Category Archives: comics

It is 9/9, and thus it’s also ⑨/⑨, and CIRNODAY

Every year, on September 9th, the forces that be confabulate to bring us abundant Touhou fanarts, particularly Cirno fanarts.

The first time this was celebrated was the biggest: 09/09/09, A.K.A. ⑨/⑨/⑨, the Perfect Cirno Day.

And for that Momentous Moment, I conjured up something INTERESTING:

9/9/9 - THE STRONGEST DAY COLOR

Wait… It’s not that interesting, is it? Mostly because it’s totally out of context. It was my first Touhou Project fanart, and wanted to try some stuff with the colors before I…

9/9/9 - THE STRONGEST DAY WALLPAPER

OH YES.

Metal Gear Solid is an awesome game series.

I still regret the copyright on the bottom right, though. It’s totally out of place.

Last year I was high on hype after watching a certain movie and re-reading for the upteenth time the original graphic novels.

So, Cirno Day was also very, very interesting.

9/9/10 - CIRNO'S STRONGEST DAY!

Cirno’s Strongest Day!

Not my best work, but then again it was kinda rushed.

For this year, I’ve decided to jump the motherfucking gun and make a post about it before having done anything at all.

In other words: I have nothing. Yet.

Actually, it would be incorrect I have really nothing.

I have plans.

Fast, hard hitting plans.

Pop-culture plans.

This year I’m not making an image: I’m making a series of disposable images, with one good parody floating in the back until it’s unleashed at the proper time.

Of course, this takes effort, but I have the qualities that can make this work: I don’t sleep, am obsessed with keeping myself busy and might be a bit off-kilter, so it’s all good!

So, stay tuned! Throughout the rest of the day there *will* be more ARTPOSTS concerning this year’s CIRNODAY.

Let the M-M-MADNESS BEGIN.

Working through Time: Evolution of a Character

I’ve been thinking stories for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I drew some of them, sometimes I planned them, sometimes they just evolved episodically within my mind.

Either way, the stories have always been there.

But there was never a proper way to express them.

The relatively newer ones, I am self-publishing online.

Punto Ciego is one of them, an amalgam of ideas from various previous stories, rolled into one package with a new cast of characters that ended up twisting the story beyond what I originally envisioned (Which is, to me, the first sign that the story is Good Enough For Me, as a creator).

The other one is Dreamless, which started out as one thing, then morphed into another thing, then bred with another stranger thing and is now beyond even my own recognition. It has a plotted beginning, middle and end, but it’s not quite what I originally envisioned four, five years ago when that story first started taking shape. The main lead was first a man, then a woman, and now…

Well, that’s for me to know, and for you to find out. I’m gonna try to write it and release a small “Episode” every Friday, barring the unexpected (Which is, unfortunately, a very common occurrence in the life of the Common Anatole Serial). I am not abandoning it, though, not this time. It’s the other precious child I have, and it needs to grow.

But I’m not here to talk about those stories.

I’m here to dig deeper in time.

Continue reading Working through Time: Evolution of a Character

Punto Ciego: Preliminary Work and Other Artworks

(Note: This is a partial repost from an older blog I had, and was written way back in June 2009)

I started prelim work on Punto Ciego around September 2008. Many of those early sketches are lost deep within the many sheets of paper I’ve used, but like many projects, it all started with a simple idea. From that idea, a visual component was born, and this visual component influenced the story, which influenced the story, and so on. It all started with Alva and Greg.

The idea was to, somehow, get together a stereotypically shy, artistic “long-hair-covering-her-eyes” kind of girl, with a cool, handsome, adventurous, daring kind of guy. Of course, this basic setup wouldn’t work, so it became necessary for both of them to have a couple of skeletons in their closets. It was also necessary to bring more characters into their lives: Thus, Meche and Julia were born. Armando would come around November, when I was writing the Chapter 0 script, in order to give more coherence to the world. Meche and Julia, though, were created shortly after the concept for both Alva and Greg was more or less set.

Julia and Meche exist as a complement to Alva: Julia is a rebellious, playful figure, more sociable as a way to contrast with Alva; Meche, on the other hand, represents a motherly figure, responsible and hard working. Originally, they had different personalities from their current incarnations; these changed soon after I developed both of their backgrounds and realized their personalities should be coherent with their past experiences.

(End of Old Blog Post)

Here’s some more old sketches from that Preparation Stage:

Since then, there have been other Non-sequential pieces of artwork related to Punto Ciego that I’ve done for multiple reasons.

For example, here’s a winter-themed pic of the entire cast from the beginning of Chapter 1:

There’s also this other pic I did for reasons I can’t remember (Probably a flyer or card?):

She also appears as a toy, along with other toy-ified characters of fellow local artists in a poster I did for a local Toy Charity Drive in which we would give away sketches for people who donated toys for poor children.

There’s the colored Chapter Pics I’ve done for each chapter:

And then there’s more… Experimental work:

All in all, I think there’s been a lot of progress since that “Stereotypical Shy Artist Girl Meets Daring Adventurous Boy” first emerged in my head.

Next week, we’ll take a dive into the memory lane, and see if I can dig up some really, really, REALLY old character sketches, and how some character’s concept has evolved over the years.

