but also i don’t know how he can be so delicate, so yesterday i spent the day studying him and actuallly ducking traced him like i’m a fucking 10 year old to try to understand his weird wonderful anatomy better.
I was working on my new layout when I remembered my first picture of Myoku Atem was done in
2002 2003, meaning this year that Micah is 20 years old next year.
 This felt incorrect because IT wAS inCORrect
Micah’s 20 next year so I can save my emotions for next year. I mean, he’s still super old, but not double decades yet.
I got pretty emotional, managed to tell a few teenage clients about him that week, drew a banger of a Micah picture on my splurge of an iPad Pro, and had a hard time moving on.
Oooookay so, Our Flag Means Death. NGGGHH wow. We watched it on a whim because Rhys Darby is a long time good New Zealand actor from Flight of the Conchords and voice acting in Bob’s Burgers and a werewolf in What We Do in the Shadows so we know and love him. And Taika. Oh Taika. We are very much snoots about Taika as we watched the original WWDitS movie, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and Jojo Rabbit before he rose to prominence in the admittedly fabulous role he plays in Thor: Ragnarok. We were a little worried he was going the route of Peter Jackson until Our Flag Means Death happened. I at first thought that he was writing too but it turns out he just signed on to play Blackbeard and that’s it.
And oh…dear…god. Never so fast after finishing something have I leapt on my tablet and furiously began making fanart. We literally finished the show two days after the last episodes dropped so there just wasn’t enough on the internet to satiate me yet. But after immediately following Rhys Darby and Taika Waititi on Instagram I realized many people feel the same as I did about it, including the guys themselves. Ryan rates my reaction to this show in my top 2 fangirl moments and possibly I’d say it beat out the moment at the Breaking Benjamin concert when Adam Gontier showed up. I was hoping the moment would happen and IT DID and it was SO SO SWEET
Also the character designs on the show are *chef’s kiss* and there’s a nonbinary actor who portrays a nonbinary pirate after they get found out as AFAB.
Hi! December has been flying by, and I got really sick which is really stressful. So most of the energy I’ve been putting into art has been into nostalgia, not really breaking any comfort zones or anything.
So then a few weeks ago I fell down the Nikkei rabbit hole because as soon as I realized Micah was bi I realized NikkeixMicah made WAY more sense than him and Shani. He only ever would have seen Shani as a dorky little sister which is fair because Shani was the most annoying.
All right and then pivot, to prepare for the second long awaited second season of the Witcher, we re watched the first for the third time. And I finally had the speed to grab my iPad during this scene and put out some cuteness of mom and dad Yen and Geralt.
Christmas arrives in five days! I have three days of work before a planned week off at home with Ryan, including an overnight stay in Duluth. Similarly, I finished my first semester at Saint Thomas yesterday and I was excitedly biding my time until today when I could make an OC Christmas card.
At first I wanted to do a feature of an old crew but I decided I needed to honor the fact that I am STILL working on Dumping a Dragon, despite a few weeks in the last few months when I was thinking it was dying. I’m almost at 50 pages actually (which will be celebrated by a separate blog post). I was sure that just like Cadence, DaD was going to die right around 45 pages, and right at the part of the story I expected it to.
Making no promises about its future, I feel very proud of myself and humbled by my inspirations that I haven’t stopped working on it. Taking breaks is totally allowable and not indicative, apparently, of its certain doom.
I find myself regularly daydreaming about Siv and Noelia when certain songs come on, etc., and I’m finally going to reward myself in a few short pages of doing yet another flashback to fonder times for them, so I get to finally draw human Siv.
Anyway, of course it’s human Siv who graces this year’s Christmas card, but I think Noelia kinda steals the adorableness show in this one. Only I would totally wear Siv’s ominous YOU BETTER WATCH OUT Christmas sweater.
Into the Spider-Verse
Another blogworthy event is that last night I saw “Into the Spider-Verse” and it was AMAZING. It made me glad for reading the first few issues of Miles Morales back when I was in college; I feel like it gives me some serious nerd cred now, haha. And Nick Miller as a pudgy grown up Spider-man was fantastic in every way.
I feel like the movie paid such homage to comic books in a way I never thought I’d see; it got me at once jealous and emotional, haha. Since it’s just hit theaters there aren’t any good screenshots to demonstrate what I’m talking about. But the film regularly overlaid their handsome CGI with comic elements including yellow-background narrative text, motion lines, and sound effects. I even cried a few times! In the first few moments of the film I was like “um Miles is supposed to biracial” (because his mom presented as African American) and then she yells at him in Spanish and I was like “…oh good!” haha. There are also some noteworthy voice actors in it which I was proud of myself for recognizing.
And it was great that Miles spends the first 75% of the movie kinda failing. He doesn’t immediately gain control of his super-powers; he doesn’t even immediately believe in himself.
