23 March 2013

FWS News From the Front: Incoming Comics and other things...

I worked late Friday at my hospital job, when my wife called me saying I had box from Lone Star Comics, and Saturday morning, after some pancakes for the family, I was smiling ear-to-ear by all of the comic-MSF-goodness that was spread on my kitchen table! FWS has a budget, all be it a small one, for acquisitions, and I spend this month's cash was spent on MSF comics that will be appearing on FWS in the coming months.
In about a month, FWS will have its first interview with the creators of HEARTBREAKERS and BOILERPLATE, Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett! We will talking all about HEARTBREAKERS, one of the first MSF comics with well done female soldiers and one my favorite Dark Horse Presents stories! I'm uber excited about this opportunity that these two great creators have given to FWS! Hopefully, NBM publishing, that printed The Forever War graphic novels, will be grant our request, and become our second interview. There is an new series of blogpost on FWS that will be premiering later next month, the Forgotten Weapons series. This will cover real-steel weapons that have disappeared from the collect conciseness. I got the idea while attempting to reformat and reedit my old SR-47 assault rifle blogpost, and decided that I wanted to write more like this. If you've got a Forgotten Weapon you would like to see on FWS...send it to me!
Also, some of you may have noticed some changes to the layout of FWS. I've started a random MSF image that will be updated frequently, and there is a link to Benjamin Curtis hospital fund. Ben's band, SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS, is my favorite band, and has been a wonderful element in my life since 2009. When I heard the news that Ben (a fellow Oklahoman and inspiration for my new haircut) was battled cancer, it broke my heart, and that link is just my small attempting to repay all of the light and love they've given me over the years. If you've never heard SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS music, then prepared to be amazed.
And those that are interested in the FWS T-Shirt endeavor, than I'm disappointed to report that the effort is going slowly. I've been turned down by one of my two artists, and still waiting to hear from the second. If that fails, then I'm going to post up an open request for an artist.
One of my current favorite SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS songs that they performed at the Dr.Marten's Store in Union Square in January, 'Low Times'  ENJOY!
Okay...back to reading comics and playing some BLACK OPS: II!



  1. Christopher PhoenixMarch 25, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Man, a first interview for FWS? Nice, congratulations William!! :-) Looking forward to that, and the "forgotten weapons" blogposts too.

    Hmm, I would like to see a discussion of the Nazi's StG 44, considered to be the first modern assault rifle- I don't know if this has been "forgotten", but I don't see many people other than military historians mentioning it. You can just glance through the list of assault rifles at Wikipedia to find references to many rifles that aren't too well known, lotsa obscure guns out there...

    On the FWS T-shirt endeavor... it may be difficult to get an artist for the T-shirt as a favor. Artists have to eat, and all the time and effort they put into their work is valuable. Good artists can't allocate time to a project for zero budget.

    You probably should consider commissioning someone for the T-shirt. Maybe you should push back the schedule to give time to save up FWS pocket-money for the purpose. But, it is a great opportunity for FWS to help support one of the really good SF artists out there!! Many of them support themselves through their work. They can't keep doing that if no one commissions them for epic MSF artwork.

    There some guys one DA who do commissions of this sort, you know Shimmering-Sword, but have you checked out Torvenius and BrotherOstavia on DA? They have some really cool artwork, and do commissions.

    Torvenius does a lot of darker images with cool warriors and SF stuff- just check out the hundreds of SF guns he's designed. :P Torvenius is open for commissioned payed freelance work, he's up for anything that isn't video game related- logos, book covers, illustration, concept art, etc. Given the number of SF guns he has painted, he'd probably come up with a cool design for your astronaut's phased plasma rifle.


    BrotherOstavia has some cool mechs and spaceships and SF characters at his gallery. Apparently he does commissions, he shows some cool ships and stuff he did as commissioned work. He does a lot of SF soldiers.


    If you decide to go the commission route, be sure to save up some FWS pocket-money first- you'll probably have to have be ready to allocate $80 budget money for the commission at the very least. I don't know how much an image for a T-shirt will cost you, it depends on how refined it needs to be- as an example, Shimmering-Sword runs to $240+ for a refined large painting. This is not fixed, though, it will depend on what an artist quotes based on how complex they feel the project is. And different artists will have different prices.

    I feel this is the best way to reliably get an epic image for the FWS T-shirt, though. A paid professional working with a contract is reliable and safer for both parties. The artist knows he/she will be paid, and you know you will get an epic MSF image for your T-shirt project. On the downside, you may have to forgo coffee and save up pennies, but if you feel it is work it...

  2. Christopher PhoenixMarch 26, 2013 at 4:40 AM

    Well, I just asked Shimmering-Sword what he would charge for a T-shirt image, and he tells me an image for a t-shirt needs to be cell shaded- which is not his specialty. And, that his usual color commission is $160, but it gets unpredictable with a different technique like that. I don't know about the others I mentioned, I haven't asked Torvenius whether he can do t-shirts but he mostly does painting, not cell shading.

