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September 19, 2014
#364: "No Scope"

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September 6, 2014 - The All-New Cast of Street Fighter V

Continuing the lunar tradition, here's another comic on the subject of gaming. If any of you get a chuckle and happen to chill out on Reddit and/or Facebook, hey, maybe give it an upvote/like? Tell your friends and such? No pressure. o_o

For the record, I'm a huge lover of Street Fighter, and despite its creative imperfections I think SF4 has been my favorite entry in the series. It started off a little "safe", character-wise, but with every new version it became more accessible, balanced, and fun. The competition is fierce. My Ryu is solid, and I've been training up my Gouken skills to the point where I actually feel capable on a tournament level (though I haven't participated in one yet.)

I wasn't one of the people who reacted harshly to the Decapre debacle - though I remain disappointed in Capcom's unwillingness to take enough creative risks. I fear it was part of the reason they've been in so much financial trouble lately and why so many of their most talented designers left the company during this last generation. Decapre, in a playable sense, is fine. Her moves are neat. It's just... why couldn't they have hired some illustrator to design a new character? It would've been the easiest thing to do. Why haven't any of the main characters changed appearance? Who cares when this game takes place "on the timeline"? For example, why not have an older, aging Ryu? Why not transfer Dhalsim's moves to his daughter or something? What if E. Honda's successor was a robust sumo-fanatic mama? Tekken 3 the whole timeline, I say!


August 24, 2014 - Electronic Video Games

Mkay, we have a couple of tasty morsels. As mentioned earlier, I've been part of a small team working on an indie game. After pecking away at artwork (amounting to various stages of polish), my comrades and I thought it would be fun to share a few proofs of concept. These would pretty much be screenshots - in the sense that this is what the game would (will) look like when finished. Since the game is "pre-alpha", we've been focused on temporary stuff so it isn't exactly at the "eye candy" stage yet. I would say the image on the left is pretty close to what I'd like the whole game to look like, while the one on the right is a bit less "finished". All the same, we have a good flow going and we're hoping to get into full production soon. (More on that as it comes.)

The game's working title is "Complex", and it's being developed by Blindhack Software. If it pleases you, like their Facebook page - mostly to make us feel good inside, but also you can get updates as soon as we share them.


July 26, 2014 - Japan Trip, Day 3 (part one)

Okay, so, the length of these entries has gone completely out of control and I had to split this next day into three parts. My only hope is that they remain interesting. -_-


July 26, 2014 - Tangential Comics

Still alive, still alive... I keep wanting to post what I've been up to, but it would seem so banal unless accompanied by tangible evidence. For one, here's a comic I drew about that electronic video game, The Last of Us. It can be found at Ultimate Game Database, now known as Our hope, my hope, is that I can deliver one of of these comics every month or so, and that the peoples of this world will be enriched by at least one point. As with everything on this site, dear readers, if you like what you see and would like to see more, please feel free to share it with a friend (or a dozen). =P The time may come, I declare, when I'll be writing and drawing full-time. Maybe... just maybe, by the end of this year? Dare I hope?

And I say this a lot, but I haven't forgotten about Bite-Size. (In fact I think about it all the time.) Publishing volume 2 is on the top of my list for personal projects. (Only thing is, I have a lot of professional stuff which has to take precedent.) I've been exploring every avenue to put out strips faster, including drawing them digitally. Truth told, I've always wanted to resist that, but for the sake of speed I may not have a choice anymore. This'll sound silly, I've been gravely stressing out about using fonts instead of hand-lettered text. In short, hand-lettering with a tablet is a pain. I don't know the answer to this problem right now. Maybe I'll use a font for a while and if I hate it by the time the book is being made, I'll go back and hand-letter. (Sigh.)

Oh, and hey, I've teamed up with a couple of classy dudes to work on an indie video game again. Have I mentioned that here? I can't show anything for it yet, but it's looking pretty nice. All I'll say for now is that I'm doing the art for it as well as participating in storytelling and design. If you like my stuff here, I'm sure you'll enjoy the game. More details on that soon, hopefully! I suspect we might share concept art and screenshots by the end of this summer.

June 22, 2014 - I Believe That We Will Win

Today's game had me screaming. Even if you don't follow soccer/football, bear in mind that this is the official sport of Earth - the great equalizer! Regardless of climate, language, culture, socioeconomic status or whatever, anyone in the world with a human body can play and enjoy. It's ninety minutes of non-stop action, and aside from the Olympics, there's no pleasure like cheering for your home country. My blood demands excellence from Greece and my heart cheers for Japan, but at the end of the day my tears flow red white and blue, baby. XD


May 9, 2014 - Periodicals and Japan Trip, Day 2

In the old days, novels would be released chapter by chapter in newspapers and magazines. (Dickens and Dumas comes to mind. I may be wrong about those two... I'm not much of a scholar.) That's an interesting way to release a story, though, and I'm curious to see whether I could do that here too someday.

