Here’s a snippet of panel 3 with and without text for you to use.
Last Tuesday night I got started with cleaning out my ears, which I never really bother with until it gets to the point of there being too much earwax. The way I typically do it, as I've done in the past, is start with earwax remover solution. Problem there is there's so much earwax that it just melts it into this barrier in my ear. Thus I go at it with q-tips to get rid of some of the wax. Takes a few days to go about doing that.
Issue is when I got my wisdom teeth removed that halted that process. So I stuck around with a clogged up ear that didn't really get unclogged until like Sunday, where I proceeded to start the process over again on the other ear.
Anyway turns out this was all a terrible idea and now I have an ear infection where it felt like a nail was stabbing the inside of my ear until the eardrum broke open the damn a tiny bit. The other ear also has a bit of an infection too.
Worse was I went to the doctor today because I was pretty sure I had an ear infection and the pain kept me up late last night. I used up two hours of PTO and went during lunch time to get it checked and hopefully get some antibiotics. The doctor checked my ear and was like "Nah, I don't see an infection. Might just be sinuses. Here's some nasal sprays I recommend."
I go back to work, where the nail driving pain returns, where blowing my nose resulted in a super sharp pain in my ear along with leakage. I was like "Okay, yeah, this shits definitely infected." Thought about waiting until tomorrow or Friday to go back to the doctor's office, but my Mom rightfully told me to just call them and explain what happened.
I called up, told the doctor, and I was able to just show up and skip the waiting room. Another doctor checked my ears and said "I don't know how they looked earlier today, but they sure don't look good now." With that I was finally able to get a prescription for antibiotics. Got ear drops along with pills.
Also antibiotic ear drops are fucking expensive.
Moral of the story: clean your ears regularly. If you wind up waiting to long and it gets clogged, go to a doctor and get them to fix shit instead of you.
What a fucking week.
Hey guys! I've made posts about it on patreon and Twitter already, but this morning I went and had my wisdom teeth removed and not in shape to get much work done. Things will be back to normal next week!
Now, whenever I see a biography/dramatization of a real person, I try to go in with the mindset that I'm watching a fictionalized story. Some parts are probably based on actual events, but usually when you stick close to real events there isn't much of a story, and movies love to portray people that might not accurately reflect the person in real life. One example being Saving Mr. Banks. While Tom Hanks does a good job playing Tom-- Walt Disney, he plays him more as a lovable character than the businessman Walt Disney truly was.
(If they ever make a biopic of Hayao Miyazaki they better portray him as the angry old man who yells at clouds while smoking a pack of Cherry cigarettes and being highly disappointed at every person working under him, because he's far from the lovable grandpa people love to draw him as. Also would be super fun to watch him talking shade on Osamu Tezuka and Hideaki Anno.)
Anyway, back to Tolkien, the way the film is done is constant flashbacks throughout his life leading up to his time as a soldier in WWI, showing glimpses at the things that would eventually be used as inspiration for Middle Earth. There's also cool imagery with mixing fantasy with reality, especially during the combat scenes. Seeing people get shot to hell while shadow creatures go about the battlefield, culminating at a giant warrior from hell looking shadow standing before Tolkien. It's pretty neat. The music was really good too, with these nice orchestral movements. You can find the soundtrack on youtube or wherever. I particularly like Fellowship and Helheimr.
It was cool to see Tolkien and his friends/TCBS creating works of art and showing them to one another, encouraging each other to continue and improve their craft, even if their parents/guardians are against it. Made me wish I had a group of friends like that growing up. The actors do a great job showing a great kinship with one another.
I'm also a huge sucker for works about writers. Whether it be anime or live action, something about seeing others and their struggles to write always gets me hyped to sit down and work on my own things. I also wish I could get famous enough someday that Hollywood would make a (terrible) biopic about me, with huge swathes of boring nothing happening as I don't do jack shit.
Saw Code Geass: Lelouch of the Alive Again Because Money, Babyyyyy last night. It was swell.
At first I wasn't gonna see it in the first place, but I had a $5 fandango credit from watching shit through AMC A-List, with another one coming after next week, and you can't stack them onto one order because fuck you, and it was gonna expire before I'd have a use for it for anything else, so I went. It helped that I went with low expectations because I watched both season 1 and 2 through fansubs back when it was coming out and man, R2 was crap. Whereas season 1 felt like there was a plan the writers of the show were going for, R2 felt like they had no idea what the hell they were doing other than "GOTTA THROW A TWIST IN THERE!" Don't get me wrong, all of Code Geass is dumb as hell, but season 1 was fun dumb.
