Rita: very close to completely done.

Yesterday, I drew in the back of the last Rita omnibus for the high-value Kickstarter backers.

It joined about twenty copies of book 3 and the omnibus sitting under my drawing board, all with signatures and pictures in them.

Today I ordered boxes to put them in.

Pretty soon I’ll spend an evening or three putting the boxes together and putting books in them. And then I’ll get them in the mail.

And then I’ll be done with Decrypting Rita and I really feel like I should have some emotions about that, but I don’t feel anything right now.

Ah well. Off to draw some other stuff. I got a deadline in three weeks, and five pages to get done before then.

general state of the dragon

And while I’m here at my blog: let me note some various things going on.

Halloween has passed, and with it comes the fall. Which means I definitely need to start turning on the 2′ square sun lamp whenever I get out of bed. But some mornings I am too grumpy to do that, and I sit around in the grey wondering why I feel sad and useless. So I went to the hardware store and grabbed a little mechanical timer. Now when I crawl out of bed in the morning, the light is pretty much always on, which means my body gets the message to wake up and I have some chance of feeling like a happy person who has energy to do stuff.

I have inched closer and closer to finishing off drawing in all of the books for the high-end backers. I have two books left to draw in; once I figure out how to approach the thing one backer asked me to draw, and draw the ‘I guess I’m completely done with this at last’ thing I’ve decided to do in the last remaining book, I will grab some boxes and start shipping that out. Being done with that is going to feel really good.

I have mostly been splitting my time between two things: drawing an 8-Parallax story that’s going to be the backup for one issue of a 4-issue series coming from Image early next year, and starting to tweak my Mastodon instance. I’d prefer to be drawing Drowning City right now, but this slot was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up (exposure AND money!) and the deadline is the end of this month. And on the Mastodon front, I now have a working local instance to start poking at some new feature ideas with, and to start doing some major style reworking.

Finally, I put a bird feeder up outside my apartment window a couple of weeks ago. After a week or so, birds finally started showing up, and now I constantly see little birds flitting to and from it. Knowing that I’m making life a little better for a few tiny birds makes me feel amazingly happy. I might get another one soon; this one’s too small for crows to perch on, and that’s who I really wanted to feed.

the end of an era

I just tweaked the front page of the site and removed the link to my now-dormant Livejournal. It hasn’t been updated since March, when LJ’s Russian owners put up a new TOS that banned queer content; the WordPress-to-Livejournal autoposter has been returning an error every time I posted a blog entry since then. Feels weird to do that; I met Nick on there, did a lot of growing up, and kinda figured it would stick around for a long time. But there it is. Things change.

I also got rid of the link to my old DA account, which has been dormant for years because I get next to no activity on anything I post there.

But the real reason I was in there was to switch the Mastodon link to point to my account on dragon.style instead of my account on mastodon.social – and to move it higher up in the list than my increasingly-dormant Twitter account.


And while I was there I also added a link to Parallax to the ‘comics’ section of the front page.

welcome to winterfest

Today, I think I finally discovered the True Meaning of Christmas.

My ex-with-benefits was in a pretty bad mood. Feeling alone, unloved, detached, all that wonderful stuff that can easily spiral down into doing terrible things to yourself. I tried to console and cheer them up, but this was a strong bout of that sort of thing. And then I remembered: last week I’d stumbled across some cute merch for one of their favorite video games, and impulsively ordered a little figure of their favorite character. (Robot, from Nuclear Throne, if you’re curious.) It’d been sitting on my drawing board for a couple days, waiting for me to get around to finding a little toy shovel (Nick’s main weapon in the game) and wrap it up nicely.

But screw that. I gave it to Nick, and it cheered them way the hell up. It’s not much in the grand scheme of things – it’s a twelve-dollar piece of injection-molded plastic – but it’s a symbol that I care enough to know that this is the Right Toy. And that’s maybe what all these midwinter holidays are supposed to do: give you a chance to make it obvious, one way or another, that you give enough of a shit about someone to know some of the obscure things they love, and maybe encapsulate that in a physical totem so they have something to remind them that someone gives a flying fuck when the dark, dreary tail end of an already-shitty year rises up and smacks them in the face with suicidal thoughts.

And yeah, maybe this isn’t new to you, maybe you’ve been doing this half your adult life, maybe you have a rich collection of little totems of your social network – but this is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this, after all the Family Togetherness holidays degenerated into me and my mom and my grandmother sitting around and lamenting how many people in our lives were dead, over the Ceremonial Turkey.

Anyway. Small random gifts around winter, but well away from the Obligatory Gift Holiday. It’s a nice idea.