How big is this 24 hr Comic Day comic? PRETTY DAMN HUGE.

Get Adobe Flash player

And even then, it only weighs less than 10 megs.

Of course, that doesn’t mean converting it into an Embeddable Flash file was easy.

It actually took quite some time (And changing computers a couple of times).

In case you haven’t noticed, this year I did the Online Variation of the 24 Hour Comic: Instead of drawing 24 pages, I made 100 panels (Or 103, if you’re looking at it REALLY CLOSELY).

Anyways, once again I barely finished the whole thing on time, but I had troubles with fonts and such. And even then, I’m not entirely sure it’s not without issues. If you find anything that doesn’t work / is broken with this comic, please leave a comment so I can get around to fix it.

Anyways, I was the only one from this city who participated and didn’t sleep for the duration of the event.

Again.

Which proves that I either have undaunting stamina, or are certifiably insane.

Nevertheless it’s a win/win situation.

The hardest part is always around 3 or 4 AM, when you count the hours and realize that you’re way behind.

You literally go crazy, then. It’s around that time when I came up with the second half, which is decidedly more scattered than the first.

Of course, my initial plan was not to make another story featuring Juan and May (I did the first one in the 2008 24 hr comic day), but Lunamer.

I abandoned this idea the moment the clock started ticking.

It was around 5 or 6 AM that the idea of introducing Lunamer to the story, but an hour passed before The Game between May and Lunamer came to be.

Not even I know the nature of The Game, but it’s most definitely a game of wits.

Apparently, the rules change each round and you can never plan them in advance.

It’s a game of improvisation, much like Mornington Crescent, only instead of being verbal, it implies doing more physical stuff.

It’s impossible to know if these two are the only players of The Game. It might be entirely possible it is a multiplayer game!

Feel free to give it a go, if you dare try.

The ending of the comic is once again a product of late night madness.

Also, reaching panel 90 and needing 10 more panels.

Thus, it just came flowing.

The hardest part was using the spotty internet connection to download the “X, X Everywhere” template.

I blame Beto for the inspiration. Damn you, Beto! And thank  you so damn much.

Finally, before starting the whole thing, I warmed up doing two panels of Lunamer, back when I was thinking of doing a story about her. In the end, they DID end up being used, but I won’t tell you how or where… Yet. 😉

Anyways, this year was the hardest. The change of format, having to work outdoors in the cold, covered in dust and sand, it was all extremely adverse to me.

My allergies are killing me. So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go watch some anime and forget about the whole experience.

I stand victorious for the third year in a row.

Go me.

SP! SP! SP is here!

Yesterday, I decided to finish some things that had been left… Unfinished.

Nope, I still have to get 1 more Super Mario Galaxy 2 star, so I’m putting that off for a while.

I’m talking about… SP!

Yesterday, I finally got what I had been waiting for! SP!

Of course, I’m talking about…

I haven’t played it yet, but I’m really looking forward to it!

What? You thought I was talking about ANOTHER SP?

A comic? Why would I talk about comics in this–

Oh yeah, Amazon did deliver this baby to me. So I guess we can talk about comics.

If you don’t know what Scott Pilgrim is… What the hell are you?

Are you living UNDER A ROCK?

Are you ISOLATED from the rest of the HUMAN RACE?

Do you even know what THE INTERNETS is? (PROTIP: You’re reading it)

Scott Pilgrim is a series of Graphic Novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley (Just like it says in the cover!).

It is also the name of said Graphic Novels’ protagonist, a 23-year old slacker, Bassist for the Sex Bob-Omb, a crappy band in Toronto. He starts dating a high-schooler at first, but finds himself falling in love with mysterious Amazon.ca delivery girl, Ramona Flowers. Now, if Scott wants to date Ramona, he must defeat her Seven Evil Exes!

If I were to describe Scott Pilgrim’s style, I’d say: “It’s everything every geek that has been alive for the past 20 years knows by heart”. There’s music references, videogame references, life references, all in a package that blends Manga storytelling techniques with a peculiar, bold-lined style that you can’t help but admire.

And Volume 6 is the last one. It brings the story of Scott’s fight for Ramona, and does so with a bang. It is simply one of the Best Comics Ever Made, Ever.

The first volume in the series feels a bit experimental, almost as if O’Malley was still trying to find the way to make the storytelling work. It slows down sometimes, and sometimes is a bit all over the place, trying to find its focus.

In comparison, Volume 6 never stops: It reads fast, it cuts to the chase, it flows like a master Traceur entering The Zone during a Parkour run. It essentially kicks your ass.

And you want it to kick your ass all over again.

Mainly because it deals with Scott and Ramona’s personal issues in ways that the previous Volumes never did. It wraps up every loose plot, every thread, every character’s involvement with the story is properly finalized.

And in the end, everything changes, and you know what? Maybe it’s not a bad thing.

It’s actually a wonderful conclusion.  It’s not just Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour… It’s everyone’s Finest Hour.

So.

Thank you, Bryan O’Malley. You’ve given us a wonderful comic that speaks the language of a generation, in a way few comics ever have. I, as well as all the people I’ve actually roped into reading your comics, are very much looking forward to your next endeavors.