Range and taste

Thinking too deeply about OC EDC

I like to believe that I'm a person with a wide range of tastes. Or at least a person who can accept when things aren't necessarily for me, but great for others. Some days, I enjoy a look that's minimal stealth, cozy/patterned/rugged/utilitarian, highly accessorized architectural baggy, or straight up child-like. I like to experiment and not be limited. I'm trying to venture more into super patterned looks, but I'm probably the most timid about that. There's so much to try, but I also admire people who are super consistent with their look. I probably own too much stuff because of my inability to settle down.

I'm interested in fashion, but wouldn't consider myself fashion-forward, but rather, just informed, and appreciative of fashion as another form of self-expression. It's interesting how even a single item can turn a whole outfit from uncoordinated to coordinated, casual to formal, and vice versa!

Been thinking a lot about my own every day carry (EDC). If I'm just going out nearby or a quick trip, I may just bring a credit card and my phone. I switch my bag depending on what I'm going to do outside or what I have to carry. I have a wallet that is very nice and small! Most of my favourite wardrobe items and accessories have earned their fav status because of their acceptable sized pockets.

The current Here We Are mains (Jake, Austin, Sabina) all derived their accessories/fashion sense from me. That's may seem obvious, given I am their creator, and I'm just making up their EDC based on what I know of them, but I also own a lot of their stuff (or variations of).

Photo of an open notebook with drawings of Here We Are characters' everyday carry. This spread includes Jake and Austin.

Jake carries a lot and is quite organized about it even with a compact carry. He's a bag in bag in bag kinda guy. He's ready for a variety of scenarios—like limiting theft attempts. He has a lot of great stationery. Things that seem off-style are usually from his mom.

Austin doesn't carry a bag unless he's going to school. His EDC is more utilitarian, rugged, sporty, and leathery. Not shown here, but he packs differently for field work or camping. Ultralight packing-mode Austin is a different beast.

Photo of an open notebook with drawings of Here We Are characters' everyday carry. This spread includes Sabina and Fake.

Sabina's bag is dual purpose groceries and EDC, so it's more of a big black hole. Things get lost and found in it. Not much internal organization. There are fun found objects, trinkets, tokens, and artefacts in her bag—like a miniature treasure museum.

Fake mainly carries a bag for work. He's has a different look as a professional, which is in contrast with his more laid back/casual look on a regular day. He tends to be running all over the city and eats out a lot, thus, has gotten into carrying his own cutlery and beverage holders.

I've been enjoying Yoseka Stationery's Casually Catching Up videos where they just talk about whatever happenings in their stationery store—it's like stationery free talk. They're so charming! I wonder if I'll be able to visit before I leave for the west.

2023 planners are dropping! I might try Take a Note's Record system next year. It looks so well designed and flexible—RANGE! Also shooting myself in the foot with all these different sized notebooks (A5, A5 slim, A6, B6...etc).

Yakuzine behind the scenes

Genius nuggets about making Yakuzine, a Ryu ga Gotoku / Yakuza video game series zine.

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After re-reading my own copy of Yakuzine (autobio + Ryu ga Gotoku/Yakuza video game series zine) I felt inspired to share some of the ideas behind the project/execution! The (sometimes) nice thing about self-pub is that you can put in so many easter eggs, but of course, the labour...

The digital version is FREE to read/download on itch!

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The rest of this post may have SPOILERS.

The cover

The concept for the cover was by PowersWithin. The precise convo was as follows:

Me: Do u have ideas for the zine cover

Powerswithin: maybe it can be a troll ver of a physical game cover ....

Powerswithin: (sends Kiwami playstation game box art)

Powerswithin: And everyone is just crying

Me: Ouuuu

Me: I mean this isnt a lie

Powerswithin: it's tru they all cry

Powerswithin: (sends image below)

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Me: Is our zine PG 😂

Powerswithin: Questionable....

Me: We only played on PC!

Powerswithin: THE IRONY

Me: Ty for this inspo

Since the Kiwami 1 cover became the basis, I tried to keep as many elements as the original as possible, but with "deviations" as necessary. My first pass before futzing with the copy.

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After sharing with Ittybeatty and PowersWithin, we refined it into the final version. Diving back into using vectors for certain elements reminded me of how out of practice I am.

