Showing posts with label Comic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Comic. Show all posts

Monday, October 8, 2018

5 Reading Slump Killers ("with" Cynthia Bailey)

Every reader goes through this mess: you’ve finished a book (outstanding or awful) and can’t decide what to read next.  Or if you even want to follow up your reading so shortly.  So you ponder over what's your mood looking like–in concerns to your next choice in a book.  And sometimes that pondering goes on a little too long.  Sometimes... your decision gets clouded.  

After finishing a book, I usually take a day or two off from reading.  Sometimes that day or two sticks around a little longer.  And three days is always too long.  Then it begins to sting when I have four bookshelves riddled with unread titles glaring at me wondering what the hell I‘m doing sitting around without a book in hand.  One shelf wants to be chosen.  One book desperately wants to be elected.  And I just sit there like a chump biting my lip and as indecisive as ever.  Something has blocked me from reading.  My mood?  Energy?  Maybe solicitude from my last book?  All I know is days are ticking by and I can't seem to find a dang thing I want to read and it's pissing me off.

It's a reading slump indeed. 

So I, like many book bloggers, decided to create another remedy post for readers who need to get through a reading slump.  And if one method listed doesn't work, another one always will.  So let's go!


Hell, I’ve learned long ago how throwing away and getting rid of old junk kills some spectrum of my anxiety.  There’s this sort of alleviating transference I get from donating old clothes; alongside tossing pay stubs, art supplies, and old birthday cards into trash bags.  Seriously, when miscellany leaves happiness circulates within the soul.  

So one method that often helps me pull out of a reading slump is getting my shelves organized.  By “getting organized” I mean going to a shelf to pull unread titles off to compile what I haven‘t read and how long its been hanging around–and deciding what should hang around.  Something about pulling unread books off, piling them up, and actually looking at them helps get me centered.  It’s revisiting titles long acquired that at one point I was excited.  That is until time and other books caused my enthusiasm to slip by, before deciding what's next for said title.  And, naturally, the benefit is I find myself donating piles of unread and clutter-clogging books after a change in interests.

This method allows me to focus on the now.  Not the then and not the later.  We hate to admit it, but there is a level of anxiety and agitation we get from being book lovers who simply can't read and take every book with us throughout life.  Heck, I would even equate books to friendships: they have their seasons, chile.  And only the most trustworthy, loyal and respectful can stay.  Oh, and enriching.  Never keep something around that doesn't enrich your life.

Thursday, June 9, 2016


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Scratchy Doodles From the 9-5

 Well, I had every intention of doing another drawing project before the end of the year.  Unfortunately, I never gave myself the right time to get my ass in order to actually make it happen.  But I have to share one more set of drawings before the year ends.  And here lies my sketchy doodles.  Since I loathe my 9-5, this is what I do to relax myself in its chaotic and mind-numbing soul-sucking environment.  Here's to more projects in 2016.  And hopefully, a little less doodles. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Buffy Volume 3 Gets Personal

Romance.  Romance.  Romance.  Repeated romance.  That is–though nowhere near wholly true–what Buffy, the Vampire Slayer Season 10 Volume 3 contains.  Just glancing at the cover art above, you can guess who all couples this volume's romance.  So, yes.  That’s Buffy and Spike getting back together.  A touch, touch-touch old and echo-ish from their blossoming (and tumultuous) relationship from the TV show.  I would even stretch to tag it as (fan?) service for those die-hard aggressives who ‘ship the two.  The only reason I wouldn’t is because of the characters’ history.  So it only seemed appropriate these two finally just… well… committed!  It’s the current situation, and unfolded in classic Buffy on psychological-trekking psychedelics style.  Obviously that’s the selling point/highlight of this volume. 
Only, that’s not all the bustling romance.
Xander of Dawn’s relationship comes to another tier or resolution.   The ghost of Xander’s former, Anya, continues to make her “psychoanalysis” appearance via Xander’s consciousness.  So that web of character commentary and growth comes together leaking from the show.
The same goes for Willow’s lighter situation with a demi-god.  Andrew continues to come to terms with his sexuality–I think.  Something about him seems back-and-forth.  Didn’t he recognize he was gay before?  Or maybe that’s just us watchers/readers picking up the signals.
Aside–but not-so aside–the romance comes the reemergence of Olivia's character.  A character in which I want more from.  And has since she appeared on the TV show.  As a woman of color, I ask the writers move her into the inner circle pronto!
As it goes for Season 10's story arc, Buffy and the gang are still working out their issues with writing the rules of magic.  Despite the arc's motion taking a slight backseat in this volume, it’s still present and carrying the characters' motives.  To me, I still find season ten's arc contained and undeviating.  Unlike a few aggravating moments in seasons past where the writers threw chum buckets filled with plot threads out to sea (see what I did there?).  No ma'am.  Season 10 still makes sense!  Thank God these guys got a grip on its reins.  

