Top Ten Articles – March 2019

Well, it’s the end of the month and this means that it’s time for me to collect links to my ten favourite articles about writing, making art, making webcomics, reading etc.. that I’ve posted here over the past month. As usual, I’ll include a few honourable mentions too.

All in all, this month was a reasonably good one in terms of articles – even though, like with the previous few months, there were fewer “ordinary” articles due to the fact that I’m posting reviews every 2-4 days. Likewise, I also tried (and failed – I finished it, but the quality was terrible) to write a 1980s-style horror novella at the time I was writing this month’s articles (and also started another novella project which I decided to write at a slower pace).

Talking of reviews, I ended up reviewing 13 novels and 2 “Doom II” WADs this month πŸ™‚ The best novels that I reviewed this month are probably: “Box Nine” & “Word Made Flesh” by Jack O’Connell, “Zombie Apocalypse! Acapulcalypse Now” by Alison Littlewood, “Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Ray Bradbury, “A Second Chance” by Jodi Taylor, “Working For The Devil” by Lilith Saintcrow and “Heartstone” by C. J. Sansom.

Anyway, here are the lists πŸ™‚ Enjoy πŸ™‚

Top Ten Articles – March 2019:

– “When Does Cover Art Really Matter?
– “Two Terrifying Tips For Writing Extreme Horror Fiction
– “Four Thoughts About When (And How) To Abandon A Book You’re Reading
– “Three Random (But Realistic) Tips For Writing 1990s-Style Fiction
– “Three Random Tips For Creating Satirical Comics
– “Two Ways To Save Time Whilst Making Art
– “Two Basic Differences Between Modern And Older Novels
– “Two Basic Things To Do When A Creative Project Fails
– “Two Ways To Make Greyscale Drawings/Paintings Based On Your Colour Photos
– “Three Basic Tips For Writing Book Reviews

Honourable Mentions:

– “The Joy Of….”Middle Brow” Fiction
– “One Quick Way To Rekindle Enthusiasm For Your Story
– “Two Practical Reasons Why English Lit Lessons/Lectures Are Important

Top Ten Articles – March 2018

Well, it’s the end of the month and that means that it’s time for me to collect a list of links to my ten favourite articles about making art, making webcomics and/or writing fiction that I’ve posted here this month (plus a few honourable mentions too).

All in all, this has been a reasonably good month in terms of articles, even if I ended up writing more “critic”-style articles than usual (where I talk about a genre or something like that).

Anyway, here are the lists πŸ™‚ Enjoy πŸ™‚

Top Ten Articles – March 2018

– “Animated Sitcoms And Webcomics Are More Similar Than You Think – A Ramble
– “Nostalgia Is A Different Source Of Artistic Inspiration For Everyone – A Ramble
– “Good Horror Shouldn’t Linger – A Ramble
– “Finding The Right Type Of “Easy” Art To Make When Making Art Feels Difficult
– “What To Do If You Feel Creatively Inspired By Something You Don’t Like
– “Another Cool Thing Computer And Video Games Can Teach Artists
– “Three Quick Ways To Make “Retro” 1980s/90s-Style Art (If You’ve Never Made Retro Art Before)
– “The One Skill That Writing, Art etc.. Courses Don’t Always Teach Directly – A Ramble
– “Three Ways To Reduce Or Increase The Emotional Impact Of Fictional Violence
– “Three Quick Reasons Why Cyberpunk Art Is Easier To Make Than You Think

Honourable Mentions:

– “Two More Similarities Between Animated Sitcoms And Webcomics
– “Creativity As Variation – A Ramble
– “Three Reasons Why Novelty Art Supplies Are Awesome – A Ramble
– “Why It’s Important For Artists To Be Part Of The Audience Sometimes – A Ramble

Short Stories – March 2018

Well, although I’ve decided to take a break, possibly an extended one, from writing daily short stories (don’t worry, normal daily articles and art posts will continue πŸ™‚), I thought that I’d collect links to all 24 of the short stories I posted here this month in case you missed any of them (like I did with the nine stories I wrote in February). You can also find links to lots of other short stories on this page too.

I’m still amazed that I managed to write a total 33 short stories in a row (the most I’ve managed before is fourteen stories) and the highlights of this month’s collection include: ‘Floor Seven‘, ‘Stage Fright‘, ‘Rusty‘, ‘Expo‘, ‘Haunt Of The Horror Comics‘, ‘A MΓ€rchen In March‘, ‘Village‘, ‘Demo‘ and ‘Last Refuge Of The Splatterpunks‘.

