Comics and animation and you.

2 Oct

When I read a negative review, I want to know what’s wrong with the book, not what’s wrong with your relationship to the medium. Likewise, in a positive review, I’m not looking for a blow-by-blow account of your realization that comic books can have cultural value. I already know that they do; I’m hoping you’ll tell me why this particular comic book has cultural value.

– Dylan Meconis, ‘How Not To Write Comics Criticism’

My love for animation shares a space with my love for comics in all their various forms. Comic books (and graphic novels – yes there is a difference), after all, are just a movie on a page rather than a screen. My main concern going into the animation industry is the criticism that cartoons are ‘for children’. That if I were to seek funding for a project of mine, I would be ridiculed for the decidedly not child friendly stories I write. Thus far my experience has been positive, but I have had a few people speak to me with the mindset that any adult who watches and enjoys an animated TV show or movie is thus a deviant, a ‘weirdo’, an immature child in adult’s clothing. Someone like myself who would like to produce animated features shouldn’t stray too far from the beaten path and try to turn cartoons into ‘something they’re not’.

When asked what I’m studying in school, I find it funny that the most common reaction to my answer of “I’m an animation major” is a simple “Oh” then quick change of subject. It’s as if they can’t wrap their head around the fact that an adult like myself (“And a talented artist at that!”) would pursue such a strange career. Were I an undergrad seeking to become a lawyer, or a doctor, or an IT professional the conversation would turn to my field and its prospects or latest developments. But with animation there’s no follow up questions, no oh what are you future plans, no interest in why I may have chosen the field. It’s dismissive; I try not to think too hard about it, because the majority of the time it’s from a simple lack of understanding. The mindset that cartoons are for children prevents people from experiencing the joys of a medium which broadens the horizons of storytelling. And that’s just sad.

I aim to change that with my career. I’m not concerned if I succeed in it or not, however, because I don’t do this for the money. I enjoy it; I wouldn’t be happy doing anything else.


I highly recommend the article I quoted, and how I found it – via Kate Beaton’s tumblr. She writes Hark, a Vagrant! and I find it a fantastic example of how an adult can enjoy the world of comics, too.


1 Oct

I, like many people in the United States right now, have found myself unemployed. I’ve been looking; it’s only been three weeks and only one interview thus far (it’s coming up on Wednesday. Cross your fingers.) I, sadly, do not have savings (spent it putting everything into storage when I found myself homeless last year) or a family who can help. Right now I’ve got enough for October’s rent; I’m looking at being homeless by November if I don’t find something soon. Crap. Just.. crap.

In other news, fuck school. I’m still attending, still doing the work, but I’m fed up with my school. It is a part of the Ai network, who is owned by EDMC  – who is being sued quite a large sum of money for their sketchy practices. I should have joined that damn law suit but I didn’t hear about it until too late. What this means in the immediate future is more staff cuts, more labs cut (it used to be 24-hour open labs all the time, but now it’s just til midnight on certain days. So much for being a working school.), more everything cut and higher tuition on top of all that. I’m thinking of applying to MassArt after this semester just to keep my options open. It wasn’t my first choice when I was applying to college, but they do offer an animation program and it’s much, much cheaper – the only reason I didn’t go for it was that it didn’t offer the perks that Ai had. However, now that those are gone, I’m thinking of heading elsewhere. We’ll see, though, as their waiting list last time I checked was at a year.

And on more pleasant tidings, I finished one image I started. Digital art is hard, yo. Hopefully the more I do it, the easier it will get – it took at least 3 times as long as I’m used to.


Copied and pasted from my deviantArt page:

So while I played Mass Effect, I had a pad of post-it notes that I doodled on. I then got the bright idea to color them in Paint Tool Sai.

Things I learned:
I draw eyes way too big. WAY too big.
Skin is hard. And fuck actual skin colors.
Latex is hard.
Anatomy is hard. ;_;
Why are they all looking in the same direction..? Uugghhh
Holy crap digital art is hard.

As for those images that aren’t uh, canon, I guess, I was thinking about the ‘Earthborne’ background, and how it played.. into the.. fan fiction I’m writing. Seriously never thought I’d say that.

Anywho, it’s the only thing that I didn’t have a reference for so I just made something up. I kinda like it.

One good thing about being unemployed is that I have more time to do things like this. If only I got paid for it. One day.

Summer 2012

1 Oct

Here are only a few of the things from over the summer. I scanned them all in individually – and in multiple pieces – then stitched everything together in Photoshop. The only alterations were to contrast and brightness. I really wanted to add more, but some of the pieces are just too large. What I really need is a proper camera to be able to document it all..


Would you look at that.

17 Sep

Damn. Just DAMN.

I ignored/was too busy/preoccupied this blog for what seems like forever. In reality it was a year or less, but it felt like a lot longer. A lot of things have changed – the main one being that I’m finally back in school. It’s slowly getting me back into the swing of creativity. Like so.

Nem, a character for a story which I am surprisingly almost finished writing; the outline is complete, it’s just needing details now. I’m a bit ashamed to admit I’ve been a bit distracted by other writings – predominately a fan fiction that I never, ever thought I’d find myself writing (hell, I haven’t so much as read a fan fiction since I was in 13!) It’s for Mass Effect, I plan on making it into a comic to post on my deviant art page, and it’s about halfway written. The outline is almost complete, but again, it’s just details at this point.

Sketches for said fan fiction. Some PaintTool Sai lineart over Shepard post it note doodles while I finished Mass Effect 3 and Garrus sketches so I can get used to drawing him, because fuck it is difficult. It’s also going to be useful practice as I attempt to get my webcomic into the final stages of completion; futuristic scenery and technology are not my forte. I’m so much more at home with natural or otherwise more… primitive settings. I’ve never been sure why that is. Anywho.

In other, slightly more awesome news, I made a cameo in a webcomic I read and love! WOO! See me here! First panel! Wearing my customary black! FUCK YEAH. When I get my ass in gear, Mr. Twist will have a cameo of his own in my comic.

As a last mention, here are some birthday sketches I put together in 5 minutes for some friends of mine. I’ll be doing this for other friends as their birthdays roll around as well since the reaction has been so positive. It’s the little things that’ll help keep me from rolling back into my art funk, I think.


10 Nov

I have a new computer. It works with no problems (so far.) It can run graphics programs (yay!) And it’s a convertible tablet which means I CAN DRAW DIRECTLY ONTO THE SCREEN. Holy crap it’s so exciting.

BooyahI’m back, baby.

Still figuring this out.

7 Dec

Bear with me.