1420 The Claw.

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.


Ooh. Someone’s been sleeping with her contacts in. That’s not a good idea, Brooksie. :(

There are contact lenses specifically designed to be able to use through sleeping. I’m using those myself, in fact.

And not that I’m squeamish about doing it, but it is a hell of a lot more convenient to only do the “remove/put in” lenses routing once a month instead of once a day!

Wishing you all things well and good. <3 I may have to take a break from Patreon if I can't find a job soon (my job cut my hours to less than three days a week). If that happens, I'll start up as soon as I can again though.

If it were me, there would be no buffer zone between my palm and that supple breast flesh. Brooksie, the blanket is robbing you of the full monty!

“but realistically my skills are far poorer than they should be considering what I do for a living now.”

I kind of see you as an amazing writer who took the time to beat some nice art skills into his head (and continues to do so!), where as these days a lot of the big boys are splitting the work over a separate writer and artist (and sometimes the art is further being done by multiple people), and so donated/patreon/AD bucks go farther with you since the money that helps get a nice machine for the writer gets one for the artist as well.

And so, to me, its like you are comparing your skills, the abilities of one man doing it all, against whole teams of 2 to 4 people! Many who started out as a one man band get about so popular so they get enough patreon monies to shunt into getting help doing what you do all by your lonesome. You can’t afford help and keep on shooting from your bed if you have to again all by yourself.(plus I assume you enjoy making the art as much as we enjoy viewing it or more and prefer doing it yourself even if you had the monies) You’re pretty amazing.

There will always be wonderbar people who do it all well and do one aspect better than you (that one would naturally focus on). I bet your natural writing makes tons of folks trying to do what you do feel the same way about their level as compared to yours as your art makes you feel compared to others (maybe they are among those with “superior” art skills).

When you mentioned only having a stick-on loop for storing the pen for your SurfacePro I immediately thought about the protective case my better half uses for hers. It has a built-in pen loop for storing the pen. I recommend looking into buying one. The cover provides a bit of protection for it, has a built-in stand (at least most of them do) and a built-in place to conveniently store the pen. Some of them are ridiculously expensive but a lot of them are not too bad in price. Just a thought…

Do you happen to know the brand?

My wife has a Platinum – Kope Series Leather Case for Microsoft Surface Pro 3 She loves it.

Some other good possibilities (in my opinion):
Bag: to put the tablet in when it’s not in use but you have to remove it from the bag to use it. Mostly just scratch protection – not much shock protection – but can be inexpensive
Inateck Surface Pro 3 Case Cover 12 Inch Tablet Sleeve Bag
Belkin – Sleeve for Microsoft Surface Pro 3
Maroo – Leather Sleeve for Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Folio cases: holds the tablet, folds over to protect the screen when not in use, can be used with the tablet in place, usually has a built-in stand. MAY result in overheating if the tablet is used for a long time with the case in place – some cases have this problem, others do not. (YMMV)
Platinum – Kope Series Leather Case for Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (my wife has not had any overheating problems)
Fintie Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Case – Folio Slim-Fit PU Leather Stand Cover with Stylus Holder (SOME users have complained about overheating problems)
Incipio Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Case, Roosevelt [Slim Folio Case] for Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Rugged cases: – a bit more drop protection – but a bit more expensive
URBAN ARMOR GEAR Case for Microsoft Surface Pro 3
Incipio Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Case, Capture [Rugged Case] for Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Ooh, I am so jealous of both of them, ’cause they’re both so adorkable.

Wait. So you took all our money and spent it on a new computer? One you can use to continue and improve the strip and your other work?

“Spending money on things that help you make more money is a solid investment.”

You got that right. Mom’s raised a little capitalist, here. Well, okay, he’s actually kind of a big capitalist…

Your old computer has a bright future as a file server. Depending on the version and level of Windows you have on it, you may be able to actually log into it from the Surface, actually taking control of the big machine from your mobile unit. World domination is at your very fingertips. Read up on Remote Desktop Connection. Either way, you can put a big-@$$ hard drive in it and share it to your Surface ID.

An external hard drive for the Surface 3 would be another good investment.

