Monday, October 15, 2012

Affordable Tablet Pc's?!

Hey all! So, there's been some interest in the nifty little tablet pc's a few of us have been getting our hands on, so I thought I'd make a post about the where's and how's in case you want to snag one for yourself.



They're made by a company called 'Motion Computing' and while they cost just as much as a new laptop, you find them re-furbished for dirt cheap. they get used a lot by businesses, so they usually come out in pretty decent condition, and the few nicks you might have are nothing for a computer marked down from around a thousand to a hundred or less!

What makes em' really dandy is that, not only are they tablet pc's, but Wacom made the screens and pens. Yup, ever wanted that cintique? Well here it is in laptop form for several hundred bucks cheaper. Now they are Pc's, so you Mac natives may be a bit apprehensive, but anyone who wants to take em' for a spin, we've got three blackhatters already who have one, so feel free to pester us at the meets, we all respond well to bribes.

 If you feel like taking the plunge, here are a few links:

The 8 inch model at deals.epcusa.com
And the 12 inch model at gainsaver

 Personally, 'd say go for the 12 inch. the 8 inch is dandy, but I had one come with a broken pen, and that was 30$ to replace, so I didn't save that much in the end. plus, the 12 inch comes with windows already installed (though the savvy user might consider re-installing with a slimmed down version of win xp tablet edition...just sayin'...)

So the 8 inch for about 60 bucks, and the 12 at 100 to 150... pretty awesome if you ask me... and yes, Photoshop works beautifully, and more importantly, so does paint tool sai! So go chek em' out, trust me, you won't be disappointed.

 /out!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Black Hatter books now available for sale!

Is there empty space on your bookshelves waiting to be filled? Do you find yourself thinking, "I need more awesome things in my life, but what?" Are you a fan of supporting indie artists? Well then, you'll be excited to learn that a few of us Black Hatters have published books recently! 



Cordyceps Tickles Volume 1 collects the first 99 pages of an autobio comic about the nerdy, gender-funky ex-shut-in we know as Gerbil. Honest, delightfully weird, and frequently laugh out loud funny, Cordyceps Tickles is one of the best things this collective's peer pressuring has wrought. The ongoing webcomic can be found at itsinyourheadnow.com


Godseeker Volume 1: Shadow Puppet Pantheon is the first book of Lee and Lisa's excellent prehistoric adventure comic, Godseeker, which follows a renegade fertility goddess and the human who summoned her on their quest to overthrow the pantheon and save mankind. With gorgeous art and an epic story that never forgets the humanity at its center, Godseeker is a comic you'll be picking up to read again and again. You can also read it online at godseekercomic.com


Unicorns Are Jerks: a coloring book exposing the cold, hard, sparkly truth (by me) isn't a comic, but it does have 18 pages of unicorns texting in theaters, farting in elevators, eating your leftovers, and generally acting like jerks under the guise of being all pure and magical. Appropriate for all ages, Unicorns Are Jerks teaches a valuable lesson about not making the people around you want to smack you.

Have you heard about this little pile of wonderfulness? Smut Peddler, a lady-created, Kickstarter-funded porno comic anthology, is now available for purchase in both PDF and dead tree format! On top of being sexy, hilarious, and all-around fantastic, it accidentally turned out to be one of the most diverse comic anthologies many reviewers had seen in years. "Thistlebed," a short comic about a thistle nymph looking for love that was written by Abby, drawn by Lee, and inked by me, has been called "so sweet it could crack my teeth." (All those satyr penises were totally worth it. Boy is THAT a sentence you don't get to type every day.)

And as ever, we've got more projects in the works. Stay tuned, we'll have more awesome stuff for you to look at soon!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Night at the Opera: Nabucco

It's that time of year again!  For a review of the season opener of the Minnesota Opera, Nabucco, check it out on my art blog over here.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Jenny Everywhere: The Open Source Character

A version of Jenny as designed by Diana Nock.
Have you heard of Jenny Everywhere, aka "The Shifter"?

In 2001, a group of artists got together to specifically design a character that could be used by anyone, with license or royalty fees. A truly open-source character.

Jenny Everywhere has been described both as existing in every reality and being able to shift between realities. This gives the character the ability to be inserted into the continuity of any existing or new work, such as various comics, fiction, or even live action.

Though the character of Jenny Everywhere is vague enough to allow for many different interpretations, there are a few things that define who she is. Do all these signifiers need to be represented? Absolutely not. But the fewer that you use, the less likely that your character will be recognized as Jenny Everywhere.

She has short, dark hair. She usually wears aviation goggles on top of her head and a scarf around her neck. Otherwise, she dresses in comfortable clothes. She is average size and has a good body image. She has loads of confidence and charisma. She appears to be Asian or Native American. She has a ready smile.

There have been hundreds of interpretations of the character, in many styles. You can read almost all available materials of and about her and her adventures at The Shifter Archive.

You can also create your own Jenny Everywhere character or story if:

The character of Jenny Everywhere is available for use by anyone, with only one condition. This paragraph must be included in any publication involving Jenny Everywhere, in order that others may use this property as they wish. All rights reversed.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Giver

An all new blog post about the children's opera production of The Giver, available here on my blog!

-Maria

Night at the Opera: Madame Butterfly Part #2

Now available over here at my blog!

