What To Expect Here In 2019

Happy New Year everyone 🙂 Since I prepare stuff for this blog quite far in advance, I thought that I’d talk about what you can expect to see here this year. And, yes, there will be some differences – although some of them may not be that much of a surprise if you’ve seen my DeviantART gallery (which is a couple of months ahead of the art posts on here, due to scheduling reasons) or read the comics index page on this site.

So, what can you expect in 2019?

Better lighting, five months of realistic landscapes and shorter comics: Although at least couple of paintings with digital lighting effects (created in this open-source program) have appeared here this year, expect it to not only become a more regular thing next year – but also expect more refined lighting effects too, since I realised that the program’s “airbrush” feature can be also be used to create lighting effects. Here’s a preview of one of the best upcoming paintings to use this technique:

This is a reduced-size preview. The full-size painting will be posted here on the 5th October 2019

On the other hand, from about mid-late January to mid-late June, expect to see pretty much nothing but “realistic” landscape art on here (with monthly comics and a couple of infrequent sci-fi paintings too). Some of these are better than others, but here’s a preview of one of the better ones:

This is a reduced-size preview, the full-size artwork will be posted here on the 5th April 2019.

This happened for a number of reasons – not only was I experimenting with photography, but thanks to things like preparing some of the short stories I posted here in early-mid 2018, other experiments with writing (at the time of writing, this consists of one and a half failed novels and a failed novella I won’t post here) and getting used to doing all of the reading for the regular book reviews, I didn’t feel that I had the time to make my usual art during these five months. So, photo-based paintings (which are paradoxically quicker to make) were a way to keep making art during these busy months.

Still, after feeling that I was losing what made me interested in art at the first place, I went back to making my more traditional sci-fi/gothic/retro etc.. art from mid-late June onwards, with photo-based paintings becoming an occasional thing that will appear for a couple of days every week or three. However, due to time contstraints, expect quite a few of these “traditional” paintings to be a little more rushed or less detailed.

Likewise, although I’ll still be posting monthly comics for at least the first eleven months of 2019 (still not sure about December), it’s been a bit touch-and-go with the time constraints. So, expect slightly shorter 2-4 comic mini series every month and, in some of them, slightly simpler art and/or bizarre art experiments (like using photos for backgrounds). Sorry about this, but it was pretty much the only way I could keep making monthly comics. Still, there will be the usual narrative Halloween comic in October, albeit at a shorter length of 6-7 pages.

Expect the full 6-7 page comic here in late October 🙂

Writing- based articles: With all of the book reviews appearing here (I’ve prepared a total of about 157, and counting, at the time of writing) and the writing experiments I’ve mentioned earlier, expect the daily articles that appear here in between book reviews to be a lot more focused on writing than on art.

Although I miss writing art-related articles, and there will be a few of them, one of the things with writing regular blog articles is that you often have to work with the source material that you have. In other words, since I’ve been focusing a lot more on reading fiction and writing it, it’s a lot easier to write about writing than it is to write about art (which, whilst I’m still making it, isn’t something I can always devote as much time/effort/imagination to as I did when preparing 2017 and 2018’s art).

Still, given that I’ve neglected writing-based articles a little bit in this year’s articles and, given that they were originally planned to be the main type of article when I started this blog in 2013, it’s kind of like a return to something a bit more traditional I guess.

Game reviews and a modern PC (November onwards): With the exception of the monthly “Doom II” WAD reviews (some traditions are sacred!), all of the reading etc… I’ve been doing has meant that I’ve had a lot less time for gaming. So, for most of the year, there won’t really be any game reviews – except for a review of “Resident Evil 3” in May.

However, about two or three weeks before I prepared this post, I ended up getting a vaguely modern refurbished PC. But, most of the articles for this year were prepared when I was using my trusty old mid-2000s computer, a fact referenced in several of the pre-written articles etc… appearing here from January to November (I’ll try to update them if I get the chance, but if I forget, then this is why).

