Before you freak out, this is not me giving up on the project and cancelling the whole thing. I'm just going to stop making these weekly updates about it.
The reasons are simple enough - unless I tag someone no one reads them, I never go them over, I have lost the delusion it'll one day become popular and I'll need record's keeping, and unlike WIP pictures WIP writing doesn't have a this-could-be-brilliant-if-it-was-finished vibe and all I do is ruin it for myself. The last bit I've known for a while, but I reasoned it away by thinking since no one reads these things it's just for me, to gather my thoughts and have something to go back to for later. I liked abstracting the weeks like this, so I'm going to keep making weekly updates, but they will no longer be focused on ZnZ, but rather all the aspects of my week. I'm not sure how that will turn out yet but I'll probably start taking up and talk about art I've seen, comics and books I've read, talk about writing, criticise movies, and probably whine a bit about my various pitiful problems. Don't want to do the last one though, I want this to be a sort of hub for me to start communicating my work and thoughts for proper work.
I have become more aware of my lack of rhetoric in writing these things, but I want this done before I go to school.
Still, lots have happened in the fandom while I've been gone, and I might as well start addressing these things.
has updated Inter Schminter, which is progressing beautifully. It's occurred to me I used to read all the time and used to have a decent eye for how a story is constructed, but I've found I've lost most of that since I stopped reading, and all I do is bleat about how much I like it and not why. Frankly it's not even a question I could answer if I asked it, and this I need to fix.
Let's see now. The story as a whole keeps moving briskly, with clear separations between segments, like an action movie. There isn't much action in it, but I think that's irrelevant, because what it does is focus on the important things of the story. It's a simplified approach to writing a intriguing story. I like that because it feels like an everyday with the narrative of an action movie. I wouldn't call the story complex, because the character interaction is pretty straight-forward and like I said, the plot moves along like an oiled piece of metal, but it's not dumbed down or stupid. The characters are very much alive and not just puppets to move the story along. They have insecurities and passions, and consistent behaviour that doesn't seem to change just to fix the story up. I like it because it's a easily absorbed but more intelligent than a Spielberg film.
About this latest update, the plot thickens as Max Midnight's past has more light shed upon it, and his character is further revealed to us as charming, confident, uppity and not just a brooding observer and moral compass, as I originally thought. I could describe him a bit as that kid in class who ticked off the teacher for the hell of it, only grown up. Nick retains his usual secure con-man demeanour in the open, but again becomes dark and purposeful when dealing with Judy's attack, and I believe in that. I was a bit confused with the dialogue towards the end, because I kept getting unsure who said what, and when the two other officers arrived I just got more confused. It will of course all be made clear as the thing progresses, but from a writer's perspective that's not brilliant. Still, I may be the only one who felt that way and I'm not about to skim over the comments and interview people to find out.
has finally joined the ranks of Zootropolis porn comics. I'm still surprised it took him this long, but he commented he usually avoid such obvious parodies, which is fair enough. The man prides himself on trying to be both original and interesting, and that has taken him far in my books. I haven't read it yet myself because generally I don't like Zootropolis porn - it's a bit like seeing a friend's leaked videotape - but the premise is fairly straightforward. Totally Not Judy interrogates Totally Not Nick for possessing Totally Not Nighthowlers which turn animals mating instincts up to eleven, and to find out if they really are Totally Not Nighthowlers Totally not Judy throws some into Totally Not Nick's mouth, and then it cuts out. Go pay the man his £ and read to find out the rest.
Zootopia Sundrance has taken a wrong turn as far as I'm concerned. In one update it went from fascinating, gritty mafia thriller to cliche Japanese samurai story. Dialogue between opponents in broad daylight in front of a crowd, reference to Japanese culture, and Nick has slid like a glove into place as the stereotype honourable rōnin in opposition to the corrupt regime. That is not how I wanted it to go. Personal feelings aside the art and story is still very good and I look forward to see where it goes.
There's this cute little thing that's been bounding around my feeds fora while now, simply called 'Tired', which has finally reached its end. The story is not very good, the art is more emotive than accurate, but it is cute. It's built essentially like an excerpt from the movie that never was - the shock collar version of Zootropolis - and shows a sensitive moment between Judy and Nick. And that's it. Nothing more to it than that. Nick complains about the shock collar he wears, Judy kisses him and sends his heart racing, until it goes off and Judy takes it off, and for no obvious reason both kiss and then fall asleep. Because they're tired. I guess I bring it up because in a sense I can relate to the creator in being in a rush to show how talented and able I am to create, and therefor not thinking things through before I publish. Does the story make sense? Is the art good? Have I come close to what I wanted to make? Could I make it better? That's the way it feels, like potential that wasn't refined. I am weak for that sort of thing, I know, but I am also aware of it and am working to fix it.
