Yes, I’ve been very quiet for the last few months. Working lots to make up for Brett’s non-job is taking it out of me, big.

The energy drain …and stress, and depression … have taken their toll on everything, story, comics, website, home business, keeping up with the FL and RL friends, etc. Down the tubes, gone, vanished on the event horizon. It gets even more depressing with every non-answer, every turn-down that Brett has gotten, to the point that I sit & wonder what in the hell he’s doing wrong to not have a job at this point (when WALMART won’t talk to you, there’s a problem. There’s got to be). It’s a tough emotional & physical slog, right now.

There’ve been a couple bright points, but gods, by the time I get home, any free time I’ve had, all I’ve had the energy to do has been to sit & stare at the computer screen & do mindless shit (Warcraft), and not caring about doing it. If we hadn’t gotten rid of cable, I’d be staring at the TV, so I guess a computer game is marginally better. Somewhat.

So it was a complete surprise on Thursday when Brett dragged me out to Microcenter & bullied me into picking out a Wacom Graphire tablet for my iMac, as a belated birthday gift. English translation: a pen tablet for the computer. In other words, I can draw directly into the system now. Further translation: I’m not stuck trying to draw with a bleepin’ mouse. Further further translation: SQUEEEEEEEEeeeeeeee

Situational translation: One of the problems with the UASSUHO strip is the sheer amount of WORK it takes to get it on the web. I had to sketch out each panel, on paper & in pencil, countless times to get the look of the characters right, then re-ink over that (and pray I don’t make a mistake in the ink), then scan it in, then clean it up in Photoshop & add the dialog & color.

Now, though, I’ve had classes in Illustrator, and the tablet lets me draw directly into Illustrator and do all my corrections & coloring directly. Using the pen is a learning curve — hell, ILLUSTRATOR is a very sharp learning curve — but once that’s down, it’s going to be a lot faster. Last night, I had a full strip done within a few hours; usually a strip takes me 2 days, minimum, to get done.

So, tonight, after I get home, I plan to figure out how to export the Illustrator files out to a JPG and get the full strip format put together, and you might be looking at more UASSUHO in the near future. Hopefully.

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