Thursday, September 1, 2011


Movies today are just padding for action scenes. They dont have to act, write, anything. If they think a little and have a neat visual design, they can sell it even to geeks who think they know better. You dont know better geeks, you are being suckered in by the nerd things. Suckerpunch was literally three fight scenes, nothing more. Inception was a heist movie that barely wanted to sit still before it made some effects go PCHOO SHOOSH LOOKIE WOO. Scott Pilgrim, reportedly the most character-focused geek movie to come out, I dunno, in a while, was dull and simple. They hoped you were distracted by the pretty effect explosions and hot damn you were.

I thought, well, maybe I dont like movies at all. Maybe they're just too short, and I prefer the length and detail of a good book or comic. A lot of books and comics are just trying to be action action kabam whee fwoosh, but whatever. You cant do that shit well in a book, so a lot of it is actually made up of stuff.

But I'm in a film class now, and I have been taught. There were once movies that actually had.... actors. And, and, extended story sections that werent fucking exposition.

These days, movies are all spectacle, light and sound. Maybe its because they cant compete with TV or whatever when it comes to story and characters. Two hours is a short time. Or maybe hollywood is a soulless machine that presses the thousands of people involved into hotdogs. Whatever.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Art Update: Done!

Ha, so I say I'm almost done with the comic, and it really takes me about ten more days to finish it. Granted, I've moved back home in that amount of time.... But its done. 32 pages of brightly-colored glory.

Dont feel nearly as exceited as when I hit the halfway point. Maybe thats because I'm not sure what to do now... I have sites I was looking at, dreams too, but now, like any artist, I look over my pulp and wonder if it really is any good. I loved making it, and I want to keep doing this. But jeez, what now?

It'll be up, somewhere, in a week or two. Probably will work on drafts for the next two chapters while I figure some things out. I've learned a lot from these first chapters, what looks good and what doesnt, how to layout my panels, whats needed in every one. Lots of stuff I have to figure all out again.

Thanks for existing, internet!
I hope someone remembers me.
Maybe someday it'll have its own website, but one step at a time here.

Monday, August 1, 2011


I'm in the home stretch of this comic, very close to finishing the entire first chapter. It, and some video games, have distracted me from making blog posts. Not like anyone’s reading BUT ANYWAY.

I don’t like to visit forums anymore, or keep in contact with a lot of my skype contacts. It’s for a couple reasons. I don’t feel like I have anything to add to conversations, most forums get cluttered with dumbasses, and whoever's not a dumbass is usually fourteen.

Now, I'm almost 22, and I hesitate to keep talking to someone who tells me they're still in high school. I've seen the accusation of ageism being thrown around, hating on people younger than you simply because they're younger. I'm going to state my argument against them in this lonesome corner of the internet, away from flame wars.

I when I was fourteen, if someone told me that I'd be hanging out with eight-year-olds, I'd probably be confused, if not annoyed. They can be the most well-spoken and polite eight-year-olds on the planet, but I'm in high school, and they're in third grade. I think I still played pretend in third grade. I can play with those eight year olds, but it’s not going to be something I do with a peer.

So, at 21, when I'm told people are still in high school, I hesitate to really make friends with them. I remember how I was at fourteen... what my problems were, my likes and dislikes. I make Evil Inc at age fifteen, I can just read through those to remember what it was all like. I don’t want to hang out with old me. I won’t call myself dumb, but I just don’t think I could find much to say or relate to. I liked Naruto and Bleach back then, while now I read Black Jack and Skip Beat. My big problem in high school was unrequited love, my big problem now is getting a job and an apartment. We could talk, but there’s no way I would treat 14 year old me as a long-term friends, just as I wouldn’t treat an eight year old as a peer.

Plus there's just the added barrier of eighteen years old... are you a pedophile for making friends with a bunch of fourteen year olds? I mean, just think if a twenty-year-old wanted to do that in real life. If you're lucky, you can feel like the cool older brother/sister. If you're not, or if everyone is treated as a peer... well, you don’t feel like you are. You feel out of place. Its only six years, but it feels like a generational gap. Hell, I don’t understand my own siblings likes, and my sister is only three years younger than me. My brother, six years younger, likes Hannah Montana unironically. They still watch Disney Channel. Even when you're acting open-minded, it’s not like you can talk about the same things, the same problems.

Its not ageism to want to avoid or exclude those younger than you. It’s just pesky real-world issues and awkwardness bleeding over into this perfect, amorphous internet blob.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Art Update: There was a lens flare... AND MOTION BLUR

Objects in motion... difficult to do for a still picture. Um, so I've heard. There's a lot of tricks... including MOTION BLUR. Dont you just love not being able to see what the heck is going on in a picture? You do? Then motion blur the crap out of it. If I have to use motion blur... I try to use it sparingly. If I can avoid it, I do so. Its wonderful to look at all the time and effort spent by an artist to make a clear action, a realistic movement, without resorting to cheap shortcuts. throwing in computer-generated motion blur is one of those cheap shortcuts that doesnt look bad I guess, but its not like it looks amazing either. When drawing, a few quick lines can portray all the movement you'll ever need.

See, light, little lines that dont obscure what I want to show. The knife is blurry though. But its hand drawn motion blur, so that makes it okay.

This computer generated motion blur... it doesnt that good. Its not ultra obscuring, but I take one look at it and wonder if the picture's gone out of focus.

mmm... little better

So yes, in the future, know that I'm a cheap artist who has to resort to tricks to make her art seem better. And quick little lines are better than cheap tricks.
Except in the case of my comic, where the quick little lines of pencil or pen are crazy hard to duplicate. I could spend an hour on those lines and still not have them look right. Plus, they might clash with the style, which is very exact and clean when it comes to characters. What am I to do? Here's about what I went through.

So here's normal Ken running... ignore the wierd position his legs are in. 

I dont even know.
 Motion blur... get the hell offa my picture.
 I've added a background as contrast, because some of the lines are rather light. This looks pretty good in places... but awful in others. This would take way longer to make than what I want to spend on it.
Grey. Stop throwing on motion blur. It doesn't fix anything.
 Both of these are a little bit better, but its still no masterpeice. Certainly portrays movement, but it doesnt look all that spectacular. Maybe because its because its just a generic, line-y blur. Maybe with a little
 NO, I wasnt going to say with motion blur!!!! Did we just put motion blur on top of motion blur?!

Now, Steve says that this is the best. And I'm just sitting here and gnawing on my lip. Its servicable, thats all it is. It works, but its not particularly artistic or fancy. And it doesnt fit my cartoony style all that much. But in cartoons it would be all like...

I think I like it.

Good GOD is this silly.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

20th Century Boys

There's two different ideas behind releasing serial content, be it a TV show, manga chapters, or webcomic pages. Are you writing for its full release, be it on DVD or in volumes? Are you writing so that once its all done, it comes together into one solid emotional arc? Or are you writing so that each serial peice has an emotional impact, each chapter or episode leaving you to want for more? The former way means you have to wait a long, long time to get the full feel of a work, and sometimes leaves the individual episodes dull. The latter means when you're re-reading or watching the work in its completed form, it becomes mind-numbingly exausting to have each and every chapter try and build up for the next one.