Oh, also, I will say the big screen did nothing to add interest or appeal to Spider-Gwen for me. She’s as boring, generic, and Trying Too Hard as she ever has been (and her ballet flats were really stupid.)
Anyway, I was glad I got to usher in a short break from school and responsibilities with such a good comic book film! Aaaugh!
Also my husband and I are big dorks and I love him so much because we always laugh loudly at the same fucking things and I’m sure everyone in the theater hated us, but I don’t care and I love us. SO. MUCH.
I can’t wait till after Christmas so I can finally post my new art of us. Only that also means I have to make cat art since Scribbles isn’t in it. *tear*
Today I made the excellent decision to go see a limited showing of the TV documentary on my god, Miyazaki-sama. I weirdly saw it advertised on my Instagram stories and it had a limited showing for tonight at a nearby theater and I felt like I couldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t go see it.
My take aways include: everything that is good is a hassle (or something along those lines; I can’t find any quotes or gifs from it), and, “forward, forward, always forward.”
Honestly it makes me stop wanting to be a baby about stopping a project I start because it’s not perfect and that’s about as much as I feel the need to say on that end.
I got a little touchscreen Chromebook last week in preparation to start grad school this fall, and finally cracked out some “real” a
rt on it today. Weirdly I was inspired by Emily Blunt’s emo grungy look in Sunshine Cleaning. Which is especially fun after just having seen her years later in A Quiet Place (fave movie of 2018 hands down.)
Then one of my former students wanted a drawing so I finally did one for her today of a happy cat eating a sandwich!! Whee.
Omfg, so I have probably put 60+ hours into Assassin’s Creed: Origins so far. It’s basically my dream come true. A third person sneaky bow and arrow parkour game starring a hunky Egyptian climbing pyramids and statues of gods and fighting crocodiles and hyenas. And then the protagonist’s wife Aya is like, oh my god. Their relationship is amazing. Aya is like sworn to the Queen and Bayek is like “hey can we just go hang out and be husband and wife and have sex on boats pls” and she’s like “UGH BAYEK NOT NOW I’M SAVING EGYPT” and he’s like “aw ):” and then Aya’s like hold on honey this Caesar guy doesn’t think a woman should do this and Bayek’s like lololol do it up babe and then tells off Caesar like hey last time a man doubted her she cut him into pieces. Ughhh I can’t handle it. But then I think in the last act I just finished they kinda broke up and I got a lot of feels so, after wanting to make some Bayek fanart, I realized I probably had to make some sad Bayek/Aya fanart (Baya? Ayek? Been working on this painting for 3 days and I still can’t decide on their couple name.)
LOOK AT THESE BABES THOUGH
Can you take a moment and appreciate how much fucking detail I put into their clothesasahaha, it was really hard too because as you progress in the game and upgrade your armor, you’re wearing the same pieces but they go from light leather and jerkin to fucking steel ass steel and gold and shit, so I kept having to decide on what type of armor to put him in and make sure I didn’t change the other pieces to not be from the same upgrade.
Ryan said I should put this up on some of my stores sooo…I’m gonna go do that.
HEARTS FOR THESE GUYS THEY BETTER GET A HAPPY FUCKING ENDING
 They. Do. Not.
Once in a blue moon (approx. once every year and a half), I make fanart. And who better to dedicate this seldom occasion than KAMALA KHAAAAAAAN! I love her so much. I can never kick the sensation/wish that she’s actually out there in Jersey City being quirky and fearless, with pensive narration popping up over her head in pale yellow boxes.
This one actually hung me up and stopped me from doing art for about the last two weeks. I couldn’t get past the shapes before I added back in lineart. I really, really love how it turned out though!
Your Name (kimi no na wa)
Talk about life-changing anime. Me and my husband are both still reeling from this movie. I will never forget that moment at the end of the film when I was clinging to Ryan’s arm and suppressing my squeals of delight as the lights rose in the theater, and I looked down the row of chairs to see another girl having exactly the same freak out as me on the arm of the guy she was with, and Ryan and I laughed so hard we cried.
Your Name is delightful because it encompasses all the good things about anime into one artfully created and beautifully spun tale. It’s deeply satisfying in a way that Miyazaki love usually isn’t. And even the nuanced way the characters move matters to the film. 10/10 will see again and again.
This has to be the season of sequels. In the last week I’ve picked up two sequels to dearly held novels. And I’ve known they would have sequels, and the writers have made them worth it, so I’ve indulged them without hesitation.
Roshani Chokshi’s work
I devoured “The Star-Touched Queen” last year with reckless abandon. I remember reading it the week that I was teaching across the street from Ryan’s work. So every day I would get done an hour before him, and I would sit in the back garden at the school and I would read “The Star-Touched Queen.” Forty, a hundred chunks of pages would go by without my noticing. The writing was so robust and immersive. So when a Barnes and Noble bookseller told me there would be a sequel, I really wanted to believe in it – especially when she said it would focus on the main character’s sister, rather than continued tales of the main character. I loved her sister, and already I’ve been pulled into this delightful, playful, mystical narrative.
