The Complete “Video Nasty” – All 12 Pages Of The New Horror Comedy Comic By C.A. Brown

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Happy Halloween again 🙂 In case you missed any of it, I thought that I’d provide all twelve pages (including the cover) of this year’s Halloween comic in one easy-to-read post 🙂 Links to many other comics featuring these characters can also be found here.

All in all, this was probably a slightly over-ambitious project. Normally, when I make A4-size narrative comics (like last year’s Halloween comic), I make them in black & white for time/enthusiasm reasons. But, I wanted to make a full-colour comic this year and, although it started out well, I started to get comic fatigue near the end – so, the art quality suffered slightly from about page seven onwards or so. Still, thanks to planning the whole thing out in advance, the dialogue wasn’t affected by this.

As usual, all twelve pages are released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence. You can also click on each page to see a larger version of it, if it’s too small to read.

"Video Nasty - Cover" By C. A. Brown

“Video Nasty – Cover” By C. A. Brown

"Video Nasty - Page 1" By C. A. Brown

“Video Nasty – Page 1” By C. A. Brown

"Video Nasty - Page 2" By C. A. Brown

“Video Nasty – Page 2” By C. A. Brown

"Video Nasty - Page 3" By C. A. Brown

“Video Nasty – Page 3” By C. A. Brown

"Video Nasty - Page 4" By C. A. Brown

“Video Nasty – Page 4” By C. A. Brown

"Video Nasty - Page 5" By C. A. Brown

“Video Nasty – Page 5” By C. A. Brown

"Video Nasty - Page 6" By C. A. Brown

“Video Nasty – Page 6” By C. A. Brown

"Video Nasty - Page 7" By C. A. Brown

“Video Nasty – Page 7” By C. A. Brown

"Video Nasty - Page 8" By C. A. Brown

“Video Nasty – Page 8” By C. A. Brown

"Video Nasty - Page 9" By C. A. Brown

“Video Nasty – Page 9” By C. A. Brown

"Video Nasty - Page 10" By C. A. Brown

“Video Nasty – Page 10” By C. A. Brown

"Video Nasty - Page 11" By C. A. Brown

“Video Nasty – Page 11” By C. A. Brown

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Today’s Art (31st October 2017)

Happy Halloween everyone 🙂 Here’s the final page of my Halloween comic, but don’t worry if you missed any of it since there will be a full retrospective posted here later tonight 🙂

Surprisingly, the final panel of this comic was the most challenging to make. Since, even though I used the same materials that I used in 2012 (yes, before this blog, when I only used to post webcomics on DeviantART) it was surprisingly difficult to draw the kind of “bad art” that I used to make back then, since I kept wanting to draw it using my current style LOL!

And, for those who are wondering why only Derek recognises Rox in the final panel – she made her first appearance in December 2012, but there was also a prequel comic (which can be found on page two of this gallery) featuring Derek and Rox when they were at university. Ironically, it’s probably more well-written than some parts of this comic were, although the art looks really old though. And Derek’s surname is apparently “Goff” (I’d totally forgotten about that. Yes, he used to be more of a goth).

And, yes, this page is also a subtle parody of the alternate ending to “Army Of Darkness”. Ironcally, when I first saw this film on ex-rental VHS when I was a teenager, it had that ending (I think that the canonical “Hail to the king” ending was only included in US releases). So, for quite a while, I thought that it was the “official” ending.

As usual, this comic update is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Video Nasty - Page 11" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Video Nasty – Page 11” By C. A. Brown

Top Ten Articles – October 2017

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First of all, Happy Halloween everyone 🙂 Have a ghoulishly great day 🙂

Anyway, it’s the end of the month and that means that it’s time for me to make my usual list of links to my ten favourite articles about writing fiction, making art and/or making comics that I’ve posted here in the past month (plus a couple of honourable mentions too).

All in all, this month’s articles turned out fairly well – even if I was either busy or uninspired when writing a few of them.

