At long last, I got enough visits in Animal Crossing: New Leaf to upgrade my train station. I went with modern to match my town hall. I still don’t have all the construction options, but the station was a big one that’s impossible to get without a friend to help. It’s a small victory, but a victory none the less.
I think that this is the last page of the comic to be made with Photoshop. My relationship with that program has been turbulent at best. In the beginning all I had was PS Elements 3 or something. Every step of the way was hampered by lack of functions and a very tiny drawing space. I had the smallest Wacom mouse tablet thing they make. One of the ones where you draw on the top of the desk while looking at the screen. There was always a disconnect between hand an eye that made it difficult. Fortunately, the drivers worked with Windows and PS, so at least I wasn’t constantly fighting that.
After that I was given a copy of Photoshop CS1, which was a significant upgrade and allowed me to do several tasks much faster than before. It was lucky because I had gone to color and even trying to do 3 pages a week was difficult. The comic had been 5 days a week prior to the introduction of color. I’ve never managed to work fast enough to make up that time. I’m not very good with color and have trouble seeing subtle difference in it, which is why my work is so saturated. It makes everything clearer to my eyes.
Eventually Adobe gave out free versions of Photoshop CS2, which worked remarkably well for a few years, but then something happened. Around the time they instituted the “pay forever” scheme the drivers for my Wacom stopped working with CS2. Some of you will remember this. I had to go back to 1 because, for whatever reason, it was unaffected. I have been hobbling along since then. Several of the upgrades that 2 made available to me had become staples of my process and losing them was a real blow. Essentially Adobe forced me to reevaluate what I was using to produce content. Honestly, I’m no great loss to their bottom line. I only ever paid for two versions of Photoshop elements, the others were given to me by other people. That said, I’m just on the cusp of being able to afford their software, with a payment plan at least, but I feel like they don’t really want business from people like me. Which is fine. if your business model is disregarding the independent artist that’s your right. We are never going to be the money making group that large companies are.
At this moment Smith Micro seems to be serious about providing reasonably priced software in the hands of creators, so I went with Manga Studio EX5, after having tried EX4. Neither of which set me back significantly in the pocketbook. I got both on sale and was pleased in both cases with my purchase. You guys have responded positively to MS5 so that’s my go to from here on. It handles massive files so quickly and without errors that it’s allowed me to do more side art for readers, faster, than ever before. I can do two or three Patreon images in an evening and still have time to do a significant amount of work on a comic page. Hopefully my positive feeling about how things are going won’t result in massive backlash from the universe.