Updates, new comics, and announcements can be found here. Mostly comics though.
|Posted by Norman Black on August 3, 2009 at 12:12 AM||comments (7)|
I had this comic in my mind for a while and it's nice to finally make it and get it out there so I can stop thinking about it. I just wish I had spent more time thinking of the dialogue instead of the Antlions busting up from underneath Frohman. I know now what Chris was talking about when he was complaining about having to pose the Antlions. I only used 2 ragdoll Antlions in the entire 6th panel (the 2 above Frohman), all the others are NPCs. I had also planted a thruster to create a sort of smoke/dust effect, but it just ended up being really white and bad looking, so I got rid of it.
Hiding the holes before Frohman summoned the Antlions was also a big challenge. Especially because they have those floating orange things over them. I had to disable particle effects, and then try to crop out the holes or block them off so they couldn't be seen by the camera. I was also experimenting with different sound effects to use for the last panel, but in the end I decided that the soundless effect was best. If this was a movie though, I might have gone with some slow classical music while the entire scene played out in slow motion... maybe.
|Posted by Norman Black on July 26, 2009 at 6:13 PM||comments (19)|
I apologize for the non-updating of the site recently. Again, I have no (decent) excuse other than I was lazy. Hopefully I will resume scheduled updating from now on, but... no promises.
If you have ever played any of the Pokémon games for the Gameboy systems, then this situation will feel familiar to you. I had been planning on doing this for a while now, but I needed to introduce the gnome first. And in case you were wondering, no I won't be doing a segment where Frohman turns into a headcrab zombie like Chris did when Frohman was in Ravenholm. The last panel is there for comedic purposes only (or for stupidity purposes. It depends on your perspective of the comic).
|Posted by Norman Black on July 5, 2009 at 6:23 PM||comments (8)|
Sorry I didn't update last week. I don't really have an excuse as to why. I was just more lazy than usual I guess.
Okay, so apparently I was wrong in the last comic, and Alyx can die if the difficulty is set to hard. Well... screw you guys. I tried playing HL2 on hard once and got my ass thoroughly kicked. Anyway, in every encounter with Alyx she seems pretty indestructible, and I believe that if someone is able to get hit in the face with multiple objects thrown from the gravity gun without flinching (everyone has to have done this. I can't be the only one) then they are classified as invincible.
The dumb thing is that for this comic I downloaded a flashlight model because I didn't think the method I was using (the Chris technique of stuffing a stun baton in Frohman's forearm) was going to work here. Unfortunately, after I did all the posing and photoshopping, it turns out that it didn't really matter. You still can't see the end of the flashlight when it's on the ground because the light overpowers it, and when Frohman's holding it in panel 3, you still can't tell because it's so dark and the glare from the flare cuts everything out. (Yes, he is holding the flashlight in his hand along with the pistol. That's why he's holding it so awkwardly.)
Anyway, I guess most of you saw this comic coming a mile away, but hey, it had to be done.
|Posted by Norman Black on June 21, 2009 at 9:17 PM||comments (10)|
A lot of you probably knew this was coming eventually, but didn't know when. Well, here it is. The introduction of the gnome from Episode 2. Complete with Alyx's ability to resist all forms of damage (that Barney didn't seem to have in that one city segment from HL2) minus the unlimited supply of ammo. It always annoyed me when teammates in a game are immortal, but never seem to actually do anything when you really need them to. Especially if it's one of the Call of Duty games on Veteran difficulty.
|Posted by Norman Black on June 14, 2009 at 5:38 PM||comments (4)|
Sorry about the not updating thing last week. I was installing the final parts for my computer (a 1300 W power supply, and 2 GTX 295 graphics cards).
Chris was right when he said drawing pencils was hard. He should have mentioned pads of binder paper as well. I'm going to have to find a better way of making those if I plan on doing something like this again.
Oh, and when you smash that Breen bust (heh, bust the bust) the "gibs" only stay around for so long before they disappear. I learned that the hard way. I must have gone through five or six of those things just getting the screenshots to look right.
|Posted by Norman Black on June 3, 2009 at 12:39 PM||comments (6)|
Sorry about the delay this week. I installed Vista Ultimate 64 on my computer over the weekend and downloading all the updates (and my games over Steam) took a little longer than I thought it would (about 3 days more). But it's up now, so am I forgiven?
I thought I'd bring back the Breen "Idol" for this part as a semi-introduction for what's coming next. Some of you might already know what's coming, but I'm not going to say. Then again, maybe you have no Idea what the hell is going through my mind right now and you’re scratching your head wondering why the hell I'm still ruining Concerned with this basterdized sequel.
