Well, given how infrequently I update this ol' personal blog, I think it's about time I moved things over to JKRiki.com permanently. It's updated every Monday, after all! Plus I'm going to be upgrading it in the next few months to include links to other spots I hang out online, such as my new digs at Instagram. If you're looking for me in the meantime, check over here!
Please note: Posts here older than June 24th, 2015 should be considered officially archived. I am not removing them, but in the ten years that I have been writing on this blog I have changed a great deal. Things beyond this point should be considered outdated at best, and may contain many errors or opinions I no longer hold. These things tend to happen as you grow and live life. Or at least, they hopefully happen as you try to become a better person as you age! I just want readers to be aware of that, so that if you decide to go poking through history you will know that it doesn't necessarily reflect my current or future views.
If you'd like current thoughts and posts, please visit JKRiki.com for regular scheduled updates that provide better insights and information. Thanks!
Speaking of the big relaunch (again) the website has officially put up the news to stay tuned for October 1st. I should have done that two months ago, most likely, but I felt bad about leaving it without an update for so long. Then I proceeded to... leave it without an update for so long. Doh.
Today Space Chicken gets decked out in Toon Boom (assigning his colors to a custom pallet and the like) plus I'll get a little closer to formalizing the look of the new website based on some suggestions in the forum thread about it. I really appreciate this feedback, it's be very helpful!
There's new poll results (after a long while up) which means there's also a new question to vote on at FredtheMonkey.com, so check it out when you have a moment.
Nice amount of votes this go around, and with the Pacman-looking results displayed there it's clear the vast majority wouldn't mind seeing the old Fred the Monkey comics hit the web at some point. Interestingly 8% said they'd purchase a special edition book of them. That's about 20 people, which would actually probably cover close to the cost to print a very small run of books. The problem is, I'm not sure if those 20 people thought it through all the way. The "Space Chicken Plushy" polls came in at more than 50 people expecting to buy a stuffed SC, and that sure didn't happen... So I guess it will have to go on the back burner for now, and maybe one day I'll revisit the idea.
Speaking of revisiting ideas, tomorrow will likely be a long blog post where I share what's currently going on in my head regarding the future of FtM.com. If you've been around the blog, you see these sorts of posts pop up now and then. Well it's about time for another one, along with the (at least temporary) changes such deep thought will bring. Stay tuned.
A new poll is up at FredtheMonkey.com which means an old poll results are up here on the blog! And the question was about the blog, so let's take a look, shall we?
I think the most interesting bit of data here is that only 69 people voted this go around. This actually fits very well in line with the recent traffic (or lack there of) at FredtheMonkey.com. Visits have, frankly, plummeted. I'm not sure exactly why, other than perhaps lack of updates? Odd, though, because earlier last year was a similar run of non-updates and there was still a steady flow of people. Hmm.
That doesn't really bode too well for the future, but I'll work on getting more updates going and see if that helps. If it doesn't... well then I'm not sure what I'll do. I could advertise, I suppose, but honestly advertising a site of cartoons doesn't really pay off. It's all about word of mouth. If people recommend FtM, more people will show up and visit. If people continue leaving with no one new showing up... I don't want to think about having to quit. Let's just hope it turns around.
At any rate, the overwhelming winner of the poll was "Whenever is Fine" with 52%. So that's what we'll do, I guess. If I have something to put here, I'll post. If not, there will be no blog update that day. Only decent entries will make the cut from now on.
For anyone who missed Friday's update, there IS a brand new feature toon waiting to be watched, so be sure to check it out!
In case you missed it, FredtheMonkey.com updated Friday with links to a new Sceb's Blog Post and Fred Facebook Rambling! Also a new poll, which means the results of the previous one!
Bugger, that background color doesn't match. Hmm... Better add that to the list of Things to Fix for the big redesign October 1st! At any rate, it's clear that most folks liked the little distraction of the blog but are still anxious for more animation. Me too. I think that's what I voted for.
