Lego_comic_intermission

Sabbatical 2019 - 2020

I spent the past week in Greece on a welcome vacation. Overlooking the Mediterranean sea i’ve been contemplating what to do about my Lego photography, especially in the light of the shortage of time, i’ve been complaining about abundantly here, and inspiration i’ve been experiencing the past few years.

The problem

Currently, my perceived shortage of time results in a badly maintenanced site. No new blog posts, no newsletters, very sporadic new Lego photography and i just can’t figure out how to keep up the schedule of the Foolish Lego Comic. Besides all that, i always have plans and ideas for the site, but i never get around to implementing them.

Not surprisingly, this is not how i would like things to be. Sadly, there are a few things in my life that need quite a bit of extra time. Before, i tried to combine everything but between a very busy job and an equally busy private live it proved impossible. My hobby became a stress-factor and stress turned out to be detrimental for my artistic inspiration.

So, how do i proceed?

Two weeks ago i was reading the walking dead comic, issue 193. Trying to avoid spoilers, i can safely say Kirkman inspired me somewhat. Suddenly, i realised what i had to do! The idea took some time to settle, and now i am convinced there is only one way to keep Foolish bricks going at the high standard i want it to keep going on; i need to take a break.

So, that is what i am going to do, after i finish the current Foolish Lego chapter within a couple of weeks. Foolish Bricks will go on a hiatus until August 13th 2020.

Of course, i won’t sit completely still during this period. My primary concern will be the creation of the third chapter of the Foolish Brick Comic. I will be working on the script, building stages, photography, post-production, behind the scenes blogs, tutorials and hopefully improve a few aspects of the site, like the newsletter some more. Furthermore, sporadically i might post a few Lego photo’s.

I will be checking the site frequently, so if you have questions or comments, you can still find me here. Also, i will remain active as Brickcentral-mod so i can be contacted there too.

Thank you all for your continued support and after the second Foolish Lego Comic chapter ends, i hope to see you back August 13th 2020!

Cheers,

Dwaas


lego trouble with instagram

My trouble with Instagram

Time for an explanation…

As many of you noticed, I hadn’t updated Foolish Bricks for quite some time. I realise this might have looked as if I abandoned the site al together, but, I did not. I simply needed a longer break than I expected.

So, what happened?

Well, not that much actually. However, it was enough to bring my productivity to a full stop. It all started when a few people advised me to invest more time in social media and to be more precise; in Instagram. As some of you might already know, I am not a fan of social media, especially not Facebook. I’ve never been on Facebook, had never used Instagram and deleted Whatsapp the day it was bought by Facebook. However, I already was a moderate user of Twitter and had used Flickr in the past.
Anyway, at first I was reluctant. Mostly because I feared the time that would go into maintaining social media outlets. Nevertheless, people kept insisting and at some point, I gave in.

Instagram madness

I started posting on a few social media - Flickr, Google+, Twitter and Instagram - and actually thought it was fun at first. It was engaging and I found some nice work of other artists on there. On the other hand, I spend an ever growing amount of time on there. Especially Instagram turned out to be very, VERY addictive.

What is the deal with Instagram?

First off, I’d like to say that I don’t believe Instagram is wrong or something like that. I just came to realise It’s wrong for ME personally.
And even for me, it was fine at first. It is nice to get a little exposure. Simply post a few images add a couple of hashtags and wait to see if anyone takes the time to like, comment on or follow you. Then, i noticed accounts with (tens of) thousands of followers and less than five photo’s. There were accounts with equal amounts of followers and not that exciting content (though that is a very personal opinion of course), and it showed because there were only a few 100 likes per post and nearly no comments. This was the first clue that Instagram for a significant part is not about the quality of content. Because i’d gotten intrigued by this phenomenon i started looking into Instagram etiquette and found several sites with tips on how to grow you following and such… and that is were things started to go wrong.

