2015-08-14-BFP1420-theclaw


1420 The Claw.

32 Comments

That’s the spirit, Jo. Claim what’s yours!

Let’s see… We finally decided to close the go fund me thing. Unfortunately $3100 became $2298 because it went from the Canadian total to the American exchange rate. I think this also means that you should be charged less on your statements since it was done in Canada bucks. Honestly, this kind of thing is exactly what always happens to me, and I can’t bring myself to feel bad about free money. Once they get around to giving me the full bill on this thing 2K will be a big help. If you are eligible for any of the rewards please contact me via the regular channels. If you choose to forego any reward then please accept my heartfelt thanks. You’ve allowed me to continue making this thing that you obviously love. I will continue to do my best to make it worth your attention.

As far as my health goes, the issue with my breathing mask still hasn’t been resolved. I’ve been wearing it in spite of it not helping in any way because they actually track use over the internet, but all it does is make me not sleep. The shitty company I chose to handle the whole affair never bothered to do any of the insurance stuff, so I’ll probably have to pay for the entire escapade out of pocket. Of course I haven’t paid anything yet because they don’t send out bills like any normal company and I refused to give them my bank account information because they are sketchy as fuck. Strangely, they couldn’t be bothered to come to the house to do any of the stuff pertaining to my service, but they did manage to drag themselves out here when trying to get my money. Of course it was on the one day no one was here to receive them, so they made the trip for nothing. Had they bothered to tell someone maybe someone would have been here. I mean we all have magical rectangles that keep us in constant contact with each other, but why bother with that? Why bother with anything really? If the insurance stuff ever gets sorted I’m dropping these ridiculous nincompoops.

As far as my foot healing goes it seems to have reached a plateau. It’s not getting any better past not being infected by bacteria. It’s constantly swollen if I’m upright and heat makes it much worse. Basically it’s slightly worse than the first time I had this happen. If it is getting better it’s happening so slowly I can’t perceive the change. Supposedly if the cpap was working properly I would be sleeping better and heling faster, but at the moment it’s just making things worse. I have to sleep more often, and longer, because I don’t sleep properly. I hurt all the time, and I’m constantly struggling to keep up with my obligations. That said, if I ever actually get better I’ll be super fast at art because it’s like I’m training in weighted clothing every day. Being forced to do more with less makes me thing up even more clever ways to do things faster.

Just before I went into the hospital I bought a Surface Pro 3. My parents went in on it with me as a birthday present. The idea was that I would be able to work no matter where I had to go. At that time I was doing well enough that making payments on it wouldn’t be a big deal. Plus, spending money on things that help you make more money is a solid investment. If I had decided to buy the thing any later than I did I wouldn’t have it at all. So it was lucky that I made the choice when I did, because otherwise you guys wouldn’t be reading the comic right now. Or earlier, since you’re reading the blog now… Anyway, having the Surface allowed me to work in the hospital, and in bed, when I couldn’t get out of it for more than a few minutes. It’s paying for itself in that I wouldn’t be making money at all if not for this device. Usually I don’t talk about stuff like this because people get pissed off when someone with my low level art skills gets nice hardware. I know some of you will argue that I’m better than I say I am and whatnot, but realistically my skills are far poorer than they should be considering what I do for a living now. That said, I wanted to talk about this device as a service to those of you who want to make comics, or what have you, or know someone who does.

This Surface Pro 3 has everything you need to make comics apart from software. If you only bought one of these you would never want for a regular PC. I’ve only turned on my old rig a couple of times since I got the surface and even then it was to get files to put on to the Surface. My one is relatively high end. I got more storage and better processors because I knew I would need them for art, so you should probably go that way if you decide to get one. The Surface runs Manga Studio as fast as my regular computer, if not a bit faster, and has the advantage of touch controls.
The thing about the touch controls is that, for me, it saves a lot of time with zooming in and out on drawings. It also makes manipulating the canvas easier. You can lock the screen and turn the surface, or rotate the canvas in the program with your fingers. Either way it’s much faster than using regular draw screen or a mouse.
The stylus isn’t as accurate as a cintique but it’s accurate enough that you can adapt easily. In fact part of the problem might be that sometimes it’s too precise and my twitching hand is the issue. Lag is so minimal it’s barely worth mentioning. The battery life is good enough that I can finish a page on one charge without any problem. It’s, like, 4 or 5 hours I’m guessing. But really, where are you going to be where power isn’t readily available? If you’re on a plane or something that’s one thing, but you can plug it in pretty much any other time if power becomes an issue. The adapter even has a little usb port for other stuff. so you can charge your phone at the same time if you want. Pressure sensitivity is easily enough to satisfy pretty much anyone who is going to care about that sort of thing. It’s got levels and stuff. Technical things that I don’t fully understand. I’m sure a more savvy user could tweak settings and make the whole thing better. But the point of what I’m saying is that you can be as dumb as me and be just fine. You could do everything I do on this one device and start your empire of tears.
The surface is far from perfect though. It has awkwardly placed buttons, no place to store the stylus except a loop of fabric you stick on with a sticker, and runs hot if you try to do more than one thing at a time. For me though, the pros outweigh the cons by a significant margin. My surface essentially replaced my PC. If not for the safety of a backup system I really wouldn’t have any use for it at this point. Of course you can hook a Surface to a tower if you like so if I wanted to I could Frankenstein them together and have it all. I just don’t because the tower makes my already hot room too hot to tolerate.

Anyway, I pretty much only have this thing because of my Patreon supporters. The regularity of Patreon allows me to budget for stuff like this in a way that ad revenue doesn’t. So thanks for that. You put your money behind what you want and it really did make a difference. And everyone who can’t be a supporter take heart. Your views are important. Just keep reading and recommending. Even though ad values fluctuate they are part of my monetization plan too. It’s just harder to budget over a long time with them. Everyone contributes. I get to continue this because of all of you, and I can’t thank you enough.