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Motaku 2012

August 20th, 2012 (09:08 pm)

Motaku 2012 has come and gone, and I have to say it was a lot more fun this year than last. Granted, last year I only went on Saturday and stuck to mostly fan panels, but I did see improvement in a lot of the programming. While I did go to more panels featuring the guests this year, over three days I probably still went to just as many fan-run panels as last year.

The guests were pretty awesome. I got a chance to have a conversation with Sophie McNutt, who works at FUNimation, about our favorite anime and what happened to Operation Anime (FUNimation’s program for anime clubs). She is just as passionate about anime as any fan I’ve met, and it was great to talk to her. I just wish I didn’t step on her words so much, but it was a quick back-and-forth conversation between panels and we were both kinda doing it. I don’t think she was bothered by it, though.

The other guests (Kyle Hebert, Chris Cason, Tia Ballard, Greg Wicker, and Samurai Dan) were charismatic and awesome to see. They all ran several panels and I realized how much I missed out on last year by not seeing them. I managed to get them all (including Sophie) to sign their pictures in the program book, which I may keep or I may use as a prize for the anime club. I have not decided which yet. Funny enough, it turns out someone who filled in to voice Mr. Popo on the YouTube hit “Dragonball Z Abridged” was in attendance. When I told one of my anime club people this, he spent several hours trying to track him down to get his autograph. Even Internet fame is still fame, folks!

Speaking of club members, I saw at least four there, which was awesome. I didn’t hang out with them much, but that’s okay. One of the neat things about anime conventions that I’ve noticed, particularly Motaku (probably due to its size), is this sense of camaraderie among fans. You can strike up a conversation with almost anyone without it being awkward, because you’re all there to bask in this fandom completely. Heck, you even have people wearing ‘free hugs’ signs and giving them out… which, y’know, is such a staple for anime and comic conventions now, but I always thought was weird. I don’t know how that started. It’s like a really toned down version of the hippie ‘free love’ movement. Or something. Shut up.

Aaaaanyway, it was a nice positive upbeat atmosphere for most everyone, except that couple that broke up in front of me. And she was his ride. And then she sicked security on him. Ouch. Dunno what happened there, but it was ugly.

I mentioned before that I went to some fan panels, which were improved over last year but, overall, could still use some tweaking to make them better. The ‘Cosplay Combat’ panel was interesting, involving two audience members being instructed to ‘attack’ the other based on a roll of the dice. It was funny seeing the unique and silly attacks they would come up with. There was dead time between ‘attacks’, though, and I think it would have been greatly improved if they picked someone to do a beatbox-style background music and sound effects. It would have gotten more of the audience involved and it would have avoided the silence in the room that threatened to kill the fun of the program.

Dragonball Z: A DBZ Evolution Roast was fun. It was basically Kyle Hebert (“Dragonball Z”’s narrator) doing a Mystery Science Theater thing with that horrible ‘Dragonball Evolution” movie. I stayed through an hour of it, but spent the last hour at “The Horrors of Fan Fiction” panel.

Which should have been renamed “The Horrors of PORN Fan Fiction” because, wow, it… it was descriptive. I also got to hear some exerts from “50 Shades of Grey”, which I new little about other than it started off as a “Twilight” fanfiction, had the names changed, and became a huge best seller. The fanfiction was pretty bad, and it was funny watching the hosts cracking up, but it could have used a lot more structure to it. It’s fine to have a loose atmosphere, but I think with panels they do need to be planned out somewhat and have a direction.

Saturday was a loooong day. Christian met up with me later in the day, which instantly made the day fun as we ripped on anything and everything (not about the con… the con was awesome). The Guest Q&A was interesting, and it was here I ran into two of my anime club people, including the one that’s super into ‘DBZ Abridged’. He asked Chris Cason, who does the voice of Mr. Popo in the actual official dub, to say a line from ‘Abridged’. The whole thing sparked off a dialog about the ‘Abridged’ series, so I’m sure he was on freakin’ cloud nine over that.

Anime Behind the Scenes with Chris Cason was fun, and he told some stories about weird things that happened with voice actors in the booths. It was also here I learned that the ‘Abridged’ voice of Mr. Popo (the fill-in, when the original couldn’t make it) was in the building.

My calendar had something called “DRRR! Fandom at its Greatest!”, which I was so prepared to see because I thought it was going to riff on bad fans… but it turns out it was actually “Durarara! Fandom at its Greatest!” (“Durarara” is an anime series), and they had shortened it to “DRRR” for space constraints. I have never been more disappointed before in my life.

