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Still working on making a zillion pages. Creating buffers is long!

The new Game of Throne episodes are quite tantalizing. It's too bad I don't have cable. I'll most likely do what I did for the first two seasons - watch them online and then buy the DVDs. I really like the ladies in this show. Especially Sansa and Dany, who display opposite spectrums of badass.

Last week I went to a Draw and Quarterly event : a talk by Alison Betchel (mostly know as the comic origin of the Betchel test). I picked up her books while I was there. I mostly knew her for her strips called Dykes to watch out for. This is my first time reading her graphic novels. The first, Fun Home, is about her father. The second, Are You My Mother, is about her mother. In both cases, it's also about how Alison grew up, about the evolution of her sexual identity, and the evolution of her general identity. I love the spot color used in both books. I love the drawing style that reminds me of classic strips drawings like those of For Better or for Worse. It really adds to the story, i'm not sure why. Maybe because cartoon strips are so associated with family life? The story is very interesting too. It's unique, just like it's composer, which is appropriate since it is her life. The book also analyses literature and the value of the memoir genre. In general - a great read. Cannot recommend enough.

On the subject of comics, I was surprised to learn that a rather dated French comic series (from the 70's) is being currently addapted to the big screen in an american/korean co-production. The original comic is called "Transperceneige", which translates to Snowpiercer, the title of the movie version.

The film is set in a future where a human engineered Ice Age kills off all life on the planet except for the inhabitants of the Snow Piercer, a train that travels non-stop around the globe and is powered by a sacred perpetual-motion engine. The train is divided into a harsh class-system. The story is difficult to describe because it's so ambient in the books. Basically, picture this as a strange mix of Space Opera with the Hunger games. It's got virtual realities, revolutions, weird science, military conspiracies, religious sects, everything. The movie looks like it's going to kick-ass with it's multi-cultural badass cast. 

I'm looking forward to it because, let's face it, more cool European comics SHOULD be adapted in big budget movies. There's a lot of stories in European comics that are unique. It's a group of comics that needs more translations and adaptations because it's chock full of amazing things for all ages. 

I just hope that in the Snowpiercer that upgrade the gender roles a bit though - because in the 70's comic version, all the guys are stoic badasses and all the girls and sexy emotional minxes. So yeah.

secondlina: (Default)

We grew up believing no one would love us.

Don’t tell me that hurts less then a broken bone. (X)

I was really touched by this poem by Shane Koyczan about bullying, it made me want to draw this picture. It's the type of subject that really makes me want to take arms and defend the weak, the depressed and neglected. Because it reminds me a bit of my own life, but mostly, because it reminds me of the harsh lives of so many of the people that are beloved to me.

The characters in the image are a bit the... stereotypical underdogs, in a way. People with disabilities. People who are punks and geeks. People who are homosexuals, people who are minorities in mostly white schools, people who are told they aren't pretty... And people who are punished because other people want to own them. When I first drew them, they seemed a bit too much like stereotypes, but then again, those are the types of people who are still getting the raw end of the deal. It has not changed yet. It changed in a couple of spots. A few towns and schools got better. But you still have so many places where black kids are called dirty, where girls are raped and then threatened to hold their tongue,  where people don't want to touch the "kid with the weird hand" because they are afraid they will catch something. As it turns out, people are so afraid of what's different, that what is different has not yet changed, despite us suppose to have had evolved. Sexism, ignorance and racism is not gone. In fact, the more I think about it, the more it seems strong. I want to fight it when I can, by treating kids in school well, by letting them talk, and in my art. 

Long story short I suppose... injustice and bullying bothers the hell out of me. If you can donate to an organism that helps kids in your area, please do. 

In other news, seems I need new glasses. *sigh* A new pair is always an expense, but my eyes are my main tool, so I need to treat them well. I have a bit of a minor infection thing too, due to the dryness in the air. Urgh, my poor eyes. 

I also finally saw les Miserables... It wasn't bad. They really sing all the time though. I would have appreciated less songs and more spoken dialogue. You know, make the songs seem more pretty and epic rather then the constant dispensers of story. I got a bit tired of the constant close-ups too. I was, however, really amused by Javert extremely romantic song about catching people. Javert wants to catch people so hard.
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So this week, I downloaded and watched a movie called "Penelope". I heard both good and bad things about this movie. So I was pretty curious about it. 

(The Japanese poster is adorable).

Generally, the story of Penelope is a modern fairy-tale inspired romantic comedy, heavily inspired by Beauty and the Beast. Du to an inter-generational curse, Penelope was born with the face of a pig. The spell will break if someone of her "own kind" (aka royalty) accepts her. So, with the help of her neurotic mother, she conducts various romantic interviews via a two-way mirror, behind which you can find her whimsical lair full of plans and trinkets. However, whenever she finally shows herself to the suitor, he runs away. Until, of course, she gets to this suitor who doesn't, but still refuses to marry her for a mysterious reason.