Nonetheless, adjacent to Buffy and friends' quest comes a new super bad seeking the rights to magic.  Along with another demon connected to vampires in a way I refuse to give up as a spoiler. 
Buffy Season 10 still f'ing ROCKS!  Demons.  Gore.  Comedy.  Character.  And romance.  God bless the child.

Monday, July 6, 2015

~ 8. Back 2 High School - Towel Style ~

I'm one post away from the last set of pages for this comic.  It's really interesting because–as I mentioned within the first post–I wrote/drew this comic my junior year of high school.  Now flash forward to this past May, and the last and final graduating class has exited the school.  So yeah, my high school is no longer.  One of the city's hospitals is taking over the property and doing some expansion work.  A couple of weeks ago the school opened its doors one last time for the community to come aboard, take pictures, and (I believe) participate in an auction for some of the memorabilia.  I didn't make it.  I'm still not quite sure if I really wanted to see some of my old classmates roaming those once traumatic halls, with their older faces greeting me.  That's just the truth.  

Even so, it's a surreal feeling knowing my high school closed, probably because my memories of my experience there are so damn strong.  The good, bad, and indifferent; high school is hardly forgettable for just about anyone.  And personally, it probably didn't help that I didn't get over high school until I turned 21.  

I remember getting yelled at in 9th grade because I didn't want to play basketball–yet I loved lifting weights.  (I passed P.E. with a 65 and was happy because that meant I didn't have to retake it.)  I remember learning how to drive in 10th grade, and the excitement of passing the drivers' test.  My junior year I was in a play, and developed my first long-standing crush.  And no one can forget the edge of freedom that your senior year brings out of you.  I got really cocky during that year.  Part of that was because I was on the newspaper staff and my comics were featured in each newspaper.  When I look back, I was pretty damn brave and ambitious.  So yes, very good memories.  Some troubling, but all good.

Taking this comic and reflecting on its conception leads me to think how high school does determine where you'll go in life.  Well, to a degree.  I suppose what I really meant was it fosters the beginnings of your aspirations mingling with your character.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

*A Few Spreadshirt Starter Shop Tips 4 U* (Video)


1.  Fill out ALL information on your Design and Products.  That would include name, description, commissions, and tags!  Fill as much as possible!  Stretch those tags OUT!  Believe me, tags bring traffic.  You may not sell right away, but you'll at least be getting traffic.

2.  Making T-shirts?  Use the most economical shirts ($6.50).  The more designs you add, the more the price of your shop's products increase.  Add on design and shop commissions, and you may be asking for too much early on.  Let your prices grow as your shop grows.

3.  Utilized Spreadshirt's header tool.  Let your store stand out with a nice, attractive header.  And most certainly apply Spreadshirt's advertisement banner tool.  When Spreadshirt presents a coupon, your shoppers will see that opportunity first!  

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Buffy Season Ten Still Tops!

My love for Buffy and friends is never ending. Since I was fourteen, she’s been my best friend–and I’m glad to say she’s still managing so even in comic form. Now with that little gush out of the way, let’s get into my itty-bitty thoughts on Buffy, the Vampire Slayer Season Ten Volume Two, I Wish.

Per graphic novel standards, I Wish follows immediately behind the previous entry, New Rules. We learned that at the end of Season Eight, Buffy destroyed the existence of magic on the Earthly plane. By the end of Season Nine, she restored magic to save her sister, Dawn. However, the restoration of magic comes void of rules, leaving Buffy and her friends to rewrite its laws.  But there's a large catch. Rewriting the laws of magic is privy to creating a “monkey’s paw” effect. What is that you ask? Well, it’s having a wish granted with some ugly–many times drastic–side effects. (Background: The term “monkey’s paw” is derived from a short horror story of the same name, written by W. W. Jacobs. In Jacobs’ “Monkey’s Paw," a sergeant of the British Army is given a magical monkey’s paw that grants him three wishes. Wary of the consequences, the sergeant tries to relieve himself of the paw. Unfortunately, his family obtains it and proceeds to have their wishes granted. In turn, this leads to… well… I'll let you discover the rest.)