ANyway, here are the lists 🙂 Enjoy 🙂

Top Ten Articles – October 2017:

– “Three Reasons Why Sketches Are More Useful Artistic References Than Photos When Painting From Life
– “Four Ways To De-Mystify Making Art (If You’re An Absolute Beginner)
– “Things That Splatterpunk Fiction Can Teach Writers (Even If They Don’t Write Horror)
– “Three Reasons Why It’s Foolish To Compare Yourself To Other Artists
– “Three Tips For Writing Subtle Horror (That I Learnt From Playing A Computer Game)
– “Two More Things That Artists Can Learn From Playing Computer And Video Games
– “Three Things That (Visual) Artists Can Learn From Heavy Metal Music
– “Three More Things That (Visual) Artists Can Learn From Heavy Metal Music
– “Three Basic Tips For Making Cyberpunk Art (If You’ve Never Made It Before)
– “How To Draw Literally Anything (Using Two Basic Skills)

Honourable Mentions:

– “Four Benefits Of The Non-Interactive Nature Of Art, Comics And Prose Fiction
– “Four Things To Remember When Watching Time-Lapse Art Videos (If You’re Learning)

All Ten Of My “Retro Sci-Fi” Halloween 2017 Short Stories :)

Well, in case you missed any of them, I thought that I’d provide a list of links to all ten of my “retro sci-fi” Halloween 2017 short stories 🙂

This series was kind of an interesting one, although I was super-inspired when I started it, I ended up battling writer’s block at several points during the series.

This resulted in the series having slightly less of a consistent atmosphere, style and “world” than I’d orginally planned. Even so, I was still able to include some consistent details (eg: instead of the internet, there is phone-in radio etc..) and a couple of occasionally recurring characters (eg: Oakfield and Chekhov).

Likewise, the quality of the story varies somewhat. The best stories are probably “Procedure“, “Community Spirit“, “Haul” and “Nice Things“.

Another interesting thing about this series is that, for the first time in ages, I actually started using third-person narration occasionally. Although I was still getting used to writing in this style again, it opened up a few new storytelling possibilities for me.

Anyway, here are the stories 🙂 Enjoy 🙂

– “Community Spirit“: A newspaper editor decides that what his paper really needs is some community spirit.

– “Lacunae“: John has found an apartment that isn’t on the city maps and, at five hundred credits, it’s an absolute steal!

– “Details“: On the way home from the pub, a slightly nerdy guy notices something strange about the city’s advertising posters.

– “Procedure“: Detective Prest is a loose cannon, a “shoot first, ask questions later” kind of cop. But, after angering Chief Oakfield and getting reassigned to a fraud case, he’s in for a surprise…

– “Service“: A well-to-do couple are invited to a robot-run restaurant by their friends. What could possibly go wrong?

– “Broadcast“: Gianna is having a boring shift at the freight park terminal, so she decides to pass the time by listening to some public radio…

– “Haul“: Two gangsters have scored big! But, after shooting down a flying cop car, they need a place to lie low. And quick!

– “A Night Out“: Dillhale is a P.I., an old school gumshoe. So, when a glamourous lady arrives at his office and leaves a mysterious envelope, he’s in his element. Of course, it isn’t long before he realises that something isn’t quite right about the case…

– “Another Time“: Emily is worried about her colleage, Dr. Yelport, and the mysterious time travel experiments that she has been conducting…

– “Nice Things“: Accompanied by the rookie Detective Stevens, Chief Oakfield is summoned by the Mayor to personally investigate a bizarre disturbance at a recently-opened shopping centre.

“Nice Things” By C. A. Brown (Halloween 2017 Sci-Fi Stories #10)

This is the final Halloween story, stay tuned for a full series retrospective later tonight 🙂

It’s an honour to have you with me, sir.‘ Detective Stevens banked the ground-car to the left and activated the siren. The sea of headlights ahead barely even moved in acknowledgement.

This isn’t the military, Stevens.‘ Chief Oakfield sighed. ‘Though I have to admit that it has a certain… gravitas.

Sorry, sir. I mean, Chief.‘ Stevens stuttered. ‘It’s still an honour.

Ah, if only they were all like you. But, if you must know, I got called out personally by the Mayor. I thought that I’d dodged the old bastard’s invitation to this shopping centre opening. But, they only bloody have to turn it into a crime scene.‘ Oakfield sighed and leant against the passenger window, watching the neon signs crawl past slowly.

