Saturday, March 31, 2012

reaching the end.

Yesterday I designed the cover for the final chapter of The Pirate Balthasar: Chapter 20. Then we're only left with a 13 pages epilogue and that's it. I can't believe this but the ending of this story is some 2 months away. Now I have to decide how to release the next stories and in which order, do you have any preferences?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Vixen























One day daddy brought home a doggie - that was not really a doggie - and Cosimo, Willie and baby Balthasar were really thrilled.

Not so happy was the neighbor... whose hen-pen constantly got broken into.

A pirate's dog could only be a thief... and it so happened to be a little Vixen.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Curiosities chapter 19: poison

Remember when Kes and Wes said to pay attention? Okay, here is where we test if you followed their suggestion hahahaha.
Hints were given... how did you collect them?

As a reader you should always be given the same amount of hints and details as the characters. If every character gets a different hint, you reach overall knowledge of the situation before they all do and can draw a conclusion together. In short you have a privileged position, you are omniscient, like a God.


You should never be given less information than the characters otherwise when they draw conclusions... it feels as if they are shooting stuff out of their... butt.

Now these time around the curiosities will add on top of what was given to you in the comic itself with some questions if you can answer to these questions you'll write the curiosities yourselves :D. Sounds fun?

Poison in cups.

The first person you want to ask to is the cook, in our case the new cook because the previous one is brother to the pirate Balthasar.

Who has knowledge of who brought the florins on board?
Two people.
Which one of them knows what they truly mean?
One person.

Who gave the florins to Pifo? Had we seen him before?
Kane here is going back to warn Castalia about the black florin.
He does not have super powers.

Clearly he is too late and finds the girl in big trouble. So far nobody knows what happened to her.

Fickle got sick: What did Fickle eat that made him sick?


What did Castalia drink that made her sick?
Good, correct answer...

...and so Castalia came to the same conclusion - seeing that she had tried to tell the guys that something was in her cup and she remembered the whole thing with the fly - she pieced 2 and 2 together: the something in the cup made us both sick.


Who is close to Castalia when she whispers that? 
Who amongst them knows that Pifo brought the florins on board?


By the way she figures everything out here as she is feeling the first symptoms.

When she is on the floor she is just trying to warn the others, because Kane's life is at  stake.





Now emergency procedure switched from: food gone bad to poison on board.

What's the difference between the two things?
Food goes bad on its own.
Poison requires a culprit.

The crew will look for one. Why involve the whole crew? Because all decisions are taken together, you see... a crew is a Parliament.
So now we have one big final question:

Does Pifo know he poisoned Castalia?


Who is the only person - aside from you - that can piece all the hints together and clearly know what happened and who the real culprit is?


Good!
You know where this is heading now... :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Il Pirata Baldassarre - Capitolo 19 C

Ecco il nuovo update e sono ben 11 pagine mica 8!
LOL come si vede che ero destinata a non fare la banchiera, non so manco contare.

The Pirate Balthasar - Chapter 19 C

Update! And it's 11 pages not 8!
LOL I have always been bad with number, never meant for accounting.


Logo 2

Questo post è anche in Italiano!



Every time I upload something without giving proper explanation then I find myself explaining twice as much later. It was so silly of me to just post a picture like that. I must apologize for confusing you all.

If you don't mind I will also make this post bilingual...

After The Pirate Balthasar ends the new series will begin. This means I will have to create a new logo/banner for them.

Now I initually called the series as: before, after or next and adventures.

I was coming up with titles and images.

One series I call: Young Pirate Balthasar, or Adventure of Young Pirate Balthasar.


For this set where we see how Kane meets with Foxy, Westley, Martin and Cat, I am torn between the first and the fifth logo.

Another series will be focusing on the girls and the next generation: The Pirate's Wife.


Here I am torn between 2 and 4.

For The Pirate Balthasar Adventure so far I only developed the concept with Circes to the left and Kane and Castalia to the right.
Same goes for Projects which will be the ones made with all the stories we write together.

So do you have ideas for titles, banners, logos? Please suggest! :D

--------
ITALIANO


Chiedo scusa per aver messo su le immagini senza aver specificato cosa succedeva, devo aver creato un bel poì' di confusione.



Alla fine del Pirata Baldassarre inizieranno le nuove serie. Questo significa che devo disegnare i nuovi banner e logo. 

All'inizio avevo chiamato le nuove serie: before, after oppure next e avventura.

Poi mi sono messa a pensare a titoli e immagini.

