Thursday, August 31, 2006


I wasn't particularly happy with the last Victorian occult drawing and figured I should take a little break from that.

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Catching up with old friends

My friend, "H" from high school is in the city for grad school and this weekend was busy with me showing off the city that we know as New York City. Since she'd already done touristy things before, it was a little more difficult coming up with places to check out, but just walking around made up for it.

But first and foremost, dim sum at Jing Fong was in order. H and I thought it looked a lot like a Korean wedding hall...either that or those large banquet halls that they hold poker tournaments in in Hong Kong movies. I jokingly berated the half-Taiwanese H for not being much help in conversing with the cart ladies, but of course a) she understands Mandarin, not Cantonese, and b) she's more fluent in Korean and better at hearing Mandarin than speaking. I'll probably take her to Ping's next time too. Afterwards we had to get bubble tea from Ten Ren. We also commented on how weird it was that bubble tea didn't really catch on too well in Korea.

We played with some dogs and cats just wandering around. Highlights were an extremely friendly Estrella Mountain Dog "puppy" (she weighed 60 pounds and had 30 more pounds to go with HUGE mountain dog back paws) and 16-year-old, VERY gracefully aged black kitty who was a small bundle of almost cavity-inducing sweetness.

We also stood by the dog park in Washington Square Park on Friday and just watched dogs frolick.

Me: Do you think we'd get in trouble if we went in there to play with the dogs?
H: I don't know, I think you kind of need a dog to go in there.
Me: Yea...they might look at us funny. We'd be like that weirdo without kids who likes to hang around the playground a little too much.

We stopped by Jacques Torres and each sampled a passion fruit ganache filled dark chocolate and port wine ganache chocolate and were kind of disappointed there wasn't more bustling going on in the work area, but the chocolates were too tasty for us to care. I think I might try a tin of Jacques' hot chocolate this winter instead of the Marie Belle one I had last winter.

I told H one day we should walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, then we can go to the ice cream place in DUMBO. We're also planning a Flushing trip to have cheap, large-portioned, shaved ice. Sure we could've had the Korean stuff from Koryodang, but it's kind of expensive compared to how much you could get at the Flushing Mall Food Court.

I also managed to drag her to Astoria on Friday to finally watch "Snakes on a Plane" with some more friends of mine. And I must say, I was not disappointed whatsoever and Samuel L. Jackson was divine. We giggled though when the bad guy was introduced as Eddie Kim ("Heh, why's the bad guy gotta be a Kim?") and now we decided all Asian gangsters are "Eddie Kim." I wish the kickboxer guy got a bit more play. I might try to go watch it again.

On Saturday night, we sat in Union Square Park talking about people we knew and what they were doing (a lot of whom I've unfortunately lost contact with). A little kid who looked to be about five was skateboarding with someone who looked like his older brother. It was very cute. They went down the stairs together and we clapped, and the little kid gave us this shrug and a look like "Gee, it wasn't *that* great," which was not rude at all and even more adorable...and did I mention it was around 11 p.m.?

One interesting bit of news I heard about one of my old friends: He always liked to sing and rap and dance, but I guess he managed to get a job related to that in Korea and write raps for some Korean singers and was also in a Lee Hyo-ri m/v...interesting. I'll try to find that on Youtube and post it. It was great to hear that though, since he was always into spitting rhymes and bustin' moves. Hopefully, he'll be able to improve the quality of English used by some popstars in their raps.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

"Lesser Key of King Solomon"

Anyhow, work has not given me much leisure time to work on anything bigger and I really want to keep updating and not lose this theme especially when I have so many ideas for it.

I didn't include a caption with this one but definitely was thinking of one, so here's the caption, and below, character sketches.

"Simon Abbadon with sister, Sabia (these are purported to not be true names). Supposed sketch before they performed the ceremony. Narrator was informed that the fine dress was necessary to not offend one of the kings who was to be summoned, since 'royalty was royalty, and all possessed foolish pride no matter where they ruled.'"

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Har har, hipsters dress like homeless people, we get it

I mean seriously. Just read this article from the New York Post.

Now this isn't to say that if you're homeless you can't dress somewhat ok, and fine only the brother was described as being homeless, but come on.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Fun with ectoplasm

This is a less polished sketch than the previous Victorian occult one. I wanted to get down this scene though I knew a rush job would be terrible. The fact that I needed a caption for this one kind of annoys me.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

"4th Pentacle of Mercury"

A meeting of a couple of random things has made me interested in doing a series 3 that even a series? I don't think what I'm doing count as a triptych though. So series? We'll go with that.

Extra note: I saw a dress similar to the one in the drawing in an archival fashion thing somewhere and it's kinda stuck with me.

But Victorian occultism, it's not exactly original, but it can look pretty darned cool, so here we go with drawing number one:

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Stretching out an extra post

This is in response to the question about the other version of "My Heart" I put up on the 11th asking "Why is it torn apart?"

Good question. I wish I had a definitive answer.

