One small step…

Keys2Locks_Locks2Doors

Some of you know a little, some of you don’t know very much. I’ve seeded bits of information among those I could speak to in person over the past couple of years. However, now that it’s official, I wanted to let you all know.

It has been an arduous process, not made any easier by living half an ocean away from the location. The escrow phase was a bitch complicated by a big problem (not of our making) I’d rather not go into yet as it still makes my blood boil. Regardless, yesterday escrow closed and the place is officially ours.

To those of you who haven’t known, no, I did not win the lottery. I just spent my inheritance. In fact, my mother has taken out the loan since I am effectively a non-entity to the U.S. from which I have been separated for over a decade. This was my way of killing two birds with one stone. At some point, I know I’ll have to care for my elderly mother. I’m not going back to Ontario or California, or the mainland to do that; and Japan was completely not an option for her. So, I am literally going halfway.

Whereto from here? As the title suggests, this is just the first step. I will be renting it out for a couple of years while we get our ducks in a row (and use the rental income to fund our move). With luck, sooner than later.

UPDATED

The E asked for some pictures. Instead of loading a bunch, I just made this collage to give an overall sense of the place.

Some notes: the wide exterior shot at the top-left is our building with the slightly brighter looking unit (tweaked in PS) being our place. The top-right shot is from the balcony which is beyond the blinds in the center-right photo. The bottom-right is essentially another living room on the 1st floor (my office). Questions? Just ask.

Macross Delta–the unfortunate reality

Sorry I was lax in finding out more about this, but in the end, doing so only lead to disappointment. Take a look at the new key art for the show.

 

top-key20160201story_img

The story is also a little strange. Reportedly it has stronger ties to Plus and 7 than Frontier. The story has to do with some rare disease that reduces people to their primal instincts. A desperate measure for “treatment” is the idol group “Valkure” (that’s a “cure” mixed in with the word Valkyrie). The story is about the search for the cure which involves looking for the originators of protoculture, the original ancient settlers of all the planets across the galaxies. There’s something about a Wind Kingdom and whatnot but really, they lost me with the idol group thing. It’s just a cheap grab at the new girls’ idol group boom going on now. I don’t feel a genuine attempt to tell a Macross story. Plus, if you look at the videos, you’ll see the really ugly CG they’re using. Too bad. What a disgraceful way to follow-up the excellent Frontier.

Anyway, it premieres on Sunday. I’ll see if I can catch the premiere, but don’t be surprised if I don’t.

100% Awesome
100% Awesome

This is one of the best Opening Sequences I have ever seen.

Macross Delta

The E found this first. I’m not sure yet if this is going to be a new series or a film, but it’s obvious this is going to be a follow-up to Macross Frontier. A press conference will be broadcast live on the web on October 29. I’ll try to update with details as soon as they become available. Stay tuned true believers! —er.

MacrossDelta-sm

Wildstorm Reunion 2015

Hi guys! Wildstorm’s doing another reunion on December 5. Same location as last time. If you need the info, I can get it from Claudia; I just can’t remember it right now.

Randy and I will be out there; we’re going to do the WS reunion, then go up to LA to do an early Christmas with Randy’s mom and brother, since it’s so difficult for both Randy and Danny to get time off around Christmas. Perfect opportunity!

Sorry, Ben, I can’t cover your flight this time :) but if you have a way to make it out, of course we’d love to see you! It was so much fun hanging out with your guys last time, I want to do it again!

Will Color For Food
Will Color For Food

Comic book folks,

Just wanted to announce here that I am available to help someone with coloring work if they need it. Been off work for most of the summer due to the cancellation of a project as well as League taking a break. Gave me time to work on my own stuff, but now I need to start earning a living again. Should you need a page or two taken off your hands, contact me directly. You all know my email address right?

Thanks in advance!

What is that icon??

Every few months, someone eventually asks what my “Desk Junk” folder icon is.