This is exactly my feeling as I'm reading 20th Century Boys. Not the band, a manga released by Naoki Urasawa. It ended about six years ago, and I'm reading through it for the first time. After an amazing fifty chapter setup (yes, five volumes, seinin manga really take thier sweet time) the story suddenly skips forward about fifteen years and you start to hear the drums. The drums in the background that slowly get louder and louder and louder and louder, each beat saying "getting intense now, GETTING SO INTENSE!" They go on for so long you stop being into the expeirience and just wonder how fast the drums will go until it just gets silly. And you know, I've hit the 130th chapter, and with another 100 chapters to go, this manga has really overworn its welcome.

It just feels like each chapter was written solely to perpetuate its existance. Its not about telling a good story and having it come to a timely conclusion. Its going to soap opera route where it just piles on more and more bullcrap drama and twists. While you're reading serially you might go "holy shit holy shit hooooly shit!" But when you step back and look at it as a whole, there's really nothing to this manga. The only moment in this entire manga I really felt touched me was the release of Kenji's song, which isnt even in the dang manga. Yes, a bonus track is more touching than this entire dang manga. Maybe its touching because I have context for it... but shouldn't that kind of impact be in the manga itself?

The other major flaw with this work is that its just so dang silly. Even if you took away the constant ramping up, the major twists are just laughably ridiculous. The story is literally trying to take dumb kid's ideas and make them into a legitimate threat. No, really, some kids in 1970 think up a plan to save the world, and some dudes find it and decide to really reenact it. The villains do feel threatening and unstoppable, even post-setup. But what are supposed to be major dramatic turns just wind up being freaking ridiculous. I've laughed more than this dumb story wanted me to. Here's a moment from the part I really liked, the fifty chapter setup. We're about to see the villain, Friend's face for the first time.... oh my goodness its.... ITS.... a dumb mask. A really silly looking mask. And I just laughed. Every time that mask turns up... well, they're trying to make the mask threatening in its childlike appearance. Like that Laughing Man thing from Ghost in the Shell. When you see the Laughing Man's logo after its been set up, you flip a shit, even though it doesn't look all that threatening. When you see Friend's mask.... well, yeah, you know its the villain's thing, but whatever, its a dumb mask. Can we just see who the hell this guy is, please? We saw Johan's face, Urasawa, and we were freaking intimidated by it! Stop dragging this nonsense out!

Right, this is by the man who wrote Monster, which despite it's serial feel, the work felt like it was actually going somewhere. On the other hand, this is the same guy who wrote Pluto, which is cohesive in volumes, but just so dang silly. Take that as you will... but I'm done with 20th Century Boys. Maybe I'll keep reading, maybe I wont. It might be worth a look at, faceless internet, but don't go into it expecting a classic.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Art Update: Card Win, Troll Fail

I am done with the first seventeen pages of The Devil Dreams of Card Games. No, wait, let me say that in a more elated voice. Ahem HALF THE FIRST CHAPTER IS DONE AUG I FEEL AWESOME. It only took um, a month, once I got focused. Average time spent per page is um... eight or nine hours. For something that looks slapped together in MSPaint... I feel goddamn badass. Only 15 more pages and chapter one is done! And since 30ish pages updating three times a week is 10 weeks... spending two months creating a chapter is perfect!

Here's a sample of the work I do. And kinda how a major part of the world works.

I have NO IDEA why I feel so elated over something that takes so much freaking time! Must be those five CocaColas!!!

So, um, mt other work! The Trollmance Fanfiction! Yeah...

Why did I try to write a fanfiction again? It became more about fanon of the adult world, rather than an exploration of relationships.
Incomplete, but I like the style. Sorta NSFW? One panel of a silloetted butt, does that count?

Monday, June 27, 2011


When I was growing up, Pokemon and Digimon were my bread and butter. The most awesome, coolest shows around, my stalwart favorites. I had this bunny I dragged around and pretended to be a Patamon, I dreamed up a million ways how they could make a Pikachu real. I made up my own worlds based on them, imagined a bunch of fanfiction about Ken Ichijoji and Eevees... um, not at the same time. I never imagined a cross over or anything. But there was something wonderful about having cute little superpowered pets that were my loyal friends.  These were beautiful shining worlds away from adults, where you could romp around in forests and just... be. And then I got into Dragon Ball Z and I forgot all about those silly shows. There was manly things to watch, dangit!

Even though I had grown past watching the Pokemon show, I still indulged in its other media. Especially the card game... god I was a card game addict... But thats not what I'm talking about here! I read and enjoyed two Pokemon comics, Pokemon Adventures, which paralleled the games, and The Electric Tale of Pikachu, which paralleled the anime. Even though I was past thinking how wonderful it would be to have a Pikachu, these two manga captured that special feeling about the world. A world of adventure, and of friendship. Were fantastic creatures are everywhere, and will be your friend if you reach out. A world to wander in without worry, or maybe small trivial worries. The Electric Tale of Pikachu had a bit of "crap, where are we gonna get the money for this???" but most of the time, it was just a big, bright world.

And this brings me to what I actually want to talk about. Mokepon.

Mokepon is... well, it's okay, but it has the feeling of the amateur writer that I cant shake from page to page. The art is amazing, but the characters feel stiff, like they're only a step up from talking heads. The story is interesting, but the execution is... well... it goes up and down, it took a chapter or so to really get into it. And the main character, jeez, I feel like I've seen this guy a million times. Heck, nobody really feels like they have depth to them.

But I'm telling you, read the dang story, all none of you who read my blog. While I was reading it, I got that same feeling. I got the feelings I had when reading Pokemon Adventures. This is a bright, colorful world of adventure! A world of cuddly pals where kids can have fun without fear! And the main character knows he lives in this world, he just doesnt care for it.

I have read dozens of Pokemon fancomics at this point, and none of them can really seem to grasp this same wonder. Most respectful approaches seem more interested in cracking wise than really getting into the mood. Any comic with a cynical approach usually just strips out all charm to the world, which I feel is missing the point.

But Mokepon gets it right. Any feeling of artistic immaturity I get from it is stifled, because this author understands that childlike awe that makes up Pokemon. Just because you've grown up past the Pokemon world doesnt mean the Pokemon world has grown up with you. Just because you dont buy into friendship, battles, and all the other tiny little Pokemon details, it doesnt mean that they change. It feels like, as an adult, you pick up the Pokemon games again, and you are just so frustrated with how insipid it all is. Your feelings arent going to change anything, you're going to go through with the ridiculous exercise anyway.

