The Mister is a cartoonist. Since The Mister got a Wacom Intuos tablet a couple of years back, he's been nearly inseparable from it: the digital coloring process he uses on his art is so much faster with a drawing tablet than it was with a mouse. However, there has been trouble in paradise in the last few months, and a distinct tang of Cartoonist Envy in the air, since he reported that another artist he knows acquired a Wacom Cintiq.
If you are familiar with the other Wacom tablets, you know that when you draw on them with the stylus, the results appear on your computer screen, but not on the pad. You learn to keep your eyes on the screen and trust your hand to do the drawing, which is not completely like drawing on paper. The Cintiq is a new model of drawing tablet that is also a screen, so you can look at your "paper" while you draw: much more natural! The thing is, the size most useful to artists costs upwards of $2000. What's a cartoonist to do?
A guy named Drew Northcott has developed his own system for hacking existing parts into a Cintiq-alike. You'll need a regular Wacom tablet, an LCD monitor, and some other supplies; it looks like the process involves putting the screen between your stylus and your tablet. Drew stresses that his pages are a record of his experiences, not a tutorial. Still, if you're electronically savvy, and know your way around a few hacks, you can probably follow along and work up something similar. It won't be cheap, but it'll be a heck of a lot cheaper than the real thing.
(The Mister, alas, will have to keep dreaming, as neither of us is quite techie enough to manage this one on our own.)
[via Drawn! -- who also linked to a video of the hack in action -- and Sample The Web.]