Nevertheless, drawing back to my point, Buffy and her friends are aware of this (they've had years of experience with the repercussion of magic). So given the power to recreate the rules of magic, without careful and hyper-unambiguous wording on their part, could obliterate everything they’ve worked so hard to protect.  Seriously, Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Giles were the guardians of the Hellmouth back when Sunnydale was sunny.  Now they've graduated to guardians of Earth where the stakes are too astronomical to even think about.  Obviously no one is touching rewriting magic before all thoughts of reason are considered, assembled, and re-assembled by all parties involved (which includes every filum of monsters outside of the Slayer's nucleus).  Until then, creating the rules of magic is off limits.

Except Buffy and her friends aren’t so free of the beneficial possibilities and potentials recreating the rules could have on their personal and individual circumstances. Nor is the new trio of mega-Big Bads trying to pick Buffy's team off to rewrite their own, destructive rules. And this is where I Wish truly, and I mean truly, earns its title.  Simply stated, I Wish maintains the character-driven atmosphere loved most inside the Buffyverse.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

~7. Back 2 High School - Towel Style ~

And for the next batch of pages from my junior year comic....  Confrontations and battle scenes.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

~6. Back 2 High School - Towel Style ~

Back... in action....  Sadly, I think I'm almost done.  Nonetheless, here we are with the 6th collection of my high school manga.  More and more Naoko Takeuchi influences, including character sketches ripped straight out of Sailor Moon.  I couldn't help myself back then.

We're still wrapped in the B-story surrounding our two heroines and their adventure through this portal that leads them to another world.  In said world, they attempt to save the life of this strange child.

Towel is apparently in a trance of some sort.  She's being led toward her destiny...

Finally, Towel confronts the new girl, Minno.  Looks like all that hypnotizing Minno did to her classmates came with a purpose.  One being that she's an alien or monster of some sort.  This, of course, leads Towel to change.

Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  The burnt scene come straight out of Sailor Moon R.  Research it.

Internal monologues are probably unusual, but here, Towel delivers.  Finally, the confrontation we've all be waiting on.  See what happens next time...

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Michael's Mini Haul

Hey-hey now! After work Saturday–which was hellish and something I refuse to get into–I got to spin around town and enjoy the rest of my day. From finding $5 books, to buying energy drinks that don’t energy, I eventually made a stop at Michaels Arts & Crafts. With pens drying up and erasers that has more erase than eraser, I did a quick inventory check in my head as to what I would need before I went in there and really lost my mind shopping. I knew I absolutely had to stay away from the sticker and scrap booking area. Since that’s where I usually go ham ‘n’ cheese in the wallet with ideas.

I think it’s apparent these are off-brand markers (Artist‘s Loft?), but I was good with that once I found them. I really needed some fine tip markers and ran across this 36 piece pack for $4.99. I only use markers for those small, precision details; and I really needed a brown marker, seeing that my current one was all dried up and buying a replacement was $2! So after options browsing, I settled on this pack to get what I need to get done.

More than anything, I needed a new ink pen. My lovely, lovely Precise V5 is on its last roll, causing the remaining ink to sputter out. I think everybody knows how much I love that pen for inking. I've been using that brand for years and can seem to find the pens at Wal-Mart. I don't think it’s a crafting pen, but what the hell.  

So I got this Faber-Castell Black India Ink pen with the same 0.8mm nib. It’s not rolling ball, but its nib isn't prone to smudging and absorbs fast. It wasn't until I got home that I realized I’ve bought one of these Faber-Castell 0.8mm pens before. And from my understanding, it dried out before I ever really used it. Unless I used it up during an art course. Anyway, the pen was $3.99 so that had better be the case.

Lastly, I finally got a new eraser for everything but penciling. White eraser for pencil. Gummy eraser for pastels. Then I got home and realized I needed a new white eraser too. So is life. Anyway, this tri-tip eraser was $1.99. I love that it does have three tips because that'll help with precision, and keep me from chopping off smudged pieces from previous erasing endeavors.

I think I budged well. All this for $11.96. Anyway, buying art supplies is an investment, right?  I still need another pad of bristol board and a portfolio.  Maybe next time.

Hope you guys continue to have a great weekend! And keep drawing. No matter how good or how bad you think you are, always ART!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

~5. Back 2 High School - Towel Style~

Nearly forgot to update date the junior year comic post.  So here we are with pages 21-25.

The two stories kind of bleed into one another at this point.  Towel's still there (fighting with her kid brother over video games) and so are the two new girls who decided to chase a cat (it somewhat resembles Sailor Venus's Artemis) into a black hole of some sort.  The Naoko Takeuchi influenced kicked into overdrive at this point.

If you pay close attention, you'll probably recognize that the character with the braided pigtails has on Claire Redfield's Resident Evil 2 outfit.

