Monday, February 28, 2011

No more words...

This image it's not in the comic but it has been stuck in my head for very long. So I needed to get it out of the system....

It's not that it doesn't happen... but it happens in an ellipse, so when it happens we have moved onto something else.

But it's there so you deserve to know...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

New Lego!

Okay I got a new Lego... and I managed to put it together with my Dad (first time putting his hands on a lego in 72 years! XDD) which never happened in my childhood so I kinda regressed a bit and had a blast.

This time around... how nice... they put numbers on the bags.
Thank God... even though this thing has very little pieces and would not drive you nuts, like the Flagship does...

I have to say that this part cracked me up.
Lol... he is counting the days he's been imprisoned, marking the day of his trial, then keeps on counting! XDD

The work in progress looks very pretty... but it made me wish some things would go into another direction... I wonder if I am ready to buy loose pieces and plan my own structures now...

When I saw that the monkey holding the key and the pirate holding the banana... I started laughing like crazy.
So... it goes like this...
The captain says: hurry, monkey!
The monkey goes: Uh, oh, I don't work for free.
The Pirate goes: you give me the key, I give you a banana!

And that's how he escapes.

In the end this is the final result and also the end of my pirate collection... with the pirate ship being in currently in Italy and, one day, shall be reunited with the rest of this stuff.

I got to buy the fort right on time because it's gone out of production and out of stock. I felt sad because there is no more Pirates... but then I saw on the catalogue that they will have a whole series based on the Pirate of the Caribbean movie (the upcoming one).

I hope they'll make more ships and cool looking forts! *_* And there will also be Jack Sparrow!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Kane in summer color!

There's a lovely sky today, over Singapore... because the days are getting nicer and nicer and summer is about to come back... I was inspired this summer looking illustration of Kane.

Do I love this boy... always looking so carefree and so moody at the same time hahahahahah.
He is going through a process of humanization and, at the same time, he needs to keep his cool. I wonder when and how he will find his balance in life.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Cassata post - curiosities

I can finally answer all the questions about the Cassata!
And you finally get to see the so long awaited reward for bathing once a month.

Pirate have a sweet tooth... I'm an unusual pirate because... I really cannot eat Cassata, it's way too sweet for me and I don't like candied fruit. I have to confess though, that it smells fantastic and looks wonderful. In fact I am very fond of its look and always take plenty of pictures of Cassata cakes when I see them on display.

I enormously disagree with the guy on the American Wikipedia... Caseata has nothing to do with Cassata, besides there are documents dating 1575 who state that the Cassata was one of those delicious treat you should never bypass.
Therefore I will here translate what's written in the Italian Wikipedia... which is closer to what I've learned during my studies too.
The Cassata, the way we know it today, came only to be after many centuries... the main ingredients were introduced little by little by the many dominations that took turns in Sicily: the Arabian had introduced sugar cane, cedar, bitter oranges, tangerine oranges and almonds... (initially the cassata was just a mixture of sweet ricotta cheese and sugar baked in a dry pastry shell); it's during the Norman domination that the pasta martorana was born (what people call marzipan, which is fundamental to glaze the cake) and the cake became cold and was not baked anymore; the Spanish domination introduced the sponge cake and chocolate. The rest of the decoration came with the Baroque.

Well, in my drawing the cassata is not supposed to be already stripy and green... and la zuccata (the beautiful decoration with the candied fruit) was not introduced until the 1873 or so.
But what's the fun of putting a Cassata in a comic if you cannot draw it as pretty as it is? And maybe... who knows... Angela's dad was an innovative pastry chef who inspired the future pastry chefs to create a zuccata and color the cake XDDD

The guys are eating sweets and drinking wine, we'll talk about the wine later when the topic will show up in the comic itself.
Right now we see the first symptoms of Cassandra getting... tipsy.
She is stealing people's food... she is stealing a man's cherry! That sounds wrong, and came out wrong, so... sorry, pun intended, I thought it would be hilarious!

The doctor finally got to bathe in a tub as he desired...
Where would you bathe in old times? Of course, bath houses... which were usually also providing other kinds of services... and where usually built right next to the tavern.
Quite often a tavern would have a first floor with a "restaurant", rooms on the second floor that worked as a "hotel" and then... rooms in the back rented to ladies who could provide extra services. You could also order a bath...

Apparently the game Cassandra is playing is called Red Hands in English.

Wikipedia is kinda confusing but basically you have to hit the hands above yours. Pirates would bet money? Would they play this game?

I am pretty sure Cassandra initiated it... and she was betting cake... then it degenerated.

The Pirate Balthasar - Chapter 11 A

Sorry, sorry I miscalculated the time on the automated posting....
So here it is, a few hours late (to think that was online since last morning sob)....

