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Strip 572, Volume 4, Page 50


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< Piro >

part of a layout sketch for the last comic.


Tuesday - June 15, 2004

[Piro] - 13:34:00 - [link here]


Sometimes writing rants requires as much or more creative energy as writing a comic. Writing a decent rant, at any rate. I've been sitting here typing random words for over an hour and I've come to the conclusion that my brain isn't empty, it just suffers from a complete lack of cohesive, ordered thought. I think this might have to do with an odd feeling of anti-climax I've been feeling recently.

I've done a lot of traveling this year. Japan and AX Tokyo, Katsucon, Megacon, a book fair in South Bend, a lecture at MIT, Sakuracon, Anime Central, Fanime, A-kon.... that's over 9 trips in six months. I won't count Penguicon because that was a local convention :) That count also doesn't factor in the fact that Sarah and I were in Las Vegas when the new year began ^^;; If you look at last year, I spent most of that traveling, as well as the year before. I feel like I've been on a 3 year promotional tour, and it's finally come to a close.

Since I'm not going to Otakon this year (figures, Koge Donbo-sensei will be there. (sniff) ;_;) and SDCC is over a month away, arriving home from A-kon felt like the end a long journey. I am kinda looking forward to being home for a while.

As much fun as traveling and seeing MT readers all over the country is, there is no question that it's had a negative impact on the comic. My general feeling has been, many times, I've been squeezing the comic inbetween other things. Granted, there is a lot going on - the new store, books, the new website, new and inventive ways the cats develop to destroy the apartment... all of this has had a tendency to cut into my work on the comic a lot more than I like to admit to myself. Now, add all this travel into the mix and it just makes things a real mess. Maybe without all that travel, things will be easier, and I can focus on some of the sillier things, like, say, the comic.

Of course, I expected myself to become instantly productive as soon as I got home from A-kon. I planned to dive right in and work diligently on comic development, scripting, drawing, coloring and other things that I've been dying to devote huge chunks of time to for months. I'm eager to reach the "comics done on time" goal, and maybe even that elusive "get a few comics ahead" grail... or even, in my wildest fantasies, ahead enough with Megatokyo that I could work guilt-free on other projects. Sure, there is still tons to do for the new store (we have boxes of new shirts that came today - the new designs look pretty cool) and I still need to get cracking on new content for the website backend... now that I'm going to be home for a while, I can do it all, right? No worries right?

So here I am, sitting at my desk, spinning my wheels, barely capable of writing even a simple rant. :) Nothing will sap your creative energy faster than staring at a blank piece of paper or looking at an empty word document on your screen.


Kind of a pointless rant, isn't it? It has no real structure, doesn't say much of anything, and much of it is stuff you are probably sick of hearing me whine about :P I write rants like this from time to time, and usually I just toss them aside and give it up as feeling I have nothing worthwhile to say today so why post it. The time spent sitting here struggling to write even that is time wasted, right?

Well, not really. I'm finishing this rant today because maybe even worthless ramblings like this do, in the end, have some value. I've said many times that if you want to put your work up for people to see, you have to be willing to post the bad with the good. Not because you want to cause people pain (I have dom for that), but because even seemingly worthless stuff has a purpose. When climbing a ladder, the lower rungs are just as important as the top ones, for without them you can't reach the top of the ladder. A pathetic rant, much like a random throw-away drawing, is sometimes just part of the process towards writing or creating something better. This rant got me off dead center today. It got me thinking. That's a good thing. It had a purpose.

Most times when I do this I tend to just delete the rant and move on. Its part of why my side of the rant column seemingly lacks rantage as much as it does. Oddly enough, I've found that random thought dumps do have a purpose, and are far more important than I though they were. In fact, I've incorporated the concept into how I break loose my pathetic excuse for a brain so I can write. A few months ago I started a word file that is more like a diary than a real development document. It's writing for writing's sake, and it's not anything I ever expect anyone to read - in fact, I doubt I'll ever go back and re-read it myself. If I'm smart, I'll make sure to delete it when they come to take me away someday :) It's like scribbling to loosen up a pen to get the ink flowing. the scribbles are hardly worth keeping, but without them, you'd never get the ink flowing.

So pardon my little scribble today. It helped me get going this morning.

Just one other bit of randomness before I go. We're busy pulling together information for the Megatokyo Community pages for the new website, and we're trying to gather as much info as we can on all of the MT related websites, blogs, fan-art pages, cosplay, random silliness related to Megatokyo. The hope is to pull it all together and maintain it so MT readers can see what other MT fans have been up to.