In that sense, I can understand Atticus, the main character, perfectly. He is wonderfully suited to this comic because he has very little variation to him. And his Charmander, or Dragonthing, is there to try and bring him back to his younger mindset, to care about the world. Dragonthing doesnt succeed right away, of course he doesnt. But you can see the journey that's in front of the two of them, its the journey you see a million times, of friendship and teamwork. But its interesting, because that part's not glossed over in the first chapter, its the entire point of the comic, the developing bond between Pokemon and Trainer. I wouldnt be surprised if they become much stronger friends than any of the moony-eyed children, because they had to struggle to connect, to see eye to eye. Um, maybe, this is just me guessing.... but see? Even though I think the craftsmanship is a little shoddy, this comic gets Pokemon. I can get into the world just as well as I could with the two professional comics. And this one's free!

In a final word... Pokemon Adventure is for when you're ten, when the world is new, broad, and without problems. Electric Tale is for when you're fourteen, when you know there should be a few issues here and there that call for explanation, but you're still into the idea. Mokepon is for when you're eighteen, where you've grown up past the ridiculous aspects, but Pokemon will always have them anyway. If only to make it hard for you.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Haibane Renmei

Over the past few day I watched a very peculiar anime. There was no action, nor wacky hijinks. The cast was comprised of the residents of a female dorm, but none of them wore exploitative clothes or looked particularly innocent or cute. In fact, I thought a few of them were boys, and it took a while to realize that these women had breasts at all. Everyone had very mild and very believable personalities, nobody sported any kind of crazy, bombastic traits. The drama never spirals into "are these people goddamn INSANE?!" or cheap "worst possible ending because life is CRUEL." It just follows and examines a batch of Haibane, angels born from cocoons, as they go about an ordinary life in a demi-mystical walled off society.

If this sounds like the most boring anime in the whole world, well, I dont blame you for thinking so. There are so many opportunities where the show could have gone hog wild, wallowing in all the insipid tropes that typically make up anime. I mean, just from the description alone! All-girl angel dorm having to live alongside humans in a walled-off world? With so many pitfalls, its amazing how many are carefully avoided. This is a finely tuned and crafted show, whimsical and light, and it demands you treat it with respect. It's not here to put up with your ideas of what an anime should be. It says "You sit your butt down and watch something reasonable, dangit! Fine, you can have exactly ONE sailorish costume, but its a dress that goes past the chick's shins, but thats all the anime you're getting mister!!" And I respect it all the more for that. It wasnt the most interesting show I had every watched, but the characters were likable and believable, and everything that makes up their world is the same.

On the other hand, theres a reason entertainment usually hunts down and languishes the extremes, why anime is well... animesque. Its what's interesting and facinating to us. We see enough ordinary life every day, and when we want to be entertained, we want to see crazy things. Even shows based firmly in real life, firmly in the world of the viewer, like high school or the office, still show people and events that are fantastic, beyond normal. And even though this is a show about angels, there really isnt much thats fantastic about it. Its like a toned down version of freaking Aria, which is boring and mundane fantasy while actually falling into anime pitfalls.

I found Haibane Renmei fascinating, and at least worth watching. Mostly because I like a good exploration of character and lifestyle. But I dont blame anyone for falling asleep and dumping the DVD in the trash can.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Art Update: Good God, What Have I Done?

I made... a monstrosity. A two-day distraction from real work on my comic. A tribute to MASCLE!!!

And yet it still taught me some things, especially about shading. Its better to have clean strokes that look like they know what they're doing, rather than having hesitant little lines that are very exact.

Which is something I shouldve already known, because that is a very important aspect of drawing. Seriously, if you're very specific on where the lines should go, it starts looking like a mess.

But yeah, a fun distraction. Submitted it to a contest, because I could use the money. I hope it goes somewhere!!!

EDIT: BAHA! Yeah right, even someone who has a moderate profile is dragging thier fans into this, so numbers, the sole judge of this contest, is going to rate the people with the most previous fans the best. Not that people shouldnt go support thier favorite artists... but it means theres absolutely no chance for no-namers trying to get thier work out, where human judges might pick out underviewed works. Of course then you have the bullcrap of taste getting in the way, soooo there's always gonna be issues. But even if my comic goes up, I doubt I'd win, unless a miracle happens.

Dang, and I needed that 300$! >< Financial issues...

The numbers-only thing sounds good in theory... heck, I liked the sound of it when I read it. And then I remembered that this is the internet, and the gap between the big-namers and the absolute nobodies.

Ah Well.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Best Worst Art?

You ever draw a throwaway panel, trying to make it look as ridiculous as possible with clashing colors and thrown together shading? Have you ever zoomed back from that image, blinked, and realized that you've created something that not only looks good, but looks better than everything else you've drawn? I mean, I was avoiding making my character designs complicated; I know eventually I'd wind up spending three days detailing five billion lace ruffs in the name of FASHION. And then I draw THIS:

He looks like Some kind of anime character based around hunting or some crap! He is wearing no fewer than three headbands! Two of which are on his wrists! His Bracer looks like those polished chunks of iced dirt! Why does this look so coooool?? How did I shade this so well? It actually looks cell shaded instead of like... pillow shading.

I may be going for a soft style but... not fluffy marshmallow pillows soft.

I dont know how to cell shade, yep. Anything good I draw is outta dumb luck, for I am Le Amateur MaxTreme, Das Maximum.

UPDATE: I really, really hate when I draw something better than I usually do, and I'm not sure why its better. Looser linework? Sparcer shading? The lack of necks?! Blargle! Why do I have no friends with a good technical eye?!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Philosophy in Anthropology

Now this is something that has frustrated and irritated me for a while, as holding any philosophy will. Holding a side will always have the other side scorning your extremest of stereotypes. "Damn commie liberals!" "Damn ultrareligious conservitives!" But what I hold isn't a political philosophy, thats not what's attacked on a regular basis now. It's my anthropological beliefs that come constantly under fire, and I'm getting a little worn down.

Theres an anthropological philosophy of the world now thats phasing out of practice, although I cant recall what its phasing to. The idea is that all cultures are equal adoptions to the environment. It was thought up with the intention to curb the idea that spear-wielding hunter gatherer bands are just backwards, or the mockery of certain cultures for their esoteric laws. No way of doing things comes out of a vacuum, and it doesnt remain just because the people are dumbnuts. Hunter gather bands function better in savvanah than farmers do. Japan's system of honorifics came from a highly structural feudal reign, which itself came from perceived need for strict discipline over a united Japan, which came from so-on-so-forth ect.

If it hasnt occurred to you already, there is one major weak point, one stabbing flaw that every. Single. Person. Brings up.

Nazis. Fucking Nazis.

They dont even have to argue about it, I say "all cultures equal!" and they say "Nazis" and that's my cue to shut up. If I argue, people are aghast that I'd defend Nazis. If I dont argue, people get to gloat over a stupid anthropologist while they go back to being the smartest of historians. Rock, hard place, I lose a little face and go with the second option.

Whats incredibly irritating is that no one will ever, ever being up some classical example. No Aztecs, no Mongols, no Vikings. No, those can be clearly defended, because its not recent. People didnt live through that. Mongols and Aztecs killed anybody who they couldnt control. In the name of their god or in the name of just taking their shit. But we can look at Aztecs and say "oh, thats their religion" or try and find a weak excuse like "oh, the area was overpopulated." Because these people were just backwards and stupid and har har.

