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I think it’s important for artists to be introspective. I think it should be the goal of any cartoonist or artist to take a step back, look at the world, and question and challenge all assumptions and normalities. So often little social stigmas and issues go completely unnoticed by a vast majority of the population, that I think it’s important to be reminded of where we are, how things work, and challenge the status-quo.

I believe that’s one of the most fundamentally important things about being an artist. It’s not the artistic skill level, it’s your ability to poke fun at stuff and make average people question their routines. While artistic skill is important, the average consumer doesn’t really care about artistic merits if the overall message is conveyed well. I’ve seen many stick-figure comics and supposedly “low-skill” artists resonate with people because of the message they’re sending.

And especially during times like these where things like racism, hatred of women, and systematic homophobia keep popping up in the news, it’s the perfect time to start questioning normalities and challenging things. When tragedies occur, like the stuff going down in Ferguson, we should use that as a jumping off point for further discussions and introspection.

So in that note I wanted to share with y’all a story I posted last night on twitter and facebook:

My Battle with Unintentional Racism
In a lot of my earlier gag strips and comic, I intentionally avoided including people of color or different races. The thinking was, at the time, that I didn't want to offend anyone. Because the characters in my gag strips were usually in the "wrong" for the purpose of the joke, I didn't want any of the strips to appear as if I was making fun of POC or different races. My fear was that if, say, the black guy was the brunt of the joke, I might be considered racist by those reading my comics.

While I had the best intentions of trying to NOT portray POC or other races badly, this was ultimately a form of white-washing. I wasn't even aware that it was a problem until one of my colleagues pointed it out to me.

There's a tendency when having a "token" character of any kind in a story to assume they represent the whole of their race, gender, ethnicity, religion, etc. And that's immensely problematic when writing gag strips and one off jokes where coloring a person's skin a certain way unintentionally colors the strip with racial overtones you had no intention of adding. But at the same time, we can't white-wash or pretend other races, people, genders, etc don't exist.

I've thankfully learned from my mistakes and now I often try to switch up the races and colors of my characters in gag strips equally.

The point of this story is, of course, that even though I was trying to be altruistic, I was unintentionally white-washing. It's very easy to let these things happen if you're not aware of them and they can be immensely problematic socially. So my advice is to try to take a step back and examine what you're doing. Just make sure you're not unintentionally alienating huge segments of the population, you know? I don't wanna say "check your privilege," but that's kinda what this is. Learn from my mistakes, as I have, and work towards making content EVERYONE can appreciate and enjoy.

So try not to shrug off these sorts of things. I know it’s very tempting to just ignore the bigger issues going on or claim that people are being “too sensitive” about these topics. But really, do your best to stop and look at things from another angle. Not only will it help you empathize with others (an important tool for artists) and foster creative thinking, but it might make you question what you’ve been doing or question what others around you have been doing.
  • Mood: Daily Needs
  • Listening to: Skyrim Soundtrack
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: Bob's Burgers
  • Playing: Skyrim
  • Eating: McDonalds
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
I’ve seen it become very successful for a lot of my friends and colleagues, so I’ve been thinking about setting up a patreon. I asked for advice on twitter and facebook but so far haven’t really received much feedback on that outside a sarcastic tweet suggesting I was gonna become a “pan-handler” for uploading old free Alex Ze Pirate stories. Sigh...

Of course that’s not at all what Patreon is or what I would be doing with it. I would be using it to post NEW artwork and content in a much more regular pace, post/send out rewards for subscribers (and let them see everything first, of course) and possibly use the reward system to help spruce up my websites and just get things running a lot smoother than they currently are.

I’m just not sure if I can handle it, though. I have a very time consuming job, so my time making art is limited. I would LOVE to get back to a point where making art/comics is my only concern... and so I guess I’m gonna ask this here: if I joined patreon, would you be willing to help support me and my art? Link to a poll here:…

Bottom line is that I’m trying to move away from being so dependent upon DeviantArt. I’ve just grown to dislike the overall DA community and would rather be more self sufficient. I like the idea of having my own website with all of my art and updates and earning a living just making comics. And while that IS what I kinda do right now, it’s not quite to the level of ease and fluidity as I want/need it to be.

