December - Week In Review


This week in the magazine we saw a change in the publishing model. We shifted from a 3 day a week release schedule to a 5 day a week release schedule. Check it out: Class Acts: Rogue. Artist: Sarah Stone. I've already mentioned Sarah, but I have to share a story. I'm a simple kind of a guy, and simple things make me smile. In this case, it was praise for this image from the Editor-in-chief, Chris Youngs. His prime direction for this piece was "I want to see a character that makes me say 'I want to be that character'". Apparently Sarah caught that vibe well enough that he said "damn, I want to play that character!" Nice... Chaos Scar: The Brothers Gray. Artist: Patrick McEvoy. Cartographer: Sean Macdonald. Patrick is another recent addition to the stable. He clinched his place on my go-to list when he delivered on a killer tiefling piece a few months ago. Now I look forward to finding something new and interesting to push his ability to find a dynamic point-of-view. This was tough, with foreground and background elements of interest. 

His decision to use the time of day to create the dramatic lighting worked out very well. Sean was a name that was handed to me when I took over magazines. I have enjoyed working with him since starting in this position. The hardest task I have is keeping him busy - he's so darn fast! Expeditionary Dispatches. Artist: Wayne England. I've worked with Wayne for a while. I always loved the items and environments he created for D&D. One day he asked me to let him do some figurative work for me, and I haven't regretted the decision once. When he talked to me last month and asked to start doing some magazine work - I hesitated. Obviously, not because of his skill or quality, but rather becuase of the crushing schedule we often have for magazines. Since Wayne works traditionally, it adds some stress and strain to the process. Wayne assured me he could get the paintings done, and shipped across the globe within my time frame. He's never steered me wrong before, and he didn't this time either. Till next week...

Friday - Week In Review


So happy it's Friday! I've got so much fun stuff to look at from this past week. That ups the ante for getting the articles released, and ups the number of articles that require art. Luckily, I've got access to a talented pool of artists. Check out what went live this week: Warlord Essentials. Artist: David Rapoza. I love working with David. He hits the concept well, he gets the IP and where I'm trying to go with the characters. We has a great knack of giving the pieces life and energy. I hate Jeremy Jarvis for snatching him up so quickly for Magic. David... come away from the light! Hint: If you want to get noticed by Jeremy... do stellar work for D&D, let us fall in love with you, and he will come knocking on your door. It happens all too often. Roles: Defenders. Artist: Alex Aparin. Alex is a new find for me. I just started working with him this month. I found his submission in ArtDrop, and was happily floored when I received his first illustration for D&D.

I waited all of about 5 minutes before I showed him off to the rest of the D&D AD's... and hoped that Jeremy wouldn't notice him right away. Class Acts: Wizard. Artist: Sarah Stone. I started working with Sarah last month, and haven't regretted it for a moment. She brings a very fresh look and feel to D&D. All of the other D&D art directors were amazed that I took a chance on her. Not because she didn't have skill and talent, but rather because her portfolio had such an anime look to it. I was confident she could hit what I was looking for when I saw what she was doing for Sarah Robinson over a Paizo Publishing. Hit it she has. Power Play: Martial Power. Artist: Tyler Jacobson. I was introduced to Tyler through Irene Gallo at Tor Books, and I have enjoyed our burgeoning relationship since that day. He has several images in this months issue... I love Deva piece he did for Power Play: Divine, but you'll have to wait to see that one.

Character Design & Poses


The image of Betty and the cacti were drawn by Grim, himself. The doodles that surround the image are mine, which are studies from the classic cartoon, "Mysterious Mose". The purpose of this assignment (due to Bob's disappointment of our class's ability to properly use construction) was to design a character that could of existed in a 1930's theatrical short. It should have proper hierarchy and construction. Since I was fed-up with designing large characters, I wanted to do something that was "cute, girlish". So, it was off researching / drawing / analyzing the cartoons from that era (Swing, You Sinners, Mysterious Mose, Balloon Land, Toby Tortoise Returns, and some more) as well for some of the best comic greats (Otto Messure, and so forth).

Most importantly, however, was that I was studying the bulk of the work that was done by Grim Natwick, one of my heroes. The image was a slow, careful study from the Ub Iwerks cartoon, "Funny Faces". Is what came out, after several hours of studying Fleischer cartoons. However, while Bob liked it, he believed (and he was right, I might add) that it was too "Spumco-ish". Bob, being the awesome Fleischer geek that he his, had recommend me to watch the "lost" Betty Boop cartoon, "Buzzy Boop," as that title character had the qualities that would help my design ten-fold. Sadly, the final design is in Bob's possession. However, I do have the two poses that were made for this assignment. I hope you like these, Bob! Update: Bob was able to send me a scan of my final design. It is displayed at the top of this post. Thanks again, Mr. Jaques!

