Tuesday, February 28, 2006

How to get your groove back

Go to the island of course! No, not Jamaica...Ireland!

That's right, I'm going to Ireland this fall. It's been a dream of mine since...forever. Well, if I had to actually chart the starting point, it would be when in middle school I ran out of books to read on Greek and Norse mythology and started branching out. Then around the same time came the Shadowrun sourcebook "Tir na Nog" (wow...that's actually embarassing to admit, but I only read it for the stories...not that I played or anything. Seriously.) and it's just been swimming in my head as a place I'd want to go to one day.

I felt like I was getting into the routine of going to work and coming home and being too tired to do much else. Now I have something to look forward to. It'd also help me get away from poisonous persons and situations that have been bringing me down. It will just be refreshing period. Even if it ends up being a bad trip, the point is it's something different.

After this, who knows...maybe Czechoslovakia? Russia? Maybe the Netherlands...only because I've always wanted to see the Hague...yea...I was a Model United Nations nerd, what can I say. Maybe I could go back to Cairo even.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Pacing is key

One thing that continues to hold me back from trying to do a comic of my own is the idea of visual pacing.

The development of preferred format of Korean webcomics though really intrigues me. Mostly because it's a meeting of old and new styles. The vertical 3-4 panels was one of the more common comic formats to grace newspapers. While special long-run types of comics eventually got their own page-like format, the short vertical is still a classic used today.

The traditional format actually works in the favor of the online reader with its natural compatibility with scrolling up and down. Less awkward than scrolling left to right, and so the artist doesn't feel like they can't create vast arcs. This creates an odd combination of uniformity while taking advantage of the Web medium through coloring and varied panel sizes means great creative license.

For example, the very first episode of Yang Yung-soon's "1001" (a fantasy based on Arabian Nights) manages to capture a nightmare all through one continous strip of the same size. Yet the reader doesn't feel bored after a long scroll through panel sizing and spacing.

(above excerpt from Yang Yung-soon's "1001")

Text also plays an important part. While you can create an obvious pause by spacing panels apart, how do you keep a pause from becoming a full stop? The staggering of text as the sultan breaths hard in the above example keeps is one example of how it's done.

One particular comic I've had an immense amount of awe in watching develop is Kang Do-ha's "The Great Catsby". A slightly tragic story about being young, having to grow up, expectations and ambitions, of course love, and in a way the sort of futility of it all in the face of how human relations and society really works, the artist impressed me with how much his artwork advanced. While this one has run its course, he currently is doing "Pinwheel Boy's Dream", which is a little Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's "The Little Prince" -esque.

In one of my favorite episodes absolutely nothing happens, yet he's able to convey a movie-like movement of time and space.

(above excerpt from Kang Do-ha's "The Great Catsby")

He also likes to use a lot of modern objects as metaphor. Road signs, bread, the slow demolition of the (anti)hero's old crumbling neighborhood with it's winding passages as construction goes on nearby for an obnoxious high-rise apartment town called of all things "Provencal." A lot of times it got a bit too much for me, but it did mean a great deal of interestingly drawn panels.

Monday, February 20, 2006

V for Vendetta

*Spoiler Alert* While this isn't really a new story and you can read a synopsis anywhere, still putting this up for those who have not read the comic. Of course I don't know what the movie is like at all just yet.

Questions and Concerns:

1. Well first and foremost, this is a really minor thing, but I remember reading a plotline for the movie somewhere and it said that V rescues a girl in hopes having her be his successor. Now I really wish I could remember where I saw this, but that kind of disappointed me. I mean, the ending where Evey has to figure out what V meant by telling her she needs to find out who V is but never know his face is kind of a big deal in my opinion, and if you don't have it obviously stated that V wants her to take his place, it's kind of a powerful moment when she finally figures out what he means. Then again, this is something you can guess while reading the comic. I'm sure people will have similar suspicions watching the movie, but still...It will probably be an unfounded concern since I can't even remember where I read this.

2. Will V show his face? The thing is, this doesn't concern me too much. I actually have faith in no-face-showing being possible because Edward Norton managed to play King Baldwin all through "Kingdom of Heaven" without ever showing his. So I don't think that's a problem.

What I don't like is that we know Hugo Weaving is playing V. Why? Simply because for me a large part of the excitement about "V for Vendetta" is wondering if we ever will get to see V's face and wondering who he was. I pretty much wondered about the same things Evey did at the end. For example, I wanted to know if he was white or not. But knowing it's Hugo Weaving under that Guy Fawkes mask is kinda disappointing...I mean you can just say "Well, don't think it's Hugo Weaving, think of it just as V...the voice is just the voice of V..." But....it's not the same. Couldn't they do what they did for Frankenstein? For V just put a "?" in the opening credits then reveal who it is in the ending credits? That would've been so boss.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Still getting used to this marker

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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Cooking on the fly

I like to cook. The other day I found out that I had these leftovers lying around:
1. Ground Pork (from when I'd made Mapo Tofu)
2. A miniscule handful of panko
3. Another tiny handful of grated Romano cheese sad in the freezer

Anyhow I needed to use the ground pork. So I decided I'd make meatballs in pasta sauce. Sorry, I didn't use exact measurements, but basically I put together the ground pork with some panko and cheese, put in some minced garlic, salt, pepper, and a little Italian seasoning and made small meatballs (small because I was going to use ready-made sauce). Now, I would not recommend doing this without some sort of binder. Be it milk, cream or egg, if you want meatballs with a nice soft texture and not to fall apart don't follow my maverick example. I'm sure it depends on the meat you use too. Like I would definitely think twice about doing this with ground beef. And I'm certainly sure the meat can be any kind of ground meat you would like. Beef, turkey....lamb? (but why?)