Rules, tips, tricks for growing your audience

There are so many site with all kind of rules, tips and tricks for growing an audience.
Some examples of these rules are:

  1. Post high quality content.
  2. Follow many people
  3. Like and comment as much as possible, hoping you get a follow in return.
  4. Use a maximum of 10 hashtags in your post (while other sites urge you to use all 30.).
  5. Don’t use the same hashtags over and over again because it’ll be seen as spam.
  6. Use hashtags of large accounts in the hope they notice you and re-post your post.
  7. Create Instagram stories on at least a daily basis.
  8. Post multiple times a day. And post strategically, find out what the best times to post are.
  9. Buy a few followers and likes in the beginning (very controversial) to get your account going.
  10. Ask for shoutouts by large accounts.
  11. Post personal stuff.
  12. Do give-aways, run contests and such.
  13. Tag other accounts in your photo.
  14. Call-out to other large accounts.
  15. ETC!

Well, you get the picture, a few ‘rules’ are great and promote high quality content, others are far from great and are only focused on spending more and more time on Instagram and again others are simply mwoah…

And then… it became an addiction.

I started to experiment a bit with #1 through 9 and since then Instagram rapidly became very frustrating to me. It was so much work! I tried to post as often as possible (once every few days) and tried to be an active participant. I experimented a bit with the hashtags and created a few stories. My account grew steadily and I got nice and welcome comments and likes.
However, Instagram turns out to be carefully constructed to be very, very addictive! Of course I already knew that before I started, yet I never thought it would influence me as much as it did. Before long it suddenly was all about follows, comments and likes…. And not about the content. I was following people I didn’t want to follow, I was liking posts of everyone around, without even looking, because that was the right thing to do…. etc. Constantly checking for new posts, new accounts to like and comment upon, etc…
Instagram can be as addictive as a harddrug. I knew something was wrong, yet, I could not stop. I felt i needed to spend more time and energy on Instagram, I needed the follows and likes. So, I waisted even more time on there, whilst progressively enjoying it less.

Lego chains of time

Time, time, time

It was so frustrating and it took so much time! People who know me, know I just don’t have that amount of time. I was constantly trying to create new, high quality content, liking, commenting, following to get that very temporary rush each time one of my posts got liked or commented upon. Even when I got a follow I was excited, however, many accounts only followed for a follow back and even if they got a follow back, they were quick to unfollow again, hoping it wouldn’t be noticed. As a side effect, i kept comparing my work to the work of others, wondering if I should change my style to get more likes from the masses… Yikes!

“What am I doing?”

Anyway, I let Instagram take control of me and for WHAT! A few likes? A few follows? Why is that important? Well, it isn’t! For the most part, the amount of likes you get on Instagram is not related to quality of content (with a few exceptions of course!), it’s largely dependent on the amount of followers. And the amount of followers you get is all about quantity of post and time you spent on Instagram. And the more followers you get, the less engaged people are with your content. For example, there is an account with 90K followers, each post is liked 5-7 thousand times…. an engagement-rate of maximally 7%!
Here I was, trying to create high quality content but I didn’t have the time to promote the account, or create more content with fewer time between posts. And my account did grow within these few months, and my engagement was around 50-60%, but it took too much time.

Epiphany

Then I realised the amount of time I DID spent on Instagram was not spent on other important things in my life; family, friends, work and Foolish Bricks.
Another important realisation was that I lost the joy of working on Foolish Bricks. It was not relaxing me anymore. I was addicted to short-lived dopamine-shots provided by Instagram and lost track of what was important to me. I got behind on all kinds of obligations and I lost my inspiration and drive to create.

Cold Turkey

It really got to me and I STOPPED! I stopped everything. And since I stopped I’ve been trying to find the fun in creating for Foolish Bricks again. And finally, this past week, it started to itch a little again.

The return

I started again January first 2019, with a new episode of the Foolish Lego comic. The rest of the site will follow. All my energy will go into the site again. Social media will be very low profile…. And Instagram? I don’t know if I will return there. Maybe I’ll start posting the old comics, I don’t know yet.