And you know what? You know whats going to happen in a thousand years? People are going to look at Nazis and say "It was because they were Christians" and nobody's going to bat an eye. Something so inflammatory today and everyone in the future will consider it as just another opinion to be processed and studied. They'll think its a new and fascinating take on an old culture, just like we make takes on Aztecs and Mongols.

And as for what I'd say for defending the Nazi's? Well, morality is  transient and-
Oh wait, thats another philosophy everyone hates. Boo grr boo

I gotta stop this somewhere and wrap up my thoughts, or I'll move on to how I'm supposed to nod and smile at racists.

Let's end on me defending those goddamn Nazis. With a lot of simile.

What they did is a horrible atrocity, even by thier own Western standards. What I want to say is that this didnt just develop out of a vacuum, that this was an adaption to the environment, just like anything else. Its not something that Hitler could just pop out of his head, fully formed, and people would just follow it like lemmings. Germany was poor, downtrodden, shamed, better than this, better than anyone. And like the quiet guy who brings a gun to school, things spiraled into scary from there. Racism against Jews (and Romani to a lesser extent) was rampant. People disliked Jews like America disliked Communists. It seems stupid looking back, but if you were in the thick of it, fuck those guys. When Jews started to be treated like second class, well, they were, so it wasnt a problem. And then things started winding worse and worse, one step at a time, and the people went along with it. Party leaders pushing party members (who couldnt refuse because those were orders). And if everyone in the party was going along with it, well, you hated those Jews anyway. And why use the Jew's things, their bodies? Well, you are poor, there is a war going on, and its not like Jews are people.

Everything makes sense in context, everything develops into its own adaption. This is what the philosophy of equal cultures is about for me. Not that we shouldnt have steamrolled those Nazis, because they're a precious gem of a culture. But that the people saw this as a viable option, equal if not better than other methods. And for what they were trying to do, it worked. Its not a good thing that it worked, of course it isn't.

Wait, was this defending it from a cultural ecology standpoint with the equality thing mixed in?
Dammit, cultural ecology is old hat now. Those historians are gonna bite my face off....

Friday, May 20, 2011

Art Update: Symbolism is Easy

Symbolism used to be hard, references used to be hard. Hundreds of years ago, it used to be the big game maker for a work of true value and art. You had to be ridiculously well read to know the meanings behind meanings, to catch the little things. You had to sort through books and books, and if you're lucky there'd be an index or a card catalog to aide you. There wouldn't often be a handy all-in-one guide to symbols either.

Symbolism today is hella easy. Which flowers, which animals mean what? Open up google search and go. If you really wanna get fancy, go to the bookstore and get a well-sorted all-in-one guide. Symbolism is still held to be an pinnicle of art, but two-bit hacks can look up a few things, graft it to an otherwise shallow work, and think they've said something deep.

So when I say I made a symbolic intro page to my new comic, um, yeah, I feel somewhat guilty about it. Symbolism is cheap and easy, except for the context-specific kind, like in Watchmen. My first chapter of Devil Dreams of Card Games is pretty much Generic Shonen Battle #8 billion, so the symbolism might seem like the graft-y type. Or maybe it is just the graft-y type and I'm in denial. ANYWAY.

This was still an important and fun project. It helped me get together and solidify the art style I'm going for. A cartoony, bright style. And a bit more American that my typical art. This piece helped me work out the colors, FINALLY solidify Ken's design, work out the lines, and especially helped me determine the style of the backgrounds.

I hate backgrounds. Grrr, backgrounds. Never know if I'm doing them right, never know if the characters are getting lost in em.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I Hate This Guy

So theres this guy. Let's call hiiim.... Wowie. Yeah, Wowie. This is a blog post about Wowie, a friend of a friend in real life.

No, first, the tale of Bobby and Jim, generic fanboys of genericness.

Bobby has played all the Ultracraft games, so when some crazy lore thing happens in Ultracraft 6, he can gasp and be in awe, because he is familiar with the works firsthand.

Jim wants to play Ultracraft 6, but he doesnt want to play or cant find the older games. He learns from Bobby the lore of Ultracraft, the story up until now. So when Jim approaches the crazy lore thing in Ultracraft 6, he is given context by Bobby, and can kindve appreciate it.

Wowie has never played any Ultracraft games. He listens Bobby describe the lore of it, does a little research on Wikipedia. He learns everything he can about it from the wiki and TVtropes, yet he never picks up Ultracraft 6, or anything to do with the sieres. When Bobby and Jim start talking about the crazy lore thing, Wowie goes on and on about how amazing Ultracraft is, and how the crazy lore thing was so cool. He doesnt mention his lack of firsthand knowledge, but goes on and on about this and that, all picked up from articles he read online.

Wowie does this for every single thing. Comics, games, movies. He has no hobbies of his own, has no area where he has any real knowledge. Over the internet, its easy enough to accumulate a vast bank of secondhand sources. Anime, superheroes, tabletop games. When you have a passion, you try and find out more about it, and if you can get the information for free, all the better. But if you have a passion, and read about it, it would make you want to go and actually experience those passions. Buy Ultracraft, read MechaMech: The Mechaning, watch Zappystaff. But Wowie has a passion for other people's passions. He's watched funny reviews and read thoughtful essays, so thats good enough to run out to the dork crowd and display his pretty experience badges. Experience badges that you know he didnt make on his own, because when he talks, you know exactly which website he got that idea from.

I freaking hate Wowie. Its one thing to listen to Bobby and think "wow, I should go check out that book/movie/game." It's another thing entirely to just listen to Bobby and think its just as good as the real thing.

In conclusion: Cracked is a humor site!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Writing Practice 2

Is my blog meant to be a primary source of entertainment? I mostly made it to be a collection of random art, but it only seems to be a collection of random thought. And I havnt exactly made much lately... a vaugly bleach-ish guy who's powers are based on smoking, (man this Big Eyes Small Mouth game is fun!) but nothing is completed towards my comics...

However! I do have to write a paper! Time for a sarcastic version of it!

This whole class has been about Britain being made of racism, and to show how racist they are, we read a bunch of books by people from India. And a book by Jack London. He's an American author, it's that one guy who wrote White Fang. But he has London in his name, so that's almost good enough!

I'm not writing my paper about London. I'm writing my paper based on A Passage to India and The Satanic Verses. India is all like "Man, this cave is SUPER creepy. Why the crap are we looking for the real India? The final ingredient was bromance." So on, so forth. Verses is all like "THIS MAN IS GOD. AND ALSO MOHAMMED. AREN'T I DELIGHTFULLY ZANY?!" I am going to mash these two books together to make a SUPER BOOK. With crazed introspection and mundane zaniness on my side, no one will ever stand up to me again! I will RULE THE WORLD!!! Bwahahahahahaha!

