slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (Default)
This morning, I was continuing my wake-up webcomic reading on a title I was enjoying. When I first read it a couple years ago, it had its own domain, but has since moved to a multiple-comic hosting site, mangamagazine.net.

I was chugging along, enjoying the thought of all the new pages that had been created since I last read, when I was forced to screech to a halt. Why? Because I received this message:

The page you are trying to access is premium content. Please register or sign in to be updated when this page will be free. If you have an activce subscription please sign in to read this page. [sic]


I have to pay to read more. I HAVE to PAY MONEY to read more. )
slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (Default)
Stumptown is the independent comics fest held every year in Portland, and this year I was able to go yet again! Given my work crunch, I couldn't hang out all day every day like in all but one previous year, but I was able to go for two or three hours both days, and have dinner with out of town friends. :3

This year was the best Stumptown ever! Wonderful friends truly do make a big difference. While I am happy to wander the con alone, having [profile] winnett join me on Saturday, and [personal profile] saladbats joining me for BOTH days was amazing. You find neat things to show each other, and laugh about, and deal with any stresses that might show up. Dinner afterwards on both nights with Karen and Chloe was incredibly fun, and they let me pick their brains about exhibiting at comic cons and being part of a comics collective and all sorts of fascinating comicy things. :3

Specifics and lots of artist and webcomic links! XD )

Being around all those creative, welcoming people really has me recharged and excited about getting my original manga going. X3 I wanna have a table at Stumptown, too! Karen pointed out something interesting: while my anime-influenced artwork will (let's be honest) count against me being given a table at some cons, it will HELP me get a table at others. C: I am suddenly more optomistic. Yay!

I do believe I'm going to have to get a twitter. :3
slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (Default)
A: A LOT.

Yesterday I took the day off running to repot my lilies. I should have done it last year, but never found the time until it was too late. I'm glad I did this year, because wow. What started as a single bulb in 2010 turned into a root mass 6 inches in diameter, and I'm not exaggerating! O.O

In the end, I used the new tall pot I bought, all of both long troughs, and the half-sized trough. Lily bulbs everywhere! I don't know where the all-white or the pink-tinged ones ended up. It will be interesting to find out, come June. ^^ The crop will likely be still bigger next year, unless plant disaster strikes. Anyone want dibs on some lily bulbs??

In work news, script for Clay 23 has arrived!! This volume has more talking than fighting, something which I am always happy to see in Clay. :D I finished Natsume 14's first pass, and now only await corrections. The BL title will be done in about a week. Oho, and come to find out it isn't a oneshot like I thought, there's a sequel! I'm signed on to letter that one, too, again with my beloved Clay Editor #3. :3

Also it's been two days, and I'm holding true to my promise to draw something for myself every day. Yay! Last night in particular was incredibly fun. I want to finish it and post it sometime, for you all to see. It's my OTP from one of my fave webcomics, the fun and surprisingly epic DMFA. Safe for work, unless someone objects to scantily clad characters of both sexes. *laughs*

And don't forget: if you want to remain on my friend's list and haven't spoken to me in a few months, leave a comment here or on this post before March 1st!! Hope to hear from you soon. ^^V
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 ago...at 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! (gag)
I'm back from the family reunion, which I enjoyed much more than I thought I would. ^^ I reconnected with a distant daughter-of-mom's-cousin that I enjoyed spending time with aaaaages ago, when the first number of my age started with a 1. :B Also I've ended up the contact for my branch of the family, since my sister refused and we were the only grandchildren from my maternal grandmother's branch to go. There were 5 generations at the reunion, though none the 5th gen were in my branch.

I spent yesterday relaxing and recovering from the trip. I caught up with True Blood season 5, at least through ep 3. ^^ Lots of shirtless!Eric time, which I'm not going to complain about! :9 The focus this season is less on romance and more on plot. We'll see how it goes!