Of course, this is my personal story. Instagram is a great medium and fun and relaxing to many people out there but for me it turned out differently.
I know now Instagram made me lose track of what was really important and I let myself be lured into the trap of spending my time, more time, and even more time than that. Time equals money! My time is limited and I’d rather spend it here, on Foolish Bricks.


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Bunny reading books

The ultimate list of Lego brick comics

 

Bunny reading books

Complete list of Lego comics on the Internet.

Last updated: August 31th 2020

Lego comics  (brick comics) come and go. Over the years many brilliant Lego series have been published. And it would be a shame if some of these exceptional comics are not read anymore by newer generations.

Table of contents

 

1. Lego comics with their own website

The bulk of brick comics, are published on their own website. A home where the comic creators are completely in charge, not dependent on how others believe their creation should be treated.

There are a few gems amongst them. So, if you have the time, be sure to head on over and read them

1.1 Ongoing Lego comics

  • The odd bricks 
    • Started: 13-5-2014
    • Hiatus: 24-12-2017
    • Resumed: 28-5-2018

1.2 Concluded Lego comics

Sadly quite a few brick comics have ended or their author (suddenly) stopped updating without notice. However, the websites of many of these comics are still available to read. So, as long as these links keep working, they can be found here.

Ended in 2019

  • Starwhat 
    • Started: 1-1-2014
    • Ended: 27-2-2019

Ended in 2018

Ended in 2017

Ended in 2016

  • Mythrala 
    • Started: 12-2-2014
    • Ended: 12-12-2016

Ended in 2015

  • Drop the Cow (digital comic) 
    • Started: 6-6-2011
    • Ended: 4-8-2015
  • Legoville 
    • Started: ?-?-2015
    • Ended: ?-?-2015

Ended in 2013

  • News 6 
    • Started: 27-4-2011
    • Ended: 7-7-2013

Ended in 2012

  • Centerfuge 
    • Started: 30–3-2010
    • Ended: 7-2-2012

Ended in 2011

Ended in 2010

Ended in 2008

  • Fabuland housewives (Page died) 
    • Started: 2006
    • Ended: 2008

1.3 Timeline Lego comics (version April 2020)

Timeline-brick-Comics

2. Lego comics published on social media

I managed to find a few brick comics on Instagram. Amongst them, one of my favorite soap opera comics (Brickland). Yet, I wish there was an easy way  to read that whole comic from the beginning.
Furthermore, i was made aware of a comic published on Flickr (Thank you Bill!)

Brickland lego brick comics
Examples from the Brickland comic published on Instagram

2.1 Ongoing Lego brick comics

2.2 Concluded Lego brick comics

  • LLworld  (Instagram)
    • Ended: 4-9-2017

3. Lego comics published in a forum environment

I am aware of only one forum wherein brick comics are published; the Eurobricks forum. I won’t be linking to the individual comics as navigation throughout the forum is a bit confusing, and there seem to be many broken links. All in all, I am not familiar with the comics to be found on there. But, who knows, there might be an undiscovered masterpiece amongst them!

eurobricks lego brick comics
The main menu of the brick comic forum at Eurobricks

 

4. How to keep this page up-to-date

I will periodically check the links on this page. However, if you discover any mistakes, broken links or Lego brick  comics that should be on this list, but aren’t, please let me know in the comments. Did I miss your comic? Let me know too!

 


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Computer crash

Disaster...

Computer crashComputer crash

My computer crashed two days ago... not a small crash... but a disastrous one. Repair would cost me almost 1000 euro's... and of course my laptop is out of warranty since a few months. Needless to say this wasn't my best week. Luckily I have a complete backup of all data so nothing is lost. Yet, I can't work on Foolish Lego as long as I don't have my computer (or the replacement) back, I need the specific software setup on there and I don't have other Mac in the house.

