We meant to hold off on releasing this until closer to TCAF, but my fellow contributors Ittybeatty and Powerswithin were very hype about the fact that it is Majima Goro's birthday today (May 14), so here's the FREE digital version!

92p b/w comics, illustration, and writing. Autobio x yakuza headcanons!

Hope it makes you laugh and gives you good feelings (and makes you want to play more Yakuza). We had a really good time making it. It could've been so much longer, but space time continuum is a thing. We talk about Yakuza so much in private conversations, so some of those moments are aired out in the zine.

A small handful of the printed copies will still be available at TCAF 2022! These ones are lovingly printed and handbound by the always skilled Wai/belugachop. I tried to get her to play Yakuza too but I think her computer was dying ;_;

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On the topic of Yakuza, Bea found a wholesome video about ex-Yakuza starting an udon noodle shop from NHK World ;_;. Same essence.

April 2022 media round-up

What I watched and read in April 2022

I changed my website's flatfile CMS to be Automad! I have installed so many different CMS on my domain hahaha. I wanted more flexibility to showcase different projects on my main page. It was nice to re-evaluate what to keep on my website. I have some super old stuff on there that I still like, and some more recent stuff that I no longer like, so I took off. It's turning more and more into a strange repository of stuff! Like my OC page!! If I had all the time in the world I'd start to compiling my plush, tamagotchis, and meromeropark characters too.

My brain only has so much capacity to store short term ideas/info before it's replaced by other things. One idea out, one idea in. I forgot the standalone comic I wrote for a while because I had to write/draw a bunch of other things (Yakuzine, Poss, etc.), but then I was reminded about it again when some communications about it arrived in my inbox.

I survived April, but May is shaping up to be equally busy.

I didn't write down my specific thoughts for some of the titles below so this entry is a bit more sparse. Sometimes I screencap things as I read them as visual reminders for my round-up post later. Most of the time I forget. I've been reading a lot more manga titles because I know they're things that I can finish in a shorter period of sitting. I've deferred so many longer text-only reads and I've hit my max holds at the library!

Soul (2020)

Recommended by Powerswithin and Schen! I think the lessons in this film are ones that I'm familiar with, having worked with a lot of people who are chronically or terminally ill.

22 vs. Earth (2021)

22 trying so hard...

Inside Pixar (2020)

Creeping the life of people inside Pixar. I like that they included staff that wasn't directly involved in production, like the pastry chef!

Marvel Studio Assembled: The Making of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

I was surprised at how many fake sets were made!! And the amount of detail in the costumes.

Living-Room Matsunaga-san #1-10 by Keiko Iwashita

Ursula Ku / Kevin Gifford (translation), Dawne Law / Ean Scrale / Jan Lan Ivan Concepcion (lettering), Mike Martin (additional lettering), Ean Scrale / Tiff Ferentini / Thalia Sutton / Dawne Law (editing), Phil Balsman (cover design)

LBR I picked this up because the guy has glasses! Which is kinda rare in shoujo manga (probably because glasses obscure the eyes, and glasses are also super hard to draw...)

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The main character pulls her hair like this in frustration and it makes me laugh!

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Why do you have so many glasses? Don't your eyeballs get messed up when you have to readjust to a new frame/lens ?!

The author really paid attention to fashion and it shows in how the characters all wear different things and are styled differently every day! I think some people might feel a bit ick because of the very prominent age gap. I was kinda sad that the character that I thought was aro turned out to not be...!!

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Sometimes this character reminds me too much of me in spirit and appearance. Though my bangs only do this if it's super greasy.

Blood on the Tracks #1-7 by Shuzo Oshimi

Daniel Joseph (editor), Daniel Komen (translation), Risa Cho / Evan Hayden / Lorina Mapa(production)

Recommended by Ben. Very messed up and uncomfortable, so very effective...!!

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It's uncomfortable enough that I kind of don't want to keep reading...but...

Go with the clouds, north by northwest #3 by Aki Irie

Daniel Joseph (editor), David Musto (translation), Grace Lu / Tomoe Tsutsumi (production)

I gave this series another chance after my weird feelings about vol 2. The main plot has picked up again. I just have to readjust my expectations about what to expect and what kind of storytelling style this author has! More meandering than I'm used to, but that's just how it goes!