No, I mean, I'll write a paper about the complexities of self-identification when the world has already identified you. People already have an idea about who you are based on where you're from, not necessarily on what your skin color or religion is. This is the basis of racism in Britain. America had a history with black slaves, so racists tend to judge people based on color. Britain had a history as a colonialist empire, so racists judge people and label them by the country they came from. This makes all of Britain confused, because the races are just different cultures, which makes racism perfectly acceptable, right guys? We can have white power because we're a culture too, and all those other people can have thier culture power, and it's cool. right? I may be getting a skewed view of Britain by this teacher lady and her British National Party deathglares...
It doesnt make racism any more acceptable to have the race lines be parallel with culture lines. It just makes things more confusing as they appear to be perfectly defining classes of people.

These books are racist in that British way. In the "our cultures are irreconcilable" kind of way. But even though the cultures are different and its hard for people to understand one another, neither British or Indian people are making the effort to cross that gap. In Passage to India, both groups just stop at their assumptions, and any interaction only reaffirms their ideas. In The Satanic Verses, if you can get past the incongruous I AM MOHAMMAD part, reactions based on looks are exaggerated by the main characters' transformations into an angel and a devil respectively. Except the book is about the characters coming to terms with their own identities, and then seeing it backfire in the form of a weaponized magic lamp... um... never mind, this book doesn't make a lot of sense, but that means I can claim absolutely anything about it. Thank you arty bullshit! Yet again you have saved the day!

This isnt helping me write my paper much, huh. No, it is giving me a better idea of the direction. Yeah.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Drink That Bun!

I've been trying to think of a way to describe what makes a game click for me, and what kills something that is otherwise quite perfect. I could sit down and play Rune Factory for hours and hours, even though its just a grind sandwich with teaspoon rewards. On the other hand, I loved the funny antics in Red Alert 3, but couldnt play for more than half an hour before quiting, eventually just shrugging it into the bought-and-never-beat pile.

I opened and closed the new post tab again and again, trying to come up with an idea of how to describe it. I dunno what made this idea come to mind, could be my kitchen sink for all I know.

My favorite games are the ones where I can drop right down, stare at the world, and feel it all around me.  If I can describe the smell of the world I'm in, then I know I'm having fun. Pounding action doesnt do it, that tends to make me put down the game and try to calm down. If I can be calmed by a game, if I can stop, take a deep breath, and smell the air, then that to me is a great game.

So, examples!

Wind Waker smells like salt water, an ocean breeze. Most dungeons have that salty smell soaked into them, mixed in with a sort of algae-like mildew.

Half-Life 2 smells like rot, decay, and corpses. Even in the city environments, hot concrete still stinks like blood, like iron.

World of Warcraft has a loooooot of smells, but the magical effects smell a lot like ozone and frosting. Yeah.... frosting.

Guild Wars, the first tutorial area had a wonderful smell, fresh grass and flowers. Even down in the catacombs, you could smell the living over the long dead. Which only made its destruction all the worse... I was so glad to get to the fresh air of snow and pine in the mountains. Destroyed Ascalon was copper and sand and ozone, very metallic, and overwhelming.

Shadow of the Colossus has no smell. This is a strange one, because it was a world I loved to explore and stay in, and I did just stop and look around, breathe the air. The lack of smell comes from my perception of the area Wander is entering. A sacred place, an empty prison, a sanitized and uninhabited land. A strange dimension of reality that doesnt follow our laws, the land of gods. I imagined, even with all the plant life, this land was desolate, and existed in the same state that it always had. The rotting buildings were always like that, and always will be. There was nothing in that land to make any smells. Thats how I saw the environments that I wandered around in, a pet interpretation.

Minecraft smells like soil after a rainfall, unless my dirt texture is the Oklahoma red soil stuff. Then it smells like clay.

Some of the best horror games, Silent Hill 2 and Amnesia, are ridiculously immersive, but in the opposite way. No way do you want to sit and breath those worlds. Silent Hill 2 smells like corpses and mildew, and Amnesia is too damn freaky to really try to smell. Plus, Amnesia focuses too much on audio. I hear the insanity scratching and I think "mice, oh god, mice in the walls, they're going to bit me while I sleep oh crap." I play these in short bursts, beating them over the course of um... months?

This isnt completely why I play games, nor are those all the games I liked. For example, I really liked Persona 4 and Phoenix Wright. But those were more like watching anime than playing a video game. I have completely different standards for those. In short: those characters better be goddamn amazing or the anime will burn.

With all of this in mind, I've been recommended Borderlands over and over and over by my friends (all two of them). And I did give it a try, on my boyfriend's computer. I got up until the second questing zone, which probably isn't nearly enough time to get a grasp on such a large game. But after I got to the first town, looked around, and tried to get a grasp on this place... I couldnt. I love desert space planet settings, I like Trigun and it addicted me to the idea of space frontier GONE CRAZY. But Borderlands didnt feel alive. I couldnt just stop and get a feel... so it felt really weird to play. Maybe it was the art style, it seemed almost plastic. Or maybe it was the low interactivity of the world, it only seemed like a giant ammo/weapon dumpster. Or maybe it was the splash screens at meeting each new character, like we should be really, really excited to see a random human. Whatever it was, I couldnt breathe the world. I cant think of the place clogging my breath with sand, I cant imagine the stench of the mutant dog things. It just smells like rubber and plastic and numbers. It doesnt matter how funny that crazy scientist lady is, Steve! It wont make the color cartoon land of plastic prizes become Gunsmoke!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Puella Magi Madoka Magika (Its over!)

I'd just like to say, I often describe myself as a recovering anime fan, trying to get into American comics and video games, like a proper lady should.


The finale of Puella Magi Madoka Magika came out last Thursday, but I didnt bother looking for a sub until yesterday. The show was interesting, though it had its flaws. It wasnt nearly as super over-the-top dark as it wanted to be (somewhat because of censorship). But the fact that the entire show was about Madoka's choice to become a magical girl was fascinating. The tenth episode made me freaking cry, so I was hyped for the two-part finale.

Since I actually have ONE READER (gasp!) I think I'm going to be a little vauge on the details of the show. Mostly because every episode is a spoiler for the depths of darkness it tries to delve. Its only twelve episodes, this stuff is packed in!

The first half of the two-parter answered so many lingering questions of the fanbase, and quite a few of the guesses wound up being right. Which is actually kind've wierd, you know? Fan guesses usually all get thrown strongly into a crazy direction, and then they call foul once the show refutes them. Especially after this long of a wait... but almost all of the popular theories were right on. The episode sets everything up to be nice and hopeless with the undefeatable end boss. After, you know, Homura fires ten million rockets, slams and explodes a propane tank into it, summons missile launchers out of the ocean, and blasts the witch into a massive silo with ten gajillion proximity mines, you kindve suspect it's not going to work. If you're prepared and overpowered, anime always tells you youre screwed. So we have a nice little setup for the absolute most depressing ending to a pretty dang depressing and deconstructive show. I'dve seen it coming a million billion miles away.

And then Madoka turns right around and says, "Hell no. No more sad ends. I will become HOPE ITSELF."

Doesnt that sound equally like cop-out bullshit?

...why am I cryyyyiiiing.

