Wednesday 24 March 2010

Cloud 109 - Episode 22

Well after last week's slight hiatus for the kind of creative musings that do beset many of the creatives whose blogs I visit and who themselves stop by here, we're back on track with another page of the ongoing epic that is "Cloud 109" and as you'll recall Cary who has been incommunicado has just popped up on "facefriendz". Gina and Rabby are anxious to find out what's been keeping him so busy these last few days.

Previous episodes of the story can be found here and here.

Which brings me to the latest development that is occupying much of my attention at the moment and that is mastering the art of Flash animation as David Orme has gently hinted that perhaps a dedicated website might be an idea and truth to tell it's something I've been giving a lot of thought to as well. I think Dave Morris and the amazing Mirabilis team have got it just right, with the way that Mirabilis has it's own blog which is great for networking with other creatives and at the same time you are just one mouse click away from the Mirabilis website where you can read the comic online - lovely stuff.

And talking of blog sites, I must mention one of the first sites that I discovered and found a real inspiration in the early (or earlier) days of Cloud 109, is Garen Ewing's beautiful Rainbow Orchid blog, which is a real event in itself, the whole thing is beautifully designed and a delight to explore. Talking of which Garen has another volume (part 2) of The Rainbow Orchid coming out next month and I would urge all of you to check it out as Garen along with being an incredibly talented artist is also a truly great storyteller and having read the first of The Rainbow Orchid Adventures I am keen to read the next.

And while you're about it check out Tim Perkin's Wizard's Keep site as there is another example of someone with an epic adventure in the form of "World's End" which does at times have me thinking about Richard and Wendy Pini's Elf Quest. Tim's had a lot of experience in the comics industry on both sides of the Atlantic and has some very trenchant comments to make on the comics scene and publishing in general.

So Flash animation is what I'm currently preoccupied with as bats literally start to flap around the Dungeon of Death and leaves start to swirl through the underpasses. I've found over the years that I'm just about totally hopeless at reading tutorials, I can just about manage a couple of paragraphs before severe ADHD kicks in and I have to go back to the start of the sentence, so it really is nigh on impossible for me to follow. But there are some truly easy to absorb online tutorials where you see the whole process unfold before your very eyes in real time. A couple of those and then forget about the tutorials open up the software and just blunder on through. This will work I promise you and it's every bit as quick as doing tutorials by rote. Yes, you will get stuck from time to time as you would doing it via the manual, but the lessons you learn by going down the empirical route will stick with you and you will evolve your own ways of working with the software your wonders to achieve.

We're also in the process of putting together a presentational copy of Cloud 109,  just to see how it's working as a real book as well as having another promotional tool for enhanced networking, it all helps and shows that we've got the self belief to stick with this project, which is I think (I hope) a vital part in the process of trying to make the impossible dream an attainable reality.


  1. Ooh - a Cloud 109-dedicated website would be cool. (And thanks for the very nice words about RO (blushing)).

  2. Peter, I completely agree with you about just rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck in. I had a great thick wrist-spraining manual for Ventura years ago when I was trying to learn about DTP, and I could never get anywhere till I decided I'd start up a fanzine and just learn as I went. Same with Flash - although there I had the benefit of being told what to do by Leo, who just seems to understand instinctively how to use these programs.

    It's definitely worth getting some books printed up too. I went to a bunch of meetings with TV people in Soho armed with a copy of the Mirabilis book, and something like that is a very effective business card because even the CEOs can't resist picking it up and going "Ooooh" :-)

  3. I agree with the guys here too, a dedicated website would be a great idea and is something I have thought of for a while with my project.

    Like Garen, I would like to add my thanks for your very kind words, have made two fellow professionals blush today!

    You know how I feel about Cloud 109, mate and also the publishing of it.

    I for one cannot wait until it sees print!!!


  4. Many thanks for all the comments and feedback guys - it's really good to hear from you. I think that it's just so rewarding to be part of this cyber community of creatives - makes the hours spent at the computer a lot less solitary.