slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (Default)
Greetings, my flist! All ~5 or of you or so who, like me, are still on DW and LJ and check it regularly. ^^

I haven't said much here lately, and I admit, it's b/c everyone else is on FB and it's nice to say something and start a dialogue. *sigh* I so miss this platform's glory days. But I should stop contributing to the problem by not posting here, and post more! Ha!

Okay,'s an update on what's happening in my life.

Tl;dr: Not much, as usual.

Longer version within! Work, Yuletide, car, health, living arrangements, misc, and entertainment. )

I guess that's it for this long update. It feels good to talk to you guys again! Please leave a comment, if you have anything to say or ask. C:
slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (Default)
Interesting things happening in the manga world that are relevant to me.

First, the bad news. Clay is ending in the October 4th issue of Jump Square. This means 2 more volumes in English. I already have Japanese Clay vol 26, which was published in June. One more Japanese volume is coming, possibly two if the final chapter is super-long.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. I started lettering Clay in fall of 2005. 9 years, guys. It won't be my first ongoing series to end--that was Nana, which didn't have a real ending, but cut off abruptly due to mangaka health problems. Honey, Captive, and the various oneshots all had ended before I began. Clay will have a real ending.

*is at a loss*

In lighter news, apparently Seraph will have an anime. This is early, particularly since it's a monthly title. IDT we know the anime studio yet, but I hope it's Madhouse or Bones, and that they don't stiff the budget. I likes me some pretty animation. I also hope they wait until next spring. That'll give us around 8 more chapters of manga, and if they keep the anime to a short 11 or 12 ep season, that should be just enough. Please no half-baked anime-studio-written endings! *cough* Clay *cough*.

And in news that's relevant to me on a personal, apparently there's a new manga adaptation of Arslan. O.o Being done by FMA's mangaka, Arakawa Hiromu. Talk about a complete change in style from the original shoujo manga adaption. *blinks* And here I thought the Arslan manga people had mentioned reading at Crunchyroll was the shoujo version, and I'd been surprised someone would license such a dated-art-style manga. This explains things, huh?

As for me, I'm going crazy trying to finish everything--or as much as I can--before the week I lose in Texas for family visits and my cousin's wedding. (No one can lay a guilt trip on you like family, amirite?)

I have this fear that my being away for so long will trigger Spicer into another bought of health problems. It's entirely possible. Argh.
slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (Default)
Hey. ^^ Long time no talk yet again, right? But here I am, finally. Unfortunately, when it's been a while since I've posted, I feel I should write a Post of Substance, and that takes time and effort, and thus I decided to do it tomorrow. Repeat for about a month. :P But today, I had something on my mind, and even though it's frivolous, I want to share it. C:

My IRL and fandom friend knatsymike asked me via text how much of my massive manga collection I've actually read. Those of you who have witnessed my collection in person know it's huge, and it seems half the time when I'm asked if I've read a particular series, I'll answer "No, but I own it! :D"

I'm curious to see exactly what the ratio is to the read and unread manga in my collection. I started yesterday. So far, I've made it through Basara by Tamara Yuki. (Sarasa/Ageha/Asagi OT3 4EVA!!1!! /shipping)

A manga vol is read if I've read the entire thing once, no matter how long ago. This includes reading series in a magazine first, like Shojo Beat (How I miss thee... T.T), and then bought the GN when it was released. Also it includes everything I've lettered, because I've read those IN DETAIL. SO!!

Tally so far:

68 read
42 unread
total volumes: 110

Anyone want to make any predictions?? Here, I'll start: I guesstimate I own 1200 manga volumes, and I've read two thirds of them. :3

(Note: These 110 volumes counted so far are 1/4th of one shelf. Have I mentioned I have a massive collection? Because I do.)

To be clear, I didn't buy all of my manga. A good third of my collection were freebies from Viz. I've also stalked several library sales, b/c I can't resist a $1 manga vol I don't have, even if it's covered with library stamps and stickers. I've also obtained a nice chunk from (If you join, list me as the person who referred you!!! Use my hotmail addy. ^^V) My manga buying binge slowed down the past couple years, as my rent increased, and Spicer-kitty ended up so sick. (He's doing good! *knock on wood*)

And yes, in case you haven't noticed, I like physical books. C:
slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (Default)
Last night, I dreamed I was Ichigo in Bleach. An in-character Ichigo, at that. It was rather awesome to be so bad-ass. My love interest was even my favorite character!! I would not mind a continuation or repeat of that dream at all. X3 *is impressed with her subconscious* (Nothing naughty happened, but there were smiles exchanged and it made dream!me feel really happy--in a cool, Ichigo-esque way. Heh.)

