I started this sketch on the flight back from Christchurch on Sunday. I eventually finished it a couple of days ago on my lunch break at work. Kinda cool to be able to bust out a colour sketch without having to carry a series of markers around with you.
I’m still playing with the whole drawing on the iPad deal, but I am getting more comfortable with the Sketchbook Pro app. The main thing that gets me is the couple of steps it takes to switch your drawing tools out, or to change a color or something of that nature.
With a little more patience and practice though I’m confident that I’ll get used to this way of working. Who knows, maybe after I get used to the process, I’ll be able to make some comics on it? That’d be pretty neat. Digital drawing is pretty great.
Thanks for reading,
A couple of weekends ago I was lucky enough to have briefly met Jeph Jacques of Questionable Content (QC) at a fan meet up he had arranged in Auckland. It was fortunate for me, and the other fans at the meet up, that Jeph and his wife had decided on New Zealand to spend their vacation.
If you haven’t heard of QC, then you are missing out! It’s a great comic. This was evidenced by the turnout in the middle of a park in the city centre on a very miserable rainy day. The meet up tweet was sent out the day before, which was gloriously sunny, however the summer here has been horrible this year, so that eventually turned into the rain we were expecting. About half an hour beforehand, Jeph sends out another tweet confirming the meet up is still on, and that we’d be taking shelter in the old band rotunda in the park.
I was hanging out with my brother that day. We arrived at the location of the meet up about 10 minutes before 3pm. There are already twenty or so people hanging out inside the band rotunda. The Rotunda has perimeter seating, and everyone is slowly starting to fill in. We are all there for the same reason, to meet someone who makes an awesome comic. This doesn’t make things less awkward though, as while we all share an interest in the comic, everyone is keeping to themselves. What you end up with is a bunch of strangers turning up, not talking to each other, and seating themselves inside a band rotunda, in the middle of a public park, on a wet Auckland afternoon.
Two homeless residents of the Rotunda, who had obviously claimed the spot as a quiet shelter area from the rain were starting to get weirded out by a bunch of folk quietly entering their dry space. One of them, on a foam mattress in the middle of the Rotunda starts to get a bit self aware, and eventually stores his mattress under one of the bench seats. It doesn’t take too long before his friend seats himself next to me to make small talk.
“Hey man, uhhh, what’s going on?” was the lead in question.
I tried explaining as best as I could why we were all there (with more people filling in as we were talking) and I also apologised for us all, intruding on their spot. Deciding that it might be best that they find another quiet area, the two homeless guys eventually take their leave.
Soon after Jeph and his wife Cristi arrive, and greet everybody. Jeph breaks the ice by breaking out his sketch pad, and drawing some sketches for people. At this stage there is about 50 people at the meet up. People eventually mingle and get talking before they have a chance to talk to Jeph himself. It was a nice relaxed atmosphere and fun.
Jeph himself was a really nice dude, he comfortably chatted with everyone, and drew a picture for them. I got a nice sketch of one of the newer characters of his comic – Padma. In return I gave him one of my comics to read. He was gracious enough to pose for photos if people wanted them too.
All in all, a really fun meet up. It was good of Jeph and Cristi to make time for everyone while on their own vacation time. Incredibly generous. Thanks so much. I believe another meet up is happening today in Sydney. If you’re a reader of the comic, I encourage you to go say hi.
Hey, 2012! Can you believe it?
Kinda cool to be starting a new year. It wouldn’t take too much to top last year on the good side of things. Let’s face it, last year was a rough one. I have high hopes for 2012 though, so as long as the world truly doesn’t end, I think we’re in for a good one!
Meanwhile here is a drawing I made on an iPad. It took a little while, as I was learning the drawing programme I was working in, but it was fun. Hopefully I can get some more sketches going soon.
Hope to get the comics going again, soon!
The other night I drew Anthony Clark’s character Beartato for fun. He’s such a cool little guy, I put a hat on him…backwards! That’s rebelious.
Beartato appears regularly with his friends over on Anthony’s website Nedroid. If you’re a fan of laughter, or comics, or even better the two combined, you owe it to yourself to go enjoy.
Then after, maybe spoil yourself with an ice cream too, might as well be indulgent, right?
