Updates, new comics, and announcements can be found here. Mostly comics though.
|Posted by Norman Black on November 28, 2010 at 10:26 PM||comments (24)|
So here we are at another comic. Enjoy!
This one I actually went back and revised several times. The blood splatter on Frohman's
clothes keep changing because It would look good from one angle, but not
another, so I had to re-spray the blood texture on him several times. Because
of that it doesn't always match up from panel to panel.
Getting the severed arm was kinda difficult because I first started out by getting a gib
pack, but that didn't really work out, so I just ended up photoshopping out the
body and leaving just the arm there.
|Posted by Norman Black on August 30, 2010 at 11:49 PM||comments (13)|
Frohman and grenades do not mix well. Actually, I'm not sure if anything mixes well with Frohman.
|Posted by Norman Black on August 23, 2010 at 4:15 AM||comments (2)|
And the comic rises from the dead like the unholy abomination that it is!
This should have been out a long time ago, but there was a series of events that severely delayed for the entire summer. My first "excuse" was that my computer died. I was upgrading something, and it took about a month for me to figure out the problem and finally get it fixed.
My next excuse was that there was a mass employee exodus from where I work leaving us understaffed. Being one of the idiots who didn't quit, I got stuck with all the work that was left over and have been taking most of the new work that's coming in. I'm working late almost every day, which leaves less time for me to play video games work on the comic.
Also, for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to replace the engine and transmission in my car on my own without taking it to a shop to have professionals do it.
Then there was the family mandated vacation that was delayed for a year.
So, yeah. Were I a more motivated person I could have kept updating through the past months, but instead I decided to spend all my free time watching TV or playing games. I wish I had the motivation that Chris had to keep up the comic, but the truth is that I'm just too lazy. Not to the point of stopping the comic though. I would never do that. Unless Chris and his army of mad lawyers rode in on their war elephants and demanded that I stop making the comic... or if he decided to continue Concerned on his own (he mentioned he was thinking about it once on his Twitter account). Otherwise I do not intend to stop making the comic until it's over. There may be delays, but I will follow it until completion. Hopefully there won't be any delays longer than this one.
Anyway, On to the comic.
Around this time in the game, you begin to meet up with occasional rebels roaming the streets. I decided to have Frohman run into a group trying to escape the city in a highly organized and professional way. Unfortunately, "organized" and "professional" aren't things that Frohman is known for.
The medic in the background of the last 4 panels is an NPC that I spawned (with the AI off). I was too lazy to spawn a ragdoll and pose him differently for each panel, so I spawned and NPC that was already posed. He looked kind of awkward just standing there in the next several panels, so I positioned the camera so that he was behind either Frohman or the other rebel and out of view.
|Posted by Norman Black on April 20, 2010 at 2:26 AM||comments (32)|
And just when you thought it was over it comes back like a bad rash that you thought you took care of with all those medications you spent hundreds of dollars on. I don't really know why I didn't update in so long. I'm just really lazy.
In case you don't get it, Frohman mistakes the ashes (created by the Combine burning the dead citizens) falling from the sky as snow.
|Posted by Norman Black on February 25, 2010 at 12:00 AM||comments (6)|
So because of the lack of updates recently, I decided to try to make it upto your guys by posting another comic on the same week. Such an act has beenunheard of and will spawn many legends about how this site once was updated sofrequently in one week that the universe almost imploded, requiring ChuckNorris to save the very fabric of space-time from tearing apart.
In the developer commentary from Valve, they talked about the lack ofthe G-Man in Episode 1. They claimed that after the appearance of the Vortigauntson top of the Citadel, and the actions that took place during Episode 1, thatthe G-Man somehow lost track of Gordon Freeman and was unable to find him againuntil Episode 2. My version is that he just hates the underground section ofEpisode 1 and doesn't want to follow Gordon Freeman back down there. But hewill go back down there just to escape from Frohman.
|Posted by Norman Black on February 22, 2010 at 11:18 PM||comments (5)|
I wasn't very pleased with the way this one came out. There isn't areal punch line, but I needed to release something seeing as how it's been afew weeks since the last comic.
I was kind of cheap in that Frohman's pose stays the same in all fourof the first panels and I just took the pictures at different angles. I kind ofgot lucky with the striders in the background of panel 4 because of the hazethat obstructs much of their legs, and thus my terrible strider leg posing.Those things really are a pain in the ass to work with. The last panel, withDr. Kleiner in it is just the standard recording. I wanted the screen to showthe beginning of the broadcast, but it would glitch out and put Lamar on hishand so he would be standing there adjusting his glasses with a headcrab stuckthrough his arm and half his torso.
|Posted by Norman Black on January 31, 2010 at 4:49 PM||comments (5)|
I know I said that I would try to get the comics out regularly a while back, and I'm still trying to do that. The only problem is that my computer doesn't always want to cooperate.