The movie felt like dumb season 1 fun, which I appreciated. Probably helped they had a decade and change to come up with something. The fights scenes were awesome, with one being so fucking dumb with the Geass stuff that I couldn't help but let out a burst of air through my nose.
I don’t need another one.
Laika are the fucking masters when it comes to stop motion animation.
Saw Missing Link twice this past week (second time so I could get my fandango points and get $5 off a ticket for Studio Movie Grill), and the stop motion blows my mind sometimes. I can only imagine the painstaking work it takes to make sure mouth movements match with dialogue, while at the same time characters are moving around. Hell, there's tiny little facial movements that make me go "they really printed another face just to have that one little mouth twitch?"
The actual story content is alright. As a kids film it works. Just like the two other Laika films I saw (Paranorman and Boxtrolls, though Boxtrolls kinda sucked). If it were a standard CG film I probably wouldn't give it much attention. It's very run of the mill. And in a way, it's a shame in my opinion. Laika has this brilliant style of animation that few others can do, are the masters of their craft, and they use their talents to make something that's otherwise just okay. I would love to see someone that could pump out a super emotional story like Pete Docter take a stab at using Laika's animation and create something truly amazing.
This isn't to say every kids film has to be something up and beyond the standard fare. There's a place for them in the world. Hell, I want to come up with stories that otherwise would be labeled as such. But man, it feels somewhat disappointing seeing such magnificent art being underutilized like that. Maybe Coraline and Kubo are what I'm looking for, despite never having watched them. I don't know.
Regardless, it's a fun film with an aesthetic I enjoy and some funny moments that got a stream of air shooting out of my nose from me.
(The following was the Patreon blog post from last week to explain the lack of a comic update.)
I'm mentally (and physically) exhausted tonight. I got about a third of the way through the roughs before feeling I needed to tap out. I don't have it in me tonight to do the hours long back and forth with Cooper in regards to fixing the line art.
Yesterday I drove over to my parent's house to work on my car, which has been on its last legs for years now. How it keeps going I'll never know. I guess it's the resilience of Mitsubishis.
So anyway, my dad and I work on the car and then I head out around 10 ish pm. As I'm driving down the highway my tire decides to end its life and blow out. All around the side facing the inside of the tire is shredded. Hubcap MIA too. Worse was I was in the fast lane and the tire that blew out was on the passenger side. I should've pulled over to the left side median to get off quicker, but there was a decent size break in traffic for me to go ahead and hop lanes so I could pull over to the right median. That way I wouldn't have my back facing traffic going 70+ mph. Also the right side median is wider. Here's where I was pulled over on google maps for those curious.
Some dude happened to pull over to help, but that mostly resulted in him just holding a flashlight for me as I changed the tire. It was super helpful since the light wasn't all that great there. After I got the tire changed I drove back to my parents to stay for the night as there was no way in Hell I was gonna make the 30 odd mile trek back to my apartment on a spare.
Cue me being awake most of the night and getting jack shit for sleep.
Finally made it home a few hours ago with a used tire to replace the blowout.
Overall it could've been way worse, like if I had blown further out where there's cement barricades running along the median. Regardless, I just want to finish doing laundry and then crap out on the couch for a bit then go to bed early tonight.
God knows how I managed to make it this far!
Finished The Orange Island league in Pokemon. As a kid I always thought that the whole arc was kinda lame. After rewatching it it was sorta there. But man, that Orange Island League battle sure was lame as hell. The Indigo Plateau was treated like a Olympics-esque event. It lasted for days, there were numerous trainers all fighting each other. Was cool.
Orange Island? It's just one dude at the end, and it's treated like a gym. There was a full stadium but the set up of people showing up was someone commenting "Oh, someone's actually challenging the winner? Man, it's been awhile. Don't have anything else to do on this weekday so fuck it, let's go." It was like going to a high school football game. Lame as fuck. And it was short, too. Imagine having gone to watch it, see just one match, and then go home? The entire match in real life would've only lasted like, what, ten minutes at most?
Anywho, onto Johto Journeys. It was around here where I dropped out of pokemon altogether. Though considering I'm watching it for the sake of having something to watch where I don't have to pay attention and still kinda get what's going on, it's the perfect show. It's not too interesting to take my eyes away from work but also entertaining enough for me to not put something else on. This perfect white noise of a show.
On Saturday when I was doing driving around my usual places to walk around and kill time (barnes and noble, best buy, five below, and walmart (all conveniently next to one another)), I saw a sign advertising a cat adoption thing at Petco. It got me thinking maybe I should look into getting a cat. My last cat died back at the end 2013, so it's been awhile since I've taken care of one.