The license has been announced, so now I can reveal the actual title of New Title 10! It is Voice Over!, aka Seiyuu Ka!, by Minami Maki of Special A fame! Told you the art is pretty. :D

Volume 11 just came out in Japan, and the series is ongoing. I will have steady work again! *throws confetti*

From a lettering perspective, I am going to earn every penny of my paycheck on this series. It's a crazy comedy, along the lines of the most busy Skip and Honey volumes. Not quite as bad as Mistress Fortune (no see-through sound effects and so much tone every page looks gray), but definitely in the "very difficult" category. And I have to letter this title with InDesign--and no text-free tiffs, at least for volume 1. *wince* I'm likely going to have to be less perfectionist about retouch, and hide said imperfections under type in ID, as I do when I can still letter in Photoshop. It's the only way to finish on-time without going insane.

But no matter, it's wonderful to have a new series to enjoy! From a talented mangaka who knows her field and delivers the laughs!! The main fonts have been decided, and today I should finally letter my first page. Woot!

My fave bookstore is having a 30% off everything in the store sale today. I'm going an hour early, to do all my shopping before the big crowd descends. I plan to catch up on Naruto (no more freebies since they don't need me to letter it anymore), partially catch up on Bleach and Bakuman (so behind...), grab the newest volumes of some shoujo (Ouran, Loveless *squee*, Black Bird, Kuroshitsuji, etc), and of course scan for any volumes in the various series I'm picking up here and there. I'm going to have to give myself a cap, though. Me at a bookstore sale is a scary thing. ^^;;;

This is a happy post. It's kinda nice!!!

And don't forget! You still have time to comment here, on this post, or send me a message if you want to stay on my friends list! If we haven't spoken in a while, please do so. :D
slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (Default)
In light of what I observed about hometown friends from my 2012 retrospective post, and because I was feeling worse about life by the minute, I decided to be pro-active and called up a friend I haven't spoken to in months.

It was wonderful! X3 I love my friends, particularly the ones who have seen my at my worst and like me anyway. *hugs for everyone*

On a manga-esque note, I realized 2012 was The Year of Shounen Manga. Thanks to needing to catch up to the digital version of English Shonen Jump magazine, I had to marathon a LOT of shounen manga. I don't recall the exact numbers for all of the series, but here's a guesstimate: (OMG Chrome recognizes "guesstimate" as a word!)

Bakuman - 150 chapters
Bleach - 150 chapters
Naruto - 80 chapters
Nura - 180 chapters (the whole thing up to January '12...)
One Piece - 55 chapters
Toriko - 170 chapters (the whole thing up to January '12...)

And the above is why I haven't really tried any new webcomics this year. (Note: Chrome does NOT recognize "webcomic" as a word.) I've been so busy doing manga homework! Next on my list of webcomics to start is Gunnerkreigg Court. I read the hard copy of vol 1 last year (in the middle of all that shounen) and want to catch up. I'm still making my way through all those digital Jumps from last year, mostly because I DIDN'T keep up with reading every week, and am still in June '12 for Bleach, Nura, and One Piece. At least I've stayed caught up with Naruto and Toriko.

Though now I have to catch up to Nisekoi and Blue Exorcist, both of which started in digital Jump a few months chapter 50. *headdesk*

So far for 2012, I am doing better with reading less fic, more manga and comics, and working on my original manga, too. HEY YOU GUYS! I FIXED A PLOT HOLE AND FOUND MY FOCUS!! PLOTTING IS SO MUCH EASIER NOW!!! XD
slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (Default)
I decided if I felt so guilty about not making a post to LJ and upset that my flist traffic has died down so much, then I should make a post to LJ. :P~~~

I finished the rush lettering job for the new (to me) publisher, and celebrated by going to see Wreck-It Ralph on Thursday night. I had to wind my way around the campers waiting for the final Twilight film's midnight opening--and there were a lot of them. O.o Anyway, I really enjoyed the movie and am completely stuck on one of the game's theme songs, Sugar Rush. The chorus is so catchy! ye olde youtube link. No, Youtube, I do NOT want my real name on my channel, "slr2moons" is NOT hard to read thank you very much, and why do I need a stupid channel anyway? I just want to watch random videos a couple times a month! Lose the FB layout, too. Ugh!

