Webcomics: The Final Part (for now)
army of the undead
3) Bobwhite http://www.bobwhitecomics.com/?webcomic_post=20080728

This comic finished it's run a couple years ago and I actually found it through another webcomic artist I like a lot.

It's about three female friends attending an art college each of them with their own field. One is an illustrator, one is a film student, and the third is a game designer. We start at their sophomore year of college and follow them up to graduation. And I'm just gonna come out and say it this comic is the best of the three. Maybe it just speaks to me as a person who's been in art school/around other art students too long, but I genuinely feel that all the characters flaws and all are very real and wonderful.

My one gripe with it is there is only one gay character. One male gay character and one instance of a lesbian showing up. Yeah I know not everyone who majors in art or goes to art school is gay (unfortunately for me), but it's frustrating not seeing very many gay characters in setting that I as a gay person am very familiar with. Though I have to say it's also great how natural the romantic partners in this comic feel. Some of the hook ups are groan worthy, but they feel real and organic as do the characters even at their worst.

And not to give anything away, but it ends on such a hopeful note. Yeah not all our intrepid heroines know what they're going to do now that they're out of school. That doesn't mean they won't find their foot hold and live their lives the way they see fit.

Talkin' 'bout webcomics part 2
army of the undead
2) Sister Claire http://www.sisterclaire.com/index.php?id=1

A little back story for how I found this comic is that I discovered it two summers ago during which I was dealing with a really bad depression spell, existential confusion, and the very legit possibility that I would never study animation. Being able to watch the first season of Adventure Time and reading this comic helped me not feel so terrible about life.

Anyway this comic is...well...okay everyone in this story is basically a nun or a cat and there have been a grand total of two male characters thus far neither of them being recurring characters. It's actually really refreshing seeing a story where the literal majority of the cast are female, all of whom have very unique and instantly recognizable designs, and a story where everyone is either gay, bi, or it's not stated. The plot of the comic revolves around the aftermath of a war between Nuns and Witches and the possibility of a new war cropping up. Sister Claire is currently pregnant with the Second Coming of Christ (well Messiah it's never specified that it's Christ) and her mother figure has been possessed by an evil cat.

It's a story that touches on a subject that I tend skirt around awkwardly when it comes up unless directly challenged about it. Religion is not a thing I like to talk about because I wasn't raised Christian despite growing up in a predominantly Christian part of the world. People who know I'm not a Christian/don't go to church assume I'm an Atheist because the notion of legitimately being spiritually moved by something other than Christianity is apparently baffling to them. And I really appreciate a story like this because neither side of the war is portrayed as completely bad or completely good. In fact our protagonist points out in a early point in the comic that Energia, the energy used to connect with God/Heaven that allows the Nun's to use their Nun Fu (this isn't just a thing that happens this is a plot point), is the exact same thing as magic, but the Witches use it differently than the Nun's.

However it is a story that is bogged down in extreme silliness. Not that humor and silliness are bad things per se, but early parts of the comic are a little too silly at times and tend to also be bogged down in shout outs. This comic makes so many references, especially early on, that it get's frustratingly distracting. Sister Claire get's better about this later though and references get more subtle...most of the time. When the humor comes from the actual content of the comic it's pretty great and the characters are all really likable even the ones who start off as antagonistic.

I'm going to talk about three webcomics today!
army of the undead
Not because anyone cares about my opinions, but because I want to talk about them. So the first once I'm going to talk about:

1) Girls With Slingshots http://www.girlswithslingshots.com/comic/gws1/

This comic is about post college 20 somethings dealing with adulthood. It has a very comical take on life and the absurdity of dealing with serious topics. Plus it features a mostly female cast of characters that treats their friendships (and sometimes romantic relationships with each other) as valid.

However this comic also has really frustrating takes on relationships with one pair of characters happily married, but any mention of commitment between any other characters is treated as undesirable. Not to say that commitment or marriage is for everyone, but I find it rather odd that the married couple were quickly faded into the background after their wedding and only brought back when it was relevant for another pair of characters who wanted to hook up.

Also the authress of the comic has taken missteps with wanting to maintain a light hearted tone for her comic, but then having a Mean Girl type character become attempt to rape a male character. And even after coming out and saying that No Rape Isn't Funny she proceeded to have a similar thing happen in another arc and turn a once likable lesbian character into a jerk who didn't seem to think it was important to check if her sexual partners wanted to maintain an exclusive relationship. Though strangely enough it was none of these things that made me bounce off this comic hard, but the arc about a long time character helping this hipstery loser hook up with the younger sister of another character. They were able to hook up after she wore a hoodie to their second date (of watching Doctor Who) so he wouldn't be distracted by his boner the entire time like he was in middle school. Because apparently the idea of actually maturing emotionally is a thing the authress doesn't really grasp as a concept.

Upon linking to it I have discovered that the character who got permission to seek out guys from her asexual girlfriend is trying to hook it up with a guy who takes issue with the fact that she already has a girlfriend. He even said that he would've backed off if she said she already had a boyfriend so why should this situation be treated any differently.

Okay I think I'm going to make two more posts about each of the comics so we can discuss them individually.

Gonna pace myself on this project
army of the undead
I got done modeling everything. Horray! I was gonna start on textures, but eh. I have other personal projects I want to work on so I think I'll do that for now.

Besides I need to do an AO pass on what I'm working on so texturing it won't matter for a while. Bloop bloop.

