Well, it’s been a little over two months since my last desk diary post. I’ve been pretty busy (gaming) and thus haven’t posted much (leveling), but it’s time for some updates and, of course, new loot!
First things first, an update on the webcomic project. My friend recently called this my “white whale,” but hopefully this won’t have such a tragic ending. For the last several months I’ve been bouncing between two main ideas. Lately I have been thinking of combining many of my favorite aspects of both. I think I’m close. I still want to get this started before the end of the year. That doesn’t give me much time. I tend to work well under pressure, so hopefully a deadline will force me to get this project started.
In doll news -many- things have happened, some of which I’ll share below. For now I’ll say that my desk has suddenly become a little more crowded. I’m -still- waiting for some things I pre-ordered almost a year ago. Volks has been very much slammed this year due to that pre-order event. They are just now starting to ship out the last batch of orders, my stuff included (hopefully). There are already rumors of another pre-order event coming. With the shortage of regular items this year, one has to wonder if things will ever settle with all these events. It also goes to show how much this hobby has grown in popularity over the last couple years.
In gaming news… we’ll let’s be honest, I’ve been sucked into a handful of new games that were launched this year, which hasn’t helped my productivity. I had mentioned in my 2012 post that the games coming out this year could potentially suck away a lot of my free time, and that prediction has become mostly true. In that post I had mentioned I was playing Star Wars: The Old Republic at the time, I had quit that game not long after that post, as have many others. It’s going “Free to Play” later this year, nuff said. For a time after that there wasn’t really a game distracting me. That is until Tera launched earlier this year. That game has been the main time-sink for me this year. I’m still playing Tera, which I talked about at length in its own post.
Since then the other games that I mentioned in my 2012 post have also been released. I played The Secret World from launch, and while I do like its unique modern-day-mixed-with-horror-films style, it was fairly buggy and a bit unforgiving in its gameplay. While a challenge is nice, sometimes I prefer the more casual stuff. It also had some stiff character animations and a lack of character customization. The combat was decent. Working on finding a “build” that worked for you was interesting as were the unique quests and stories. However, All MMOs need a time to grow and expand, so it’s definitely one I may check out again down the road, but for now I have stopped playing it.
Next up, and most recent, is Guild Wars 2. The most hyped MMO of the year. Did it live up to that hype for me? Yes and no. It’s a wonderful game and very pretty (not Tera pretty, but still really nice), and it really does break many of the not-so-great and over-used MMO mechanics, but some of what they claimed didn’t really pan out. The dynamic quest system, while great overall, doesn’t really give that sense of making lasting changes to the world. They restart rather quickly. While this makes sense from a gameplay perspective, it does kinda make the game feel a bit like a theme park, not like a WoW (World of Warcraft) theme park, but a different kind of, and certainly more fun and active, theme park. That doesn’t actually bother me at all, though. Heck, Tera is a prime example of the old-style WoW theme park setup. The combat is, at its core, a target based system, but you can attack while moving. Some of the personal missions can be a bit brutal as well. My favorite part of the game is that they encourage you to explore. This aspect is the gem of this game to me. They have added a lot of little hidden areas to the game and even some rather fun and challenging jumping puzzles. Overall, it’s a well-polished and well-made game. Since you only have to buy the game once and there is no subscription fee, there is really no reason to not play this game. It’s one I’ll certainly be playing for some time to come (sucking away more of my free time).
Finally (yes, it does end), a game that was released two years ago this month may be making a comeback and has me eager to try it again. Two years ago Final Fantasy XIV launched with a less than stellar reception. It was so bad that the game suspended its subscription fee for many months. While I didn’t completely agree that the game was a total failure as some others, it did have some holes and lack of content. Most of the original team was taken off the project and a new, untested, game director was handed the reigns. Square Enix has been determined to push forward. You have to give them credit. Other MMOs would have buckled and failed under similar circumstances. However, not only has this new team and director attempted to fix a lot of the problems, late last year they stated their plans to take things a step further with a project that would almost completely remake the whole game. This is something that has never been done before and just recently the first signs of this “2.0” version have begun to surface. I’m very interested to see how this pans out. I had a lot of faith in SE when the game was released and I still think they can pull this off. So this is the next MMO that I’m looking forward to trying… again, especially when I learned there will be a new summoner job. I really respect them for working this hard to please their customers. They have taken a lot of polls and kept the players in the loop. I think they deserve a second chance. I know I’ll be there opening day. I already have “Legacy” status for supporting the game during this rough period. It should be interesting.