Of course, I wanted to put this modern refurbished PC it through it’s paces – not to mention that, after abandoning it for quite a few months, I really missed gaming too. So, expect occasional modern game reviews from November onwards.

Yes, these probably won’t be “AAA” games (since I’m still using the computer’s integrated graphics, not to mention that some “AAA” games can only be bought from sites that use always-online DRM – which I’m wary of after Steam’s recent middle finger to users of older PCs, a category I belonged to less than a month ago).

But, so far, I’ve prepared reviews of two “AA” indie games ( a 1990s-themed “walking simulator” game called “Gone Home” and a 3D platformer called “Skylar & Plux: Adventure On Clover Island”). And I may or may not review the 2013 remake of “Shadow Warrior” (although I’ve had problems taking screenshots) and possibly a survival horror game from 2018 called “Remothered: Tormented Fathers” (if I can work up the courage and/or be lucky enough to get past the first segment of the game).

Book reviews will hopefully still appear in between these game reviews, although I’ve had to use a few sneaky tricks – such as focusing more on shorter and/or fast-paced novels and using the vast stack of pre-written articles to take occasional days off from preparing them without affecting the daily posting schedule. Still, I hope to keep reading for as long as possible. Still, expect more game-related stuff from November onwards.

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So, yes, 2019 will be a bit of a different year. Still, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy all of the stuff that will be appearing here 🙂

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COMING SOON: Christmas Cyberpunk Stories & Cynical Comics :)

2016-christmas-stuff-announcement-article

Woo hoo! I am very proud to make two awesome announcements about extra Christmas stuff that will be appearing here soon 🙂

1) Daily cyberpunk stories!
Just like the collection of horror stories I wrote for Halloween this year, there will be also a series of daily short stories (posted at 9:30pm GMT) starting on the 12th December.

These will be Christmas-themed cyberpunk stories (since it’s been way too long since I last wrote any cyberpunk fiction), with a fair amount of humour and a slight variety of narrative styles. I’m not sure how many I’ll end up writing, but I just finished the seventh one a couple of hours before writing this announcement.

2) Christmas comics:
Ok, anyone who has read the comics index page probably already knows about this, but I’ll be posting a special 6-comic webcomic mini series called “A Cynical Christmas (2016)”, featuring the characters from my long-running occasional “Damania” webcomic series.

This mini series will start on the 19th and, hopefully, it’ll also have a fairly simultaneous release both here and on DeviantART too. There will also be an extra seventh comic (albeit just a single-panel one) posted on Christmas day too.

Three Awesome Announcements :) – Halloween 2016

2016-halloween-announcements

Woo hoo! I am very proud to make three awesome Halloween-themed announcements today 🙂

First of all, I have been interviewed for this autumn’s issue of a really cool free online magazine called “Abrazine“. This issue is based on the theme of “shadows” and it’s full of wonderfully gothic and/or ethereal art from several artists, as well as lots of cool interviews and articles.

Secondly, I am very proud to announce a (brief) return to fiction writing and, more importantly, to the horror genre too 🙂 From the 11th October until the 20th October, I’ll be posting a short horror story on here every night.

Well, sort of.. Some of these stories are dark comedy stories (the first one is probably the funniest), some border on science fiction, one is more gothic fiction than anything else and the last one is a totally random thing, but at least two of them (the second and the ninth stories) are actual proper horror fiction. Not to mention that the fifth story in the collection contains a rather unusual twist on a familiar genre of horror fiction too 🙂 But, which one? Well, you’ll have to wait and see…

(However, if you see any articles over the next few months that mention that I don’t really write fiction – this is probably because I write these blog articles ages in advance and didn’t notice it in time to correct it).

Last, but not least, there will be another Halloween comic this year 🙂 This one will be called “Zombies Again!” and it will run from the 21st-31st October (with a full retrospective afterwards).

I’m also hoping that this comic will have a relatively simultaneous release on both this site and on DeviantART. If you’ve ever wondered how the characters from my “Damania” webcomic would react to a zombie apocalypse, you’ll get to find out later this month 🙂

Comics News: E.U. Referendum Cartoons (Coming Soon) and Heavy Metal Parrot Picture

2016 Comics news 8th June

Well, I don’t usually make these spontaneous extra posts, but I just had to make one right now, for two reasons.