-Maria

Monday, May 7, 2012

THIS WEEK. (this. week.) AT THE GERBILDOME. (gerbildome. gerbildome)

GET READY FOR FIVE! (five!) WHOLE! (wow!) DAYS of BONE CRUNCHING OPERA ACTIONTAINMENT

ba-dow ba-dow VROOOM

monster truck noises

FIVE DAYS.

FIVE COMIC STRIP PAGES.

MADAME. BUTTERFLY.

BE THERE.


* Actual opera comics may not resemble wrestling event as described. Side effects may vary.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Night at the Opera: Madame Butterfly

I've started my Madame Butterfly post over here:
Gypsy-Maria's Art Blog
More pictures to come!

Monday, April 16, 2012

This time On Time, Abby's Madame Butterfly post!


Madame Butterfly was a lot easier for me to draw because I didn't have to spend a lot of time picking apart the costumes, they were all really traditional Japanese, stuff that I'm familiar with and know how to draw. So I was excited to draw this. To Teri's consternation, I sassed the conductor, telling him I was worried the play would be racist. He said no it wasn't and I sassed him some more, saying I'd draw a comic if it was.... and it turns out it wasn't! There was nothing for me to draw a comic of.

He was right, Puccini clearly did a lot of research, his treatment of Japanese culture and culture clash is respectful of both sides. He used Japanese music, even some songs that are still familiar to the ear to this day. There are even some Japanese words in the opera that I managed to pick out! It's pretty amazing.

On the more current side of things, The set designers and costume designers also did an amazing job of indicating character thru clothing. It's a great and beautiful opera that is amazingly put together through the Minnesota Opera. Even if you can't afford a ticket full price, check out the rush line because it's definitely worth it.



This time around I used greyscale markers to draw, trying to capture the symbolism and clothing designs inherent in a lot of the visuals. The images at the top were the ones I am the most proud of, the first being an illustration of what Cio-Cio san would look like at her true age of 15, the second being my last drawing of a butterfly flying out of her empty wedding dress.

I've seen a lot of tragedies here, I'd like to see some comedies sometime.... Maybe next year.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The latest of the late: Abby's Lucia De Lammermoor Writeup



Lucia De Lammermoor was an opera I was only familiar with through The Fifth Element, where an alien Diva sings Lucia's last solo and then moves into a weird futuristic beatbox version.

Knowing the words that she was singing made things a lot more interesting! The Minnesota Opera production was incredibly well-choreographed and the set design was amazing. The use of light and shadow, and especially color made the show amazing to see.

My favorite scene was of course Lucia's "Mad Scene" which was the song sung in Fifth Element. Lucia is singing about her beloved, her clothes covered in blood from murdering the man she was forced to marry. She talks of the bloodstains as if they were roses, and that's what caused me to do my favorite sketch, this last one.

The next Opera is tonight's Madame Butterfly, and I'll upload my sketches in enough time for our readers to decide to buy a ticket and see it this time!!!

---Abby

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Night at the Opera: Werther

My post was super late (Werther isn't even playing anymore, I fail at life), but I finally remembered that I had a webcam so I couldn't use my "crappy old broken scanner" excuse anymore.

Anyway, here it is.


~Gypsy-Maria

Monday, January 23, 2012

A few good comic artist resources

If you draw comics, or just like behind-the-scenes information about comics making, here are a few of my favorite resources lately.

Firstly, This little tutorial on mouths and speaking by E.K. Weaver, of The Not So Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal.

Also this archive of all sorts of production art from animated movies from around the world.

And finally, this mind-bending article about comics page layouts.

More to come,
Lee Blauersouth

Monday, January 2, 2012

Black Hat Collective Member Portraits

We here at Black Hat Collective are often asked by our adoring public for pictures or descriptions of ourselves, so that they can more effectively adore us. Some of them are very persistent, and Marty, the fire marshall says you need to take down the fort. To that end, here are some candid portraits of our membership for your edification and enjoyment.

Lee and Lisa are ponies.

Our fearless leaders, Lisa and Lee Blauersouth, hard at work.











Hobbes Maxwell, in his natural habitat.












Newcomer Kate Saturday, with various tools and instruments of artifice.











Fes Works, keeping his eyes on the prize.

Perceptive readers will have noticed how often candid pictures of Black Hat members show them at work. This is because we never stop working, dear reader, we never cease our striving to bring you the precious gems of imagination.








Gypsy Maria Lorimer, after a grueling day in the imagination mines.








And the Gerbil.

The perceptive reader will also notice that our membership is made up of an unusual proportion of unicorns. This is because comics is magic.












And so, dear readers, you can stop hanging around outside our houses, your little noses fogging our windows. Now you know the truth.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Artist Intro: Tim Tapp

Name: Tim, at least that's what some call me

Current projects: Maggie& Kowala, etc,etc, so on....

Past projects: Yo Mama

Website: Maggieandkowala.com, magicbagotricks.tumblr.com, drprofessort.bogspot.com, levijeans.deviantart.com

Webcomics I read: I dont really keep track of all the sites I read. It's more of a "what ever I can make time for" thing. Try Oh Goodie.net, axecop.com, for starts.

What inspires me to make comics: Everything and everything after that.

Why are you in the BHC: I asked in and I received.

Favorite part of the artistic process: That part that kind of looks like sex, but with Skittles.

Blood type: Sexy Beast Type X

Astrological sign: Batman on the cusp of dark knight