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A year ago I stopped drawing webcomics. Floyd and Norm, stopped. Recession Bear, doodles, the sanity index… stopped. I just stopped doing it.

I can blame it on the fact that I started doing other work… with things that allowed me to be very creative in other capacities. I did some good things. I spent more time with my girlfriend. I pushed my career as a game designer. But there is no excuse for completely stopping.

I admit it, I chickened out.

It’s hard to make these things. It’s hard to be funny, to speak honestly, to lay these damn things out, to draw them and redraw them. To hate your work, to hate yourself, to know you aren’t good enough… yet. People run marathons because they are driven to, not because they need to or get paid to. Webcomics are a huge god damn pain in the ass, but webcomics are my pain in the ass.

I’ve come to the decision that I am going to start drawing webcomics again… start again for the 5th time. This time it’s not about learning how to do it. This time, it’s about trying to unblock myself from everything that has held me back. Just create damn it.

Get past it.

Just go.

 

 

While reading Nyetoon, it may become obvious that it’s author is prone to long bouts of imaginative thinking. This has some advantages, but it also produces a flighty behavior that is not so good at remembering his mother’s birthday, stocking enough toilet paper, and especially, avoiding parking tickets. By watching his behavior, we might glean a few tips that will save us from the evil forces of the Santa Monica parking authority.

 Tip #1: Remember what Day it is.

Let’s join Nye on a typical Monday morning. It’s 7:58 am, and his day starts something like this:
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See what happened here? Nye felt it unnecessary to remember what day it was. Simply by reminding yourself that it is Monday, you can avoid comments from the street cleaning guys as you dash to your car in your underwear.

Tip # 2: Keep Quarters in an Accesible Location.

It’s generally advisable to have a stash of quarters handy, as Santa Monica very often uses metered parking. Try putting quarters in the ashtray of your car, or perhaps in your glove compartment. Really, it doesn’t matter, as long as you don’t spend 20 minutes searching every nook and cranny of your car whenever you want to park at a meter.

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Quarters are legal tender and can be found in many institutions, such as banks.

Tip #3: Read the signs carefully!

Santa Monica takes real pride in providing it’s residents with clearly articulated parking signs. Take a moment to read and fully digest the information.

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Tip # 4 Pay on Time!

If you don’t pay your ticket within 30 days, there is a late fee. To compute this fee, a good rule of thumb is as follows:

Take the parking ticket amount = X

Then compute the remainder of money in your checking account = Y

Therefore: X  +  Y  =  H

H is the value of combined hatred that residents of Santa Monica have towards these assholes.

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Don’t be like Nye!

Thanks for reading!

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Links:

If you didn’t get the They Live reference, you must see this cinematic masterpiece as soon as possible:

Top 8 Reasons why They Live is Cinema’s Greatest Achievement.

 

And for more information about Santa Monica parking, visit their website. Tell them Nye sent ya!

http://www.smgov.net/departments/transportation/parking.aspx

 

 

 

There comes a time in every West Side-Angelinos life, when your girlfriend informs you that you are out of organic milk. At times like this, you set out around the block, with your  Recession Bear, and brace for:

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1. Adventures in Guilt!

As soon as I walk in to this store, I am instantly confronted with the idea that it is a failing on my part to eat correctly.

I start to wonder if anyone saw me stop for McDonalds three weeks ago. Then I start to tally how many things I’ve consumed that, over a 70 to 150 year period, will give me cancer.

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2. Adventures in Bars? In Whole Foods?

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However, most bars are defined by the customers.  Apparently it’s the next stop on the west side tour, just after the Starbucks on Lincoln has booted them for monopolizing the table next to the plug.

If you do find yourself in a bar in whole foods, be sure to use phrases like:

 “What’s with the Belgians, lately? They just seem too fruity to me!”

or

“It’s definitely the hops.”

or the ever popular…

“I just toured their brewery last week.”

3. Bring your bag! Or else!

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Every time I forget to bring a bag, and every time an overwhelming sense of anxiety causes me to buy another one. And so, an entire cupboard has been dedicated to a growing collection of Whole Food’s Shopping Bags.

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…. fuck, I need to learn to edit better.

Thanks for Reading!

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Links:

I can’t dog on Whole Foods without making note of others who have already tread this road:

“Whole Food’s Parking Lot” by Fog and Smog.

And Portlandia took a similar pot shot in No Grocery Bag.

 

 

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Variety and Entertainment use terms like “crisis.” Amongst a round of beers with industry friends, the term is “collapsing.” As a bit of a journeyman in this biz, I find myself explaining the situation to family or friends over and over. I can’t count how many discussions I have had with colleagues. So, forgive my temporary leave of drawing cartoons, I needed to grasp just what is happening.

Here is my five part theory as to why movie visual effects work in Los Angeles, sadly, is leaving for good.

