Well, I’ve sure been a stranger, haven’t I? I was hit by the biggest distraction like an invisible brick wall that I didn’t plan for. My wonderful, supportive partner in crime just graduated from the Capilano Commercial Animation Program last week. Being the good girlfriend (or I try to be), I was with him from the time I got off of work until early in the morning helping with his grad show preparations. For almost 2 weeks. It was tough, to say the least.
Now, however, I’m back on schedule. I will have a new page to update late tonight/early tomorrow morning for our regular Tuesday update. I’m also extremely happy to announce that the first volume of Even in Arcadia is in print. The first printing is only 50 books and I’m already halfway out, so if you’d like one I’d suggest sooner rather than later :)
There is also a Limited Sketch Edition available, but those are going extremely fast. I’ve been live updating my sketches to my tumblr. I’ve really enjoyed doing the sketches, I feel like it’s a way to get acquainted with my characters again.
Lastly, I will be at VanCAF at the end of May hanging out with cool comic people like Sam Logan, Jeph Jacques and Christopher Hastings. If you’re in the Vancouver area, or can make it here, I suggest you come for this show. It’s free to attend and it’s going to be AMAZING. I’m also happy to show some people around for the weekend.
I’m doing the Nanowrimo challenge this month (because I’m a crazy person) mostly because I’ve had this idea for a great comic and wanted to incentive to get it written. It’s very different from Even in Arcadia in that it’s not speculative fiction at all. The script is about University students, one of which who has a passion for being a professional Starcraft 2 player.
Each week I thought I would post my writing to see what people think. I would really like some serious feedback, but not on the prose. Let me explain what I mean: because this is going to be a comic, the quality of the prose is irrelevant, I’m looking more for feedback on the characters, scenes, dialogue and general feel of the story. I’m not writing it as a traditional comic script, so the final comic may differ quite a bit from what I’m writing now.
On Saturday nights I’ll make a new update. I’m posting to my blog across three sites (Epidigm.net, the Atheneum and the Even in Arcadia mainpage), but I will see the comments no matter where you make them. The post on the Atheneum will be open for the public, so you don’t have to worry about donating.
The working title for the story is Don’t Rush It. I may or may not change this in the future!
I like to think in the shower, and today my mind was furiously thinking about knowledge and consumer behaviour. In particular I was thinking about how certain things that I have learned have changed my buying habits…
One thing that significantly changed how I buy things is when I visited several factories on tour in Guangdong. If you don’t know, Guangdong is the powerhouse province for a large slice of the Chinese manufacturing pie, and it is the place where it all started. Shenzhen was the first special economic zone in the 1980s
Now I know when most Westerners hear about the factory conditions in developing nations they either try to pretend they didn’t hear, or go all activist on that biz. Actually visiting the factories gave me a different perspective – the bad working conditions are something that westerners have no control over, and no matter how “ethical” a business calls itself, at some point it has to do business with one of these factories, be it in parts, equipments, publishing, etc.
I visited 4 factories on a tour with a company that was offering free vaccinations and testing to the workers. The factory owners weren’t expecting to give tours, so I was offered a raw experience as the only foreigner in a small delegation of Chinese businessmen and women. The worst, by far, was the electronics factories. They were poorly run, dangerous and staffed with the youngest workers. This made sense, in a way, because electronics is a booming industry, so these factories pop up overnight. No time to make sure that everything is safe, standardized, etc.
The best was the paper and printing factories. The staff was better trained, the materials less hazardous and the building better maintained. Printing is an older industry that requires a lot more work to make a good profit, so there are less of them, but they are better maintained.
So how did this tour effect my purchasing? For one, I will not buy cheap electronic equipment. I want my electronics to last a minimum 5 years, and am willing to write angry, vitriolic emails to company CEOs if they don’t. I also prefer second hand electronic equipment, or trying to fix broken equipment over buying new stuff.
I’m also thinking of ditching my iPhone. The factories that make them are no better or worse than other smart phones, but Apple seems to want to make software for only their best phones, making my 3GS almost useless after only two years. The hardware is still in good shape, but it can’t function with the software. I don’t want to be sending my phone to the graveyard after only 2 years just because of a software issue, especially considering iPhone factories are notorious for putting up suicide nets around their buildings to stop workers from jumping due to poor working conditions. Apple can either deal with the software issue or I get another phone. It’s as simple as that.
So, what knowledge has changed your buying habits over the years?