Monday, July 28, 2014

Project CanisVulpes

The clock is ticking,  I've been meaning to discuss this,  and best to get this idea, of which I've had cooking for years, off the ground and soon; big challenge and all.

What is Project CanisVulpes?

Long story short, web animation project involving Valleydog.

Why animation? Because I feel the current comic format of once-a-week pages isn't the most effective for the stories (which, frankly, shouldn't really last months), and really don't allow for much character development personally, with such a posting date; most just walking in won't get a grasp unless they archive binge (which I doubt is unlikely from get-go). Plus a majority of recent pages done can be easily converted into rigs and backgrounds if needbe.

Why Valleydog? While I did have another idea in mind, Valleydog is more developed, and thus will be theoretically easier and faster to work with, by having materials (characters, stories, etc) already there, plus chance to expand on via characters, settings, and stories a lot more for shorter time span. Also, as mentioned, the comic itself is designed visually to be 'animation ready' with a few cosmetic revisions as needed. There is a lot of potential that can be readily and easily unlocked in this format compared to static comics.

What is Valleydog?  Long story short, a young, finicky, booksmart sheltered Coyote by name of Francis Gris is forced to move west from Washington, DC to a small town in California that is unknowingly filled with eccentric personalities, in which he must get himself acquainted (and possibly assimilated) into semi-suburban, neo-hipster NorCal culture.

So What's the plan? Sixteen 15-minute webisodes (plus shorter shorts) that will initially be published online via YouTube Channels (and/or other video sharing sites), for ease of viewing and accessibility.

How is This Feasible? I'm not looking for anything grand (well, aiming decent quality at least). Animations will, initially, and for practical reasons, be via Flash (which, in itself, is a tool; if used right, can achieve impressive results). Funding will be, ideally, achieved via crowdfunding (Looking into Patreon, specifically), with enough to just cover what is needed. This isn't a solo project; in no way can I do this alone, and thus asking and seeking those who can and willing to help.

What am I looking for? Not much, just a handful.

  • Voices
  • Basic artists and those with time on hands to lend a helping hand (will be pitching in as well on this end; we all play part =P)
  • Writers for proofreading and consistency
  • (Least important) Musician
This does seem like an ambitious project, and I am not really expecting much response and enthusiasm from this. Frankly, not looking for anything professional/high class for the sake of profit; just pure fun and passion (as I otherwise would not have started this in first place).

Already in the past month I have worked on stories for shorts and redesigns of characters, as well as finished a pilot script awaiting a table-read (once appropriate voices are acquired), before moving on elsewhere, while still working on more notes and designs. Ideally, I want to try to get this off the ground (or at least walking somewhat) come Rainfurrest time.

If you are interested in supporting/taking part as a peasant victim volunteer into this mad idea, send me a note/PM/DM/email :)

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this, and I look forward to seeing this go through :) 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Off Model

It's been an off week (or month) for me, balancing projects (or rather, figuring out which one to actually dedicate time to, despite having thought over this several times this year and actually making a decision last month. Perhaps my increased distraction isn't really helping matters (seriously, I haven't been this unfocused since 2010... kinda concerns me. It's an old habit of mine that arises again; whenever I have plenty I need to do, I freeze and sleep on it to deal with later, and end up doing nothing #ProcrastinationFolf

I wanna change that, and been trying for a while.

I'm taking care (along with several friends and writers) in getting the basics of Project CanisVulpes done writing wise, as the coyotes take my time artwise, prepping up the dead tree edition of Valleydog, as well as related art in regards to such and the project. Around this point the perfectionism and self-consciousness arises, as I know I can do better, freaking with each anatomy error tipping on the A.Ricky issue (Having glaring mistakes with pose/anatomy resulting in a stiff, chubby/short character yet calling it "good" and ready for publicity).

I never fully created the characters of Valleydog (Save for Francis), yet the basic premise and idea were of my plan; 'twas a friend of mine, in highschool, who offered to help... long story short; it didn't last and I took over as I didn't wanna scrap the idea.... with plenty of rough edges and starts as I tried to get to know the cast while reforming to my plan as it went on..... with varied results. I wanna work on Valleydog further; I have ideas and dialogues that, witty and funny, fit best in the context of its Davis, CA expy Charter High School setting, while I try to make it feel 'relatable' to an average audience instead of a severe niche, and soon; many of these ideas are based on true stories. As I get older, and these stories are based on what are now memories (up to 5 years old at this point); things get muddled, and thus the effect isn't as full as it was. In fact, had I kept on schedule (which if I did I would be insane at this point), this would've been the comic's penultimate year, ending on June 2015 (in fact, I already have the final storyline written down; left for easy revising for prior character developments).

On that note, I find myself despising doing story arcs for the very reason of time. Given the comic runs (or is supposed to run) once a week at very least, the average storyline (of, say a simple task) can take months to resolve. Given the tame nature of the comic thereof, 'tis nothing really exciting to wait for, and thus I feel that, frankly, the comic format isn't really suitable for Valleydog, and hence plan to incorporate such into Project CanisVulpes (more on that later)

On the topic of  writing and relevance, I find myself ever more enticed to forgo Valleydog (of which I'm mainly using solely because I have the most ready material to work with) and jump to Elevations instead due to such being more "free" and open to develop further, plus more personally relevant to my current life, for said project.

Anywhom, 'tis three in the morning, and I should sleep. Feel free to leave your two cents, and I appreciate you taking the time to read this.

Thanks, and hasta marfle!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

New Comic Pitch (Project Elevations)

Just something written up for an upcoming comic idea in the works... 