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Back cover

I also riffed off the marketing copy on the original, but changed it to be more descriptive of what's in the zine.

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I haven't used this many emboss/deboss gradient text effects in a long time.

Title and credits pages

The beginning and ending of book has decorative morning glory and sunflower elements, based on the orphanages in the series. Bless Clip Studio Paint (CSP) default decoration brushes for having them...

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Because we love Majima Everywhere, so snuck him in...

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The book was a beast to put together because of its multi-series-ness and the mix of content that is autobio and headcanon. I personally tried to differentiate by drawing them differently.

Autobio (left) uses hard lines and is manually lettered. Headcanon (right) uses a grainier line and lettered with a font.

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After trying to draw Movie Majima I realized something that I couldn't unsee.

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Weird conversations

We had many conversations about Yakuza that didn't make it into the zine, but here is a sampling of our fever.

Tummy paddies

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Rubber toger

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If Etsuko can join, maybe I can too???

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I'm glad I got to make this super indulgent zine with IttyBeatty and PowersWithin. Hope Yakuza fans will also enjoy and feel our overflowing love for the series!

Now if only I had more time to play Yakuza...

The comic I wrote was announced! I had a lot of fun writing the story and it will be brought to life with fantastic art by KAIfee.

Disney and Pixar’s Turning Red: 4⭐Town 4⭐Real: The Manga.

Published by Viz Media (see their social media post, which has KAIfee's b/w artwork). Releases in Spring 2023.

From Variety—Official synopsis

4Townies are hyped to see 4Town performing their favorite hits live, but how will Canada’s greatest boy band spend the day leading up to their epic Toronto concert? Hang with Robaire, Jesse, Tae Young, Aaron T, and Aaron Z as they enjoy a rare break in their busy schedules! Jesse and Tae Young embrace their artistic side and visit a ceramics museum, Aaron T gets his fashion on at the mall, and Aaron Z and Robaire stay in the dance studio to master their moves before the sold-out show. Only the realest fans deserve to get this up close and personal with Tween Beat Magazine’s Hottest Band of the Year!

It's all about 4*Town from Turning Red!! I can't say much else beyond what is already revealed, but glad that this is no longer a secret! I was wondering if my fanart was too leading (since I rarely draw fanart except for...Yakuza). I hope people will enjoy it when it comes out! My favourite reaction(s) to the announcement so far is this person who assumes I'm a ghost writer and the social media manager of Viz who is being appropriately cheeky to replies who aren't into the announcement, hahaha.

Thanks to everyone who for being kind and supportive! I owe many replies. I could freetalk so much about this project. Please support KAIfee too!

Tabling, conventions...

Trepidations about being part of the real world again

It's weird to think about "con season" again, after so many years of not really thinking about it. I don't know how I ever did 1 con/year, let alone 2-3 a year. I thought through whether I was really ready to go to a possibly crowded event. I still don't feel that ready, but I don't know if I ever will! Trying to adapt.

Ordered N95 masks, gloves, etc. Found out they didn't fit unless I used an ear saver hack. I counted my float—was appalled at how many different currencies I had from going to past cons in at least 4 different countries. Luckily my lack of diligence with depositing small change (from previous con tabling) meant that I had enough float for what is probably (?), my final convention/festival tabling...Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) 2022.

I'll be representing Love Love Hill at TCAF 2022 on June 18-19, at table 230. We'll have some stock at the TCAF digital marketplace, and then through our online store afterwards. We're next to POME PRESS so we'll have our miniature shoujo row :).

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As a part of the lead up, I was able to finish/contribute to 3 different books:

I'm very proud of all of these and felt like I did some pretty genius things for all of them. They all have smaller print runs (20-40), which reflects my slow exit out of the in-person convention circuit. It would be nice to move to a model where it's more "made to order" as much as possible. It cuts out the excess stock that I'm used to having under my bed (forever). I still plan to make comics, even if I won't be a serial tabler like before—I'm more interested in offering scrappy physical books/zines to people who will really appreciate them.

I moved my stationery list to my main website. I like the idea of my website becoming a personal weird collection of stuff that I like, in addition to just comics/drawings. I've been making updates there at my own whimsy!

Today's music post: anything by Louie Zhong!

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.