Patreon just might be one of the ways I could go about doing that. You can pay as much or as little as you want, so there’s no pressure on any of you to give a lot of money. And I think it’s safer than trying to do a kickstarter that might not become successful. At least with Patreon any milestone goals would be instant and fully funded. I think.

If anyone has suggestions or advice on how Patreon works or what I should do, I am open to feedback right now.
  • Mood: Daily Needs
  • Listening to: Skyrim Soundtrack
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: Bob's Burgers
  • Playing: Skyrim
  • Eating: McDonalds
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
“The Sarkeesian Effect” producers recently interviewed Jack Thompson in a hilarious bit of irony. This has to be causing the GamerGate community some semblance of introspection, because if it’s not then things are worse than I anticipated.

See, Jack Thompson was a lawyer who was hell-bent on writing actual LAWS (ie: government enforced censorship) to prevent games that HE PERSONALLY didn’t like from being made. For the better part of the mid 90‘s and early 2000‘s, Jack Thompson was the man the entire gaming community was fighting AGAINST. Jack Thompson was also disbarred for unethical practices...

Anita Sarkeesian (no matter WHAT you might think of her) is a feminist critic who did a series of videos about analyzing sexism in the games industry (criticism, not censorship). Sadly the people behind “The Sarkeesian Effect” conspiracy theory documentary believe that Anita Sarkeesian’s criticisms DOES equal censorship (newsflash: it doesn’t), and have... for whatever batshit insane reason... asked Jack Thompson to be part of their documentary.

This just blows my mind. And I know I said I wouldn’t talk about GamerGate anymore but... seriously what the hell? Has this movement gone completely off the deep end?

The problem is that a lot of GamerGate supporters were ALSO supporters of “The Sarkeesian Effect,” with prominent members like thunderf00t spearheading a lot of the initial discussion. So this raises quite an ethical dilemma, doesn’t it? If GamerGate ISN’T about censoring feminism or women or whatever... why would prominent members of the community side with a man who was DISBARRED for unethical practices and who was making it his MISSION to BAN and CENSOR video games through the use of the Government?

BUT... if GamerGate denounces thunderf00t and “The Sarkeesian Effect” for their actions, then they’ve got to be in a position where they have to look at their goals, and how they’ve gone about achieving them with SOME degree of introspection, right? You cannot be saying GamerGate is about ethics and is against censorship by siding WITH someone who has no ethics and IS about censorship, right?

As usual, I want to stress that I know GamerGate has evolved since it initially began and that there are a lot of GOOD members in the community trying to make things right. To those people please heed my words and PLEASE denounce Jack Thompson and everything he stands for. Do not let him use this opportunity to co-opt your community. Please stop and think about what having him on your side would MEAN to the rest of the gaming community. Please!

  • Mood: Wow!
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: Bob's Burgers
  • Playing: Bayonetta 2
  • Eating: McDonalds
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
Damnit Marvel! Gimme a break! So much news so fast! I can’t cover it all! So yeah... in case you haven’t heard yet, Marvel dropped the bomb today on what their plans are for Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU). So here’s a quick breakdown for y’all.

Captain America: Civil War - May 6, 2016
It’s already been confirmed that THIS version of Civil War will be vastly different from the comic book variation (owing largely to the fact that Marvel doesn’t own the rights to many of the supporting characters). Instead this version will be about some sort of government registration act to regulate super heros, and that Captain America and Iron Man will either try to run, or find issue with. So no, sorry, this won’t be Captain America vs Iron Man like we originally thought.

Side note: It’s been rumored that Black Panther will make a cameo appearance.

Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016
Just FYI, the news that I mentioned earlier about Benedict Cumberbatch playing Doctor Strange? Rumor at this point. It has not officially been stated, though it’s well known he’s in negotiations with Marvel/Disney.

The interesting thing to note about this and all future superhero movies is that it’s not an origin story. Doctor Strange has been name dropped in Captain America: The Winter Soldier already as just someone who exists and is at least known by most of the cast. So while I wouldn’t put it past them including a quick flash back explaining who he is, the bulk of the Doctor Strange movie is not going to be about “how” he came to be.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - May 5, 2017
Don’t really know much about this one, other than the fact that it was confirmed to be in production almost immediately after the first one ended. Chances of new characters being added to the A-hole team.