In the Small town of Santa Alta, CA on the shores of San Francisco Bay, lies a creperie cafe, off the corner of 5th and Montel. Above the cafe lives a middle-aged, reserved, and cynical yet stoic and sage Nathaniel Montague and his goofy, hyper, adorkably college-aged housemate Maxwell Hayward. Nathaniel is forced to house Max and act as mentor per the Landlords request via six degrees of separation. Max commutes south for class as a film student, while Nathaniel operates a series of fresh-baked cookie food trucks in the city and East Bay. The two occasionally go on adventures around the bay to mixed results, and  make connections in their careers, of which intertwine surprisingly, for better or for worse.
 Shall flesh out further over time, and already have plans set for this should things go forth. Feel free to give thoughts if you'd like.

Hasta Marfle!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Becoming the Mask

Just something that came to mind, and felt ever more apparent in these past two years, and even moreso as of late.

To those who have been involved in the fandom, local community, or otherwise, do you feel like and/or find yourself identifying more and more with your furry self/life? I necessarily mean, like, feeling like an actual animal and living a la lifestylers (I still consider myself human. Heck, even my fursona is just me as a fox/wolf thing), but more of like having lives just meld together, so to speak. Like, I am accustomed to hearing animal noises and names nearly everywhere that it's become the norm, almost routinely mundane. More than half the friends and folks I talk to go by animal-based names, even I am known more here and elsewhere as "Mike Folf" than my actual name to point of doing doubletakes when hearing the latter/having to sign such (if you're curious, look up the 90s band 'Voice of the Beehive').

Not really complaining though, just an interesting thought.. maybe it's because I seem to be surrounded by hundreds of furries in a ten-mile radius, or the sharp increase in furry meets as of late.. or I'm just getting more involved and this is just a side effect, the new normal personally.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014


So I went to pride for the first time over the weekend... or rather kinda/sorta close to pride as I could without really experiencing it, in what could be best described as a derpy adventure.

Went up on Saturday afternoon and met with a couple of furs at a hotel in Civic Center, and helped oncoming furs up to room (due to elevator key-lock), as they all suited up, phone charging along with 'em, and went up along with another pride newbie fur,  to grab such as the rest headed out, with us trying to catch up, and running into other furs in the process while finding the main group (who happened to be right below us, waiting for the Muni subway to Castro).

After a bit of waiting/chatting with other furs and newfur wolf, we debated whether or not to just walk or follow the gang via Muni, before compromising and walking to another fur who happened to be driving in town (and, for whatever reason, we all decided would be a much faster option). This resulted in 2/3 hours of traffic, looking for a parking space, rage (understandable given driver's condition), and giving up and driving 30-some blocks down to a pizza and market down Mission (and trying a Sushiritto in the process). Wolf and I decided to make a trek on our own and attempt Munibus as the other driving furs decided to forego pride altogether and head to the other evening meet in the area. It was 7pm at the time, and personally frankly, with plans skewed from driving, figured why not wing it?

Wolf and I ended up waiting a good half hour before the bus came. I informed the main group about this and tried to coordinate in what can be best described as poor timing and miscommunication (as majority of group would be heading our way anyway, however this info was received upon entering said bus), and we both traveled towards Castro in a bit of a Sardine can, arriving around 8 to the sight of long lines of entry (for body checks). I called the main group again to follow-up and see about meeting up with them....only to find out they were waiting for the Muni line back to Civic Center. We both admit defeat and attempt to go back to the hotel, and Walking along the steep hills to Dolores park and the J Muni line, and waiting a bit half an hour for the the other direction (as, we both needed to go to BART; Wolf to head home, I for the evening game night meet, both of us aggravated). I did run into a fellow alumni from my high school my delightful chance, which helped improve the evening a bit as we waited and traveled a bit, sharing similar sentiments in general. The tram was heavily delayed and instead came along a shuttlebus substitute. With us three equally confused, and being mislead and Dropped off on 49 (29th?) street, around 9:00 or so.

Breaking down after a quick search for directions (which would've lead to walking several blocks alone in SF), and (Rather regretably) rage-tweeting in the process) as we all waited for a bus (eta 40 min) to dog knows where, an actual downtown-bound J Muni train arrives, and we all rush onboard, arriving at Civic Center around, by coincidence around the same time as the main group (as, apparently, the entire system had temporarily shut down). We proceeded to meet back at the hotel, cool and rest for a bit, before returning the the BARuni station, parting ways with Wolf, as a couple of furs and I, remaining from the main group pleasantly traveled along BART to Balboa for Game night, which went rather enjoyable and (much needed) relaxing, discussing with furs the philosophical ideas behind good and evil...which then turned into a discussion on cartoons. I was then asked to help spot a couple of suiters for the pride parade the following morning. I have never done such before, but in act of goodwill, good friendship, and up for the challenge, I accepted, and thus discussed and awakened early 7am (running on three hours of sleep and two cups of coffee) to help.

Spotting was easy than thought, and tried best double-checking with the collie and horse making sure all's well before, and during, the ride on a Munibus + BART to Embarcadero, handling fare and guiding thru crowds (reactions of which were amusing, with photo-ops a plenty, as we were in a hurry). Walking a couple blocks to find the Furry float, hidden amongst the more colorful crowd. At this point, and after a few greetings, I got message of having to return home, and rushed back. I was in a hurry, and to put it lightly, personal failure of communication and derps that left me feeling awful for overlooking. Thankfully, such was resolved as much as it could, but I do feel compelled to compensate and make up for the mistake.

All-in-all, the last weekend was definitely not as expected, but hey, fun to chat about after the fact. I'm kinda used to random, unexpected adventures at this point in my (youngish) life. Had fun hanging and helping several furs, and really can't beat a visit to San Francisco.