Tablets: I Take It Back

I’ve probably said it a dozen times just on this blog, but I believe we’re living in in-between times.  It’s like that point in the early 1900’s when electricity was attached directly to wood studs and houses inevitably burned down; it was after electricity, but before it was being used safely.  Or like that point in the 80’s when VHS tapes were just getting popular; it was after home theater, but before home theater technology could be used to simulate a theater (digital surround sound, comfortable seats, etc.).

It’s the reason I’ll never buy a Blu-Ray player; it’s in-between perfect video portability and the efficiency of simply downloading it (or streaming it) at the same or better quality.  It’s the reason I’ll never buy a gas-powered weed-whacker or use a phone the plugs into a wall. It’s also the reason I’m taking my Wacom tablet back.

While at SPACE I was sitting next to Scott Hedlund, who does, among other things, Chaos Punks, he said that he just purchased a Wacom tablet and that it’s saved him tons o time and almost as many headaches.  I’d heard wonders about it before (mostly from Scott Adams and my occasional colorist, the awesome Josh Holnagel), but everyone says there’s a learning curve to it and I’m just starting to get pretty good at using a pen and brush; I’m still experimenting various pressures, nibs, and brushstrokes.  I didn’t want to relearn everything when I’m just starting to come into my own as it is.  But Mr. Hedlund is a persuasive fella, so I broke down and bought one with my Best Buy Gift Card.

This guy got Kevin Eastman to draw him a TMNT sketch on an iPad. You can't tell me this technology won't be advancing.

Although I’ve only played with it for a total of 90 minutes, and although I can already see myself getting pretty good at it and although I can already see potential for saving HUGE amounts of time (Colacitti could simply email me high-resolution scans of the panels and I could ink them on the screen – no erasing or cleaning up), I’m taking it back.  It’s a Kindle; it an in-between technology.

I’m guaranteeing in the next five years – I’m betting in the next two, but a guarantee by 2016 – there will be a tablet and/or tablet application that will mimic almost completely any and all necessary Adobe and Wacom functions necessary for what I do.  At some point in the upcoming months, I won’t need a Powermac with a 27” LED screen running Photoshop and Illustrator simultaneously while connected by a USB cord to a tablet that is essentially another screen using a stylus that is essentially another mouse.  I’ll have a tablet computer running a Photoshop-like program (I imagine they’ll do a form of Elements) and a stylus that’s shaped like my favorite pen.  I’ll be able to do all the things I can do now, but I won’t need paper to do it.

And I won’t be stuck with another in-between gadget.  Damn iPod.

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