from ‘Tough Girl Gang’ - a little zine I put together in one day for the Ottawa Zine Off a couple weeks ago (held at Pressed Cafe).  Instead of ‘Susan’ - a weird character I came up with last minute because I didn’t know what to do - I should’ve drawn Priya instead (Vice President of Marie Curie in OSCP - do you still remember her?) or everyone in Oniisama e. Maybe someday I will make an Oniisama e fan zine. Who will know about it? Who will buy? huhuhuhu

It was interesting to go to a zine event! It was totally different atmosphere from what I’m used to at comic events and everyone just traded their zines. I have a whole stack from the event that I still have yet to go through. A lot of neat writing!

I’ve been working on OSCP 6 with the inking past couple weeks. An update later someday soon. I need to work on designed the box and pin this weekend as well as try to finish inking Chapter 12~~ (wishful thinking maybe).  Please visit my webstore for more information!

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OMG you were into malice mizer too!?!?!?? //cries into your armssss

Yes! I was really into Visual-kei for a long, long time, and thanks to it I got into Angura-kei and all sorts of Showesque and Taisho Romanesque things.  I guess you can say I owe some of my current aesthetic to it. :-) I used to be a big fan of Gackt when he was in MM, but now I don’t really care that much about what it is he is up to these days. I think I sold off all of his solo albums ages ago… Anyway, now I prefer Tetsu-era stuff. *talking forever about useless things*

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joshtierney:

Archaia and BOOM! have announced an October release for Spera: Ascension of the Starless! Read the full press release here.
That’s Afu Chan’s awesome cover art above. The book features a main story illustrated by Giannis Milonogiannis, Atelier Sentô, Mindy Lee, Sourya Sihachakr and Valentin Seiche, as well as short comics by Victoria Grace Elliott, saicoink and Shelly Chen, and chapter covers by Loïc Locatelli Kournwsky, Mathilde Kitteh, Thomas Rouzière, Guillaume Singelin and Guy Pascal Vallez.
The Starless Queen is plotting an invasion of Spera, and has sent the merciless General Zeal to secure its capital. Unfortunately for her, the Queen’s obsession with killing Princesses Pira and Lono — her only daughter, and the last link to a conquered kingdom — has resulted in the pair learning of her plans through captured scouts.What began for the Princesses as a hunt for treasure is now a perilous journey to warn the Speran King, leading Pira and Lono up a monster-infested mountain, through a village populated by crazed warriors, and down dark tunnels walled with madness itself.

I contributed a 12-page short story to this book. It was a challenge to work in colour! I’m looking forward to seeing the finished book and how everything prints up. It’s an honour to be in a book with so much talent!!

joshtierney:

Archaia and BOOM! have announced an October release for Spera: Ascension of the Starless! Read the full press release here.

That’s Afu Chan’s awesome cover art above. The book features a main story illustrated by Giannis Milonogiannis, Atelier Sentô, Mindy Lee, Sourya Sihachakr and Valentin Seiche, as well as short comics by Victoria Grace Elliott, saicoink and Shelly Chen, and chapter covers by Loïc Locatelli Kournwsky, Mathilde Kitteh, Thomas Rouzière, Guillaume Singelin and Guy Pascal Vallez.

The Starless Queen is plotting an invasion of Spera, and has sent the merciless General Zeal to secure its capital. Unfortunately for her, the Queen’s obsession with killing Princesses Pira and Lono — her only daughter, and the last link to a conquered kingdom — has resulted in the pair learning of her plans through captured scouts.

What began for the Princesses as a hunt for treasure is now a perilous journey to warn the Speran King, leading Pira and Lono up a monster-infested mountain, through a village populated by crazed warriors, and down dark tunnels walled with madness itself.

I contributed a 12-page short story to this book. It was a challenge to work in colour! I’m looking forward to seeing the finished book and how everything prints up. It’s an honour to be in a book with so much talent!!

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ghostspaces:

carolinenooo:

FOR SALE NOW~!!!
GOODBYE MEGU, Oleander, and VOLTAMIN are all up for sale in my storenvy!!! i’m also adding stickers real soon like probably tonight?? 
also planning on putting up prints of sadako/kayako and maybe shirts i dunno!!! lots of new stuff coming soon hopefully!!!!
»»»»»buy here«««««

MEGUZINNNNEEEEnow you can buy it!!limited quantities and i think 1/3 is sold already?go go go!

Finally everyone ahhh.I got my copy at Anime North, and it’s so great!!!

ghostspaces:

carolinenooo:

FOR SALE NOW~!!!

GOODBYE MEGU, Oleander, and VOLTAMIN are all up for sale in my storenvy!!! i’m also adding stickers real soon like probably tonight?? 

also planning on putting up prints of sadako/kayako and maybe shirts i dunno!!! lots of new stuff coming soon hopefully!!!!

»»»»»buy here«««««

MEGUZINNNNEEEE

now you can buy it!!
limited quantities and i think 1/3 is sold already?
go go go!