Another good investment. 2TB externals are under $100 (U$D) now. Good thing too; my work 1TB hit a concrete floor from 6′ up a few weeks back.

Blue JoJo needs coffee badly.

My sister bought a Surface 3 last weekend of on the promise from Best Buy that it wouldn’t be a Windows 10 version. It was. And there’s no way she could return it because there’s no Windows 8.1 version available. I’ve heard mixed reviews about Windows 10; might be better after an update in October.

I’ve switched allegiances and bought myself an iMac. It been good so far.

When it comes to “Best Buy” and promises and anything electronic, I have learned to insist that they take it out of the box and fire it up.
Sadly 7 times out of 10 the item is not as described or has that little tiny white sticker on the back/bottom “Refurbished”. If its just the Sticker but still works then I insist on them extending the warranty and dropping the price. It helps if your phone has the local equivalent of Consumer Protection / Fraud Squad in the directory to wave under their nose.

I never got the complaints with 10? I guess it’s only problematic on certain programs and certain software. it’s worked just fine for me though, runs all my games (a god send after dealing with 8’s compatibility issues), internet is fine, and only had a few issues with it trying to use it’s new program for images but fixed that in a flash. maybe I’ve gotten so used to 8 that anything is better.

Sorry to hear you’re still having trouble with your CPAP. Usually that is a fairly straightforward process. That supplier is definitely incompetent. There may be something shady going on with them as well. Is there a government regulatory agency that oversees companies that sell medical equipment like your CPAP? We’ve had a lot of federal Medicaid and private health insurers fraud in the U.S. regarding CPAP machines as of late. On the other hand, they could just be doofuses. Ditch them ASAP. I certainly hope you have things resolved to your satisfaction soon.

Well, I guess that is a better way of claiming your territory than peeing on it.

Nice review of the Surface Pro 3, I have been looking hard at getting one, A few other webcomic artists (Willis is one, I think), have mentioned they have one and are quite happy with it. A question, do you have a Cintiq, and have you tried running that through the Pro? Or is the Pro good enough that you don’t need to use the Cintiq?

I have an old one that they don’t make anymore. You can’t connect the two. The surface doesn’t support the hardware. Besides, the surface is basically the same thing in a smaller case. The only advantage my old cintique has is a set of programable hot keys which I actually miss having.

It’s not the 12WX is it? That is what I have. And that smaller case thing is my issue, I am finding the 12 is just a bit small for my liking lately, and the Pro 3 I looked at felt kind of cramped to me, although I really liked it otherwise. Looked hard at the Companion, but they are pricey, as is anything with the Wacom name on it.

Hey, since you are a Manga Studio user, I have a question, I just fired it up after not using it for a while, and I noticed that the pen contact point and where it draws on screen doesn’t line up now, it is off by about half an inch to the right. The issue is that I just upgraded to Win10, so I am not sure if this is a Manga Studio issue, a Win10 issue, or a Cintiq/Win10 issue; and my other programs work just fine. Have you seen this?

Yeah I had to deal with the cursor thing at one point. I forget exactly what the cause is. I have a vague memory of solving it by making my cintique the main screen and the regular monitor the second, but that may be a misrememberance. It might be a driver issue if I’m thinking of something else. In which case you may have a different result from me because they don’t properly support my hardware outside of Asia anymore.

I managed to figure it out, I had to delete the Cintiq from the computer, and reinstall that drivers, took two tries, but it finally fixed itself. Also discovered that Wacom apparently isn’t bothering to produce updated drivers for the 12WX for win10, so I have an expensive orphan now.

Anyone else read this page, titled, “the claw”, and then: get strange thoughts about this page, + Jim Carry’s…”the claw”…routine, in- “Liar, Liar”? :D

Jackie your art is plenty good for what you do. I’m more impressed by your drive to improve yourself (even if you slip into self-deprecation from time to time) than by some artists’ “natural talent”. And if anyone of these so-called “geniuses” gives you any shit for buying nicer hardware to do your job better tell them the internet said they need to pull the stick out of their ass and mind their own business.

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