Anyway, here are the stories πŸ™‚ Enjoy πŸ™‚

Haunt Of The Horror Comics“: This is a short story, set in mid-1950s Britain, about a couple who visit a corner shop shortly before horror comics are banned.

Culture: This is a random character study – set during the ’00s – which follows a goth who visits a goth club for the first time. Originally, this story was supposed to be a sarcastic comedy, but it ended up going in a slightly more serious/literary/poignant direction instead.

Floor Seven“: This is a creepy horror story, set in 1990s America, that I wrote because I wanted to try writing something that evoked the grungy claustrophobic gloom of many classic mid-late 1990s Hollywood horror movies, TV show episodes and videogames.

Expo“: This is a random story, set in 2000/2001, about a games journalist who visits a videogame trade show/exhibition in London.

A MΓ€rchen In March: This is a vaguely Lovecraftian horror/fantasy story (with some very mild thriller elements too) that was inspired by the recent snowy weather. It’s a little bit more of a descriptive and “serious” story than usual, but it was interesting to write.

Background Music: This is a somewhat rambling, semi-autobiographical “stream of consciousness” style piece that I wrote about having random daydreams during heavy metal concerts. It probably isn’t my best story, but it was kind of fun to write.

Food Court ’95“: This is a slightly random and mildly comedic vignette, set in mid-1990s America, that I wrote when I was tired (so, it’s probably filled with historical errors, Briticisms etc..). It basically just involves a punk and a frat guy sitting in the food court of a shopping centre and trading sarcastic and/or cynical dialogue with each other. Still, for something I wrote when I was tired, it turned out relatively well, I guess.

Heist: In the distant future, two criminals are trying to hack their way into the vault of a storage facility. But, there’s a problem! The security robots are closing in on them and they’ve only got one plasma pistol between them.

Frat House Blues ’95: Here’s the long-awaited sequel to “Food Court ’95“. Ok, I actually wrote this because one line in “Food Court” made me wonder what Roy and Lucy’s Friday night would actually be like. Needless to say, it includes lots of sarcastic dialogue and a couple of ’90s pop culture references (including a potentally anachronistic one).

Plain Sight: This is a descriptive urban fantasy/magic realism story that I had a lot of fun writing πŸ™‚ But, even after trimming something like four paragraphs from it, it’s still marginally longer (at 1000-1100 words) than many of my other stories. Then again, this might be because of the genre – I mean, fantasy fiction isn’t exactly known for brevity…

Common Factor“: This bizarre cyberpunk story was the result of both spending too much time reading “Snow Crash” by Neal Stephenson* and watching multiple Youtube videos about obscure musical instruments. (*due to major scheduling differences between these short stories and my daily articles, my review of this novel won’t appear until next February. Even so, there will be a review of Stephenson’s “The Diamond Age” in December ).

Rusty: …And this cyberpunk comedy story is what happens when I play “Doom II” for the first time in about two weeks (how did I get that out of practice so fast?) and then find an absolutely hilarious pirate-themed music video [Explicit lyrics] on Youtube. This short story is also something of a spiritual successor to this cyberpunk story I wrote in 2016 too.

Trance“: This is a cyberpunk story that includes no electronic technology whatsoever. And, although I tried to write something like this in 2016, this one actually technically fits into the criteria of “cyberpunk without electronic technology“.

Chess: Somehow, this ended up being a story about… chess.. of all things. It’s kind of a mildly “literary” story, with some comedy elements.

Stage Fright: At a heavy metal concert, something evil is lurking in the audience! This gloriously cheesy 1980s-style comedy horror story was sooo much fun to write πŸ™‚ I wrote the first draft of it on the day that the new Judas Priest album came out, so no prizes for guessing what I was listening to when I wrote it.

Order: In a dystopian future, someone is questioned about membership of a mysterious secret society. And, yes, I’m surprised that it’s taken me this long to write any dystopian fiction. And, if anyone is curious, the meme mentioned in the story also makes a secret appearance in this article I posted in February.

Last Refuge Of The Splatterpunks: An old 1980s horror author discovers something terrible about one of his old books and decides to drown his sorrows at the pub with a fellow ’80s horror author. And, yes, this story was inspired by something I saw when looking online for modern splatterpunk fiction that brought out my inner grumpy old cynic and literally made me say something like “In my day…“. And, well, I only discovered splatterpunk fiction during the 2000s!

