Meanwhile… who is staking out the outside of the Institute?

Colors of course provided by the most lovable old fart that I know, Byron Wilkins, who had far more patience with that foliage than I would have shown. (and who also saved my butt with that car- apparently I made the wheel too small and he pointed it out! Teamwork!)

WARNING! I will now be gushing about my new Cintiq! If you do not want to read about it, don’t continue on! If you do, well, keep on reading!

I spent all morning and early afternoon perched like a gargoyle on my couch, front window open, looking out every time I heard a noise to see if it was the FedEx truck. Finally, around 12:30 or so I think, the truck pulled up. I leaned almost out the window (I would have been outside on the front steps had it not been raining) and watched for a moment, then saw the delivery driver bring a Wacom box to the front.

ZOOM! I ran down the stairs and met the driver at the door. He put the box down and had me sign for it, and I lugged that 27 pound sucker up the steps to my second-floor apartment. I may have cackled on the way up the steps, I don’t remember.

I unboxed it (I made a video of that, it’s on my YouTube channel) and got it set on my desk. Then I started to hook it up to my computer. This was when I discovered a flaw- the cord for the Cintiq is DVI, and the back of my tower has VGA and HDMI connections. Okay, just need to go buy an adapter, no biggie.

FIVE STORES LATER– I finally have a DVI to HDMI adapter that I bought from the Radio Shack a mile down the road (after running all over the rest of creation looking for an adapter that would work, of course. That will teach me not to call around first). I get home about 7 p.m. because in the middle of the adapter search I had to go to my volunteer job at the horse barn for a few hours. Finally get the Cintiq hooked up and powered on. Driver installs. Time to play!

I’m still getting used to it. For one thing, this is a MONSTER monitor. Actually having Chrome full-screen when I’m just surfing the web is weird because there’s so much space. I saw stuff on my WordPress dashboard when I logged in to upload this page and write this post that I have never seen before because they were off to the right and I never scrolled that way. BUT all that real estate is great for me when I’m drawing because I tend to like to make big lines and big movements. Plus it means that I can work on more without having to pan around, and I can have more room for reference images and such. I LOVE how big the screen is and it looks great.

I can definitely tell the difference between using a Wacom product and using a non-Wacom one. I’d forgotten how nice the Wacom stylus feels in the hand, the eraser end is the best thing ever (something I sorely missed on my Yiynova), and the pressure sensitivity is to die for as always. I always had a problem with my Yiynova pen where I would hit the side switch all the time and it would drive me insane so I ended up disabling the switch entirely in the driver settings. Haven’t had that problem at all with the Cintiq. In fact the only time I have used the side switch is when I actually intend to. The pen stand cup that comes with the nicer Wacom products is also something I sorely missed. The Yiynova pen holder was on the back of the monitor- great for if you don’t want to use the pen for awhile but crap for if you just wanted to put the pen someplace for a second to answer an email. I’d end up putting the pen between my lips or on my desk. And of course it would roll off my desk. Actually once it did that, hit the floor, and cracked the top part of the pen.

I’m still getting used to having the shortcut buttons on the monitor. Actually I just got them how I *think* I want them set up for in Manga Studio. I’ll probably tweak as I use it and figure out what I actually need where, but that’s easy enough. I have to get used to the touch strips on the back, too. Earlier today I was working on something and made my inking pen like 1700 pixels wide or something insane like that. Also earlier today the zoom option on the touchstrip didn’t seem to want to work in Manga Studio, but now it’s working just fine.

So basically, I’m SO FREAKIN’ HAPPY that I own this thing. And I cannot thank those who helped me get it enough. It was a serious team effort, between family, friends, readers, and myself to make this happen and I will never forget it. I have wanted to own this tablet for about… 5 years now? I still can hardly believe that it’s actually real and sitting on my desk. On Wednesday I started to have paranoid thoughts like maybe the box would get here and I’d open it to find 27 pounds of rocks or something horrible. I actually had a nightmare Tuesday night that it arrived and we hooked it up and the picture was fuzzy and horrible and needed the tracking adjusted- like on an old VHS player!

A huge, HUGE, THANK YOU to everyone who made this dream a reality- whether through donating on GoFundMe or through PayPal, or buying items from me off of eBay, or buying the Mastering Manga Studio book and thusly contributing to my first royalty payment that actually made the final push for this. I would not have been able to do this without all of that help and I’m so very thankful, from the bottom of my heart. I know it’s cheesy and weird to say, but I love everyone who comes to this site, who reads and looks at what I create, and who takes a little time out of their day to spend it in my little world with my characters. I hope that you’ll come back again and again, and that I can just keep improving your experience here and keep making a story that is entertaining to those who love it. Yes, it was hard to sell off some of the stuff I got rid of to get this tablet, but telling stories and making art is one of the most important things in my life (along with my family, and my horse) and I would rather be able to create and connect with all of you than have “things” that really don’t serve my goals for life.

Okay I’m seriously done now with the mush. I’m going to leave off with some pictures of the tablet. Have a great weekend, Mecha-heads!