Thursday, April 29, 2004

7:33 PM - posted by StatusNil:Gentlemen, start writing.. NOW !  --- 0 comments

Has It Been Half A Year Already Again ?!Allrighty - it's the queens birthday by now, so everyone has the day off. Me too - but then, I always have the damn day off so it doesn't count. In fact, it's a disadvantage because I usually utilize my Fridays off to do some groceries shopping and I'll bet ya the stores are closed. Guess I won't be sleeping in late on Saturday...
Anyway, it's that time of year again, folks: Tomorrow's May 1st - which means Probeersel.com is publishing another half year report ! I've been publishing these babies for two years now and received positive responses so I guess I'll keep at it. It'll have the usual rundown of statistics reportings, summaries of what went down in our lil' initiative the past half year, and some other fun stuff. Contrary to what you may think, these documents are a lot of work for me to write (and calculate) so you better damn well appreciate the service !
I guess that's what I'll be doing most of the day then.. I'll try to get round to The Grim DotCom, as well. Wouldn't want to snack away my entire backstash yet again...
A little sidenote: I have won a trip recently, and I'll be taking it next week. So from May 5th up until and including May 8th, don't expect me to answer my mail or be around - my comics will continue to run but I'm outta office. I trust the site staff will keep things running smoothly. Meanwhile, I'll be in Stockholm, testing the reputation of those sweet Swedish women. Should be good.
I guess that's about all I have to report for now, so we return to our regular programming schedule now. And keep an eye out for the half year report tomorrow. I'll try to post it as soon as possible. Wish me luck.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

4:56 AM - posted by Greg:To productivity and beyond!  --- 0 comments

'The new comic' has now 3 pages done, but it sure isn't even near to be finished soon. The Annoyment one is stil in its 'done-but-still-needs-a-good-ending'-stage and today inspiration for a new comic came up. I've yet to come with a good title for it but it seems a pretty good project. It revolves around the adventures of two rather abstract characters. The comic's going to be mainly non-verbal - should be fun.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

4:59 PM - posted by StatusNil:24 Hour Comics - yes, again.  --- 1 comments

Who Needs Sleep ?!For anyone who hasn't been paying attention to the online comics buzz - unlike certain webmasters of this site with jobs that enable them to surf endlessly and read up on everything, PAID (you may envy me) - there's another 24 Hour Comic day coming up.
In fact, many would say this is THE 24 Hour Comic Day. It celebrates 10 years of 24 Hour Comics since Scott McCloud first invented it, and the book that will be published (or is already published ? Unclear to me) containing 9 of the best ones, hand-picked by Scott himself.
They chose the 24th of the 4th of 2004 because the date seemed ideal for it, both in a numerological-poetic way and in matters of convenience. It's next Saturday, folks - yes, that's short notice if you hadn't heard of it yet.
So what is a 24 Hour Comic ? Please, don't make me explain. The official rules are here. The boil-down version is that you make a 24 page comic book from scatch within 24 hours time.
Since this year was a Leap Year, on Feb 29th several Probeersel.com artists undertook their own attempts at one, and Steve Troop joined in on the fun. I personally thought it was a very intriguing experience, but I don't think I'm gonna join in on the event on next Saturday, regardless of how historical it is. I'm beat and I have loads of other stuff to do, to be honest. However, if not a single Dutch comic artists participates, I may have to defend our fair country's honor and try my hand at another one, after all. We'll see.
However, if any of you want to participate, and if you happen to be a Probeersel.com artist (yes, I'm talking to seven rather specific people here) I can probably re-use the code I used for the 29th so you can upload your own work 'live' as proof to your audience that the comic was completed in the necessary time frame. I guess that's why I'm posting this - I want to find out if anyone's interested. If not, I'm not gonna bother rewriting Perl code when I could be spending my time otherwise. But if anyone wants to take a crack at it next Saturday, please, let me know on time.

Another point of interest may be that there's a completely new variant of the 24HC coming up May 1st, initiated by Barry T. Smith. You can read more about that here, but the general idea is not to whip out a 24 page 'loose' comic in the 24 hours, but basically sit down and jot down as many comics of your regular series as you can in 24 hours. It's a good chance to get caught up if you've been behind on schedule or if you want to create a backstash, and it may just show you how much work you can do in that amount of time if you really put your mind to it.

Well, just thought I'd point it out to you folks. Let me know. You know how to contact me :)

7:42 AM - posted by StatusNil:Well, I guess it's official.  --- 0 comments

You heard it here first.Patrick's officially joining the site - he sent me his info today and I'll be getting some pics of him and later this week the first pages of the comic. So expect to see him appear on our pages !
You heard it here first.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

4:27 PM - posted by Greg: --- 0 comments

Oi...it's all about us, so why shouldn't it about the ones fresh in town? Besides, we can't handle that giant stash of beer on our own...oh wait...that was the big secret right? Dang...