Una serie la chiamerò: Il giovane Baldassarre, o Avventure del giovane Baldassarre. O del giovane Pirata Baldassarre (luuuungo)

Questa è la serie in cui Kane incontra Wes, Foxy, Cat e Martin. Sono combattuta tra il primo e il quinto logo.

Un'altra serie si ferma con le ragazze e i loro bambini: La moglie del pirata.

Qua sono combattuta tra la 2 e la 4.

Per la serie: Il Pirata Baldassarre - Avventura per ora ho solo abozzato questo logo con Circe da un lato e Kane e Castalia sulla destra. 


Project Balthasar quello che c'ha l'x factor XDDDD è invece il progetto che conterrà le storie che scriveremo assieme.

Per cui vi chiedo... avete suggerimenti e idee per titoli, loghi e banner? Sono tutta orecchi!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Josh's love.


To all the fans of Josh out there! Enjoy...
:D

Whimsy

We all need a bit of whimsy in life...

Here is mine. My new pirate table cloth.
It had to be very piratey so it had to be in patches.

To relax my hands I am also sewing something on my pouch....
In case you were wondering the green thing next to him... will be me (in lizard form of course) and will be licking him so.... the googly eyes will sometimes stare at the lizard and sometimes stare at people....

as if... you know... looking for help. Googly eyes are fun. I have a box full of them I was thinking about decorating my next sketchbook with them hahahahaha.


So anyways this is not a serious post and does not constitute the post for today - it's just a bit of whimsy - so expect a serious one later on.

Monday, March 26, 2012

New logos

I am trying to come up with new logos/banners for the follow up series to the official one.

Please let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions... I'm all ears.

Digital work in progress

See? This is what the digital version might end up looking like. I am still working on it and have to finish her face/skin... then maybe tweak some color as the silver looks too light in some areas and takes away from the face... that is supposed to be my only focal point.

I was thinking about extending the background upward and see if it works on a t-shirt.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fan wallpaper


Koorihime has sent us two new graphics.

One is a Spring wall paper of Pearl.

The other one has potential to be used as something else if you only wanted to since she extended the color of the background and added some texture.

(I definitely need to create an extra page for the wallpapers and graphics created by you guys!)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Circes



In one of the future spin-offs, The Adventures of the Pirate Balthasar, Kane and Castalia will have a witch as enemy. She is not the conventional witch you know, the one who make spells and incantations, she is more the type to keep a cat, make herbal teas that drug people and read tarot cards.

But most people will connect her with a janara, the ones you keep away with a broomstick and salt.
She will bear clogs and dislike salt very very much.

She might also keep a rooster as a watchdog. Circes mostly dislikes Castalia and she wants to take Kane's mask off and keep it as a souvenir.

Friday, March 23, 2012

coasters




Here we go guys, Two more coasters to add to my collection.

The one to the right is a work in progress - as you may see the gold paint only wen through one coating - and I had to add the mask digitally because Kane has no mask in these :D

So now I have four! I have a lot more to go... I should make one with shallalas vs. trallalas.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

watercolor photo.
















Sorry, double posting...
fact is the scan make the colors look so dull but I think the real colors are much prettier,

So I've decided to take a photo just to show the color.


Project Balthasar

Let's talk about the story proposed for the Project Balthasar a bit.

So far I have received four interesting proposals. I don't write the name of the authors yet to keep votes to a level of fairness, for now.

1) Lio's corner: I love this idea but this implied that people would have to write her letters so that she could answer to them! It would be hilarious!


2) Pirates vs. Ninja: I've always wanted to show that pirates could kick any ninja/samurai's ass. Don't get me wrong I love ninja and samurais but I don't think they'd stand a chance against a pirate hahahahaha.
It is hard to have a ninja leave Japan as Japan never wanted to open to the Western world until very late and it is even more difficult to have a bunch of strangers go to Japan without risking their lives. We'd have to settle for a different kind of warrior, similar to a ninja, but coming from Arabia maybe.

The whole concept was to make the ninja (a girl) fall from somewhere high on top of Josh. 

So this would be a Josh vs. the ninja kinda of thing. But let's go a bit "Assassin's Creed" on this and let's say our ninja/warrior is actually an assassin... how many thing could possibly go wrong on the Alidivento?

3) Visit Sicily / sexist argument on the Alidivento with romantic makeups (or Kes eats too much): the visit Sicily will happen in the Badia story so, for that, we're covered. The second part would imply some sort of war boys vs. girls where one couple starts a quarrel and the other ones take sides.
Kane and Castalia might not take sides, not willing to jump in another couple's argument, or might take reversed sides, Castalia with the boys and Kane with the girls. Which might make it more interesting.

