These past few weeks have been as fun as they have been hectic, and it’s not going to stop there.
It’s strange to think a year ago today I was worried about my GCSEs, and here I am now worrying about my A-Levels. Time simply doesn’t last long enough.
My exams are in a few days and over the next two weeks - my first being this coming Tuesday. I’m worried, of course, probably because I’m human - but ultimately I’ll probably get what I deserve, and then next year will be the same. It’s funny how in just a few hours you get determined a label that will sit above your head for the rest of your life.
I’ll do what I can do.
The school over the past few weeks has been selecting people for ‘Officer Roles’ in the school. If you’ve ever seen any naff American high-school movies were they elect school president, it’s a bit like that. I decided to stand for Head Boy with the simple state of mind: “I’ve got nothing to lose”. A few people told me I was crazy, and I was a little bit - I’ve only been at the school 9 months, and was standing against 6 others that had been there from day one. But, as I said, I had nothing to lose.
And I got Deputy Head Boy, which needless to say was far exceeding my expectations, and I really couldn’t be happier. I can’t say I know the person they selected for Head Boy very well, but from when I’ve spoken to him, he seems like a great guy very deserving of the role, so a congratulations to him.
I was also shortlisted for Animation 13 by Manchester University, and will be returning to the prize-givings for the 4th time with my recent animated poem.
It’s that time of year again.
In the summer Manchester Animation hosts their annual Animation competition, and just before Easter is the deadline. Me being my usual self, I left it almost up until the very day of the deadline. What can I say; I live life on the edge.
Last year, because of GCSEs I decided to give the competition a break, and came back full swing in 2013. I’ve known what I wanted to do for nearly a whole year, however. In English last year we explored different war poems, but “The Man He Killed” by Tom Hardy was the one that hit hardest to me - the speech felt the most human, which is what I believe is most important in poetry.
Three weeks ago I started the animation, and it turned out nicely. The jump, at least visually, from now and two years ago is very apparent. Very little actual animation is there, but I figure it’s strength are more in the field of ‘cinematic composition’ - which I’m sure is a thing.
You can check out the animation over on YouTube:
Or, yesterday I submitted the animation to Newgrounds, and whilst it doesn’t contain poop jokes, it’d be good to see it get as a good a score as possible (I jest Newgrounds, I love you really). If you enjoy the animation, a vote of 5 would really help out, you don’t even need an account:
Bamboozled: Going Out -
A little comic for those who frequent buying things online.
Got on the front page of reddit gaming!
Last week I was given the task to help out my house’s school performance of Robin Hood by creating some posters to stick up around school. We decided it’d be cool if we had some “WANTED” posters of the different Merry Men (and Maid Marian). I drew five different characters each with their own poster now dotted around school, looking pretty fine. Usually posters are printed in black and white, but everyone was insistent on spending a little extra for colour copies, I’m glad they did - it meant the other houses had to up their game.
It was good fun trying to capture the different actors in the cartoons, and it also helped me explore my style even further. I’m particularly happy with Maid Marian, she looks sufficiently ticked off.
I’ve got the day off school today, since our school likes placing Inset Days in the middle of weeks instead of at the end of holidays, not that I’m complaining. I’ll try and do a comic today for y’all.
I figured I hadn’t done some plain old art in a long time. It’s fun sometimes to create something that’s not outwardly trying to tell a story. This bit of work is heavily inspired by the EP by the Antlers “In The Attic Of The Universe” which is a really small concept album that I recommend. I like the idea that most of us look up into the sky for answers, a god or a wider universe. What I like more is that maybe there is an answer just somewhere up there waiting to be discovered, and it might be as simple as climbing up towards it to find out what those answers are. I love a bit of child-like wonderment.
It’s funny how one day passing makes such a huge difference. From December 31st to the 1st of January is no different really from the 23rd of March to the 24th, for instance. Yet it’s hard not to look at it as though it’s the start of a new beginning, it’s nice thinking there’s a huge blank canvas before us, it’s even wondrous just imagining what the next year might just bring along with it. 2012 was a huge year for me, and it’s one I’ll remember for the rest of my life - 2013 may well be too.