I decided to start lettering the logo portion of Skip Beat title pages in vol 31. I can't finish the pages without the script's translation of each chapter title, but I can definitely do the logo part. ^^ Nothing like getting a head start! Especially since the first two chapter title pages in this vol are complicated pink ones. Wheee!

Yuletide, visiting parents, and writing )

Star-chan, my BFF, has suggested I start drawing mini-comics--or as she called them, "drabble comics" (I like that a lot more than "mini-comics")--to build up my confidence with sequential art storytelling. I do have this incredibly foolish complex about making comics, and the only way to get over it is to prove to myself that I can do it.

Time to get started on that Skip Beat title page. Act 183, here I come! And I have more cleaning to do, to. Ugh.

(I need to set up the mirror posting thing to Dreamwidth. Something else on my to-do list. But for now, copypasta!)

ETA: Actually, I CAN completely letter this page of Skip, because it has the same title as the previous few chapters from vol 30. Nice. :D
slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (hopeful)
Today started off pretty good. I took the day off running, since on Monday I increased the intensity (up to 2.5 minutes running to 1 of walking for the first half, then 2 minutes run to 1 walk for the 2nd, from 2 min run/1 walk for the entire 50 min) and I could feel it. I decided to do a little housework. Vacuumed, disassembled my bed, laundry, reassembled bed with more blankets--including the electric one, since last night I didn't sleep well because I couldn't stay warm. Cats make intermittent bed warmers. :P

Then I cooked breakfast while I finished reading the wonderful manga House of Five Leaves, by Natsume Ono. Guys, I was bawling at the end. It's that good. I'm going to make a list of my personal manga top ten best, and House5 is definitely going to be included. I even sent Clay Editor 2 a gushy fan letter, thanking her for her role in bringing the title to Viz, because I probably never would have read it if she hadn't needed me to pinch-hit those early two chapters. I'm so glad I could contribute to this wonderful manga! T.T I will try to make a dedicated post about it, and why I love it so much.

It's also on my wishlist of Yuletide fics, and I'm offering to write it for someone else. So far, I'm the only House5 requester, but someone else is willing to write it, too! *has sparkly eyes*

I'm now painting the South Park bros pic. Had several false starts with the background, but I think I got it. Started on the boys' skin tone, and Photoshop decided to be difficult. The brushes palette has always been buggy for me, and somehow my newly made brush ended up painting with both foreground and background colors together. I finally fixed it. I think. Ugh. Things were just not going well, so I threw in the towel and decided to relax for a couple hours before bed.

Tomorrow will be my second anime night with [ profile] saladbats and [ profile] winnett at winnett's place. The first one was fun, and definitely worth the hour and forty-five minutes I was stuck in rush-hour traffic to get there. *facepalm* I'm leaving later tomorrow, at the tail end of rush hour. Hopefully it won't take more than an hour this time. Winnett lives across the river in Washington, so public transportation isn't an efficient option.

Oh yeah, I went to a YA panel on Sunday, with my fave YA author Sarah Rees Brennan in attendance. It was fun, Sarah was awesome, and she gave me a hug and let me have my picture taken with her!! (I look so short!) I gotta post that so you guys can see. :D
slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (goo.)




*is goo*
slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (Loveless)
In the manga I'm reading, two guys have given up on the same girl. Her high school ex claims he's not interested in her any more, and told her so. The other loves her, but she doesn't love him back, and she turned down his marriage proposal.

Friend thought she and her high school ex were having all sort of sex back then. High school ex thought she and friend were having all sorts of sex now.

After several drinks, both find out they were wrong. Neither has had sex with her. She's still a virgin at 24.

Both men suddenly decide they want her again.


slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (pout)
Let me start this post by saying: I hate masonry. As in the stonework, not the sekrit society. You'll see why next week, when I will have finished my pic for this year's Het Big Bang. Working on it half an hour a day for the previous weeks wasn't enough. I need to put in a minimum of 2 hours a day in this final stretch to finish in time. Pic is due Sunday.