4) This pitch was very very long and dealt with a pirate queen with a crew of women running after Kane to recover a book that was never return: albeit the story on its own stands quite well, it cannot exist as it is in the Pirate Balthasar universe, because we are using it to point out at the condition of women in the XVII century and the concept of breaking free. A liberated woman like that could not exist outisde of the Alidivento, unfortunately.  But the book idea was awesome and we are talking more about a female librarian going after a book stolen by Kane. 


So, imagine, a girl librarian could not exist either, but it would be easier for a girl to disguise herself as man and pull a Yentl on books than for an entire crew of women to survive the Turks.

And imagine how fixated she would be to go after a famour pirate in order to retrieve a book from a special collection! Library fees included! hahahaha.


Any thoughts?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy Spring!


Happy Spring! It’s the first day of spring… the rainy forest is showing its true colors: it rains with the sun in Singapore and the rainbow punctually shows up over my house. Enjoy this little picture of Pearl in spring colors! :D

A Cat and his goldfish

I had to redo this one in watercolor because the digital one looked stiff to me and not organic.
Unfortunately watercolor does not scan too well and even levels and other color parameter cannot fix the bending in the picture.

I might take a photo.

So little by little I will continue answering the request and fulfilling the list of "cosplay" fan art we had voted not so long ago.



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chapter 19 curiosities

 We have a few things to talk about today since the release was about 14 pages (counting the mockumentary).

We start with this play on word here. She is saying picking but he hears pricking because he has been pricked with a fork.
Let's not forget, also, that Josh's mind does not work like everybody else's.
This is what some of the first fork would look like.
We've never seen them before because we seldom see the pirates eat meats.

In this case Pifo set the table right because he has prepared maccheroni. Now, maccheroni was one of the first generic term for pasta, and the first maccheroni looked like fettuccine but wider... closer to what to day we call pappardelle.
You can sort of see them in Kes' plate.

Something this long cannot possibly be eaten with a spoon.
I guess that's when Italians learned to roll their pasta around the fork.


 After Kes leaves and Wes scolds Martin, Foxy and Cat join in.
On one hand they are taking sides with their friend Kes.
On the other side they are looking at their girlfriends since we are talking about "flirts with skirts" and the shame on you is probably directed more to them than to Martin. Hence Lio's line about being an innocent flirtations.
 If you remember, Kes' wedding band is located on the right index finger and she is now wearing it all the time.

She had once pointed out that nobody would ever notice it anyway and it would not help her since it's on the wrong finger.

She is bringing up the same line again as a joke and Wes takes it nicely and jokes in return.
 The host, in this case Westley, sits at the end of the table and the wife should sit across.

Table manner were taken care of in books starting the XVI century, Monsignor della Casa had written his book on Galateo possibly because he had to do with people with no table manner and was sick and tired of it.

In the XVII century it becomes a must do, the heart of social life.
 Seating arrangement can be seen in this panel.
As you can see the girls are sitting across from their partner (except for Kes).
Going around the table we have: Cat, Lio, Martin, Kes, Wes, Josh, Pea, Foxy and Calli.
I think if you google keelhauling you'll be very scared by the results and the explanation on wikipedia.

It was a very cruel form of punishment. The man could go along or across the hull and the barnacles would do some nasty tricks on their skin and flesh.

A lot of them would not survive.


Yes, every once in a while I break the fourth wall.
Sorry to crack jokes like these but I feel that if readers feel the urge to criticize the character and jump to conclusions without letting them explain themselves... then the character are very good at showing that they can do the same.

So yes, if you don't pay attention to details you will get confused but honestly all the answers to most questions are in the comic itself, sometimes in the very same page. So you have to be patience and sometimes bother to re-read certain things, although life has turned out to be a click away for everything... the world belongs to the proactive.


So yes, Cassandra has been wearing that ribbon since chapter one and most of the times, hahahaha, except for a few occasions. I made sure she is the sister with the ribbon.

And Westley commenting on the fact that you cannot skip pages, chapter and balloons is another joke aimed at scanner readers.

Guys, it's not for the pirate balthasar, the pirate balthasar is a silly little thing I do on my spare time... but for everything you have to sit back, relax and enjoy and also question and think ahead but use derivative thinking or induction instead of deducting and jump to conclusion or even settle for answers.