Okay! Now on to the loot. There have been several items that have come my way over the last couple months that I meant to post about but didn’t have the time (gaming), so I’m going to post them all here in one go.
First off I bought some new items for my computer. My hard drives have been nearly full for a long time, so I bought a new 3TB hard drive to ease the pain. I also picked up a new keyboard and mouse.
This is the new Logitech G600 gaming mouse. I wasn’t sure if I would like this mouse at first. I picked it up on impulse. The mass of button on the side were intimidating at first, but I have to say that it really has grown on me. I’ve been a “clicker” for most of my computer gaming years until I was “forced” to use the keyboard for combat in Tera. Now this mouse has taken me to the next step with executing commands all from the buttons on the side of the mouse. I don’t know if I’ll be able to go back.
Since I take a lot of photos for this site I’m always struggling with my lighting. Usually I just deal with whatever light I have, but normal room lights tend to be yellow and I don’t always have sunlight. So I finally saved up and got a proper lighting kit. I couldn’t afford anything super crazy. I also didn’t want to deal with lights that gave off a lot of heat. After much searching I found the Flora light set by Linco. They use florescent light bulbs and have pretty ingenious softboxes.
The softboxes are a sort of umbrella deal. You just pull a string and they open up and snap into place. The diffusing cloth attaches with some Velcro and it’s all set. The softbox sits in the grooves in the light base which kinda looks like a flower, hence the set’s name. Setup is not too bad, another thing that was important to me. They do take up some room, though, but I can tell they are improving my photos a lot. They seem to be made pretty well. Some parts are plastic, but as long as I’m careful with them I’m sure they will last for some time. They also came with carrying cases. It’s a really nice set and I’m glad I got them.
I picked up a new Blu-Ray anime called “Samurai Girls.” I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s a silly haram story with some unique animation styles. I’m not really sure what I think of it yet. It has some cute and funny moments, but some of the over-the-top stuff isn’t really my thing. The “fan-service” is nice, though.
As I mentioned above, I’ve been playing Guild Wars 2. Since I had a feeling it was going to be a good game I pre-ordered the Collector’s Edition, which sold out soon after. I’m glad I took the plunge. The box for it is -massive- and contains a lot of nice goodies.
Inside is the massive Rytlock statue and a sizable tin case. Everything about this CE is big.
Inside the tin case is a collection of items. A portfolio with prints, a picture frame, an “Behind the Scenes” artbook, a soundtrack sampler and the game discs.
And last but not least is the Rytlock statue. He is one of the main characters in the story from the Destiny’s Edge guild. He is also a Charr, the race that was the main enemy from the previous game. He’s quite massive and hefty, fairly well painted and detailed and his Rurik “flaming” sword is pretty cool.
It’s a really nice and well-made collector’s edition. I’m glad I got it. Now where to put it…
I also got some doll loot. Some I didn’t plan on while others were nice surprises. First I got a couple little things from Volks. Some cute hands and another wig cap.
I’ve been on the lookout for a body for my limited 06 head for many months, but due to the Volks pre-order event from last year, bodies have been in a major short supply and nearly impossible to get. However, I managed to snag a slightly used one from a member on the Dollfie Dreams forum.
This one is a Dollfie Dream Dynamite body, which is different from the standard body due to its larger hips, thighs and other “assets.” This means that my third Dollfie Dream is nearly complete.
Of course, no Dollfie Dream is complete without some clothes and accessories. And, of course, if you are going to get clothes for one, why not get some for your other girls as well? Here are some items that I got from Cool Cats. I like Cool Cats because their prices are reasonable and they have nice clothes and stands made for Dollfie Dreams.
Here I got some swimwear, shirts, skirts, stands, shoes a wig and way too many socks. I seem to have a thing for socks. At least my girls will never have cold feet. As always, Cool Cats threw in some free extras too, which is always a nice surprise.