The question of the evening is, how the hell do you properly peel a cipollini onion? I certainly don't know. Anyhow, I managed to peel and dice two cipollinis I bought earlier today (at one dollar a pound I couldn't resist). In a pot I poured some olive oil in, heated it up, and added the cipollini, then the meatballs and sauteed them a little. I wanted to get the meatballs started because as I said I'm using a premade sauce and they were still a little frozen. Then I opened up a can of Del Monte Garlic and Herb pasta sauce. Now you may yell, "Blasphemy!" but honestly, they were on sale for 99 cents a while back, on top of that it's quick, and if you're using good enough ingredients you can make anything taste real good.

But back to the sauce. After pouring that in, I put a little water in the can. This was so I could a)get the leftover sauce clinging to the can and b)I wanted a little more moisture since I wanted to make sure I wanted these meatballs cooked through.

Anyhow, that's all I wanted to share.

Three cheers for a three-day weekend

A page from my life for no apparent reason:

Got myself a new haircut and since I was in the neighborhood, trolled around Kinokuniya bookstore. Ended up wandering into the Union Square Greenmarket. They had some nice apples, so got a couple of those. It was cold and they had hot cider, so got a cup of that. It was one of the awesomest things I'd tasted in the past couple months. Ended up buying some onions and potatoes also.

Saw Nightwatch last night and liked it a lot. I loved how they made the subtitles work with the movie. For one thing, it gave the subtitle a less passive role, which is a awesome. At the same time, compared with the heavy use of a steadycam and the fact that the editing jumped around a lot it made it a lot like watching a moving comic book.

I love MoMA. They have a Munch exhibit going on. I hope it's not a separate for pay exhibit because I'm going to see if that Free Friday thing works. Their film exhibit will also be showing "Who are you Polly Magoo?" and "The King and the Mockingbird." Will I be going to these things alone? Why of course.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I wish someone would call me a "gunmiss"

Read "Armed and Adorable," by Stephen Duncombe and Andrew Mattson (NYTimes link, so requires login and will probably not be valid in a week). I really need to find their book "The Bobbed Haired Bandit: A True Story of Crime and Celebrity in 1920s New York," it looks like an interesting read. I hope it's not just a rehash of the article but with more words.

But I love the fact they paid so much attention to how Celia Cooney looked back then. The article says reports made sure to mention besides the bobbed haircut, her sealskin coat the fact that she drove "a powerful automobile" and used a baby automatic.

I love how one reporter back then said she told a shopkeeper, "Another peep out of either of you and you'll stop gassin' for ever."

I love the fact that she's described as having a "dark male accomplice." She had a henchman for crying out loud.

And I love that she wrote notes to the police and on top of that obsessively read the True Detective magazines.

I'm too much of a nerd for stuff like this.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Nothing to see here

Well, I guess there's nothing else to do but go to sleep tonight.

Things that I think look cool

The posters I see for the Freelancers Union I see on the subway. I like their logo too.

The 168 street subway stop on the 1 line. It's got these overpasses with lamps...

The Christmas holiday display at Bergdorf Goodman was pretty interesting.

The graphics for the Bahamas tourism board's subway ads (though some people seem to have a problem with them...it still looks nice).

Monday, February 13, 2006

Update on marker drawing

A dash of color.

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Hello Patsy

Crazy, I'm crazy for feeling so lonely
I'm crazy, crazy for feeling so blue...
Worry, why do I let myself worry?
Wond'ring what in the world did I do?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A new drawing

Here's me trying out my new marker.

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Random tidbit to keep this going

A whole week since a new update. When I was at Kalustyan last weekend I managed to pick up some Patak's Lemon and Coriander cooking sauce as well as Geeta's Haram Masala (need to grab some paneer). I ended up finding preserves from Mackay's...I couldn't resist and picked up a jar of Three-berry Preserve...and not only was it good, it inspired a drawing, which unfortunately I can't execute properly.

I'm trying to finish up this other one to test drive my new marker. Hopefully I can get it done soon enough since I haven't put up any drawings in a while.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Weekend plans?

Possibly go to Kalustyan's.

However...it's the Film Forum's Karloff series that I'm really interested in going to. Tomorrow they're showing "Frankenstein" and..."The Mask of Fu Manchu"! Double feature! Sadly, I don't know anyone here who is interested in Karloff or Fu Manchu for that matter. There are so many others too see too...and the triple features! too bad it's during the week and I can't pay for movies all the time.