The two girls jump into the black hole, and on starts another adventure that should eventually cross into Towel's.  Meanwhile, Towel is getting ready to go hang out with her best friends.  Apparently, she's given up on finding the missing students and the hypnotizing new student.  Yet, she still has an uneasy feeling about her night.

We'll see what happens next time...

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Boy I Tried To PNG (Test Run)

This post/drawing came with a technical purpose. It’s my attempt to create a PNG image (portable network graphic or transferable images with no accountable backdrop) out of one of my drawings. I came up with this idea because I wanted to make T-shirts featuring my characters–after some previous failed-looking attempts. The thing is that it looked weird sporting an entire drawing onto a shirt. It almost looked plopped on, with a hefty “there.” It just didn't look right having an entire portrait drawing on a shirt, though outside of Zazzle's digital design tool it may appear differently. Needless to say, I couldn't do anything with all of that.

So I had this random, unfinished sketch hanging around. I decided to get modest (is that safe to say?), sloppy and hurried in my attempt to flesh this bald guy out and transfer him into a simple PNG file to test myself. And it worked; rough and rocky, but I managed. Added to that, I decided to double this into another drawing post/video tutorial. Though I cringe at the actual drawing.  But like I said, he had a purpose.  I made sure his expression revealed such.

At the end of the post comes the video version...

Simple and clean.  Nothing fancy.  Including no hair.

For darker complexion, I'd normally add a second layer.  Not this time.  On to its purpose.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

~4. Back to High School - Towel Style~

The next clutch.  The next batch of five pages from this comic I put together my junior year of high school!  Or was it my senior year?  Upon recollection, I think it was senior year.  Okay.  Anyway...

Last time we left off, Towel's classmates ran out of school under the influence of the new girl, who took it upon herself to attack their teacher.  Considering Towel is somehow immune to the new girl's influence, she somehow convinces herself that it's her mission to make matters right.

Naturally, Towel's investigation leads her to the local bookstore where her best friend, Cornbread, works.  She needs help finding the students.  Unfortunately, Cornbread's sister works at the bookstore also.  And she annoys Towel to no end.  She's one of those kids that talks and talks and talks and talks.

Now the story switch gears.  I have a problem separating ideas sometimes.

For just one introduction page, we meet up with Minno, the strange new girl Towel is chasing.  She's roaming the streets, hypnotizing more and more people (boys mostly).  Meanwhile, two new characters are introduced who are going to expand everything.

Back to Towel's story.  We meet her mother and brother.  She doesn't look like either.  I really love drawing busy pages, and it's obvious I couldn't contain myself back then.  Just about every blank space needed something.

Anyway, continuing forward...!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Girl Who Dreamt of Earl Moran

She has a name, and it’s Emiko (although I conceptualized her, her surname escapes me at the moment). Japanese? Absolutely. And she dreamt of posing for famed pin-up artist Earl Moran. Or, at least, that’s what inspired all of this; the blueness and semi-sailor look. Oh, also the binoculars that don't exactly look like such (who ever said I could draw inanimate objects anyway?). I have a book on famous pin-up artists, and I use it whenever I want to draw something but am uninspired by anything. So, I take to that book during dry spells. And considering I've promised myself that I would try to draw a new image once a month for 2015, I landed on Earl Moran's chapter. And since today is the last day of February, I’ll let the process images do most of the talking as I try to post this before midnight. Enjoy and comment below. And the image source is HERE!

The usual penciling process.  Sometimes I hate this part because my OCD really kicks in–knowing that if I don't get it right, it's all done for.  While I'll never be 100% accurate or get my proportions right (who needs them in comic and cartooning?), I do use my handy bathroom mirror to reflect the sketch back.  That way, I'll catch some of the obvious little misalignments.

The inking part, of course.

Copic markers for shading and outline.  I've always done this however way.  So not into light sources.

Ah, the stenciling and scrapping part.

I took another piece of bristol board and painted it blue.  A seafaring blue (whatever that is).  The point was to make her backdrop look something like the side of a boat.  I'm going for a theme here.

Dying to use this particular material; I turned her scooped out parts into a shirt.

More color, more pizazz.  I almost didn't get through this, as I was entranced with catching up with How to Get Away with Murder.  Man!  They gave us two episodes this week and they were soooooo good.  I don't think I even ate yet.

I taped the shirt down, seeing that another layer would be added.  Then glued her down to the backdrop.  Neither were as much of a mess as I anticipated.

All done!  Scanned, revived, retouched a bit.  Since I'm not a computer person, I did what I could.  Anyway, Emiko is happy.  Her usual prickly disposition does not show.  I haven't drew her in a long time and have been thinking about her as of recent.  Here's to my girl.


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