasional tear-jerking moment…but to actually think about the emotion being delivered by the frames I'm drawing? Almost never.

The one exception was my comedy/horror special last Fall, “The Creepin' Willies”:

I knew I wanted this story to be tense and creepy at times, and that long shots and sometimes low angles were part of the horror/suspense visual vocabulary.

I was fairly pleased with how that issue turned out, actually, having reread it recently. A lot of my stories get a little wordy in spots, and there are too many “talking head” pages for my liking!

Putting more thought into the visuals has a lot of appeal. Hence the purchase of this book!

In any case, I'm still only a few pages in, but “Framed Ink” seems worthy of a shout out!

How about you? Do you think about mood and emotion with the art in your comics? How do you express it? How has it worked out so far?

Have a good one!

-Banes
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Quackcast 280 - Ruts and Dreams
LISTEN: http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/quackcast/episode-280-ruts-and-dreams

For THIS particular DD Quackcast we were inspired by clever and incisive newsposts made by Pitface and Kawaii. Kawaii made a great post about the idea of going for your dreams before it's too late, using the Paradise Falls trip from the movie UP as an analogy: the poor old guy and his wife never got to go there together because real life kept on getting in the way, eating into their savings… Sometimes you just have to let things slide a little and take a risk or you never will reach that dream.
Pit's post was about always moving forward, and again; not just getting stuck in the rut of routine and the mundane. You don't just want to march forward onto the grey twilight of your life having been stuck doing and knowing the same things. Don't waste your free time solely on entertainments, arguments, and diversions, rather you should take time to work on something- to work TOWARDS something every day… and maybe that will help you achieve your dream? It could be as simple as working on a webcomic, each page brings you closer to the end of the story and producing something you can be proud of and maybe even marketable! little bits of exercise every day will help you work towards that figure you want… Studying or reading on your favourite subject will eventually make you a master of it, and then maybe you can even write your own book on it?
Don't just consume for diversion, consume with the intent to create and advance yourself! Use your time wisely.
Gunwallace's theme for Mailbox Rocketship is quirky, techno, funny and futuristic! It also features some familiar voices!

Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
2016 DD Awards - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Drunk_Duck_Awards_2016/

Pit's advice about ruts post - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2016/jul/16/pits-massive-gaping-rut/
Kawaiis grab-your-dreams post - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2016/jul/10/finding-my-way-to-paradise-falls/

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com/
Banes - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Tantz Areine - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Without_Moonlight/

Featured music:
Mailbox Rocketship - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Mailbox_Rocketship/, by Kota, rated T.
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The Joy Of SFX

Hello Fellow Duckers. Today I want to talk to you about a sensitive topic, but one that many of us enjoy, so there’s no need to feel embarrassed. We’re all friends here after all. I’m talking of course, about SFX.

My entry to the mysteries of SFX came with my first exposure to a genuine comic script. Sandwiched between the panel descriptions, captions and dialogue were those three magic letters. They heralded Klangs, Kabooms, Sighs and Clicks enough to turn any young man’s head. Previously I’d thought these were made up by the artist or the letterer, but here was evidence of writers burning the midnight oil to satisfy their onomatopoeic cravings. I had to know more.

I spent my nights with an endless selection of well thumbed publications, gleaning what I could. American cartoonist Roy Crane (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Crane) was the first to SFX up our comics. Others soon followed suit. SFX Splonked and Thwaarked their way into the popular consciousness. In the golden age, SFX became as recognisable a feature of comics as the characters they fought for panel space. They were soon parodied, never better than in this example (http://jeffoverturf.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/sound-effects-wally-wood-mad-mondays.html), by the great Wally Wood.

In the silver age, jack Kirby gave them centre stage, often filling whole panels with wild SFX. They fought for screen time with Adam West and Burt Ward in the iconic 1960s Batman TV series and even made their way into art galleries, courtesy of pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. They became the most recognisable feature of the comics vocabulary. Even today, classic SFX have their fans and custodians. Try clicking a few at the Comic Book Sound Effect Database (http://www.comicbookfx.com/fxlist.php). There was bound to be a backlash.

In the nineties, writers like Frank Miller and Alan Moore pioneered a grittier approach and looked for a new language of comics to satisfy their needs. Thought balloons went out of the window, to be replaced by angst ridden captions. SFX were under threat. Moore excluded them from the action in his genre defining Watchmen, creating a very different, unsettling effect. Some thought it was time to put SFX firmly in the closet. Today, you’ll still be hard pressed to find a thought balloon. SFX on the other hand, have survived, prospered, branched out into a thousand new forms. Let’s face it, SFX sells!

So how do you like yours? Do you display them proudly for all to admire? Do you tweak them for hours, or bash them out and forget about them? Perhaps you like them transparent, or in outline form, so we can see what’s going on underneath? Some prefer the human touch, while others employ every technological advance at their disposal. Some find their vision is best served by complete abstinence for all forms of SFX.