Enjoy the first pages of chapter 11.

Again for those of you who read in on SmackJeeves, click on the title of the post to start from where you left.

Il Pirata Baldassarre - Capitolo 11A

Aaaah, ho messo male l'orologio e non ha postato in automatico... scusate!
Ecco la prima parte del capitolo 11.
Buona lettura!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lio Cubee

Here's our goddess! Our queen of sex, love and everything around: Lio!

Isn't she a cubee, ehm a cutie? Tehee hee?

On a fine morning...

On a fine morning...

Kane is getting in trouble....

...for bribing somone?

No internet for me yesterday. I wonder what happened... could not connect all night sigh T_T

Monday, February 21, 2011

Calli Cubee

Oh noooo.... she is already so cute... but in cube form... ooooh... she is killing me!

I want to squeeze her and squeeze her sooo much!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Surprise at Jurong Bird Park!

Alright this is totally unrelated but...
Jurong Bird Park, in Singapore, has opened a new area dedicated to penguins... they have puffins and penguins all the way to the King Penguins (no Emperor Penguins).

When I first went there, in september, it was under construction.

My second visit, yesterday, revealed... this!

So cuuute! Okay, it's super fake but the rigging is pretty nifty looking.

Okay, I think it is the smell of brownies, that you smell throughout the park that keeps you in a good mood... but these parks (the bird park, the zoo and the night safari) not only are well kept but they get prettier and prettier by the year.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Kes cubee

Alright guys... finally we start turning the girls into cute little cubes.
We begin we Kes, because I need some yellow today, lol... and she looks grumpy and cute! XDD

As usual, if you put these together, send me a picture of the final result! *_*


Hey mates.
Because yesterday and today are really tough days... I did not have time to upload nor create anything for the blog.
But I managed to draw 8 more pages for the comic in one go - Yes I did! - because it's very important, more important too release... am I right?

So I'll just put a Be Right Back sign on the blog for today too. See you tomorrow :D

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

tic tac chapter 11

Let's see what you can gather from this tic tac attack?
Coming up soon...

Kes is feeling....

Foxy has...

Cat is thinking...

The doctor is...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Song and Dance for Pea.

I wanted to keep this one for later... but my week is such that I have left not time whatsoever to draw... in fact I'm a bit behind in my being ahead.

Do not fear! Releases shall not be postponed!

This is the fifth illustration for our Song and Dance set.
Now for Martin and Pea, the song that comes to mind, when I have to draw their story, is a Rodgers and Hammerstein's song from Cinderella: do I love you because you're wonderful.
It's cheesy and at the same time epic.

Incredibly melodic and catchy. I always thought the lyrics were the cutest thing ever for a story such as Cinderella (the whole musical is simply adorable). The song is perfect and ironic!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Okay... I am very bad with these kinds of things... so I made a cheesy wallpaper for Valentine's Day!

It's a wallpaper... oh, I already said that... and it's... for Valentine's Day... ah, I said that too... it's the pirate way too.
So, hey, mh... I gave it a shot ha ha ha. XDDD

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chapter 10 final curiosities

And here's the post we all wait for so anxiously! More than the release, more than games and contests, more than naked pirates.... *_* we want... Deda's blabbering about all the silly stuff she puts in her comic!
Hooray! Banners show up from the left and from the right and a marching band opens the post....

Alright alright! Then I shall not keep you waiting.

I spoke about human branding a lot in previous posts so by now we know that there were mainly two reasons why men would be branded: if they were criminals and if they were slaves. Foxy belongs to the first category and Cat to the second one. We're all clear on this è_é, yes, let's pass onto the next topic.

Cassiopea receives her pay according to contract and she feels pretty good about the fact she gets to spend her own money, although she cannot quite give the name "gratification" to her feelings.

But Castalia receives a pay too even though it looks like she does nothing on board. Truth is the contract is something Kane signed to keep Pea happy and off his neck... but no matter what their duties on board are (it's not like Cassandra is a genius at washing undies and the girls cause troubles more than once) they would still get their allowance. So it's not a pay... it's an allowance. Everybody would get an allowance before they go to shore, which does not equal to the whole amount of money they've "earned" while pillaging and plundering... but to petty money to be used for fun for a couple of days.
So it's not true that pirates would waste their entire fortune on women, gambling and wine (or rum)... well maybe some idiots did. Usually, when pirates would retire (if they managed to reach retirement), they would retire filthy rich.

Nevertheless because she thinks she earned her money, Pea feels good about herself.

A 13 strings lute came into fashion around the year our story is set.
Pea likes music, being and accomplished lady, there are quite a few things she knows how to do... one of which should be play and sing.
It's a girl thing, alright, so she is the girliest of all girls.

