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< Piro >

yet another sketch of Memai-chan

"circling down"

Monday - November 10, 2003

[Piro] - 13:10:10 - [link here]

Quick note - Sarah and I will be at Wizzywigs in downtown Ann Arbor Saturday from 1pm on. Depending on how many people show, we're going to try to organize things so people dont have to stand in line for long periods of time. Ticket stuff will be handed out starting at 11am, and will tell you what time to come back to the store.

----

Well, like I said above, it seems that I brought home more than just jetlag from my Europe trip. I also collected some sort of bloody head cold that is sapping away what little energy I usually operate with. Yesterday i slogged along the best i could, but honestly, even the drawings i did manage to finish (shown above) are rather blah. I decided that rather than do a substandard comic, that I should accept the fact that i needed to pull a break today, finish this up, and get on track for Wednesday.

This is part of why i hate traveling. It really does kick me around and cause problems for the MT machine, since i'm not only the management team but labor force as well. ^^;; Ah, what i've give for my own personal Magi (and no, i won't explain what a Magi is :P)

Of course, a DPD of any sort is no replacement for a regular comic, but i figured that this might help answer an often asked question of how i put the comic together. As you can see, i tend to draw each frame individually. The sheet above is the sheet i was working on last night. The blanks I use are printed from a Adobe Illustrator file and are really nothing more than a big rectangle with some tic marks that i can use to divide the sheet into two or more frames. Also, this is a straight scan - i didn't adjust levels, clean up smudges or anything - what you see is pretty much what i start with.

Sarah and I had a really nice trip to England and Ireland. It was a lot to do in seven days. For starters, international flights always suck if you don't sleep well on planes. Unfortunately, I can't sleep sitting up, so i was pretty tired when we got there. We had a half day to roam around London a bit before we took a train up to Northampton where Ayacon was being held.

Ayacon was a small con by US standards, but everyone who was there was pretty enthusiastic and energetic - it was a fun con. I think everyone had a good time. The concept of an American con where you could fetch a pint from the bar and carry it around would be rather alarming, but in England it seemed almost natural. Sarah and I would like to thank everyone who attended the the con, including all of the staff, who really made us feel welcome so far from home.

Oh, and i really should apologize for the glib jab at English food. If you really want to know, we enjoyed our meals over there. Just because the English tend to like burgers a darker shade of black doesn't mean you should knock the whole menu :P

There were only a few glitches in our trip. The first came from flying the delightful little airline Ryanair from London to Dublin. Obviously, you aren't supposed to take much luggage with you because between flying there and back, we got hit with almost $200 extra in weight overage for our luggage which was really irritating, but i guess it's just part of traveling. The most amusing part of this luggage 'overage' was that Ryanair's scales added 4 kg to each piece of luggage (compared to what they weighed at the Northwest counter). Funny that, isn't it?

The second glitch was totally not being able to hook up with a fellow who came all the way up from Germany to meet with us in Dublin. Totally my fault, dude. We'll defiantly hook up at SDCC, Stephan. :)

Dublin was quite enjoyable. Sarah and I spent a good part of the day walking around in what really is very much a pedestrian city. The lecture at Trinity College / Dublin University i think went pretty well. The only flub was that i couldn't get my PowerPoint presentation working, but I guess in the end i didn't need it. It was a series of screenshots of old websites that i had done since i started, and I think i'll just go ahead and link them up here in my next rant. Kind of embarrassing, really, but it was fun to dig up the old websites.

The trip home was a nice combination of watching Pirates of the Caribbean, a Harry Potter book i purchased in Dublin, and the lull of a pleasant ride home. I thought i was feeling tired and run down because of jetlag, but at this point it's obviously more than that - seems i picked up a cold. It's not TOO bad, but it is resisting my efforts to think about and do the things i'm supposed to be doing.

For instance, Saturday afternoon was not very productive. Odd things about colds is that sometimes your mind wanders, and freesketching and freewriting can produce interesting stuff. I pulled out an old sketchbook and started drawing. Maybe it was watching the 2 nd Haibane Renmei Disks from Pioneer/Geneon [subliminal] you will buy these DVDs [/subliminal] but i started scribbling out the story for a little doujin project i've been thinking of doing for next year's comike. I've placed one of these sketches on Fredart for your pusual. The story itself is interesting. I normally don't like writing within the confines of other people's creations, but there's something about the structure of the Haibane Renmei story the lends itself to what i'm doing, so it'll be interesting to see if anything comes out of it.

This weekend (that's November 15th) Sarah and I will be at the Wizzywig store in downtown Ann Arbor doing a signing - not sure of the times yet, but i'll be spending a good chunk of the day there. Depending on the turnout, we're going to experiment with some ways to have to spend so much time waiting in line just because i am so damn slow. ^^;; After that, we're done for the year, i think...

< Dom >

How can you possibly think this picture was made with a female audience in mind?

"Talkin' about shaf...shoujo"

Friday - November 7, 2003

[Dom] - 11:00:00 - [link here]

Okay, so a pet peeve of mine (inherited from Seiya, who you may remember from the Maburaho rant, and who is giving me tickets to this year's Big Game) came up in the forums today. See, someone was looking for some shoujo manga, which for those of you who are among the video game/tech population of our audience and not the anime/manga side of it, means "girl's comics". You know, comics with a young female audience in mind. Sailor Moon's pretty much the easiest example out there, though Card Captor Sakura can come close in terms of name recognition.

But see, something I've learned from slugging after Seiya at Anime Expo for a few years is... a disturbingly large amount of anime fans throw around the terms "shoujo" without knowing fact 1 about what they're talking about.

For example. Some people say "CLAMP is a bunch of female artists and they draw cute, therefore everything they do is shoujo". That'd be a big fat no. Look at the rant image. LOOK at it. Does that look like it was meant for a young, predominantly heterosexual female audience? Why, no. It's pretty obviously meant for a young, horny, predominantly heterosexual male audience. And yet people persist in bandying "shoujo" about to describe things, because it's not about sports, violence, or a persistent student's endless quest for sexual gratification.

That kind of assertion, much like many statements made without knowing anything at all about the subject, ticks me off. So this rant is going to be dedicated to teaching you the difference between what manga is meant for a female audience, and what is meant for a male audience.

This article (reposted with permission from the Cal Animage folks at UC Berkeley) is a good start. Quick, simple rules about how to tell the difference. Plot and theme have nothing to do with classifying things as shoujo or shounen--audience is everything.

For example. Love Hina is often described as "shoujo" because it's a romance series. Bah. It's shounen on many, many levels. One, the "one guy surrounded by girls who're all in love with him" convention is more often meant for a male audience than not. Conversely, the "one girl surrounded by prettyboys who fawn on her" convention tends to be meant for female audiences. Funny, that. Two, given how often those girls are drawn in nothing but towels, it's hard to see how it's purely meant for a heterosexual female audience. Three, it ran in Shounen Magazine. If that doesn't convince you, I don't know what will.

Anyway. Please, people. Before you call something "shoujo", make sure you know what you're talking about. Do your homework on Google. Hell, just e-mail me (probably via oop-ack, since I actually check that right now) or ask Seiya at Anime Expo about it if you're really curious.

But don't try and claim that Ah! My Goddess is meant for girls without expecting to get shot down hard by anyone with half an idea.

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