Maybe because it worked. No "gotcha!" moment where the man behind the curtain yanks despair out from under you. Whats funny is that because of that wish, the world becomes as it should be. A standard magical girl setting. Its ridiculous and silly, but I'm just blown away by the reconstruction. And by all the bombs and rockets. And the floaty star nudity.

Oh yes, my favorite thing about this show? Lesbians.
Yep, thats all folks, girl just loves her lesbians. Screw yaoi, gimmie more yuri, anime. That's all I want from you, as a straight adult female.
Okay, I'm joking, rather, what makes me happiest about this show is the damn HANDLING of lesbians. Most anime are just so damn glad to pander, especially those magical girl shows aimed at the oldah boys crowd. It's right there in the opening. "Here there be lesbians!" It invites you into a common trope/joke about magical girls, and then takes it seriously. It shows a relationship that doesnt have to have a gender. It shows true love, in a nonphysical way. It shows the purest devotion to a single person, doesnt matter what gender said affection is, it just so happens that her love is for the same gender as herself. They share a hug, a lovers lament, but they never go full blown crazy like the do in the opening.
That is something I wish we could see more often. A love that would be no different if it was "proper," if one of them was male. A strange relationship handled without comment or judgement, simply presented. Something like this had full rights in a anime to take it too far, but they just let it stand as what it should be, a purehearted young love. Almost all of my friends have been gay or bi ever since I've gotten to college, and hanging out with them, it almost seems that simple. "I just like him, so I went with it. I'm not letting society stop me."
Okay, I'm going on too long about the lesbians.

One final gripe: What the hell was Walparugi then?! Was she a collection of witches, like her name suggests? Was she Homura herself, and the depths of her despair, building and building, make Walparugi that much more powerful? Was it an alien? Was it the nature of the wish/curse cycle? Hang on.... yeah, I checked the wiki, it has no goddamn clue either. Kindve a big thing to leave hanging. I mean, this is a Cosmic Horror Story, but Walparugi isnt the source of the horror, only a looming and understood threat to hang over the whole show.

Single reader! Internet! I've gone on too long about this! GO WATCH THE SHOW 8I

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Glass Box

There's a school of thought surrounding media called Matrixism, which pretty much is exactly what it sounds like. Games and shows arent like real life, they're symbolic representations of it. Sometimes they can be close, but often they're not. What Matrixists claim is that media no longer symbolizes the real world, but only refers to other symbols. When you see a hot chick in an ad, its not trying to represent any kind of normal hot chick, but a kind of symbolic ideal of a hot chick.
That doesnt even remotely resemble a burning chicken!

But Matrixism is kinda silly. Of course it looks like a chicken on fire, or a chicken and a fire. Where do these symbols come from? When I draw a little stick figure, it's not a representation of a human, but a representation of a representation? Then what the hell is a human? Maybe I just suck at drawing! It gets silly, it doesnt really hold water.

Wait, why am I talking about Matrixism? What does this have to do with anything?

Today one of my favorite game writers, Shamus Young, wrote a blog post I pretty much agree with. He rants about how people were conducting a downvote attack on at Portal 2 because it had alternate costume DLC you could buy. If I may describe it in one joke, Shamus yelled at the manchildren for complaining about a broken cookie, while the rest of manchildren's video game meal was a big, brown, goulash shit.

I read a huge, verbose, and well constructed counterargument on the forums that yelled at Shamus for being wrong. The post talked about many aspects and facets of Portal 2, why the DLC was terrible, why the attack was justified, and on and on and on. The guy had a lot of rhetoric, but halfway through it I read one line, and his argument fell to pieces:

"I admit, I didnt play this game myself, but..."

And there, out the window it all goes. He had only heard about all of this through second hand sources, and was forming an argument based on those sources, not on any experience that he had. He talked with great authority on something he had absolutely never experienced. He didnt even say "I heard that it was like this." He recited each and every point like he knew exactly what he was talking about. One of the reasons Shamus was mad. There needs to be some kindve law against this. I decided I wanted to write back and laugh at him, saying that he was silly and I knew better.

Though I hadnt played the game either...

Thats when the curveball came for me.  I've been pretending I'm part of this community, but I've only been watching it from the outside. I havnt experienced game history, I havnt played half the games they've talked about. Sure, mostly because I didnt have the technical capacity to, but I still informed myself on their love and rage. I've been looking in the glass box that is the gaming community, picking sides and defending them based only on secondhand knowledge. Maybe I'll have played a game or two, but that doesnt make me any kind of expert.

How many people do this online? How much of gaming culture, or internet culture, is based around hearing about or reading things online? TV Tropes. Cracked. Escapist. Filled with people who dont know what they're talking about, all clinging to these few authorities they trust, and making thier opinions from that.

In short, Matrixism. A mob rule of Maxtrixism. That's what I'm saying the internet is like. Like those shadows in Plato's cave, and those with skills in rhetoric make shadow puppets.

And I'm one of them.




This post meandered all over the place didnt it?

Monday, April 18, 2011


I just got a shiny new graphics card along with Team Fortress 2. It's a blast to play, and my experience with Killing Floor makes me a little bit better than the standard newbie. I still run up against crazies who can kill me halfway across the map as a Scout, but most the time I feel like I'm on a level playing field. That's not why I'm writing, however.

There seems to be two different philosophies surrounding medic, characterized by two types of people. Those who yell at me for only healing one person, and those who yell at me for trying to heal many people.

Heavy/Medic has permeated through gaming culture, its known to be an unbeatable force. I've been accused of cheating while using this combo, which is an accusation that instantly evaporates when I remember how many times I've been killed right out the gate doing this. But most the time, you stick to your damn heavy, because they're out in the open and taking massive damage. But then somebody screams for medic halfway across the map, and yells at me in chat for not healing them.

However, when somebody runs right beside me and is hurt, I try to offer them a quick blast of heal beam. loosing any number of team member in the arena is fatal, especially in big groups. But even if my primary target didnt die in the meantime, they'll be screaming for me constantly while I'm gone.

I guess this somewhat reflects the hectic nature of the game. You cant see whats going on at every point. The medic must have just abandoned you for no reason. I get this from scouts... they scream for medic, demand I follow them, and then run off like doofuses. I cant keep up scouts, why do you waste my time?!

I try to stick to a primary target, and priorities go from Heavy to Soldier to Pyro to Demo to Engineer. The other three are ridiculous to try and heal constantly. Scout goes to fast, Sniper would only die in one hit anyway, and why the hell are you giving away the Spy's position??? But if somebody runs by me and is hurt, then I'll try to quickly heal them and get back to my primary target.

In closing, man this game is fun! Besides Medic, I tend to go for Scout, and my favorite modes are Arena and King of the Hill. If you see Blondie_Brownie, THATS ME!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Writing Practice

I was planning on writing about my favorite video games in my next post. But I guess you'll have to wait, non-existent readers. Soon, internet. Soon.

Right now I'm trying to write an essay about Soulstealing in ancient China, and all I'm really doing is staring out a window. My only sentence is about how the information was gathered, and that doesnt really lead to much. So, my invisible audience! I am going to ramble here for practice! Then I'll have enough writing juices going to get back to my paper! I mean ditch the paper and go play Team Fortress 2! This plan is flawless! I'm going to make every dollar! I'm going to use every exclamation mark!