Stevens glared at the headlights ahead ‘Do you want me to turn the siren up, Chief? I mean, they should be clearing a path for us. Section seven of the…

Forget it.‘ Oakfield waved his hand. ‘I’m still in two minds about whether this whole thing is an elaborate ploy on the part of the Mayor. But, for future reference, you don’t crank up the siren. Just keep it on low and, eventually, people get too annoyed by it to get in your way. Works every time.

But, what about emergencies sir? I mean, Chief? For all we know, there could be a hostage situation or a…

Oakfield let out a quiet laugh: ‘If it was an emergency, Stevens, they’d have called for the tactical squad or sky division. Not a rookie and an old man. But, again, for future reference – the bumper of a standard police car generally tends to be tougher than the rear of a civilian car. Just give ’em a gentle tap and they tend to get the message. No! Not now!

A loud mechanical clank and the furious bleeping of a horn echoed through the car. Stevens muttered an apology. Oakfield rubbed his forehead and smiled. The police car began to accelerate slowly.

——–

By the time the Agora Shopping Centre gradually sailed into view, the crowds had already begun to disperse. Whilst Stevens honked the horn at the remaining pedestrians, Oakfield stared at the constellation of flashing red and blue lights ahead.

Gonna be a long night.‘ Oakfield sighed, before picking up the car radio and barking an order for a status update. Stevens almost jumped out of his seat. A second later, nothing but radio static filled the car.

I can check the maintainance logs when we get back, Chief.‘ Stevens stuttered. ‘I thought that the equipment got checked every..

Don’t bother. We’re nearly there anyway. Just pull in over there, and try not to hit anything.‘ Oakfield pointed into the mass of flashing lights.

Whilst Stevens nervously began to park, Oakfield reached for his hat and said: ‘Just leave the talking to me.

————-

Oakfield had braced himself for the worst, but nothing could prepare him for what he saw. The Mayor actually smiled at him. Gaunt and huddled under a blanket, the old man rushed eagerly towards Oakfield: ‘Oh, thank god! I’ve never been more glad to see you.

What… What is going on here?‘ Oakfield said, hiding his trembling hand in his coat pocket.

The Mayor let out a rattling sigh and said: ‘Derren DeVor started acting strangely. We’d hired him to put on a show for the opening. But, after the first song, he started muttering something about the walls.

Stevens smiled enthusiastically: ‘Derren DeVor was here?

Oakfield glared at Stevens, before returning to the Mayor. He was leaning against a wall and had wrapped the blanket even more tightly around his shoulders. For a second, Oakfield could swear that he saw fear in the old man’s steely eyes.

In a trembling voice, he continued: ‘At first, we thought he was just joking. Or crazy. Then he ran off of the stage. A few seconds later, the walls started to crack. Like an earthquake, but without the tremors. There was mass panic, looting, violence. I saw someone literally bludgeon a man to death over a designer radio.

Oakfield nodded silently. Stevens looked dumbfounded. Finally, the Mayor said: ‘I know that your officers have probably started going over the place already, but I’d feel better if you were on the scene. The press are going to get here soon, and it’s only a matter of time before they find a way in. We need to show the public that we’re in control.

Standing up straight, Oakfield said: ‘Yes, sir!

———–

The first thing that Oakfield noticed as he stepped inside the gloomy shopping centre was the smell of burning rubber. The next thing he noticed was the rust-coloured stains and smeared grime that covered every surface. If the shopping centre had been buried underground for a decade, it would still be in better shape.

Stevens followed hesitantly, before suddenly tripping over something. A wet squelch echoed around the cavernous hall. As soon as Stevens got up, a single glance downwards soon filled the hall with tortured retching.

Finally, coughing slightly, Stevens said: ‘What the hell happened here?

Without saying a word, Oakfield walked over to a cracked information stand and pulled out a pamphlet. He handed it to Stevens. Squinting in the gloom, Stevens looked at the pristine photograph on the cover. The immaculate white walls, the sparkling fountains, the verdant palm trees and the shiny storefronts. Stevens looked at the centre, then at the pamphlet again.

Finally, Stevens muttered: ‘Hard to believe it’s the same place.

Not really.‘ Oakfield sighed ‘It’s this city. It just can’t have nice things.