So we went to lunch instead. When we came back, we watched all of the guests perform “Anime Radio”, which was actually more “Comic Book Radio”. They basically took really old “Batman” comics, assigned roles to different people, and read them as the characters. Considering how absolutely terrible a lot of those old comics were, it was pretty amusing. In 2015 the Summer Reading theme for the libraries is supposed to be ‘Heroes’, so I’m thinking maybe we can adapt this as a teen program. I think it would be fun!

After, I went to an autograph session while Chrisian went to the “American Made Anime”, which he left because apparently it was not so great. “Animation of the 90s” was the same, as we both left pretty quickly. The person running it was incredibly soft spoken (hard to hear), did seem to exude any confidence, and the whole thing was quickly becoming a “everything sucks except what I like” speech. After we left, we talked about it outside the room and suddenly saw a ton of people leaving. I don’t know if the guy had a nervous breakdown and was tearing the room apart or what, but they were talking pretty excitedly and seemed in a hurry to leave the panel. We couldn’t make out what the problem was at all, though, and one of the con staff quickly checked in to see but couldn’t find any issues. Christian and I were almost tempted to go in just to see what the whole deal was, but were afraid if nothing was happening we would be stuck. We instead hit the dealer room (but more on that later).

We checked out the “Demotivate Me” panel, which featured various anime and non-anime demotivational posters. There were funny ones and not-so-funny ones, but it was worth seeing.

Finally, we saw at least an hour of “AMV Hell”. If you don’t know what an AMV is, it’s when someone takes clips from anime, takes a song, and makes a music video out of it. Plenty are serious, but others are not (for example, I saw an AMV where someone took clips from anime of women that looked like men and put it to Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like a Lady”. Priceless). So anyway, this panel was basically showing all of these weird WEIRD short AMV clips mashed together like a clip show. It was awesome. If it weren’t for the fact we were getting pretty tired, it would have been worth staying for the second hour.

I overslept on Sunday and missed “Women in Anime” (featuring the female guests talking about their experiences working in anime) and “Fanfic Dramatic Reading”, which looked interesting. I saw Christian for about thirty seconds before he had to go, and throughout the day ran into two more anime club people. I watched some of the “Anime Faceoff” game show panel, which was fun and made me wish I caught more of the game shows this weekend. Greg does a great game show voice (and, as we learned during “Anime Radio”, an amazing dead on Adam West).

I saw “History of Samurai Weapons” with Samurai Dan a bit later. If I learned anything this weekend, it’s that Samurai Dan is a character and very energetic. Both him and his wife put on some great panels. This one was, of course, going over the history of samurai weapons, and he showed us a few and explained their purposes. The neatest part was when he broke out the 700 year old samurai sword, and another that was nearly as old (he had been once offered $30k for the samurai sword, which he turned down, and the other one was only one of thirteen ever made). He told us the story behind how they came into possession of these two swords. He also made it clear he valued them over our lives, so no touchy.

I checked out a little bit of “Final Fantasy 13 / 13-2”, but without knowing much on the games it was going over my head. Nothing wrong with the panel for fans in the know, but it wasn’t for me. So I walked around a bit, saw the couple break-up, then watched some of “Motaku’s Most Talented”, which was basically a talent show. I didn’t see enough to comment on it one way or the other, but everyone seemed to enjoy it.

I went to the “Word to your Mother” panel, which was about the video game series “Mother” (or better known here as “Earthbound”). I enjoyed it and participated in the discussion, and even taught some of the other attendees something new.

Finally it was time for the closing ceremonies, which was basically just a big thanks to everyone. They revealed next year’s artwork for the con and the guy from “DBZ Abridged” said he plans on a “Bleach Abridged” series with hopes of debuting it at next year’s Motaku! Abridged series are usually pretty funny, so I look forward to seeing that.

For the most part, it was a very enjoyable con and I felt I got my money’s worth compared to last year. If you left a panel you didn’t get berated this year like they did last, so that was a plus, and there seemed to be fewer terrible panels (although to be fair, I may have just got lucky and picked the right ones. There are always three panels going at any given time).

