My new camera is still very novel to me, so I took some shots of two figures I have in an attempt to learn how to take better photos. Even though I took photography classes in high school, it’s scary how much I’ve forgotten.
The first one up is a Supergirl statue made by Kotobukiya. I’ve always been a Supergirl fan and this statue shows her recent reboot costume designed by the late Michael Turner. I also recommend seeing her in the recent straight to video DC Universe animated movie Apocalypse. It’s based on the comic reboot story and watching Supergirl kick some butt is always fun.
The second one is a Dark Elf statue from the Lineage 2 MMORPG. I spent many hours in that MMO. They ran a comic contest some time back and I entered. My entry won and they sent me this statue along with some other prizes. Oddly, in the game Dark Elves are blue, not tan. It’s still a great statue.
This is the comic I drew that won the Lineage 2 comic contest.
by George Panella
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.