technical issues

March 30, 2011

I’ve been changing around the categories on this here blog to be a little more specific and useful. However, it looks like about five of my posts from 2009 got reposted on my rss feed. I am not in fact driving through Ohio right now and my passion for Muesli has significantly cooled, sorry to say.

Sorry for the confusion, folks.


The Real Pokemon of Brooklyn

March 30, 2011

It has been almost a month now since its’ release, and I have still not bought Pokemon Black & White, despite weekly debate over walking to the local Videogame Shoppe.

I am moderately obsessed with the existence of this game. Here is the long of it: (there is art at the end, promise!)

Girl avatars. To be perfectly honest, one of my favorite gaming activities is filling in my own genderqueer narratives when games throw female love interests and masculinity quips at my automatically male-presenting avatar. (This works particularly well on anything with the words “final” and “fantasy” in it.)

However, my less ironic ten-year-old-inner-self was very excited when Nintendo decided to let players pick between playing as a male or female Pokemon trainer. Last winter, teveling in the nostalgic glory of my Nintendo DS, I asked the Videogame Fairy for Pokemon Platinum so I could enjoy videogame girldom.


1. She is dressed like a teenaged Madeline on a shopping trip

2. Her sprite does the Dainty Anime Girl Run

3. She carries a HANDBAG: the action accessory of choice for ladies who want to ensure they only really have one hand free at all times, and get scoliosis.

The male trainer, unfortunately, looks even more like he fell out of a yacht club, so even my fallback spunky androgyny was out. They did at least throw me the small consolation prize of an effete best friend/rival roughly modeled off of The Little Prince, but overall I was Not Pleased.

Then Pokemon Black and White came out in Japan.
I got the word that the setting is based on NYC and the trainers are HIPSTERS. Immediately flying to google image search, I was overwhelmed with happiness to see a perfectly sturdy-looking girl rocking the hell out of some big hair and cutoffs.

This is the first Action Heroine costume that I can wholeheartedly get behind.

Actually, I think I own this outfit.

I mean…hiking boots, sweatbands, some sun cover for the face (I sincerely hope this means that trucker hats are still in fashion in Japan), a sensible yet distinctly feminine shoulderbag…it’s so reasonable.
And I know there have been grumbles about the short shorts, but man Bermuda shorts do not look good when you have thighs and when it is summer in Brooklyn you don’t even want to think about wearing anything longer than that.

So there is a big part of me that wants to whip out my thirty bucks and take that walk to the Video Game Shoppe and get my Girltrainer fix. But I’m afraid of the Truth. And I think that Truth is that the avatar is just an accessory that doesn’t actually affect gameplay, and the world map is nyc-inspired, not the game itself. In short it’s all just some decor changes to a game I only want to play out of nostalgia for being a kid and wholeheartedly consuming a trend, and, like so many other things, I need to just leave it to the new kids.

But since I hate letting go and LIVE to make meaningless lists, I posit the question: What if Pokemon Black & White was actually based on NYC?

In downtown Manhattan, you only battle assistants people have hired to fight in their place. On a Route in Northern Brooklyn, trainers sometimes fight you, sometimes just don’t really feel like it. There’s a new cycling road, but you can’t get on it right away because protesters are blocking the entrance with SUVs. Every time you put away your bicycle, there’s a 50% chance that it will get stolen. At which point you have to wait for an indeterminate amount of time in a subway stop while fighting off wild Patrats if you don’t want to hoof it across boroughs back to the Bike Shop.

File under: great ideas for unbearably-time-consuming hobby projects; conversation starters for nerds

Bonus: here’s the fanart that kind of started this whole geekout. I made this for the Nerds in Babeland‘s guest appearance on the Late Night JengaJam. A really fun geek talk jam to listen to – now I have an overwhelming urge to get back into the Justice League tv show. Thanks for the plug and very kind words, ladies!

When it comes to Pokemon and Hipsters and Action Ladies, Misty did all that shit first. She not only rocked cutoffs, but suspenders and the side-ponytail. Lightyears ahead of American Apparel.

The Pokemon mangas (I did say I totally consumed the Pokemon trend, right?) were my gateway drug into comics and Misty was extra-awesome in those. 1 part sporty, 1 part fanservicey, and all parts giving Ash hell all the time.

Upcoming: MoCCAFest 2011!

March 29, 2011

Dudes, mark your calendars!

I’m going to be at MoCCAFest on April 9 & 10. It’s a rad trade show that features a lot of self-publishers and small press folks.

I’ll be at table 15G with Mr. Danny Lewis. I will be the redhead hiding under the table – come find me! Use this helpful map as a guide!