The biggest complaint would have to be the dealer room, which is super small. This was an issue last year, too, but this year it was even worse because there were fewer actual anime booths. At least half the booths, if not more, were non-anime, such as weapons tables, leather goods (which I suppose fits into the “steampunk” category, but still…), movie posters, and video game vendors. There was also an artist smack dab in the middle of the room instead of out in the hall in Artist Alley, which screamed to me that they were trying to fill in holes. I honestly think I could have taken my stuff from my Bonanza booth and blown away half those booths in anime merchandise. I did manage to buy at least one thing, but it was still horribly disappointing. I know it’s a small convention, but if it’s big enough to host for three days, there really should be more dealers.

Still, a fun con and I got a lot of pictures that I’ll post soon. It makes me look forward to Japanfest in October and in particular Naka-Kon in February.

blueskycomic [userpic]


August 20th, 2012 (09:07 pm)

And my plans for reviving the comic aren't dead. In fact, I'm on vacation right now, and I'm working through all the stuff that needs to get done around here. I plan to be as productive as possible over the next seven days.

First, I'm working on an information website for an anime series. It isn't priority, no, and is not as important as some other things, but dang it it's something I've wanted to do for at least four years. It's also fairly quick to do compared to other things on my list, so I'm working on that now.

Second, I have two Bonanza booths: the anime one and the vintage one. I've got the anime one pretty much updated but the vintage one is looking pretty empty. I'm going to work on getting it filled up, then put a few things that have sat around forever up on the anime one. I need to get this stuff done by Christmas.

Third, glass etching. I've been doing it for fun and to eventually put stuff up on Etsy. This is a priority in that it gets these glass items finally packed away, but also because I need to learn Etsy so I can teach a program at the library in two months. Time is growing short, but I NEED to get these pieces done and haven't had time before now.

Fourth, cleaning out my car. I like to keep it tidy, but it's fallen into disarray lately. With the weather finally getting a bit cooler and with time on my side, I need to spend some time doing that.

Fifth, general cleaning. Stuff that has piled up that needs to be taken care of. But a lot of that will be taken care of simply by working on #2 & #3, since that stuff is taking up a lot of space and simply needs to be put away.

Sixth, the webcomic. Gotta get back to it. I don't know if there will be time during this week with all that other stuff, but if I get that other stuff done I'll at least be able to solely focus on just it after vacation. Hopefully there will be time this week, though.

Seventh, rework nexusanime.com to make it useful again. I have plans for it, but I need to get caught up on the other stuff first.

So that's my list for this week. I don't use LiveJournal much right now, and chances are I'll be switching to something else a little less spammy in the future, but I'll try to post at least a little bit. I'm going to post my experience at Motaku right now, in fact.

blueskycomic [userpic]

Status Updates at Twitter

May 20th, 2012 (05:07 am)

I'm tryin' hard. You can follow my progress over at Twitter:


We'll see if we can get this thing back on track while addressing some other areas that need work...

blueskycomic [userpic]

BLUE SKY: Gearing for a Return

February 20th, 2012 (06:09 pm)

In case you haven't noticed, I've been going through the past several pages and getting them finished. I have three more to go, which will hopefully be done this week. This means after that I should be able to start working on actual new stuff again.

Sorry for being practically non-existent for the past four months. I may have finally found a balance between real life stuff and my hobbies, such as the webcomic, although I still feel like it's walking a tightrope.

The time off has rejuvenated me, though, and I'm eager to get back to it and give you conclusion to the story! Before I return, however, I need to be sure to build up a proper buffer again, so give me some time... otherwise we will end up right back in this situation.

To anyone still checking, thanks for your patience!


blueskycomic [userpic]

WEBCOMIC: Blue Sky #667

October 31st, 2011 (01:52 am)

Click Here For Comic #667: "Deception"

Man, I miss drawing. I really, really miss drawing.

unfortunately, I just don't have the time right now. My focus has to be on helping my family right now, getting myself finacially right, and making sure I don't let all the real life stuff affect my job. It ain't easy, and unfortunately it's cut into things like the comic. I really tried to avoid that, but it was a losing battle.

Still can't promise when things will return to normal, but I'm trying. I'm really looking forward to the latter half of November and December when I get some time off and things lighten up a bit, but until then... thngs are what they are.

I'm trying, though!

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blueskycomic [userpic]

WEBCOMIC: Blue Sky #665 & 666

October 12th, 2011 (04:18 am)

Click Here For Comic #665: "Until Tomorrow"

Click Here For Comic #666: "Rieko's Dilemma"

Well, I've made it through the horribly busy two weeks I mentioned before. It... was not fun. In fact, I took a couple of vacation days just so I could have some kind of time to catch up on things.