Before I decide to fix or replace it I have to discuss a few legal issues with Apple... there is a chance the price will go down substantially. This discussion + repair/ replacement will take some time, but I don't know how long.... I will keep you posted on the progress in the comments. I'm really sorry and Foolish Lego will try and return as soon as possible!

 

Addition (23-09-2017);

I'm finally back! Luckily, Apple was so kind to extent the warranty and replaced the motherboard and casing of my laptop. Almost feels like I have a new computer :)

Anyway; I got my computer back on Monday but needed the week to get everything back on track at work (yes, a loss of my computer had quite the impact there too). Today, a new comic episode!

 


Dwaas is working out

Foolish Lego - origins

Dwaas is working outI recently wrote a blogpost on the origins of the Foolish Lego website. I did this for an amazing blog on all things toy-photography.

Do you know the blog: 'Toy photographers'? If you do; good for you! And if you don't you're really missing out and I highly recommend it.

It's an inspiring blog about all things concerning toy photography. The main focus seems to be Lego, but other toys are discussed too. It's a small (but growing) yet engaged community.

One of the creators and editors is the wonderful Shelly Corbett, a Seattle art photographer who, besides creating amazing toy-photography, seems to master the art of 'getting the best out of people'. She asked me to write a blogpost on the 'why' of Foolish Lego and so, with her help, I did.

The article below is a reprint of that blogpost.


Foolish Lego

First off, I’d like to introduce myself; In the real world, my name is Danny. Yet, ever since my first steps on the Internet – somewhere in early nineties – I am Dwaas. I am the keeper of foolishlego.com, the home of my Lego photography and webcomic. ‘Foolish Lego’ and Dwaas are special to me. Both partly born out of the feeling of wanting to escape (or make sense of) reality and for the other part born out of wanting to share stories.

Have you ever felt the desire to do something whilst knowing you just couldn’t do it? I used to feel like that. I had many shards of stories in my mind; images, words of wisdom (or quite the opposite), small scenes, undefined thoughts, etc.

As a kid, I got the ideas out of my head by playing in my own little childhood world. As an adult that world broadened and I couldn’t figure out how to give my ideas form anymore; I’m not a gifted writer, nor can I draw any good. I tried a personal blog (in Dutch), talking about all kinds of things that were on my mind but it just wasn’t it.

Then, in late 2012, I ran into the brilliant site of a guy called “Dan of Action”, one of the Lego photography pioneers. Actually, I think he might have been the first one to do a Lego 365-project (go check it out!) and I instantly loved his brilliant work! At that precise moment, everything came together.

This was it! The perfect way to express myself besides being fun. Furthermore, I finally found a use for my Lego collection and this was the perfect opportunity to do something with my photography. Up until then, my camera was only collecting dust mainly because I had no inspiration for photography. Also, I was convinced I sucked at photography and didn’t make the time to learn. I’ve been told It’s always easier to learn something if you know where you’re going. Now I had found that goal!

I stopped thinking and just started. To put the bar up high and force myself to search for inspiration I decided to do a 365. In the real world, it’s easy for me to simply ‘forget’ to relax, a heavy workload as a medical specialist can do that to you.  So, to give me some extra pressure to keep going and prevent life from getting in my way, the 365 would have to be a public one. January 1st 2013 felt like the perfect starting date and so it began.

The toast

LEGO 001: the very first one. January 1st 2013. I made this one in front of the TV. No clue about lighting, or any other technical possibility of my camera for that matter. No clue about color-correction either. And while you can’t see it because of the color-problems; I used flesh and yellow parts in one photo… even within one minifig (a sin to me these days, I only use yellow).

A 365 turned out to be more challenging than I expected. Overall, shooting one photo per day was okay. Yet, there were the busy days and stress was detrimental to my inspiration. Looking back through my photo’s I instantly recognize the uninspired ones. Other challenges were vacations and business-trips. My minifigs travelled the world with me; Nepal, Turkey, The U.S., etc. By the way, I t was always a fun moment watching the looks on the faces of customs-people at the airports, pulling the bag filled to the brim with minifigs out of my hand luggage.

