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Cartooning Part 2 / 19 November 2007

The computer has revolutionised my work over the past 10 years or so. I can remember drawing cartoons by hand, inking them in, and then hunting for the right sized envelope to post them on to a client. I used fax machines to send a rough and then waited for the return fax with any amendments needed. I can also remember frantically drawing a cartoon and waiting for the ink to dry, as a leather clad motorcycle courier waited to whip it down the MI to the BBC Studios in London! Talk about deadlines. Not sure how I survived the stress!

I now draw the basic cartoon, scan the image onto my computer (a HP Pavilion notebook zd8000 for those interested), it then opens into Photoshop; gets converted to RGB colour and off I go. I’ve taught myself to draw with the mouse, so I make any changes I want, sometimes resizing and repositioning the characters; add colour; add the speech bubble and text and then finally reduce the overall image down to a compatible size for the internet. I’m also a bit paranoid about backing my stuff up and use a detachable hard drive as well as the PC hard drive, as well as burning a CD (just in case!).

It goes without saying that I use a strong virus protection (Shield deluxe) and firewall (Shield) that gets updated daily. I also use a couple of products called Spybot and PC Doc Pro which are great for eliminating spyware, adware, etc., which really slows a computer down. PC Pro also helps you find and destroy temporary files that you inevitably get when surfing the web. I also run Adware and Registry Mechanic as a sort of belt and braces thing. I’m still amazed at the number of people I come across who don’t back up and don’t have any up-to-date virus protection or Firewall. When the inevitable happens and they crash and burn, there’s usually nothing left to even start off with again. Be safe on the web people, it’s a battlefield out there!