Monday, January 26, 2009

014 - Topcatyo Finishes The Phoenix Wright Series

Topcatyo Finishes the Phoenix Wright Series

It's strange. I make a comic during the middle of the Phoenix Wright series with an esoteric joke that people who haven't played the series would not understand, and when I've finished the entire series and know everything about the games, I do a comic that's easy to grasp and anyone would be able to understand.
Shouldn't it be backwards? Ah well.

The artwork in this comic took forever and I hate it. This was when I was still using the old dated form of cleaning my lineart up that took forever and didn't look great. So, drawing this comic took me far too long and the result for each panel looks so different from the others it looks like a collaboration of several different artists, or I drew the panels with years between each other.
Well, lessons to learn for next time.
Didn't I have a soda in the first panel?

013 - Topcatyo Plays the Phoenix Wright Series

Topcatyo Plays the Phoenix Wright Series

Remember with that Lord of War comic where I talked about how I didn't want to exclude my readers?
Well, I did it again.
Last year, a friend of mine lent me his Nintendo DS and the Phoenix Wright series for me to play. So, I played through them, quite rapidly, mind you, I was hooked, and felt better because of it.
In the middle of this series, I got the idea for two comics. This one, and the next one. This one based on a true story and the next on what I imagined would eventually become a true story.

Allow me to explain this one:
The Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series, in case you don't know, is a series where you're a defense lawyer in the future with a different court system than the one implemented nowadays. You defend clients while also acting as detective for some reason, and eventually you solve cases. The cases get more and more convoluted as they go on and they almost always hit rock bottom for things start to look up. They can be quite stressful. At least for me.
Anyway, when the game isn't in the detective sections, you're in the courtroom section. In this section, you take various testimonies given by the witness and, using any evidence you have or any errors they make in their testimony, you hack away at the slab of marble that is their testimony until you have a nice statue of the truth, which is usually a middle finger because what you learn from the testimonies ends up screwing you over in the long run.

During these courtroom sessions, what you are meant to do is either extremely obvious and easy to figure out, very confusing and precise about what you need to do, or what you should do is extremely obvious but the game won't let you do it because your character hasn't figured out what to do next and you have to get him to the conclusion with baby steps.
Pressing a witness has no affect on your health bar (yes, there's a health bar) in the game except for special occasions. However, using evidence to show a contradiction in the witness's testimony will make you lose health, so you have to be very careful. It's best to save that health up because you're going to need every bit of it.
In Phoenix Wright, whenever I screwed up up and lost health, I'd simply shut off the DS and turn it back on as soon as the music showed that I was incorrect with my logic. This would mean I'd be taken right back to where I saved (right before I made my guess) and took less time than watching Phoenix get chided by the judge. I eventually learned there was a reset button for the game, and things went even faster.

The error in my thinking with this comic was that I never thought to check and see if anyone else did this. Oopsy poopsies.
Either way, here's the comic.

As you may notice, it's much much much better that my previous comics in the art department. This where I decided to start using clean lines for teh drawings and start coloring the comics. Coloring was a cinch, but the lines were a pain because the process I used to go about making the lines was extremely flawed.
I'd start by drawing rough, super thick lines for the drawings. Then, like the witness testimonies in the games, I hack away at the lines with the eraser tool until the lines were nice and clean and how I wanted them. This was bad because it took foreeeeeeeeeeeveeeeeeeeer and any small screw-up was noticeable, so I'd spend an hour erasing and going over the same pixel over and over until I got it right. I did quite a bit of drawings in Photoshop using this until I, recently, found a better and much much much quicker way of doing it.

012 - Thank You

Thank You

If someone were to give me the choice between being put into an iron maiden or writing Thank You notes, I'd probably choose the iron maiden because then I'd at least eventually bleed out.

011 - Thinking of Sleeping

Thinking of Sleeping

Have you ever thought consciously about trying to fall asleep while trying to fall asleep? It's impossible.
Try thinking about how often you blink.
Think about how much time you put in between breathing in and breathing out, and how much you breathe in an out.
Have fun.

010 - Black


Black is sort of an enigma of a game. I hated it, yet I enjoyed it at the same time. Sure, the story was crap, as were the cutscenes and the bad acting in them, the terrible dialogue with swear words put into every gap, giving them an unnatural sound, the repetitious enemies, the very basic environment damage caused by the explosives, the annoying checkpoints, and uninspiring gameplay. Yet, I enjoyed it because it had tons of explosions, shooting people was fun, and it handled surprisingly well for a console First Person Shooter.
One day, when I was bored, I decided to draw a comic dedicated to this enigma.

