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The End

Ultimately, I decided to just move to another blogging service. This is my last post on this particular blog. It's been fun, but that's how it goes.

My new blog is at:

http://teddysdisease.blogspot.com/


For those who it may concern, I'll still be updating the work blog here.


Cheers.

Headed toward the future

Today was another day where I realized I've become more of an artsy guy, or "art fag" as I've been called. Fun term, and I don't mean that with any sarcastic tone. I've come to appreciate almost everything, which is odd since I'm often perceived as an antithesis to all that is. Strange stuff, but fun none the less. I've somewhat grown out of that, but at the same time have kept a foot in that realm. I can get darker than I ever was, but for the most part I don't like to think of things in a shade of grey or some such. I was once quite the homophobe and I hated color (no racial connotations, mind you) that wasn't black. Well, here I am now. A lot different. I've found I can be unsettling, but at the same time I end up thinking more in one day than I would in a year when I was younger.

How Kyle put up with me, I'll never know. I need to buy him a series of drinks one day just for that saint-like patience. In any case, a personal revolution occurred and in the wake I found my truest self. I picked the ball up from there and started rolling. So yeah, that's the short version of what happened.

I used to hate any vocals in fan-remixes. Now I give them a fair shot. Of the three I've heard today, one was decent (albeit with tongue-firmly-in-cheek lyrics), and the other damned impressive. The vocalist has quite the melodic voice. Big fan.

I used to hate most of everything, but since I began drawing, well, I started to think in multiple paths. Not too linear, I might add. I rarely understand the connections myself.

A lot of things are often forgotten through it. I keep thinking about what I want to do with this blog, and I'm not sure anymore. Sometimes I think of reviving it, other times to turn it into a comic review blog. In all, I'm not sure. Generally, I'm thinking of either continuing this blog or doing a Blog: Rebirth. Just start fresh with a new blog to indicate a new direction. I link back to this, of course, as one should never forget where they come from, where the are, and where they're headed.

I'm not entirely sure, but I'm leaning towards rebirth. Maybe at Blogger or some such. Whatever happens, however, I'll make at least one more post here regarding that. I'm aware nobody reads this, but as with most journals, I'm really writing to myself. The one other person I know glances over this now and then may never see it, but again, I'm preaching to the choir at this point.



Cheers.

Rock bottom.

The ultimate bombshell pretty much was dropped today. I don't want to get overly dramatic with the details. Well, not "ultimate" I suppose, but it's still quite severe.

I'm not sure what will happen next.

Cheers.

Jan. 26th, 2009

Because of school I won't be staying up so late anymore. This probably means I won't be chatting much with my friends unless they find ways to get online earlier. Anyway, I'll still keep working and try to update the blog when I've got time. Got a few things to put up later, so we'll see how it all goes.

Cheers.

I actually like Marvel.

Just to make things clear, I don't hate Marvel comics. I like a great deal of their characters and read their books, but I do have a clear bias for DC comics.

Why? They got to me sooner as a kid. There's a lot more to it, but that's the short version.
Went to a wedding party-- not by choice-- and I'd like to make one thing perfectly clear: want to know how one drops 80 lbs. in a year? Bouts of depression and self-loathing coupled with an extreme borderline-fanatical devotion to a hobby. The height is hereditary or some such.

There. May it never be asked again. If only it were that goddamn easy.


Also, this song has about one minute of material I like and the rest is bothersome. Fun.


Cheers.

Chasing the dream.

Years ago today, I started chasing a dream with some friends. It's been an arduous journey thus far, and it's yet to cease, but today symbolizes this entire project in a whole. At least I feel that way.

I both love and despise this thing. It's done a lot for me and I've done quite a bit of work for it. Regardless, it's been three years (?) and I'm still not ready to green light the whole thing. Not ready skill-wise, not ready financially, and not ready in general terms. A lot has to be done and I'll be in my 20s before the first strip is up, but it'll be what I see in my head whenever I think about it. It's not quite there yet.

When I was young, I always wanted to draw comics or make cartoons. A cartoonist. That was my dream. It was a mantra, even though I only drew to tune my teachers out. I sucked at drawing and by about 13-14 I just quit. I wasn't ever going to do it. Come my third year of High School, I was 16 and Chris pesters me into agreeing to a comic. Since then I've been developing my style and while I still suck, it feels good to be back on that track.

