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Showing posts from June, 2005

News from the front.

Hadn't drawn anything serious in like a month and a half. Totally stalled out. Over the last two days, I've finished the layouts and writing for the first three pages of a Pointless Man comic, 'Death to Pretty-Boy Groups'. Now comes the hard part, actually doing a bit of research on N-Sync and the Backstreet Boys for my last few pages.

Meanwhile, my first full test in my third year Japanese class is coming up on Friday. I feel less threatened by studying for it than by the way my two instructors keep 'suggesting' we should write using the 170-some new kanji (instead of just being able to read them, as they kept assuring us was all we needed to do) should we use the words in the test.

I found out over the weekend that my little brothers have been wrecking my folks' house in my absense. Within five days of my being gone, my youngest brother, Benny, had tossed a tennis ball through our front window, and my other brother, Devin, had managed to shove Benny through…

Stupid Japanese writing system.

If you could choose between writing a word (in this case, 'go' [language]) in 15 strokes or the same word in 4 strokes, what would you choose? The Japanese dig the 15 stroke option. Supposedly, it helps them understand what they're reading to use Chinese characters (kanji) instead of their own letters. Nevermind that when they talk, they don't carry around signboards to help people understand them, they just speak phonetically and everyone gets it. And when they want to use a Japanese word processing program, they don't type in kanji; they type phonetically and then have to have the program switch the letters to kanji.

Kanji doesn't save time writing, learning, or typing. Even when it comes to reading, there are several ways to read the same kanji depending on the circumstances, and most publications end up havig to give the phonetic readings of at least some kanji just so their consumers can keep up. So, other than wasting time, what's the purpose of kanji…

As stolen from myself: Of Comics

The following is something of an edited version of a few of my comments over on Charles Rozier's blog.

[On reasons for being a superhero and its implications.]
It may be argued that the special attention a superhero seeks--such as Batman's idea of transcending humanity, mortality, and self--is implicitly narcisistic and egoistic (or perhaps a sign of the opposite, as has been argued with, say, Napoleon). This is another reason I think it best for superheroes, particularly those more driven in and obsessed by their struggles, should perhaps have problems socializing and empathizing with others, thus denying either interest or ability when it comes to serious, adult relationships with either sex. These problems are notably often played out in more recent comics featuring meetings between Superman and Batman.

[On Charles's comment that superheroism as alter-ego can be viewed as commentary on homosexuality, and how this leads to greater 'manly' violence and forced attempt…

Could this be a rant?

Am taking an intensive course in intermediate Japanese. Just through my second day and it is kicking my ass. Doesn't help that I had to move over the weekend, I suppose.

Class begins at 8:30, but I've had to wake up with the morning light somewhere between 4 and 6 AM because I forgot my clock, and so have found myself napping off and on during the evening. And, being semi nocturnal, that's been a huge change for me.

Tack on the fact that nothing was working when I got here--my key was the wrong one, my card hadn't been activated (in like 3 different areas each with their own office), my computer account was dead, my own computer was (and still is) in pieces, my Japanese was rusty as fuck, and my pocket was all but empty.

Ah. And when I say I'm out of practice, I mean it's been years since I really used my skills in anything serious. I can hardly keep up with the basic characters in a full paragraph, much less the more complex Chinese ones.

The course I'm in is…

Sociopathic fictional character goes on killing spree.

Watched Funny Games last night. It's sort of like Ferris Bueller's Day Off, only Ferris is a sociopath, Cameron is a chubby psychopath, and they're in the German countryside instead of Chicago. It's well acted, well directed, well written, well fucking disqueting avante garde cinema.

But I don't want to ruin it for you any more than that.

Something close to an artistic explanation.

The following was, until today, my 'bio' at Comic Foundry, a site I go to for its infreqruent and often insubstantial artistic criticism as well as its more useful interviews with comics pros.

Been working on comics (off and on), many of which can be seen at my website, since 1999. These are mainly humourous pieces which try to make the reader see each page as a whole, not just a series of interrelated panels. As such, the flow of the pages can be confusing. I'm working on this, as well as my inking skills.

My figures are usually stylistic, but simple line drawings. My character drawings show what I take to be a healthy mix of art nouveau, older American comic influences, and more rescent forays into cartooning.

I'm proudest of my colouring. I use Copic and Prismacolor markers, which give my work something akin to a watercolour effect. I favor something like a synthesis of impressionist and expressionist marker work over definite or detailed foreground line art without m…

Allergies.

My room is dusty as a room that hasn't been cleaned in as long as my room hasn't been cleaned, which is a long, long time. Cleaning it out is causing me no end of allergic distress. This I take to be my penance for not keeping my stuff organized and clean.

Preparations for moving continue apace.

Moving this Saturday. Gonna stay in the dorms for the summer. Rent's cheap, room's a single, building's five minute stroll from class, food's included in cost. Can't say no. Whatever.

Classes begin on Monday. I am prepared for a major ass whupping. Hopefully, my four and a half hour a day class won't bury me. Yeah.

Happy, happy, happy. That's me.

Continuing to think about my next 3 Guys, 1 Gun comic. Can't come up with the right transitional material to get them where I want them. Meanwhile, I may have finally come up with something of a plot to go with a comic aesthetic I've had rolling around my brain for the last four years about an assassin gone straight. It may star a chick, which would be a welcome change. We'll see where that takes me.

Finished watching Amadeus last night. Quite enjoyable, but, wow, Salieri was a dick. A total, total dick. Incidentally, his reaction to Mozart is what spurred the idea for my assassin comic last night.

"3 Guys, 1 Gun" the story so far.

This is a series I've been working on since mid January this year, and I've only done four pages on it. Worse, it's the only comic I've been working on this whole time. Oh, sure, I've given some thought to other comics' plots and scripts, but I haven't really done any serious drawings for that stuff, and I haven't gotten any scripts written. WTF, you know? I should at least be able to do one of these a week. The first two of these I thought of on a walk and got them written and drawn in like two days. This shouldn't be taking as long as it has, and I should be doing other work.

Shoot.

Whatever, I'm proud of the work I've been doing, there's just not enough of it.