3:09 PM - posted by StatusNil:New Member ?  --- 0 comments

Closer And Closer To Ten...We may have a new member joining our community soon. His name is Patrick G. Smith, and those of you part of this site's staff have already seen his huge attachment when he sent us a page of his comic.
Here's a reminder, first of all, to all new applicants: please, if you're sending us a sample of your comic, keep the image size below 500k ! Wayyyyyy below if possible - we just need to get an IDEA of what you're gonna do, there's no need to send us print-quality BMP's n such.
It just clutters up our mailboxes and forces us to delete your email, since email storage is part of the total storage space we rent at our hosting company. So big emails means we lose space we could otherwise post comics up in. I'll try to keep available space bigger than what we're actually using, at all times, but when you send us huge emails, you're making that quite difficult for me. So please, don't.

Anyway, Patrick's stuff looks good in my opinion. So if he's interested in joining our collective, I'll set up his account and whatnot. He hasn't responded yet.
If he does join, that'd make 8 members by now, wouldn't it ? That's not bad - not bad at all :) That's twice as many total artists as there are staff members, and one staff member isn't an artist here, so we're doing well. A group of nine, essentially. Wonder when exactly we'll hit ten. And then, when we'll hit fifty. And more.. as long as my wallet (or funding from any other source that will allow us to stay independent - I'll be looking into that in the future) can handle it, I say keep the artists coming. At least as long as they are PROMISING. We've had to turn down at least as many artists as have joined (as the staff well knows). After all, without quality selection, we might as well be Yahoo!Geocities, or Keenspace (I'm not referring to Keenspot here !), and that would mean several things. One, we'd have to get major funding off the ground, which'd mean either a coorporation buys us, or we'd have banner advertising n stuff. I hate both ideas.
We're an independent, censor-less, cultural initiative operating on an international scope. Commerce, censorship, those are things you will (hopefully) NEVER see on Probeersel.com. We're making art, folks, and we're sharing it with you for free. That's what we're all about.

So here's a few little questions to my staff and the other artists on board. When I set up this blog, I basically invited all the artists and staff to publish on here as well. Do you think it'd be wise to do the same with newly joined members ? I personally think we should give every member full (non-staff) access from day one, since he or she has been made a member because we trust they'll add something of value to our community. This trust means that no matter what they publish on the Probeersel site, all censorship is off. Should we do the same on the blog as well ? I could decide for myself, but we're running a COMMUNITY here, so I really would like your input, guys.

And um... do any of the Probeersel audience ever read this blog ? Or can we just as well take that 'blog' link out of the page headers ? Don't hesitate to let us know.

Alright, that's all for me today. Now let's see if Patrick still wants to be a part of our crew :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

11:33 AM - posted by StatusNil:Yowsah.  --- 0 comments

Ouch.Alright, the bill for the site just came in again. It's a bit sooner than expected, 'Cause after al, the site doesn't exist for two years yet, does it ? Or am I really losing track... geez. Anyway, it's pricey. On a yearly basis it's still incredibly cheap, but since I only get this bill once a year and have to cough it all up within 10 days, it can seem a bit hefty.
Anyway, I'm not complaining. It keeps our initiative worldwide available for free to all, which was the point, right ?

It's one of those moments that I'm always forced to re-evaluate the worth of Probeersel.com in my mind. And I look at what we've archieved, which promising artists have popped up, which people have paid attention to our initiative, how much our visitor's growth has been, and most importantly, how much fun we've had.

And, well. THEN it's a bargain. Just thought I'd share that thought :)

Thursday, April 08, 2004

3:58 PM - posted by StatusNil:Ok, the new comics museum just got COOL.  --- 0 comments

Stripster.nl pointed out the following press release. If you're all good boys and girls I might translate this at a later time - right now I'm at work, still, it's 1 at night, and I'm drop dead tired so excuse me but I'm not going to translate it.
It only really applies to Dutch comic artists anyway. But since we have four of those on board at Probeersel.com, and have reasonably good relations with others, I figured it would be of quite a lot of interest to point this out.
So here goes:

07-04-04 -- Stripmuseum zoekt nieuw Nederlands tekentalent
Het Nederlands Stripmuseum Groningen, geopend voor publiek vanaf 22 april, zoekt nieuw Nederlands striptekentalent. Onder de naam "De Belofte" is er een nationale wedstrijd uitgeschreven waaraan aankomende tekenaars kunnen deelnemen in twee categorieën (t/m 15 jaar en 16 jaar en ouder). De genomineerden mogen drie maanden lang exposeren in het museum. Daarnaast kunnen zij diverse prijzen winnen. Een deskundige jury onder leiding van striptekenaar Jan Kruis kiest de eerste uiteindelijke winnaars, die bekend gemaakt worden tijdens de officiële opening van het museum op 21 april aanstaande.

Nieuwe beloftes
Het Nederlands Stripmuseum Groningen organiseert de wedstrijd om aandacht te vestigen op de talentvolle striptekenaars. In het museum is volop werk te bewonderen van de reeds 'gevestigde orde', maar er komt nu ook plaats voor 'de beloftes'. Inzendingen moeten uiterlijk 15 april aanstaande binnen zijn. De deelnamevoorwaarden zijn te vinden op de website van het museum: www.stripmuseumgroningen.nl.