I still won't ever be good enough for published comics or animation, but maybe one day I'll be good enough to produce a good comic you read for free. That's my limit, so my goal is to crash into it. Shattering those limits is the dream, but I have to get there first to break that barrier. It's a long way, and probably impossible, but chalk this up to old fashioned human stupidity. I love drawing now more than I ever did and it's all because of this project.

Three years ago I was in the middle of a personal revolution that began a little over a year prior and I was thrown a pitch which changed everything. Whatever happens from here on out is unknown, but December 15th's become something of a holiday for me, at least for now.

In other news, my earphones died when I got home. They exploded while I was listening to The Killers. They killed my iPod. Bastards.

Pain: my cocaine.

Before you drop the E-bomb (emo), hear me out. Or read, rather.

Art's a strange thing in that you control your growth. It's not like riding a bike. You may not forget, but it seems your muscles do. You lose your touch and spend time getting back in the swing of things, but regardless, there's always this dissatisfaction in my work that keeps me scratching paper. Were I pleased with my work, that would stop, but I'm not. I've read this is almost a universal thing with anyone who tries to creatively express themselves (I don't want to call myself an artist as I don't quite feel I am one).

Anyway, among other issues, there's that element of disappointment in one's skills that keeps them coming back. It's almost like an addiction. It's depressing, really. To love drawing and never be fond of your own work, but that depression keeps me coming back to my desk. I've got a lot of baggage which amplifies this a bit, but I find it a bit humorous.

It's that same displeasure that keeps me working hard, so I'm glad to have it. I feel the same way about my writing. It's that will to improve that does it, I suppose. When someone looks back on their work and thinks it's excellent and cannot be improved, well, it's time they rent a suit and become a politician because they're rather good at lying to themselves and others.

But I digress. That same pain leads to some sort of high. Both sketching and writing are fun and I often can't stop once I've started. I've had essays due the next day and I do a warm-up sketch starting at 6:00 PM. By 11:00 I'm still drawing and when I stash my crap, I can't stop thinking about it. I usually submit and pull out what I was working on and sketch a touch longer. Plotting's the same way. I plot stories every day. Fleshing out characters, themes, anything! It's truly addictive. A drug in its own right, and it's that dissatisfaction with the end result which keeps me coming back like the abused spouse I am.

So there you have it. Pain's my cocaine, even though I find I'd be more partial to heroin or meth. Go figure.

The Great Wall of Text

I'm going to bring some activity back, so I'll present ideas with bullets then flesh them out.


*I never jumped on the Joss Whedon bandwagon, but I'll agree with him that should Wonder Woman get made, Cobie Smulders isn't a bad choice. Just based on appearance, she is pretty good for the role.

I read a lot of support for Meagan Fox, and let me be the first to say she's attractive to no end. But she doesn't strike me as Wonder Woman. She's beautiful, but there's more to Batman than his good looks, so to speak.

*Am I the only one baffled at how difficult it is for some to discern the lines between fiction and reality. Believing in finding "the one" is understandable but when we watch action movies, we're mindless drones. Where's the line in the sand where accepting bullshit is acceptable? Not to defend either camps, but some things work great as stories because they're extreme. Since there's an overload of stories being pumped out, I suppose it can be easy to mistake these extremities as real (if you see someone find their soul mate or dodging bullets three times every day, it doesn't excuse you for being stupid but it's slightly more understandable) but even then it's just absurd.

Through that, there's a common mistake between passion and love. Passion's what you see in films: animalesque lust; a burning sensation; The Notebook. Love is something else entirely. It's not easy to pinpoint, but it really does fall under the blanket of "concern." When you love someone, you are concerned for them. You can love someone in many different ways, as a sibling, parent, or lover (or combination if that's your preference). Often, you'll like being with them, but it's not mandatory. "Don't know what you've got 'til it's gone" is a perfect example of this confusion. You take things you love for granted. That glorified flame-- that passion-- does burn out. An ember may reignite, but it's not ever-present. Love isn't what you see in films, it's something else. It can be strong, and in the case of a lover, be coupled with a strong sense of passion, but they're not the same. I love my dad, even if we argue regularly and he infuriates me to no end. I love comics even when they don't love me back. I love collaborating with friends even when it's a sluggish procedure, at best, that needs lightning to strike to rejuvinate interest. I love drawing.