The last thing I'd like to mention is the latest update of 'This Is What True Love Looks Like'. I feel like a bomb might be about to blow in that little hospital room, after Nick pretty much said "I know how you feel". At that moment. Brilliant job you dumb shit. Mind you, I am curious to see if he manages to convince not just Judy but also me with whatever he says next, or if the author's hand will overwrite the characters and make Judy not angry next, or if she will explode. I get a bit of tunnel vision with this thing because there's so much time between updates I had to re-read it in order to properly judge it. I'd forgotten how much like a manga it was, but it's trying to be a bit more than that, and that I approve of. Doesn't quite succeed though. Still, the dialogue makes fairly much sense while remaining emotionally loaded, so it succeeds in what it's meant to be - feels porn. I remain squealing over it on the inside, but it has been a good while and I've gotten used to it. It's the sort of thing you read once and then remember sweetly I think.
Right, so that's it for the world of Zootropolis.
As for me, as you may remember I visited London for a few days, which is why this took so long to make. No real point to mentioning it, just saying I did that. It's a brilliant city with so much contrast and flavor. You can be on a high-end street one minute and then in a ghetto the next, and never mind what that implies about the political state I think that's amazing. All the museums I visited had free entry, except for certain exhibitions. The way old is plastered with new reminds me of Gotham City. The public transport is dirt cheap, and shakes so much it feels like a roller coaster.
- Insert Jimmy Carr joke.
"Scientists have found a cure for the fear of flying. Twenty four hours on a couch."
- Joke completed.
I didn't get as much drawing done as I would have liked because I had to keep moving but I'll post a few acceptable sketches later. There's a drawing I'm pretty pleased with though.
The main reason I journeyed there, or at least the excuse I needed to visit the place, was to see the foundational new horror film The Void. People get trapped in a hospital by a mysterious cult as bodies begin mutating and the laws of life and death become skewed. It reminds a lot of old school horror movies like Event Horizon but with body horror. I liked how there was no real buildup and instead immediately dumped you into the mess, and the practical effects were amazing, but there were a number of problems with the plot I think. No obvious holes, but it felt pretty shattered. The thing is it felt shattered realistically, if that makes sense. There was three or four different individual stories going on at the same time, between the 8 different characters, and whenever a perspective was switched it felt like they made jumps in their stories. The best way I can describe it is it was as if the stories were progressing at the same time and for every time the viewer's perspective switched we missed huge parts of it. I also found the acceptance of what was happening, even if it was gradual, to be much too quick, and in the end it became a classic case of a hero confronting the evil, and the originally deluded evil suddenly became aware it was evil and accepted it. Like a comic book monster from the Golden Age. That I did not like at all. Finally, they did a good job of balancing what to show and not, but what they showed briefly didn't really work I think. To show something horrific briefly is meant to engage your fantasy and make it ten times as horrifying as showing the actual thing clearly would, but in this film it just didn't work. Poor stuff aside, the acting was really good, I liked the external, Lovecraftian threat, the design was amazing, and I could buy into all the dolls and costumes and so on. From an artist's perspective it's a brilliant film, from an author's it's watchable, and for a gore hound it's a holy grail.
Back to my work, I'm currently on a deadline for two lyric videos I've been commissioned by a certain amazing artist. He's also an amazing pain in the ass, from a professional perspective, but that's my problem. Unless he decides he needs to not force his art out but let it settle and then blow up a genocide inside him, the album should be out some time next month and my videos should be view-able on YouTube by the end of this month. If he manages to get enough free time to check his damned inbox.
That's what takes 50% of my focus at the moment but I'm also planning on returning to La Bohème. That's right, I really am going to continue the old manga I started writing what feels like two years ago, inspired by my own journey into the world of art. It'll continue as a traditional medium with india ink on paper, because it would feel unfaithful to suddenly start making it digitally. There is something about making a manga concerning art made on physical paper which appeals to me greatly, and I do not want to loose that.
I am planning a second, digital manga as well, which was born out of many conversations I have had with my friend as well as my various philosophical standpoints, and my love of surreal slice of life animé, by which I mean ordinary school kid life with a weird twist. In Chobits there were persocoms, in Love Hina there was a new oddness every week, in The World God Only Knows there was errant souls living in people's insecurities and failings, and in my own... I will talk about once I actually have something to show of it. Like a first page.
I'm also planning a anthology of furry fetish comics I call Anthropomorphilia. I've been working on that to and fro for a number of weeks now and am currently painting the pages of the first issue in Photoshop. No real red thread keeping them together, I plan it as my own personal Genus, but aiming for a bit more depth and intelligence. Don't know why, it's porn, but it's what I like.
All in all this seems like much to do all at once, and I agree. The next coming few months are going to be Hell, but it needs to be done. I can't keep acting like I am completely talentless, I need to start showing it as well. That I'm not I mean. Jokes aside, I've been gliding by for a while now, just learning stuff and not using it and in that I am letting it rot. I don't want to exercise anymore, or rather I can't. I need to start using it as well and start making something off all of it. One day I could possibly have a career but I need to start doing something to reach it. I've realised I'm very uncertain about what to apply myself to, what I should work on. Should I do concepts? Write and illustrate? Graphic novels? Music videos? All of these things have one thing or another which appeals to me and I worry if I choose one I'll choose the wrong one. I want to work with all of them, I want to be a polymath, if nothing else to help me find what I really want to do.
So that's what I want.
Now to the doing. Hope you stay along for the ride.