Boiling hot days and freezing windy nights… it’s a typical late summer in Calgary. I’ll go to bed cooking on top of the sheets with the windows open and wake up in the middle of the night chattering while the wind blasts papers all over my room.

The other animation instructor Graeme is away at Siggraph, the world’s largest computer animation festival, so I’ve been busting my ass at school keeping the fort secure. All in all, it’s been pretty good. The September class is already full (the fastest we’ve ever filled a class) and there’s a decent sized waiting list to boot. Add in that several students are being snatched up before they graduate and that Bioware (makers of Baldur’s Gate) are coming at the end of the month to peruse the upcoming grads as well and we must be doing something right.

With Gala on nights, I’ve been doing a lot of drawing for myself. Once again, I’ve dived into a personal project. But, this time I think I’ve got some lockjaw on it and don’t want to stop. Bouncing story ideas around that I’ve had in my head for years, I’ve started doing a web comic.

Here’s the plan. There’s a website called Keenspot that posts web comics. They’ve got about 30 titles and pull in well over a million hits a day. They also have a hosting site called Keenspace where you can get webspace for free to host your own web comic. You keep the rights to everything and you post away, trying to build an audience. Once you’ve reached a certain amount of hits and have built an audience, they invite you to join the main Keenspot site. There’s the potential to make a bit of money, but more importantly, it’s a quantifiable goal that I can work on and meet in my spare time.

I’ve signed up for Keenspace and am waiting for webspace. Because of a backlog of requests, it’ll probably take about a month to get that for me. In the meantime, I’ve got a site designed for the web comic and am working ahead on pages. I hope to have at least 15-20 done by the time I start the site. If I post 3 pages a week (Mon, Wed, Fri), that’ll put me 5-6 weeks head of schedule and enable me to do a really decent job of it.

I did quite a bit of research on this and am now getting pretty excited. It’ll be a good hobby-type goal and of course, allow me to keep pushing my drawing along too. When it finally comes together, obviously, you guys will be the first to know. I’ve already got 6 pages done and they’re looking good…

Anyways, what else is new…

I’ve been reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It’s a weird book about the old gods (Egyptian, Greek, Norse) down on their luck in modern times. A good read, but also quite odd and occasionally explicit. Admittedly though I have been enjoying the characters and what-not. I was so engrossed in reading it earlier in the week that I missed my train stop and had to double back.

Computer component prices have dropped and I upgraded my machine. Last year a dollar per meg of RAM was a deal… last week I bought another 512 megs for $140.00 (plus I already had 128 megs)! Add in a new 40 gig hard drive and I must say that it’s running really sweetly. If I can fill 60 gigs of hard drive space, I have serious problems.

That digital camera I bought is incredible. I bought it a month ago and still haven’t changed the batteries. I must have taken a few hundred shots. I love this thing. It’s the greatest for gathering drawing reference or sending wacky photos to my friends. Worth every penny.

With all the wandering, photographing and exploring I’ve been doing, I’m actually in great shape. I was putting on some jeans yesterday and discovered that I had to wear a belt with them. Last year I occasionally undid the top button to feel comfortable in the same pair. It’s not like I’m going just thin either, there’s muscles there, dammit! Needless to say, I’m quite pleased.

Rereading what I’ve typed, that’s a whole lot of positives going on. Good, good, good.

Anyways, that’s the update for now. I hope to hear from you guys later.

Take care,

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