When we got my old cat I was like 12, so I had no idea what goes into pet adoptions. So today I went inside Petco and talked to the person in charge. Apparently the cats come from a place called Dallas Cat Lady, who gets the neutered, spayed, shots, and so on. Which is nice, since that would mean I wouldn't have to worry about getting all that done myself. There were some cute cats up for adoption, but I wanted to get some other things taken care of before I ever make that plunge, such as getting my wisdom teeth removed after being told to do so ASAP by my dentist about a year ago.
I'm super duper responsible.
Also Orange Vanilla Coke Zero exists! It's okay I guess! Tastes exactly as you would expect. I prefer regular ol' Vanilla Coke Zero.
After finishing the previous chapter, I had decided to stream myself doing some drawing exercises suggested by Cooper as there had been some issues that needed addressing. Because of that there weren’t pinups between chapters this time around.
The first practice was to help push myself and draw not in my usual style along with different facial expressions. To do that I had to select some random drawings of different expressions and try my best to recreate the original drawing to the best of my capabilities. Afterward I had to redraw them in “my” style. (I also showed Maze: Megaburst Space and Maquia)
The second practice was to help figure out body sizing for characters, that wound up being Cooper helping me to get Owen’s body type down as I continuously fucked it up. It took some effort but I think I have something down. (Viewers also watched Panda Go Panda, Lu Over The Wall, and Happy Lesson).
I apologize that they aren’t the most exciting updates, but they were a good practice for me.
After these two updates there’s going to be a MZone and Cooper update as I’m still developing the script after having some writer’s block/designing a new character who plays a pivotal role in the story. Please look forward to it!
The first draft of Episode 6 is finished. It's currently being looked over by my friend to see if the actual story is interesting and/or good. After that it'll come back to me for rewrites, more editing, more look overs, and then hours upon hours of editing, going through it with a fine tooth comb. I can't give any real estimates into how long it'll take considering what happened with Episode 5. Just know it's being worked on.
The $10 tier guys can look at it now though if they really want to look at it and see an unholy mess.
Goal is sometime around march. Preferably early but again, no guarantees.
Hey! Coming up this Wednesday and next Sunday I’ll be doing a Patreon exclusive stream! I’ll be doing some studies and general practice while watching anime. The stream will be available for all levels starting at $1!
MGD6 Update: I finally got over that mother fucking writer's block in this one section! It had plagued me for weeks, and even forced me to skip ahead and write around it for the sake of getting work done. But this past Friday I sat down and went "I'm fucking doing this shit today!" Cue about forty minutes of thinking I figured out the direction I needed to take and pumped out 1853 words for that chunk!
The problem I'm now faced is I can't exactly go with the ending I was currently aiming for, but that's okay. The ending for this arc in MGD has changed dramatically over the years as I've slowly worked on it. There was a time for about two years where The Masked Sorrow was suppose to be the son of Supreme Commander Vehes and playing that up. If you've been keeping up with MGD then you know that never wound up happening. Sometimes as you develop a story you have to give up the ending you wanted and go with what works better with the world and characters you've been developing.
Also this past week I saw I Want To Eat Your Pancreas. Sad to say I can't recommend it.
The plot itself sorta treads on that A Walk To Remember type story: Guy and sick girl who's eventually going to die before the ending of the story form a relationship. Her dying is not a spoiler, as they show her funeral way early on. For most of it it's fine, and I thought kinda cute. Wasn't groundbreaking or anime, but it was turning out to be a nice little film that was worth a rental or a stream at some point.
But then instead of going what you would've expected, the writer tried to throw a twist to make things more "dramatic" and "sad" that comes off more manipulating. Like where you see the strings being pulled behind the scene and the writer going "Didn't expect that, huh? Are you sad? Are you depressed now? How about you shed some tears?"
Instead I felt kinda insulted, in a way. I understood how one would want to try and have a twist with their story, but sometimes you should let things just play out as expected. It felt like that two minute bit from Paranoia Agent where it parodied that style of story. Except in Paranoia Agent it's done as a quick gag. I Want To Eat Your Pancreas pulls a similar stunt over an hour into the story and is sincere about the stupid scenario it came up with. Worse is it's telegraphed earlier in the story on multiple occasions, but that doesn't make it any better. Sure, stuff like that happens in real life. I get that. But there's a reason the phrase "life is stranger than fiction." Sometimes things that can happen in real life don't make for an entertaining story.