Thankfully, work is under control! Skip 30 is almost done, with only one medium and a handful of easy pages left. This is good because I now have script for Clay 22. Remember how I said that earlier volume last year was so full of fighting it was pretty much one big fight scene? Welp, 22 really IS one big fight scene! The same bad guy, the same scene, with a bunch of different women waving swords at it. FUN TIMES. *wonders if that counts as a spoiler*

I've had an eventful week. On Wednesday I was the chauffeur for a friend's day surgery. I'm still not comfortable driving downtown, and that make it extra-fun. Then on Saturday, I helped Chiz and Neeka move to their gorgeous new place. I'm still sore! Only a little bit in my forearms, though. Apparently I really did manage to lift with my legs. ^^

Wow, when I was thinking about making a post, I kept thinking of all these fun and chatty things to say. And now, when I'm here typing, I can't come up with anything. :P

I recently caught up reading the wonderful shoujo manga "We Were There" by Obata Yuki. I had to stop at 13, because I have yet to buy 14 (no one carries it in physical store, and I keep forgetting to order it online), and 15 isn't out yet. Unfortunately, this is another series that only gets one volume released here a year. *hugs WWT and Kaze Hikaru close* I still love you!! Anyway, I'm quite irritated with the female lead of that series. Ugh. I just want to smack her. And while I do like the male lead, at this point I've lost patience with him to the extreme and am rooting for the other guy.

But of course, given the Law of First Love Interest Introduced (namely that they always win) and that ALL the book covers feature female lead with male lead, the other guy doesn't stand a chance. *kicks the stupid leads*

This is proof it's a good series, though. If I didn't care about the characters, then it would be forgettable and a waste of time. Nrgh.

In fannish news, the first chapter of my next fanfic is with my beloved beta-reader and BFF, Star-chan. I've been typing this on and off since January, when I started plotting it as a direct opposite to the extremely dark fic I wrote for Yuletide. *wince* When Chapter One is ready to go up, I'll be posting it to my Dreamwidth account,, AO3, and Luna. Skyehawke too, though I think I'll wait a bit on that one. I'll be linking them all here. ^^ Oh, and this is the Summer Wars/Skip Beat! romantic comedy crossover fic I've mentioned earlier. :D

My first hour of Big Bang piccing is done, so it's time to get to paid work. Yes, Kyoko-chan, it's your turn!
slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (goo.)
I just finished all 23 volumes of Hikaru no Go, and as I predicted, I'm crying. *sniffles* I'm not ripped apart by the ending, nor filled with frustration...they're tears of joy and satisfaction, actually.

Though I am very grateful the story ended on a light note, on a chapter fulled with fun and promise.

Now I think about it, HikaGo almost has two endings. Vol 17, and then the big ending at Vol 23. I'm content with both endings, particularly the final one. And...that doesn't happen very often with manga. (See my reaction to the ending of xxxHolic.)

Of course, after reading Bakuman I understand why it's so rare for me to be satisfied with a manga's end. Almost every time, a manga doesn't end because it's the right time, but because the bosses decide to kill it for some reason--usually lack of sales. When that happens, the mangaka is given around 4 to 8 chapters to wrap it up. It would be difficult to create a solid and believable ending in that situation. But back to HikaGo...

I want to watch the anime, but I am reluctant. The manga is pretty much perfect, and it would be odd to have the pacing and character voices changed into a concrete this is how it is from the anime. I know that sounds strange, but I can't think of how to word it. The exquisite suspense of watching a game play out paper, the panels that emphasize placing down a stone, the eye closeups, my needing to pause for a deep breath before turning the's an amazing feeling. The anime would be very different in that respect.

Like my previous emotional post the first time I read through what I had of HikaGo (through the 1st ending at vol 17), I am once again filled with admiration for Hotta-sensei, the writer, and Obata-sensei, the artist. They are masters of their craft, and it is proven by their ability to center a manga around an ancient board game and make it completely gripping.

Hotta-sensei, Obata-sensei, I bow before you. m(_)m

...I want the character guide and art book mentioned in the bonus author/artist talk columns and pages. Neither were released in English. I'll have to import them, if I can even find them still for sale. I'll have to find the ISBNs first, then maybe I'll get lucky in's used book marketplace, or perhaps auctions...