555 Integrated Circuits


The 555 timer represents a simple integrated circuit which can be used to make different electronic circuits. Do you want to learn how the 555 works and to develop your skills into building many circuits, you are in the right place. Electroschematics.com offers you all the information and data you need to improve your knowledge and grow professionally as an engineer. The 555 integrated circuit is an easy to use timer which has many applications and is widely used in electronic circuits. This fact actually makes cheap to purchase, due to this vast popularity. It also exists a “dual” version called the 556, which includes two independent 555 ICs in one package. You may wonder what is inside the 555 timer chip or what is it that make it work. Well, the 555 timer chip is an Integrated circuit (IC) and therefore it contains a miniaturized circuit surrounded by silicon. Each of the pins is connected to the circuit which consists of over 20 transistors, 2 diodes and 15 resistors.
You can picture it put better by functional schematics that you will find inside our projects. The 555 timer datasheet specifies that 555 circuits is a highly stable device for generating accurate time delays or oscillation. Additional terminals are provided for triggering or resetting as desired . In the time delay mode of operation , the time is precisely controlled by one external resistor and capacitor. You can also learn more about features from the 555 datasheet and 555 timer application because we provide useful information so you can have the whole picture right in front of you. We invite you to learn to find out about ignition coil driver extended period 555 on-pulse timer, 555 fast reset timer and does much more than that. Our interactive and dedicated community will answer your questions and will guide through the raw information in your path of contouring yourself as a great electronics engineer. Browse through 555 timer circuits and projects that include the time’s datasheet http://www.electroschematics.com/555-circuits/. You can find simple circuits for begginers and advanced circuits for engineers. 

Help Wanted


So I'm sitting on my couch waiting very impatiently. For what, you ask? I'm waiting for the printed copy of the "Discover A Muse" so I can double check the quality before I put the book live. Sigh... I'm not very good at waiting. So, to distract myself...look, a shiny bright bauble! Recently, when I had 30 seconds to sit quietly and think, I had a thought pop up. I am forever getting emails from folks that are offering to help me with ArtOrder. Normally I can't think of a way to let them help me. I'll admit it, I have issues around delegating. This time, I had an idea that made for a win/win situation. While I enjoyed working on the Discover a Muse book I just didn't have the time to get it accomplished in a timely means. 

The process was kind of fun though, and I liked knowing that shortly I would have a book filled with art from the challenge in my hands (and I would be able to start funneling money toward our chosen charity - Discovery Arts). I've often wanted to put together books from each of the challenges, but I've decided not to do it simply because I don't have the time to wrangle all of that together every few weeks. This is where the flash of inspiration came in. I know there are some talented folks in the audience, and I'm guessing that a few of them are skilled in the art of graphic design. So the idea came to me - why not see if someone would like to take the development of the book on! So I'm hanging out the 'help wanted' sign.

Wanted! Graphic Designer to create beautiful picture books. Must have a appreciation for fantasy and sci-fi art. Must be proficient with InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. Duties: Wrangle artists for high res files. Layout and design book. What do you get out of it? Well, I'll be truthful, it won't be fortune - this is an unpaid, volunteer position (like myself). You will get a lot of creative freedom, and a big fat credit in the book. This is an excellent opportunity for a nice portfolio piece if you play your cards right. I'd love to circle back around and start with the Lovecraft challenge, and pick up as many of the other challenges as we want to do. It all depends on how many folks raise there hand. I would like to start offering books for all of the challenges rolling forward. If you are interested, send me an email with "Book Designer" in the subject line, and a link to your design portfolio or a few samples.

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling


Would I ever re-read this book? Yep! Opening lines: Not for the first time, an argument had broken out over breakfast at number four, Privet Drive. Mr. Vernon Dursley had been woken in the early hours of the morning by a loud, hooting noise from his nephew Harry’s room.”Third time this week!” he roared across the table. “If you can’t control that owl, it’ll have to go!” Harry tried, yet again, to explain. “She’s bored,” he said. “She’s used to flying around outside. If I could just let her out at night”. “Do I look stupid?” snarled Uncle Vernon, a bit of fried egg dangling from his bushy mustache. “I know what’ll happen if that owl’s let out.” Favorite Passage: “Hang on…” Harry muttered to Ron. “There’s an empty chair at the staff table... Where’s Snape?” “Maybe he’s ill!” said Ron hopefully. “Maybe he’s left,” said Harry, “because he missed out on the Defense Against Dark Arts job again!” “Or he might have been sacked!” said Ron ethusiastically. “I mean, everyone hates him.” “Or maybe,” said a very cold voice right behind them, “he’s waiting to hear why you two didn’t arrive on the school train.” Harry spun around. There, his black robes rippling in a cold breeze, stood Severus Snape.
 

Favorite Character: Dumbledore: “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Harry sat motionless in his chair, stunned. No... Dobby: He wrenched open the door and as the elf came hurrying up to him, he kicked him right through it. They could hear Dobby squealing with pain all the way along the corridor. Harry stood for a moment, thinking hard. No... Harry! “Not the greatest sorcerer in the world,” said Harry, breathing fast. “Sorry to disappoint you and all that, but the greatest wizard in the world is Albus Dumbledore. Everyone says so.” But definitely Dumbledore: “Albus Dumbledore is the greatest headmaster Hogwarts has ever had. Dobby knows it, sir. Dobby has heard Dumbledore’s powers rival those of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named at the height of his strength. But, sir”, Dobby’s voice dropped to an urgent whisper, “there are powers Dumbledore doesn’t... powers no decent wizard...” And before Harry Potter could stop him, Dobby bounded off the bed, seized Harry’s desk lamp, and started beating himself around the head with earsplitting yelps. And Dobby. If you like The Chamber of Secrets and you want to have a quiet time reading the book or watching the movie print this Harry Potter coloring pages and your kid will have something to do in this time.