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March 22nd, 2005

A Cool Thing

If you like blogs, Japan, photography, or all of the above, you'll like Japan Window. The personal favorites page will give you an idea of the different range of pics to peruse.

Bonus! If you like puppies, furries, or kimonos, scroll down to the March 13 entry!

-The Gneech

EDIT: I should mention that I got this link from laurie_robey. :)

Ow With It On, Ow With It Off

This bandage and I have a weird little cycle we go through; my arm hurts, so I get laurie_robey to put the bandage on and it feels better for a while ... then my arm gets sore from the pressure, so I take the bandage off and it feels better for a while ... then the strained ligament or whatever it is gets whiny about having to do all that difficult "supporting itself against gravity" and starts hurting, so I get laurie_robey to put the bandage back on ... and 'round and 'round we go.

I guess tonight I'll have to head to the drugstore or maybe Sports Authority and look for some joint-support collars that you can just pull on and off as a single piece, and/or possibly a sling to use when I'm walking around. Having the arm "up" seems to put less stress on the afflicted area than letting it hang at my side.

On an unrelated note, I would really love to knock off this afternoon and head to a handy cafe or some such to do some life drawing. It's sunny and 52 degrees, and I haven't done any life drawing in a long, long time. Really, ever since I started doing the comic strip, finding "time off to draw" from that has been the biggest hurdle I have to overcome when I want to practice or improve my skill.

I often regret that I didn't go into the art school at VCU when I was accepted; I definitely regret taking all those stupid philosophy courses when I could have taken art instead. But at the time, I thought it was what I wanted. I'd inherited an unhealthy worship of academia from my parents, and let's face it, it's hard to get more academic than studying Spinoza (for instance). I periodically fantasize about putting my comics projects on hold for a year and getting some proper schooling on the topic. If not at a college or art institute (which might be cost prohibitive), at least something like the Joe Kubert correspondence courses.

Ah well. Right now I've gotta work in any case. Maybe I can do some sketching later.

-The Gneech

Artsy Thoughts

Well, I didn't get to do any sketching, but I did do some more strips. I have through April 4th done now, with the exception of April 1 which is going to be a double-size, so I am doing it on its own bristol sheet. (Normally, I do two strips per sheet, it just happened to be that Wednesday Mar 30 and Monday Apr 4 fell together.)

I'm pleased with how the art for Apr 4 came out. I've been trying to use more realistic reference in my drawing (the exterior shots of "Chez Predatoré" for instance are based on a photo of a real restaurant), rather than the big and blocky "virtual world" I've tended to use. Thus, for April 4, Leona's townhouse is modeled on real houses that I see every day (i.e., the ones across the street from me), rather than a cartoony representation of the idea of a town house. This is one of the things that distinguishes cartoon art from comic book art ... generally speaking a comic book artist draws a realistic image of a chair, while the cartoonist draws a picture of the idea of a chair.

This is something I've been working towards, off and on, for a while now. It's not purely the influence of Love Hina, but I think it's safe to say that Love Hina has accelerated the process. Love Hina has a strong sense of being in a "real" place, which is emphasized by the very realistic backgrounds and extensive use of real-world landmarks. Suburban Jungle is, of course, not in a real place, its location being rather glibly referred to as "New San Angeles" when it's referred to at all, but I do want it to seem like a real place. And putting the characters into realistic settings, rather than in front of cartoony backdrops, will go a long way towards achieving that, I hope.

That's all for now. G'nite, world, and have a really awesome tomorrow!

-The Gneech

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