Thor: Ragnarok – July 28, 2017
The plot of this one will be involving Loki sending an army of fire beasts to destroy the norse gods. Ragnarok is literally the norse belief of Armageddon, and with the way things are going this might be a good chance for Thor to be put to rest permanently, so that Lady-Thor might be able to take up the mantle.

Black Panther – November 3, 2017
Not much is known about this one either, outside that it’s going to be kinda a fish out of water story about how this small (but profitable and valuable) African city has to deal with the changes going on outside it’s boarders. So I guess a “Coming to America” but in reverse?

Captain Marvel – July 6, 2018
This is kinda the big one... This won’t be the male Captain Marvel, but instead it’s been confirmed to be Carol Danvers. The fact that it’s “Captain Marvel” and not “Ms. Marvel” is quite promising too. While DC will have beaten them to the punch on having the first female led superhero movie with their Wonder Woman film, I have such lingering doubts in Warner Bros abilities and such strong faith in Marvel’s that I’m more inclined to believe THIS will be the one to remember.

Inhumans – November 2, 2018
I don’t know much about the Inhumans, but I do know that they’re Marvel’s loophole in a lot of legal copyright issues right now. See, when Marvel was bankrupted in the 90’s, they sold their licensing rights to many of their franchises to various film companies as a way to earn money. Gradually most of those licensing rights have reverted or been bought back by Disney/Marvel, but some of them still linger at competing studios (such as Spider-Man and X-Men).

To give you an idea of how ridiculous these licensing rights are... Marvel is not allowed to even use the word “mutant” because that’s owned by FOX who owns the X-Men. This is why Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver will be in Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, but they won’t be referred to as mutants and will have an entirely new origin story compared to the X-Men version.

There’s a TON of mutant characters Marvel WANTS to be using... but they can’t because of the legal issue with FOX. However... if they were to refer to these new mutants as “inhumans,” it would allow them to bypass that legal restriction and bring back some of the more popular side characters. Also, the current Ms. Marvel is Kamala Kahn who gained superpowers after being doused with a chemical that unleashed her “inhuman” powers. So having an Inhumans movie could pave the way for a Kamala Kahn Ms. Marvel movie too.

One more important tie-in. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. seems to be quite heavily introducing the idea of Inhumans already. Everything in that series so far seems to be working towards the idea of bringing Inhumans into the mix pretty early on. So this will be interesting to see how it all pieces together.

Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 - May 4, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 - May 3, 2019
And this is it. This is where it’s ALL going and building to. EVERYTHING from all the movies back to the first Iron Man will culminate in THIS EPIC WAR. Thanos using the infinity gauntlet and everyone teaming up to stop him. So epic it had to be broken into 2 films! Wow.

So that’s Marvel’s plan for Phase 3. Of course we’re not done with Phase 2 yet. We still have Avengers: Age of Ultron and an Ant-Man movie to get through before Phase 3 begins. And of course, much of this is subject to change. But for now? HOLY HELL!
  • Mood: Wow!
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: Bob's Burgers
  • Playing: Bayonetta 2
  • Eating: McDonalds
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
SEGA rips themselves off
Not really. But SEGA did contact the team responsible for MAME (the popular 90‘s arcade emulation program) for a copy of a game they don’t have backups for. For me that’s actually really amazing and important. While emulation is technically illegal (sorry but owning a copy of the game does not automatically liberate you in the eyes of the law), if someone hadn’t copied the game illegally, SEGA would’ve lost the file and that would’ve been a game gone extinct forever.

This is one of the problems with how un-standardized video games were during their initial heyday. Each game having it’s own tech specs and requirements to be played, makes emulation and preservation of this art form challenging. If we don’t take steps to keep the games we love growing up alive, there’s a real possibility they could become extinct in the near future.

This is why I tend to look the other way on emulation and applaud the efforts of bigger websites like “Good Old Game.” recently just announced they’ll be acquiring several Lucas Arts titles including Secrets of Monkey Island, Sam & Max, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic among others:…

Doctor Strange Cast!
So the news is out that veteran character actor Benedict Cumberbatch will be playing Marvel’s Doctor Strange in an upcoming movie. Personally I think it’s a good choice. Benedict is a great actor, but he’s also been most noted for staring in sci-fi/fantasy/geek properties, so I think he fits right in.

