Penny Arcade artist Mike Krahulik (Gabe) has been an important early adopter of the Surface Pro and has publicly sung its praises. But earlier today, he posted a very distressing note. He's not going to draw any more comics on the Surface Pro 3 and is going back to the Surface Pro 2.
Quoting Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes, he writes (presumably to Microsoft): “You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!”
The post claims that today's comic took Krahulik three times longer to draw in Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 and "I'm not happy with the results at all."
Check it out for yourself here: http://www.penny-arcade.com/news/post/2014/07/07/surface-pro-31
I wrote Gabe via the Penny Arcade submission form to suggest that perhaps his blame is misplaced.
I don't doubt that he's seeing the issue. Every Adobe CC 2014 product I've tested misses occasional pen strokes or is otherwise buggy on the Surface Pro 3.
But there are other tools available that work perfectly well on the device. I sound like a broken record, but cartoonists like Krahulik should do themselves a big favor and try Manga Studio 5 / Clip Studio Paint. The software's tools are specifically designed for comics, its brush engine is unrivaled and it offers fine pen curve and stabilization settings that can overcome current N-Trig limitations.
Gabe and Penny Arcade have a big audience and I expect his frustrated article will find its way into the hands of other tech pundits who will parrot it ad nauseum. More anti-Microsoft fodder.
Every artist should be free to work with the tool they know best. But it's unreasonable to dismiss a new device only a month after its release because one specific application is being buggy.
What's your take?
UPDATE I heard from Gabe and he wrote, "yeah I draw in MS5. It doesn't work very well at all for me on the Surface Pro 3. It was so bad that I decided to try PS."
Now I'm stumped. Defective hardware?
UPDATE 2: I was right. Gabe was using an older version of Manga Studio. He'll be drawing another strip on the SP3 next week. I can't wait to read his verdict. http://www.penny-arcade.com/news/post/2014/07/07/update-to-my-surface-post