Finally everyone ahhh.
I got my copy at Anime North, and it’s so great!!!

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concerning the cities youll be going too,will you be selling your comics at those mini tours?

Hi! Thanks for asking about my planned mini book tour for OSCP sometime in late August / early fall to Toronto, Montreal, and New York.

I haven’t worked out the details yet, but yes, I am definitely planning to sell my books and will probably also carry a limited amount of the special pin shaped like the one Jirou wears on his hat (from Oscar!;;) and the special box sleeve.  I am looking to produce a special tour only print for people who already own all of the books!

I’m currently running a small poll to get an idea of how to shape each event. Even if you don’t want to write a lot, just by filling out the city you might be able to attend an event would really helpful for me!!!

Thanks for the support - I hope to see you there!!!! m(_ _)m

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Hey! I really love your webcomic, OSCP, the story line and the illustrations are amazing! I noticed you haven't updated OSCP chapter 7 since February, I also checked your progress on here and you're almost finished with the last chapter. Do I have to buy OSCP chapter 7-13 to continue reading and if so, where do I buy it? If not, where can I continue reading OSCP chapters 7-13?

Thank you for reading my comic! I’m sorry for not updating my Smackjeeves website since February? March??. I stored the files for the web version on a separate computer and haven’t had regular access to it.

You can purchase books from my webstore - it carries all of the books in the series including a preorder for the final volume of OSCP releasing at end of August!

I will eventually upload the rest of the chapters on Smackjeeves and Inkblazers. It will take time as I will update at most two pages a week, but you will be able to read the series in its completion online probably sometime by the end of next year or beginning of 2016.

I do appreciate purchases of the hard copies of the books as they allow me a meager amount of funds to continuing making comics, print new books, and allow me to go to events to promote my work. The comic is created with print in mind, so I still think that this is the best way to read the series. 

However, I offer the work online for free as I know there are people who don’t have the funds to buy books, and this is a story I want to share with many people. Even if you can’t afford to buy a book, please let your friends know about the comic if it was something you enjoyed. 

Anyway, I will try to try the remedy situation about the online version of OSCP sometime this week. Thank you for your patience and support!

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oh wow!! i only recently found out you had a tumblr; i used to stalk your art on lj and da so long ago...! i'm so happy ahaha it is like being reunited with an old comic that you had not read in years except it is an entire artist, hehe. anyways, keep up the amazing work!!

Oh hi! Thanks for finding me again. This is my worry as I move from one platform to the next that people who knew of my work on the old platform never find out where I am now. I still miss LJ from time to time. I am happy you stumbled across me again!!! m(_ _)m

Hey Sophia, nice job, I really enjoy your work. How are you creating your animations if you don't mind me asking?

sophiafosterdimino:

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A bunch of people have asked me this over the months, so instead of just linking to tutorials I’d like to go a little more in-depth.

My process for making animations has changed a lot in the time I’ve been doing them. I used to work almost exclusively in Flash (for animations like lighthouse ladyfish manbusy girltrain folks, and rock roller) with a little bit of Photoshop basically just for post-processing (tweaking colors with adjustment layers). I should note that when I’m animating geometric shapes I almost always make them in Illustrator, and then import them into Flash.

When I upgraded to Photoshop CS6 and then CC, I found that the animation functionality had gotten much better, so I tried it out (see beach girl and crying person). Alex Grigg’s photoshop animation tutorial, as I’ve mentioned, was invaluable here.

For some other recent animations I’ve done a hybrid approach – making geometric shapes in Illustrator and animating them in Flash, then bringing them into Photoshop to apply texture to the shapes and also do any hand-drawn animation. See "help computer" and this NYT piece.

Unfortunately, Flash CC has actually removed a lot of the features I depended on for animation (the motion editor, and inverse kinematics) so I am finally taking the plunge into learning After Effects, which I’ve been putting off for forever even though it’s industry standard. I expect it will change my approach a lot.

Before I get into the weeds with a specific example I wanna shout out Ric Carrasquillo, who has mentored me with a lot of animation stuff and is a phenomenal artist and all-around nice guy!

So the most recent animation I’ve put on tumblr is this running girl. Let me tell you how this came to be.

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I have a folder on my computer called “style tests” that is filled with random scribbles, sketches, abstract color palettes, brush experiments, patterns, etc. When I feel like starting a random personal project, I peek in here and see if there’s anything that holds water. If it manages to keep my interest after wasting away in this folder for months, then it’s probably worth finishing.

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Apparently I started “runner” about a year ago, in April 2013. it was initially just an idea for a static illustration in a sort of printmakey style with a limited palette. I’m sure I was thinking of this scene from Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams because it haunts me.

Anyway, it stayed like this for basically a year, then in May of 2014 I decided to do something with it. I had been thinking of the scene again and thought it would be fun to animate a run cycle.