1) E.U. Referendum Comics (18th-21st June): If you’ve read the “comics index” page, then you’ll probably know about this (and lots of other upcoming comics too) already. But, if you haven’t, then – a few days ago- I changed my mind about whether I’d put anything on here about the EU Referendum.

As such, there will be a special series of four daily comics (featuring the characters from my occasional “Damania” webcomic series) about the referendum posted here from the 18th – 21st June at 12 noon(?)GMT/ 1pm BST.

Most of this series will probably be on the sillier side of things and I’ve tried to keep some semblance of political balance too. Still, if you’re curious to see how my characters will vote (and why), then stay tuned!

2) Heavy metal parrots: As regular readers of this site probably know, I tend to make my daily paintings ridiculously far in advance (I make one every day, but there’s a long delay before they’re posted). Earlier today, I finished a painting that won’t appear here for quite a few months.

But, an hour or two later, one detail from this painting caught my eye and I had to turn it into a small stand-alone preview illustration. And, yes, no prizes for guessing which heavy metal band happened to turn up on my playlist just before I had the idea for this small preview illustration:

"Rawk On!" By C. A. Brown (an altered detail from another painting of mine that won't appear here for ages).

“Rawk On!” By C. A. Brown (an altered detail from another painting of mine that won’t appear here for ages).

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Anyway, stay tuned for a proper article (well, sort of, it’s a ramble about Sherlock Holmes) a little bit later this afternoon 🙂

Comics News – See “Damania Redux” Early, Upcoming Comics Schedule etc…

2016 Comics news January

Although I tried to make sure that my previous comic (which can be read here) had something close to a simultaneous DeviantART / WordPress release, this unfortunately won’t really be possible with the comics that I’ve got planned for this year (due to the way that I schedule things). But, don’t worry, there will be some extra stuff here to compensate for the later WordPress release dates. More on that later in the article.

But, first, if you’re a fan of my “Damania” webcomic series, then you’ll be pleased to know that I’ve recently started posting “Damania Redux” – a new ‘old style’ 12 comic mini series on DeviantART. The new comics can be viewed after the long description at the top of this page. They will also be updated daily.

So far, there are just two “Damania Redux” comics on there but, thanks to DeviantART’s content rules, one of them requires site membership to view (it contains some slightly gruesome cartoon zombie art and I wasn’t sure if this met the criteria for “mature content” under DeviantART’s rules). It will be posted in full here though.

Anyway, one of the things that I’ll be doing to make up for this gigantic difference in release dates is that the complete “work in progress” line art for the series will be posted here (and only here) on the 30th March. Line art will also be posted sometime after the other two mini series that I have planned to post here too.

In addition to this, one blog article that will be posted after “Damania Redux” finishes here (or possibly during it’s run, I can’t remember the exact date for the article) will contain an exclusive comic update that was cut from the series. Likewise, during the spring and early summer, there will also be at least a few “making of” articles and articles about making webcomics.

In addition to this, I’ll also provide you with a list of dates for when all of my upcoming “Damania” comics (these include both traditional-style webcomic mini series and short B&W narrative comics) will be posted here. They’ll probably appear on DeviantART earlier than this though.

1st – 12th March 2016: “Damania Redux” (12 episode webcomic mini series)

12th -27th April 2016: “Damania Resurgence” (15 episode webcomic mini series)

11th- 18th May 2016: “The Charity Case: A Harvey Delford Mystery” (Yes! Harvey finally gets his own comic!)

25th May – 10th June 2016: “Damania Returns” (17 [?] episode webcomic mini series)

14th June – 22nd June 2016: “The ‘Let’s Play’ ” (Derek and Rox try to make a “let’s play” video for a banned computer game from the 1990s. Hilarity ensues.)

Sorry again about the differences in release dates, but – whether you read the comics here or on DeviantART – then I hope that you enjoy them 🙂