Village: A couple get lost in the countryside and find themselves in a small village – but, the village isn’t on the map! This gothic horror story, set in the late 1980s/early 1990s, was inspired by a recent visit to a small village called Southwick.

Grim: A man is shopping in a run-down shopping centre when he notices that a certain robed, scythe-wielding fellow is following him.. This story, set in the 2000s, was kind of fun to write (and I’m seriously surprised that it’s taken me this long to use the Grim Reaper as a character) although it was a little bit rushed, and it probably shows.

Demo: Ok, I mostly wrote this cynical nostalgia-themed comedy story so that I could include an “extract” from one of the fictitious 1980s splatterpunk horror novels mentioned in this story. And, yes, it was really fun to write πŸ™‚

Letters: Sometimes, the local paper is accidentally delivered to Joanne’s house. Normally, she doesn’t mind, but she has noticed something happening with the “letters” page…. Although this story was a little rambling, I can’t believe that it has taken me this long to write something in this genre πŸ™‚

Deadline: This random Lovecraftian/magic realism/2000s nostalgia story was something I wrote when I was in an uninspired mood. It probably isn’t my best work, but I’m still surprised that I managed to write something.

Snow Beast: Wow! I can’t believe that it has taken me this long to write a monster story πŸ™‚ This story was inspired by the recent “mini beast” snowstorm here in the UK, and it can also be read as something of a prequel and/or companion piece to this story from 2-3 weeks ago.

Blank: I had writer’s block, so this story is the ultimate lazy cop-out (a story about a writer getting writer’s block). It’s a bit like the story a couple of days ago (“Deadline“), but with more comedy and commentary about the horror genre. The final two paragraphs of this story turned out vaguely ok, but the rest of it isn’t brilliant.

Top Ten Articles – March 2017

2017 Artwork Top Ten Articles March

Well, it’s the end of the month and that means that it’s time for me to collect the usual list of links to my ten favourite articles about making art, making webcomics etc… that I’ve posted here over the past month (with a few honourable mentions too).

Although there were far more reviews than usual this month, I quite like how at least a few of the “proper” articles turned out.

Anyway, here are the lists πŸ™‚ Enjoy πŸ™‚

Top Ten Articles – March 2017

– “Four Freaky Tips For Addding 1980s/90s-Style Comedy Horror To Comics
– “Three Tips For Making Art That Looks Like It Was Made In The ’90s
– “Three More Tips For Remaking Your Old Art (Plus Two Art Previews)
– “How To Recognise And Use Cool-Looking Colour Palettes In Your Art
– “Three Easy Sources Of Artistic Inspiration
– “Five Tips For Creating Realistic Dream Scenes In Comics, Stories etc..
– “Three Simple Ways To Chart Your Artistic Progress – Past And Future.
– “Three Simple Ways To Improve A Comic/ Webcomic Plan
– “Three Ways To Deal With Production Troubles In Webcomics
– “Three Instant Sources Of Webcomic Story Arcs (Plus, Comic Previews)

Honourable mentions:

– “Five Basic Things To Remember Before You Use Watercolour Pencils For The First Time
– “One Sneaky Way To Include Plot Twists In Your Comic Or Webcomic (Using Verticality)

Top Ten Articles – March 2016

2016 Artwork Top Ten Articles March

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

All in all, this month’s articles turned out ok but, since I was working on a couple of creative projects (like this one) at the time of writing them, many of the articles were kind of rushed and many of them also featured recycled title art too.

Anyway, let’s get started πŸ™‚

Top Ten Articles – March 2016:

– “Hidden Influences On Your Art Style Can Lurk Anywhere!
– “Unravelling The Mysteries Of Art – A Ramble
– “One Quick Feel-Good Way To Get Artistically Inspired
– “Every Artist Constructs Their Artwork In A Slightly Different Way
– “Some Thoughts And Tips About Wordless Storytelling
– “Art, In Theory And In Practice – A Ramble
– “What Advantages Do Manga Art Styles Have?
– “Why All Works Of Art Are (Sort Of Like) Collages.
– “Short Comics And Characterisation
– “Completion, Continuums And Constant Creativity – A Ramble

Honourable Mentions:

– “Two Experiences With Beating Writer’s Block In A Webcomic
– “Splatterpunk Ain’t What It Used To Be – A Ramble