Now, since I have ludicrous examples of what causes explosions in this comic, allow me to go over the explosions to point out if they actually do happen in the game.

1.) A grenade will cause a large explosion, sometimes followed by other explosions, like the grenade had a suitcase full of other grenades with it.
2.) Shooting red barrels, hell, red anything, will cause a large explosion. As, more often than not, there are other explosives within the damage radius of the explosion, there will be several more explosions afterward.
3.) Strangely enough, killing an enemy with a rocket launch will make them explode. Why? I don't know. I imagine it's because the player has shot the rocket launcher itself enough times that the rocket inside the launcher exploded, but that makes no sense. That, and I don't think that's how rockets work.
4.) An explosive next to a building means that explosion will obliterate the building. Fun stuff.
5.) Unfortunately, there are no cats in Black. If there were, however, they would, no doubt, explode.
6.) Guns do not explode when swapping them for other guns. Not even the rocket launcher.
7.) That drawing doesn't look a thing like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

So, there you have it, the "fact and fiction" of my comic. Goody.
As you may or may not notice, the artwork is improved somewhat in this comic over the course of drawing the ones before. That's because, at this point, I was getting used to drawing in Photoshop. However, I still wasn't great. I've improved quite a bit since then, but I'm still far from perfect. In this comic, I also managed to figure out the dark secret of newspaper dots, and then used the crap out them for this.
Despite my improvements with Photoshop, I was still a rookie (still am), and the comic took over fourteen hours over the course of three days to make. Yeesh.
Still, it was a fun comic and a good learning experience for me.

009 - Economy Crisis Analysis

Economy Crisis Analysis

Having finished the Oil Crisis Analysis comic, which took longer than I expected (around 10 hours), I began to work on this.
Now, remember that the economy was much better off back then when I made this comic than it is now.
In that list of all possible explanations for the economy (which, may I add, I simply wrote down a list of various reasons, and I had no evidence any of them were right, not did I believe that any of them were the right reasons), I never listed "people not paying off their mortages."
Turns out that was the big one.
Oh well, you got a comic out of it. Enjoy.

008 - Oil Crisis Analysis

Oil Crisis Analysis

A long, long time ago, I was having a nice chit-chat with my friends as I usually do. The subject made a pitstop on the economy and the sad shape it was in. Suddenly, a thought popped into my head. "The reason the economy sucks so much right now is because everyone is losing their change in their couch cusions. Those coins are lost for a long time, perhaps forever, and they are never used again. If this is applicable to the entire population of America, we're losing a lot of money."
It wasn't a serious thought, but I immediately thought "That'd be a fun comic to read."
Well, I was in comic-making mode after the previous comics I posted, so I felt the need to draw these comics.
As soon as I was about to get to work, however, another thought popped into my head. I never wrote the economy idea down, so I was going on memory, but it was firmly implanted in my head. However, a new thought popped into my head regarding the oil prices then, which was going over $3.00 per gallon. "Seagulls. Damned seagulls."
So I drew this.

007 - Minor Ways to Hurt Yourself 3

Minor Ways to Hurt Yourself 3

This was the last in the series. I wanted to keep going, to draw one every day. I was having fun with it.
However, I was out of ideas. I couldn't think of any other ways to innocently hurt oneself. I considered leaning back too far in a chair, but there's always the possibility the chair will break or the person could hit their head off of something behind them.
Plus it's just frightening to lean too far back. It's downright terrifying.
So, I put the series on hiatus indefinitely. Maybe one day I'll revive it with some more ways to inflict pain on oneself without any lasting damage.
Until then, I'll just keep living life until I discover some more ways in my adventures.

006 - Minor Ways to Hurt Yourself 2

Minor Ways to Hurt Yourself 2

"...and the Lord said, 'Let there be a sequel!'"
That's not the exact quote, but it's kinda close.
Anyway, I discovered this fun way to inflict pain on oneself long before I discovered the Playstation controller one, but I never found a reason to tell anyone about it.
The first comic in the series created a perfect opportunity. It created a nice segue for me to draw about hurting oneself with a bag of Skittles.