I rarely draw with intent, more with just an image in mind and go from there. But let me first give the best answer I can give, which is from the technical standpoint:

I drew another version showing the heart in a somewhat "repaired" state, but this isn't a sequel or prequel to the previous one. It's just two different images I had of the same concept. This is why I didn't number the two different drawings on purpose. While they did end up looking like finished pieces, for the most part, they're more like studies in my eyes.

The truth of the matter is, in the first version I (and from others who looked at it) thought it was hard to make out that the object being held was a broken heart. I tried hard to make it clear, but couldn't do it without losing the finger detail that I liked. I also wanted to make it more clear that the heart was sewn together in some fashion. So I went with doing another version including the changes I wanted.

Now for those who want some sort of meaning, here's what I came up with in the past 7 minutes after going over what I drew one more time:

Guess it makes sense that even sewn together the heart isn't fully sewn together. On a visual level, I don't think I could've accomplished the stitches details to make it clear, therefore making this alternate version a moot point, but I guess if you had to put some weird psychological spin on it, a broken heart is never fully recovered. Now the act of sewing is significant because if you go back to the tradition of Greek mythology, we come to the figure of the Fates, or the Moirae, who used thread. One to spin it, one to measure and the third to cut. One could also cross reference to the Norns of Norse tradition who represent the past, present and future in the form of Urd, Verdandi and Skuld respectively. If we go to Asian, specifically Japanese, traditions, there's the idea that soulmates are connected by a red string of Fate.

So taking these influences to heart, one can conclude the significance of the sewn heart as having to do with a broken heart and memories, yet there is something unavoidable about it because as being part of fate, it is a natural human condition to feel this way. It also draws attention as to why even in its broken state, the heart is not fully together yet fully apart either. The memories, which are of the past, keeps the two pieces broken apart in its present state, while the thread of fate keeps them together for what comes in the future. And at the same time, this can be interchangeable, for the heart may be broken over what is to come and it is the past memories of disappointment that keeps things together. In this way, the mythological and folkloric symbolism works very well...

Ok, ok, that's enough of that. Honestly, you don't need any of the above. As I've said before there rarely is any logical way of thinking as to how I came about what I draw. Partly because my brain tends to work like a rickety old locomotive on an unreliable rail. It frequently jumps its tracks and goes off onto tangents with messy results. I'm very shallow about what I come up with and it's all very visual and I just like cramming things in that I think looks cool so any way to try and explain meanings behind it kind of fall flat because I was not thinking any of that while I was drawing. Now, if others want to apply some sort of meaning, that's fine with me. In fact, I encourage it. It's interesting to see what some things mean to some people, and if it's good enough to make you feel something or see something in it, well I'd be ridiculously flattered.

Friday, August 11, 2006

"My heart," another version

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Webcomic movies

So, I recently found out they're making the movie "Dasepo Sonyo" ("Multi-celled girl" if you must know what that means in English). Official movie site here.

I really don't know what to say to this. Ok, so Korea's been riding the whole teen sex comedy wave and whatnot, but for anyone who's read the webcomic (I would say this is a NSFW link, though the main page has been changed to include tie-in to the movie) that this movie is based on knows how far this comic goes. It's not outright pornographic, but a lot of the humor is...just plain wrong. And that doesn't make it bad either. The thing that surprised (and yes, frightened) me about this was how just damn pretty and cute the art style was compared to what was actually going on in the comic. It made me wonder about the mind of the person behind it. For example, I wouldn't say it's any dirtier than say, the humor beind "Ike! Ina-chuu Takyuubu", but at least Minoru Furuya's artwork fit the deviant storyline.

Not the case for Dasepo. In fact, even the coloring is done in a hazy Barbara Walters interview water color type of style that throws it off even more compared to the cast of really pretty people. The only characters I can think of who aren't good-looking is the Cyclopean "Oueneunbakgi" (literally "one-eyed", and I mean literally as in the character not only is named that but has one eye), who's mostly a misunderstood character that is ignored or shunned by the others. Interestingly enough (with the exception of the character "the girl burdened by poverty," who's one of the pretty people as well as One-eyed guy's cross dressing brother), One-eyed guy is one of the few genuinely nice characters without a serious character flaw when you consider the other cast of high school characters include the rich guys who are assholes and just talk about how rich they are all the time, the class president who's not bad except has some serious people skills issue or the class vice president who's the typical rich bitch (and might be a closet freak).

But this isn't the first Korean webcomic to be made into a movie. Kang Full's horror comic on Daum's was made into the movie "Apartment" (In Korean, it's actually "Apart," pronounced "AH-pah-teu," because that's how you say apartment). I have not seen this yet, but I wonder how different the movie is as too seeing how anybody who has read the webcomic would know the story and ending.

I wonder when something like this will happen in America. I kind of doubt it, mostly because the Internet culture is not necessarily considered part of mainstream culture. It's definitely now more than ever a mainstream medium, but for the most part I think middle America still looks at the Internet like Chris Hansen looks at it, full of people and things you wouldn't want to get to know personally.

