I have a giant back log of reading/writing/drawing to do ಥ_ಥ

Comments are broken/gone...

I updated this CMS and the commenting system broke—thank you to the few of you that were commenting on/off! If you want to contact me, there is always masto/email, even for quick notes/thoughts (no need to be formal). One day I'll find a private-leaning commenting system...

Moving

I'm doing an intra-Toronto move at the end of this year, then an out-of-province move next summer. I'm going to be pre-occupied with sorting, packing, and house hunting. This is also why LLH's store is down for a while.

Judgment / Lost Judgment

I just finished playing Judgment yesterday and started on Lost Judgment! It's interesting to play a main character in a Yakuza-adjacent series who actually has brain cells.

Stationery and fountain pen stuff

Hoping to drop by Scriptus for the first/last time on October 30 2022. I signed up my first/last Toronto's Pelikan Hub on November 18. I heard from the hubmaster that over 80 people signed up for the Toronto event. Pelikan is a fountain pen brand that I have a good handful of, but my heart lives with their vintage pens—such great nibs. I'm not sure what to do at these pen events? Strangers galore. I'm both very social and anti-social at the same time—also paranoid about COVID still!

Other happenings

What weird things can I hit up in Toronto while I'm still here?! I should probably go to Niagara falls? I can feel the clock ticking down to the end of my time here.

  • October 8: Casual sketching on UoT St. George campus
  • November 12: Mysterious Gem Expo then casual sketching in the Distillery district. I don't know much about gems but am curious to know what's up at these events (sort of for research / expanding my knowledge)

Sep 30: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation & Orange Shirt Day

  • Keynote by Brenda Wastasecoot through University of Toronto
  • Learn, listen, and figure out how you personally want to take action on reconciliation
  • Donate to and/or support first nations and indigenous folks and causes

TCAF 2022 report

Perhaps my last time tabling at Toronto Comic Arts Festival

Leading up to TCAF I wasn't sure if all my books would make it, but they did! Ah, supply chain issues. Big thanks to PowersWithin for helping carry books to setup on Friday and Linda who helped SOOOOOO MUCHHHHHHHHHHH the entire weekend!

I was at my table 95% of the time, except for 1 bathroom break/day, and maybe 15 minutes where I went to do my rounds very quickly on Sunday (aka visited POME mag, NobleComix, and Steph Blakely). I didn't take my mask off the entire time I was there. I was bothered by my glasses steaming (because it obscured my vision and also meant the seal around my nose wasn't as flush as it should be; it got better on day 2). I'm used to 2 meals/day now. Con tabling life is not an easy life, and only gets worse as you get older.

As expected, the show floor (on the 2nd floor at least) wasn't as insanely packed as past years, which felt appropriate given the circumstances. The stamp rally was an interesting addition to the mix. Everyone had very beautiful stamps! I didn't get to collect any and ran out of stamp rally prizes late day 1!! Thank you to Peow Studio / Patrick for organizing and letting us take part. I'm 100% sure that someone only bought stuff from our table because they said "if Peow has them in the stamp rally they must be good" hahaha.

I was glad that BLTease and HWA finally got their convention debut (originally meant for 2020). Two zines, Martial Spirit and Shrimperific are out of print now (I've put my contributions up online). The handful of copies of Cat Block by Wai also sold out! It was good to give our older anthologies (SLOTH, Human Plantation, Cry to the Moon) a final hurrah!

I was delighted to see fellow poss and shrimp lovers. You could always tell when someone was a shrimpkeeper because they would eyezoom to Shrimp Goss immediately. I wasn't sure how Yakuzine would do, but we ran out of the handful of books we brought.

My other memory is having a brief chat with Michael Deforge on Saturday morning. He gave me a $5 bill that had a strange chunk missing in the bottom middle. It felt like the perfect bill for him to hand to me. IDK if he actually knows who I am or if he was creeped out that I recognized him.

It was great to see familiar upper-half faces again IRL—ones that I haven't seen in so many years. Linda, Saicoink, Jade, Jade, Keelin, Lis, Nozmo, Mimmy, Yeti, Miguel, Christine, Elissa, Fawn, Gary, Peter, Miles, past patrons, and so many more (I'm sorry if I missed your name). Had a nice chill dinner with Jade and Alex on Saturday, then bone soup pick-your-own-ingredients (?) with POME mag Rachel, Jenny, and Ashley.