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I did rough pass animation in Flash because I find it faster and more intuitive when you’re working out timing.  The final animation is two 16-frame run cycles at 12 fps, so on the 2’s at 24 fps, basically. My first pass here is on the 2’s at 12 fps, so on the 4’s at 24 fps. I asked my coworker Matt Cruickshank for tips and he pointed out that it’s physically impossible to run with your arms and legs moving foward on the same side, which gives you fascinating insight into how little I know about this stuff

Second pass with all the frames filled out – this was sufficient for me to move to final linework.

I exported the animation from Flash as a .png sequence, then imported that into Photoshop as a video layer so that I could trace over it in a new video layer. This part was the most time-consuming and tedious, so I queued up Das Boot and had at it. Here’s a progress shot. Someone on twitter mentioned that her right arm (our left) was doing some funky stuff and he was right! I fixed it as best I could in the final. It still looks weird tho :C

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When I was done with the 16-frame cycle, I duplicated it and changed her facial expression in the second round so that it wouldn’t feel too repetitive. Next: color.

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Then I set up some Photoshop actions to fill in the flats. Some glitches occurred¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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When animating in Photoshop, you can create a cycling texture animation as a smart object and then clip it to a layer, video layer, or group of frame layers. This is what I did with her shirt. I made a Photoshop action to create a bunch of random blobby noise, ran it on 16 separate color layers, and clipped the resulting footage to the flat shirt shapes.

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I do variations of this all the time, with static illustrations too, just to add some speckle to a solid color.

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Then I spent a long time coloring all the lines………

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For the background elements, I went back to Flash, using some Illustrator-made vector shapes. The hill in the background is a giant rotating circle with alternating smooth and pointy ripples.

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The bush in the foreground is a spiky rectangle doing a tile tween. Both of these got punted to Photoshop as .png sequences in video layers, where I colored and textured them.

At some point in this entire process I decided to lose the spooky hand + shadow in the background (seemed too cheesy, I wanted something more ambiguous) and I also removed the kicked-up dirt, under Ric’s advice that it was driving home a point that the character animation had sufficiently made.

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The sky has some texture that was not procedurally generated, but scanned in (years ago) from some powdered graphite + alcohol experiments (I’m not being glib, you literally mix the graphite powder with alcohol). The texture files were huge and this led to some problems. Every single frame of that cycling texture was a very zoomed-in portion of a duplicated enormous 600dpi smart object, and it was bogging down the .psd. I rasterized the smart objects thinking that would solve the problem, but the thing is – Photoshop often lets pixels outside the canvas hang around in case you need them. I eventually solved the issue by cutting and pasting every single layer, so that I was sure it was only saving on-canvas pixels.

When everything was ready to go, I exported all the frames as flat .pngs and ran some actions on them to tweak the colors with curves layers and gradient maps, then piled them back into a .psd (File > Scripts > Load Files into Stack…)

Then I exported it as a .gif (because this was a limited palette piece from the start, this part was pretty painless) and posted it to tumblr, but not before redrawing it in unicode

〈Ϡ⍘Ϡ⦦⦦

(the most essential part of my artistic process)

In all this animation took about two weeks, but I was only working for half an hour to an hour every day, in-between more pressing projects – as a way to relax and have fun.

Feel free to download the animation .psd and poke around. Please note that it will only work with CS6 and up.

I hope this was simple enough to follow. Again, I really recommend Alex Grigg’s Photoshop tutorial, it taught me basically everything I know. This Richard Williams book is also a big deal. I hope more people give animation a shot and make weird gifs – it’s fun and informative.

Sophia is so amazing and a huge inspiration to me. Thank you for providing such a well thought out response.

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Hey what's up?? What's on my mind?? I'm thinking specifically about lines and how I wish they could be cleaner in my comics! I'm thinking about comics! I ate a peanut butter sandwich for dinner! Your drawings are really cute, you like old shoujo right?? What are your favorite mangaka??

ah ha ha ha! I love how this post is so stream of consciousness like!!! Like our brains running at a mile a minute!!! I think your lines are very lovely, but like you I always think about how I can make them better. 

Hey everyone- check out TP’s comic Sweet Remembrance: smackjeeves // inkblazers

Yes, I love old shoujo- though I haven’t read much of it lately. Words like Oniisama ee and Haikara-san ga tooru have already laid a lot of my visual foundations. I find I rarely look back now for inspiration. Just trying to work on developing my own thing!

About manga-ka - I don’t know if I have a favourite, as I am usually more focused on individual series or works someone has done. But I guess I can safely say that Usamaru Furuya and Suehiro Maruo have been important manga-ka for my own work. I highly recommend Usamaru’s Genkaku Picasso (translated into English and French!) for any artist.

Thank you for writing something. I’m thinking about peanut butter and jelly right now in the late night! LOL

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I spent so long trying to figure out a message to send to you after seeing your post but I couldn't come up with much more than "you're art makes me happy when I see it" I hope that helps at least a little

Ah, it does - thank you so much for taking time out of your day to write to me! T_T// Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about why I draw… I’m trying to find again the joy I have in it for myself, and I am glad to know that it brings you some bit of happiness by looking at my drawings.

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