View from Poonhill - Nepal

Lego 330: NEPAL! (I love the people and that country btw) After climbing 3201 mtrs (!) Dwaas reached the top of Poon hill to watch the sun rise and light up Dhaulagiri (a part of the Anapurna mountain range in the Himalaya and the highest one in this photo). It was so early and absolutely freezing cold… Dwaas kept falling over because of the wind and I had no good place to put him either. The stone is placed on an old, rotten bench. And my wife is standing right outside of the frame trying to hold the wind back.

Despite the challenges I (mostly) absolutely loved doing a 365! So much that at the (first) end I had completed a 730! I learned so much. A lot of technical stuff about photography & cinematography, and about all kinds of communities (a. o. Lego, photography, Lego-comics and toy-photographers). I learned photoshop, which also comes in handy in other areas these days. I also learned Lego-photography relaxed me, dissolved irritations and put some issues in perspective. Besides, it forced me to take time for my hobbies; It’s quite nice to only worry about a photo for a short time each day. I learned about how other people looked at me, always surprising to see people laugh at first, eventually becoming intrigued and quite impressed. I learned to see small, secret worlds within the world we live in. Also, I learned about myself. Each photo shows something of myself and I noticed that if I combine a couple of (recurring) characters on Foolish Lego… well… they are me!

Lastly, I learned about telling a story within a single photo, loving the fact that many of my photos can be interpreted in different ways. Nevertheless, these fragments or sparks of stories within the single photos weren’t enough for me. More on that a next time.

Dwaas

lego steven bookbunny bookworm book reading

Lego 022: 2017 A recent appearance of Steve the Bookbunny (he never understood the concept of the ‘bookworm’ 😉 ) This photo shows part of the progress I made if you compare this one to the photo from his very first appearance (photo 12; 2013).

Cool Chef

Lego 006: 2013 The very first appearance of Cool Chef; one of my frequently featured recurring characters. My wife went out of the kitchen for a second and I swooped in and put the minifigs in her ingredients. That surprised look when she returned and saw me fumbling with Lego… my camera… in her ingredients 🙂

Lost Teddy

Lego 150: 2013 One of the early times where photoshop played a large role. Many possible stories in one photo… To me personally a photo about a boy dreaming he lost his beloved Teddybear… unreachable high…. but even in his dreams he’s not able to think out of the box.

Lego happy new year

Lego 001; January 1st 2016; My favorite photo of Dwaas. He’s throwing out the X-mas tree. It took me half a day to set this one up in the basement and I was very proud of the lighting and atmosphere at the time. The snow I would differently now.

inner peace meditation monk lego fun

Lego 161: 2017 A recent one making me wonder what is going on here and why is the monk looking at his guest like that ? (on a personal note, this photo is the result of the fact that i meditate, and this expresses my feeling of wanting to find the rest of a monastery (for a couple of weeks) learning more about meditation, whilst knowing I’ll probably never go there).


Man screaming in fear because a caterpillar is one him

Life of a minifigure

Somedays, the minifigures living in and around my house don't have the easiest life. Take for example the guy from yesterday's photo (here). Sadly our yard is infested with these beasts, and not only our yard, but the whole neighbourhood and probably the whole city. These 'things' kill all boxwood-bushes they get their sticky little paws on.

Anyway, usually I have it pretty easy. Minifigures are very patient and know how to stand still for extended periods of time (except when it's windy that is). However, anytime a living being is involved, things change. This little guy had to go through a lot to get you yesterdays photo.

Oh and me too btw (not that I'm complaining) Lying in the front porch, people walking by probably wondering what I'm doing, lying flat on my belly on the ground before my house, the occasional dog sniffing along. Wrestling my new camera because I can't find the right buttons (in time) yet, my wife complaining that my clothes could go straight into the laundry, the caterpillar moving faster than I hoped for, focus locking wrong and pain in my neck because I needed to look through the viewer (close to the ground) and I couldn't figure out how to adjust focus in liveview (now I do :) ). Well... it turned out a funny series and me and wife had some chuckles over the poor Lego minifigure.

set of photos showing man with caterpillar on him

 


The end

What are you the most proud of?