It was nice to be reminded of how much people love and support comics and their creators.

Thanks to everyone who supported us all these years. I appreciate everyone who came by and for all the sweet conversations, small or large.

May 2022 media round-up

What I read/watched in May 2022.

I keep surviving but I'm not sure how. One of my colleagues commented on how I'm still smiling despite how screwed we are with work matters!


The Girl From the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún #1-2 by Nagabe

Adrienne Beck (translation), Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane (adaptation), Lys Blakeslee (lettering and retouch), Karis Page (logo design), Nicky Lim (cover design), Shanti Whitesides and Jocelyne Allen (proofreader), Lissa Pattillo (production manager), Adam Arnold (editor-in-chief), Jason DeAngelis (publisher)

Interesting how the outsider is the most humanized thing because their eyeballs are shown and expressively, while most of the other humans do not. I still feel like they're too close in contact for comfort re: curse transfer possibility...

Image description

Such cute moments and then such dark ones...

Image description

Vol 2 had a lot of dark art and it was a bit harder to figure out what was happening, but overall there is a very plesant storybook illo quality to how the comic is done!

The Ancient Magus's Bride #1 by Kore Yamazaki

Adrienne Beck (translation), Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane (adaptation), Lys Blakeslee (lettering and layout), Nicky Lim (cover design), Shanti Whitesides and Lee Otter (proofreader), Lissa Pattillo (production manager), Adam Arnold (editor-in-chief), Jason DeAngelis (publisher)

IMO the cover doesn't do the interior linework justice! It's a strange story because the premise is quite terrible. It's about a girl getting...sold as slave and forced into a marriage with some creature—but she's just rolling with it? Definitely one of those stories where you have to suspend what you know of reality and accept stuff in their fictional world, where these practices are the norm.

Image description

Image description

This lady seems very cool and I hope we see more of her.

Image description

Cute dragons!!!!!!! The dragon tree scene made me cry.........................

Jujutsu Kaisen #2 by Gege Akutami

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

The author attempts to explain Gojo's infinite moves in freetalk so many times but keeps failing.

Image description

Image description

Image description

Image description

Image description

Into this bear

Cats of the Louvre by Taiyo Matsumoto

Michael Arias (translation & english adaptation), Deron Bennett (touch-up art & lettering), Adam Grano (cover & graphic design), Mike Montesa (editor)

I feel like this is one of his stories that I actually felt like I had any grasp on. I was surprised that the cats were personified and thought they were all a bit creepy, like the stage show Cats, but overall I enjoyed this book. It felt very endearing.

Image description

Haikyu #11 by Haruichi Furudate

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

Image description

Delighted at shrimp shirt

Always such good stuff happening in the the BGs.

Image description

Image description

Perfect World #1 by Rie Aruga

Rachel Murakawa (translation), Thea Willis (lettering), Sara Linsley (additional lettering), Jesika Brooks and Tiff Ferentini (editing), Phil Balsman (cover design)

I picked this up because it's romance between a person who uses a wheelchair due to paralysis/injury and a person who is able bodied. I was a bit shocked that they went right into bed sores, but I suppose that was what they were going for. The main character is checking their own biases and rethinking the world, but I hope we get more of the guy's POV in later vols. I don't fully know why the gal is so into the guy yet!

Image description

Venom: Let there be Carnage (2021)

I heard that they leaned into train wreck garbage man and alien bickering married couple, and indeed, it was exactly that.

Spiderman: No Way Home (2021)

I only watched 75% of this because I had to go do something else. It became like...Spidermen giving each other counselling. Dr. Strange is also becoming a mess.

Spy x Family #1 by Tatsuya Endo

Casey Loe (translation), Rina Mapa (touch-up art & lettering), Jimmy Presler (design), Amy Yu (editor)

This series is very up my alley, in that the characters have an exaggerated cool/proficient side to them and another side of them that is utterly stupid and kind of useless! The duality...yes...

Image description

Anya is too precious

Image description

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...)

Image description

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

Image description

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...!!

Image description

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...!!

Image description

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!!

Image description

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...

Image description

Image description


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.

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.

Image description

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.

Image description

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

Image description

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

Image description

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!!!

Image description

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.

Image description

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?!

I ended up drawing the rest of them... Image description

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.