Dragon Style is open for business!


There is a new player in the social media scene: Mastodon. You can basically think of it as “Twitter, except with longer tweets and less Nazis” – instead of being run by a bunch of Bay Area dudes who’re funded by VC and advertising, it’s run by anyone who feels like sinking a little bit of money and time into getting a copy running on a server somewhere, and maybe setting up a Patreon to pay for their server space. Each of these servers “federates” with each other, which is a fancy way of saying “your toots on monkey.party can be seen by your friend over on samiz.data”. (Mastodon instances tend to favor silly domain names.)

I’ve been using it more and more lately. Enough that I decided to spin up my own server at dragon.style. If you’ve been thinking of joining Mastodon but have been stymied by the huge number of servers to choose from, maybe “the server run by that queer cartoonist you like” is the one that sounds inviting? Who knows.

Right now it’s a completely bog-standard Mastodon instance, able to communicate with people on Mastodon instances all over the world. That’ll change eventually; I hope to do some visual customizing, and to play with a few feature ideas I have kicking around in my brain.

testing the toots

Nothing to see here, I’m just testing a plugin that will automatically toot a link to my posts on Mastodon. For the second time – it didn’t work before, and now it does. Hooray!

If you’re on Mastodon and not following me there then maybe you want to fix that? I’m @[email protected].

If you don’t know what Mastodon is, it’s basically Twitter with less nazis and a post size that limits you to paragraphs rather than very short sentences. And with development and hosting funded by user donations rather than selling your attention to advertisers. You can find out more of its unique selling points and pick a server to start tooting from here.

I’m really finding myself tweeting less and less lately. The only real problem right now is that the client I use for Mastodon tends to have problems with posting images. I’m not sure if this is an issue with this client or with the API, as I’ve also had problems getting the Silicon Dawn daily draw bot to post images on Mastodon.

Katrina Talks About Bitcoin

Today, I drew in one of the Rita omnibusses that needs that done, then got stoned and went to Trader Joe’s, where one guy working there who I’d had a conversation with about cryptocurrencies a couple weeks ago asked me a few Cryptocurrency 101 kinds of questions.

And that got me thinking about cryptocurrencies, and about maybe setting up Nick’s old PC as a host for a few graphics cards that’re busy mining some of them, and about the fact that really most of the people who made a lot of money in the Gold Rush were not the people who actually went out and did the mining, but the people who sold things to them, and then I ended up thinking that “a cute cartoon character who talks about this stuff”  is the kind of thing that might end up in people being interested in paying me a mix of cash and cryptocurrency to talk about their cryptocurrency. And something that might help make the cryptocurrency I own have a better chance of being worth obscene amounts of value somewhere in the future. Cryptocurrency cryptocurrency cryptocurrency? Cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency.

Katrina is of course based on an actual toy dragon who lives on my desk on top of some petty cash, and who has a very-forgotten twitter at @bandylegstrina.

I also spent a fair amount of time as I was drawing this on encapsulating a lot of settings into Graphic Styles, so it should be pretty simple to draw her quickly if I actually want to do more of this.

One of those things that doesn’t quite come together.

I thought, “What if I made a skin for my Mac that looked like a leather-bound Magical Grimoire? That could be cool.” So I fiddled with this in the background of my D&D session today. Finally fucked around with Astute Graphics’ “Texturino” plugin while doing it.

I don’t think it really worked out, and I don’t think I want to keep playing with it to see if adding more crap will make it work. I’ll just keep the single white sigil sticker on top of the Apple logo polished into its aluminum body.

Anyway. I should go take a walk in the drizzle.

testing the tootelage

Nothing to see here, I’m just testing a plugin that will automatically toot a link to my posts on Mastodon.

If you’re on Mastodon and not following me there then maybe you want to fix that? I’m @[email protected].

If you don’t know what Mastodon is, it’s basically Twitter with less nazis and a post size that limits you to paragraphs rather than very short sentences. And with development and hosting funded by user donations rather than selling your attention to advertisers. You can find out more of its unique selling points and pick a server to start tooting from here.

dhadradessi

Dream me will comment on a school's font choice (one of those circussy ones with heavy serifs and a few flourishes; “well I guess it was the seventies”) but not on the fact that its letter listing every new student for this year alphabetizes “Dhadradessi” after names starting with X,Y, and Z. Then again after I blinked the last few names were listed in awkward attempts at constructing non-English characters out of a monospace typewriter font.

Also that is a hell of a name, which is still bouncing around my head. This post may serve as a reminder to ask Google if it's an actual name once I actually get up; I'm going back to sleep right now.