In the comments on my very first Foolish Lego blogpost Pi3rk asked me one of the more difficult questions... "What are you the most proud of; the comic, the first 365 or the second 365?"

Now, that's really a difficult question. All these projects have brought me different things. The first 365 I started was purely because I wanted to practice my photography and get my imagination flowing through the use of Lego. It was a challenging year, especially during vacations, taking along my minifigures and trying to get pictures in Nepal or Turkye or Miami... etc... Sometimes it was frustrating because I had no ideas (and the uninspired photo's are easy to spot.) In the end I was relieved I was done, and happy with the achievement. On the other hand, I couldn't stop yet because there was still inspiration and though I did see an improvement in my photography skills, it was not enough. So I went on into the next 365. A year later again I was happy to achieved the 720 daily photo's but this time real life caught up with me. Work was too busy to keep on going in a daily routine. And so it stopped. But I kept learning and I believe the photo's did get better (overall). And without the daily deadline I noticed a dwindling amount of inspiration (probably also caused by real life stress).The toast

The first one

On the other hand there are the comics. Yes there were a few stories in the 720's and some characters got a little development but I wanted to do a real story, so I started the comic. 248 episodes later it's moving towards the end and I learned a lot about storytelling too, so much in fact that I' not too thrilled about the dragon story. So after this one I'm starting on the next one and hopefully the story itself will be better.

What I like most is that most of the cast are slowly growing personalities.

Now... I was told I have to choose... looking back I choose the first 365, the one that started everything and the one that gave me a new hobby and the opportunity to make new friends.

So there you have it, what are you the most proud off concerning your hobbies?


Happiness

New beginnings

Happiness

Welcome everyone!

New website, new section. A blog. All around me I hear that personal blogs are quickly becoming a thing of the past so naturally I have to try this, now that it's too late.

What will the blog be about? I don't know exactly yet. Mostly about art, photography, behind the scenes, Lego, or just random Foolish thoughts. If you have anything you'd like to know about, just let me know.

So...

Once every one or two years I change the site around a little, just to keep it interesting. The last change I wasn't too happy with to be honest, it was much too dark and the homepage was a little too gloomy. The problem was I tweaked the base-theme too much. In fact I tweaked it so much that it turned out to be impossible to just update the theme without breaking the site. It was even difficult to change the littlest thing... and so the look of Foolish Lego became a thorn in my eye.

This time around I tried to do thing differently, I stayed within the theme and I developed the site offline with the help off a program called: "MAMP". That worked like a charm! After working on it for a few weeks (every day a little), it's ready to be uploaded.

I'm only worried about a few things:
- What will you guys think about the changes (not so much a worry, just wondering)?
- Will my database update all the links correctly?- How will the site behave on mobile devices (especially the frontpage-header)?
- How much problems will there be the first few weeks.

If you find any problems, or if you have any suggestions to improve the site, let me know. It should be much easier to change the site without doing a mayor overhaul this time around!

Let me know, what you like and, sometimes even more important, dislike.

Cheers,

Dwaas


A toast to the start of Foolish Lego

Foolish Lego; A 365 toy photography project

Welcome to "Foolish Lego",

Foolish Lego is a 365 project. Finally Dwaas found a subject for a 365-project. Maybe not that original, but still a lot of fun. He became aware of the fact that his house is infested with Lego Minifigures and starting January first, 2013 the plan is to post one photo a day, involving the Lego minifigures he can find roaming around and combining two of Dwaas' largest hobbies. Dwaas knows there are more of these projects out there but that couldn't keep him from trying to make a succes of this own.

I hope you enjoy this trip as much as Dwaas expects to enjoy fabricating these pictures.