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Haruki Murakami Quote from Vandermeer's Wonderbook

Art from my BOOK of THINGS, Quote from Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer



"It's not that I'm trying to introduce into the story surrealistic thingsand situations that I became aware of. I'm just trying to portray things that are real to my, myself, a little more realistically."
-Haruki Murakami (村上春樹)

Now THIS is a superhero team

What if the Avengers were a Super Sentai team?
Presenting The Averangers!



They're pretty okay...

DSC - Oldboy

Haven't been posting a while as I've been busy working on an artist fundraising FB page to benefit Typhoon Haiyan survivors of the Philippines. (The FB page and more information about how to help is here: http://facebook.com/artistsdo)
I woke up early this morning and felt like renting a flick on iTunes. OLDBOY showed up in my suggestions (for only 99 cents - SCORE!) and I figured that it was about time I bit the bullet and powered through the 'ouch' scenes. I'm a total wuss when it comes to tortuous scenes and I knew OLDBOY had a few it was famous for. As I started watching, I immediately felt the urge to put brush to paper (in this case, my little Moleskine or as I like to call it, THE LITTLEST GODDAMN SKETCHBOOK EVER) and did a drawing of Oh Dae-Su when he first meets Mido. 
Come to think of it, it's a miracle that I got by all these years without someone spoiling this movie for me. It really is a terrific and satisfying film. I should have expected as much as I…

Harley Quinn #0 [comic] review

[Note: Check This $#!% Out was originally a seperate blog but is now a feature of patokon blog]

Everybody loves Harley! Right? She’s quirky and funny and petite (depending on who is pushing the pen) and gothish-ish and very naughty. She’s able to make us sympathize with that madman, The Joker just as Robin made the Batman more accessible. She was born in the 80’s animated Batman show and animated-world Harley is always much more fun than the “canon” comics Harley.

So why did I buy Harley Quinn #0 written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiatti after I was so disappointed with the last timeshe had her own series?
4 names – Timm, Cooke, Hughes, and Kieth (that’s how you spell it!).
More than anything I wanted to see how BruceTimm would interpret Harley’s recent costume. A page of that right there would be worth the cover price to me, a die-hard Timm fan.
Darwyn Cooke is one of my all-time faves and has earned mega-respect from me for his Parkeradaptations. Adam Hughes is talented and funn…

Read More Comics! - Top Shelf Comics SALE

[Note: Check This $#!% Out was originally a seperate blog but is now a feature of patokon blog]

I don't know why I keep trying but I'm going to try to convince you guys to buy some digital comics again. WHY?
1) I love good comics
2) These are GREAT comics and they are ON SALE!! (some are SEVERAL hundred pages for a few 100 yen)
3) Also, if you use the Comics by Comixology app, they are quick and easy to buy through your iphone or ipad and you only have to buy them once to read on all your devices.

I'm serious, guys! No bull$#!%.


Here is the link to the sale: http://www.topshelfcomix.com/news/925

My advice:
1. Go to the site.
2. Click on any title that is on sale.
3. Click on the PREVIEW button and read a few pages to see if it is interesting to you.
4. REPEAT until you've explored every title.

My recommendations:
We Can Fix It http://www.topshelfcomix.com/catalog/we-can-fix-it/720
Far Arden http://www.topshelfcomix.com/catalog/far-arden/636
Splendor in the Snow http://www.topshelfco…

DSC 21 Dr. Bonobo

Science, dammit!

DSC 20 Masato Sakai (edited)

I've been battling colds and neck/back pain this weekend and thus limited output for the last few days. Also spent much of yesterday registering my webcomic (Hexenringe @ http://hexenringe.blogspot.com) with a bunch of websites to try to get some regular readers. So this morning I'm jumping back on the horse with this line experiment of Masato Sakai (堺雅人) of 'Mita-San' 'Hanzawa Naoki' and 'Legal High' fame. 
This was drawn with a grey brushpen while on the train. 
EDIT I decided to add this shaded version to show my improvements.  Better, huh? The ink flow was uneven in this pen so lines would be heavier than I wanted. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

DSC 19 - Cable & Baby Deadpool

I like it when heroes aren't too serious. Kyle Baker's turn on Plastic Man, Flaming Carrot, Megaton Man, normalman, The Tick are all favorites of mine. I think I like Deadpool for the same reasons. 

DSC 17, 18 - ceREAL

For some reason, our supermarket always had Count Chocula and Franken Berry, but never Boo Berry which was my favorite (because the character in the commercials was so damn smooth!). I started out planning to draw a sexy chick, but my wife was watching America's Next Top Model and looking at Chris' forehead made me want to do a monster which became a vampire with a serous widow's peak which then made me go COUNT CHOCULA! He needed a companion so I did a Franken Berry and that was that.  Buff and pissed Count Chocula. Add milk and run like hell. 
Franken Berry didn't get the good brain either. He's not a fan of fire, but you know what he hates more? Pop-Tarts. 

DSC 16 - Silver Surfer plus John Buscema

John Buscema is an amazing artist and really exemplifies "the Marvel look" for people of my generation. His Conan is THE Conan and his Silver Surfer is THE Surfer for me. Reading his interview in the John Buscema Sketchbook that came out a few years ago, I'm convinced that besides being a master of storytelling, he's also a really decent human being. He doesn't hesitate to gush over the artists he truly respects - Frazetta, Al Williamson, Jeffrey Jones, comics,art,Inktober,weapon x,sketch,heroine,dailysketchchallenge,drawing,X-23,marvel,wolverine, etc. I found it extremely interesting that he says he outgrew Burne Hogarth (famous Tarzan artist and creator of several books that many comics artists learn from) saying he was "too stiff" and "more involved with muscles than the movement of the figure" and that he prefers Hal Foster and Alex Raymond. Of Jack Kirby he says "he's number one then, today, and in the future". 
Here's to…

DSC 15 - X-23

My favorite Weapon X, Laura Kinney is my daily sketch today.  Immediately I want to start critiquing. I'm getting better at hair, which doesn't say a whole lot, and my proportions are so much better than before (the big head is on purpose, jeez!). The pose isn't dynamic enough - too stiff, the leather texture needs work and the head should actually be bigger to match the proportions I used yesterday (consistency dammit!). This might be a good candidate for re-drawing in the big notebook. 

