The Mix: Merry Chrissy Update, iPhone 6 #bendgate BS and first impressions, Frozen takeover of the Maelstrom

Here are some updates and random thoughts of mine of various subjects.

As you might have noticed, I combined both the "Making Art Happen" and personal blog into one big party. I didn't feel there was a need to have them separate. I want people to see all of my content and spreading them out is kind of a weak ideal. Plus Squarespace only allows 20 pages on the cheapest plan. A new blog is a considered a new page. For future expansion, that would matter, but right now I'm not even half way from hitting that limit.

Merry Chrissy Update

Things are still moving along. I'm doing the last 5 chapters of illustrations. The novel is currently in the process of being edited. Right now, I can't have a concrete timeframe of when this book will come out. At least on the drawing side, the light at the end of the tunnel grows in intensity. Launch eBook platforms include Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble Nook and Kobo. I did a format test for Kindle and it came out quite swimmingly. Still a lot of work to do.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus, including the #bendgate BS

In the past week or so, mainstream media has focused on a particular video of a guy bending an iPhone 6 plus. I'm not going to link it since I'm sure he got all the page views needed to make it "viral". A lot of people think the source of this came from this video, but actually originated from the MacRumors forums. Ever since then, average joes are being told by the Todays and the GMAs of the world that the iPhone 6 plus can bend, therefore leading to conclude they should never consider buying it. Apparently, Apple isn't buying it. The Cupertino, CA based company managed to reveal a private testing facility to members of the press and reported only 9 cases of this happening through support channels. Of course, it didn't stop runner-up manufacturers Samsung and LG to tweet about this issue since they love talking about their competitor more than their actual product. In return, the Mac Rumor/Tech blogs pick up on it since it brings them page views for their sites, based on the number of comments I see pile up. 

You know what? Let them have their fun! You know why? It makes them feel superior which in reality they have to run their mouth as if they're worthy to garner attention. I refer to a tweet that Samsung did for their "Galaxy Note Edge" in which they take a cheap shot against Apple, with the term, "Curved. Not Bent." According to Samsung themselves, this product that they talk such a big game about is considered a "Limited Concept". a.k.a. it will likely not go for sale outside of South Korea and will be very limited. LG made a similar jab to the Plus with it's bendable display "LG Flex G" that is also a considered a high concept product that originally retailed for around $1000, before prices were cut due to presumedly slow sales. Oh yeah, this phone did have issues with bumps appearing in the curved display which I'm sure that unbox guy didn't showcase. In other words, you're not going to see people line up for hours for the Galaxy Note Edge anytime soon. Based on my observation, I really don't see this "bendgate" issue affecting Apple; just shades of "Antennagate" all over again. My local Apple Store I went to the other day to purchase AppleCare are continually getting people asking about the stock of the Plus, which at the time of this writing is sold out as is the case throughout the Tri-State area. The press will pick up on any perceived flaw that Apple has, no matter if it holds any weight or not. Getting clicks and views is all they care about these days, not getting the story right. For that person who posted that bend video, you just lost a long time subscriber. 

As for my opinions on the 6 and 6 plus? I can see people be very divisive on this subject. If you're fine with using a big phone regardless of hand size, get the Plus. If (small) size matters, get the 6. I just got my 6 plus in the mail a few days ago and this device is incredible for reading and videos. Watching video on it is a fantastic experience with it's 1080p screen. One handed tasks like music, texting and picture taking will be a challenge. Once the developers get used to making apps for this screen, the experience will be better. The 5/s apps look fine, but much larger, especially with keyboards.

I'm in awe at how massive this device is. I can hold it with one hand with no issue, but it feels weighty. With some tasks, I feel compelled to go-two handed since I don't want to drop the phone. Since I don't shop at Express Men for my jeans, it goes fine with my non-designer jeans. My jean pockets are big enough to carry a 3DS, though it's very awkward for me to walk with it.

Phone sizing issues aside, I'm really digging out Touch ID and all of the features in the camera. I normally don't leave security on, but this time I do.

Maelstrom fans need to "Let it Go".

