Album for Gen Con 2014
As part of the festivities for my coming birthday I went out to Gen Con. Granted, my enthusiasm started to wane after a while, considering that this convention isn’t anywhere near as large as San Diego Comic-Con and there were no panels that truly interested me. Still I got plenty of nice pictures. Instead of putting them in the order in which they were taken, I grouped like pictures together where feasible.
If you’re expecting to see more of my drawings soon, I ask that you be patient. Tomorrow I plan to start doodling the thumbnails for the pages of Matron Paladin Lux-Luna. I will try to get smaller drawings in here too.
Impression of Claymore
I discovered that there was anime- and manga-themed programming for GenCon in the hotel next to the convention center. Among that programming is a “manga library” where people could sit inside and read manga books. At the end of today’s venture in GenCon I read a couple of volumes of Claymore.
What is Claymore? In a vaguely medieval-European setting, there are monsters stalking and killing the populace of different villages and towns. Only half-human, half-monster women have the power to destroy those monsters in bloody battles.
Does that sound familiar? The half-human, half-monster hero repressing the monster inside while fighting the same type of monster is surprisingly common trope in popular fiction (though in this case, the women have been infused with the flesh and blood of those monsters, not born of a parent of each type). Still, the two volumes that I read had some qualities that made them worth a look. Though the drawings of the character’s faces seem rather off, the artwork is otherwise very good. The scenery is done with really great detail, and sometimes atmospheric toning and shading show up in key scenes. The story also shows a serious budding friendship between one of the aforementioned monster-slaying women and a boy who was banished from his village and thus started following her.
Impression of The Underwater Welder
Now I’ve read The Underwater Welder. It is the story of a man who welds underwater pipes at an oil rig. He and his wife expect a child to come soon. However, near Hallowe’en he is not only haunted by memories which not only strain his marriage and his livelihood but also takes some ghostly turns.
It tells a thoughtful story of how your parents’ lives can have a serious impact on your own life for many years to come. The artwork does become sketchy and oftentimes borders on being mere scribbles, though there is solid detailing at the same time. The panoramas and expanded panels truly aid the story taking place in a coastal town and under a sea. The writing itself is somewhat typical for a domestic drama, but the images within the panels, rough artwork aside, do much of the heavy lifting for conveying real human emotion.
Impression of Guardians of the Galaxy: the Movie
Who else was introduced to Rocket Raccoon through Marvel vs. Capcom? In any case, Guardians of the Galaxy is another movie that I have been looking forward to seeing. So have two of my friends. This time, though Aejay ran late, he was able to join me and Jason at the theater. That’s a good thing—we all had a good time.
Frankly, I don’t think that I can type much. It is alternately intense and funny all the way to the end. The designs, graphics, and effects are brilliant even without a 3D screen. (Again, Aejay has serious issues with 3D movies so I opted for a 2D screening, though I hear that it truly looks great on Imax screens.) The rogues turned heroes are memorable, bolstered by zingy dialog, even if Rocket Raccoon and Groot are the real highlights. I concur with Aejay when he says that Marvel Studios hit a proverbial home run with Guardians of the Galaxy.
Last night one of my followers tagged me to take part in a meme. This time I was asked to offer responses based on lyrics in songs in a shuffled playlist. The problem is that I don’t use any such services so I couldn’t do the meme exactly as described. I even got rid of the player that I tried out on my other blog because the mishmash of songs just didn’t fit. Thus I just went on YouTube (I’ve had plenty of time this morning), went to the Music page, looked on the playlist Popular Music Videos, and just looked at the first ten videos listed.
“Shakira - La La La (Brazil 2014) ft. Carlinhos Brown”
I seriously wish I that could be more full of life and vigor.
“We Are One (Ole Ola) [The Official 2014 FIFA World Cup Song] (Olodum Mix)”
Can we all not be friends and siblings? Whatever differences we have and whatever cannot be readily resolved, can we still not live in a human family?
“PSY - HANGOVER feat. Snoop Dogg”
We would all do well to learn self-restraint and even asceticism. We shouldn’t take any chances of our appetites taking control of our lives, should we?