So I decided to take the day off
army of the undead
I don't have to model or texture anything this weekend so I decided to just be like "fuck it" and stay in my dorm today. I'm going to go grab a sammich in a while, but other than that I haven't left the room. Except to do laundry.

The only things I need to do are a pretty easy (but time consuming) part of a tutorial and put together a presentation for two concept ideas. I'll probably wind up drawing for my ideas after eating later.

army of the undead
Been feeling weird lately. Part of it is my period, part of it is I haven't eaten today, and part of it is also my stupid tendency to feel at odds when things are actually going well for me. I can't shake the feeling that the other shoe is gonna drop at any moment and something absolutely awful of gonna happen.

On the plus side if anyone who follows me here (pffft lol) has a tumblr and would like to follow a blog where I do nothing but post silly drawings and other such projects: http://greyzippermindinadesertwithgirls.tumblr.com/

There ya go.

Rambly Nightmare Before Christmas post
army of the undead
It wasn't the first film Tim Burton ever worked on. It wasn't even his first time working with animation. Hell even the content wasn't very revolutionary because we had movies about monsters who saw their tendency to scare people as a harmless past time (hell the Addams Family television show was on the air decades before this move was ever made).

However I fell pretty confident in saying that this movie was the first of it's kind to stylistically exist. The stop motion animation is excellent and the story/world building for this film are just solid. Ever since the success of Nightmare Before Christmas (rising to a disturbing cult following even) Tim Burton has been stamping out similar products like Frankenweenie and Corpse Bride. I haven't seen the first flick (though I've heard it's not that great), but I saw Corpse Bride in theaters. Now to be fair I don't think the tone and setting are exactly like Nightmare Before Christmas, but the style (since Tim Burton worked on it too) is pretty much the same. Honestly I like Corpse Bride a lot, but if you compare to Nightmare Before Christmas it seems pretty lack luster.

Then we have Coraline which was created by the director of Nightmare Before Christmas (it even says that above the title on the DVD). In my opinion this movie get's unfairly panned by people. Tim Burton didn't even get near this, but it's still a very well animated piece and I felt the world building was extremely solid. Admittedly though the title character comes off as pretty bratty with wanting to get away from her parents who weren't the best mom and dad in the world, but they certainly weren't awful to her. It just creates a bizarre message, but perhaps it's better to go into this movie without expecting a lesson to be learned despite it being a kids flick.

Also I think Coraline as opposed to Nightmare Before Christmas is that Coraline is legit frightening to watch. Nightmare Before Christmas has interesting and monstrous looking characters, but it really goes out of its way to show that it's not a scary movie at all. Coraline seems to play it's dark tone straight though originally it was going to be a more light hearted musical. To be honest I like that this movie dared to take itself so seriously and be so dark. And it isn't a meaningless kind of dark that wants to be adulated. It's a dark film because the story is more appropriate with a darker tone. Yeah it's got it's silly gags and humor, but I like to argue that a good serious film has at least one instance that is absolutely hilarious. Comedy also seems to grow from a dark place perhaps as a coping mechanism. Laugh or cry.

On a slightly unrelated note what I love about animated films as opposed to a lot of live action films is that when an animated feature is made and released to theaters you can bet at least 8 times out of 10 that it was made by people who want to tell a story. I actually find a lot of life action movies insufferable because it's usually some dumb ass "comediac" movie for adults or made because some high profile actor/director wants to win an Oscar. I won't knock the action and genre flicks too hard since those can at least be fun to watch. I can barely tolerate sitting through an "inspired by a true story" movie or so called comedies that cater to the lowest common denominator and often rely on offensive stereotypes for their jokes.

Nightmare Before Christmas
I've been thinking about this movie and other movies that came after it that stylistically borrow from it like Coraline and Corpse Bride. This isn't going to be a long post where I go on and on about my rambling thoughts about these flicks because I simply don't have the energy to do so. Christmas is in five days, my immediate family (minus my stepdad) is going to roll out to Topeka tomorrow, and I'm busy drawing cute girls.

Also I've come to a realization that I've been very heavily influenced by video games yet I'm not really a gamer myself. I like to play some video games even though I'm not very good at them mechanics wise. Honestly I'm more interested in character design, world building, and story telling than playing a game though I think some stories can only successfully be told in video game formats. I'll probably make a rambly post about this too.

Yeah, while everyone else is arguing over Nice Guyism since the new episode of Motorcity aired I have been stuck on those weird cubes that those random Detroit Deluxe citizens were eating. And now I have headcanons about food.

Also I wrote a ficlet.

TomatoCollapse )

The Dark Knight Rises
I saw this flick today in a thankfully uncrowded theater. It was a good flick, but it felt a lot like the last one in terms of tone and leaving me way too stimulated to be satisfied by it.

Also I don't know if this commercial plays in all theaters across the board, but there was one about encouraging girls to stay in sports. I have mixed feelings on this. On the one hand I think encouraging girls to compete in sports is a healthy thing to do and it's something that a lot of girls have interest in even when they lack support for it. On the other hand I really have to roll my eyes at this ads assumption that the only thing girls do if they're not participating in sports is being obsessed with fashion. Yes it's true that girls are constantly being told that they're ugly by the beauty industry and that creates a whole array of problems. However not all girls who aren't athletic wear high heels and make up. If a girl isn't on a sports team she might be on a debate team, science team, doing 4H, making art, doing something that doesn't revolve around her appearance. I'd also like to point out that girls who do participate in sports might also enjoy playing with make up or doing their hair when they're not practicing or participating in competitions.

And that was my day at the movies. I'm going to lay down for a minute now...


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