A Beginner’s Guide to Designing Fictional Firearms - Chapter 3: “The Bullet’s Journey” has been a difficult mess to work with.
The script is on its second drafts and at every turn I seem to make things harder and harder for myself. I want this chapter to be about ballistics. About what happens to a bullet after it is chambered into a firearm, the primer is struck and the powder ignites and combusts, releasing hot expanding gases that propel the bullet out of its casing, squeezing down the rifled grooves and building up a spin that will gyroscopically stabilize it as it carves its way through air that becomes viscous at supersonic speeds, finally striking the target etc, etc blablablabla — as you can see, it rapidly becomes a dry topic.
Worse yet, I had to choose a firearm with an obscure dropping-block action, the .45-.110 Model 1874 Sharps because it had the simplest single-shot action, and I felt that a buffalo hunting rifle would be the best suited to the world of Jardin, which the Alpaca Cavalry is trying to colonize; a land that is inhabited by massive insects and even bigger plants.
I could’ve gone with a simple, typical bolt-action rifle that I was familiar with but nooo-o. Stupid artistic integrity.
And it seems that this chapter is going to require a LOT of tight mechanical drawings. Hell, the whole series is going to need them, but I guess the hardest part is to prevent it from all becoming too boring and pedantic because people don’t associate with metal moving parts so well like they do with characters that talk and sing and dance.
But it’s a story I think needs to be told, and I think this is that time where I need to find my artsy-fartsy voice where I can get people to understand that there is a world out there where hunters and sport enthusiasts will do things like collect bits of spent lead and tire weights and melt them down in a little heater-pot and cast their own bullets and replace the primers on used brass casings.
So I have to find that route where I’m not compromising entertainment value for authenticity, and yet somehow keeping things manageable enough that I can put out one release a week. But people have already donated to the project so I can’t give up. I’ll find a way even if it kills me.
I figured since I was going to make ”A Beginner’s Guide to Designing Fictional Firearms” without any income except what people would donate, I’d release any behind-the-scenes planning materials to help other aspiring comic artists/animatiors.
When I was working on the second chapter of ABG2DFF, it became apparent that a 4-koma layout wasn’t going to cut it.
I saw the little sequence where the soldiers turn off the lights and use the flashlight to cast a spooky face in my head as a moving animation. I could have done it with several panels in comic-style, but tumblr only lets you upload a maximum of 10 images and at that stage it was practically animation.
So since I was using TVP Animation as my drawing medium, the transition was pretty natural though I had never set out from the start to make ABG2DFF into a motion-comic.
It helped me to stay on track when I started getting caught up in the fussy details of animating each shot, and I could edit the screenplay for continuity issues and return to the animation whenever something was amiss. A lot of times things these things occurred to me while I was drawing so I would hop back and forth between Fade In and TVP Animation which were running on separate monitors/computers. (I use Input Director to do this)
It IS a lot more fun to work on ABG2DFF as a comic rather than as a manual though, because it’s not just me reciting a list of designer’s axioms and I can make it into a source of entertainment — something that is vital if you intend on doing it regularly as a day job, which this is.
If you don’t think evolution is badass yet, here is a parasitic fungus that takes over EVERY tissue cell in the victim and the fruiting body eventually sprouts from the corpse in order to spread the infection. Some species affect the behavior of the host turning it into a zombie. Check out this video
Ah look this is the zombie fungus I was talking about to my boyfriend a few days ago.
My tumblr dash seems to be reading my thoughts.
Fucking hell. I hope it never spreads to humans.
hello friend let me tell you about a little video game called The Last of Us
These things terrify me so I feel the need to share that terror around a bit to cope with it.
Hey, here’s a fun fact for you all! Some of the ants, upon dying from this, release a scream so loud, it’s possible for humans to hear it.
I may or may not have a whole subplot about this fungus in my webcomic.