I started on this comic on Saturday, planning to install Vista and use another computer to put the comic together and upload it. Unfortunately, when I looked at the 4th panel I realized that I had deleted the right one and that the barnacle's tongue was passing through the Breen Idol. I couldn't get onto my old hard drive to retrieve it until today because Vista was being a jerk and taking long to do stuff at the time. So today I finally closed Steam and stopped the downloads (the only ones that were going on at the time) and got the right image to finish the comic.
Now to try and finish those downloads....
|Posted by Norman Black on May 24, 2009 at 7:06 PM||comments (2)|
There isn't going to be a comic this week, mainly because I spent most of the time working on something for the website that I've been getting some requests for. A lot of people have been selfishly whining about the load times the comics archive page has been taking to load the comics, so I'm working on a substitute page.
This will be more like the pages that the Concerned site uses instead of the on here now. I've been coding it all in XHTML and it's taken a little longer than I thought so it might not be up for a few more days. However, it will be easier to navigate, and it will (or at least should) load quicker. I think the main problem with the load times right now is the fact that I'm only allowed 500 MB of bandwidth per month, yet the meter says that for this month I'm already up to about 3 GB. To solve this I'm making individual pages that have less information on them, and I'm going to be hosting the comics on another site and linking them to the page they will be shown on.
Right now I've almost gotten the basic layout for the pages done and once that's finished, it should just be an easy copy and paste job to make one for each of the 40 or so comics that I've made so far. It should be up sometime later this week if all goes as planned.
|Posted by Norman Black on May 17, 2009 at 6:56 PM||comments (5)|
Here it is, after much delay Issue 41 has arrived.
Most of you were wondering why Frohman has been holding the flare in his hands for the last several comics instead of having it hover in front of him. This is because I decided to re-introduce the floating objects concept just as sort of a refresher for those who might have forgotten. This comic started so long after Chris finished Concerned that some people might have forgotten about it. However, the first dozen comics of this series seem to have filtered out all but the hardcore Frohman fans who remember the small things like the floating objects.
Making this one was a bit difficult because I didn't have Photoshop installed on my computer, so I had to take the screenshots then put them along with the comic layout, and the Webletterer BB font onto a flash drive, then go to another computer, install the font, put everything together there and upload it before taking the finished products back to my computer and onto my hard drive. I hope it's worth it.
Strangely enough with this comic I didn't change a whole lot from the original version I planned out. The only lines I changed were the ones in the fourth panel. Other than that it went pretty quickly, although in the original sixth panel I planned on just having the zombine (combie?), but I thought it would look better to have him devouring a dead rebel with a buddy and their pet.
|Posted by Norman Black on May 13, 2009 at 6:24 PM||comments (4)|
I got my computer back up and running. I was unable to return my board to Newegg because the 1 month return period expired while it was at Intel being checked out. So I had to go ahead and buy a second one. And an extra 2 gigs of RAM for the compy of Vista I bought. I love wasting money.
It will be a few days before I get everything loaded and working again, but I'm hoping to get a new comic out by this Sunday.
|Posted by Norman Black on April 29, 2009 at 8:22 PM||comments (3)|
As most of you already know, my computer is in a transitional stage right now. This is mostly the fault of the motherboard, which I have since sent to Intel to see if they could find out what was wrong with it and to send me a new one. I recently received an e-mail from their customer support dep. that they cannot send me a replacement board due to "customer inflicted damages" (of course they refuse to tell me what the "damages" were even after I asked for specifics). So they're sending the board back to me without telling me what's wrong with it or if there's any way to fix it. I'm going to attempt to return it to Newegg in exchange for a new one (hopefully the second one won't be defective also), but that won't be for a while.
As far as the comic goes, I've been working ahead on comic ideas and have a few lined up in the form of pencil sketches of stick figures in a notebook. I apologize for the lack of stuffs available, but there isn't much I can do about it at the moment. Especially with the shakes I'm getting from PC gaming withdrawal. My consoles are helping ease the pain, but they can only delay the inevitable... until I get my computer working again.
|Posted by Norman Black on April 15, 2009 at 4:18 AM||comments (2)|
Okay, as most of you have probably noticed, there wasn't a comic this week either. Unfortunately I'm having problems regarding the network and some other audio problems. I've spent the last few weeks either waiting for the board, or trying to fix the board, but I'm going to be sending it back to Intel to have them inspect it and hopefully find out what's wrong.
So basically, this means that there won't be any comics coming out for a while. However, this will give me time to plan ahead and try to come up with better... stuff for future comics (I hope).