With a dog and cat, everyday is fun #1 by Hidekichi Matsumoto

Kumar Sivasubramanian (translation), Risa Cho / Eve Grandt (production)

Very accurate to the dog and cat stereotypes and matches my (limited) experience with them. Cute and short!!

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I see no lies.

You in the Window by Kumota Haruko

Translation: Angelique Millard Devereaux / Lea Hisatake, Channon A. Dishman-Flores / Jennifer Zahorchak (editing), Hailey Phelan / darla (lettering), Vulpecula (DMG Group)

I picked this up on a whim. Short, unrelated stories. My ereader fooled me for a while because it auto-defaulted to reverse/inverted colours, and I thought I was reading an extended flashback scene.

10 dance #1 by Inouesatoh

Karhys (translation), Brndn Blakeslee (lettering), Lauren Scanlan (editing), Phil Balsman (cover design)

The scene where the latin dancer turns into a shoujo maiden in the emperor's hold made me laugh so much!! Image description

Haikyu!! #9-10 by Haruichi Furudate

Adrienne Beck (translation), Erika Terriquez (touch-up art and lettering), Fawn Lau (design), Marlene First (editor)

Continues to please. I love...Shimizu (glasses!!) and how everyone else thinks she is gorgeous and the best too...

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Today's music post: Kiseki no Umi by Maaya Sakamoto (from Record of Lodoss Wars Chronicles of the Heroic Knight). I'm not sure why this was the first song that came to mind when I was typing this post! I watched the TV show and followed the comic by Masato Natsumoto for a short period, but I only remember fragments of the original Lodoss war OVA. Lodoss and Shining Force were definitely formative in building what I like about medieval fantasy genre.

Yakuzine WIP

About the upcoming Yakuzine (Yakuza/Ryu ga Gotoku zine) feat. Dirchansky, Powerswithin, and Ittybeatty.

Yakuzine! Our Yakuza / Ryu ga Gotoku (game) fanzine—it's coming along!

Here's a bit of a preview.

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It's a monster at ~90 pages and still a lot of placeholders that need to be replaced/refined. Will feature myself, Powerswithin, and Ittybeatty. It's an interesting project because it's both autobio / not autobio and varying degrees of scrappy. There are a lot of short silly comics. WEIRD stuff. Regardless, it really demonstrates our feelings and love for the characters/series!

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The digital version will be free to read while the printed version will be super limited (it's the Kiwami / Kami-edition) and available at TCAF/Love Love Hill for a short period. Release date is mid-June, in time for TCAF!

Been posting some personal previews on Masto with #yakuzine tag!

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Today's music post: Fang Marked Viper from Yakuza 4 OST.

The Aarons WIP

WIP of the Aaron Z. and Aaron T. fanart (from Turning Red's 4*Town)

Listened to way too much 4*town!

At first there was a completely different Aaron Z because I wasn't sure where the picture was going.

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Eventually I decided i was ONLY going to have the Aarons in the picture, so I changed the drawing to make it seem like they were posing together. I do most of my sketching with CSP's default "pencil -- Real pencil" tool. I wouldn't say that it acts much like a real pencil hahaha.

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I used the same pencil to "ink" it too. I like that it's pretty forgiving compared to a hard ink line.

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I duplicated the "inks" and then added some thicker parts and shadows.

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I was convinced I was going to crop the picture so I didn't even bother flatting AZ's boxers. Though it's funny to think about whether he'd ever wear such colourful undergarments (my feeling is, no). I eyedroppered these flat colours from the promo art, but wanted to draw them in tank tops!!!

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I'm on a neverending quest to figure out how to colour...smarter...as in...less is more?? I'm back with garish colours!

For shading I tried to use blue shadows and orange highlights, because those colours are part of their logo (and complementary) but after making up this accidental chaotic radial background, I ended up with a 3rd red light source. The dappled light is the default CSP "decoration -- effect -- dappled light" brush.