What’s interesting to note, however, is the sort of backlash against this. I honestly thought it was a good thing and thought people would be flipping like crazy over the casting... but instead I’ve been seeing a LOT of reports of people angry or annoyed by this. Mostly having something to do with tumblr fangirls or “trying to appeal to the women” by casting him. Which is... just annoying to me at this point.

Personally, I think he’ll play a great Doctor Strange. The guy’s got a great range and he seems to LOVE doing these weird powerful roles so... more power to him!
  • Mood: Tired
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: Bob's Burgers
  • Playing: Bayonetta 2
  • Eating: McDonalds
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
About The Recent Journal
I wrote a journal about my thoughts on GamerGate, trying to more coherently piece together why I can’t personally stand up in favor of the movement. There was a lot of back and fourth in the comments section, but what ultimately got me to stop everything entirely is something happening on the outside.

There’s a website being made that is basically an Encyclopedia Dramatica version of GamerGate. A potential resource to harass and attack anyone who stands up against the movement. I witnessed one of my friends being put on the wiki and I’ve just decided that I’m done. I’ve already got ED on my ass, I don’t need another hate group attacking me day and night. And frankly... video games aren’t worth the fight.

So that’s why I took down the latest journal and will do my best to not speak up about, retweet, reblog, or discuss GamerGate from now on. No more comics, no more journals. I am terrified and I want nothing to do with this madness, either side of it. It’s a shame I can’t be there more for people who I believe are fighting the good fight, but I have to look after my sanity first and foremost. I’ll have to just trust that others will be able to prevail in my stead. Good luck out there.

Doctor Who and Korra Filler
So while trying to recouperate from a really nasty cold, I’ve been keeping up with my favorite two series right now: Doctor Who and Avatar: The Legend of Korra. Both, unfortunately, containing filler episodes this week.

Doctor Who was the worse offender of this, as the entire episode can be simply discarded. The Doctor does nothing, and sitting back and letting the events unfold is basically all he does. Clara and Pink have pointless romantic tension, and the group of kids are all bad actors.

Filler episodes aren’t all bad. Some of the best episodes of my favorite shows are filler episodes. “Blink”, for example, is a filler episode, and it’s quite possibly one of my most favorite episodes of all TV shows. But sadly sometimes these episodes are just... padding. This week’s Doctor Who is just that. Skip it and move on to the season finale.

Speaking of padding, the latest episode of Korra was a little padded out too. Sure it’s “cute” to see the kids all looking for Korra but... it was also really annoying too. Meelo in particular was an asshole and is hampered by how awful the voice actor is. Korra too, is recovered in this episode by metal bending the remaining excess poison in her body out and finally being able to reach the Avatar State. My worry is that she’s going to be treated as 100% better and no longer have the emotional scars that resulted from her battles, which is a kinda bad message to send to emotionally handicapped people in real life. We can’t just “bend” our problems away, you know...

But overall it was still a fun episode. Toph is lovingly gruff and bitter. The Earth Kingdom guards were hilariously genuine and sweet to their “captive.” And the episode DID at least help resolve a lot of Korra’s issues so we can hopefully focus better on the PLOT next week.
  • Mood: Unhappy
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: Doctor Who (12th Doctor)
  • Playing: Bayonetta 2
  • Eating: McDonalds
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
So very sorry but I'm out of this debate. I'm taking down this journal (as its my most recent one) to prevent further discussion on a topic I no longer will talk about. I'm out.

You guys make up your own mind on what Gamersgate is. I want nothing to do with either side anymore.

I'll have a more fun journal or something else to go up eventually...
  • Mood: Hope
  • Listening to: I don't care - I ship it!
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: Age of Ultron Trailer
  • Playing: Bayonetta 2 Demo
  • Eating: McDonalds
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
Unscheduled Leak
Just to be clear, movie companies often “leak” stuff online themselves as a way of generating interest and views for their various projects. However, in the case of the Age of Ultron trailer leak, this was clearly NOT done by Disney/Marvel’s PR department. Marvel had been planning to unveil the trailer next week during an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. That show, while doing pretty good, isn’t performing as well as they had hoped and scheduling the release of the big trailer reveal during the show would’ve given a much needed viewership boost. Marvel had it all calculated and planned out, and this leak severely handicaps those plans. So yeah, I don’t think this was intentional at all, and might explain why the trailer doesn’t look entirely “finished” either. Though to be fair, Marvel handled the leak gracefully with a single tweet: “Damn it, Hydra!”