Now. I'm not gonna lie. This movie was kinda bad. There's a few bad things that really weight the movie down. For starters, it doesn't seem like the movie decided if it wanted to be mainstream Hollywood or alternative. So it mixes elements that are very classic and predictable with details that are very artsy. As a result, both sides are never pushed fully, giving us a movie that kinda awkwardly rides in-between. Some of the acting is flat. A lot of montage is weird, and the whimsical background look fake more then enchanting. 

But I still watched all the way to the end because this movie had some really good plot twists. I mean, really, really good plot twists that basically do add a lot to the Hollywood fairy-tale twist. Such has to how they solve the spell. Without giving anything away, Penelope ends up saving herself. But the fact that she does unlocks her own tower opens up this huge "I guess my parents never loved me" thing that is never exploited. There's a lot of subplots (about the father, the sister, the butler, Penelope's friends, her boyfriend) that could have been really awesome. They are brought in well, but then never exploited. I think that's the main idea with Penelope - lots of great ideas that go nowhere, making the movie rather dull and skin-deep rather then really intriguing. But it is cute, and Penelope is a fun character. Making it a good movie for the younger kids that won't annoy the living crap out of parents, since it does have good points. It just doesn't know what to do with them. 

My last critique would be about Penelope's "pig face", which is about as horrifying as Gerald Butler's "mild sunburn" in the Phantom of the Opera movie. Again, the beast side isn't pushed enough. She's downright cute. A bit odd-looking, but cute! There's this "evil" (again, not pushed enough) prince that seems to see her worse then she really is (he describes her with fangs and stuff). And you get to see his vision at some point and it does look terrifying. I wonder if the movie was trying to imply that Penelope "looks" worse to someone who has a bad heart? Maybe explaining why all the blue-bloods basically going to the interviews to score her dowry run out screaming. But again, the movie never pushes that, never tells us anything about that, reducing the bad guys as really shallow wimps. 

Penelope - Could stand a good remake. Because it really has a ton of potential. 

- Isa
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Man, I want to draw a bunch of comics so bad. I'm really loving all these comics other artists are posting online. Short little things, just a couple of pages, but always so gorgeous. Like Emily Carroll's dream journals or Ryan A.'s strange and dark universe. Love. Love. Love. There's just a huge lack of short comics i'm not doing. This journal needs more comics. All I keep posting is illustrations. Comics dammit! COMICS!

At least i'm motivated.

Still no news about the trip to France to attend the Lyon Comic Festival. I'm going to clear that up this weekend with my editor. Which is a good thing because this is currently super-last-minute. Yikes. I'm currently working on drawing all the Namesake pages I need so that the comic updates while i'm gone. Considering there's like.... 12 pages needed, I wasn't sure if I would be able to do it. Thankfully, friends have offered to do some guest art, so whether I manage to or not, at least the comic will update. I don't want to go on hiatus. I really feel like going on a hiatus while the comic is still developing like that is basically putting a death sentence on it. So i'm using other solutions.

In other news, my parents are back from their travels across the USA. My mother actually got me some Alice and Oz themed stuff she found around (they also stayed at an Alice in Wonderland themed Inn. No joke. STEAL THE LAMPS, MOM. STEAL.)

I started sketching again in this simplistic style I really enjoy but don't use often. Here are the "Thor", "Avatar" and "Namesake" themed results.

- Isa
secondlina: (Default)
I seriously have a short temper lately, and I apologize for whomever is at the receiving end of it. I think the weather, multiple flues and sheer job annoyances are slowly reducing my patience in this fine powder-like substance. Grrrr. Oh well.

Today, I managed to get many of my "obligations" out of the way early, so I got to sketch a bit for fun, which happens rarely these days, unfortunately. So I drew sketches about "Labyrinth", that I had watched a few days earlier. 

I love that movie and it's it's 80's glorious Bowie-themed cheesiness. Link hates it. He calls it "that creepy children's movies from our childhood" *laughs*. He probably feels this way because he's not a girl, since mostly girls seem to have liked this movie for some reason (some reason other then the contents of Jareth pants, in my case). Too bad this story is still copyrighted, Sara fits the "Namesake" description to a T. Oh well. I'd still like to get my hands on the book that was the inspiration for this movie, "Outside Over There" by Maurice Sendak. I love Sendak's drawings and dark humor. I didn't manage to get my hands on one of his artbooks yet. I wonder what tools he used to draw...

Speaking of awesome drawings, an artist I strongly admire on deviant art just finished her animated movie. She studies at a school called "Gobelin" in France, which is basically one of the best, if not the best school for animation out there. And it show. Click on the image to see her beautiful film. and be sure to check out her deviant art too.

That's all for now, folks!

- Isa
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Hey guys!