I've always maintained that Korea has geek culture as mainstream culture. Things considered geeky here wouldn't really be considered geeky in Korea where there are as many Internet cafes as there are Starbucks, and while you do have the subset of people living of of ramen and cigarettes playing games for days at a time, for the most part Internet cafes also attract a wide group of people of different ages and genders. Internet fads are taken a bit more seriously rather than a "Ha look at what these Net weirdos are doing."

Thursday, August 10, 2006

"My heart"

Finished at 3:35 am.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Regina Spektor - Fidelity

This song has been stuck in my head for the past couple of days. Also I really like the look of this video with the set design, costume choices and use of color.

I could've ended up a mark

As I read some of the con games listed in this post on Metafilter, I started reading about the Jamaican Switch. But it began to dawn on me that this sounded eerily familiar to something that happened to me about 2 years ago.

As I was walking east on 86th, I got intercepted between 1st and 2nd Ave. by a very distressed looking man with a suitcase. He stopped me and holding out a note he asked me how he could get to this place with what sounded like an African accent. The note had the name and address of a church scribbled on it.

The man then told me that he had just gotten off a cab from the airport and was charged $300 for the ride. However, he was confused because it did seem like a lot but he wasn't sure. One thing he was sure of was that he was lost and needed to get to this church. He pulled out a large wad of cash and told me he'd pay me for my troubles to help get him there.

I said, "Whoa, whoa, don't flash that much money around." After making him put the money away I told him his best bet was probably to speak with a police officer who would not only be better able to help him out with the finding a church business but also with the cab driver who had most definitely ripped him off.

While this conversation was going on another man, middle-aged and in a shirt and dress pants like he'd just gotten of from work, walked past us, lingered and after listening in a little chimed in that he most definitely had been ripped off.

This second man looked at me and said, "We should probably help him get to where he's going."

At this the first guy excitedly agreed and said he'd pay for the cab ride and even a little extra for our help. Guy number 2 added. "He really needs some help."

Did I get suckered in by all this? No. But not because I believed I was being conned. I had a small suspicion that I could have been being conned and one of the worst case scenarios running through my head was also maybe I was being kidnapped and didn't know it, but those were more remote possibilities. In fact, I actually felt bad about leaving the guy out there on his own. But the truth of the matter was I honestly did not feel like I was in the capacity to help the guy.

For one thing, the address I saw made no sense to me and it wasn't even nearby. While I've been in New York on and off before, I'm only familiar with the areas I usually haunt, so part of me felt like I could not help this guy find this place. And since I wasn't familiar with this address myself, I definitely would not be an effective cabby con shield for this guy (who takes the cab anyway? Not me, that's for sure).

More importantly he HAD been ripped off. So it was probably more important for him to actually speak to someone in authority, like a police officer, who'd definitely be able to help him out. (Though he tried to say he didn't want to talk to cops because "Police, in my country, they are very bad men.")

Finally, I was just not comfortable around drama surrounding that much money. Not just the amount lost but the wad this guy had and the promise he had more. I don't trust large sums of money, I don't trust people with large sums of money, and I definitely don't trust people who are stupid with large sums of money. I didn't want payment from him for his troubles especially since if he was involved with some sort of church as his note states, I don't want to take someone's church money. For all I know, his village sold 12 fatted calves and I would not feel comfortable taking more money from a guy who had supposedly been ripped off. Also, only trouble follows around money like that. While I only had a small suspicion this all wasn't legit, I also was more suspicious of the circumstances that would bring a guy to another country with a large amount of cash strapped on to himself.

Anyhow, in the end I told him honestly his best bet was to just find a police officer and ask for help. And since there was another guy (most probably his partner) I felt that if I didn't want to help at least there was this sympathetic guy right here.

So in the end my low self-esteem, oddly conspiracy theorist-like aversion to large amounts of cash and fear from watching way too many gangster and international intrigue movies and the cynical belief that there is no such thing as inherent good in man saved me from possibly being conned.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Danger: Diabolik artwork

This weekly artjam suggestion was actually mine so I was kind of embarassed that it took so long for me to finish it. Had a busy week and whatnot. Anyhow I went with the movie version of Diabolik and combined two of the more memorable scenes into one.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Help me

It's so hot...

It's pass out hot. It's I want to hurt myself to forget this heat hot. It's I'm going to kill someone hot. It's screw that, I'm going to kill myself hot.


So why not use the AC you say? Well my dear friend, the AC is in my bedroom and if I want to watch some tv or use the Internet I need to come into the "living room" area and unfortunately the AC is more imperative in the bedroom so that I don't suffocate in my sleep.

I'm at my wit's end. What am I going to do about it? Get a haircut. Yes, a severe one. It will be short. It will be a bob. I haven't had my hair that short, EVER. I'm sure there's a reason I never did that, but in the haze of the heat it's starting to look pretty good to me. If you don't hear from me after Saturday it will be because I've gone into seclusion because of the hideous haircut.