Anyway, that twist soured me on the whole thing and made me felt like I wasted my time. There's plenty of more enjoyable "girl dying to a disease starts relationship with guy" stories out there I'd rather revisit before going through this again.
Currently sitting at around 9k words, with a long way to go still before finishing the episode. The longer it gets the more I feel like I'm gonna end the episode earlier than originally outlined and moved what would've been the last scene or two of episode 6 and make it the start of episode 7. It's not that I'm worried there's too much content in the episode. What I'm more worried about is episode 7 winding up significantly shorter compared to episode 6. To give insight on where things stand in 6, there's a massive hole in the writing where two sections were skipped over due to me being unable to get around a writer's block. Along with that is about two more scenes before hitting where I plan to move the ending up to.
In the end I don't think it'll be too big of an issue. The original ending of the episode would be better suited as the opening of episode 7 anyway, as they're more connected with the going ons in that chunk of story.
I'm more worried about the chunks of story I skipped over and have to get back to soon. I still haven't figured out how the fuck I'm gonna write that shit down.
I checked out Hi Score Girl this weekend on Netflix. I gotta say, I wasn't expecting a cute little romantic comedy from the little I heard about it.
Basically it follows a grade school kid in the early 90s who's obsessed with video games, mostly arcade games. He develops a rivalry against a quiet rich girl who happens to be super awesome at video games, even moreso than him, and eventually developing into a love triangle with a girl he meets in middle school who develops a crush on him.
There's a lot of callbacks and references to old school video games, usually with quick descriptions and a surprisingly large amount of unique recorded footage. If you saw the first season of Genshiken you might recall how they milked the same footage of Guilty Gear for all it was worth. Hi Score Girl instead uses unique footage for every scene it's used, or at least from what I could tell. Since the plot sometimes heavily refers back to what's going on on-screen, it makes sense.
One caveat with the show is that it's 3DCG. It has a cel shaded look, which helps, but sometimes it can't quite escape the awkwardness of Japanese style CG animation. They cut frames to make it appear more "anime like," but I always think it looks like garbage whenever they do that. Thankfully there isn't much action in the show proper, so it gets away with it most of the time. When characters are standing around talking it's not noticeable.
I watched it dubbed, which I found to be done well. The dub script flowed naturally and the voice actors did a good job. Biggest complaint was the mom character adding an (s) to the end of manga. I'm in the camp where you shouldn't put an (s) at the end of anime or manga when referring to multiple. It sounds awful when people do that.
"Look at all this manga!" - okay
"Look at all these mangas!" - not okay
Whenever I hear it I think back to that Vice and Luna page from Anime News Network.
Anywho, I recommend it. It's a nice afternoon killer.
For the past few weeks I've been watching the Indigo League episodes of Pokemon. It's been fun going back to episodes I only ever watched once back when they broadcasted initially. I'd completely forgotten a few of them, so it's like watching new episodes of the original series. When I was a kid I recorded the episodes up to where Charmander evolved into Charmeleon as those episodes were shown on TV in syndication while I was at school (DFW UPN 21), so I watched that chunk over and over again. When Pokemon hopped over to Kids WB I didn't bother recording them as I was able to watch them on Saturday, and thus didn't see them nearly as repeated.
With me being on the last disc of the set, I went ahead and ordered the Orange Islands boxset so I could keep the Pokemon train going. I'm not sure how long I'm gonna be watching Pokemon while doing comic work, as I imagine I'll get tired of it at some point. Doesn't seem to be anytime soon as it's the perfect show to put on in the background and half pay attention to it. There isn't as much you need to pay attention to while watching compared to other shows. Plus since the majority of episodes follows the same cookie cutter pattern you already know what to expect.
The real challenge is gonna be once I get to Johto, as I stopped watching Pokemon around that time frame and started watching other stuff. Maybe that'll kill my interest until the next DVD set of Sun and Moon comes out.
At long last! Episode 5 is coming out! It went through development hell, so I hope you all will enjoy it despite the massive delays!
So here’s a MZone and Cooper strip I did.
My new short story The Waitresses of Café des Gros Durs (are dudes) is now available! Right now I only got it up on Square Space, but I’m currently trying to work out the kinks on amazon. Unlike Magical Girl Dallas, this story has drawings in it!
Edit (10/08) I made it to the top 20! Thanks for everyone who voted for the first round!
I made a design for the 4chan virtual youtuber design contest! If you happen to have 4chan Pass you can vote on my entry (or someone else’s) over here! I’d really appreciate it if you voted for it and spread the word! Doubt I’ll win, but hey! I still had fun coming up with her.