Time for me to get to work, if I can! Ahhh, HikaGo...I love you so much... *floats away*
slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (dance in the sun)
July is going pretty good, so far. ^^V

First, I received the most amazing review ever, for my beloved first fanfic. Click for fannish squees!! )

The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday, and this was the first 4th I've had since moving to OR when I didn't have a ton of work keeping me indoors. I decided I wanted to continue my family's tradition of imbibing copious amounts of ice cream on the holiday. And to justify it, I walked for 50 minutes to my fave self-serve frozen yogurt place, did the tradition justice, and then hiked all the way back. :D

At the last minute, I invited [ profile] knastymike to join me, and he was free, and thus we chatted about fun things while giving ourselves brain freezes. I also tried not to be too obvious about oogling the guy behind the fro-yo counter, for he was a fine-looking young man who made me think naughty things. Oh my! *fans herself*

We swung by my fave bookstore, since it's in the same strip mall as the fro-yo place, and I found a copy of "Cactus Secret" 4 for only $3.50! I bought it, since I quite enjoyed vols 1 and 2. Some good retouch in that series. Props to the letterer! I also tried the first half of one of Viz's new shoujo series, "Jiu Jiu". I like the art, but the pacing and framing made the story difficult to follow. I must admit, it is difficult for me to concentrate on reading in a public place (particularly when I'm in a sports bra and tank top, thus showing a lot of skin [for me]. IOW: I was feeling rather self-conscious), so I'm sure that affected my reading comprehension. If you like shoujo, try the series yourself. I'm going to give it another read when I can focus more. I did have a couple of funny moments while reading when I turned the page and had to check for no nearby kids or over-protective parents. Nothing technically naughty, but there was an awful lot of mixed-company skin showing on the page! XD

Today I went for a good run, and even with my water bottle along, I was HOT when I finished. I decided I was going to use my apartment complex's pool for the first time this year, regardless of how many kids or obnoxious teenagers or anyone else who might already be in it. Lucky for me, the pool was empty anyway. ^^ I took along my fave black river-rock diving stone and splashed in cool, wet goodness for 10 minutes. It was great. *happy sigh* I love swimming! I wanna go to the beach this summer!

I'm continuing my reading of the amazing manga "Hikaru no Go", which is just as good as I remember. This time, I'll be able to finish the entire series!! Some of you might recall my previous post on this manga, the last time I read all the volumes I had. Here's the post. Be warned, I was overwhelmed when I wrote it!

Speaking of which, when I sat down to do some artwork this afternoon, what do I find waiting for me but script for the first chapter of Skip 30! And the raw pages from Japan on the server! WOOT! XD

To review: I received an amazing review on my beloved fanfic! My current fic is going well and being so much fun to write! I had delicious frozen yogurt! I swam! I'm reading one of my fave manga titles, and it's still completely amazing! I have Skip again! YAY!!! *dances through a field of flowers, just like Hagu in her icon*

Now, back to work for me. *dopey grin*
slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (angst)

I've adored CLAMP's manga series xxxHolic for about 7 years, since I marathoned the first 5 volumes, loaned to me by my beloved IRL friend Kiokonai. I loved the art, I loved the individual stories, I loved the mysterious overall plot arcs, and I loved the three main characters.

For the past couple weeks, I've been rereading the series from vol 1, and loving every minute. Tonight I took 2 hours and read the final two volumes, fully expecting to bawl my eyes out and sob myself to sleep. Holic would be over! The ending would be amazing! No more Holic ever but the journey was FANTASTIC and now I can finally read fic without fear of spoilers and *bawwwwwwl* I am on LJ, typing out my reaction.

Okay, so I am a LITTLE teary, but that was about one specific aspect of the ending. And now, massive spoilers, HO!

Click here to learn how the series ended, the questions resolved--or not--and what I think about it all. )
slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (dance in the sun)
Happy Valentines Day to everyone! And to those on my flist: I am glad you are all my friends. ^^ *virtual hugs for one and all!*

I have a new title! Welcome New Title 9, another one-shot, this time with a brand-new editor! I shall dub her "BE", for reasons you'll find out soon enough. I just did several searches at Amazon, B&, and the official Viz site and can find no reference to relevant titles, so...I will remain vague for now. :B Sorry, guys!