That does not mean that it always burns. I don't wake up in the morning with an erection for a blank page. I'm not craving a new comic story. I don't count the moments for my dad to come home. There are times when I want nothing to do with either of the aforementioned subjects... but should I lose them, I know I'll never be the same. I often think of what would happen should my right hand be compromised. Among other things (shall we open the other notebook for that one?), I won't be drawing anymore. Art's contributed a lot to who I am, how I think, and the like. Without being able to draw, however poorly, my life would seriously change. Should my father die, the world will lose a bit of its luster. The light will shine less brightly should the bridges between my friends and I be burned.

Passion and love are not the same thing. It's always a pleasure to experience great stories, but once we start believing fiction as reality then we're dreaming. The problem with dreams? Among other things, you're going to wake up; they end.

*Is it me, or did the election (my, how Engrish changes the meaning of so many conversations...) seem less powerful because it was turned into a gimmick? There were some great ideas on the platform, but we were too caught up with color and making Obama the new Che to really deal with what was important. The man's platform was strong enough that turning him into a poster campaign, while obviously effective, seemed to cheapen it... as if he was elected not because he was the best person for the job, but because he was the "flavor of the week," so to speak.

I tried, for the most part, to keep quiet on who I wanted to be in office after Giuliani was out, but I suppose to not be tagged as a Klan apologist, I'll admit I'm an Obama/Biden supporter. I didn't vote for a color, an orientation, or a street campaign. I voted on the platform. I do feel that when the cards were down, he was the best person for the job. He has good points and I'm eager to see what happens from now, but it bothers me to see people put him on their shirt, backpack, and so on... because I know that in his place will be Hannah Montana or some such in a few months. It's like being a Batman fan after the film. Three years from now, wearing my shirt will cause someone to tell me Dark Knight's over. What?

The erecti-- er, election (Engrish strikes again) was an especially important one because of the economic state of the country as well as the other issues at hand, but am I supposed to care more that a black man is being elected than an intelligent man trying to save people from losing their homes? Sure, he's an African-American, but is that all I'm supposed to see him as? When I look at people, talk to them, I don't really care about where their ancestry is rooted. So you're x ethnicity, I don't care so much about that, but I care about you. Who are you? A good friend of mine, Caith, is bisexual, but he is not my bisexual friend. He's Caith. His orientation's just part of who he is, but it doesn't define him. That's how I see Obama. He's black, but he's more than that. Why get so hung up on race? I see a man with great ambition. I see an effective speaker. I see many things, but to limit it to "we elected a black man" is foolish. I feel he's better than that and we should be too.

*Just to sound racist, when someone starts with "I'm an x-American," whatever it be (Asian, black, white, etc.), I stop paying attention. If the most interesting thing about you is your parents, sorry, but I don't care enough to talk to you. I'm more interested in "I'm the creator of Lucky Star" than "I'm a third generation Greek-American." And I'd rather eat cereal out of a HIV-positive prostitute's twat after some convict had his way with her than watch Lucky Star.

I have friends and relatives all over the radar, but there's more to them than color or orientation. I feel getting so hung up on race is like moaning about your mint ice cream being white instead of green. It's not the look that is important when you get to know someone, it's them. My dad has asked me before if I had a preference in women (something like "if there was a group of girls, all of them great personalities and so on, which would you pick") and when I said it didn't really matter to me, he seemed disappointed in my answer. As if he wanted to hear something, anything. I'll admit, I find some accents more attractive than others, but am I supposed to pick a group and stick to it? He has a latin fetish akin to Chris' Asian one, so it may be strange for him to comprehend that I'm an equal-opportunity kind of guy.

It would be hilarious, however, if it all comes full circle and I end up with some "nice Greek girl" like my grandmother insists, despite my claim of being open to the field.

*Pop music: an enormous amount of energy to it, and usually crafted to be catchy enough to make yourself hate that you keep the tune on your machine, but always about nothing. I also can't bring myself to care about the pop artists too much. There are some which are entertaining, but who the fuck is Kelly Clarkston? Hannah Montana? The Jonas Brothers? If I didn't have a cousin into them, I wouldn't know either. I've heard their stuff and it's energetic, catchy, and formulaic to the point where it's sickening.