Today’s Art (30th October 2017)

Woo hoo! I am very proud to present the tenth (and penultimate) page of this year’s Halloween comic 🙂 Stay tuned for the final page tomorrow 🙂 In the meantime, you can catch up on previous pages here: Cover, Page One, Page Two, Page Three, Page Four, Page Five, Page Six, Page Seven, Page Eight, Page Nine

Unlike previous Halloween comics, this one will hopefully be in full colour and I’ll be using the ‘rectangular’ format that I used in my previous webcomic mini series. But, unlike that mini series, this one will be a narrative comic, like last year’s Halloween comic. More comics featuring these characters can be found here.

As usual, this comic update is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Video Nasty - Page 10" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Video Nasty – Page 10” By C. A. Brown

Three Reasons Why Sketches Are More Useful Artistic References Than Photos When Painting From Life

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The night before I originally wrote this article, I made a painting from life. Or, rather, I saw my reflection in part of a beer bottle and thought that it would make an interesting painting. Since I didn’t have a digital camera or my full art materials with me there and then, I made a quick sketch of it with the nearest pen, pencil and scrap of paper I could find, before turning it into a proper painting a while later.

Here’s a chart showing the sketch and the painting it turned into:

[CLICK IMAGE TO SEE A LARGER VERSION] The full-size painting will be posted here on the 8th December.

[CLICK IMAGE TO SEE A LARGER VERSION] The full-size painting will be posted here on the 8th December.

But, you might ask, why should any artist make sketches these days? After all, most people have digital cameras these days. Well, yes, photo references can be fairly useful for painting from life (not to mention that photos are very quick to take too). Likewise, even learning how to memorise images can be a good quick way to “save” something you see in order to paint it a while later.

But, why are good old-fashioned sketches even more useful than photos? Here are three reasons:

1) It forces you to think like an artist: When you take a photo of something, you point a camera (or phone) at it and press a button. When you take a sketch of something, you literally have to work out how to turn it into a drawing there and then.

What this means is that you have to focus on only sketching all of the really important details (this allows you to see the focal points of your painting, and to leave room for artistic licence in your final painting). It also means that you have to work out how to fit everything into your sketch (which helps you to plan things like perspective and composition for your final painting).

Likewise, it also makes you think about the palette that you will be using in your final painting. If you look again at the rough sketch at the beginning of this article, you’ll see that I’ve written down what colour various parts of the painting will be. Having to write down the colours you will use is good practice at recognising realistic colours and it also allows you to simplify your palette if you want to do this too (for example, I only used something like 5-7 watercolour pencils for the final painting).

But, most of all, it gives you some practice for your final painting. It gives you a quick “trial run” that helps you to see if the painting that you’ll make later is as easy to make as you think or whether it’s even worth making at all.

2) It allows you to record things that cameras can’t: The painting that I showed you at the beginning of the article is a perfect example of an image that couldn’t be taken easily with a camera. This is for two reasons – the reflection in the bottle was really small (in real life) and because I didn’t want a photo of myself holding a camera. In addition to this, a camera flash would have messed up the lighting slightly too.

Here’s a totally unscientific mock-up of what the painting would probably look like if I’d used a digital camera to record the image, compared to the painting that is based on a traditional sketch:

[CLICK IMAGE TO SEE A LARGER VERSION]

[CLICK IMAGE TO SEE A LARGER VERSION]

For things like very fine detail, lighting, poses in reflections etc… sketching from sight will often give you far better results than taking a quick photo often will. Likewise, using a pen and paper to record an image means that you aren’t pointing a camera around – which may not be appropriate in some situations (eg: if you’re in a cinema, a museum, a theatre etc..).

3) It’s a memory aid: A sketch isn’t supposed to be a 100% accurate recording of something that you’ve seen. Instead, it’s meant to be a tool that helps you to memorise something. Although I can’t remember where I read this, I remember reading somewhere that physically writing information down (with a pen or pencil) helps you to remember it a lot better than merely tapping it into a phone or memorising it does.

By physically making a sketch, you create a much clearer and more vivid memory of what you want to paint than you will if you just point a camera at it for two seconds. Whilst you’re making the sketch, you’ll also be focusing on recording the most important parts of what you see, which will also help you to memorise the image too.

———-

Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