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<   No. 1449   2007-01-14   >

Comic #1449

1 Alvissa: Okay, we're back together, but we still need to get out of this orc-infested underground labyrinth.
2 Dwalin: Thus way. We nid to pass thu Brudge of Khazad-Doom (D O O M). {translation: This way. We need to pass the Bridge of Khazad-Doom (D O O M).}
2 Alvissa: Don't you mean Khazad-Dûm (D U-circumflex M)?
3 GM: Nope. Khazad-Doom (D O O M).
4 Kyros: Subtle.
4 Dwalin: We dwarves are nae a soobtle race. {translation: We dwarves are not a subtle race.}

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I make comics in batches of eight. I noticed midway through making the batch that this one is in that seven of the eight strips required extensive Photoshop manipulation to convert the photos into comic panels. I mean beyond the cropping, resizing, colour balance correction, contrast correction, and slight sharpening that I do to every single frame.

Many of them required cutting out and "bluescreening" of backgrounds, compositing elements from other photos, cleaning up and blending of elements, selectively blurring elements to simulate depth of field, and so on. And of course this one, which required multiple overlays and adjustment layers.

Normally I get away with maybe half the strips being simple jobs, but when it blows out like this it sure eats up time.

Oh, and if you look at the vision-impaired subtitles, you'll notice some words explicitly spelled out today. That's for the benefit of people using screen-reader software, since the entire joke revolves around the spelling of the word.


2016-09-06 Rerun commentary: The book I'm holding here is the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeoneer's Survival Guide, which is one of my favourite 1st edition D&D books. It really succeeds in establishing a moody and dark atmosphere, giving some visceral feeling for what it's like to explore underground, which never came across in any of the previous rule books. And it pioneered the use of isometric and perspective mapping in the rulebooks, taking a cue from the groundbreaking adventure module Ravenloft, which was the first D&D publication to use such maps.

And hey, there's a LEGO horse on the bookshelf behind me.

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