I came SO VERY CLOSE to deleting my FB last night. )

I'm kind of a grump tonight. Please forgive me! I did my twice-yearly link check on my beloved ficrecs page, and I had to remove recs for two fics and two webcomics. T.T Both fics have vanished without mirrors or the promised pdf for one of them. One of the webcomics is no longer updating and the archive has been deleted. The other webcomic I chose to remove, as I am extremely disappointed with the artist. She had a fine webcomic of several years going, but she decided to chunk it all and redraw it from scratch. Last fall she removed her entire archive and started redrawing it from the beginning in a new--and IMO, far inferior--style. She also hasn't updated in half a year. I haven't enjoyed the webcomic since the change began, and my patience has officially run out. If I no longer like it, I'm not reccing it to others. *scowl* Oh look, my icon is VERY appropriate! the ~irony~!

But I did discover one of the fics I really enjoyed is no longer abandoned, and has been both updated and completed! I look forward to rereading the now-complete epic. ^^ It's a Twilight Jacob/Bella fic. Yes yes, laugh it up. ^^ That fic is amazing. Here's hoping the new stuff is just as good!!

The links-verified version of my recs page will go up with my next update in early July. ^^

On a prettier note (particularly when compared to the "new" artwork mentioned above. Humph!), I have to share this completely gorgeous flash-delivered webcomic: Knite by Wenqing Yan. SFW. It's worth a read for the art alone. I am completely humbled by this artist's digital painting skills. The story is good, too. Feast your eyes upon it!! Note each chapter won't load the first time for me, it stalls and I have to hit F5. That always works, though. ^^

I haven't been reading much webcomics these days, aside from the ones I actively read each week. I've been involved with my continuing manga catchup for the various titles available through Shonen Jump Alpha, as previously mentioned. Working on Toriko now. I'm liking it much better this 2nd round. Yay!

Oh yeah, and the new series in both SJ Alpha and Japanese Jump, Barrage by Horikoshi Kouhei, is quite enjoyable. The most promising start I've seen in Jump since Tegami Bachi debuted. Woot! XD

I saw Pixar's Brave this past weekend, with my family. It was enjoyable, but Finding Nemo still reigns unchallenged as my Pixar fave. The horse in Brave was very well done though, and my favorite part. But then, I'm biased. :3

There, that's a much more cheery note to end this post on. :D
slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (insane laughter)
asdfghjkl; *points to subject*

Candi, a cute webcomic about life in college. My guest comic is SFW, the rest of the comic occasionally not so much.

It was fun making faces in my desktop mirror and drawing them, but the best part was the "old art". I made a few deliberate mistakes, extra anime-fanart-ed the eyes, and didn't clean up my rough sketch too much. :D All together, I spent about 10 hours on it from first sketch to final tweaks.

YOU GAIZ, the comic has been up for only about an hour, and I already have one new follower on Tumblr, a new watch on DA, and 50 hits on my DA!!! Everyone's looking at me OMG!

I know, I know, that kinda was the point, but still. I need time to get used to the idea! *entertains a daydream where some very well-known webcomickers ask her to draw them guest comics, too*

Heeeee. :3
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slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (cute smooch)
My guest comic is in! It will be posted sometime this week! KYAA! XD *does happy dance* Of course, I will be linking here for all to see. *giggles*

Thursday night, I took some time off work and watched a Studio Ghibli film I'd never heard of before, Umi ga Kikoeru/The Ocean Waves. I can see why it's not a very popular Ghibli film, and why Disney will take their sweet time in releasing it. The female lead is a liar and not very nice, the two male leads could easily be seen as gay lovers (no slash goggles needed, seriously! I was actually hoping they WERE gay, but no. :P~~~ How mean to get my hopes up like that, Ghibli!) One of the guys goes with the girl to Tokyo in secret, they share a hotel room (he sleeps in the bathtub), there's smoking, drinking, and an ambiguous ending you have to sit through the credits for to actually see. No magic, no sci-fi, no cute little critters like you see in most Ghibli films...just regular people living their lives.

Yep, not going to be widely released here anytime soon. It's a shame, though. I liked it, and will definitely watch again.