Nederlandse Striphelden
In het museum kan men kennis maken met bekende Nederlandse striphelden als Erik de Noorman, Agent 327 en Ollie B. Bommel. Jan, Jans en de kinderen ontvangen de bezoekers in hun huiskamer die vervolgens tot leven komt. De stripfamilie vertelt alles over de geschiedenis van de strip in Nederland.

In het museum komt men alles te weten over de allereerste strips in de wereld. Bovendien heeft de strip door de jaren heen een enorme ontwikkeling doorgemaakt. Zo maakt de bezoeker een reis van de eerste hiërogliefen tot de modernste computeranimaties.

Leuk voor stripfanaten, volwassenen en kinderen
De collectie rondom diverse Nederlandse stripfiguren is opgedeeld in speciale ruimtes voor kinderen, volwassenen en echte kenners. Naast originele tekeningen van Paulus de Boskabouter kunnen kinderen ook echt in zijn kabouterwereld stappen. Voor de echte kenners zijn er unieke stukken uit de Nederlandse striphistorie te bewonderen. Men vindt de collectie in het Striplabyrint waar iedere bezoeker een bijzondere ontdekking beleeft.

Voor meer informatie over Het Nederlands Stripmuseum Groningen kan men bellen met: 050-317840. Ook kan men een kijkje nemen op www.stripmuseumgroningen.nl.

3:02 PM - posted by Greg:Typin' trash...  --- 0 comments

Greg when he's happy.
Did some work on both 'the new comic' and the annoyment comic; the annoyment one seems to be finished now and all that remains to be done is come up with a good ending to it. 'The new comic' (I bet René hates this vague kinda stuff - heehee) has got a second page in its storyboard now and has a lot more to come. I was happy with the result and will do a third page this evening I think.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

7:20 AM - posted by StatusNil:We've Been Spotted  --- 0 comments

Thought I'd mention here that I stumbled upon the ComixPedia-site's little story about us.
Feel free to read our tiny bit of exposure - the encouraging part is the title: "Probeersel: Kind of Like the Dutch Keenspot"

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

2:35 PM - posted by StatusNil:Flippin' da page off  --- 0 comments

That's right - Worst Case Scenario got a literary edge to it as of today. I was so fed up with all the news lately about the comic artists turning renowned novels into graphic novels - especially Dick Matena who will soon be done with Gerard Reve's De Avonden, and who, though it's not a small archievement, gets majorly overhyped in my opinion (I read them) - that I thought it was time for a little parody. I took a few of Franz Kafka's most famous books and stories, and turned them into cartoons like the above in five minutes time each. The method ? Copy the very first line of the book (two of them start out with the very concept of the book, explained in the very first line, after which this strange situation is basically examined from all sorts of angles) and then a clever second line that either says 'eventually he died' (which was the case with the beforementioned two) or 'eventually this story was never finished'. Kafka was well-known for taking ages with his books and often not finishing various of his stories, so parodying that in five minutes time each was very funny to me.
I dunno. Just my strange sense of humour I guess. Still. What do you guys think, should I try more of these ? Not with Kafka anymore, obviously, but with other writers ? Any ideas ? Don't hesitate to email them to me if you have any.

Also soon to come.. the 'halfway' episode. Yes, that means we're nearly halfway the 365 episodes ! Cause for a little celebration I'd say.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

4:29 PM - posted by StatusNil:Happy Easter Everyone !  --- 0 comments

Ack !Yes, yes, I got the damn date wrong on The Grim DotCom. What can I say in my defense ? I dunno, maybe I have a bit too much on my plate, with having worked on a daily Worst Case Scenario, having done the Penguism prequel episodes, The Grim DotCom (which lacked new storyboards until a few days ago), a guest comic here and there, a 24 Hour Comic, restructuring the Probeersel books, the stress surrounding the recent new server crash which disabled some new site functionality, my own actual paying job, the household, the shadow of a social life, keeping track of online comics news and generally being a damn nice guy.
Perhaps it was alcohol-induced.
Perhaps I looked over the weekly planning for the episodes while still half asleep.
Perhaps I couldn't wait for Easter because it means an extra day off which I can use for comics or relaxation, and so my subconscience put it a week earlier in my head. I dunno. Fact remains, it's not Easter yet, so I had to shift an intermission episode ahead of schedule. Buttttt - that means, to me, that I have room for an extra intermission, and I get to shove the storyline I'm so dreading to put into storyboards, ahead another week. And as anyone working on long storylines probably knows, putting a completely unrelated intermission in between and getting away with it, is great fun. We all forgive Tatsuya Ishada for quite regularly doing that, and the Grim's popularity hasn't decreased with the intermissions so far, either. So I'm looking forward to it (it will appear in just another few weeks) but I also have to come up with it now. So. An intermission, that's related to the comic, but not in the storyline, and that will fit in the state the characters and the story so far are in. Shouldn't be TOO difficult.
Anyway. Thought I'd semi-apologise and explain here. Don't go looking for eggs yet. It's next week.

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