This title is rather rushed. I'll be cranking out pages as fast as I can! I really like this one. I lucked out yet again--it could have been tiresome. Yay, it's not! The story is solid, the art is clean, the char designs very beautiful. It looks a lot like Saiun, only slightly less shoujo. Eyes are smaller, and no fantastic costumes. It's still very easy on the eyes! And it's also to be lettered in InDesign, like New Title 8. It looks like I still remember how to use the program. This is good! I'm glad my monthly subscription to the proggie isn't going to waste.

Amusingly enough, the book does not have one single page number. Not one, not even in the original Japanese version. That has never happened to me before, not in ~120 lettered books! One volume of Skip came close, but it still managed to have 3 or 4 page numbers. A milestone has been reached!

Sherlock by BBC, Bleach manga homework so I can use my SJA sub, and book club tonight! )

Enough from me! I have time for at least one more page of New Title 9 before I wander off to Book Club. ^^
slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (I trust you...)

The month of Work Hell has yet to start. I'm waiting for three scripts: Naruto chapter 525, Natsume 11, and Saikun 5. Naruto I'm not too worried about, as this chapter is a talkie with limited sound effects. Nothing more difficult than a yellow page. Whew! The two previous chapters are done and waiting for corrections. Natsume 11 I'm not worried about either. Shoujo Editor 2 has said the deadline can be adjusted when I can finally begin lettering. I also know we're in a good place pipeline-wise with Natsume. I might have to rush the vol a little bit, but not enough to make me fret over it. *knocks on wood*. Natsume 10 is also done. Saiun 5 is a big question mark. I don't know if the deadline will be adjusted to give me 4 weeks to letter it or not. I guess I'll found out before too much longer!

All of which means at the moment, I only have script for Skip 27, as Skip 26 is--yes--done. I've been lettering difficult pages only, to get them out of the way. I'll probably start lettering the chapter title pages in Natsume 11 today. I don't need script for those, there's nothing to translate on Natsume title pages but the logo and "chapter N", which I can do easily. :B

My thoughts on Darker Than Black, 1st manga edition! )

I suggest anyone interested in comicking art check out the Darker Than Black omnibus next time you're at the bookstore! I'd love to hear what you think about the layouts. Me, I'm going to study Nokiya-sensei's style and try to improve my own skills! X3

slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (dance in the sun)
 I wrote this fun, energetic post about how much I enjoyed the holiday weekend, and as I deleted some extra space at the bottom, LJ ate it when it moved me back a page in my history. I'd forgotten to copy the whole post into my clipboard before trying anything funny like making the LJ cut I had been tweaking, and LJ's auto-saved draft restore didn't do jack to restore the post.

Ttaku. I am not writing all that out again. To sum up:

Had fun with friends, relaxed. Was treated to pizza by [ profile] knastymike , then treated [ profile] mcruthless  and [ profile] neekaneeks  to breakfast. Started watching Tiger and Bunny on Hulu. Saw matinee of PotC 4. It was better than 2 and 3 but not as good as 1. Read Bakuman vols 3 and 4. Took several naps. Did a little work. Bought Loveless vol 10 and June's issue of Japanese manga mag Zero-Sum.

Am mostly recharged to face June, which will be a month of Work Hell. Wheee!
slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (s2m is now goo.)
 On the evening of July 21st, 2007, I was inside my then-local Barnes & Noble bookstore, excitedly waiting for the final Harry Potter book, along with about 300 other people. To help pass the time, I I decided to try a manga I'd been hearing about for several years. I plucked One Piece vol 1 off the shelf, found a chair, and gave it a try. You can read about my Potterocalypse day in its dedicated post, but I'll quote the most important snippet here:

"And I have a guilty secret: I wanted to finish One Piece, rather than start Harry."

That day, OP sank its claws into me and made me want MOAR. Very early this morning, almost four years after I tried volume 1 in that packed bookstore, I finished chapter 590. I am as caught up with the series as it is possible to legally be in English. I closed the back cover on 56 collected volumes and the 12 latest issues of English Shonen Jump magazine to do it.

I can't really believe that I've finally caught up at last. I've been running after Luffy for so long, I'm kind of at a loss. *baffled expression* I do know it will be fun being able to read four of the five regular titles in SJ: Bleach, Naruto, Psyren, and now One Piece.