With all these items I realized I was running out of room to store them. I had most of my Dollfie Dream stuff in cardboard boxes. So I thought it was about time to get a new container for their stuff.
Only two years into this doll hobby and I already have a cart for their stuff. I never thought I would get to this point. The funny thing is, as you can see with the extra box and container on the top… I already filled it up.
But wait… there is still one box left.
A friend helped me greatly with these items in a way I could never fully repay.
As you can see there are some interesting items in the box. But there is this odd item…
What ever could it be? You will just have to wait for a future post to find out.
WHEW! Well, that concludes this desk diary. It was quite a long one, but it wasn’t six months apart from the last one at least. Still a lot happened in a short couple of months and I’m not done yet. There are still a couple item I’ll have to show soon. I also hope to start working on illustrations again for my webcomic.
by George Panella
It’s been six months since my last desk diary. Several things happened since then, mostly in the last couple months.
First, a couple general updates. The webcomic project I’ve been trying to get started hasn’t moved all that much in the last several months. While I had a fairly workable idea a while ago, as things go, I’ve changed my mind on a few things. I haven’t given up, though. I’m currently trying to come up with fresh ideas.
As you may have seen from recent posts, I had a couple anniversaries with my BJD girls. My first girl has been with me for two years now. My two Dollfie Dreams and floating head haven’t seen much attention lately, but in the last few weeks I got a couple of new items for them.
I haven’t been paying much attention to Volks events since money has been tight. However, there have been a couple recent events held by Volks called Kyoto 9 and Doll Party 27 that had a lot of great items. They both had great Dollfie Dreams up for lottery. I really like “Shining Blade” Sakuya. She’s from the same series as my first two. I would have loved to enter for her, but it’s beyond my means right now.
However, they had a plethora of great clothes on offer from the Kyoto 9 collection. Unfortunately, these items are very limited, and while I tried to grab some via the lottery with Kerbey Lane, I was only able to get one item through them. This left me with the only option to take part in the “click war” on the Volks site. This is a first come first serve—he who clicks faster wins—setup. I took a little extra time beforehand to plan a process to get me through the clicks and cart as fast as I could. When the day came I managed to get four out of the five items I wanted in the cart and purchased in less than fifteen seconds. I was pretty pleased. Unfortunately, many were not so lucky. Nearly everything was sold out in less than a minute. It’s an unfair system when you consider that lag and browser/computer speeds can really affect the outcome.
Here is Yuri in one of the outfits I was able to get.
I also received a couple random goodies over the last couple months.
First up is a Roku XS. I don’t really watch much TV, but I do like to watch Netflix and Crunchyroll. While my PS3 sufficed for Netflix for a while, I didn’t have access to Crunchyroll except on my computer and iPad. Enter the Roku XS! I love this little thing, and I do mean little. It fits in the palm of my hand. This little wonder has caused my PS3 to collect dust lately. I certainly recommend these little Roku boxes.
About a month ago I finally caught up with the rest of the world and got a smartphone. It’s an HTC Vivid running Android 4.0. I mainly picked this one because it was cheap, but I find myself using it more than my iPad. I still love my iPad and it’s great for certain things, but this phone has really helped me become more connected to the social networks.
While I generally like Apple products, I must say that Android is nice for its customization. I changed my launcher to something custom that I like, my lock screen has all the latest tweets, facebook and flickr feeds that I follow right there. I can flip through these posts without even going into the phone. It has a nice camera as well and being connected to all these social networks really makes it convenient to post a quick picture.
Next up is a little treat from a childhood favorite of mine. I was a big Transformer fan growing up. Recently I watched the new series, Transformers Prime, and really enjoyed it. When I found out there was a Wheeljack, I just had to get it! He was one of my favorite characters from the original series. I still have his G1 version from way back when.
It took a couple stores to find him, but eventually I saw one hanging on a shelf.
These new Transformers have really cool designs and are a lot more complex than the old toys. Though, they have a lot more plastic. The instructions are pretty crazy too.
The posability is rather impressive. The old toys almost never even had movable legs, let alone elbow joints. These new ones have ball-joints and hinges all over the place. Luckily, or not, we didn’t know better with the older toys.
