We’re giving Max-The-Artist the week off — well, at least from the comic. He’s still got a buttload of commercial work to do, so it’s not like he’s actually resting. But that doesn’t mean I can’t write a blog anyway.

And we have Guest Art! As you know, Max-The-Artist is my son. Well, my wife is also an artist, primarily for Disney Storyboard. So I tried to get her to do some art for us. Keep the “Family Theme” as it were. It is actually really hard working with my wife. You’d think having a wife who draws Disney characters would mean that I would have all the Disney Princess hentai I could ever want, but no. She refuses to indulge my reasonable otaku needs. She also kicked up a fuss about doing 3MM art.

“I don’t like doing violent stuff,” she said. “And I only draw with a pencil, you’ll have to scan it.”

“That’s okay,” I said. “Marissa likes doing cosplay, just do Marissa as a Disney character.”

“Okay, I can probably do that,” she said cautiously. “But just so we’re clear – she’s going to be wearing clothes.”

Once again, I am denied.

But! here you have Marissa as Tinkerbell. Lady’s got it goin’ on, yes. But that’s Tink. Marissa gets into the role.

More below!


A Man’s Fancy





It’s Spring! The air is scented with fresh flowers, the birds are singing, and most importantly, the skies are blue! Time to blow stuff up in front of Nature’s Bluescreen!

In miniature, of course. The above effect is, like most of the work I do, fairly small, fired from the top of a six-foot ladder to get it up against the sky. It’s also almost soundless, mostly just a “pop” noise. But the keyed result will be added to the library for when we need it. (EDIT: “Keyed” means that the blue sky is digitally removed, leaving just the effect on a transparent background.)

The above effect used a small steel mortar, a custom squib, and some powdered asphaltum. Yep, basically powdered asphalt. Comes from mines in Utah. It’s a fine powder, looks like espresso coffee.


The mortar is also a custom job. Most effects mortars of this type are called “woks” and are much larger — the size of a wok, in fact (although made of much thicker steel, naturally.) Getting one made that was only four inches across took some wheedling on my part to a metalworker I know. Works great though. Cold rolled steel with burnished welds. Love it.

I made the squib using a 00 gelatin capsule dipped in color-coded resin, so I can remember what it’s filled with. The gelcap means no harmful shards. This squib contains a copper-based burst formula, hence the color.

And asphaltum’s great stuff for safety. Look. Sitting in a pile, it doesn’t even burn.


It only burns when it is dispersed in the air. Soon as it hits the ground, it goes out. So much nicer than, say, gasoline. It also doesn’t stain or dissolve in water, so cleanup is fairly easy.


Squib is tied off to the base and taped into the wok. Nothing goes into the wok that is hard, heavy, or sharp. Even if – as in this case – there’s no one around to get hit, it’s still good practice.


Asphaltum added to the wok.


Finished assembly mounted on the ladder with duct tape. It’s not likely to bounce from the squib burst, but may as well hold it in place to be sure. Extinguisher standing by for the same reason.

Wire it up, hit the button, and Poomp! The actual effect is brief in the 4K camera, but for the purposes of coolness, I also used my phone camera which has a slo-mo function. So this is how it plays at 8X reduction. It also makes the “pop” sound much cooler.



The high-rez version will be keyed, of course. And I suppose I should mention that keyed full-rez stills will be added to the “Bob’s Bundle” as soon as they’re available. Just in case you know an artist who’d be interested.

So that’s what I do for the comic. Oh, and write it, too, but who wants to watch a writer?

-Bob out