You may notice a difference in artwork between this series and my other comics. For these comics, I wanted to draw them up fast. As I was not experienced with drawing from scratch with Photoshop, it took me a long time to make the previous comics, despite how simple they looked.
However, I'd been using Macromedia Flash for a long time. Since Flash 5. So, I could doodle something quick in Flash and be done with it.
I wanted to finish each of the comics in this series within an hour (and I did), so Flash was the perfect opportunity. I could draw the image up (and it'd look nice and smooth too since Flash's paintbrush tool automatically smoothed every line you made if you set it that way). After the picture was drawn up, I'd export it as a .png, increase the resolution by about 300 and then import it into Photoshop. When it was put into Photoshop, the increased resolution made the image appear enormous. In Photoshop, I'd shrink the pictures down, put in the panels and words, organize everything, and I'm done.
It was quite nice, but Flash Is not the most rewarding program to draw in. The smooth feature had a way of butchering your lines. They'd be drawn weird or misshapen and it wouldn't look quite like you drew it.
Photoshop was much better for drawing, but it took a lot more practice to get it to look good. I'm still practicing, but I'm getting better.

005 - Minor Ways to Hurt Yourself 1

Minor Ways to Hurt Yourself 1

Ah, curious youth.
Well, this was a year ago. I remember it like it was yesterday. Sorta.
I was playing Final Fantasy 7, which, according to a bajillion annoying people on the Internet and even more fanartists on Deviantart, Final Fantasy 7 is the best video game ever made.

Well, it's not. Maybe I was just looking at the game wrong, but I hated it. I hated every second of it. Don't say I didn't play the game enough, I beat the entire thing, which took about sixty plus hours. I had a lot of time to review my decision that the game is no fun.
The characters are also hella boring and one-note. Cloud is all "I don't care about anyone I do what I want look at me be badass." The Aeris dies, and his personality switches to "Let's save the world, gang!"

Anyway, I was so bored playing Final Fantasy 7 (this was in Bone Town or whatever this happened), that I decided to shove the cord of my Playstation 2 controller up my nose.
Yeah, I'm a smart one.
Anyway, it turns out the Playstation 2 cord is really, really thick, so it has the strong urge, if that's what you want to call it, to uncoil itself and go straight again. Well, my nose isn't a strong thing and it was preventing the cord from uncoiling. So, a massive amount of pain ensued.
I then decided to share my pain with everyone else.
Go on, give it a try. It's fun.

004 - Deep Thoughts With Topcatyo 1

Deep Thoughts With Topcatyo

If by "deep" you mean the depth of a pond.
I got the idea for this comic after I watched a thirty minute-long Youtube video that featured a large collection of intros to cartoons from the 90's. Since I grew up in the 90's, it was a huge nostalgia trip for me. I got to see the intros to some cartoons I had not seen for a long time, but yearned too. I noticed every single cartoon from the 90's had a cheesy song with lyrics. It was like being four all over again.
I even remember some cartoons I didn't remember before seeing the video.
One of these was Mighty Max.

Here was the premise (what I remember of it) for Mighty Max:

Mighty Max is a, oh, let's say ten year old kid. When he puts on this red hat with a large "M" on it, he is suddenly transported to this other, super dangerous world, where this big guy and some talking owl and he go on dangerous adventures and barely escape death.
Does that put the comic in perspective? Do you kinda sorta get it now?
Again, deep as a pond. About as funny as one, too, I'm sure.

003 - Poker With Frank

Poker With Frank

After I had shown off a few of my comics a while ago, a friend of mine said, "Hey, would you mind drawing me a comic?" Being the nice guy I am, I cussed him out of the room and told him I wished to never see him ever again ever.
After he persistently asked me for the next three days, I caved in and said I would draw his comic.
One of his hobbies was playing online poker. From what I hear, he's very good. Anyway, this was the original idea he gave me for the comic. He had another one with an alternate punchline, but it would be a confusing punchline if you didn't play Poker a lot, and I already excluded quite the audience with my last comic, so I'm posting the easier to understand version.
This is still when I didn't quite have the newspaper dots figured out, and I still didn't care about cleaning up my lineart.

002 - Hero of Guitar

Hero of Guitar

If you haven't seen or just forget the movie Lord of War, then you really won't get this joke.
That kinda slims down the audience for this joke quite a bit, doesn't it?
Anyway, guess what song I was listening to when I decided to draw this?

Also, I should add that this is an older comic I drew. This was before I managed to get the "newspaper dot"-like effect for filling stuff in down pat and when I didn't care about whether or not the lineart was clean.

001 - MIB


People oftentimes like to ask me, "How do you get your ideas for your comics?", to which I respond with "Do I know you? Where am I? How did I get here? What's going on?!"

Dragons With Pom Poms

This is a blog where I will be posting comics I make.
A webcomic, if you will.