The rest of our holiday in the USA was spent in New York City. A life long dream for my wife. It would be my second trip to the Big Apple, the last time I was there was in July 2003. I was expecting a lot of change. Actually no sooner had I left during the ’03 visit and the city was shut down by a power outage. It looked horrible, so I’m glad I missed it. Having experienced the New York summer, I had planned our trip late September/early October to try and avoid the uncomfortable humidity, and maybe get some more reasonable autumnal weather.
After the six hour flight however, we soon found out NYC was still having a late burst of summer, and we’d be in for some humidity. Just my luck. Oh well, you get what you’re given. Why did I pack my hoodie though? Heh.
The hotel I booked proved to be in a very handy Midtown location, with two different access points to different subway lines easily accessible on the opposing end of the block from each other. Between the two stops, we could basically cover almost everything we wanted to see. The thing I love most about New York is the fact that it is a very pedestrian friendly city. There are people everywhere, and they’re all walking. I mean, sure, there is traffic, and the city is well covered with buses and the trains too, but eventually you’re gonna have to hit the pavement, and look around for yourself. It’s still the best way to experience the city. No open air buses for me.
There is always something going on in the city. The day we arrived was the first day of the Occupy Wall St movement which is now spreading right around the world. Radiohead were putting on a couple of concerts. There were events I would have liked to attend on either side of the week that we stayed. New York Comic Con was the week after we left (how could I have missed that when I was booking the tickets?). It didn’t really matter. Just like the weather we were going to get what we were given, and there was still plenty to see and do.
Mandatory tourist trap activities were planned in advance. We got them out of the way early so the rest of our time could be spent doing stuff with friends, and just chilling out in the city.
Our friends took us out for a whole day. We started at the High Line and then made our way through the Meatpacking district. We reconvened in the evening for a fun night out in Brooklyn. It was great, so big thanks to them for giving up some of their precious time to show us some fun in their city.
There were too many cool things to mention. My wife took a few hundred photos of Squirrels in Central Park. That was pretty amusing. Cute little bastards. As always, the city leaves a big impression, and you do want to go back and do it again immediately after you’ve left. The flights getting there though…they are brutal. I’m so happy we had some down time in LA before we flew out to the East Coast.
More photos from the trip can be found here.
It was fun! Comics resume next week. Thanks for your patience everyone!
After a night of trying to catch up on rest from the long journey at an LAX Airport hotel, we utilised the free shuttle service to get a ride back to the airport to make a coach we had booked to take us to the hotel next to Disneyland. This ended up working quite well.
We made our way to the pick up point and were soon greeted by a large air conditioned coach with the sole purpose of taking people to Anaheim to experience (in Disney’s own words) the happiest place on earth – Disneyland.
The trip took about 45 minutes, and soon we’d find ourselves at one of the Disney Resort hotels that border one side of the perimeter of the park itself. The hotel was pricier, but we both found this to be an excellent investment for the full noise Disneyland experience. It was convenient and very accessible to the park. The staff as Disney employees were very helpful and had some awesome tips on how to best get around. Unfortunately the type of room we booked was all gone. However we were lucky enough to be upgraded to a very nice suite with a view overlooking Disney’s California Adventure Park. It was a sweet deal.
Soon we were entering California Adventure Park to start our exploration. If you don’t know, Disneyland is just one of the parks, and California Adventure Park is the newer park where all the new rides are expanding into. It’s always a bit overwhelming entering into a theme park like this. It’s a kid in a candy store situation. There is so much to do, you’re never quite sure where to start out. Personally I am looking for the most bad ass ride to kick start it all. In California Adventure Park there is a big roller coaster called “California Screaming”. This sounded like the best place to start. I was gutted to find this was one of two rides they were not running due to maintenance. Instead, we started out on the big Mickey’s Fun Wheel – a giant Mickey branded Ferris wheel. Not exactly a high thrill ride, but it was fun nonetheless. Some of the carriages swing and roll along rails built for the Ferris Wheel, so as it rotates, the carriage will move. It makes the experience more of an actual ride rather than just a place to get a view of the park.
It didn’t take too long before the Californian sun had burnt through the morning cloud and started kicking our ass. The stomachs started working on us too. We headed out of the California Adventure Park and headed to Disneyland in search of food. The difference was immediate in terms of impact. The first impression of Disneyland Park made California Adventure Park seem dull in comparison. The way the park was set up, and the whole vibe completely changed. It went from a park of randomly adjoined areas of fun (California Adventure Park) to a park where everything was designed and detailed to perfection, everything had a specific purpose (Disneyland). Though to be fair to the newer park, it seems to be a work in progress, with more attractions going in.