As for the events of the massive epic that is OP, I can only marvel at Oda-sensei's talent. He is a genius, that's the best wa to describe it. It takes such talent to write a story for kids that keeps a book-critical adult like me reading for over 10,500 pages. His art is so unique, the story so unpredictable. It's clear Oda-sensei loves drawing manga, and it shows. I feel honored that I can read it.

And chapter 574...Oda-sensei, you ripped my heart out along with Luffy's. *cries*
If anyone comments, please be careful of spoilers. At least one person on my flist is far far behind me in OP reading, and you know I don't want to know ANYTHING until I read it for myself.
slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (Loveless Soubi)
Script for Saiun 4 arrived last Monday, a week ago. The deadline is in a month, which means 8 pages a day. Wheee! I'm perfectly on schedule so far! *knocks on wood*

Thankfully I finished Skip 25 on Saturday, which reduced my daily page quota from 20 (8 Saiun plus 4 each for Clay, Natsume, and Skip) to 16, which is definitely more manageable. I'm hoping I can start running again, as I haven't had the time to leave my apartment for more than snail mail checks and one grocery trip for the past week. It hasn't been too long since my last run, though. I shouldn't have lost too much of my stamina. --;

Things I watched and a manga review that makes me face a formerly unknown side of myself. Oh my! ).

Back to work for me. 14 more pages today to go!
slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (Bwa?)
Forgive me if this post is disjointed. It can be difficult for me to express in words something I feel personally strong about. Tonight I have thoughts on a certain issue, and if I wait and edit this entry over and over to make it sound pretty, I'll never get around to posting it at all. I'm just going to dive in.

One of my favorite webcomics posted an example page of the infinity of expressions available for portraying expressions. The art is amazing and the mini-comics are hilarious, but her introduction really bothers me. Especially the picture of two of her characters with generic anime-style expressions on paper stapled over their faces like masks.

To be fair, she does shake her finger at an equal number of Western comic style facial conventions. Now that's out of the way, let's move on to what bothers me.

Manga-style art has generated so much resentment in artist circles outside of Asia, and to me it all boils down to three main reasons:

1. Manga is now popular with kids and teens, who usually can't draw ANYTHING very well. Due to that aforementioned popularity, it IS seen everywhere drawn rather badly. Viewers are jaded.

2. Manga styled character art is like any non-photorealistic style of character art: it uses lines to express features, body language, and emotion. The problem is that the style choses to emphasize and portray those things in an unfamiliar way. Manga's roots are Japanese, and Japan has a different set of body language and cultural behavior. Non-Japanese readers have to learn how to read manga-style art in more than just the right-to-left manner. (Sweatdrop, anyone?)

3. Manga almost always has to be created at a ridiculous rate. It is a highly competitive career field, and an artist has to crank out pages FAST. Drawing fast means cutting corners, means using expression shortcuts, means sacrificing certain areas of comics art seen usually as indispensable in a non-manga style, such as full color and super-detailed backgrounds.

I suppose there's also a #4: Some people just don't like how it looks. And that's fine. After all, I don't like how most American comic art looks. To each their own.

The artist of that expressions example page states drawing with those manga and comic conventions isn't a "style", and thus is isn't a good excuse for not learning how to draw properly. To this I say both YES and NO. 

Any form of non-photorealistic caricature IS a style, a shorthand for expression emotion. But that shorthand is not an excuse to not learn how to realistically draw the human face and figure, I agree with the anti-manga-style-crowd on that. However, how an artist chooses to portray that knowledge is indeed their own choice.

The Lackadaisy artist's own style is very western-animation and comics influenced. Squash and stretch, extremely mobile faces, tons of detail. She has chosen to draw in this way. It works for her, she's comfortable with it, and it has earned her readers.

Now let me draw an important parallel. You know how manga-style art is popular these days? It works for those artists, they are comfortable with it, and it has earned them readers.

However an artist interprets their characters into drawn form, it all comes down to their personal skill, not how they chose to showcase that skill. Natsume's Book of Friends is a very simply-drawn manga and pretty much Lackadaisy's opposite in drawing style. Even with the stark lack of detail in Natsume when I compare the two side-by-side, I see as wide a range of emotions and subtlety expressed in any Natsume book as I do in any book of Lackadaisy, and with a greater economy of line. This is due to one thing: the artist's skill.

There. Now I think I can go to sleep.


slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (Default)

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