As I come to find I may never have time to draw comics at the pace I'd like, I'm beginning to flirt with prose more and more. I love the idea of illustrated stories, specifically. Having invested many years developing both writing and drawing skills and not wanting to waste them, I may still be able to have the best of both worlds. (Books a hundred years ago were often coupled with beautiful artwork, but not these days. This is puzzling. Maybe it has to do with money.) Sadly, my raw descriptive ability has atrophied over the years. I feel quite at ease with dialogue, but not "scene-painting". After all this time, experiences from High School English/creative writing classes still haunt me as well. Writing leaves me in a constant state of recoil, anticipating emotional blows from uninspired, pretentious snobs intent on ripping apart my work without mercy. (Leaving room for the class to savor their brilliance, of course.) I feel like one of those girls who's teased for not being pretty and so believes she isn't. (Though she's perfectly fine.) I want a makeover! >:(

(Or maybe my writing does suck. In that case, to hell with the ivory tower. I'll write anyway. Even us average people can find love.)

I say all that both to apologize for the delay and to explain why the next entry in the Japan Trip is 3000 words long. I didn't intend to make it that length from the outset, but it really couldn't be helped. I'm a windbag - especially when I'm engaged in a subject. My only hope is that the punctuated "artwork" and photos makes the text easier to chew, and that the narrative itself is entertaining. If possible, I'd like to treat these entries as "practice mode" for getting my writing ability back into shape. Are they fun to read? Will readers be interested? I'm curious.

In today's entry I slam head-on into premature jet lag, experience bathroom adventures, and realize I may not have left home as prepared as I'd hoped.


March 12, 2014 - Uhhhh.... yeah....

Okay so um, turns out the Trip Report (see below) is a much bigger task than expected? (Not only in terms of labor but emotionally as well.) Truth told, I've been kinda down since I got back and thinking about that magical time in a far-off land kinda... hurts. You know? While I could try and "force" the entries out, I don't think they'd be fun to read and they'd certainly not be fun to compose. I sort-of expected this to happen but it's way more potent than I thought it would be: How intimate and personal it all is.

Recalling how I felt at the awards ceremony, for example, or how beautiful it was to explore Shinjuku by myself, or being moved so deeply by the raw, undiluted culture and gorgeous scenery I wanted to cry. Am I ready to take the plunge and expose myself like that? Probably, but perhaps time is what I need. I dunno. =\

What else don't I know? eBooks. I've been exploring options and I'm becoming more and more convinced that I should start releasing my stuff in that format (in tandem with paperback, which I do prefer). The costs are so much lower for all parties involved. The problem is the DRM issue (let's just say I didn't make very much money from the Paris PDF) as well as paying all-too-high service fees to middlemen.

This past week I read an excellent book called "Manga Poverty" where a strong manga-ka, Shuho Sato, basically decided to part ways with traditional publishing: The politics, the shady business, the artistic compromises and so on. Instead he's taken the digital route, albeit with more of a micro-payment system (which I'd have no way to implement). I write all this because I've been hungry to start another graphic novel and I'm torn. Do I try pitching my stuff to publishers where they'll take a chunk of my profits, mess around with my story, or fool around with the contract? Will I have to waste time trying to ask someone's permission to draw my own story? Will I spend months or years of my life barely making any money from it? This is troubling. I don't know the answer. I know there are a few success cases out there, but the prospects aren't exactly encouraging enough for me to quit my job and start tomorrow.

Or do I just release scripts from now on with illustrations? And then we can all sigh and pretend how fun it would be as a comic? I don't know. =\

March 7, 2014 - Updates Forthcoming

There's been a healthy little boost in readership these past few weeks for whatever reason - which I'm super grateful for as always. (If you like my comics, please continue telling your friends!) Although my schedule has been a bit squirrelly, I hope you new readers out there stick around.

This past week I've managed to compile my (heavy, nightmarishly detailed and superfluous) notes from the Japan trip, which means I should be able to hammer out updates on that more easily.


Agh, who am I kidding? What could've been a simple set of blog posts has grown into an untamable beast. My notes alone are 20,000 words long, half the length of a short novel. Plus I've got to photograph/scan notes, create sketches... >_< At the very least, I hope it's an interesting read. I'll do my best to skip boring stuff and/or keep it fun.

February 27, 2014 - Japan Trip Report (part 1 of ?)

Guess I can't delay it any longer... >_<

I keep revising, worrying. "Is this too boring?" "Will anyone care about this nonsense?" I can't say I've come to any conclusion on that question, but I've got to get the ball rolling or it'll clog the creative pipes and I won't be able to move on to anything else. Here is part one of... many(?) chronicling my magical trip to Japan. If you're bored, hey, it's definitely something to read.