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Strip 486, Volume 3, Page 146

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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...

< Seraphim >

Risky Safety!

"embedded apple logos"

Monday - November 17, 2003

[Seraphim] - 15:20:03 - [link here]

I have to thank all the wonderful taxpayers out there who in part funded my student grants which allowed me to get a Powerbook. I love you all. It is so beautiful. I have always wanted one and now with the final year of grad school - I need one. Seraphim has had one in the strip for three years but I haven't really had one. It was all lies. I am finally l33t.

Piro named it Nemu, the sleepy librarian, from Haibane Renmei. Mine should have been Reki, the smoking bad girl, but Piro already claimed that name for his computer. I thought I would be really wedded to the PC but I dropped it quicker than a bad husband in a quickie Reno divorce. I kind of thought that it was going to be impossible to use like the 10 million iMacs the U of M library bought. What is with the worthless mouse on those? Piro never lets me use his G4 so how was I supposed to know it would be heaven. I wanted to give it a test run to see if I could leave the apple imprinted in Piro's forehead but he wasn't interested in participating in my experiment. L053r. I'll have to wait until I see Asmodeus. With him I won't ask for permission.

Why is the black cat from Trigun in FLCL? Or am I the only one who sees a resemblance. I picked up the manga and I really like the art style but what the hell is going on? Piro has read the manga, seen the anime, and claims it has had an influence on MT and yet he doesn't have a clue about it either.

We watched the final two disks of Risky Safety. I really like the episode at the temple. I think everyone could use a temple goddess bestowing blessings. There is also a 'silent movie' episode which is very cleverly done. But then there are the two Momotaro legend episodes that are presented as if it is told as a child's picture book story. That means there are a bunch of still illustrations and the camera pans over them. There is about 30 seconds of animation between the two. Cheap, but very cute. Hmm, artistic story concept or no budget? You decide. Piro considers Safety part the inspiration for putting Seraphim in MT but I think Seraphim is more Risky. I'm strangely drawn to the little apprentice Shinigami. I want to cosplay as her next year.

I also recently picked up 2/15: The Day the World Said No to War. It is a book of pictures and commentary from peace rallies that occurred around the world. An interesting demonstration took place at the McMurdo Station in Antarctica. The picture and story are in the link. After being told that anyone organizing a demonstration (or a union) would be fired and then forbidden to wear their National Science Foundation issued extreme weather outerwear for a protest, 10 people went out on the icepack to protest Naked Aggression. At least one person lost his job after the demonstration. Hear nothing, speak nothing, see nothing - or else.

Piro and I are still sending comics out via email to troops who otherwise don't have access. If you know anyone who is deployed and would like to be on the list email me the address and I'll add them. We try to do what we can but our efforts are woefully inadequate so I'll tell you about a one man and a few friends operation who is sending comic books overseas to the troops. A friend of a service man began Operation Comix Relief. He was also featured in the official military newspaper Stars and Stripes. So far they have sent out over 500 packages to 10 countries and they are committed to sending out comics free of charge to any troops who request them. They take donations of stamps, comic books, and dollars via snail mail at Operation Comix Relief, 8 Capri Drive, Framingham, MA 01701. If you want to send a small donation and Paypal is more convenient, Piro and I are willing to take collections through the MT account and forward them on to OCR in a lump sum from the MT Fans. Email me if you are interested and I'll send the information.

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