First off, happy birthday to [ profile] asatira , [ profile] the_flowergirl  and [ profile] earthstar_moon ! Sorry for not having sketches you guys! Things got busy over here and I haven't drawn much. I'm distracted by major amounts or paperwork, teeth pain and people. Next week will be quieter. I shall draw then.

In other news, I really need to make a to-do list. I'm having trouble making heads and tails of what I gotta do. C'mon Isa. You are more organized then this! I think i've been pushing back the making of the list being seeing all my tasks lined up is a little scary.

Among the things on that list, I wish to include the acquiring of new skills. For starters, I want to learn how to use Illustrator. Second, I want to learn to draw with a graphic tablet, in Photoshop. Not just color. Draw. I also want to learning how to use new inking tools, like calligraphic pens. Art is beginning to take up more and more of my time. I think I may wanna look into getting a part-time job next year or something. Need to start saving money :D

Last post, [ profile] novabat  drew this.

Here is my reply.

Yep. Take that. :D Have a cuddly griffin!

This morning, on deviant art, I saw a fantastic fanart of Namesake by Hyacinth-Zofia. It's Ben, Emma and Elaine. I love how they all look in this. Especially Ben. Way to be badass.

Yesterday, I went to a conference about using the internet to promote yourself as an illustrator with a friend called Fanie. It was good. It was mostly stuff we knew already, but it was nice to see it all organized in bullet format. There was a lot of older illustrators though, that asked... good questions I guess, but about really basic internet stuff (so it kinda felt like I was back at work at that point. A the joys of working tech support). So we left to eat sushi. Oddly enough, I learned that Fanie as not seen Tangled or Beauty and the Beast. Clearly, I need to inflict these movies upon her.

After that, I got home, crashed on the couch with Link. He had started to watch a movie, so I joined him. The movie was called "The Blindness" and it promptly proceeded to violate my brain. No, really.

Tho take the resume from Tv tropes : "In an unnamed large city, an unexplainable and sudden outbreak of instant blindness is affecting people rapidly. In an attempt to prevent the epidemic from growing out of control, those suffering this are taken away and forced into a derelict mental asylum and held there until further notice. But the military guarding the place becomes increasingly hostile to the inmates, keeping them in at gunpoint. The government refuses to allow in basic medicines, so the hygiene and living conditions degrade horrifically within a short time.The protagonist is the wife of an eye doctor, who was among the first people to go blind. Because she is mysteriously immune to whatever is causing the blindness, she acts as a leader of her ward and tries to keep control over a situation which is rapidly deteriorating. It gets worse. Much, much worse."

This movie is TERRIFYING. Everything is realistic. You know people react this way. And that's scary. The wife, the only one who can still see, goes from a cute housewife to an amazing, badass leader. The movie ends on an uplifting note, which kinda makes me forgive it slightly for scaring the nervous system out of my brain. It's honestly a good movie, but it's not relaxing.

Looks like I got a cold now. I was freezing during the whole movie. I didn't notice the window was open. I guess I got a cold as a consequence. Nooooo! I don't have time to be sick!!

- Isa
secondlina: (Default)
Teeth problems being slowly solved. Still got a few wisdom teeth to remove.

While my face wakes up, have a few cool things.

First off, sorry for being so quiet. Things have been crazy over here. Plus, Lj has been offline a lot. In any case, Namesake is a few comics short of hitting the 100th comic mark. Woo! we are getting more and more readers too. Seems a lot of people like Oz. Heck yeah.

To celebrate and to encourage donations, I'm working on a new wallpaper. The theme for this one is "Witches and Wizards of Oz". You got Ozma, Selva, Glinda, Renge (or Jellia), the Scarecrow, Chiseri, Anlise and Warrick surrounded by all the ladies of magic. You also get to see what Hercilia looks like a human. This is going to be pretty sweet, fully colored and inked, I can tell you that.

Aside from that, I recommend that all aspiring artists read Austin Kleon's "HOW TO STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST (AND 9 OTHER THINGS NOBODY TOLD ME)". It's hilarious and pretty much true as a whole. It's basic rules we all know, but it's cool to see them listed and drawn out.

I've been going crazy on etsy. I wanted to reward myself for all my hard work (I just love me... No but really, I earned it), so I decided to buy some jewelry. Of course, I went for the geekiest stuff there was. I bought Harry Potter themed bling. Oh yes. A metal bracelet that said "Expecto Patronum" and a golden snitch necklace. Aw yeah. i'm cool and I know it, kids.

In other news, why haven't I heard of Michael Pangrazio until now? This dude is a painter of WORLDS. He drew the "backdrop" for scenes in movies like the old Star Wars and Labyrinth. You know, before there was blue screen and computers, there was him, making a wall look like the blasted HORIZON. Kudos, sir Pangrazio. Kudos. Technology marches on, but you still work in character design and exude awesomeness.

That's all for now.

- Isa


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August 2013

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