Disneyland was it from here on in. We turned in early on day one, about 5:30pm, and headed to Totilla Joe’s for a meal. It was a good call. Seemed like a beer was a very sound idea. The meal was excellent also. The next day we headed in early. Grabbed a breakfast bagel and spent the whole day in the park, with a two hour break back at the hotel to catch our breath.
Hit almost everything. We got all the stuff we wanted to do, done at least. I have never been in a place, where people are so freely just throwing their money around. It was incredible to see. People were having such a great time, that I guess the cash flows easy to try and make the most of the park while you are there. Every themed area has a few designated theme gift shops to go along with it. There is always an opportunity to pick up some Disney merchandise while walking around the park. While I can recognise the phenomenon, I wasn’t immune from it. We too decided that the Disney Corporation was in need of our money, for some keepsakes. Ha ha.
Good fun though. I’d recommend anyone to go. It took me until I was 30, but yeah, worth it.
Thanks for reading,
Last Tuesday midday I arrived with my wife into LAX (Los Angeles) to begin our holiday abroad. The flight from Auckland is thirteen hours long. It can be brutal with the time difference. However the entertainment and service provided by Air New Zealand was excellent. They made the long journey relatively enjoyable.
As always the worst part about embarking on a trip to the States is trying to clear immigration queues. Particularly at LAX, where there is such a high volume of traffic going through. It took about two hours to get processed and allowed into the country. That’s an anxious period for me. It’s the closest anyone can feel to being a criminal with all the scrutiny you face. It’s completely warranted of course. The officers on duty have an important task to perform in protecting their borders, but it sure is unpleasant.
With a few days in California we wanted to make sure we had some fun. I’ve been to California 3 times before this trip, but embarrassingly I’d never travelled to Disneyland any of those times. This was the objective. To go to Anaheim and have some fun in the mouse’s house.
Not without stopping for some In-N-Out Buger beforehand mind you! Damn they make some awesome burgers.
Los Angeles greeted us with very warm weather. My pasty white complexion hasn’t seen the sun in some time. It was a shock to the system. Inevitably I got a little sunburnt. My vitamin D dose was probably well overdue, I guess?
Thoughts while in California:
LA has very well designed Freeways. I’m glad I don’t drive them though.
Cars don’t really get much older than 5 years from what I could see.
Food is crazy cheap. A cheese burger at In-N-Out was just over two bucks US.
Mexican food is really good here.
Thanks for reading,
Last week my 6 year old niece made a questionnaire for me to fill out. Answering the most pressing questions she had on her mind. I figured I would answer them when I could, in comic form, to make it more entertaining. The question sheet was about six questions deep. Here is my answer to the first one. What is your favorite day?
Click on the image if you want to read it at a larger size.
Hope you enjoy.
Thanks for reading,
I’m just writing to let you know that after tomorrows comic, updates are going to stop for about a month or so. Nothing serious or extreme about this, it’s just time for a brief pause. I love making the comics. I’m itching to get back into it, but sometimes it is important to step back for a breather. For myself I’m going to spend some quality time with my wife. Which I am very much looking forward to. This will give me a chance to take a critical eye to where I have been with the comics over the last year, and where I am going with the storyline. It’ll be a good opportunity to just see if a break will get me back into it with some fresh ideas. I think it will.
During this downtime, you can still reach me of course. Either via email marc [at] actionmanadam [dot] com or you can follow what I am up to or hit me up on my twitter. No doubt during this down time I’ll have some things to blog about, so the website will probably be updating on the blog. However the ActionMan Adam store will be closed during this period also. So new comics and the store will be back again in October!
Thanks for all your support. New comic should be up tomorrow, and then the story continues in October!
Well I have finally gotten my new book up for sale online. If you go to the store section of this site, you’ll now be greeted with a new Big Cartel store. The new store is a lot easier to navigate around and purchase from. It looks nice too!
Due to the First Impressions books all being limited and customised, I outlined some instructions on how to go about picking a custom cover. Make sure you read those first if you would like to pick a cover design.
Every First Impressions book purchased comes with a button and two stickers. I’m really proud of the end result. To get the books as I wanted I did almost all the work on this book myself. The folding, the trimming of certain pages. I’m happy with it, and I hope everyone who gets it really enjoys reading it.