For instance, my hard drive completely died when I was supposed to get the new comic up. Fortunately it was my internal hard drive and not my external drive (where all the comics and important stuff are saved). However, I did have to order an new hard drive, wait for it to arrive, get it installed, install Win 7 on it, install all my programs before I could get to work on this comic. I would have had this one out last week, but I was having issues with the screenshots not saving, Gmod crashing, menus not working, and having to get acquainted with Win 7. That, and the release of Mass Effect 2, the Battlefield Bad Company 2 Beta delayed this comic. The bad part is that all my saved game data was on my hard drive that died, and it could be anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 to recover my data, even if it's just a few save data files. So I've been playing Mass Effect like crazy trying to get a new save game that I can import to ME2. I'm probably going to go through the same thing when Borderlands 2 comes out, because I don't think I'll be playing the first for a while with the games that are coming out at the moment.
Anyway, on to the comic. This one was pretty difficult to get working because of the elevator and the doors are the separating are right on the edge of the loading areas. The first 2 panels were easy enough since they were done inside the elevator, but the rest of the panels need the elevator door/gate to be closed. However, gates automatically open when you load the next level and I couldn't find them in the spawn list because the menus weren't working. So I had to go to the level where they were closed, spawn the elevator, try to make it aligned and then pose the ragdolls.
But even then, there were 2 big black ropes hanging down through the elevator that I had to spend an hour photoshopping out with the clone tool. I think it turned out pretty well... if a bit late.
|Posted by Norman Black on December 27, 2009 at 11:04 PM||comments (5)|
I probably could have not added any sound effects to this one and it would still be understandable... well except for the running out of ammo part. I wish you could have used that Gnome as a melee weapon in Episode 2 like you could in Left 4 Dead 2. Strangely enough, the abbreviation for Left 4 Dead 2 sounds like it would be the name of an astromech droid from Star Wars: L4-D2.
|Posted by Norman Black on December 20, 2009 at 6:11 PM||comments (5)|
Sorry about the lack of updates. I don't really have any excuse this time. Hopefully I'll get back to updating weekly like I'm supposed to.
|Posted by Norman Black on November 8, 2009 at 9:42 PM||comments (2)|
I apologize for the lack of comics recently, but the webhost has been having some problems related to the sidebars. I had to disable them in order to edit the site properly.
I've also added a second forum which should be linked at the top. Because the host doesn't allow me to transfer over all of the old topics to the new forums, I've decided to leave the old one up for a while before I delete it entirely.
As for the comic, I had finished this one several weeks ago, but because of the problem mentioned above, I wasn't able to post it until this week once I figured out how to get everything working again. Anyway, in this issue you get to see the origin of one of the most annoying moves the zombine/combies pull on you in this game.
|Posted by Norman Black on October 18, 2009 at 9:54 PM||comments (3)|
At long last issue 51 is here.
This one has a lot of dialogue in it. I probably should have made it 8 panels long instead of 6 because it's pretty crowded. Anyway, Frohman again finds a way to get more Combine inadvertently killed. I was planning on getting some Left 4 Dead props like the sandbags with the minigun for this scene, but I forgot to download some so I had to make-do with the combine barriers and machinegun (which is barely visible anyway). I thought it would be cool to have the Left 4 Dead stuff, just because this part of Episode 2 is so much like the Finales in that game. Then again, I could have just waited for Left 4 Dead 2 to come out and use the "new" props, but you guys wouldn't want to wait that long.
The Comics Archive II page for this comic should be up sometime later today.
|Posted by Norman Black on October 11, 2009 at 9:34 PM||comments (1)|
Hello, and sorry about the lack of updates (again). Sorry there's no new comic this week, but instead there’s something that a lot of you have been asking for.
I've been getting a lot of requests to somehow fix the comics archive pages because everything is so slow, it's hard to navigate, and it doesn't work very well. Here are some excuses:
It's slow - This is because this site is using a free account, and thus I'm only allowed 500mb of bandwidth a month. The site is getting at least 100 hits a day, and with all the pages being downloaded, and the large files of the comics, it runs out really quickly. Even today, the 11th of the month, I've used almost 2 gigs of bandwidth out of my allotted 500 mb (there's the problem).
It's hard to navigate - Unfortunately I'm limited by the webhost to using their photo gallery tools for that kind of thing, and there are very few options for customization. Unfortunately there isn't much I can do about that.
It doesn't work very well - Yes.