Hmm... That 22% who didn't know Sceb had a blog is troublesome. I had better take that into account for the redesign as well! Good things learned from this poll.
Today I will be working heavily on the new forums, because it's high time we got that puppy launched. I need to get some art done for it I guess, in terms of header images and whatnot. Off to the mines, then! (Hopefully Flying Giraffe is coming along well with the new Smiley Face set he's doing for the big debut.)
Another poll has come and gone, and here are the results!
Okay, I don't really quit. I'm just going to keep trying to do better. Besides, I'd wager the folks who thought it was awful were maybe exaggerating a little bit. At least I HOPE. But "Good" still beat out "Great" so my goal for next time is to get things more polished than ever!
The fact that there are poll results here means, of course, that there's a new poll at FredtheMonkey.com. So check it out if you'd like!
If you'd like to check it out and vote, you can just click here! Nothing is changed from the FtM version, but there's always that allure of giving it a score.
Today I'll be wrapping up the majority of Operation Old School Part 3, that way tomorrow I can focus entirely on cleaning the animation up a bit and also deal with the nightmare of Actionscript 3.0 as I try to have it load the entire cartoon in one file, instead of two. As I mentioned previously, Flash has a limit to the number of frames you're allowed to have, and this cartoon exceeds that. It was a major part of my decision to learn Toon Boom Animate and leave Flash behind. (Though recently I've been so busy with OOS that I haven't done any Toon Boom tutorials. I'll hopefully get back to those next week.)
I figured with the new toon out tomorrow it was also time to update the poll, so let's take a look at the latest results!
I must admit, I'm surprised that 60% of FtM viewers are platypus. I wasn't aware that platypus enjoyed surfing the web for animations. I imagine a big draw is Clydex, who's popularity is so astronomical that anything he does draws a crowd.
Now back to animating!
Yesterday was the first day of the "longest time before my busiest time of the year comes around again" and this morning I woke up feeling pretty terrible. That's not entirely true. Waking up means I slept, and I didn't really sleep. I was pretty much up all night feeling terrible. It was pretty odd. Like I couldn't breathe, but I could. And like I needed to throw up, but my stomach wasn't upset or anything. Very strange feeling, and not at all comfortable. Also felt like passing out but didn't. Not fun.
I still don't feel great, but at least I'm not as miserable as I was all last night. Hopefully whatever this is will leave quickly and I can get back to normal. I wanted to start learning Toon Boom today, but that will have to wait until I can function fully again so I can absorb what I'm doing. At the moment it's hard to concentrate on anything.
The Egg Show went alright, I suppose. It rained all day, so that took away a lot of potential visitors I imagine. Despite having almost twice as many eggs as last year, we didn't sell as many as last year. So oh well, the bright side is we have a lot in reserve for 2012 I guess!
Speaking slightly of eggs, we went to see the movie Hop yesterday afternoon. It was alright. Not nearly as great as Despicable Me (which I loved) but the animation wasn't bad for the most part, the story was weak but entertaining, and it had some fun jokes and things. Also I fell in love with the "Pink Berets" which were the Easter Bunny Royal Guards and probably the most adorable things I've ever seen. (I looked online for a picture to show here, but none of them I saw captured their absolute cuteness well enough.) They made the movie for me, so I give it a passing grade. I wouldn't see it again, and I don't even know if I'd recommend it (probably, if you go into it looking for a silly holiday movie), but I'm not unhappy I saw it. Not like that miserable Rango. Blech.
Since the first part of Operation Old School Part 3 went up on Saturday, I swapped out the Poll on the front page which means the results get posted here. (The new poll is a silly filler poll, but I think it's fun.)
There are a lot of realists out there, with 37% voting "Lol, deadline" and clearly having been around the website long enough to know how things usually go down, but I was happy to see "I BELIEVE!" managed to top the chart with 40%! It kept me going after many hours of frustration. In fact, had it not been for all the support especially here on the blog I think I probably would have given up and just delayed the whole thing. But I realized that the first half wasn't bad, and it was just the second part that needed more work. So half was released! Hooray!