Josh is chilling with a Hookah.
Well, back in those days they did not know that tobacco could be harmful and smoking was more of a social habit.
People would smoke shisha from the same hookah and discuss of business and other things.

At times more than one pipe comes out of the big glass container and so people get together smoke just like people would today, in a pub, to talk in front of a beer.

This doesn't mean that Josh is a smoker... I drink a beer or two every couple of months... that does not make me an alcoholist.

This is simply a quite moment, between brothers, chilling and spending time together.

Continuing on this topic... as you can see Callimaco has a hookah in his shop too. The platform he is standing on is usually a place were he and other merchants would sit together and discuss about business while smoking on a nice "Persian rug".

Oh noooo would the smoke affect the fabric?
Well, it might linger... but hookah smells rather sweet. It's kind of weird but at times it can small like some sort of incense.
Nevertheless smoke is just smoke! I am allergic to it, I can't stand the smell of cigarettes... but I wanted to show what social life was like on land.

Of course, money over flowers for this young silk merchant!
He is not a banker... how dare Josh borrow money from him as if he were the Fuggers?

Although I don't think their banks existed anymore... I am pretty sure they were still pretty popular: Fugger... the greatest bankers in the world!

By the way... Pea had gotten in the shop to buy a type of very fresh fabric... that had just come into fashion: muslin. This girl knows her stuff... and this merchant does too because he got what she is looking for!!!

I already made a small post on Turkish coffee... I thought I'd show you what a coffee pot looks like.
It's veeery pretty!

It could be very simple or decorated.
Coffee is another thing that reached Europe through merchants and immigrants. Another element of socialization.
Think about it... even today, if somebody comes and visit you... you offer a coffee.
In some cultures the importance of coffee is bigger than in others. In Italy, for example, it's almost a ritual.. they know their coffee and they cannot do without.

Now imagine... I go visit my relatives in Sicily once every year or so... and every time I go and greet all my great aunties they offer me coffee and I cannot refuse. I usually only drink one coffee per day... when I go around like that... I end up drinking 8 or 9 per day. As a result I can't sleep at night, but you can't just say "no"... it's Coffee.

Looks like Giuseppe is the only blacksmith on the island!
Look at all the things he can do... how do you know?
Well... see the sign next to the door?
It says that he can put horseshoes to your ride, he can pull your teeth (yes, like a dentist), makes swords, pots and metal utensils, sharpens your knifes and... he must be filthy rich!

Limy and Tily.
Apparently there was a sixth one... one who would pair up with Castalia and get very much along with her.
One who would give her a nickname, a cute one, and receive one from her.

We've seen that, to the other sisters, Castalia is just Castalia and they go around in pairs. But Castalia is Tily for Callimaco.
That does not mean that they have a big brother little sister complex. It only means that, at one point in life, Castalia too had somebody she would get along with: her older brother.

Now before he left to do what he had to do, becoming the Pirate Balthasar, he had planted a little seed in Castalia: to be a Pirate Balthasar you need a good blade.
That's why the girl put that one down as her main priority.

We also know why Castalia spoke to Kane so openly and directly when they first met without going "dear sir" and stuff like that. Callimaco and Kane are very similar and send out the same vibes.

The Papadopulos sisters have a different approach and level of relationship with men.
Castalia, even though she put herself almost on equal ground, does not really talk to anybody else but Kane. She is a focused girl.

Pea, on the other hand, even though she talks to everybody she keeps everybody at a distance.

Lio only talks to good looking guys.

Cassandra is everybody's friend.

Callista... everybody talks to her but she only replies to the ones who don't scare her.

Pifo is in Heaven, of course.
See you next time!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Pirate Balthasar - Chapter 10 END

Chapter 10!!! The eeeeend!

Oh hey guys, you know I did not put the link to the Smack Jeeves pages because I added the "Save my place button" there.
Do you still want me to make the title of the post a link?

Il Pirata Baldassarre - Capitolo 10 FINE

Fine del capitolo 10! Buona lettura!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wallpaper chapter 11

The update will be ready in one day or so (tomorrow night)! Are you ready?

In the meantime I give you the wallpaper for the cover of chapter 11.
An adoring Martin puzzles our poor Pea! (I will put it up in the wallpaper page tonight :D)


Pifo Cubee

The cubee everybody was waiting for!

Remember to send me pics if you put them together!
I am curious to see the outcome :D

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Callimaco Pin Up

Here we go. With this guy here we finally finish our set for the men side of the "honey I am going to bed" pin ups.

