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24: The Ultimate Jack Bauer Supercut

I have to admit that I never saw seasons 7 and 8 of ’24’. My daughter was two months old when season 7 began. I think that explains what happened there….

It’s on Amazon streaming now. I’m tempted to go back, but then I also have never seen the two seasons of “Daredevil” on Netflix, or a million other things that would take less time to watch. UGH.

We live in a frustrating era of everything being available and no time to consume even a small percentage of it…

But, thanks to YouTube, I can relive a small portion of those glory days when I did…

Here, then, is the Jack Bauer Yelling and Cursing (“Damn it, Chloe!”) supercut. So much awesome, so little time.

Liszt’s Totentanz on Video!

Ten years ago, I discovered and bought a DVD of pianist Valentina Lisitsa performing the etudes of Franz Liszt, my favorite classical composer.

My favorite work of Liszt’s, as I mentioned at the time, is his Totentanz, a dark high energy piece that ranges up and down the keyboard, moves quickly, and then repeats. Love it.

Recently, I rediscovered Lisitsa on YouTube, where she’s kept very busy for the last decade. You don’t need to go to her website anymore to watch WMV files anymore — one autoplays when you load up her website.

But it made me idly look up “Totentanz” again on YouTube. There are two separate performances of the piece by Lisitsa on YouTube. One was at a public piano, and the other was more carefully controlled in a studio environment.

I have to link to them here for posterity.

Skip over to the 7:00 mark to watch the hands fly…

So cool.

And, no, I didn’t go to that concert of hers ten years ago. Pity.

Art Versus Artist


The hashtag challenges you to post a picture of yourself surrounded by eight of your drawings. This picture of me is probably 6 years old, but the drawings are all from the last six months or so.

Art versus Artist

Buy Clip Studio Paint for $20 This Weekend

Clip Studio Paint box art

Clip Studio Paint is the digital drawing program that’s used by, according to its maker, 1.5 million people in the world. It’s an amazing program for creating digital art, particularly comic-related art. The higher end version of the program comes complete with all sorts of functionality for creating comics, from projects with pages to export to EPUB capabilities.

A new update just hit this week, and the program’s makers are celebrating with a big sale through this weekend. CSP is as low as $20 for the next couple of days. If ever you wanted to jump in, this is your change.

Wait, What About Manga Studio?

This is Manga Studio. I’m not entirely sure I understand the whole story, but “Clip Studio Paint” is the name the developers in Japan gave it. SmithMicro renamed it “Manga Studio” when it began distributing it in North America. Now, they’re going back to the original name.

“Manga Studio” wasn’t a great name, but it worked well enough. “Clip Studio Paint” is a mouthful that is almost meaningless in the English language. But it’s just name, and so we move on. I’ll refer to it as “CSP” from here on out.

There Are Two Versions?

Yes, and here’s where the naming gets worse. The base model is named “Pro”, while the model aimed at comic book professionals is named “EX.”

No, I don’t have that backwards. Yes, really. That’s what it is.

What Do They Cost?

Here, take a look:

Clip Studio Paint Price Comparison Chart

That’s $20 for the low end and $87 for the high end this week, where they’re normally $48 and $210. It’s a great deal. SmithMicro runs deals on the software occasionally throughout the year, but this is as low as it usually gets.

What is the Difference?

Like I said before, it’s mostly that the high end version (“EX”) comes with the functionality to make comic books. The lower end (“Pro”) just lets you do images. You can assemble them yourself later.

Also, there’s some 2D and 3D modeling techniques that you’ll need to buy EX to get.

The top of the SmithMicro comparison chart summarizes most of the differences:

Clip Studio Paint Features Comparison

What’s New?

This new upgrade features the ability to do animation. Not 3D puppetry animation. (SmithMicro has another program for that.) No, this is old school, onion-skin animation. Make a drawing, flip back and forth, make the next one on top, watch it ‘move.’ I was looking for a “cheap” program to do something like this with last year and couldn’t find anything. Now, it’s built into CSP. That’s a good deal.

While this animation functionality is available in both versions, the Pro edition limits you to 24 frames, or what they assume will be 3 seconds.

Wait, What New File Format?

I didn’t mention it yet. You must be reading my mind.

Doug Hills points out the updated file format.

The long and short of it is that the new CSP uses an updated file format. It can read the old file format just fine, but previous versions of Manga Studio won’t be able to read these new CSP files. The .lip file is now going to be a .clip file. That kinda makes sense, actually. It might be the first good renaming strategy I’ve mentioned in this post.

Can My Mac Handle CSP?

Most likely. It’s guaranteed to work with the last three generations of Mac OS X. You can also download an older version if you have an older Mac OS, if you really want.

Officially, the line is 2 GB of Ram and an Intel Code Duo chip. I think your computer can handle that, if it’s less than five to seven years old.

Can My Windows PC Handle CSP?

Most likely. Windows 7 or better, 2 GB of RAM, and off you go. See all the specs here.

How Much Fun Is Drawing With A Mouse?

Very little. It can be done, but — no, just don’t. CSP supports a bunch of tablets, including all of the Wacom ones. It also works on other pen displays, like the Yiynova one I use relentlessly.

What Other Resources Do You Have?

How Do I Get Started?

Watch Doug Hills’ YouTube videos. Here’s the introductory channel, and his most recent Patreon-funded one, Manga Studio Guide.

If you do have a pen display kind of thing, be sure to bookmark this explanation for how to move CSP to your second screen.

And, of course, you can buy the software at the SmithMicro site always. But order it this weekend to get the sale price!

Middle X: Pixie

Enter a world where the X-Men have quietly retired from their years of superheroing. It’s a world where they settled down in the suburbs and lived to ripe old ages.

We look in on them as they hit their 40s. They are, perhaps, soccer moms and dance dads and who knows what else.

Pixie. Don’t know much about her, to be honest. She became a regular X-Men at a time I wasn’t reading the books. But I felt like drawing a girl with pink hair. So sue me.

middlex pixie_web_wings

A Streaming Embarrassment of Riches

We live in an amazing time. It’s a time I couldn’t have dreamed of as a child: Hundreds of television shows — all their seasons — available at my finger tips. This season’s shows, last season’s shows, and shows from my childhood. They’re all there for the watching.

I have Amazon Prime —


— and Netflix:


Frustratingly, there’s no time to watch any of it. So I’m the guy from The Twilight Zone.

Twilight Zone Time Enough at Last broken glasses

Time Enough At Last, indeed.