Monthly Archives: May 2007

#1: My Anime List – An Anime Enthusiast’s Record…

    What I’m Watching now (Episode # next to watch):

  • Kare Kano (ep. 9)
  • Death Note (ep. 26)
  • Negima!? (ep. 16)
  • Maria-sama ga Miteru (OVA 4)
  • Bleach (ep. 126)
  • Bubblegum Crisis 2040 (ep. 20)
  • Blood+ (ep. 39)
  • Basilisk (ep. 2)
  • Hitohira (ep. 10)
  • The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (ep. 4) — technically ep. 7
  • Gokusen (ep. 7)
    What I want To See:

  • Read or Dream
  • Gunsmith Cats
  • Ninja Scroll (movie and tv show)
  • Ghost in the Shell 2: Lost Innocence (movie)
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2nd Season – TV)
  • Miyazaki Films (aka – Steam Boy, Nausicaa, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, etc…..)
  • Desert Punk
  • Fruits Basket (?)
  • Someday’s Dreamers
  • Akira
  • Gantz
  • SoltyRei
  • Blue Seed
  • Nanoha StrikerS
  • Black Lagoon
    What I Started A While Ago and Want to Finish:

  • Cowboy Bebop
  • Chobits
  • Nana
  • Read or Die (OVA)
  • Ghost in the Shell (tv series)
  • Tenshi na Konamaiki
  • Rurouni Kenshin
  • Fushigi Yuugi
    What I Have Finished:

  • Samurai Champloo
  • Ergo Proxy
  • Strawberry Panic!
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion
  • Azumanga Daioh
  • Hellsing
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena
  • Paranoia Agent
  • Fooly Cooly
  • Digimon: Tamers
  • Digimon: Adventure
  • Kannazuki no Miko
  • Mai Hime
  • Final Fantasy Unlimited
  • Final Fantasy VII: Last Order
  • Love Hina!
  • Ouran High School Host Club
  • Oh! My Goddess!
    Anime Movies I’ve Watched

  • Blood: The Last Vampire
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service
  • Spirited Away
  • Ghost in the Shell
  • Street Fighter: Alpha
  • Tokyo Godfathers
  • End of Evangelion
  • Tekken
  • Bleach: Sealed Sword Frenzy
  • Bleach: Memories in the Rain
  • Inuyasha (something…castle?)
  • Ah! My Godess!: The Movie
  • Pokemon: The Movie
  • Pokemon: The Sequel
  • Dead Leaves
    What I Started But Don’t Care to Finish:

  • Simoun
  • Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad
  • Noir
  • Naruto
  • Yami to Boshi to Hon no Tabibito
  • Inuyasha
  • Excel Saga
  • Full Metal Panic!
  • XXXHolic
  • Witch Hunter Robin
  • .hack//SIGN
  • Mai Otome
  • Trigun
  • Full Metal Alchemist (?)
  • Kiddy Grade
  • Wolf’s Rain
  • Madlax
  • Digimon: Adventure 2
  • Honey and Clover
  • Elfen Lied
  • Love Hina: Again!

(?) = Uncertain

So I watch anime…but am I an expert?  Do I know the names of japanese voice actors, anime artists, and distribution companies?  Do I have an extensive collection of opening and ending themes from various anime shows?  Do I buy dolls, accessories, models, and clothes from anime?

 …Um.  No.  I don’t.

 But have I watched alot of anime?  More than most people, yes.  Have I written fanfiction for said anime?  Yes, for some.  Do I read blogs for anime?  Yes, a few.  Have I read the manga’s ADAPTED into anime?  Yes.  Have I read manga that have YET to be adapted into anime?  Yep.

So can I call myself an Otaku?


 My interest in anime is like my interest in everything else I like:  I have a journeyman’s knowledge of the topic and can speak rather passionately about it.  Get too much into detail, however, (like cultural analysis, names of specific actors and creators and what they’ve done, business specs, etc…) and you lose me.

That’s why I refer to myself as an “anime enthusiast.”  Otaku’s are fanatics and incorporate anime into everyday life.  I, do not.

But I still like art, and I still like good stories and cartoons. (Because that’s what anime is—japanese cartoons.  They’re more a cultural product than anything else.)  So there SHALL be times when I critique an anime series or discuss my feelings on an anime episode here.  Fear not, I will not post about an anime I have not done a bit of reading about (because I, personally, dislike it when people speak on a subject and not know enough about it.)

But will I be using japanese/anime terms here?  …Most likely not.  To be honest, I only gained much of my esoteric knowledge this year.  Last December, I had no idea what the word, “tsundere” meant.  I also did not know what “moe” meant.  I didn’t even know what “loli” meant, either. (granted, I’m not sure you can say that the term ‘loli’ comes from anime…)  So there you have it, I’ll avoid esoteric words and shoot for more universal terms.

And my update schedule shall hopefully be as follows: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Things may of course happen to change that, but I’ll try to make a habit of posting on those days.

Until Friday, then…


#1: Comic Writing– Get Your DC Out Of My Marvel!

Writing comics is like having your eye ripped out and stuffed back into your head backwards.

You write yourself a page of script and you see it sink deeper and deeper into the depths of ineptitude.  You stare at the word choices, the tenses, the spelling, the pacing, the “show, don’t tells”, the surreptitious slop of slumbering verbs…and then you realize, “Holy spoot!  I need to do the opposite!”