The sheer volume of sites and material has been more than I've been able to deal with up to now, so I'm getting some friends to help me put it together. ^^;; If you have a MT related site or know of anything you think should be listed, please email us at this email address: We won't be linking to or posting EVERYTHING, of course, but we can't put it on the community link pages if we don't know about it. It's been a long time coming, and I'm looking forward to finally being able to acknowledge all the hard work MT fans have been doing over the years.

< Seraphim >

recycled cuteness from the Risky Safety manga :P chyuuu!

"cart chunking"

Wednesday - June 16, 2004

[Seraphim] - 19:31:00 - [link here]

The last rant I wrote late at night was a disaster. I was so embarrassed when I went back later and saw all the typos, misspellings, and dropped words. Piro proofread it for me too. Last time I ask him.

Piro and I have completed a year or more long quest this week. We have been hunting the elusive and wily Hershey's Dark Chocolate Kisses. The quest is ridiculous because I don't even like sweets. I don't like pie, pudding, or custards. I have never, ever not once in my life had a Hostess Twinkie, Ho Ho, Ding Dong, or a Snowball. Creme filling is toxic or something and evil. I do, however, like dark chocolate which is not the most popular chocolate around. In a box of mixed chocolates there are like three. And how about the Hershey miniatures bag? They should kick out the Mr. Goodbar and put in more Special Darks. Candy makers are so stingy. So for years we would hit the stores after seeing the 'dark chocolate kisses for a limited time only' commercial but with no success. Finally, I stumbled across them at a Target of all places. Ya know, dark chocolate is actually a health food because it is an antioxidant. They're pretty good but I don't feel the need to seek them out again. Our quest is over.

I thought the survey results regarding the ladies shirt sizes would be boring and I wouldn't post them. It turned out more interesting than I imagined. There were 8776 respondents - 47% women and 53% men. The distribution of sizes by gender is dramatically different. Men said that 70% of the shirts they would buy would be Medium or Small and only 10% would be XL or bigger. The women's distribution was almost evenly divided between small, medium, large, and the XL - 3XL sizes. I fully believe men skew the sizes smaller. Years ago Piro got my engagement ring two sizes too small. It barely fit on my pinky. He also used to buy me Petite clothes because he didn't know that Petite is just a euphemism for short. I'd love to see a comparison survey where couples both answer the size question and see how close the guys come to what the women actually state their size is.

Can anyone tell me why women's shirts are more expensive than men's shirts when they require half as much fabric and less sewing time? And don't tell me it is because of pleats or darts because it is a lousy t-shirt. A few weeks ago in a state out east, the practice of Ladies Night at bars was banned and declared unconstitutional because it gave women special treatment. Yeah, we women get lots of special treatment - like paying more for haircuts, dry-cleaning, and clothes. I don't hear anyone saying that kind of special treatment is discriminatory and unconstitutional. Half as much fabric as a man's shirt and it still costs more. Oh yeah, it ticks me off.

On a happier note, we are also going to be offering selected designs of men's shirts up to 5XL. There are about 6 colors so if a design can be put on one of the available colors without changing screens or inks we'll be able to produce them.

Speaking of shirts, didya see the story of the guy in Scotland who got 0wnzed in court for wearing a t-shirt that said 'kiss my 4R5E'. I guess the law over in Scotland is L33T. Those sheriffs got some l33t nekkid skillz.

And talk about seeing something. Piro and I stopped to pick-up mail and get some groceries late one night. Piro ran in while I perused the mail. I open the bank statement to see our bank cashed two larger size checks, for rent and the car payment, even though they weren't signed. Great security. So while I am pondering that a man who is parked next to us in the opposite direction, comes out of the store and puts his groceries in his trunk. He's like three feet away from me. Obviously he did not see me sitting there in the poorly lit parking lot, so he decides to give his cart a tremendous push hoping it would steer itself magically between our car and the one across from us. Needless to say this magical cart failed and the it rams into our bumper and gets hung up on the license plate. He does decide to extricate the cart from our bumper before leaving and this is when I open the door and yell at him "What do you think you were doing?" That was a good laugh. I scared him so much he took off running across the lot to take the cart all the way to the cart coral. Honestly. It reminds me of the quote, 'Ethics are what we do when no one is looking".


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