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In the final picture, I put sparkles in their eyes and around AZ's earring ~kira kira~!

digital colour fanart of two men, Aaron Z and Aaron T from 4*Town (from Disney/Pixar's Turning Red) posing for a photo. Their signatures appear near their heads. Aaron Z side glances at the camera, has a closed mouth smile, and his left hand is posed in a #1 index finger pointing gesture. Aaron T looks directly at the camera, has his left hand open and extended towards the viewer, and his right hand hovers near his face, by a bubblegum bubble. The colours are very saturated.

My headcanon is that AZ gets hit in the face by AT's undone overall strap when they're rehearsing/dancing. I also wonder if AT's overalls fall off by accident a lot because only one strap is holding up all this fabric...surely when you're dancing the danger rises?!

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Fake single cover hahaha... Image description

Today's music post: In honour of boyband music, I dug into my past and remembered so much amazing music that I hadn't thought about in decades. I suppose many of these groups are MANbands rather than BOYbands. Group? R&B group? Please appreciate Az Yet's cover of Chicago's Hard to Say I'm Sorry. THIS CIRCULAR FORMATION DANCING. ACAPELLA HARMONIES...! MATCHING OUTFITS.

Mar 2022 media round-up

What I read/watched in March 2022

Argh, March is almost over and I'm not ready for it. April is a scary month of work for me...

Nichijou 1 by Keiichi Arawi

Jenny McKeon (translation), Grace Lu and Hiroko Mizuno (production)

Similar feelings as City by the same, which I read last month.

Blue Flag 1-8 (end) by KAITO

Adrienne Beck (translation), Annaliese "Ace" Christman (lettering), Jimmy Presler (design), Marlene First (editor vol 1-7), Rae First (editor vol 8)


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I'm taking a close look at whether this aquarium is overcrowded

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I have mind/intention overlaps with the author. I was side-eye-ing a lot of characters for their behaviour but then they schooled me re: empathy/gender/queer stuff after I found out what they were thinking. The ending was sweeter than I expected!!

Princess Bride at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra

Live music while movie was playing. The music is not particularly memorable in the series. There were many mask jokes and it felt too relevant because we were mask wearing during the pandemic... The movie still holds up, despite the age.

Fist of the North Star 2 by Buronson and Tetsuo Hara

Joe Yamazaki (translation), John Hunt (touch-up art and lettering), Adam Grano (design), Mike Montesa (editor)

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I enjoyed this dodging scene action. The usual, Kenshiro destroying people!

Cells at work and friends 2-4 by Kanna Kurono / Mio Izumi (Supervised Akane Shimizu)

animaru (production)

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Every character continues to be very unsmart, and I am grateful for it.

Blissful Land 2-5 (end) by Ichimon Izumi

Christine Dashiell (translation), Carl Vanstiphoutl (lettering), William Flanagan (editing)

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Another succinct series without any conflict, just good vibes. This cursed object made me laugh so much.

Snow White with the Red Hair 17 by Sorata Akiduki

Caleb Cook (translation), Brandon Bovia (touch-up art and lettering), Alice Lewis (design), Karla Clark (editor)

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Greed and drama! Obi steals my heart over and over again.

Otomen 10 by Aya Kanno

JN Productions (translation and adaptation), Mark McMurray (Touch-up art and lettering), Fawn Lau (design), Amy Yu (editor)

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It's dragon ball style this time hahaha. The plot is getting more and more ridiculous.

Turning Red (2022) directed by Domee Shi

I love cringe cry nerdy teenager. So many relatable moments.

digital colour fanart of Mei from Turning Red. She blushes as she draws crying anime boys in her notebook at her desk

The 4*Town songs are too good. Aarons got so little air time hahahahaha

digital colour fanart of two men, Aaron Z and Aaron T from 4*Town (from Disney/Pixar's Turning Red) posing for a photo. Their signatures appear near their heads. Aaron Z side glances at the camera, has a closed mouth smile, and his left hand is posed in a #1 index finger pointing gesture. Aaron T looks directly at the camera, has his left hand open and extended towards the viewer, and his right hand hovers near his face, by a bubblegum bubble. The colours are very saturated.