In September, The Maelstrom, a ride in the Norway pavilion at Epcot is closing for good. October 5th will be the final nail on the coffin for this sparsely attended attraction to make way for a "Frozen" attraction. The 2013 movie, which made little girls all over the country discover a special song that can bring a parent down to their knees (and wallets) will move in early 2016. What happens when people suddenly hear about this? They get MAD. Really MAD. On social media, the #saveMaelstrom movement began. Suddenly in the eyes of these dedicated Disney Park fans, it's now a beloved attraction all of a sudden. How DARE they remove a poorly attended attraction and add in characters from a movie that has earned a 1.2 BILLION worldwide at the box office. How DARE they remove an attraction when the country of Norway stopped paying for the upkeep of the pavillion years ago while Anna and Elsa drew FIVE HOUR waits in that pavillion at the start of it's meteoric climb? Yeah, I'm totally sure replying to Guest Services will change their tune, like they did for Mr. Toad, Horizons and Snow White. 

Actually no.

Change happens. Disney Theme Parks are massive money makers and quite costly to maintain. Disney World is a vacation resort, not a museum for attractions that only get long lines during holidays. Let it go. Let it go. The wrecking ball isn't holding back anymore.


The Mix: Connecitcon report, Merry Chrissy updates and more

In between preparing for conventions and work on my first Children's book novel still in progress, I'm a busy guy lately. Here are some current updates.

Connecticon 2014

My Artists Coloy Booth at Connecticon

My Artists Coloy Booth at Connecticon

I would consider Connecticon a good experience for the most part Artist Alley wise. The only problems I had was finding the loading dock. The instructions given on the Convention Center website was really poor. Took me about 3 tries and I got in. After that, it was no problem. When coming to my booth, there was no cloth on the table. For future events, I may have to invest in such a thing.

The majority of my sales were from my prints. The most popular print was the "Mane 6", followed by...Dipper Pines (which surprised me) Anna, Elsa and Ralph and Vanellope was tied for 3rd. Next year, I may bring smaller prints or buttons. I'm on the fence if I should invest in a button puncher or not. I probably need to work on the display a bit more. The cubes aren't cutting it.

Would I come back next year? Likely yes (since I had to shell out a $250 tax license. Thanks Connecticut!), but it's too far out to be certain. I love my personal projects, but the majority of the attention the crowd gathered towards my fanart. It's a hard fact to deal as a creative. The clientele of Connecticon is mostly the geek crowd (a.k.a. the teenage/college crowd), so I'm sorry I didn't provide you anything Homestuck or Pokemon. That's not my thing.

My booth mates were interesting. One was a guy who sold pop culture/geek "propaganda" posters and on the other side was a 6-year old girl with her mother selling her own Pokemon / Pony art. I found out that they were related to the owner of Level-Up Studios, that sells many geek/video game/internet culture shirts (which I own a few). As they say, this is a "Massive, Multi-Genre Convention." Better words would be a massive all you can nerd convention.

Because I had to be behind my table, I didn't get much of a chance to venture around the city or do many panels, but I mostly did a few after AC closed.

Merry Chrissy update

Last night, I finished the 4th revision of "Merry Chrissy and the Naughty or Nice Truth". Previous revisions were done entirely on my Mac, but this time I had the Proof printed out. Leafing through an actual, printed copy of the book made editing the book a lot easier. Largely, this edit was for style and proofreading issues. I feel I can't add anything else to the book, so no new characters or major scenes will be added. I may get some beta readers and its on to an editor. I'm firm with the release date of "later this year" right now. That means, definitely Holiday Season 2014. After all, it's a book related to Christmas and releasing a book about that in January wouldn't make sense.

Illustrations are behind. I know I need to pick up the pace on this. About a 3rd of the work is done. I may have to burn the midnight oil to make this happen. I HATE procrastination intensely. I'm the guy that shops early for Christmas presents and makes vacation plans as early as possible.

I'm planning to make this book possibly a 3-book series. I have some ideas for where the series may head that I need to write down. It's too far to think down the road, but this is for the long term.

Air Stylus mini review

This is $20 I may never get back. I can't see anyone using this app to draw compentely. For those not in the know, it is an app for iPad that works with your computer that makes it a poor man's Cintiq. You use a Bluetooth Stylus like the Adonit Jot Touch 4 to draw and your iPad to draw on your Mac. In a perfect world, this would be a great tool to use, but the lag makes it totally unbearable. It is reliable on Bluetooth and a wireless connection to the Internet. I'm still holding in for any updates, but so far, this app has not impressed me. You're better off using an actual drawing tablet or better yet, using Procreate for iPad with your stylus.

Speaking of Procreate, version 2.1 dropped this week. I haven't gone through it much, but I hope it adds support for the new Adonit Pixelpoint stylus. I'm holding out until they fix the issues with the SDK.

That's it for now. I have to get to work.