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Strip 459, Volume 3, Page 124


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< Piro >

that other site...

"Movin along..."

Thursday - September 11, 2003

[Piro] - 11:05:00 - [link here]


Before I get into today's rant material, I want to stop for a moment to remember the traumatic events that happened on this day two years ago. Many of us, including us here at Megatokyo, found our lives overwhelmed by sheer magnitude of the events happing on the TV screens before us. It took a long time for us to move on, to the point that the events didn't somehow dominate our thoughts and our lives. Last year, on the one year anniversary, both Seraphim and I found that we still had not fully delt with it all, and revisiting the events helped, I think, finally help us come to terms with such a horrific and overwhelming tragedy. Time heals all wounds, I believe the saying goes, but scars will remain, as well as the positive effects of a successful healing process. The anniversary and memory of the events of two years ago do not warrant us having to stop our lives, make websites go black, or require memorandum webcomics, but that doesn't mean that we don't think about them. For the people who's lives were more directly affected by the loss of loved ones - your wounds will take longer to heal, and our thoughts are with you today.

If you are one of the people who had preordered a copy of Megatokyo volume 2 you should have received an email from me this morning that verifies that you are on the list of preorder customers provided to me by IC Entertainment. The main purpose of the email is to verify your shipping address - if it has changed, please respond to the email with your current shipping address (one that will be valid in January 2004). If you pre-ordered and did not receive an email, it is probable that your email address has changed. If you do not receive your email by the end of the day, please email me at with [MT BOOK 2 PREORDER] in the subject line, and I will update the list with your new email address (and address, if that has changed too).

I apologize that it has taken this long to actually get the emails out. Trying to figure out how to deal with a list of people this big, and get all the information into a usable form so that I could email everyone effectively was more problematic than I had realized. Big kudos go out to Seraphim who spent several hours entering and verifying information so that we can take care of all the preorder customers. Hopefully we can get all the shipping information and preorder stuff verified so that when the books are done, there won't be any problems with you finally receiving them.

In other news, some of you may have noticed from Seraphim's rant that she and I snuck away last weekend and drove down to Maryland to go to SPX (Small Press Expo), and yes, we went without telling anyone :P.

I seem to have backed my way into the comics industry here in the states without really knowing a lot about it. Most of this has to do with the fact that I never really was a reader of American comics, and the only indie comics I ever followed were a few little titles back when I was in college. The Japanese comic scene is where most of my attention has been for the past ten years. Yet, I don't think it's the fact that the 'manga' style comics that we all like to read are as popular as they are simply because they are Japanese - they just represent the kinds of stories and a type of comic language that is really appealing. To me, there is no reason why a non Japanese artist/writer couldn't produce works that had the same appeal. I'm not really sure if I'm doing this ok or not, but that has sort of been my attitude.

So, in an effort to better understand what other English-language writers and artists are doing, I made the mistake of agreeing to take Seraphim with me to Underworld Comics and Games, a rather nice comic shop here in Ann Arbor. Ho boy, that was a mistake. ^^;;; She dove right in and started sampling comics left and right. Neither Seraphim or I still have much interest in the superhero genre, but what's surprising is how many other fine comics and stories there are out there, if you just take the time to look.

In the end, we not only did we get a pretty good sampling of the kind of comics out there besides just manga titles, but... she seems to have become a ardent fan of several titles -_-;; Some of these creators were going to be at SPX, and that's how we suddenly found ourselves driving eight hours to Maryland (our third trip down there this year) and wandering a convention as an (gasp) attendee, rather than a guest or exhibitor. It was kind of refreshing, being on the other side of the table again. :)

SPX is a showcase for alternative, independent and small press cartoonists and publishers. We spent a lot more money at this show than we've spent at any of the other anime cons this year, and I have a big stack of stuff that I've been looking at since we got back. In my next rant, I'd like to share some of the titles that I liked and thought were worth mentioning. It was also cool running into several other webcomic artists - Jonathan Rosenberg from Goats, Richard Stevens from Diesel Sweeties, Corey Marie Kitley from Life So Rad and some folks representing Eat Your Lipstick (Monica Gallagher, the gal who does it, wasn't at the table when we stopped by, but we grabbed a post card so we could check it out later). Anyways, I'll cover the other stuff I looked at and read in my next post.

One thing is for sure tho... if I have to drive to Maryland one more time this year, I'm gonna scream... unless of course I get one of those really nice little crumb cake things from Bau Au Pain or whatever it is at that one service area off the Ohio Turnpike... try the Urban Blend coffee, it was pretty good.

< Seraphim >

Comic Shop Locator linkie


Wednesday - September 10, 2003

[Seraphim] - 08:35:00 - [link here]

Piro and I just got back from the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland. It was so cool to go as anonymous attendees. Piro and I were interested in the alternatives that were out there from indy creators and publishers.

I lie. I found out my favorite creator was going to be there and HAD to go. I've only been interested in comics for a month and I'm already a fan girl. The first comic I picked up was Tom Beland's 'True Story, Swear to God' and it was all over for me. It is a romance comedy where he tells how he met his wife, Lily, at a bus stop at Disney World. I do find the story hard to believe because if I had met Piro at a bus stop and he had tried to chat me up I would have maced him and performed all my self defense moves and ran off as fast as I could. (I grew up in a town with it's own mass murderer - don't talk to strangers is etched pretty deeply into my psyche.) In one of his mini-comic collections Beland refers to his own story as a 'chick flick' comic but that is wrong. Guys, if you want to know what to do to win the gal of your dreams pick it up. It's like a handbook on what to do right. The cover of the latest monthly issue depicts him in full superhero garb flying into a hurricane to save Lily. That's the kind of thinking the ladies like gentlemen - swear to god.

If you prefer your stories less fairy tale perfect then you would like Andi Watson's 'Love Fights'. This is more of a boy sees girl and girl barely gives him a second glance story. It pokes fun at the superhero theme and tabloid journalism but the best thing of all is the talking, flying, laser vision, superhero, crime fighting cat. Even without the cat it would be a great story.

If you are more into spooky horror stories we picked up two really freaky ones. I chose 'Nightmares and Fairy Tales' written by Serena Valentino and illustrated by Foo Swee Chin. They scare me. The story is told by a doll, Annabelle, who sees her owners through their bizarre nightmares and retold fairy tales. Issue 4 was the retelling of Snow White with lovely Snow cast as a 1960ish 'That Girl' who doesn't need no stinking Prince Charming to help her. This isn't the Disney version of the fairy tale.

Piro chose 'I Feel Sick' by Jhonen Vasquez. It's about a gal who can't get a decent date and has a malevolent creature trying to take over her brain. If you ever thought you had a bad date or only get hit on by creeps you have got to meet Devi. She gets picked up by club hopping vampires, complete with smoke bombs for entrances and exits, and brain eating zombies. I laughed, I cried, I almost freaking died.

Another personal favorite of mine is Avigon by Che Gilson. It has been described as Burtonesque but it is more goth than bizarre. Avigon is a manufactured clockwork who is seeking the meaning of her existence and naturally turns to the library. Another of my favorite themes. The library in the capitol city is taken directly from the NYPL with clockwork lions as sentinels outside. It was originally published in 2001 as a graphic short story but was supposed to be released as a full length graphic novel continuing the story last June. Hmmm, delayed. I guess I'll just have to wait patiently like other fans I know :)

There are really excellent artist and writers out there but they aren't in the aisles of the typical bookstore. Check out the Comic Shop Locator Service.


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