Okay, okay, Chinese soulstealing, specifically a panic in 1768. It's funny, because the upper class and the emperor didnt believe in that hoodoo. They were really intent on preventing panic as, you know, a panic was totally going on. On the local level, random strangers were being picked up and tortured for a confession, which was totally legal and even encouraged in certain cases. But not in this case. See, you're supposed to actually know somebody is guilty, and under some weird law code, you cant convict anyone unless they confess. So you torture them to get a confession. The emperor was completely disappointed in everybody, because they misused the pure criminal busting power of torture. Also, all the sorcerers were seditious commie bastards intent on taking him down and they needed to be PUNISHED!!! Then in October of that year (the scare started in March) the sorcerers were found to be not sorcerers, and the entire scare vanished. Poof! Book over! Except for a bit where the author says Hungli's grandson was way more betterer at handling dark magic.

See, I can write a silly and sarcastic version of my paper. I could go on and on for ages about it, I know this scare and its components backwards, forwards, and flipways. But I've already gotten points torn from my fingers for using any kind of metaphor or slang term, and my Chinese teacher is going to totally deathglare me if I turn in six pages of quips.

But those quips got me A's in other classes! Even when I completely write the paper wrong, teachers are freaking enamored with my possession of voice. You read a million droning I-dont-care-doing-this-for-the-grade papers, and you'd go gaga over a couple quips too.

Ah well, paper! Ahoy!

So I wrote my paper as seriously as I possibly could, going over and over it to make sure it was all proper and correct. And the teacher still said I wasnt taking it seriously, that I wasnt writing correctly, and knocked me down to a B+

Okay, my style of writing is a little train-of-thought like. With improper grammer structures abound. But... she really picked on this, and it killed what she actually considered a well-put-together paper.

Probably because she's foreign. "This is the right way to do it! Why dont you use the right way?!"

Ah well...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Half-Life 2

I just beat Half-Life 2 the other day, which is by far the most popular game I've heard almost nothing about. Sure, I still see headcrabs, Civil Protection, and crazy Gary's Mod stuff pop up in the media from time to time, but you hear almost nothing  about what actually goes on in the game, or at least, I've heard almost nothing, compared to the amount of stuff I've heard about other Valve games.

But man, maybe that was a good thing.

As I've made clear before, I'm not a shooter person. My little brother called me the other day to rave about how awesome Killzone 3 was... I just shrugged. Over the phone. Too much BLAM BLAM KAPOW WHEE! Where I like to sit still, stare at whats around me, and participate in combat sparingly. My last game purchases were Rune Factory Frontier, Persona 4, Amnesia: The Dark Decent, and Pokemon White. Two relationship sims, a thing I cant play because graphics card wahey, and something to play on the bus.

But, you know, for all the BLAM BLAM KAPOW WHEE in the game, theres a lovely chunk of just sitting and taking in the scenery, my favorite part of any game. And despite being ultra linear, theres plenty of stories behind the placement of a little side root, a body, a ton of rockets, and two Civil Protection burning corpses. Every place feels like it was something before the distopia, even when you take a second look around and realize how absurd some setups must be.

There's so many things I could say about Half-Life 2, but I'm going to just say the one thing that stuck out. There was an amazing bit around the part of chapter "Follow Freeman!" when you're trying to break into the Citadel (does that count as a spoiler?). This is when you pick up NPC squad members left and right. And they die... left and right. I began shouting at them after a while. "No, dont follow me you fools! Just because I am a tank doesnt mean you're safe! Nooooo! Dont you die on me Bandetto! You were the medic, now the rest will drop like FLIES!!!" I was seriously affected by this. Tossing antlions at people was one thing, they're freaking bugs, but people, real people entering a meat grinder? I saved and reloaded so often, just to see a few more resistance fighters live.

I went to jebus (I'm borrowing the game from him) and said "why do they keep fighting?! why?!"
"Yeah, their AI is kinda dumb, isnt it?"
" D8 " Not really a good answer, did he even get into the game at all?
I restarted the game and began griefing the tutorial area. I listened to Breen before... he was talking about instinct, submit to the aliens, dewp dee do... wait a minute. Reproductive urges suppressed?!
Resistance: "Oh god, we cant bone, all thats left is fighting!"
" D8 " That cant possibly be the answer!
I later thought that the reproductive thing was an elaborate way to not have any children in the game. Clever, Valve. Very, very clever...

I love this game, it thinks of everything and tells you only if you care.
And it really, really makes me understand the desperation of resisting a huge, overwhelming power... I'm in a roleplaying game right now, trying to incite that kind of rebellion.
It's now a little scary to think of people when they're desperate, willing to throw their lives on on the line to fight beside a sliver of hope...
But I cant protect you, Resistance! Aug, noooo!

There are games that dump mountains and mountains of dialog behind characters, and still cant flesh them out. There are games that dump mountains and mountains of dialog, making people into awesome characters, and I can still watch them die and know they'll be fine. Then there's Half-Life 2. Sure, all members of the Resistance are a little interchangeable, but god, I dont want them to die.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dreaming Vs. Doing

So, I was working on a card game comic, under the condition that I'd finish a chapter, then put it up, and work on it on a chapter-by-chapter basis. To try and keep my thoughts together, you see, keep it cohesive, and if it cuts off somewhere (as my comics tend to do), at least it'll be at a chapter mark. My boyfriend and I spent hours together, taking my messy written draft and building it into something new, something wonderful and complex, filled with power. Then I got to drawing.

I completed the first draft, pumping out rough scetch after rough sketch, finishing in the week. I looked back with pride, tweaked it, and began working on the images for the final draft.

But then, during the tedious long stretches of refinement, I began dreaming again.

Not about this comic, but another comic. I'd been reading homestuck, and the idea of just how complex a troll romance could be had started to facinate me. What if there was a story where someone auspiced through being matesprits to a black pairing? I dreamed and doodled during classes, building it into something, loving the idea in my head. I began thinking that I'd rather dash off a short story, something quick and fast. My card game comic would dig me in for the long term, and if I cant complete a single short story, then what was I doing writing a big year-soaking strip?

So I set out to do this little short story, the idea that it'd be done in the week.


I think it's been what, a month or two now? A month of slogging through setup, so I'd only just gotten to the part where we meet the second main character?

Yesterday, I doodled about my card game comic. I read through my drafts again and thought "damn! this is awesome! Why arent I writing this?!"

I love dreaming. I love thinking up fantastic things. but when I start to write, I run out of steam, I analyze, and I wonder what the hell I'm doing, who's going to possibly read this stuff? I mean, who the hell is reading my blog? I UNNO haha! I never have the resolve to finish anything, not unless its easy, or a lot of people are behind me. And I don't want to rely on an audience to keep me interested.