Charlie Fletcher’s work (The oversight)
As I was reading this while I got my last tattoo, I described this book to my artist as one where the heroes repeatedly get their asses kicked. I’ve never read something that focuses so much on the narrative of the antagonists. The heartless, ruthless, cruel antagonists. They’re scheming and scheming against the exhausted, noble Oversight and you’re like oh shit, their plans are totally gonna work. And sometimes in the middle of the trilogy, the Oversight’s home gets burned to the ground BY A SUGAR FACTORY ERUPTION, FUCKING MOLTEN SUGAR OKAY, HOW CRUEL. And then like, you want Sarah and Sharpe to get together but they’re both like, half dead and pale and sad. And you’re like ugh.
This has been a weird one because I’ve been reading the second two on my phone. I picked up The Oversight at the Maplewood Mall in one of me and Ryan’s first trips to Barnes and Noble together. I don’t know what compelled me to get digital copies of the subsequent installments. I hate when I do shit like that. Here I’ve got The Oversight chilling on my shelf with all these other complete series, and it’s like, but you’ve read the other ones. And I’m like I know. I’m sorry.
There are two other sequels I’d actually gotten over the holidays that I have yet to fully get into. My delightful experience with “A Thousand Nights” by EK Johnston was somewhat disappointed by her next novel, “Spindle,” but that was partly because the narrative confused me, and I was mostly trying to read it in the jacuzzi in Stillwater on my honeymoon, and I wasn’t giving it a whole lot of attention.
In similar fashion to my woes with The Oversight, Garth Nix dropped a surprise sequel to the Abhorsen series that I obviously immediately picked up…but I only had that series on my Nook, so when it was steeped in “this happened in the trilogy and hopefully you remember reading it in 2012” facts, I stopped it in hopes I would eventually pick up the trilogy so I could refresh myself on it.
STUPID DIGITAL BOOKS, THROWING OFF MY SERIES CONSISTENCY
I know it’s been forever since my last blog post! But it’s because I haven’t been doing illustrations since I’ve been busy WORKING ON CADENCE!!! AAAAAHHHH!!!
It feels so fabulous to say I’m back at graphic novels. I’m making full use of all the extra time I have right now; the only thing I have going on is work. I come home, I bike, and then I STORYTELL. It’s been going really well – a bit clumsy, understandably so, but I’ve definitely got myself locked in with a growth mindset. I think it’ll be a bit yet till I catch up to where I’d gotten to when I was doing this all in stride, but pushing myself feels fantastic.
Also, I really thank myself for being thoughtful with my character designs. I’m always excited to draw Solimin or Cirrus and definitely Rowan now.
At work on Friday I slam dunked my first character portrait in who knows how long.
One of my students freaked out over his dreads, so there you go.
I also just finally finished a commission my mom got for me from a coworker of hers. I totally procrastinated the shit out of this, but when I came back to the lineart for it today, I just kind of cranked out the colors in an hour and I’m like mmmmmmmmmmhm. I could totally offer commissions more regularly because I am fully capable, but god did I drag my feet on this.
Finally, I recently terrified my fiance by throwing an actual squeal fest in Barnes and Noble. We were casually, if not slightly ironically browsing manga when I happened to glimpse THIS COVER and then all hope was lost for my brain. A STANDALONE BY OZAKI-SAMA?!?!??! THANK THE GODS
I’d lost sight of her in the last few years after having relatively poor luck with translating her blog during college. This blog of all places knows my deep-seated love for Immortal Rain. After checking, it seems it’s been a full 5 years since I finished Immortal Rain via the fanlations of the last three volumes (and its prequel.) And it was a full 5+ years since I’d read the last printed original, according to my last Immortal Rain-related post.
So, I understandably lost my ever-loving shit when I happened to see this at the store. It was kind of even better that it was a standalone novel, because then Ozaki-sama remains completely beyond reproach: her original series was a mere 10 volumes, and what should she do after finishing such a series? Write a standalone, as all irreprehensible authors should.
As far as the story itself goes, I’m not sure I was entirely thrilled by it…it was quite gloomy and not at all in stride with Ozaki-sama’s white-knuckle pacing from Immortal Rain, and this one was much more Japanese and hyper-realistic. The lines are so beautiful though, and the main boy basically looked like preteen Yuca, so I’ll take what I can get. Still, I was happy to see something she’s done recently in print. Immortal Rain being discontinued was a travesty. She needed this.
On an unrelated note, I hate the trackpad on this laptop with a fiery burning passion, and even moreso after the last Windows update destroyed the driver, and my two-finger scroll. -_-