I love seeing all these old cartoon and toys that I grew up with coming out again with updated stories and designs. While some more hardcore fans may scoff at them, if you actually watch the original shows today you may be surprised at how silly and nonsensical they were. These newer “updated” shows and toys have really grown up.
Hopefully it won’t be another six months before I post the next desk diary.
There are a couple small updates this time. Last week my dear set of computer speakers finally died on me. I’ve had them for well over a decade, but it was time to finally replace them.
I tried to hold on to my old Altec Lansing computer speakers for as long as I could. After several years of producing great sound and lasting through many computer upgrades, one of the bottom speakers in a satellite popped out. Eventually the bottom speaker of the second satellite also popped out. While they still worked they had some problems. Still, I continued to use them even after trying to replace them with another set of speakers that just sounded hollow and cheap.
However, last week the second speaker in the right satellite popped out. It was dead. This left me one half-working satellite speaker. It was finally time to replace them.
So I did what I always do… I searched online for a new set.
I decided on the highly regarded Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 set. As you can see in the first photo, the satellites are rather large. I had to move some things around on my desk just to fit them. But the important thing is the sound. While I’m no audiophile, I have to say the positive reviews are correct, for only $150 you really do get a high quality set of computer speakers that sound pretty amazing for their size.
They are 200 watts, which is insane for computer speakers. I haven’t moved the volume dial above the 1/3 mark. So it gets plenty loud for me. The bass is also very solid with no distortion and it’s nice that the subwoofer has its own volume control on the main satellite. They seem well built. The satellites are made of a thick plastic with metal feet and the subwoofer feels pretty solid with a large back-plate with real wire-based speaker connections. After making a couple adjustments on my soundcard, I’m fairly happy with them. I think they were a worthy upgrade.
Have you ever had something break on you that you didn’t want to replace with something newer? Were you happy with the replacement?
The other item I want to mention is that this week the launch date for Tera was announced. After a series of closed beta tests and an open beta, the game will launch in NA on May 1st. As I stated in my last post, I’m really looking forward to this one.
I also recently found out that not only am I getting the new limited DDH-06 head that I also mentioned in my last post (pictured below), but also the limited Natsuki wig (also pictured below). Again, thanks to my close friend. So my third Dollfie Dream may look very much like this picture.
It looks like the next handful of months are shaping up to be pretty interesting. I also have another list of things I plan to post over the next month or so. So keep checking back.
Can you believe it’s now 2012? This is a year marked with many expectations and there are several things I am looking forward to and have planned. There are a few incoming items from pre-orders I made last year. A couple MMOs are coming out that I’m looking forward to. And I hope to FINALLY get my new webcomic started! Oh, and the world is supposed to end or something…
While I wouldn’t say that all my goals were met last year, I did accomplish many things. Most notable was my move to drawing digitally with my Wacom Cintiq, a tool that has improved my illustration work. I bought my second resin BJD that I named Alexis. Then I had the uncanny luck of winning both of the Shining Hearts Dollfie Dreams, which lead to spending a lot of money on doll related items. A couple new figma were added to my slowly growing collection. Later in the year I had to, unexpectedly, replace my old computer monitor with a new 25″ LCD.
A couple friends sent gifts for the holidays, one of which you can see hanging on the wall in the above photo. It is the Danny Choo Mirai dakimakura (pillow case)! It was a nice surprise. So I have to thank my friend (again) for sending that to me.
I ended the year off by getting sucked into two new games, Skyrim and Star Wars: The Old Republic. This, of course, caused a large gap in updates to the blog and delayed starting on my webcomic.
Now we have a new year and a chance to try again with new and old goals!
To start the new year off I slowed down my gaming a little so that I could finally take some photos of my two Dollfie Dreams. Before taking photos of them, though, I had some remaining details that I wanted to add first—such as braiding a ribbon for Rika’s hair and making little charms for Yuri’s gun. Most importantly, though, I put together a setup that will hopefully allow me to take better photos. With several satin-like sheets, some PVC pipe, and many tripods, I’ve put together a little “photo studio”.
