June 22, 2016

My brush and palette: A rickety laptop...



Last night I finished another page of the third issue of "The Paranormal Misadventures of Zombie Dave.
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For those keeping up: 14 pages down (10 since January), and 10 more to go. And I finally feel like I'm on track.

I am more than aware that Dave's misadventures are a labor of love not only for me to create but for my fans (both of them) to keep up with. I — with a little help from my life — have made my readers wait four years for this one.  I've covered the reasons for this in the past: increased work schedules, health reasons, uncertainty over where to take the story and bouts of laziness have all contributed to the delay of a project that was supposed to be completed in 2012.

But one of the contributing factors I haven't talked about before: the lack of a reliable laptop. I didn't talk about it because I didn't realize how important it was — until I looked at my level of artistic output before my old laptop started going wonky four years ago.

I do most of my work digitally in a Japanese anime program called SAI  and PhotoShop. I spend a lot of time on my desktop in my office area, but a lot more using the laptop in the living room. It's a way to get stuff done and (gasp) spend time with my family simultaneously. When my old laptop became unusable, making art with the family around me ceased to be an option. Like I said - the drawback never really occurred to me at the time, but that left me with a choice every night: work on my comic alone in my office, or spend time with the two loves of my life, usually in front of the TV. (I won't lie; I LOVE TV, too. We all do.)

Thankfully, the Lord giveth as well as taketh away. Soon after my son bought his first computer as he headed to college -- a Toshiba Satellite -- it went belly up. We got it to run on a flash drive version of Ububtu, so he could at least string it along and write papers via Google Docs the remainder of his freshman year. My brother in law, who is a true tech whiz, fixed it, but a few months later, it fizzled out again.
Last fall, my son bought a new laptop -- a higher grade Dell, which has served him well. The Toshiba sat on a shelf until I finally decided to buy it from my son for $200, and take to a friend of mine (Shadow of the Nerd in Lebanon, Missouri to be precise) who replaced the hard drive and installed a new OS, all for about $100.

I've been putting out comic pages ever since.

They say you don't know what you've got until it's gone. In my case, I didn't know what I had missed until I got it back.
Now I've got "laptop" on my must- have list.

Happy drawing, folks.

~ Matt

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