With my goggles, because what the hell, right? ^^V
slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (insane laughter)
OMG YOU GUYS!! XD I just sent off my first guest comic, the one I mentioned in my post yesterday! *flails*

I...I hope didn't misspell anything. O.o

Now I'm waiting to hear back from the webcomic's creator. OMG OMG OMG...
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slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (D'awwww so kyooooot!!)
I've been quite sociable the past two weeks! (Shocking, right?) Saturday the 19th I helped [livejournal.com profile] knastymike with the heavy lifting part of his move into a new apartment. It wasn't that bad...except the leather recliner. That thing was SO HEAVY OMG. >< I was sore for two days! Small price to pay for good company, though. And Mike bought[livejournal.com profile] inkytwist (who tackled packing and unpacking the kitchen...YEEK!) and me food at Old Chicago Pizza (OM NOM NOM), and frozen yogurt after we saw the Avengers.

Speaking of which, fun film! Even with me not knowing much Avengers canon at all. :B I do know enough to want a Loki movie, where he can be badass and awesome and crack that smile and wear more tuxedos. :3

The next day, I drove down to Salem to meet up with one of my Sci-Fi book club buds, Acacia, and we went to see Battleship. It was fun! I liked it more than Avengers, too. *dodges tomatoes* It's true! Even if they killed off the actor we went to see the film for. :P~~~ At least he took his shirt off at one point. ^///^ And yes, he also appeared on-screen in uniform, which is what we bought our tickets for in the first place. This was Alexander Skaarsgard, BTW. Best-known as Eric Northman, sexy Viking vampire in True Blood. Rowr! We ate at an El Salvadorian place. It was very tasty. :9

After that, I scrambled like mad to finish Naruto 59 and Skip 29 on time, which I did manage. ^^ Skip is now completely in the can, still awaiting corrections on Naruto. Clay 21 is almost done, I'm waiting for either more corrections or the go-ahead to upload. Now I'm powering along with Natsume 13! And this volume is making my BL-loving heart just pitter-pat. *giggles like she's 14*

Then this weekend, I lost my beloved pocketknife on Friday morning, during my usual run. I didn't notice it was gone until I was emptying my pockets after finishing, and the knife wasn't there. I immediately retraced my entire 3.5 mile loop, and no knife. T.T As much foot traffic as this area has, it could have been on the ground as short as 20 seconds before someone scooped it up.

I've had that knife since 1998, when my Dad gave it to me before I headed off to art school. *cries* I keep telling myself it's just an object, and if someone decides to commit murder with it, that they'll wipe my fingerprints off it, too. >< My mom says Dad will have fun shopping for a replacement for me. This gives me something to anticipate, at least. I feel naked when I go outside without my knife. I alllways carried that knife with me everywhere. *sniffle*

On Friday evening, knastymike and inkytwist sent me an impromptu invite to Mongolian grill, after they finished cleaning up knastymike's old apartment. I'd just eaten dinner, so I had ice cream while they had real food. Good company and conversation!

And on Monday, it was [livejournal.com profile] saladbats' birthday! I headed out to a Doctor Who-themed room inside a fish-and-chips place in the NE of Portland. Only took me 15 minutes to drive! I could have ridden the Max, but by the time I realized how simple it would have been, it was already too late to make it that way. :P No matter, driving was fun! I made a new friend,[livejournal.com profile] winnett, saw[livejournal.com profile] snottygirl again, and hope to hang out with all of them more, soon! We are all writers or appreciators of same, and the whole lot of us are complete geeks. FUN! XD Even if all the Doctor Who themed stuff was wasted on me. *makes flyby noise*

Oho, and I ordered a Scottish soda. "Irn Bru". Tastes like bubblegum. I liked it, though I couldn't drink it every day. Far too sweet!