Enjoy and savor things! Be visually intelligent! Double check for sources.... and share only what you deem to be true and good and fantastic. Otherwise good things will always get lost in an ocean of silliness and will drown and die.
It is you, with your choices, who decreets what is successful and what is not.

If you keep on going to watch to the movies things you like to a meh point... you still fund those types of movies and you'll get more of them.
I've only watched The Muppets last year hahahaha. Give me mooooore muppet movies noooow! XD

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Daddy Cat

Somebody had requested a picture of Daddy Cat... so here is with his little Pearl!
Have a good sunday everyone! :D

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

To all our Irish friends out there, from our Irishman, Martin Steeves... a very happy St. Patrick's day.

(today will be very green for me too as I am going to watch Wicked).

Friday, March 16, 2012

Let's recap!

I think it's only fair, since I propose for you to share ideas, to tell you in advance what will be coming up next. Otherwise you'll find out that a lot of my answer will be: yes, I was planning that.

So here's the good news: my contract has been renewed for 3 more years, so we'll definitely have 3 more years of Balthasar.



The current storyline will end in 2012 though. 
After that will have a few extras and spin offs. 



Bloopers:



These one will be about the scene I had to delete because they could not fit. 

One of this stories is called The Storm it's about how the ship deals with the storm when there are 5 girls on board. (storyboarded already)


The Pirate Balthasar - Before!

Content planned:
1) How Kane met Foxy
2) How Kane met Cat
3) How Kane met Westley
4) A series of adventures in Bologna, one of which will be investigating a murder.

If you have any ideas for this let me know.
Will follow another series which I plan to call: The Pirate Balthasar - Adventure!

Possible content:
1) A visit to Badia (sicily) Balthasar vs. the Mafia.
2) Balthasar vs. Circes (a witch)
3) and the one story I hinted about in the promo (the one with Kane kissing Castalia's leg): Castalia's great adventure!
4) How durians arrived in Italy: Balthasar in Malaysia. 

If you have any ideas for this let me know.

Will follow another series probably called: The Pirate Balthasar - Next!

Possible contents:
1) Every time we say goodbye. I might call this series "The pirate's wife" (Kes and Wes and lots of baby Itzak). So far I have 3 stories in mind for this serie: Froggy (about wes and itzak - storyboarded already), the Turks (this one is a bit sad) and How to be a Pirate wife (the girls).
2) Balthasar and Andromeda (The next generation)
3) (and this one I am still trying to gather my thoughts about but it's like a 10 years after).

And why not? I will also attempt: The Pirate Balthasar XXI!

Since you seemed to enjoy the illustrations so much.
God knows what the style will be for these specials... and let's hope I'll be granted health, wealth and time to achieve such a scheme.

Truth be told... I have too much fun writing stories and if you find them to your liking I would be honored to go on this adventure with you.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Much Ado about Kes and Wes

So continuing with the list of illustrations I promised... there was a version of Kes and Wes as Benedict and Beatrice from Much Ado About nothing.

 So we are going Elizabethan here (the patter in the background is a typical pattern used for women dresses - even though it's very light it's there). He is wearing a leather jacket typical of soldiers. The colors though are more typical of the theatrical costumes of the times so they are much brighter than normal clothing.

 -----------------

 Being Wes a Jew and Kes very fond of food... the line I chose is this one from Benedict:

 Ha! 'Against my will I am sent to bid you come in to dinner;' there's a double meaning in that 'I took 1065 no more pains for those thanks than you took pains to thank me.' that's as much as to say, Any pains that I take for you is as easy as thanks. If I do not take pity of her, I am a villain; if I do not love her, I am a Jew. I will go get her picture. (of course this is Act II, Scene 3)

 This is all done with watercolor in more or less one and a half hour because I did not have much time to refine it.

Now, time to thanks the ones who are already submitting story ideas. I am making a list of your ideas and your names! :D


I will start posting the first story ideas soon, you never know, they might inspire other story tellers. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Story Olympics: our pirate balthasar

Alright guys, I kept you waiting because I needed to refine the details for our new game.

This one... you are going to love it. I call it : the deadliest competition of all times! 


That's because you are going to do a story pitch.


As you may know, The Pirate Balthasar will end in a few months.
I have a lot of ideas for the next stories, specials and... as some of you may recall... I will have several spin offs.
Then one of you sent me a story and at the core of it there was a very interesting idea. It tickled my imagination like crazy!

Then I thought: why not play a game as well?

I know a lot of you like to write stories and are interested in writing so... let's write a story together.