And no, I can't promise this will see an improved effort on the comic. My focus is still on the couponing thing, which is actually a huge help to my and my family's grocery budgets. In fact, I'm getting so good at it that the last couple of times (plus a list I made for my sister) has been seeing me average $60 worth of stuff for literally pennies (one trip saw about $60 of stuff for only fifteen cents). I'm trying to find ways to streamline the process and make it quicker to deal with, so I can free up more time (and space on my desk) to do comic stuff. I think I have found a better way, but I'm still working on it.

Anyway, thanks for putting up with the real life stuff and still checking in. I have not given up on getting things back on track, and I hope to have time to focus on it soon. All of October from hear on out will be insanely busy at work, but I should still have most of my weekends. If I can get to November unscathed, I will see a ton of holiday time that will help out.

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blueskycomic [userpic]

WEBCOMIC: Blue Sky #664

September 12th, 2011 (02:47 am)

Click Here For Comic #664: "Actually, That IS Pretty Evil"

I promised an explanation of why I missed last week, so here it is.

I've vaguely explained a few times before about real life interferring with the comic. I've tried my best to try and get things back on track, but I've yet to actually find a way to keep a stable schedule. This does not make me happy, but I've kept trying to find a way. I'm come to realize that in the battle against real life vs. tiem spent on the comic, real life has won.

It's been a turbulent few years. About five years back, I had an awesome paying job that let me do all the things I wanted to do, including preparing to buy a house. Unfortunately on December 26th of that year, I found out the business lost it's major supplier. That first year saw work steady decrease, and despite my boss' best efforts to keep providing me a weekly check, that had to come to an end at some point. After that first year, I spent the next one looking for work. This was the year that caused me to run up my then paid off credit card to a very uncomfortable level.

It was the following year that I, about a week away from missing bills because I was out of money and credit, got a part time job with the library. It wasn't enough to make a dent in the debt, but it at least helped pay the bills and prevent me from accumilating any more. Two years after that I was hired on full time, which I've been doing for a year now this month. Despite some other extremely difficult obstacles that have popped up due to other people in my life, I've been slowly but surely getting that debt from four years ago knocked down. Unfortunately, it wasn't knocked down enough.

And now things have changed. High gas prices were making it difficult enough, but I could manage. But when I started paying $60+ a trip at the grocery store when it didn't used to reach even close to that before, I saw my attempts to bring down my debt stop cold. This has had a big factor in other parts of my life.

For instance, my living situation. When money got as tight as it did, I moved in with family. I thought it would be for few months, but we're going on three years now. I'm not happy about this, either. But now that I have an awesome stable job that pays decently again, my plan has been to take advantage of the cheap housing market and finally become a homeowner. Honestly, it would be cheaper to go that route rather than renting.

But with the double whammy of high costs of gas and groceries, that's kept my credit card high and put me out of the running for any kind of loan. So it's time to get serious. As silly as this sounds, I decided to try something I never thought I would do before: extreme couponing.

I desperately need to get my grocery bill cut in half, and with all the stories of what people save with coupons, I figured I would give it a shot. I have nothing to lose, really. So the past two weeks have been spent learning, clipping, and preparing for my first go at extreme couponing. This past week was my first attempt, and I'm proud to say that I successfully bought $195 worth of groceries for $59, saving me $136. A lot will go into storage until it's needed, but taking advantage of sales and coupons combined now will help me in the coming months.

But this takes time, and if it continues to pan out like this past week, it's something I will need to do out of necessity to free up cash for my debt. This means no longer trying to cram the comic into my schedule while trying to accomplish everything else I'm involved in. It means the comic can't be priority.

To be clear, this isn't me saying the comic is done. I would feel bad, plus we're so close to the end anyway. This is me saying I can't promise having one ready on Mondays and Wednesdays, and that when I have only a few spare hours and have to chose what to work on, it is at the bottom of the list. It could mean me posting pencil drawings with no color like I have been, which isn't great but at least something. But it does mean that the comic has to be something I do when I can get to it, rather than a responsibility that HAS to be done.

Fortunately I have several pages already sketched out, so I don't see things coming to a dead stop any time soon. But you might not be getting finished comics for a while.

I would say I hope you understand, but we've been through this before. I know you guys do. You guys are awesome about being so patient with me. I truly hope I can get out of my current situation soon and be in a new home within six months. With a more stable environment again, I'm sure I can get back on track. But as things are now, as chaotic as my life has been for the past several years, it's a losing battle. The comic will still be here, and hopefully will still see updates every week, but if I miss one you now know why.