    Shimmy says you just gotta search DA for SF artists, people with a more graphic style. And, keep in mind that cafe presses have a color limit (but the less colors are involved the less expensive the artwork will be). Shimmy also said to tell you to find out the requirements of the print type you want for the T-shirt before you commission any art, three of his mech designs were for T-shirts but the commissioners didn't plan it out before and now the art is rather useless for that. They did a run of shirts and they came back cell shaded, which looks really bad when you were expecting full shading.

    T-shirt art is more complicated than I thought. You'll have to find an artist who does cell-shading and find out the requirements of the printer you plan to use beforehand, so you can plan out the artwork- but, on the plus side, the less colors you use the less it will cost. :P

  3. Thanks very much, Mr. Phoenix for reaching out to Shimmy...damn, he does great mother frakking art! I'll add those artists to my normal trolling on deviantart! Frak! Those demon Samurai are very cool. He might be a good match for the type of design.Thanks for all the other research. Given the simpler design that I've been working on, it should cost around $80-$100 given your research.
    I would like the FWS t-shirt to be led up by an art piece I've penciled out, for a poster or even a new background for the ole blog. I've been tooling around with a motto for another t-shirt design that features a ray gun, a space battlecruiser, and a soldier in powered armor and is listed out something like this:
    raygun+space battleship+APS=FWS...just a thought

  4. I added the STG44 on the Forgotten Weapons list...while the STG44 is much more well known thanks to some of the WWII-era COD games, but the history of the gun is not. This also includes the weapons of the 3rd Reich that led up to the STG44 and the weapons that came after. I did a fair amount of research on the STG44 in 2009 for my AK47 global impact research paper, so you can expert a massive article.

  5. Good luck on the shirt. Those are some reallly talented artists that Mr Phoenix recommended. To be honest, $100 to $250 doesn't sound too bad for a piece from a talented artists. At that rate, I'd make like $5 an hour considering how slow I am lol. Lookisng forward to seeing those comics. I have a few MSF comic reviews in the works :).

  6. Christopher PhoenixMarch 28, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    Yeah, Torvenius does some really badass artwork. I've seen some pretty cool spaceships and alien planets and stuff in his daily speedpaintings. I watch his stuff on DA. XD

    Well, fully rendered artwork will work just fine for a poster or new background for FWS, all you'll have to be sure of is that the artwork is saved in file formats suitable for printing or display on the web or whatever. The artists I mentioned can definitely do that kind of thing. It is the T-shirt artwork that needs to be done in a more graphic "hand-drawn Disney animation" style. I wonder if this would be a job for Adobe Illustrator rather than Photoshop, vector graphics usually have a more "cel shaded" Disney look. I don't really know anything about designing T-shirts, though, so I can't really say :I

    A new background for FWS would be pretty cool, actually!! Have you actually penciled a sketch of the sort of thing you had in mind?

    Do you have a link to your AK-47 global impact paper? Sounds interesting. I liked the story behind the StG 44, Hitler forbade his generals from continuing development of a light automatic weapon 'cause he didn't think the soldiers needed anything more than the bolt-action rifle he had used in WWI. But, they went ahead with developing the StG 44 behind the Fuhrer's back anyway. And, when Hitler was reviewing the troops, he asked them what supplies they felt they needed most, and they yelled back, "More of these little automatic rifles!!"

    At which point Hitler turned and asked, "Didn't I tell you guys not to make those guns?" Which put the generals in a tight spot, having disobeyed direct orders from the Fuhrer- but they managed to convince him of the StG 44's utility in the battlefields the German troops were facing. So, he accepted the weapon and named it the Sturmgewher 44 (Storm-rifle).

    The AK-47 has an interesting history too, Kalashnikov decided the Fatherland needed a light automatic rifle after seeing wounded soldiers slaughtered by Germans with automatic weapons spraying the vehicle they were being transported in. I've often wondered which exact weapons the Germans were using that day.

    I was wondering, in the whole AK-47 vs. AR-15 debate, which do you prefer? Just in terms of personal preference, the debate is of course endless for the proponents of either system. After seeing these videos, I came to doubt the argument that the AR-15 is so much less reliable than the AK. Buried in dirt with dust cover opened, have several mags run through it, buried in dirt some more, fired some more, still functions, and then buried in dirt and RUN OVER WITH A CAR, they did dig it up and it still cycles??? The AR can't be that unreliable after all. Or maybe the CAV-15 receiver is the uber-reciever, haha.


  7. AK-47 vs M16/M4...hmmm...Well, I've fired both, and I have mixed emotions. While the M4 is a sweet machine, it is flawed for desert/jungle warfare, but it feels better in the hand than the AKs. I use an CAR-15-like paintball gun instead of an AK, if that tells you anything. If I was going to combat or was buying an assault rifle for the house, and it was my choice if I was going to war, than AK. The AK is just more a warfighter's weapon, it works under all conditions, and there is fucking ammo everywhere, and the AK74 with the 5.45x39mm round is even better than the 47's 7.62x39mm. If I could get my hands on it, than my weapon-of-choice (queue up the Fatboy Slim!) would be the dead-sexy AKS-74U. I've actually held a real-steel, fully-auto, and it was like a pornstar!