Screenshot 2015-08-01 23.16.34

They are never quite satisfied when I answer, “My friend Ben.”

Steve Kim

Please don’t forget to let us know where you are once you’ve set up and settled in. The email you have here also seems to need updating! It’ll be hard to call in The Hulk when we can’t find you. We might have to send Laura “Black Widow” Martin to track you down….

Still Painting Dolls

I posted my first painted miniature quite a while ago. Since then I’ve kept at it, falling ever more so into the hobby gaming fandom. Here are some of my latest painted figs.

barnabas

yulya_front

yulya_back

I am currently running a WarMachine/Hordes league at the office and my tabletop game collection is outgrowing my storage space. What are you guys up to hobby wise?

Show Me Yours

Been kind of obsessed lately with seeing the creative spaces / workspaces of people in different fields like at this site:

http://grid.vsco.co/search/workspace/images/1

So show me what your workspace looks like. Take a photo now. Don’t clean up to make it look cool. Let us see how it is when you’re in the thick of things. And it doesn’t have to be a home studio. Kiko, it’d be great to see your space at PA. Anyway, here’s where I color, translate, and design.

FullSizeRender

Thanks, E-Dog…but no thanks!

Hi guys, it’s been a long time since there have been any posts in here. I thought I’d share a funny story that involved E-Dog.

If you follow my FB page, you know that sometimes I get horrific cramps that feel like an entire fleet of alien babies is eating my pelvis. E suggested that medical marijuana may help. Of course, I’m in Georgia; if you even speak the words “medical marijuana” you’d be thrown in jail, or someone would try to cast demons out of you. So E was nice enough to mail me a care package of various samples, tucked neatly into a big tub of coffee grounds to guard against scent dogs. There was a chocolate bar, some gummy candies, a little package of chocolate chip cookies, and a little package of joints. Each package was labeled with the amount of THC per serving. What an amazing thing, legal medical marijuana. I thanked E and cursed the state I reside in.
Since I’d planned on using these things strictly for pain management, I waited a couple more weeks. Eventually it was time to have cramps again. Lucky for me, I finished an issue on the day of the worst cramps, so I figured, “Now is the perfect time to give this stuff a try.” E had warned me that the “Darth Vaders” were really strong, and since I was a newb, to be careful. I assumed he meant the joints, so I avoided those on the first go. I ate one little chocolate chip cookie.

ONE COOKIE.

It tasted like someone had put oregano in the cookie. Not terrible but definitely earthy. I went back upstairs to dink around on FB. Got offered a small project and was debating about taking it. While that discussion was going on, I looked at the clock. It had been almost an hour since I ate the cookie, and nothing had happened. “Hm, okay,” I thought. “Maybe they just don’t work.” I recalled an account written by a friend who tried pot brownies in Amsterdam and how four of them had had no effect on him. Maybe this was the same situ——

…and then it hit. Suddenly, my perception turned into a very stretchy rubber band. Within a minute or two, I went from being sober to feeling like I’d had two beers. Then three. I had to put the brakes on the discussion about the project, because I was acutely aware that I was not in any position to make any serious decisions. I got the hell offline quick because I didn’t want to say or do anything on FB that would be inappropriate.

I was fuckin’ stoned out of my gourd for over four hours. Good god. There was literally nothing I could do but lie down on the couch and be stoned and watch a “Face Off” marathon without comprehending anything that was going on in the show. At one point, I thought I was gonna hurl, but that was probably because I scarfed down almost an entire bag of potato chips. I didn’t hurl, but getting upstairs to the bathroom was interesting. I ended up leaning against the bed, panting like I’d just sprinted 500 yards, for what felt like half an hour but was probably five minutes. I had TERRIBLE cottonmouth well into the next day.