I have several items coming in the first half of this year. There are two figmas that I pre-ordered last year still on the way. One is Black Rock Shooter from the the PSP game (which is coming to the US). The other is Black Rock Shooter Blade, which comes with an artbook by the BRS creator, Huke. These should be coming within the first couple months of 2012, but I expect some delays.
I also JUST recently learned that one of my friends has secretly entered and won the lottery for a limited Dollfie Dream head for me! It is the finished makup version of the new DDH-06 head. I wasn’t planning to get another Dollfie Dream, but it seems I have an enabler helping me along. So I am now starting to think of items to buy for this new girl coming around April. I can’t thank my friend enough.
Careful time management will also be needed this year. Last year was a slow year for games, which is probably why I was able to dedicate my attention to more personal goals and achievements, but this year has many possible gaming distractions. I currently already have Star Wars: The Old Republic on my plate and several single-player games (Skyrim, Arkham City), but later this year there are a couple MMOs coming out that I’ve been looking forward to.
One small possible gem for me is Tera. While this is likely not everyone’s cup of tea, Tera appears to be the spiritual successor to Lineage 2, at least in style and open world environment, which is a game that sucked away many hours of my life. This is slated to come out “this spring”.
Then there is The Secret World. I’m still up in the air about this one. I’ve played Funcom’s other two MMOs with mixed feelings, so I’m still not sure what to think about this one, but it looks like it could have potential. This should come out around April.
And of course there is the possibility that Guild Wars 2 could be released this year, the only other game hyped up as much as SW:TOR. I did spend a lot of time in the first Guild Wars, and the things they are bringing with this new title do sound really interesting. And, of course, there is no subscription fee, which is a nice plus.
So as you can see there is already a LOT on my plate for this year. What are your goals for this year? Did you learn anything from last year? Will you do anything different this year? It’s important to constantly try to improve your situation or to reach your goals. Keep a todo list and make it a point to check it and modify it. The iPad has become a great assistant for keeping track of my goals and ideas, a notepad could be just as good. Do what you can to keep moving closer to those goals, even if they are small steps. Just don’t give up.
My primary personal goal is to get my new webcomic started this year. It has been too long since I’ve had a comic going and I feel that I need to get a new one started for myself. Keep checking back for updates on my progress.
This has been a busy month for me, and it is far from over. There are still several things coming up that will be keeping me busy. However, as far as my room and other goals go, I have started to make some changes and progress.
Since I got my Wacom tablet I don’t really draw on paper anymore, and thus, I also don’t really need my scanner anymore. On top of that, with the recent addition of my girls (dolls), I wanted to change my room around a bit to accommodate them. These two things worked out well for me.
First I packed up the scanner/printer. This freed up space on my desk for my girls. I then removed my little drawing table and added in my second matching bookcase. Yes, I actually have more furniture than can fit in my current little room.
Now I have a lot more shelf space, which quickly filled up with books, manga, games, and DVDs/Blu-Rays. A large chunk of shelf space is now being used for my two resin BJD girls. Overall I think it looks a bit nicer, though I hate all the brown. I still plan to “upgrade” all my furniture little by little, but for now this will do.
I’m still collecting items for the girls. I’ve been putting the new items in a little bucket as I’ve been getting them. With all the additional items the bucket is now too full to even close, as you can see.
And I STILL have another small order incoming. Lastly, to finish things off for them (for a while), I plan to order two stands next week that will be used on the now cleared off space on my desk.
I’m pretty happy about these changes. Next month, after all the busy things I have to do this month are over, I hope to really start moving forward with a webcomic. I want to get a webcomic started before the end of this year. I’ll keep you posted.
There are a couple recent items to mention. First, if you have a keen eye you may notice a different monitor on my desk above. A couple weeks ago my 24″ Samsung LCD monitor died on me.
The monitor just went black with no fanfare. At first I thought it may be my video card, but after testing with a spare monitor, I found that wasn’t the case. So for a while I was stuck with a small, old, LCD from years ago. It was also only 4:3, and after using a 16:10 (widescreen) monitor for so long, it was hard to go back to. After some online research, I picked up a new 24″ Samsung LED LCD monitor. Two days later it was returned. The LED backlight gave a blue tint to the screen and no amount of adjustments could get it to a point I was happy with. Maybe it was a lemon or just a low quality item, but I didn’t like it.