Whatever your stance, comic SFX are unique. While most writing is confined to balloons and captions, SFX leap clear of the text to join in with the action, throwing a few punches of their own along the way. In our sequential world they bridge the gap between words and pictures, giving us a soundtrack into the bargain. How loud is that explosion? How do you know a picture has been taken without that telltale click? Who’s that lurking in the shadows? It’s Wolverine of course - we can tell by his Snikt! SFX offer endless scope for originality and expression, even morphing into backgrounds and props if need be. Lose your inhibitions: SFX are fun!

Thanks for reading and until next time consider this: what sound does a freckle make, when it pops out to play on a balmy summer’s day?

This cheeky and very SFXy newspost was bought to us by our very own Ironscarf! http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Ironscarf/
You should know dear scarfy from his excellent comic Awfully Decent Fellows! http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Awfully_Decent_Fellows/

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FEATURED COMIC -> Drunk Duck Awards 2016
READ: http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Drunk_Duck_Awards_2016/
It's that time of year again! The DD awards are upon us! Crashing down upon us from on high like a great avalanche of unhatched duck eggs of vast potential… WHICH will hatch the swan? Answer: none you idiot! Swans don't come from duck eggs duh! I can't believe how stupid you are… shakes head

Right now on the DD awards they have a thing going called For Your Consideration (FYC for short), It basically means that people who want to be voted for an award will present some artwork and a case for why they deserve it. But THIS year that's taking the form of a “comic Jam”, where all the comic creators get together and make all their art into an ongoing story. This one starts out with some TV Binge watchers on a couch watching Without Moonlight, this is of course done by Tantz Aerine!
Enjoy the FYC antics and please consider voting for the their comics!

Read Drunk Duck Awards 2016 , By Niccea, rated E.
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Finding My Way to Paradise Falls
(by kawaiidaigakusei)

I was feeling emotional a few nights ago, so I did what I normally do in this situation--I went on YouTube and watched clips from sad children's movies. I picked the intro montage from Disney Pixar's UP as my poison of choice and it did the job. The montage tells a story about Carl and Ellie's life together, from their wedding to Ellie's death. Yet, one of the saddest parts of the story that gets me every time is how the two characters save up money for a dream vacation to Paradise Falls in Venezuela only to dive into their savings whenever their needs outweigh their wants. The couple faced a flat tire on their car, hospital bills for a broken leg, and a tree falling on their home and each time they dipped into their savings and spent the money that was supposed to go towards their dream vacation.

This story brought on a whole new meaning when I unsuccessfully tried to start my car Wednesday evening leaving me stranded in a dark parking lot waiting one hour for roadside assistance to jump start my car. I came to the conclusion that my car's battery was nearly dead and needed to be replaced when it stalled a second time Saturday night right after I left work and was all by myself at a gas station. The scene was the perfect set up for a horror movie, but I was able to get out of that situation from the assistance of a helpful stranger who offered to jump start my car without asking for anything in return. But as I drove home that evening knowing that I would have to dip into my own savings in order to purchase a new car battery the next morning, I felt I was heading down the path to make the same mistakes that Carl and Ellie made in UP.

There are always going to be bills. Car batteries die and need to be replaced, objects will break that require fixing, and a lot of the time, a dream vacation is one of the first items up on the chopping block. One of the tragedies in UP is that (spoiler) Ellie never makes it to Paradise Falls. So after some serious contemplation (and sitting in a car running an engine for thirty minutes to ensure the battery charges enough to make it to the mechanic the next morning allows an ample amount of time to think), I finally woke up to a moment of clarity and decided that in order to have amazing adventures in this life, I need to go to my version of "Paradise Falls" before it is too late.

That night I went back to my room and purchased a round trip plane ticket to a country I have never been, on a continent that I used to live, and I am going to be traveling solo with less than eleven pounds in my backpack (hint: I have a connecting flight in Reykjavik, Iceland). I am excited and terrified and I have all the emotions that one might have before traveling to the other side of the world alone for the first time. I am definitely going to need to brush up on my foreign language skills.

If there is anything the fictional characters in UP have taught me, it is this: cars break and there are bills to pay, but never let that be the excuse that prevents you from traveling the world.

Oh yeah, I ended up spending the whole morning at the AutoShop buying a brand new car battery to prevent any car failures in the near future, so it is not like I really had to pick between my "needs" and "wants". I still need to drive to work and bills will always need to be paid. I made a promise to the helpful stranger that I would get my car fixed first thing in the morning. Take a few moments to do nice things for other people, you are bound to make someone's day better.




MILESTONE

http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_Understanding/

The Understanding by Call Me Tom has reached 25 pages!!

http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_Understanding/
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Fill in the Blanks
This is a little doodle I did today.

If anyone feels like a little creative exercise, here's a question for ya:

Who is Sam, what is Sam's relationship to this lady, and what is Sam doing?

I know how creative the DD community is; just thought we could see what folks come up with.







(yes, I spent my late night post-work hours doodling and coloring this in, instead of writing up a newspost. More long-winded Banesery will return next Thursday)


Have a fine day!

Except for you, Sam.
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The home of webcomics
Introduction
Drunkduck has been a major webcomics community since 2002, we has many fabulous webcomics including the amazingly poplar  Modest Medusa and Charby The Vampirate Charby the Vampirate