One of the webcomics I enjoy every week, Candi, is asking for guest strips. I'm going for it! OMG SO EXCITING!! XD I'm going to try to finish it before the 1st. KYAAA!! It will be my first guest webcomic strip, the first of many I hope! :D

And finally, I have a [livejournal.com profile] dreamwidth account. Not sure how much I'll use it, but it's there if I need it! I'm slr2moons there too, of course. ^^ 
slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (follow)
ETA: LOL Stumptown isn't until next weekend. Consider this evidence that I really am out of sorts at the moment. :B

Stumptown is here again. This year I deliberately arranged my work schedule to let me attend (something I was unable to do last year, when I could only hang out in the evening with friends). Shoujo Editor 2 will be here again, much to my delight, for we really get along IRL. ^^

My local friends neekaneeks and mcruthless of the awesome webcomic Gran Grimoire will be sharing a table with EK of TJ and Amal fame. I will be sure to swing by their table several times to squee and offer assistance in any way I can. :3 I hope to go to dinner with them and several more of their friends, and Shoujo Editor 2 as well. XD This is what I'm most looking forward to!

Rather than depending on public transportation, I am taking my car this year (OHNOES my Portlander license application!) and parking it (for free) at the giant mall only a few blocks away from the convention center. This is so I can be certain of getting Shoujo Editor 2 to her temporary digs no matter how late it is or where she might be staying. I'll still be buying a train ticket in case we go out to eat someplace easily accessible from same, and to ride between mall and center, for I don't want to try to walk it alone at night. :S

There are a number of panels I want to attend, including three happening at the same time in different rooms. :P Hopefully I can make as many as possible! Particularly since if I'm watching a panel, then I can't be spending money in the con room. Behold my scheming ways!

A little bit more under the cut, slightly emo. )

I need to drive my car once a week to keep the battery charged, and this weekend's foray into the East Side is the beginning of my accustomization to driving in Portland proper. In the end, driving versus taking the train is a trade-off. Drive and you have complete flexibility to go where ever, when ever...but you have to worry about getting lost, parking (a huuuuge concern in Portland), and no drinking allowed. Parking is also more expensive than a public trans ticket. Take the train and you don't have to worry about navigating traffic or finding parking or your car being stolen and you can drink as much as you want...but your schedule is dependent on the public transportation. Also that half-hour ride is really long at night when you're tired and don't want to deal with staring creepers and didn't take your car to the train stop and thus have to walk it home.

Thus, my upcoming Stumptown weekend. I really am most looking forward to hanging out with Shoujo Editor 2 and my comicking friends. ^^
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slr2moons: a self-portrait, of me in my usual habitat: in front of my computer monitors! (Heeee!)
Yesterday I took a day off work and went into Portland to raid Powell's bookstore and visit with my friends Neeka and Chiz. It was a fun and relaxing visit! I bought a gigantic plate of nachos (gluten-free!) that kept me from being hungry all day. We sort-of-watched Captain America, which I've never seen before. It was better than I thought it would be. Hugo Weaving made that long black coat and suit work. Rowr! :3

I bought way too many books, as usual. Enough to earn a free reusable shopping bag from the store. :B I brought home a big bag of books I had loaned to Neeka as well, so at least the weight was balanced for my longish trek between train station and apartment. Only 2.5 more volumes and I will FINALLY be caught up with FMA! Then WHAT will I read next??

While checking my fave webcomics last night, I saw the artist of one is asking for guest comics in preparation for the craziness of the holidays. I'd love to give her one, but I don't have the time. >< I'm barely keeping afloat with work, I have three fan commitments already, and ugh. IDK. Maybe I can mess around for 10 min or so today and see what I can come up with. If I find a good guest comic bunny, I could run with it anyway. Think of the advertising potential!

I'm not really sure how guest comic protocol works. It seems like webcomic artists ask friends for them, or a friend offers to make one, or even surprises them with one. However it happens, it all comes from their circle of known acquaintances. From what I've observed, a comicker outright asking for them from the general public is quite rare. If I miss this chance, will it come up again? Could I email the artist at a later point and tell her if she ever needs a guest comic, just ask me? If that's the case, why didn't I give her one when she asked everyone? Could I draw a comic when I have time in however many months and send it to her for future use if need be, without coming across as really presumptuous?

And that paragraph makes it sound like this is my best chance, since the artist outright asked for guest comics. I do believe that's opportunity knocking at my door. Oh dear.

.....I should be working, not typing LJ posts, eh? Damn. Sorrygottagogetbusybye!
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.

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