And just so you guys know, I don't plan on stopping making the comics for any reason (unless it's a lawsuit from the great and all powerful Chris and his army of cybernetically enhanced super lawyers (that would be pretty cool actually)). Just check your RSS feeds every now and then and everything should be back up and running in a few weeks... or months. Stupid computers, "why do they always blow up when I use them?!?" -Freeman.
|Posted by Norman Black on April 3, 2009 at 6:49 PM||comments (0)|
There won't be a comic this week. The short version of the story is that my motherboard died while I was trying to move everything into a new case and I'm waiting for a new one to arrive. It might take a week or two for everything to arrive in the mail so I'm not able to access anything on my hard drive. I've got other computers I could use, but performance wise, they aren't as powerful and thus, the comic wouldn't look as good.
For those of you who like nosing around in other peoples business because they publish everything they do online for everyone to see, here's the long version.
So, it was Sunday. I had just posted last week's comic and I decided to go down to Best Buy and look around (although I can never seem to leave that store without buying something). While looking through the nerd computer section I came across a gaming case that looked very appealing. I bought it. It was an Antec 900, and I really wanted to test it out, mostly because of all the fans and pretty lights, but also because my computer case was really old, cramped, and pretty generic having only one fan and no lights or see-through side panel. Thus, using that case for my i7 supercomputer that I was planning on building after Windows 7 came out would have been a bad idea. Not only because of the lack of airflow and potential water cooling possibilities, but because my old case simply would not bring justice to the greatness that is a custom built i7 supercomputer.
When I finally got home (it felt like a long time), the first thing I did was open it up and prepped the emergency room for surgery. I ripped everything out of my old computer case and threw it into the new one only to turn it on and have nothing happen. I sat staring at it for a while before mashing the power button several times in hopes of turning it on, but nothing happened. Just for the heck of it, I plugged in my headset to the audio in and out jacks on the front, and for some reason, the fans started spinning (although really pathetic like) and the lights came on. However, the computer still didn’t turn on. After messing around with it for a few hours and it still not working I decided to take a break to watch some TV and play Killzone 2. After that, the day suddenly ended and I was forced to go to bed.
The next morning I woke up, and as I was leaving, I pressed the power button in hopes of something changing over the night, and… nothing. I pulled out my headset (no idea why) and left. When I got back, all the lights were on and the case fans, processor fan, and video card fan were all spinning like crazy. The hard drive wasn’t doing anything, but it was on. Everything seemed to be working, the only problem was that my monitor wasn’t displaying anything, and my mouse and keyboard weren’t lit up like normal. I held in the power button to shut it down, and restarted only to have the same thing happen.
Over the next few days I spent all my free time taking things out and trying to get everything to work. I tried it in both computer cases, I tried removing all the accessories, the graphics card, the RAM, and even changing out the processor with my old one. Every time, all the fans would start up, my motherboard light would be on, but I never got any beeps that signified that the computer passed, failed, or even entered the POST. I eventually found a better case (Antec 1200) while trying to troubleshoot the motherboard online, so I ordered it, and returned the 900 I bought for a full refund. Funny enough, my original case turned out be an Antec also.
So, from what I tried, my conclusion is that the motherboard was fried. Nonetheless, I took it down to my local computer repair place on my way to work today and dropped it off to be tested. They told me they should be finished testing it either tomorrow, or Monday. I’m pretty sure it’s fried, and because I’m impatient, I bought the i7, motherboard, and 4 gigs of RAM online. It should arrive sometime next week (if I’m lucky).
And so concludes my excuse for why I won’t be posting a comic this week. Oh, and also, my car broke down as well. The spring on the throttle rusted and broke and so every time I put my foot on the pedal and lift off it won’t come back up and the engine keeps revving. Fun times.
|Posted by Norman Black on March 29, 2009 at 1:20 PM||comments (5)|
Those ragdolls don't really seem to work the way a normal human body works. In order to get Frohman's knees into the position they are in the comic I had to lift his ass about a foot off the ground and then jackknife his stomach to get his chest into the right position. My original plan was to have him sitting cross-legged, but that would have been impossible to accomplish. Also, in the last panel the flare was supposed to be falling as Frohman was running away, but the glare from it sort of blocked out the rest so it just looks like a ball of sparking light.
|Posted by Norman Black on March 22, 2009 at 7:11 PM||comments (5)|
Another late one. I was up until 2AM last night playing co-op in Dawn of War 2. Then I slept in 'till 12:00. Then I had to make the comic.
Is it just me, or does it seem like everything in the game is oversized when compared to the character models? The flares, the cinderblocks, the Jalopy in Episode 2... I dunno.
Also, I didn't spell check the comic, so I'm going to let you guys do my job. Because I'm lazy.
|Posted by Norman Black on March 15, 2009 at 6:48 PM||comments (4)|
The Combine Elite has a Frohman moment.
I had to get kind of creative with the flares for this one. I stuck them all around the characters trying to get the light right. Working in this pitch black is kinda difficult. I also replaced panel 5 of the last comic with a (I hope) better pose.