Archive for the 'Current Events' Category

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….

Minor social update
Minor social update

So, on April 21st, I had my wedding with Yufen in Taipei, Taiwan. Nobody has seen anything regarding this on my Facebook, because I tend to keep my personal life private. Since Ben attended the wedding, it’s only fair that I let the rest of the Cadre in on this.

It was a very tiring task leading up to the wedding, mostly because we did a lot of the work ourselves, but in the end, I think it was worth it (not to mention the amount of money we saved). I shot all of our engagement photos, designed our invitation card, made a little animation describing how I met Yufen, and choreographed a dance routine. Yufen did a tremendous job of finding accommodations for my guests arriving from abroad. She also found a local flower retailer to handle the flower arrangement.

As other places, weddings are big business. Most couples will visit an agency that takes care of everything (clothes, photography, etc.), but as I mentioned above, we pretty much arranged everything ourselves. It’s not uncommon to have a wedding in a building solely dedicated to hold different weddings on different floors. Guests arrive to give red enveloped filled with money and watch Powerpoint slideshows of the bride and groom’s childhood photos. During the reception, the bride will make numerous catwalk runs to showcase different outfits. Yufen and I felt this was all silly and definitely doesn’t represent us. Yufen’s parents are more traditional, so we had to find a compromise. In the end, the wedding was smaller than average, but it was held in Taipei 101, so it had a little bit of excitement for guests.

Most of the guests were relatives of Yufen’s. I had two tables set aside for my relatives and friends. One distinguishing aspect of our wedding was the language barrier. Yufen’s older relatives can only speak Taiwanese. My parents can only speak Korean and English. Most of Yufen’s relatives can’t speak English. Of my five relatives visiting from Korea, only two can speak English, while three of them can also speak Japanese.

Ben has graciously sent me his photos from that day.

And here are some photos from our official photographer:

As for our future plans, we’re waiting on Yufen’s immigration processing, which they say will take 6 months or more. From there, it’s a matter of finding work, preferably in California, either in San Diego or San Francisco. Not sure how long we’ll actually stay in the States, but I think both of us will want to eventually move outside of the States.

Sobering News

Wow—for lack of a better word—just really sobering news. I don’t even remember talking to him that much since I was a newbie back when he was on Stormwatch and I didn’t get to touch the major titles yet. But I remember him roaming around the studio, but mostly huddled over his desk in that “Room of Elites” next to Jim’s office.

I wonder what the cause of death was? The family hasn’t commented on that yet.

43. That’s what I turn this year…

Happy New Year

Wishing you guys a great 2013!
Or at least a year that sucks less than the last.

A short rant

After 8 years of living in Japan, today has been the first time that I have seriously thought of leaving.
Major elections were held today and the results couldn’t have been worse. Japanese (mostly the older folks with young people’s apathy contributing to the results) have chosen to go backwards. Imagine if America voted Bush (GW) back in to office after all that his administration had done (or didn’t do); and not only that but gave the Tea Party control of both the House and Senate. That was today’s election results. The party that drove this country into the ground after 20+ years of failed policies since the economic bubble burst in the 80s and over 50 years of government rule since the end of the war, has been elected back into power with sweeping control. This was the party responsible for building Fukushima and allowing the foxes to mind the nuclear hen house.
Today, a great majority of Japanese people (no one I know), decided that they were more afraid of China, North and South Korea than dealing with the problem of nuclear power in an earthquake prone country or even the recent tragedy of the collapse of a tunnel ceiling on a major interstate highway due to lack of maintenance (i.e. deteriorating infrastructure). And that’s probably my biggest disappointment. After all that’s happened these past 3 years since a new party took over, the people here chose to return to the status quo, to short term policies, and to an image of strength and confidence instead of truly remaking themselves.

I haven’t felt this depressed about anything in a long time. Sorry for the rant. Just had to get that off my chest.

Ben, please check in

Another major earthquake just hit northern Japan. Ben, please check in!

Los Angeles: Hockey Champions

los angeles kings first stanley cup was long time coming

Long ago, if you told me one day L.A. would be a championship hockey city, I would’ve told you to not waste your time and watch a Clippers game instead. Well, color me wrong. So, I believe L.A. has a championship team in almost every major sport save soccer (the other football). You probably shouldn’t waste your time with that and watch a King’s game instead….