DSC #14 Jessica Drew Spider Woman

Spider Woman was the first collected comic I ever got (back in 1980) and I've been fascinated by heroines ever since. 
There were other Spider Women, but she's always been the only one for me.

Daily Sketch 13 - Deadpool

I got a new Moleskine sketchbook in a human size after drooling over JR's (see http://jimssketchblog.blogspot.jp/) nifty LotR one. Mine is the ltd. ed. Mickey Mouse one, so there! Anyway, after talking to several artist friends, I've decided to use this bigger sketchbook to explore things I've drawn in my smaller one. This is my first big sketch. It's Deadpool because I recently started reading Deadpool MAX (almost wrote DP MAX, but that would be oh so wrong) and I really liked it. Kyle Baker is so awesome and he's the reason I bought it. 
This is the smaller piece I did yesterday that inspired the bigger one. 
I won't be doing the big drawings every day, but whenever I want to explore new stuff or try new techniques I'll use the bigger book to do so. The challenge for this particular piece was doing all the scarring. The texture overwhelmed the costume tatters as I was afraid it would, but I'm still not unhappy with the results.  I'd be happy to take …

Daily Sketch 12

Sun. night I was sampling too much beer when I drew this pretty #monstober #inktober monster. 
Then afterwards, I drew a li'l Deadpool which I'll share in my next post. 

My semi-secret talent

Okay, I'm about to post some crazy $#!% so hang on to your ballbags.

When living in Tokyo (and probably any other part of Japan), you get the opportunity to add a bunch of slashes to your skill set. Where in NYC, most of the people you meet are waiter/dancer, waiter/screenwriter, waiter/actor, most of the people I know are teacher/artist, teacher/voice actor, teacher/writer, or teacher/singer.
Though according to my various targeted CVs I am a translator/interpreter, an artist/animator/illustrator, a writer/proofreader/editor/copywriter, and/or a teacher/lecturer, I've also been called upon to do voice work, motion capture work, and good-ole fashion acting.

It started when I was asked to translate the script for a short animated segment and then was asked to do a test voice for one of the characters. The director, Yusaku Furuya liked my portrayal and I ended playing a bucktoothed trailer trash yokel (my kinda guy) who joins his friend on a roadtrip across Japan. In their trav…

#dailysketchchallenge 9, 10

Guys (including myself) are seriously ugly when we cry. Nothing keeps me more humble than remembering how butt-ugly my cry-face is. 
For contrast, I drew a Heian-kyo inspired lady of the court. 

Francophilia

[Note: Check This $#!% Out was originally a seperate blog but is now a feature of patokon blog]

Since my kindergarten class where we had a guest teacher with a monkey puppet that spoke only French, I've been interested in the French language. My interest never went as deep as my interest in Asian languages, but deep enough that I have several dozens of books in or about French. My first French movie exposure was the stylish thriller DIVA. The opening opera scene still gives me goosebumps just due to the amazing singing of Wilhelminia Wiggins Fernandez. It would be another few years before I got to see Luc Besson's La Femme Nikita. A few years after that I saw the fantastic comedic horror (or horrific comedy) Delicatessen, and the classic slapstick spy comedy, The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe. I really enjoyed these two genres of French film, the comedy and the action thriller and always looked forward to finding new works by these actors and directors. The City of Lost C…

#dailysketchchallenge 8 - Rockin' Heroman

This is one of the characters that was designed by Tomoko Hirabayashi for our webcomic Hexenringe. I just love her character design. Rockin' Heroman is a rock-a-billy Ultraman cross-hybrid hero and will be showing up in the strip eventually. I like him so much I'll be using him in some spin-off strips that I'll draw myself.  I've nowhere near the skill of Tomoko, so my sketch today is practice so that I don't do too crappy a job. 
Next I'll have to practice "kime" poses that live-action heroes are always doing.

#dailysketchchallenge 3,4,5,6,7

OFinally catching my breath since the int'l comics event and I realized that though I'd been sketching everyday, I hadn't been posting to this blog. 
Day 3 Kokeshi
Day 4

Practice for a commission from an old friend. 
Day 5 Hypnoid One-eyed aliens seem to be my fall back. 
Day 6 Don't you hate when...
Day 7 Today's sketch I realize I need to do more with my line without forcing it. Thus the "work in progress". 



Int'l Comics Festival Tokyo 2013

I'm home from Tokyo Big Sight and my feet are set on "hurt like hell", but I had an amazing time. I got to meet some greats, sold a good number of books, promoted the Hexenringe webcomic (http://hexenringe.blogspot.com, still promoting :c) ), made some contacts, and picked up some great books!
This was the chaos that was the "patokon" booth. 
Jim R. really helped out with the boothing and stuff. 
Tomoko Hirabayashi, the artist of Hexenringe, and I gave out sketches to people who purchased the Preview Book   Her sketches are the really tight ones.
I sold out of the American Comic Sound Effect Dictionary again (woohoo!) and the preview book did really well, but the Zombie Alphabet book didn't do great. It could have been the price and the fact that there's no Japanese (or maybe the art, but I don't wanna go there). 
After the event, there was an After-Party and I got to talk to two of my favorite Euro comic artists - Guarnido (Blacksad) and dePins (Péchés…