Working with pictures everyday, I need a monitor that I am comfortable with. So again, I went online to research a new monitor. This time it was for a regular LCD monitor and not LED. Reviews for an HP 25″ 16:9 LCD monitor came up and seemed like a decent choice. It also happened to be on sale at Best Buy. Even more luck would have it that the Best Buy near me was the only one to have it in stock in the area.
In fact, it was the last one in stock! Was it fate? After getting it home and setting it up, I was much more pleased with the screen’s colors compared to the LED monitor before it. So this will be a keeper. It’s the first HP and gloss screen monitor I have owned.
Last month it was announced that the Dollfie Dreams would arrive from Japan before the original time-frame of August. Volks USA later announced that they received them on July 1st. They still had to go through all the orders before they could be shipped, which took a couple weeks. Yesterday I finally received a shipping notice for my DD Neris! She will be here on Tuesday the 26th. The other one I won, Airy, will arrive about a week later, since she was won through a Volks retailer.
I also picked up some other items. A couple books and a few items from Volks for my incoming Dollfie Dreams. I also have another package coming from Amazon and yet another from Hong Kong. Expect posts for all that soon.
It’s been a long time since I posted a Desk Diary update. A lot has happened, but most importantly… I won the lottery!
Yes it’s true, I won the lottery, not once, but TWICE! Unfortunately, instead of winning money, I’ll be spending it. A lot of it. Of course, I’m not talking about a normal lottery here, it’s the Volks Dolpa Lottery. I’m one of the lucky people that has won both the Neris and Airy Dollfie Dreams from Shining Hearts.
I’ve known about Dollfie Dreams for a while. About as long as I’ve known about resin BJDs. However, the few Dollfie Dreams I looked at never really appealed to me. That’s why, instead, I bought my resin BJD girl(s). Though, as an anime/manga fan, I would sometimes still look at them. Now I wish that I looked into them more. It wasn’t until recently that I noticed some amazing Dollfie Dreams on the figure.fm site, which caused me to really give them a serious look. After hearing about the Neris and Airy lottery, I knew I had to give it a try.
For those that don’t know, Dollfie Dreams are similar to the resin BJD girls that I have in size, but they are made differently, and look like anime/manga characters. They are made of a soft vinyl with a plastic, posable, skeleton, while my current girl(s) are made of resin plastic and held together with elastic string. Dollfie Dreams are also generally sold differently. While there are a couple “standard” Dollfie Dream models out there, most people seek out the limited ones. These limited DDs are also usually licensed characters from anime, manga and games. These are produced in a low number and sold only through a lottery. You have to WIN the lottery to be able to BUY the one you entered for. If you don’t win the lottery, you’re left with trying to get it through an after-market auction. And let me tell you, they generally go for twice the original price, unless you get lucky.
I had to learn a lot about this lottery system. Many enter the lottery multiple times via different resellers to increase their chances of winning. Problem for me was, of course, money. Volks themselves hold the money in your bank for the item while you wait to find out the results. So my options were limited. Chatter in the community made it obvious that Neris was going to be the real popular one. I took a chance and entered for Neris twice and Airy once. That was all I could manage.
The lottery is staggered and those in Japan can attend the Dolpa (Doll Party) event and win the initial run of dolls before the rest of us, whom have to wait for the online lotteries. Word was spreading fast that Neris was going like hotcakes. Many that tried to get her didn’t win and within hours many showed up for sale on auction sites. At this point I figured my two entries for Neris were a lost cause. It seemed, however, that Airy was not popular at all and everyone that entered for her won with no problem.
My first lottery results was from my entry for both girls. The email was sent a little earlier than expected. It said that I had won Airy, but not Neris. While not really surprised, I was happy that I won Airy. She’s really cute, but my heart was set on the pair, since they match. My only remaining hope for Neris was my one Volks entry, but I wouldn’t find out for another week.
Well, just this morning I got the fated Volks email. Yet again, earlier than expected. Surprised, the email said I won Neris. In fact, I later found out that if you didn’t win you don’t even get an email. It has been sad to hear from other community members that didn’t win her. So I feel very fortunate.