But I made a promise to myself, to no one else. I'd finish this short story before I did anything else. I made the same kind of promise before with negitive results. But this time I... I guess I know more about failing? I'm more sick of starting something and ending it with only broken dreams to show for it? How many times have I tried to start something and failed now, eight or ten? This Trollmance is a way to find my weaknesses, find the limit of my abilities, to make the creation of comics as close to my dreams as possible, and be proud of the results. And I know SOMEBODY'S gonna read this crap, it's fanfiction! It's dumb to have that as a motivation, but hey, I'm not showing anybody but my boyfriend my work until its done, so, um, THERE INTERNET!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I seem to be on an MSPAdventures high lately!
I mean, I've been reading it for a while!
But a fanfic, fanart, and a song?

This is the picture I drew for the video

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Art Update : MSPaint Adventures Fanart

A time battle between Ardia and Dave, TIME LORDS GOD TIER... RESIDENTS
Done in Paint.NET with mouse
And here's the full sized picture

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What Have You Learned in College?

I have learned practical writing skills and a mass of half-remembered facts, of course. But the most important things I've learned are the philosophies of thought and method that I plan to follow throughout my career.

I cant think of much more to say about that, but its my answer to a question I never got to respond to.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Patrick Rothfuss

Okay, this has been nagging at me a while. A while of seeing people I love and respect throw roses and compliments in a drooling stupor.

Patrick Rothfuss, I hate your books.
Or rather, I've read and hated your first book, so I'm not going near your second, no matter how much my boyfriend assures me its awesome.

This is a matter of taste, really. I read books for the people in them. I read to see the workings of peoples minds, how they interact and affect the world around them.

Kael is the epitome of self-insert fanboy dreams. He is the guy who does everything right and always wins so we can all smile and say "ha! take that society!" Yes, bad things happen to him and he goes all mopey dopey, but that doesn't mean anything to this guy. The bad things that happen are just dragons.
Let me explain.
So, his parents are murdered and he's forced onto the street for, I dunno, two, three years? Through it he's reduced to a ball of survival and pain and a near death experience forces him to try and get past this, to try and fulfill his teacher's dream of seeing him in school. Heck, that kind of struggle could fill up an entire book, and it has. The Thief Lord is all thats coming to mind, and that was innocent tomfoolery.... But come on, you see the potential for some true heartbreak, some scarring, and an honest to goodness human struggle.
But no, it's just something in Kael's way that he has to defeat, and when he overcomes it and he's at the university, it doesn't affect him at all. He's tight with money and seeks revenge. That's the sum of this entire gut-wrenching and soul crushing experience. He doesn't find it hard to communicate or trust people, or jump at every and/or the occasional shadow, or finds it difficult to think again or anything like that. Okay, he does find it hard to think at first, but lo and behold, he gets rid of that nonsense and goes right back to being the godsend prodigy of everything forever. Living on the streets was a bad thing that he had to defeat, and it doesn't have to have any meaning beyond that. It's just another tick on his awesome-o-meter, a freaking dragon he beat once.

Really, what is human about this guy? My boyfriend says "thats the point, this is the story of a GOD/MAN" but I don't buy it. The storyteller guy is a ball of awesome. The fairy student is a ball of awesome. Everybody knows how to do things the right way and rule the everything for awesome ever. This is endemic of a lot of fantasy books, to be honest. They live and breathe in the escapism of the ultra awesome. But Drizzt feels like a real person, even as he bounces around like some kind of prodigy GOD/MAN. Humanity and escapism are not mutually exclusive.

Plus, everybody looks at Kael and says "yep, he's awesome, we're going to respect him forever." I mean, the opposite is worse, if nobody respected him even though he's so damn awesome. BUT STILL.

And, yeah, that's pretty much why I hate Patrick Rothfuss.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Body Language

Whenever I try to draw, I always like to use a lot of body language. I'm a big fan of animation speaking for itself, a big fan of visuals saying more than words. So I guess I've been trying to imitate Miyazaki for a while, with emotive hair, excessive shoulder movements... well, I don't think the shoulder thing is Miyazaki, so, maybe I'm just making stuff up.

But when I draw, its still only ever two independent bodies blabbing at one another. The last time I actually drew two bodies in contact it was just someone helping, carrying the other. And even then, they were like two separate beings, they didnt really interact. Allis didnt show how disgusted she was by this, Marke was kinda limp, but otherwise didnt really react to Allis carrying him.

But right now I'm writing a really dumb fanfic romance thing to prep myself for a big longterm project. And through it, I've found a new visual dynamic, the realm of lover's touch. Or... hate's touch? Trolls are weird, and I'm not making them any less weird in this fanfic. BUT ANYWAY.

Up until now, I've only made people move and dance and do whatever in separate spheres. Its a wonderful new idea, having these two characters almost move as one. Qilock doesnt just square his shoulders angrily at Minika, he tightly grips her shoulder and forcefully pushes her aside. To this, Minika doesnt just emptily move, she resists, and shrugs it off as part of the game. A scene I'm drawing now, Minika's cellphone device thing goes off. but as she pulls it out to look, Qilock grabs her hand to look too. Phisical contact, the close intersecting of personal spheres, only allowed by lovers. They dont need words to display how close they are (though I shamefully use a lot of them) all they need are a few key scenes of singular movement, actions that dont just react to one another, but act as one.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Games and Atmosphere

So I was playing Killing Floor a while back on the offices map. We had found a spot to fortify into and were waiting for the round to start. We had about twenty seconds to doof around so I wound up staring out the rainy, blown out window. Just in those twenty seconds, staring at the flashing cop car splattered in blood and muddy rain, I got a feeling. The feeling of being with three other dudes, beaten and bruised, fighting off endless waves of experimental monstrosities. Alone, helpless, desperate. I made a little private prayer for safety. Then the trader said something sexual and British, summoning the screams of dismemberable specimens to be slaughtered. (alliteration x5 combo!)

Killing Floor is a cheap knock-off Left 4 Dead desperately trying to be more hardcore and also more British. It's no Silent Hill or Bioshock. Heck, its not even a Minecraft on the level of atmosphere. Yet even a knockoff with "generic bloody zombocolypse" as its world could make me feel a slight stirring of contemplative emotion, even if it was completely unintentional. I mean, its an overwhelming survival horror game that isn't as scary as it thinks it is. Well, unless you're being overwhelmed by the clot/gorefast hordes... so I guess it does accomplish what it set out to do BUT THAT DOES NOT INCLUDE CONTEMPLATIONS BLUH!
Maybe I'm just a sensitive moon-eyed woman type.
Or maybe this is the result of not playing anything outside of Wii and Gamecube games for most of my life.
*shakes fist at Wii*

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Formation, Purpose, Links

I made this site to have a single place where I post everything that I create. My projects are spread out throughout different hosting sites, and I thought a blog was a good place to start to collect them.

Though this is basically like gathering up a bunch of scrap paper, gleefully stuffing them into a bottle, and chucking it into a garbage dump. But hey, social networking?

My Videos:
My Comics:
My Devart:
I'm not posting a link to the games I made because they were made, like, eight years ago and they freak out when played on anything more complicated than XP

Most of this stuff hasnt updated in ages, but I'm trying to get a comic up, so that may change.