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  1. Panel 1:
    <Hey, wait up! What was that all about?>
    <Yuki-chan, what's wrong?>
  2. Panel 2:
    <You look upset!>
    <I said it's nothing.>
    <Didn't look like nothing. Come on, give.>
    <It's none of your business.>
    Also shown:
  3. Panel 3:
    Of all the young men in Tokyo she has to pick my client. I don't live right.
  4. Panel 4:
    That little girl has got way too much pluck for my comfort. Piro has trouble dealing with the basics, nevermind this. I really need to put a stop to... What the...
  5. Panel 5:
    Characters shown:
  6. Panel 6:
    Have you seen [Largo]
    Also shown:
  7. Panel 7:
    I really hope we're not paying him. Maybe I'll get lucky and someone will step on him.


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< Piro >


"deep down scared"

Wednesday - August 22, 2001

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

I've been in kind of an odd mood lately. I suppose it's because i've been knee-deep in story-mode ever since I got back from Otakon - i've really enjoyed the recent Yuki storyline stuff. Everything in the MT story is clicking into place better than I ever figured it would...

Oh, Before i get accused of placing myself 'in front' of the comic and damaging the 'purity' of comics as an art form again - no one has to read these ramblings. I'm under no delusions that anyone reads them. I write these things for myself, not as some sort of sick grab for attention (in fact, there are times i *really* need to learn to shut up. Some rants generate an extraordinary amount of email ^^;;) Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. He's nobody, really.

For those interested in listening to me drone on about nonsense, read on. For the rest of you, two things: First, here's the next desktop wallpaper Merekat has put together for your background pleasure. This gives you an idea of the kind of detail she's thrown into this image. For the posters, we're looking at a printing run of around 1000 - We should have everything worked out by the end of the week. :) Secondly, the NekoNekoWai and #megatokyo folks have finished putting together all of the guest strips for your viewing pleasure - go check em out. Thats all 308 of them (those that aren't, we couldn't download or were missing image files). Thanks a bunch, Kai.

Ok, switching to bothersome droning mode. No need to read further unless you are bored.

Largo and I had a lot of mixed feelings last week. Speaking for myself, I'm not used to the kind of attention we got at Otakon. As an architect, you get pretty good at standing up in front of a crowd to present projects, or dealing with militant plan review boards, but this kinda stuff is... different. I really don't know what to think about all the attention we've been getting lately. In high school, college and grad school i was shy and introverted to the point of incapacity (i was a 'nerd' before it was actually hip to be one) I'm in no way used to being the center of attention. I've been getting by by convincing myself everyone was there to see Dom. :P

I've gained a lot of respect for people who are in the spotlight all the time. It's fun, its oddly invigorating, it's exciting, but it's stressful too. 'overwhelming' is a good word for it. I think it's real easy to get wrapped up in the attention, trying to return it as best you can to all the people who want to talk to you. I feel really bad about the various "I tried to find you guys at Otakon, but..." emails, and the guy who wanted to take Largo and I out for a beer (we're still gonna hold you to that, dude :). It's a lot like my email problem - too many people to pay the appropriate amount of attention to. :( I suppose that's why i try to hang out in #megatokyo as much as i do. If people know they can reach me when then feel the need, it removes some of the desperation of getting my attention RIGHT NOW... or at least, that's my hope. :P

I guess that dealing with these problems is just part of doing this. I suppose in some ways i wish MT wasn't so popular - I'm seeing people attach stigmas to it, people telling me i only do this to feed my ego (WHAT ego?), that i gripe about things only to get sympathy and pity, that i bask in the attention, etc, etc etc. People can be pretty mean, really. When i say that i'm just an average joe doing this, and that there's nothing special about it, i mean it. Please stop trying to convince me otherwise. ^^;; What are Largo and I supposed to do? Ignore everyone and be aloof assholes? It's not in our nature. We're doing the best we can, please stop being so hard on us. So we don't get it right all the time, hey, we try.