Embrace the Panda: The Making of Turning Red (2022) directed by Erica Milsom

I thought this was going to be more production-specific but it's actually more about the women leadership team behind it. Like a freetalk? Can't believe Domee got her parents to show us her old sketchbooks with anime fanarts HAHA...

Encanto (2021) directed by Byron Howard, Jared Bush, Charise Castro Smith

Glasses girl main!! Thematically overlaps a bit with Turning Red, but different sources of pain and trauma... Mirabel..I want you to sew me a cute animal too!! I also had/have Bruno song stuck in my head forever.

Pixar Sparkshorts : Nona, Twenty Something, Burrow, Out, Purl, Smash and Grab, Kitbull, Float, Loop, Wind

I watch all of them! And their making-ofs and the Sparkshort documentary with spotlight on Aphton Corbin and Louis Gonzales! All worth watching!!

Haikyu 8 by Haruichi Furudate

Adrienne Beck (translation), Erika Terriquez (touch-up art and lettering), Fawn Lau (design), Marlene First (editor)

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Continues to be great!

Blue Period 5 by Tsubasa Yamaguchi

Ajani Oloye (translation), Lys Blakeslee (lettering), Haruko Hashimoto (editing), Matthew Akuginow (cover design)

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I really feel Yatora in this chapter because of the uselessness and lack of colour sense...

Boys Run the Riot 1 by Keito Gaku

Leo McDonagh (translation), Ashley Caswell (lettering), Tiff Joshua TJ Ferentini (editing), Phil Balsman (cover design)

Transgender teen story by transgender mangaka!! I wonder where Jin's confidence comes from...I definitely wasn't this steadfast as a highschooler!

Yona of the Dawn 2-3 by Mizuho Kusanagi

Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane (english adaptation), JN Productions (translation), Lys Blakeslee (touch-up art and lettering), Yukiko Whitley (design), Amy Yu (editor)

Turns out that the author likes to draw old men hahahaha.

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I was wondering why this series is sooo long but I can see why now...the journey they have to take...

A Sign of Affection 4 by suu Morishita

Christine Dashiell (translation), Carl Vanstiphout (lettering)

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Everyone is hooking up...and very...cute. Impressed at how dedicated the BF is to learning sign language. BUT what about the CHILDHOOD CRUSH!?!??!!!! CLIFFHANGER.....?

Jujutsu Kaisen 1 by Gege Akutami

Stefan Koza (translation), Snit Ahaton (touch-up art and lettering), Shawn Carrico (design), John Bae (editor), Erika Onabe (consulting editor)

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Can't believe this finger eating scene. The teacher reminds me of Kakashi from Naruto. I'm also into these summoned dogs like everyone else.

Go for it, Nakamura! by Syundei

Amber Tamosaitis (translation), Shannon Fay (adaptation), Kaitlyn Wiley (lettering and layout), Karis Page (cover design), Shanti Whitesides and Stephanie Cohen (proofreaders), Jenn Grunigen (assistant editor), CK Russell (production assistant), Lissa Pattillo (production manager), Adam Arnold (editor in chief), Jason DeAngelis (publisher)

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For whatever reason I thought this was NOT going to be as wholesome as it was (I was expecting more...supernatural/occult for some reason, maybe the influence of reading Saicoink's stuff haha), but it is very wholesome. My fav thing is the very clear love the main character has for octopus/tako. I could feel it.

The octopus is on top of takoyaki in the tank...!?

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The Yokohama scenes made me think of Yakuza 7~

The Right Way to Make Jump 1 by Takeshi Sakurai

Emily Taylor (translation), Jame Gaubatz (touch-up art and lettering), Julian [JR] Robinson (design), Alexis Kirsch (editor)

Behind the scenes of making Shounen Jump! I learned a lot about their papers! Fun look but also kinda sad that the production schedules are INSANE and people barely sleep/have rest.

I understand the author's self-deprecation...

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Today's music post: Just go listen to all three 4*Town songs on their website! Nobody like U, 1 True Love, and U Know What's Up! May as well throw in Encanto's (SPOILERS in video footage) We Don't Talk about Bruno and Dos Oruguitas!