 

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1920’s Hollywood saw legitimate job formations of camera men, grips, editors, actors, producers and writers. These groups banded into their own unions on level playing grounds.

By the time the need to make light sabers and space ships became a real job, most of the unions and legal workings of the system were in place. The Effects sector had to play by the rules that were already set. With no voice, there was nothing they could say about it. And so it went, the guy who put the cheese plate on set, would be ranked higher in the credit scroll than the guy who animated the monster.

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In the 1970′s, Star Wars formalized the Special Effects industry, and it matured in the Speilbergian era of the Summer Blockbuster. There were flirts with the computers when we needed light bikes and genesis torpedos. But it was in the mid 1990′s, from out of the T-Rex paddock, came computer generated imagery. The summer big budget films demanded more and more CGI effects and there were very few folks who could do it. Wanted technical artists could commanded more. They drove the rates up.

For 10 years, art and technical schools swelled with the generation raised on E.T. and At-Ats. To meet demand, they pumped out an army of technical artists. A Special Effects department had grown into a booming Visual Effects business… and very expensive one.

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In our modern world, technology has become ubiquitous, cheaper, and is taught everywhere. The first digital lens flares took days to program and render, now everybody knows it’s as easy as opening After Effects and clicking Effect – Render – Lens Flare. Software that once ran for thousands of dollars can be downloaded for a free 30 day trial.

Adamant American artists claim that we have a superior sensibility for animation and effects. While at the same time, our media has been globally saturating this sensibility for years. Every VFX skill you could possibly imagine is being standardized, lessons popping up on channels that can be subscribed to on youtube.

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Movie top studios used to make movies, they are but a brand now. The average American Joe believes the money is made at the box office. The industry wants Joe to think that.

Box office take accounts for only the tiniest percentage of a modern movie. It’s Star Wars action figures, Buzz Lightyear bedsheets, media buy in’s, and holy christ, the sequels. The real money maker isn’t box office, but intellectual property.

For the smart business man, betting on production will eventually roll a bust, especially when you spend so much on marketing the beast. The sound strategy is to license the idea for the movie, and let someone else worry about the costs of making it. This philosophy sends the means for production reeling to the lowest bidder.

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Other states, territories in Canada, and countries around the world are sweetening the pot for the studio heads by offering large tax kick backs. The justification being, that if the multimillion dollar production of a movie comes to their little corner of the world, the scraps that fall off the table will help the local economy. Studios, already looking for the lowest bidder in production, now play locations off each other for the biggest kick back.The proverbial nail in the coffin.

 

I can’t comment on whether this idea works or not, because I don’t have the data. I do know there are those who really think this subsidy-thing doesn’t work. 

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So, there we have it. It’s a tough time if you are an American VFX artist. However, if there is a silver lining, I believe there is too large a community of artists and technicians in Southern California for something new not to happen. I believe there will be a migration of these artists to other industries, especially as our content evolves entirely to the internet and incorporates interactive elements. The guys who create monsters and magic and giant floods will be doing something else equally as cool, it’s just most of us haven’t figured out quite what that is yet.

But that’s to think about another time.

Thanks for Reading.

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For more information about the VFX industry, and the globalization issues facing movie production, I recommend:

KCRW’s The Business: http://www.kcrw.com/etc/programs/hb/hb130214vfx_business_in_trou

VFX Soldier: http://vfxsoldier.wordpress.com/

Variety: http://variety.com/

 

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It’s been a while since I updated Nyetoon. I am sorry about that.

I have been mainly focusing on Floyd & Norm. You should check it out when you get the chance. 

I know this comic isn’t funny or anything, but sometimes I feel stuck at the computer and wonder.

We sit at these little boxes day in and day out. Is this really good for us?

Anyway. Got some more Nyetoon I am working on, I’ll be sending your way.

Thanks for reading!

-nye

It’s been a little while since I posted. I’ve been mainly concentrating on Floyd & Norm, (WHICH YOU SHOULD BE READING) and also working on an animated project.

BUT, I haven’t given up on Nyetoon! So, here is another round of “More from the Reject Pile!”

death sketchOnce again, my friend death. I had this idea for a series of comics where he was the boss, in an office environment and the rest of the horsemen were slackers. I am going to have to figure out how to get the line “Please tell me you aren’t playing XBox during the Apocalypse” into a comic at some point.



01Here is another from “The Sanity Index” days called “Bad Day Billy.” The idea was to do 100 cartoons why Billy was having a bad day.  The format was “Something something something, Billy was having a bad day.”

02I think this one was something like “Billy climbed the highest mountain to find spiritual enlightenment, but discovered life is bullshit. He was having a bad day.”

05More “rampage” style comics.

03Just random sketches of the inane people who tweet all the time. Or something.