All pop is fundamentally the same, even the current internet favorite, J-Pop. It's the same crap and everyone tends to find a couple tracks they like. It's the DDR rule. The dumbest songs will be your favorite. Be it because you think the singer has a nice voice, the lyrics just speak to you, or that aforementioned energy. I love Utada Hikaru's "Beautiful World," but I don't fool myself into thinking she's anything but a Japanese pop star just like the various ones I'm unaware of. Kate Perry kissed a girl, and what a shock, liked it. Some love it, some hate it, but it's energetic pop music, which is exactly the point.

The same can be said for all music, really, but I think it applies to pop most of all. Pop music is very much like an enthusiastic virgin. There's some sentiment to it but it is overwhelmed by the raw energy being put out. That doesn't change that they're probably a lousy lay, but that energy does amount to something. Energy is infectious. Unless you're one of those people who deny liking something because it's not "manly," "metal," or any such classification, you'll probably find yourself fond of a song by an artist on your hit list. You may be forever in the closet about it or not, but it remains that you like x by y.

In that regard, Pop music's like the general population: no matter how much you hate the thick of it, there's a few singularities that will stand out to you. Then whichever imaginary diety you believe in help you when it's outed.

*Weekly manga, or at least that with a continuous story, has to end. First, as a storyteller I can only imagine what that does to the creator. Second, it's all about pacing. I remember back when I was much more interested in manga and five or six chapters would really just convey one single idea, but were stretched out because of the time limits. A lot of filler fighting and talking to fill pages. I feel the monthly manga works better because it gives the mangaka time to get their ideas out and not give us 30 pages of useless action that makes your characters superhuman to endure and as such less entertaining. If the monthly Superman title comes in and is just punching, I'm enraged.

With weekly manga, not so much. I get the insane conditions. That said, the useless action/banter that seems to be there to fill the required 18 pages depresses me. I've seen some solid ideas sodomized by the weekly format. The extreme example is Dragon Ball Z, in which hours of animation depict what is five minutes. Characters tell us the obvious to kill time. It's bothersome.

With stuff like Urusei Yatsura, this wasn't so much of a problem. That was more episodic. Short stories which fit the weekly format. A lot of Takahashi's work is pretty good, but I'm biased so I'll not continue with her examples. Manga, especially the weekly titles, are widely popular so it's doing something right... but I still feel that it is both murderous to its creators and leads to a good deal of missteps otherwise easily avoidable. It's unfair to blame the authors, however, as they're just caught up in the vicious cycle of it all.


That's all for now.

Cheers.

Creative constipation

I have well over 100 ideas of things to draw.

Well over 300 ideas for strips or bits in aforementioned strips.

Yet, through it all, I can't manage to get anything to come out. I have so many I'm afraid I'll lose them. When I sit down to write, suddenly I can't manage. My hands don't respond. My mind goes blank. I think I just can't seem to get it right in my head, as if there's always one piece of the puzzle not yet figured out. I want to draw and write, but there's something that won't let me...

I'll confess that at times I think I may have minor alien hand syndrome. I'll be drawing and then out of nowhere my hand will stop moving. Time seems to slow to a crawl. I know in my gut that it's going to make a sharp tangent, a jerk, in some direction. I send the thoughts "don't... don't... don't..." and once I regain control and begin my regular lines, it quickly jerks, makes dark line over my work, and is met with a slew of colorful words. Other times I'm writing and I start to write letters that don't exist. Other times, it just quickly jerks in a random direction or thrashes about for a second or two. I'm sure there's some sort of explanation for this that isn't so far-fetched, but it is rather bothersome.

I'm rambling, but before I diverge any farther, the idea is that sometimes there is something I can't really control. Some bizarre compulsion. When I try to write, lately, that happens. I sit in front of my monitor, get my notes out, and nothing happens. The plug is pulled on all my ideas and I start to feel tired. I struggle, but nothing comes.

When I'm out and about, I have nothing but ideas. In all regards, not just this comic. Information overload, I suppose, but no way to vent. It's as if I've become creatively constipated, and while I'm sure this phase will pass, I'm equally sure that it's both excruciating and cannot come soon enough. Now, where's the Bismol...?