Thanks everyone! See ya Wednesday (I hope)!

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blueskycomic [userpic]

WEBCOMIC: Blue Sky #663

August 29th, 2011 (03:54 am)

Click Here For Comic #663: "Classic. Villain. Plan."

Ran out of time. Will finish this later (and add a background to the first panel!).

See ya Wednesday!

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blueskycomic [userpic]

WEBCOMIC: Blue Sky #662

August 24th, 2011 (04:33 am)

Click Here For Comic #662: "Time to Deal"

Hey, congratulations to Gina Biggs of Red String who had a baby girl yesterday!

See ya Monday!

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blueskycomic [userpic]

WEBCOMIC: Blue Sky #661

August 22nd, 2011 (03:18 am)

Click Here For Comic #661: "What He Wants"

Aaaaand we're back to status quo. To be fair (and you know this from the note on the sketch comic), I was at Motaku this weekend with our anime club. So, you see, it was a work thing. Yeah.

I only went for one day, and it was an interesting experience for my first anime con, but I was told Naka-Kon is much better. Which will likely be our next library-backed trip after next month's Japanfest. Anyway, no promises on having a 100% complete comic this week, as I need to memorize a story to tell a daycare on Tuesday. A lot of my prep work on the comic is done the day before, but the last few months have seen my Sundays and Mondays really full.

I hate doing this to you because it feels like I'm yanking you all around, but it's just my life is in a place right now that the comic isn't as much priority (which you guys have expressed a LOT of understanding over). I'll never stop doing it until it's completed, but unfortunately there's no time table on when I'll get this thing straightened out. Sorry!

See ya Wednesday!

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blueskycomic [userpic]

WEBCOMIC: Blue Sky #660

August 17th, 2011 (05:59 am)

Click Here For Comic #660: "Still Mad"

Holy crap, a second finished comic! Took me 'till nearly 6am, but dammit, it's finished!

See ya Monday!

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blueskycomic [userpic]

WEBCOMIC: Blue Sky #659

August 15th, 2011 (05:34 am)

Click Here For Comic #659: "Plan Under Way"

I missed last week. I'm scum.

I was on vacation from work, but oddly enough even more busy than usual. I had been hoping to get pretty far ahead on comic work, and while I did get pages sketched out, I didn't get to do what I wanted. But every little bit helps, I guess! I'll get the last page colored sometime soon.

See ya Wednesday!

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blueskycomic [userpic]

WEBCOMIC: Blue Sky #658

August 3rd, 2011 (04:05 am)

Click Here For Comic #658: "FRUMP"

Yeah, you know the drill...

See ya Monday!

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blueskycomic [userpic]

World's Longest Ice Cream Dessert!

July 29th, 2011 (09:37 am)

I get paid to do some weird stuff: making crafts, set up clown class programs, etc. It's a fun, FUN job but a lot of work organizing things.

Yesterday the library I work for and the rec center it's located in attempted (and succeeded!) to break the world record for the longest ice cream dessert! You can watch the news clip here:


This was two months in the making, so I'm glad it's finally over! Also: 600+ people in the same long hallway generates a LOT of body heat. Wow. Not comfortable.

blueskycomic [userpic]

WEBCOMIC: Blue Sky #657

July 27th, 2011 (04:08 am)

Click Here For Comic #657: "Accusation"

Yes, I missed Monday's update, but at least it wasn't my fault this time!

If you happened to notice my message in the shoutbox, which I posted via my phone, my computer kicked the bucket over the weekend. I knew the motherboard was on its last legs; I had been initially told it had maybe six months at best, but I made it last a year and a half. I got my use out of it.

But when it's time to go, it's time to go, and I began experiencing hardware failures. My cousin was kind enough to frankenstein me a computer using parts from my old one and an outdated machine I managed to pick up for a little bit of nothing. It isn't as good as what I had... in fact, the limitations are annoying... but it works and it lets me do what I need to do, so I'm not complaining. Hopefully my cousin can find the replacement parts for my old machine cheap and I'll have it back sooner rather than later.

So, I've spent the last day or so putting stuff onto this machine, which is why tonight's comic isn't finished. I'll try to get a color one up sometime this week.

I know things have been inconsistent for a while, but thank you for your patience during all of this!

See ya Monday!

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