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< Piro >

yay! finish line-- wait, there's another race??

"...out of hiding"

Tuesday - March 27, 2007

[Piro] - 13:45:00 - [link here]

Before i start, i want to give a heads up to MT fans in the Michigan area that Sarah and i will be appearing this weekend at Wizzywig's big 'Wizzyfest' on Saturday, March 31st. at the Wizzywig store in Downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Sarah and i will be at the store around 1pm to sign stuff for folks looking for scribbles. Also appearing at Wizzyfest will be Rikki and Tavisha from Studio Tavicat (the creators of ShutterBox), Caroline Curtis from 9th Elsewhere and Jerry Koudelik of Secret of Mana Theater. Great folks that i am looking forward to seeing again, it should be fun :) There is also a big cosplay event, so feel free to dress up.

Also coming up soon, Sarah and I will be at Sakuracon in Seattle, Washington on April 6-8. Sarah and I are looking forward to being with the Sakuracon folks to celebrate their 10th anniversary. I'm not sure of our schedule yet, but i'll post it as soon as i have more info.

Ok, now on to a long overdue rant.

It kind of feels like i've been in hiding for the past few months. I haven't really, of course, but my usual inattention to ranting and blogging, as well as all this in-between chapter time for Megatokyo has made it feel like i've been a recluse hiding in the mountains trying to find the meaning to life or something. Actually, it's been a bit like that for the past few months. No, I haven't been searching for the meaning of life or any of that crap (i do that in the comic), but i have been trying to rebuild the way i do things, and that's not a task that is taken on lightly.

As you may have noticed from the few rants i've done this year, not everything has gone according to plan (cough cough). My inability to plan ahead has this tendency to bite me on the ass and not let go for lengthy periods of time. One big change that i've been working on is trying to figure out how such a now-minded person like myself can plan and execute bigger things in an organized, productive, and timely fashion.

Organization and me don't mix very well. Over the years, i have spent more time, money and energy on organizational tools than you can imagine. Nothing has ever really worked for me, mostly because after pouring a ton of time into setting up an organizational system, i have this tendency to forget to apply it. ^^;; What good are to do lists if you never look at them?

I guess i'm not alone with this problem, because there seems to be a never ending array of new organizational tools and processes. The good news for me is that some of the stuff i've been trying lately, mostly browser based organizational tools, have been working out pretty well. I'll blog more about my experiences with these apps in a later rant.

One thing that i am tired of is the huge chunk of time i have to devote to processing pages for the books. It is rediculous to have to take 3 weeks off to go back and re-process two chapters worth of comics. The solution is a fairly simple one - process the comics for the book as I do them.

The nice thing about finishing a book right before you start the next one is that you can really re-think how you work so that you don't have any 'legacy' comics to deal with when the next book comes around. Before, when i would work on a comic, my main focus was to get the web version done and think about the print version at some other time. Now, i'm thinking of the print version AND the web version as i do them. Basically, I'm working on the next book WHILE i'm creating them. What a bizarre concept. :P

I've also been addressing my rather tripped up approach to comic production. My approach to comic writing, drawing and finishing has never been very well quantified. I take a very free wheeling, artistic approach to creating, letting things go where they will and not taking my deadlines as seriously as i should. My goal is to change this.

It's pretty simple, really. I want to be able to produce comics on a reliable schedule, post them at 1AM, three times per week. I want to streamline my production and make it something i can plan around. I want to do this so that i can start planning and working on other projects. I feel like i have a lot of potential that is being wasted by my disorganized approach to working. I want to earn the right to call myself a "professional" comic artist. That's my goal for this year.

Yes, i know, technically i AM a professional. I produce comics for a living and have a lot of readers who are amazingly forgiving about my quirky way of working. While what i do might categorize me as a 'pro', but the way i personally feel that the way i work is that it is not very "professional" at all, and i want to change that. It's a personal goal, and one that i have been struggling with ever since starting Megatokyo, and it's a goal that honestly I have had a lot of trouble achieving. I've had a lot of failures and setbacks, but i'm going to keep at it because it is important to me.

I'll let you know how it's going over the next few months. If it goes well, reading Megatokyo will be a more pleasant and reliable experience, and i'll feel a hell of a lot better about the whole thing.

Hope you have been enjoying the Omake. I know it's been rather long, but it will be done wednesday. These things are experiments and forays into the characters, explorations that have as much to do with writing Megatokyo as creating something entertaining between chapters. I was going to start MT chapter 9 on Friday, but i forgot that we still need a Seraphim Check. I think that's ok, we can start fresh on Monday and dive into the next chapter.

Now to see what i can do about getting this last Omake done so I can at least post it before the morning :) Wish me luck.

< Dom >

Whee, Chinese!

"The ebb and flow of interest"

Monday - March 26, 2007

[Dom] - 20:30:00 - [link here]

Back in high school, I was a huge fan of Hong Kong action movies. I didn't really have a choice in the matter, since three of my cousins spent several years indoctrinating me into the wonders of Jet Li, Jackie Chan, and some of the cheesiest crap American action cinema has ever produced (Cop, Hai, no thanks to you for Remo Williams and Gym-freaking-kata).

My impressionable mind absorbed dozens (maybe even hundreds) of kung fu movies in those years, wuxia and otherwise. But then I fell off of the wagon - when I was in college, it was hard to get my hands on any good fu flicks. I watched what I could, but the flow of movies slowed to a tiny stream, then a trickle, and finally nothing. As of about four years ago, I watched maybe one movie in Chinese a year. Anime and manga (oh, and this weird webcomic thing) rushed in to fill the void, and I mostly left my Hong Kong cinema days behind me.

Then it all came rushing back in the past week. Thanks to not-so-subtle conditioning from mikelurker, I felt compelled to watch Condor Hero when I saw it on KTSF (amusingly, it's listed in the TV guide as a documentary). After watching Yang Guo and Xiao Long Nu take on the cruel master of Heartless Valley for an hour, it all came back to me. The urge to shout out attack and stance names. The dreams where I jump impossible heights and throw household objects with unerring aim and deadly force.

It's a pretty fortuitous rediscovery for me, since the last season of anime was so uninteresting that I haven't watched any anime in 2007. Wuxia neatly fills the void left by anime sucking, and until anime becomes interesting again, I have flying Chinese folks to keep me warm.

There's only one problem with my kung fu resurgence.

I have a very, very high credit limit.

This could get ugly.


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