They’ve just put up the panels schedule on the website, too – I am excited to pick which times I am going to need to handcuff Danny to the table so i can run away and watch them.

en vogue a la mode

March 27, 2011

What a productive day! Inked two large drawings and a gift, and…well, didn’t actually get much work done on my comic script.
Okay, in retrospect, it doesn’t feel like I got much done today at all.

But I DID discover my perfect outfit for drawing + slumming around the apartment!

I think you will agree.


March 24, 2011

Just in case anyone had forgotten that I am a total nerd turd, I drew some fanart. Of ANIME.

As I have mentioned before, my tv tastes often land somewhere around “teenage boy”. Recently I’ve been partaking of Soul Eater, a delightful romp about grim-reapers-in-training, fighting evil, yadda yadda, etc.

It is pretty low brainpower plotwise, low on gray areas, whatever. Doesn’t matter. Because the story is just a vessel for wonderful things like: a gender-neutral main character referred to with interchangeable pronouns (or if I could actually understand Japanese, probably no gender references at all)! Ze’s my faave.

To facilitate procrastination from working on real projects, I decided to use them to “practice watercolor”. Conclusion: I hate watercoloring.

Most of the cast is made up of caricatures that fuel the constant stream of action and slapstick humor, so that’s normal.

But then there is this really weird thing where the main character (Maka) is a girl, and is entirely a well-rounded and believable human being. She generally approaches her action-heroine responsibilities with something like an academic/athletic fervor as opposed to anger-issues insanity, has leadership skills that are not written off as bossiness, isn’t self-absorbed but also isn’t a pushover.

Check her SWEET action heroine shoes – stylish, but with traction, ankle support, and all-important breathability.

A pretty across-the-board theme in “boys'” action anime, is a hunt for strength, power, etc – it’s probably a metaphor for coming of age and proving your worth to adults, but I don’t really care enough to get into it right now. Because it’s mostly irritating and militaristic and has little relation to life that doesn’t operate like a videogame.

So, at a point, Maka starts following the same trajectory of need more powwwerrrr that looks like it will probably result in alienation of friends, getting mixed up in dark juju, turning evil for a while, and so on. However, another TOTALLY WEIRD THING about this show then comes into play: Maka, and most the action heroes in the show, fight as a pair with a peer who happens to be able to transform into a weapon. For Maka and her partner, the eponymous hero Soul (who transforms into the wicked looking scythe above), when they really succeed in one of the many unbeatable battles they have to face, they do it by stopping to have an Equal and Respectful Partners Communication Moment first.

What? No no no, the main sidekick exists to step in and save the main character when she finally pushes herself too far and can’t win! The heroic duo are supposed to be totally mismatched in personality so that they constantly butt heads in hillarious and plot-moving ways!

What is this? Two main characters whose strengths balance and complement each other, and work calmly and rationally through their problems by checking in with one another and sharing opinions on how to deal with a situation? Who, through the mythos of their world are in fact encouraged to constantly work on improving their compatibility and communication because that will help them gain power? Are my cartoons secretly trying to teach me how to have fulfilling interpersonal relationships?

It is totally awesome.
I’m trying to come up with a good equivalent example in my repertoire of tv, but I haven’t thought of one yet.

Also hillarious: there are an inordinate amount of David Lynch references in this show. Someone is a fan!

you never give me your number

March 21, 2011

Man, guys, it is hard to find time to make art and keep up a springtime-appropriate drinking level. Also, it is hard to watch tv with subtitles and draw simultaneously! A conundrum.

Some sketches for the new project I’m working on, featuring the classiest of sketch papers.

This is what I have been working on

March 8, 2011

…since finishing that comic, while my brain refuses to write new scripts.

It’s a triptych, I plan to watercolor it probably, and I hope to make prints. Ideally in time for MoCCAFest, but that’s only if I EVER GET MY TAXES DONE.

website update, y’all

March 7, 2011

Hey hey heyyy.

I added my sketch journal to my website, in a new section of my website for selections from my better-looking sketchbooks! There are totally new images that have never been on the interwebs before! And in COLOR!

Click on the cover to check it ouuut:

hello you gorgeous internet you

March 4, 2011

I want to take a moment and thank everyone who is reading my blog! You may be a quiet bunch*, but through obsessive attention to WordPress stats, I know there are steadily a lot more of you now than there were only weeks ago! Your silent, but in my mind ever-present gaze (as well as a steady stream of television dramas) churns the wheels of my art…mill.

these are for you

*or, possibly, censored by WordPress’s insane spam blocker which i am not allowed to turn off

TM666: psycho

March 3, 2011

This may be the best drawing I ever make. I think I should just quit now.