Randy got home around the 3-hour mark. I was still on the couch. I was both profound and unintelligible. My roommate Kelly got home about a half hour later. I’m pretty sure both of them were laughing at me. At one point, my left eye literally changed shape — everything went blurry and weird like I’d put on someone else’s glasses. That lasted a couple of minutes. I couldn’t string a sentence together. I couldn’t make a decision. I noticed that my sense of touch was dampened, which might be the key factor in pain management.

The high wore off slowly. I was only a little woozy by midnight (the high kicked in around 7 pm). We went to bed, but I had to get up several times to drink water, because of that really unpleasant cottonmouth and awful taste in my mouth.

The big question: Did it help the pain? It made me not think about it, except when a particularly bad cramp got me, but I didn’t feel like getting off the couch to go get some ibuprofen. So in that sense, I guess it worked, but the whole idea of pain management (to me) is to allow me to be functional. I was definitely NOT functional.

So, yeah. The cookies are either really strong or I’m a super newb. Either way, I did NOT like the effect. I do not like being unfunctional like that, at all. (I don’t even like being really drunk for the same reason.) It might have been fun if I was a third that stoned, but holy shit.

Now I have three more cookies, a bag of gummies, five joints and a candy bar that will either get regifted, or used very sparingly over the next couple of years. (Does THC have a use-by date? haha) Randy wants to try it. I will check the labels next time and find the item with the LEAST THC, and split it with Randy.

Technical question for you Photoshop heads

So, here’s a question for you Photoshop gurus. How would you try to emulate this type of shading, where there’s this grainy texture? It’s often seen in vintage Art Deco illustrations.
My example is more modern, but it’s the same idea.
A38_1

pool_final3
As you can see, it’s not a simple matter of the textured shading fading away, the grain gets more sparse.

Thoughts? By the way, I would very likely create my artwork in Illustrator, then bring it into Photoshop to try to fashion this type of shading.

To Kiko and Steve

I think birthday greetings are in order around this time, isn’t it?

I can still remember the day you guys realized that you had the same birthday. One of the funniest moments I’ve ever had the pleasure of bearing witness. Both of you, in unison, whipping out your driver’s licenses then, upon confirming the fact, saying: “Holy shit!” in sync.¬†Absolutely brilliant!

Hope you guys had a great day!

Damn Good Coffee

Well this is interesting…

Things you end up finding out.
Things you end up finding out.

Watched an interesting documentary on Hitler’s rise to power on NHK last night; I put it on just to see what parallels there are with the way the current administration here is doing things (there are). But some of the more lasting tidbits from Hitler’s life and the rise of the Nazi party were rather eyebrow raising:

1) Those fabulous uniforms that make the SS and the Nazi Party so fashionable were designed by Hugo Boss. The man before he was a brand.

2) Wagner (Flight of the Valkyries) was a staunch anti-semite and his daughter a very close friend of the young Adolf Hitler. When you think of it, Wagner’s obsession with Germanic legend seems indicative of this.

3) Henry Ford was also anti-semitic and gave all profits from Ford automobile sales in Europe to a fledgling Nazi Party to help pay for those Hugo Boss uniforms, propaganda posters, etc. He was the first foreigner to be inducted and decorated by the Nazi Party (accompanied with photographs).

The things we don’t know….

Yes Please!

Really enjoy seeing fresh new styles.

Immediately thought of you after seeing this, Steve. It looks like these guys are going the Kickstarter route.

EVA: Q

For you Evangelion fans or at least those who know the series. I just watched the TV version of the third movie in the series and it’s bat-crazy, nutty, good. Throw everything you know about Eva¬†into a blender and really stir things up, but with just enough familiar elements from the series to ground it in the storyline and keep that original “flavor.” Really interesting stuff. Most of all, it brings back the Shinji we all love to hate.

For Ben and the rest of the desk-jockeys…

Movements to help the body hate you less.

Movements to help the body hate you less.

Mad Max 2015

There is just a taste of Gilliam in there, and that ain’t bad. Not at all.

Satoshi Kon

Thoughtful analysis of Satoshi Kon’s editing style. I need to watch these movies.

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