Deviant Friday - Neytirix

This week's Deviant is Neytirix, and Aussie digital artist with a wonderful sense of color and cute whose work (even the dark stuff) is utterly endearing.

Neytirix has a pretty extensive youtube following owing to their many, many speed paints set to energetic music.  If anyone is interested, Neytirix can be found on the following platforms:

Deviantart (obviously)
and Tumblr

Neytirix does do the off-handed commission but only in limited quantities and it is unknown if they allow for commercial use of their commissioned work.

Comics Wednesday - Jane Foster Valkyrie #1

Coming off the heels of her tenure as The Mighty Thor and the events of War of the Realms, Jane Foster - former mantle bearer of Thor and cancer survivor  - finds herself taking on the role of Valkyrie after the former Valkyrie died during War of the Realms and wielding the Gerber tool of Uru weapons "The All Weapon" (seriously, that name is stupid).

Issue 1 finds Jane trying to recover Asgardian weapons and technology that has fallen into criminal hands (see again War of the Realms) and particularly Dragonfang the sword formerly wielded by her predecessor.  This is a big deal because whoever wields the Dragonfang becomes a master of weapons combat, can summon Asgardian horses, and generally becomes a total badass.

Finding the Dragonfang isn't Jane's only issue though.  The life of a superhero has finally caught up to her as the multiple missed workdays, chemotherapy appointments, etc has caused Jane's boss (the hospital director) to re-assign her to a less "stressful" environment ... so no longer is she a trauma doctor she is a morgue doctor with all the wacky stereotypes of such a job following her in the form of her new partner.

Overall, one issue in and I'm thoroughly enjoying Jane Foster: Valkyrie much more than I did her run on The Mighty Thor (I liked the run, but the smaller scale presented here is a nice change of pace).  The scripting is tight, integrates well into the rest of the Marvel Universe and serves as a good way of keeping a heroic character going despite losing her former mantle (unlike the original Thor whose "Unworthy" titles generally sucked)

Artistically this title has the feeling of a more traditional Marvel or DC title instead of the looser indie style / Tumblr style that the publisher has been leaning on in the last few years.  Backdrops are well rendered but not so detailed to detract from the heroes or action.  The character's themselves pop from the page while looking like actual humans (or human adjacent).

All in all, I give Jane Foster: Valkyrie 3 out of 5 swords.  A Really good start but it may run out of steam quickly depending on the writing team.

Deviant Fridays - Vityso

For this Week's Deviant Friday I am taking a look at Brazilian graphic artist Vityso.

Vityso is active on ArtStation, DeviantArt, and Instagram ... although she does not appear to be very chatty and plays her life and profession very close to her chest.

Vityso's style reminds me of the European (particularly the Spanish) artists who are often employed by Holocubierta's Adventures in the Eastmark (I am still said that didn't take off Stateside!) roleplaying game.

There is a timeless quality to this work, something that makes it fit with both the digital era and the traditional ways of oil and canvas.  I would love to see her process as - while I am not artist - I love to take in the ways that artists connect with their work.

Publisher Template for Affinity Publisher

Indie publishing for games can be an interesting trade.  A lot of indie developers - myself included - tend to wear many hats.  We are writers, editors, art directors, layout artists, I.T. and everything else in between.

We are also typically rather broke which means we have to be creative with what we use and what we do.  Some indies have the funds or find ways to afford expensive software like InDesign, while others choose the free options like Scribus.  Still, others forgo layout publishing and focus on simple trade dress that can be easily completed in a word processor.  In the middle of all these options sits Serif, a British software company that has been developing a load of creative and enterprise apps since longer than I care to remember.  A few years ago they decided to slowly start shelving their "Plus" series of products in favor of the Affinity series.

The latest in this crop is Affinity Publisher the successor to Page Plus series of the desktop development software and an affordable alternative to InDesign that sits in a comfortable category between InDesign's beefiness and Microsoft Publisher's user-friendly but limited frame.  As such it is a great pick up and grow application that can get very crunchy as the developer grows with it.

The one thing that it lacks is community support from the Indie developer scene.  In walks Venatus Vinco with his Affinity Publisher Basics, a simple template and how-to on the system for those who use it but feel rather abandoned by publisher suppliers like Fat Goblin Games and Wizards of the Coast who exclusively develop templates and the like for InDesign leaving those who cannot afford InDesign (or don't want to put up with Scribus's "it's not a bug it's a feature") in the cold to figure out from the bottom step how to use a different piece of software.

Vinco's Affinity Publisher Basics comes with a load of fonts, a few template images, the template itself and a Publisher Basics pdf.

The pdf comes with a lot of handy guides like paragraph styling guides, POD guides, image placement, etc.  It is a wonderful overview and starting guide to Affinity's systems.

For the $5.00 it costs I truly recommend this if for nothing else then a Getting started guide to Affinity's systems.

DrivethruRPG Open d6 Sub-Category - One Month Out

One month ago I somewhat succeed on my mission to get WestEnd Game's d6 system recognized as its own category on DrivethruRPG.  This post here explains my reasonings and this post explains the result (this way I am not rehashing words). 

TL;DR:  WEG's Open d6 is a robust system with a lot of excellent creators behind it that all too easily get lost in the giant melting pot that is "d6 systems".  This eventually causes a lack of sales and creators leaving the format because of those lacking sales.

So, where do we stand a month later with its own sub-category?

Not as well as I hoped honestly.  Outside of strong support from Battlefield Press and my own Genius Loci Games - as well as some one-offs by  AISP and Griffon Publishing - many creators have opted not to move their Open d6 products over to the sub-category.

This could be for a few reasons by my way of thinking:

  1. The line was not profitable so why waste the time.
  2. The publisher is out of business and no one really mans the digital fronts anymore.
  3. The e-mails I sent out to publishers were placed in spam folders or deleted under the idea that the e-mail was spam.
  4. The publisher has moved on to bigger and better things or has their own plans in the works for marketing and bringing renewed interest to the system.
Being that Open d6 is a system near and dear to my heart I will personally continue to look after the sub-category in hopes that other publishers - new and old - will start to support it and bring attention to the system.

A Message from Your Blogger

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers, the third expansion of the 2nd most popular subscription MMO went into Early Access today.  As such, the Magnificent Witch Healer of the East, Astarra Clireach will be doing her upmost to reach new lands and new adventures ...

... see you on Tuesday!

[Deviant Friday] Kvacm - Landscaper of the 80s

Kvacm is this week's most excellent Deviant Artist, hailing - from what I assume based on his personal website's address - the Czech Republic.  A digital artist, Kvacm uses a brush full of the pastels and neon colors of the most bodacious of decades.

His work can be found on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Artstation |  Patreon

He is open to commissions and his Patreon rewards are private use only. 

Deviant Friday - Neytirix

This week's Deviant is Neytirix, and Aussie digital artist with a wonderful sense of color and cute whose work (even the dark stuff) ...