People joke with me about 'go to your happy place, piro! Sad girls in snow!' (thanks, Ian, Matt - i really need give you two a swift kick the ass for that comic one of these days ^_^) the odd thing is - it's really is kinda true. You bastards saw right thru me. That 'happy place' for me is drawing the comic. It's really odd, but in the middle of all the stress and worry about deadlines, keeping the site up to date, that day job thing, etc, it's amazing how much i actually enjoy the process (hell, if i didn't, there would be no way that MT would have lasted a year). I've got a really good feel for the story now, and i have a real good feel for the characters. In fact, thats the interesting part. Largo and I are giving these characters lives, and they are the kind of lives that we've enjoyed seeing in our favorite anime and manga series. Its a very satisfying feeling to be able to at least approach being able to do that.

so, in short, i guess my 'happy place' is story-mode. I've got a lot of empathy for Yuki and her situation. Even tho i know whats going on, and i know all of the inner thoughts and future events, it doesn't take away the experiential quality of it for me. Maybe thats what is so neat about doing a web manga - the authors/artists get a little of the experience of watching their work with everyone else.

There's more to it, i guess, but that's enough. Sometimes you just don't really feel like putting all of it down into words. Life is complicated, and some would say it's stupid to tell people what you think and feel. It's true, it is dangerous. I was reading something that said that young boys were actually more emotional than their female counterparts. The reason so many boys have the problems they do is because, unlike girls, they are told that they need to keep their feelings to themselves - men don't talk about their feelings. What bullshit. Howabout understanding the REAL reason for it - people can use those feelings against you, you don't want to give anyone any ammunition. It take a lot of balls to be honest about your inner thoughts. There's nothing 'girly' or weak about it. I've come out fine on the other side of the emotional battlefield known as 'growing up', so maybe i've developed my own way of thinking. It's a kind of toughness that serves you well in life.

MT is an organic story - we know the general direction, but the finality of what really happens to the characters doesn't happen till it happens. In many ways i'm as curious as you are to see how things go for all of them. Things change, sometimes, because that's what the story or the situations that develop call for. Sounds a lot like life, actually...

[wanders off to find some coffee humming namida ga yuuki ni kawarutoki~ to himself...]

< Dom >


"not done yet"

Monday - August 20, 2001

[Dom] - 06:10:00 - [link here]

(Before I start this rant, I'd like to say this, becauseit's worth saying: There is currently a comic book on themarket with Garth Ennis' name on it. It's a World War IIstory about a rifle brigade assigned to destroy Hitler'smissing testicle, which has grown to several thousand timesits original size--or at least the size it would've been ifit ever existed in the first place--and gained occultpowers. I've read it. It at once frightens me andvalidates my existence.)

Wow. Another con done and past. That's five cons in fivemonths already... I'm taking next month off--sorry, Anime WeekendAtlanta, but I need this time. Then comes my birthday atNeko-Con,another couple of months off unless c0rtana manages to dragme to WinterComiket. KatsuCon in February, Fanime in April, A-kon,Otakon, Anime Expo, and of course I have to go to E3 for myjob... cripes, do think that last year I only hadintentions of going to AX, Fanime, and one east coast confor the rest of my anime-lovin' life. Oh, by the way, afew of you have asked me when your local con will bearound--I don't know, check the Turnpike's con links for your local con. Those of you in Canada have two upcoming cons, one inToronto, the other in Vancouver. Belgium gets one soon,and I'm sure Australia has one somewhere.

You know, when I think back, I find that I really don'thave that much to say about AX--it wasfun, I didn't do too much that was MT-related, there was agigantic King of Fighters cosplay group and I got a bunchof Kyo cosplayers to do the can-can with me. Another thingI had fun with was running around cosplaying as Kayama fromSakuraTaisen and tracking down the Oogami cosplayers I found. It was a lot of fun sneaking up behind them and going"Iyoooooh, Oogami!" while they turned around--the first guywas speechless for a second and then had his picture takenwith me, the second guy took it more in stride and gave aswell as he took. And for those four other people who

recognized the costume, thanks a lot, one of the parts ofcosplay that I love is finding people who love thecharacter too. Mad props to Ed's fangirl, who helped mewith my Wild Daigo makeup. Wouldn't've been able to do itwithout you, thanks a bunch. Oh, right, and the OtakuGeneration dancers, who at once frighten and fascinate me.

Yes, guys, you're being classified in the same file asHitler's giant testicle wreaking havoc on the Allied fleet,so take that as you will.