So here's the solution for all this, and why I haven't posted any new comics. This: http://aconcernedrip-off.webs.com/pages/archive_index.shtml
I wanted to make it familiar and easy to navigate, so I modeled it after the Concerned site's comic index pages. It's using the same type of layout (with the addition of a sidebar) so you will have the first, previous, index, next, and last buttons on the top and bottom of the pictures, along with the familiar Hide/Show Notes button at the bottom for the commentary on each comic.
Because I don't know much coding, there won't be a comments section at the bottom of each page anymore, but I did add a link to the bottom that will take you to the corresponding page in the old comic’s archive where you can post your comments.
The pages should also download much faster now because instead of linking to the comics hosted here, the comics are being hosted on an Image shack account, and then linked here. The best part is that Image shack gives each individual picture 300 mb of bandwidth each hour so there shouldn't be any more waits for the comics to load.
There are also no advertisements there either, so you won't be bombarded with lame ads for crap you don't need, or that incredibly annoying interactive talking thing.
The new archive is formatted to work on a 1280x1024 sized monitor (just because I couldn’t think of anyone who still uses that resolution) so it will be wider than other websites. I apologize to anyone who is still using 1024x768 or lower resolution, and can't view the new archive fully (get with the times!).
I've also added a e-mail link to the sidebar so if you have any problems with the new setup like dead links, or the formatting is broken somewhere you can go ahead and let me know what's wrong, and where it's located. Everything passed the W3 validatior so it should work. I've tried the site out in IE (32&64 bit), Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Safari, but only the latest versions. If you're using an older version of those browsers, or a different one altogether and it doesn't work, let me know and I'll try to fix it.
Anyway, let me know what you think of the new archive and layout in the comments section!
|Posted by Norman Black on September 13, 2009 at 8:02 PM||comments (7)|
Finally, my 50th comic. Here's to 50 more and beyond without Chris suing me!
I'm not sure how popular "Concerned" was at its 50th comic because I didn't find out about it until after it was finished, but I'm sure it fared better than my rip-off. I blame it on the first several comics. I need to redo those.
When I made these comics, the lighting was really dark, so I had to max out the brightness/contrast in Photoshop. I think it turned out pretty well, but that's on my monitor. You guys might see it differently. Also, here's a tip for anyone planning to do a scene in Gmod where a guy is tied up with rope: DON'T DO IT.
My original plan was to have Frohman and Mini-Breen completely wrapped up in rope like the damsel on the train tracks in those old cartoons, but it turned out to be way more difficult than I thought. I first tried to use the rope tool, but that didn't work, then I tried to use a power cable, but manipulating that thing was a pain in the ass and it wouldn't work anyway. Finally I just used the rope tool to attach them to the ceiling, but because of the lighting, you couldn't see it so it looked like Mini-Breen was just floating there. I finally decided to get a picture of rope off the interwebs and just use that. After a bit of photoshopping I was finally able to get panel 6 looking right. So, yeah. Don't try to tie anyone up in Gmod. It's a bad idea.
Also, I changed the title area of the comic slightly, adding in the "Concerned 2:" title part. I'm also going to be going with the grey panel frames that Chris used in the next several comics. The black border is fine, but in dark scenes like this they're just too difficult to make out. I'm not sure why Chris went with the grey borders, but that's why I'm doing it.
|Posted by Norman Black on September 8, 2009 at 2:25 AM||comments (2)|
Sorry for the delay on this one. More computer trouble. One of my graphics cards died and it took me a while to figure out it wasn't a driver issue. Anyway, here's the comic.
We're nearing the end of Frohman's time underground, and I was planning on having him be reunited with the Combine that had abandoned him, but I wasn't sure how. I ended up having him stumble into them and have them try to kill him. The "CHUNK" sound in panel 4 is supposed to be the spotlight in panel 6 turning on. I wasn't sure what kind of sound effect to use, so I just went with that. However, it still doesn't sound right.
Although I did notice when I was putting the comic together that I probably should have showed the antlion dying and blood coming out of it in the second to last panel rather than just having it sit there. That could have been done way better. Also, in the last panel you can see a white dot over the "spotlight" (really just a lamp) that I really should have spotted before leaving Gmod. This part of the level is pitch black and working by flashlight alone is a pain in the ass so I put up some lights to help me see, unfortunately, I forgot to delete that one, so you can still see it hanging in the background. I was thinking of photoshopping it out, but I don't think I could.
|Posted by Norman Black on August 17, 2009 at 2:13 AM||comments (4)|
Finally another G-man appearance. About time. I was planning on adding more antlions into the final panel and then a zombine (combie?) with a grenade, but it was just too much work to pose the Antlions so that when I enabled the NPC AI they wouldn't attack each other. So I just left out the zombine and spawned antlions. The scene got too crowded if I added a third, but with only two it looks kind of empty. Crud.