Status update

Stemming from Ben’s previous inquiry, I’ve decided to do a quick status update, especially since I don’t really update anything important on my Facebook. As some of you have already known, a little while back I started preparing my demo reel for my job searching. After my freelance gig had dried up, it was time for me to seek a full time position. Due to the current state of the US politics and economics, I wanted to find a job overseas. I returned to Taiwan to visit my girlfriend while still working on my demo reel.

It was during this time that a coworker of my girlfriend had a friend who worked in a small gaming company (Funfia) in Taiwan. After exchanging information, an interview was setup with that company. Ironically, I also setup another interview with a different gaming company for the same day. It was an interesting experience. The bigger company was actually quite big, big enough that they even produced arcade games. Interestingly, I already knew a few of the employees there from my previous time that Sony sent me to Taiwan for work. They suggested offering me a part time position as an animator to see if I wanted to continue working with them. Funfia on the other hand only had 7 employees at that time and offered me a full time position as a 3D art director. Salary wise would have been the same if I worked full time in either company.

I eventually decided to go with Funfia for several reasons. First and foremost, the position was higher, second, they wanted to get started right away with working on my resident visa, and third, they are keen on not doing any unnecessary overtime. My salary is quite low in comparison to what I could get back in the States, but is considered quite high in Taiwan standards. I’m looking at this as an investment/gamble. Despite my lower wage, I’m hoping that with this experience, it will lead me to more options than just being a 3d character animator.

Right now I’m working on two different games. One is a dancing game where they are already close to being finished, however, because they decided to switch 3d software and working with outsourcing, they’re having a lot of issues completing the game, so I’ve been busy trying to help out put out the fires. The other game is a verticle shooter. This one is still in conceptual stage and I’m enjoying this stage. One because I’ve learned a lot of new tricks in animation while working on a mockup, two because I’m using the time to think about implementing “out of the box” ideas. I should also mention that I’m the only 3D artist here, so it’s a little intimidating trying to help out with some issues that I’ve never had experience with before.

Another reason for my decision was my hope to improve my Chinese. After one year of studying, I felt being in a work environment would be more effective. Boy, was I wrong. Certainly I’m learning new words and terminology, but being at work is not an environment where you can just take time out and ask a coworker to explain new vocabulary/grammar. Still, I’m amazed I’m still working here (almost 2 months now), while using no English. I’ve already accepted my fate that I’ll never be fluent in Chinese, but I’m still impressed I was able to reach a certain level (I guess good enough that they were willing to hire me).

Beyond that, my traveling has now been put to a halt for the time being. Besides visiting China last March, the last trip I took was Korea last week. However, that trip was significantly different from my previous trips because I was visiting my Aunt who has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. So visiting my relatives (who I haven’t seen in over 30 years) meant I had no time to travel on my own within Korea. It was frustrating that they wanted to look after me every step of the way, but it was still nice to reacquaint them and reimmerse myself in trying to learn Korean.

MRI 2, the sequel

So, on the 5th, I had my second MRI as scheduled six months prior. I am pleased to report that the bulge in the blood vessel of my brain has not grown. However, the managing physician didn’t greet the news with a big grin and a “have a great day” attitude. He actually ended up passing me on to a neurologist. A neurologist. My first thoughts were of course: “should I be worried?”

The neurologist took me in for consultation immediately and it became apparent that while the MRI confirmed the existence of a lump or bulge in my brain, the MRI can not reveal any more details about it beyond that. The neurologist was very good in explaining that by professional standards, I am very much in a low risk group, but that doesn’t mean the chance of something happening to the bulge is 0 and we’ll only know for sure what my actual risk level is after a more detailed examination of said bulge or lump.

To accomplish this will require a CT scan. I’ve been scheduled for the 15th, so Kiko, I’d like to have your excruciatingly detailed account of what you feel when you drink that vile concoction; how difficult it might be to deal with its effects both during and after the scan, etc. I need to prepare myself for the experience so anything you can contribute to my understanding of the process would be greatly appreciated.

Anyway, “we delivered the bomb…”

Another quake in Japan

Just read about another quake or aftershock, 7.4 magnitude, off the coast of Honshu again. Ben: how’s everything going over there? You guys still holding on?

Not at this level yet…

Just to show I still have a sense of humor about everything going on.

Incredible footage!
Incredible footage!

Look very closely


Happy New Year everyone!
Hope whatever crap happened to you in 2010 can be put behind you and now your energy can be focused on the year ahead of you.