Usually when people write stories together they do it in different ways: I start, you end... or... we vote the most liked ideas... and they forget about the structure and/or they go on with wishful thinking or have collateral damages due to the fact that they are unfamiliar with the topic.

Well, with The Pirate Balthasar all this stuff is done for you as yours truly will be acting as an editor, researcher and script doctor. We are staying within The Pirate Balthasar's world so we can't go wrong: the characters are established, the setting is too.

All you have to picth are "what ifs?" "Little did he knows" and Story ideas.

----------------------------

HOW TO ENTER THE GAME:


1) You can submit a what if: what if, The pirate Balthasar meets the friggin' Pope?
2) You can submit a log line: this is the story of how Castalia finds the recipe for the best cake in the World but does not know how to cook it.
3) Write a short synopsis: it would be a paragraph with your idea.
4) Ask a question: can we see Finland?


----------------------------

As usual you can email it to me at dedadaniels(at)yahoo.com or post it here or on Facebook, or anywhere you like. Your choice.

-----------------------

As I said I will act as an editor, I don't know if you ever had the chance to do so but, basically, it's very challenging and difficult, you need to keep an open mind on possible changes and have the guts to take criticism. There won't be any negative feedback and none of the comment will be "personal" nor unproductive. No idea will be completely discarded but editing might be required.

Having an editor helps the continuity of the story.

I will be the first one to skim your stories, saying if they are feasible and proposing challenges to improve them.

Once you submit your story we'll start the Olympic Games.
In short it will be up to the people to vote which idea should go forward and which one needs more work... by public demand.

The most voted will win the first round, the other ones would need to be retouched and improved probably, but can be resubmitted as many times as the author likes.

The winner will see the story actually drawn to become a chapter of a Project called: Our Pirate Balthasar. And the content of the story will determine which spin off should join.


The votes will determine which one will go first.

This is the rough idea, this game is ongoing!
There will constantly be polls.

And we'll have a chapter written by me and one written by US together released alternatively after the regular series ends.

This is because I have plenty of stories I want to tell, but to be honest I also want to tell you the stories you want to hear - given the chance - I was never lucky enough to be able to ask any of my favorite writers to tell me this or that story about this or that character (because they are dead, sigh).

I knew that story was in them but maybe they never felt the need to answer certain questions because nobody asked them.

I know this thing might not sound very clear right now, so ask away and I'll try my best to clarify everything.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Robin Hood and Marian - Lio and Foxy


If you remember we had voted for some fan art, back a few months ago.

After the mermaid one (which I plan to redo because it came out too dark) there was an illustration of Lio and Foxy as Robin Hood and Lady Marian. So here it is.

I hope you enjoy it and share it around.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Two blond men

There are two blond men now, on the Alidivento and even though, technically, the comic would be considered in color (by publishers and printers) it's... still monochromatic.



So this is how you tell the difference between Martin and Westley, because they are not basically  identical (particularly now that Wes' hair is growing back) but they are very similar in tone.

In case you still have problem you might start by a simple question: how tall is the girl while standing next to him? Well, if she reaches his shoulder then the guy is Westley. If all she sees are nipples (XD) then the guy is Martin.




Saturday, March 10, 2012

Physically


I usually don't quantify my work, until I have to move out or make room for more stuff.

A lot of times I have to throw things away. This time around I am not moving out, hopefully not, and I definitely don't need room. I just noticed that all the paper I used for the comic was scattered in 3 different drawers and I had a closet completely empty.

So I stacked the paper at the very back of my closet and here it is. I have been here almost 21 months and this is the comic, almost 4 volumes of rough and clean up!

Lots of paper, eh! I was a bit surprised... :D
I also went through 3 sketchbooks already.

second version


I had to make a second version.
Aside from the fact the colors got all washed out in the jpeg (again!!!)... the gold paint shows as a mistake and it's not shiny and pretty at all. So I had to remove the background.

The original is much better but it doesn't scan well and it doesn't show neat in photograph either, sigh.
So here's a png.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Second reward


As requested by the winner of the graphic challenge. She wanted something with her name in it.
I hope I got it right! :D

We'll be talking about the new game later on today. :D

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Happy Women's day!



Our super woman, Lio, would like to wish all the women out there happiness, serenity and all the best in life!


It's nice to get flowers, on a special day, but it's better to receive respect. May you always receive all the respect you deserve!

Happy Women's day!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Fan graphic










Korihime sent us new Icons and signature.
Some are animated and some are not, according to your preferences.
Aren't they cute?
She took the brushes from here.