This is Callimaco and Callimaco will show up in the next update - finally - so be ready to give him a nice, warm, welcome!
He is a nice dude! :D

Four more days to go, mates... get ready to meet the man!

Happy Birthday Mr. Verne!

Google is celebrating Verne's birthday, today, with a logo you can interact with. It takes you 20.000 leagues under the sea with captain Nemo.
As you may know one of our pirate is called Jules and named after the writer. Because his birthday was coming up... Jules and Emilio will show up again at the beginning of chapter 11 with a big cameo.

Impossible n'est pas français, monsieur Verne!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Foxy cubee

I am not done yet with these cubee thingies...
Tonight I have Foxy ready for you!

So get your printer ready, scissors and x-acto knife (or any utility knife) and get your crafting ability going!

It's paper time!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Wes Cubee

Alright we continue our cavalcade of toys with the second most voted man on the list: the doctor. Oh, doctoV!

You look so... angular! XDD

If you are putting these together, please send me pictures of the final result *_* I want to see what they look like too :D

Artbook sneak peek.

Today I want to show you a sneak peek at the artbook.
This file will be up in flash form and downloadable pdf pretty soon (as soon as I get the chance to read the content again and make sure I did not write nonsense).
Is there anything else you'd like me to add in this book? (there will be a second artbook so many other illustrations will go in that one).

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Kane Child Souffled on me.

I don't know what went wrong, my soufflé blew up... maybe the flu was already there or I could not put down on paper the idea I had in mind. In fact I think I had in mind way too many imaged... I wanted a background but it's hidden behind the splashes so why even think about it. I wanted the sea but maybe let's start from saying that probably the drawing in my mind was more from a lower angle.

So I would say that at least this thing helped me figure out the colors and I shall tackle the subject again, some day, and with a more relaxed mind.
Now I'm preparing the greetings for Valentine's day. Hopefully that one will turn out alright.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Have you ever tried...

...a Turkish coffee? Or, in general, an Arabian coffee (because what the World calls Turkish... Arabia calls just coffee)?

It's very different from espresso (which in Italy is simply coffee and very seldom caffé espresso)... it's very thick at the bottom and can be sweet or black.

Coffee arrived in Europe in the XVII century...

Cat cubee

Alrighty, boys and girls, get your scissors ready, no need for glue, just some good strong paper... the toys are back!

Here's our wonderfully squared Cat... first toy to come back since he has so many fans! :D

Enjoy! (if you put him together send me pics! *_* and if something does not fit let me know XD)

Thursday, February 03, 2011

gone in 30 seconds!

Last week I got stuck in a meeting whose topic was only specified at the end of the meeting... therefore it sounded like Ottoman Turk to me. Me and my friend Nopp sat in the back... she was drawing elephants as usual and I was drawing pirates. (she made an elephant version of Kane and Castalia from one of my poses, I want thaaat)

At one point she started copying one of my drawings... LOL... it took her 30 seconds to do the red sketch on the top left corner... see? From what she could barely see of my work in progress to the bottom... see? (mine took 3 minutes, as usual). Disney artists are truly amazing (and maybe a bit crazy too)! XDDD

You might have realized that some of the pages I'm uploading these days are being re-touched a lot because they don't quite make sense. I am killing myself over this past releases and I found myself working on the same pages over and over wasting time too.
Sentences don't make sense and I have doubts about dialogues and drawing and stuff...
I even realized I had switched two panels around.

I will touch up everything and fix it by March 6th and after March 6th I will start making sense again because I will be able to focus on what I do.

Fact is... my parents are here and even if I sit in front of the computer and work on the comic... chances are you might find sentences such as "did you ask Grace?" instead of Castalia or Cassandra.
My parents are here... and my mom likes the sound of her own voice a lot XDD So I work with this constant cececece blabbering that I try to camouflage as background noise but every once in a while she expect me to answer her questions and so her words infiltrate my ears and I cannot hear my own thoughts anymore.

On the other hand my dad asks me constantly questions to have stuff translated with his bobobobo cvoice and my languages got mixed up.

Plus I got the flu and I am stuck at home for two days with this continuous cecececece and bobobobobo sound... a sore throat, cough, running nose and splitting headache... and no chance to go enjoy Chinese New Year!

So I got them on Facebook and they are finding pictures of people so at least they talk to each other and I can still try to isolate the cececece and bobobobo as a background noise.
It's still tough though... it takes me 4 hours to do things I usually do in 1 hour.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Chapter 11 cover

Pea was not supposed to show up in a cover for a very long time but since we finally got to have Pifo on chapter 10 I thought... why not?

As I previously stated her covers will be blue, so each sister has a different color (and Pifo OWNS pink).

what do you think?

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Happy Chinese New Year!