I’d like to think 2013 will be the year of constant updates, but the likelihood is that the best of times for that kind of thing are long gone. I’m in the mood for experimenting, that doesn’t mean I’d abandon projects like RUM or Bamboozled, but I don’t feel like making them a chore is the best way to produce content that advances me as an artist or a writer, which is always nice.
The old system never really got it’s feet on the ground and was perhaps focused a little too heavily on attracting more people to the site, but I don’t think I have nearly the ability or the time to upkeep even a small fanbase. Instead of deadlines I think having a time were I put everything else aside and work on producing new content, and then I release that when it’s ready - documenting my progress along the way. I’m tired of rushing things and not enjoying it, when really I want to be doing things because, well, it’s what I like doing best, and sometimes I forget that.
But before I leave you empty handed, over the holidays I worked on a very brief animation to promote a fake film rental company called Screen Ten for my A-Levels. It’s nothing spectacular, and I made it in about a week, but I think it’s got just a bit of charm that makes it worth sharing, chances are though I won’t be uploading it to my channel publically. Also if it interests you I made yet another video of myself animating in a time lapse to show how I worked through the animation. Enjoy!
Here’s to 2013!
Merry Christmas you glorious bunch.
Before anything else, this weeks’ comic is waiting for you down below, so be sure to check that out!
As you may or may not have noticed over the past few weeks I’ve been going through a transitional period.
Okay that sounds a little naff, but I can’t think how else to describe it. Just thinking about what exactly I want to get out of this website has got me ticking a little bit. Usually when I finish a comic, I finish it because I feel I have to, not because I want to. When the comic finally looks back at me I usually don’t feel proud, I don’t feel like I’ve created something worthwhile, just something I said I’d do. And that’s just not cricket, is it?
Carrot Cake should be a mutual thing - a place where people come to smile or what have you and where I put out work that I’m proud of and had a good time making. What’s the point if everything feels like homework? This week I spent a little longer on the comic than usual and was a little more artistic with it than I would normally be - and I think it looks tonnes better because of it. And, you know, I hope you think so too. It’s all about finding that balance between quality and quantity which, most likely, I still haven’t found yet. Time does marvelous things.
Aaaaand yes, this year there will be an Edmund and Darrell Christmas special.
RUM: Page 55
The entire gaming industry was left shaken a couple of nights ago after the announcement of the winner of VGA’s Game of the Year Award. Amongst the nominees were the huge blockbuster games - the games that towered over all the other categories. Assassins Creed 3, Mass Effect 3; games with millions and millions of dollars pumped into them to create a polished, no-rough-edges games that appeal to a huge market. But it was an evening of gloss, smiles and rich people quaffing at how much money they made, instead a game built by just 30 people stole the show: The Walking Dead. An episodic, downloadable point-and-click adventure game that costs about 30 bucks beat some of the video game giants.
Did it deserve it? Hell yeah it did.
The game industry is becoming stale. The other nominees aren’t bad games as such, but they follow such a dry formula that they know will appeal to a mass market. The Walking Dead is one of the first games to put story at the forefront and create a changeable and interactive experience that was held together by an original art direction and fantastic writing. It could even be argued that the game doesn’t deserve to be called a video game, but only a video game can provide such a rich, interactive experience. That’s what gaming is all about, interactivity.
The icing on the cake as well is just how tasteless the VGAs usually are. Usually we get a very shiny show that doesn’t feel too focused on the video games themselves - flashy presenters throwing awards at big names like Grand Theft Auto IV in 2008, or Uncharted in 2009. Again, these aren’t bad games, but they’re the same names that crop up time and time again late in the year - it’s everyone’s guess that the biggest name will win the biggest award.
I think this is a glimpse of hope for the industry - whilst the smaller names might sell in the millions, if critics and judges can appreciate them for the their fresh and innovative ideas, then that doesn’t really matter. Big budgets don’t make great games, heck it doesn’t make great anything - ideas do.