Now, I don’t really know anything about Shining Hearts, which is the game these two girls are based off of. I plan to change them into something I like—something that I feel suits them. So, obviously, I will not use the clothes or wigs they come with.
The bad news (besides the small fortune this is going to cost me) is that I will not get mine until AUGUST! Yes, this is a cruel joke, but this is how it works. So the wait begins.
I’m going to be broke for a long time…
As for my second resin BJD girl, she is still on the way. I ordered her in March, but she hasn’t arrived yet. She should be here soon. It’s been a long wait.
Have you ever awoken one day and asked yourself “what the hell am I doing?” and then had the question linger in your mind for several days? Well, I did, but let me go back a little bit so you can see why I asked myself this question and what my hopes are now going forward.
During high school I was determined to become a comic book artist, then it was a cartoon animator, and then a 3D animator, but somewhere in the mid-90s I started to veer off in another direction. The internet was becoming a major part of everyday life, Netscape 2.0 came out that year, Windows 95 was everywhere, and we had Sailor Moon hit the airwaves. All these things seemed to have collided just at the right time to change my path. I became very aware of anime, manga and Japan, thanks to Sailor Moon, even though I grew up watching classic anime like Robotech and Voltron. The obsession began and I started to search for all things anime on the internet. Ever the creative sort, it didn’t take long for the idea to make my own anime fan website to be sparked. This was the trigger-event that defined much of life for the next decade.
I started with printing out a tutorial on HTML coding. I still remember sitting on my bed reading over this thick stack of paper on how to code a website. From there I made my own anime fansite called Anime Domain, drew my own anime-styled mascot, and even started on a little webcomic called Rei’s Angel. Soon after I graduated from high school and a year after that I started college at Full Sail University. Not completely ready to give up my dreams of being a 3D animator, I went to college to learn more about 3D animation and hopefully make a career out of it. Even during college I continued to draw and work on my websites.
After graduating college I ended up working in the web industry. Honestly, I got very little out of college since I took the general media course. Since my knowledge in web development at the time was more complete than my 3D animation skills, working in web development seemed the sensible thing to do till I could get to where I wanted to be. However, I ended up working in the web industry for several years. I continued to expand my skillset. One important skill was learning PHP programing, which opened a whole new world of possibilities for website development.
When the internet development industry “imploded” in on itself, I was one of many to be “let go.” Unable to pay the rent, I had to move back home. There I got a job at a very small web firm, which I hated. So on the side I tried to work on my own projects again. I needed something, anything, to get me out of the web development industry. Eventually, a webcomic subscription site called ModernTales caught my attention. Immediately I knew it was something I wanted to be involved with. After a couple weeks of planning I submitted a comic called TokyoHigh and was accepted.
TokyoHigh was my first “real” webcomic and I was so excited to be on a site where a lot of people could read my work. The idea of a webcomic subscription site inspired me so much that I set out to create my own. Three months and many lines of PHP code later WirePop.com was launched. For WirePop I started another webcomic called Xamra, which was an re-imagined version of an older webcomic I started working on years before. At this point I was updating two webcomics a week, maintaining WirePop, and still working at my regular day-job. It was a lot to deal with.
Eventually, TokyoHigh was finished, and a year or so later Xamra ended. Then, I just stopped. Around that time I was dealing with a lot of depression—my mother passed away, I found myself without a job… again, I lost my car… Life was pretty rough. MMORPGs became my escape and most of my free time was spent playing them. I almost stopped drawing and pretty much gave up on 3D animation.
This went on for years. I lost myself in my MMOs (as you can see from the bookcase above). That is until 2009 when I got my first HDTV. Playing console games in HD was a great new joy. When I later bought my first Blu-ray anime this seemed to spark my love again for creating characters and worlds. The fog has started to lift.
Since then I’ve kicked myself in the behind and started making plans to get back “out there,” to make a new blog, to start drawing again, to get up to date and involved with all these social sites, and most importantly to start a new webcomic.
This blog is the first step. I don’t know how long it will take, but I have a goal. Let’s see what happens.