On to Otakon. My first statement is: I was right aboutOtakon. I hereby declare that MT staff makes up the FourHorsemen of the Apocalypse. Piro's Famine, Largo'sPestilence, I'm War, and Ed is Death. It's a good thingthat Ed wasn't there. Forget about California's Big Onesplitting it off the mainland, it's Baltimore that willvanish off the face of the Earth when all four MegaTokyoHorsemen descend on its unsuspecting surface. You've heardenough about the city's disasters, so I'll talk about thecon's various disasters.

The Orioles were in town. That's a disaster inand of itself, especially since I didn't get to see CalRipken Jr. in his farewell season. Because of the trainderailment of a few weeks ago, I had to walk past CamdenYards to get from the light rail to the convention center,and now I'm all bitter that I didn't get to see anything. Well, maybe next year. Anyway, after I got to theconvention center, I hooked up with Piro and Largo, whowere already waiting for the web manga panel to start. Then after we got my badge--thanks to a guy in con ops whostopped what he was doing to point at me and say "YOU'REDom?!"--it was almost two hours of listening to theultra-fun guys from RPGworld, Bad Boys of Computer Science, Mac Hall and abunch of other comics whose names I can't remember at themoment.

After that, there was a solid two hours of a Piro and Largoautograph session. And can you believe that people wantedmy autograph too? I didn't believe it for the first fiftyor so, and then for the next hundred people in line forMegaTokyo autographs got theirs... it was insane. Thoughof course, the kicker that nearly got me running home toCalifornia was when a Rabi-en-Rose cosplayer came up to menear the end of the session and says "Will you sign mybrassiere?" Piro calls it the only time he's ever seen mespeechless, and it's a fair assessment. And later, Largokept saying to me in a traumatized voice "Dom, do yourealize that around this con is underwear that has ournames on it?" I wish I'd taken Piro's way out of doingit... anyway, new MegaTokyo autograph policy, people, nosigning of undies unless you aren't wearing them at thetime.

After that came Opening Ceremonies, where I was impressedby the number of people who were at their firstconvention--including what WingZero spotted as a PrettyPretty Piromi cosplayer. Piro and Largo said their bit onstage, then we all ran off to Burger King for my first mealof the day at around 5:30. After that was a frenzied rushto panel room three for our panel while the burgers satlike rocks in our stomachs. And when we got there, it'doverflowed and they'd moved us to the largestroom--something I wish had happened at Anime Central, but hey,live and learn, right? So I changed into my Kyo costume inthe bathroom, dashed into the panel room, and found outthat since there was no wandering mic, I was going to haveto seek out and belt out the questions from the back. So Ispent the next two hours running around with my VibratingSheep mkIV and entertaining people... a lot of fun, butafterwards, Piro, Largo, Ukyo, and myself collapsed in aheap in our hotel rooms.

Enter Hot Soup. That man is instant energy, and he'llforever be my friend for coming in late and picking all ofus up with his stories, antics, and "Hey! We got TOWELS!". Oh, and I got some cool Wintershirts from him, because Winter isa great comic and I need to pimp it out some more. Actually, I did that the next day, wearing my WinterT-shirt and shouting "Winter comic dot com winter comic dotcom read winter comic dot com" while Soup gave me the hairyeyeball and said "Ey, read MegaTokyo dot com". Just incase I haven't linked it enough, Winter.

And then there was the Artist's Alley, which was a longautograph session with occasional breaks while the fansdrooled at Merekat's posters. Thanks go out to Merekat,who kept the MT boys sane during the con with her humor andlevel head--I think we all envy your boyfriend to someextent, but let's not tell him that, shall we? ;)

Saturday was also an event that proves Piro is evil and I'mone of the dumbest guys on the face of the planet,something I'll talk about later, maybe. It was also whenmost of Mac Hall's pictures were taken, as there was anhour and a half between everyone getting together and goingout to dinner, so I felt obligated to entertain the troops.

Sunday was a blur, I think something happened involving mepromising Tiffany Grant that some day the two of uskaraoke buffs would get together at a con and sing theBakuretsu Hunters opening, and FredPerry's toy department getting outweighed by hisluggage department, if you know what I mean... and someGame Boy Advance, and a Japanese guest or two looking atMegaTokyo and kinda liking it... and then a plane, home,and sleep, merciful sleep.

See why I need that month off?


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