Some highlights (or lowlights depending on how you see it) from my year include: beginning to work with Marvel as a colorist; severing ties with a couple clients who were more headaches than they were worth; translating the treatment for a proposed NHK documentary about a survivor of both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings (the same person James Cameron is thinking of making a movie about); finally finishing League volume 3 #2 just before New Year (one month late of schedule); helping Aki with some cool projects of his to give some Japanese artists exposure overseas; being contacted by Tim Bradstreet to color one of his covers with talk of helping him out on a future project (after almost a decade of “wanting” to work with one another); and a reawakening of my passion for alternative music thanks to some great music blogs on the web (just when I thought my CD collection wouldn’t grow any more… at least I have a TB of HD space for lossless digital stuff). Got some stuff possibly lined up for 2011 including reviewing films on a semi-pro basis as well as a continuation of stuff with Aki. Gonna try and pick up a limited series at Marvel and I hear tell that Kevin O’Neill is “thinking” about getting started on League volume 3 #3 soon. Might make a trip out to Seoul this year and my Mom is looking to visit sometime in the Fall. I plan to take a lot more time out this year to travel locally, work on my photography and stop being stressed out so much. As we used to say at Wildstorm: “It just ain’t worth it!”

How about you guys? Highlights? Lowlights?

End of an era

Don’t know if all of you have seen the news, but it’s plastered all over the comics news sites.

DC Co-Publishers Announce End of Wildstorm Imprint, Zuda.

I haven’t read confirmation on this, but it’s pretty implicit in the articles I’ve read so far…it sounds like the La Jolla studio will be shut down, and some portion of the staffers will move to Burbank. I don’t know what that means for, say, the staff colorists, or anyone who isn’t Editorial. But it’s a sad thing to think that the offices where I cut my teeth will be gone, even if on a logical level, it makes sense to get rid of such an expensive piece of property for such a small division.

What do y’all think? I feel the sudden urge to go out to Cali and see the studio one more time before it disappears. (Not that I’ve taken the time to visit in the last eight or nine years, but that’s because it would always be there…right?)

– Laura

Just adding an image for old time’s sake

World Cup

Sorry folks, but it’s that one time every four years when the world’s best gather to play the world’s sport. And Nike gets a chance to hire a big time director to do up an awesome ad campaign. Like the John Woo one from the 90s, and though not WC related, the Guy Ritchie one from a year or two back. This time it’s Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel, 21 Grams) visualizing what goes through the heads of soccer’s greatest. Enjoy!!

How is everyone?

Hey guys. Just catching up a bit. Sorry for the downtime for the blog recently. According to Kiko, there might have been an attempt to hack the site. Whether or not it got fixed on the server side, or if Kiko did something, I am not sure, but we’re back up. Admittedly, it’s been rather quiet here recently. I have been quite busy with my Marvel work and League3 vol.2 is starting up as well. Doesn’t leave a lot of time for blogging. So, hope you’re all doing well. Give us all a brief update in the comments of this post. Like, where are you now Steve?? Anyway, just catching up….

Kind of sad…


Mr. Satan Dead at 57
Daisuke Gouri (real name: Yoshio Nagahori), the voice actor best known to American anime fans as the voice of Dragon Ball Z character Mr. Satan, was found lying face-down, dead on a street in Nakano, Tokyo yesterday. Gouri reportedly had a bloody wrist and was found with a knife and a last will. Nakano police are investigating Gouri’s death as a possible suicide.

The 57 year old actor was well known for providing character voices including Robin Mask in Kinnikuman, Dozle Zabi and Bask Om in the Gundam franchise, Hiromi Yamazaki in Patlabor, and Heihachi Mishima in the Tekken video game series.
(source: Anime Nation)

Crazy Comic Con

This is the line not to get into the Convention Center, but the line to get into Hall H (where they do all the movie presentations)!!! That’s just 10 kinds of nuts!!


Ebony Magazine 1985

They predicted what stars of the time would look like by 2000. It’s really too bad Michael didn’t up looking like this. There’s still so much mystery surrounding his change of appearance; whether you want to believe he actually does have a rare skin condition that turns pigments white (it actually exists) or that his nose job was to improve his breathing, one thing is for sure, I think we all would’ve preferred this Michael. (and yes I’m aware he’s just shy of saying: “Colt 45!”)

MJ aged at 40

So It Does Exist…

Found this on a photo gallery of this year’s Cannes. Proof that the “Royal with Cheese” exists.


The real question is, what the hell is a “Chicken Mythic”!!??

Next Page »