“Katy Perry - Dark Horse (Official) ft. Juicy J”
Let’s hope and pray that all my friendships and relations turn out well. Pray that I may be loyal and loving. If I make any critical commitments in my life, pray that I be truly ready for those commitments.
“Enrique Iglesias - Bailando (English Version) ft. Sean Paul, Descemer Bueno, Gente De Zona”
I never thought I would have a serious emotional bond with a woman from a long distance as I have now, but here we are. Please pray for me and Kelleya. Pray that we may care for each other as best as we can.
“Demi Lovato - Let It Go (from Frozen)”
The Snow Queen let it go all right—all over North America at the beginning of this year! In all seriousness, whatever subtext the songwriters intended, surely we all need space to be honest and be ourselves and be human.
“Iggy Azalea - Fancy (Explicit) ft. Charli XCX”
Um….no comment, to be honest.
“Jason Derulo - Wiggle feat. Snoop Dogg”
All I can say is that I try to draw lush yet believable curves on women. How well do you think that I’m doing?
“Ariana Grande - Problem ft. Iggy Azalea”
I’ve heard it said that you shouldn’t try too hard to find the right partner or friend for yourself. Rather, you should try to be the best kind of person for whoever eventually comes to you. That way you won’t turn into problems for each other.
“Pharrell Williams - Happy”
Do we not all seek happiness and peace? Is that not basic human nature? I wish that I could be happy more easily. I wish that I could smile more easily. Please pray for me.
Now I’ll list the people whom I tag. If you’re on this list and you regularly use a music player or radio service, use your shuffle function, type the first ten titles, and then say something about yourself or say something in general based on the song.
About That Trip to San Diego
I know that I probably should have offered my full thoughts on my trip to San Diego earlier. I’ve been stressed with getting back into the normal pattern of life. It also apparently hasn’t been quite the emotional balm that I hoped for like last year. I had a rough morning and I don’t have the stamina to record a podcast like I usually do for these kinds of things.
Mother and I arrived in San Diego on Thursday evening. On Friday I wandered around downtown. Let me be blunt—it could have been a much nicer experience.
I failed to get far at all in an obstacle course promoting an Assassin’s Creed game, making me feel all the more conscious about my lack of athletic prowess or physique. In the process I also got stains on a pair of pants and shoes from the rolling barrel and I also almost lost my camera. I couldn’t get into many off-site events without a badge. I learned the hard way that I should have chosen a cosplay better suited to the climate and season—I sweat badly. When Mother and I attended a concert of Danny Elfman’s music for the motion pictures of Tim Burton and I entered the costume contest, I realized that I should have at least asked if taking the Jack Skellington costume in an extra bag would have been feasible.
On Saturday I simply tagged along as Mother went out with Aunt Janet. I truly hoped to be good to her. Not long after last year’s convention, she lost her husband to a drawn-out terminal illness. I accompanied her at the mass. Why did I start to shed tears during the mass, though? Was it a desperate desire to see a real Jesus, a real Prince of Peace? Was it a fear of failing my aunt? I can’t quite decide. Afterwards, I helped with cooking an elaborate dinner to share with my cousin, her boyfriend, and Janet’s friend. I also showed off my costume and my cards. I was later told that I was a splendid guest at the dinner table. Maybe I did succeed in being good to my aunt.
On Sunday I wandered around the convention center. None of the panels on the day for which I had a badge really appealed to me, though I still had a decent time. I still sweat badly in my costume, but I received plenty of compliments as well as requests for pictures from some of the other attendees. I’ve seen more younger people within that set than I expected to boot. I myself got plenty of solid pictures. I also handed out nearly all of the business cards and postcards that I had made. Aunt Jaunet, my cousin, and her boyfriend also joined me and Mother that evening for dinner at a favorite pizzeria.
The trip home was complicated by a tornado spotted near an airport where our airplane stopped. Now I am doing the best I can to carry on with my normal daily life and my plans for the near future. Like I said, this year’s trip hasn’t been the kind of emotional balm that I wished for, but it was decent and maybe I had expected too much. Now I hope and pray that I will have better days ahead.