Comic pages translate best, not through elaborate descriptions and long shakespearian dialogue–but through concise paragraphs using simplistic words, and breviloquent conversations…granted, every character has their shining moment of soliloquy at SOME point in a comic–but hardly ever does it drag on for more than a page.  Creative writing classes will teach you that expanding on ‘glossed’ descriptions makes a story better.  But when writing a comic, you can’t get too artistic about things, or else your artist may misunderstand your message and churn out a result you don’t like.  So what does the novelist-bred writer do in such a situation?  Well…regress of course.  Get specific about images you’d like instead of using abstract sentences that get you no where.  For example:  “Yeah, I imagined a decaying monster-zombie with thinning white hair, jagged teeth, and rotting skin…sort of like the Crypt Keeper–but on steroids!”

The hardest part about writing comics, I must say, is trying to organize the panels.  I mean, you’re sitting there typing all of this out in script form.  You see the scenes, you hear the voices, you know where things are going…but how do you know what things to put on a page?  How big should the panels be?  How do you pace things out so that it keeps a well-maintained rhythm that doesn’t disrupt the plot?  You try to envision the page design in your head…but as a writer it’s harder.  You can’t as easily freeze a perfect moment and SEE it on the page like maybe your artist might.  You see the scene as a WHOLE, not in SNAPSHOTS.

That’s why it helps to sketch out a page.  That’s why it helps to SEE how things could work in final format.  Now, I’ve tried sketching things out myself, but I’m impatient and can’t draw half the things I describe (plus my design skills aren’t all so great.)  …But I’ve found a program online that can help.  Mac users may be familiar with a program called, “Comic Life.”  The program is a nifty little thing that allows users to take images of any kind, and arrange them on pre-formatted panels (which you can edit and resize to your liking.)  They feature neat things like captions, and talk bubbles, and comic lettering, to help spruce up your comic-in-the-making.  For those drawing comics or writing comics (or both)–this can be VERY useful.

I’ve used the program myself and have come up with some nice results.  It’s help me already see how a page can better function, and because of it I think my ideas translate better.  Here’s a quick example of what I mean:

My incredibly sketchy/simple/sucky/recreated-demo-page-cuz-the-original-wasn't-saved pic

Yes, I drew those.  No, that’s not the best I can do.  Yes, the design isn’t the best.  (I had to re-create the page I did before, since my original demo page wasn’t saved) 

Now, the program was originally made only for Macs…but fear not, PC users!  I’M not a Mac user, and I used the program!  The developers of Comic Life have now undergone the beta stages of their Windows version.  They’re currently asking for PC users to download the program and test it out for bugs.  If you want to try this amazing tool, go there now and download the beta version!

But what about the bigger details?   What about the struggles of new comic creators in an industry now grown elitist and isolated?

…The bleak projections from the comic industry show that big time publishers like Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and Image are completely dominating the market–meanwhile, independent publishers are scurrying about the ground in a panic, trying their damndest not to get smashed by their wrathful Grand Canyon-sized feet.  But its becoming more and more clear through examples like Seth Gordin, Fred Gallagher, and the guys off at Penny Arcade that WEBCOMICS are the new way to go for starting comic creators.  Sure, the internet can be an iffy place to get going, but consider this:  When corporate big shots easily snuff out small-time voices beneath the ash of their cuban cigars, wouldn’t it be better to beat out the blood-suckers through the speedy and edgy path of the world-wide-web?  At least through building up an audience FIRST, you don’t find yourself shelling out cash to produce 33-42 page tradeback issues that no one will buy–AND you guarantee yourself a steady platform to which you can begin selling your product!  Preferably a graphic novel of at least 60-100 pages…

So there you go.  Feel disheartened no more, fellow comic newbies.  We’ve still got a chance.  But we still need help, don’t we?  We still need some guidance.

That blog, among other things, discusses the struggles of up coming comic artists AND writers, and gives a plethora of links to sites that aid the creative process in the two links I’ve given above.  (I’m sort of lazy and don’t feel I should re-link what this guy’s already so NICELY linked already.)

So there you have it.  My splurge on comic writing and some of the things I’ve used to get me along in my projects.  The story I’m writing is not something I talk about in too much detail online (being the paranoid little monkey that I am) but I’ll probably post teasers of my work if I feel it’s good enough.  I kinda already have posted a teaser.  I’ve had to severely edit my script since I’ve started, and the only thing I can say is this:  NEVER use archaic X-Men comics as a model for your work…you’ll only come across as old-fashioned, unoriginal, and really boring.  >_>;;

P.S.  And just to justify my titling of this post…I’d just like to say that Spiderman 3 was a disaster–almost as bad (if not, worse) than X-men 3.  The coming Fantastic Four movie will only earn money from me because they’ve got the Silver Surfer in it…and the upcoming Batman movie (said to have Joker in it) had better be good.  I hear that Heath Ledger is playing Joker, and my heart can only cry at the fact that–even without Ledger–Hollywood will NEVER get the maniacal marvelousness that is Joker down right.

 P.P.S. (is there a such thing?) And I know I haven’t continued talking about the anime I mentioned in my last post, but I’m just trying to survive my final year of high school, and with time stretching on, my familiarity with the shows has faded away.  For curious birdies, I’ll be posting an anime list consisting of all the shows I’ve completed, the ones I stopped watching, and the ones I’m currently watching.  It’s really just to show that I SORT OF know what I’m talking about.   @_@