I guess we'll play this week by ear since I'm feeling so lousy today. I really, really don't want to spend all week this awful, so I might just head back to bed now and try to sleep it off as much as I can. I don't know. I don't WANT to sleep, but if it will make tomorrow and the rest of the week better I'd rather just get it out of the way now and be 100% the rest of the time.
Also I think I finally had a breakthrough in terms of drawing faces (realistic style) so I'm really excited to crack open the sketchbook and give it a shot as soon as I'm feeling up to it!
Despite Fred the Monkey and Cubetoons/Kingdom Blue being slightly different audiences (Ct was always a very particular niche, where as FtM is extremely broad in viewership) there were plenty of cross-viewers that enjoyed both. So the last poll up at FredtheMonkey.com discussed the possibility of a return to Kingdom Blue. Was it something folks wanted to see? Should I focus strictly on the Fred side of things?
The people have spoken:
Overall, a very, very, VERY close race! For a while it was tied between yes and no, with each option taking the lead now and again. When the gong sounded and the photo-finish snapshot had been taken, Yes edged ahead of No by a nose and took home the win. Kingdom Who, the option for folks who never ventured to Cubetoons.com, was right on their heels, though!
So what to do? What to do?
I certainly can't deny that there are fans of the series, itching for its return. If there had been a large victory for No, I'd be much more inclined to put the project far on the back burner (probably take it off the stove completely) and not look back. But obviously that wouldn't be the right thing to do. After all, I know my own anguish in wanting series like Hunter X Hunter and Boxer Hockey to continue, and I cry myself to sleep at night when they go on these same sort of hiatuses.
Still, there's hardly room on my plate for one more thing, even if it's an already started thing.
So here we are, returning to the question of what to do?
I see a few options. First, Kingdom Blue comes back triumphantly, but possibly a little bit different. Since I'm extremely satisfied with my quest to bring entertainment to the masses and not just a select few, I could make a few alterations in order to accomplish that goal. When I began Kingdom Blue, it set out to be my "Mature Rated" creative output, in that blood and cursing wasn't off the table. I had several notes sent to me wondering out loud if the cursing was even needed, and the more I thought about it the more I considered that it just might not be. Though it was limited, it didn't exactly fit the mood of the rest of the comic, and I've never been a big fan of swearing in the first place. I put it in because it seemed like those characters who used it would use it. I don't think it really added much, though. So perhaps a lighter version of the series is a possibility? I wouldn't sacrifice story, and the cartoon violence would stay because it's an important aspect of that story, but I think there was never much reason to make it a Mature Rated comic, other than to say "Lookie here! It's MATURE!" Most of the time when you have to say that, it's not really mature at all. It's just a cry for attention.
Secondly, I've always intended KB to be about the story. The method for delivery wasn't as important to me. I wanted to tell the story of these characters and their quest. It takes me very little time to sketch out the story in rough form, while the reason the comic goes un-updated is because all the finishing work takes me FOREVER to do. So if folks want to hear the story, perhaps another way of telling it is in order? I can think of two main possibilities. One being that I get a little more quality into my pencil roughs, but just put those up instead. Gone would be the color and clean lines. It would be rough, but it would be DONE. Otherwise, it's very possible that I could partner with an assistant to take the original concept sketches and complete the final art in the same way Kingdom Blue has looked since the start. The key to this would be to find such a person who would like to tackle the inking and coloring and finish work. It's not an quick job, though it IS rather easy, and it would need to be volunteer based for now. Still, something to consider.
And of course there's always me just doing one randomly when I have time, which is almost never. Though that hardly seems like a valid option.
A lot to think about, for sure. I'm absolutely open to thoughts and opinions, as always, so comment away and let me know what you think too!