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.

How To An Illustrator: shitty printing

Because sometimes you want things to look like a crappy, blown-out xerox. Or at least one person on /r/adobeillustrator did.

  1. click on the circle to the right of the layer with your b&w image to target the whole layer for effects
  2. open the appearance palette
  3. effect>sketch>reticulation
  4. effect>stylize>inner glow (set it to white, 100%, probably a pretty large blur)
  5. effect>sketch>photocopy
  6. click on the effect names in the appearance palette to edit them

If you don’t want texture in black areas you’ve drawn over white areas then do a bunch of Pathfinder to make it just white shapes.

Violet Vibrations: The Unconquered Egg

(click for full size)

This started as a group portrait of my D&D campaign. Which is made up entirely of characters with musical skills, so it only seemed natural to turn it into a fake album cover.

The band’s name comes from the campaign; the song and album names are all my fault, and mostly reference events in the story so far. The front cover and their logo is heavily inspired by early Ozric Tentacles releases because that just felt right, even though I doubt they sound very similar.

(Last session, the DM was insane enough to give us a Deck Of Many Things. I drew a card; the thieving kobold with the lowest wisdom in the party now has three wishes. I intend to do my best to make sure this Does Not End Well in the best way possible.)