The Age of Ultron Trailer

Can I just say how cool it is that Disney is allowing Marvel to use their song from Pinocchio “I’ve got not strings” in such a sinister and evil way? Benefits of being owned by Disney I guess...

I have a feeling this trailer isn’t complete. Like it’s just not fine tuned 100% yet, owing largely to it suppose to be released next week. I also kinda feel like the “impact” of showing all these Superheros all together again is a little... lost now. Like the big selling point for The Avengers was that incredibly iconic shot of Iron Man, Black Widow, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and Hawkeye standing in a circle as the camera revolved around them. That was HUGE at the time. But now? Seeing them all together again isn’t as... well... SHOCKING as it was then. So I think a lot of the “impact” for this trailer is kinda lost.

Likewise is the story. I have NO IDEA what’s going on in this trailer. I mean, ok sure, I DO know what the story of Age of Ultron actually is, but that’s because I’ve been reading up on industry gossip. A casual observer watching this trailer for the first time? What is the plot they get? How does this all fit together? A good trailer should be able to communicate and craft a mini-story through juxtaposed random shots. This, too, might not be Marvel’s fault but just Disney’s fault in general. Disney’s recent string of trailers for their movies have been... bad. They don’t explain ANYTHING yet we’re suppose to “get” what the story and plot is all about? (Good example, go watch the teaser trailer for Pixar’s Inside Out and compare it to the teaser trailer for, say, Monsters Inc. Even without showing the PLOT, you get an idea of what Monsters Inc is going to be about, whereas there’s only a vague HINT of a concept for Inside Out ).

A lot of people who have seen clips of Age of Ultron have remarked about how relatable a villain Ultron actually will be, and how smart and philosophical he is. Did NOT get that from the trailer as he quotes “I got not strings.” I’m sure it’ll be really good in the movie, but again the trailer kinda fell flat on that aspect too.

Then of course there’s just the fangasm reactions to a lot of the stuff shown. HOLY SHIT! THE HULK-BUSTER? COOL! BLACK WIDOW ON A MOTORBIKE BEING DROPPED FROM A JET? COOL! QUICKSILVER! SCARLET WITCH? NICK FURY? OH MY GOD!

Do not get me wrong. This movie IS going to be BIG. And it WILL change and mess with the Marvel Cinematic Universe even more than Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy ever did. And especially with what appears to be coming down the pipeline, this movie could potentially pave the way for some even MORE crazy and amazing things. Most definitely. Not gonna deny that, and I am looking forward to it!

I just don’t really feel like the trailer is doing as good of a job hyping me UP as it should be. I should be AS excited (if not MORE) about this movie than I was about the bazaar Guardians of the Galaxy trailers.
  • Mood: Approval
  • Listening to: I don't care - I ship it!
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: Age of Ultron Trailer
  • Playing: Bayonetta 2 Demo
  • Eating: McDonalds
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
I’ve been getting a lot of complaints from people saying they don’t like all the “feminism” and “SJW” messages that I’ve been putting into my comics lately. They want me to just make comics that are fun and don’t have political meanings or messages behind them.

Alright... I can get behind that. I understand that sometimes reiterating yourself on your political points can get a bit tiring, especially when you don’t yourself marinate in social justice issues 24/7. No problem!

Except... I haven’t really been doing that. Like, at all. These are the latest 27 comics and Illustrations I’ve made:

JuggerNOT by TomPreston Historical Reenactors by TomPreston Long Live WuKo by TomPreston The Metrics by TomPreston Splatoon by TomPreston Get It Back or Geek Out Trying by TomPreston Skyrim - Resource Management by TomPreston SYAC - Seen The Light by TomPreston SYAC - The Answer Is There Isn't One by TomPreston SYAC - Mascotchistic by TomPreston SYAC - BINGO by TomPreston NSYAC - Time After Time by TomPreston NSYAC - Winging It by TomPreston NSYAC - Crafty by TomPreston NSYAC - Dirty Fingers by TomPreston NSYAC - Premature Departure by TomPreston NSYAC - Less Is More by TomPreston NSYAC - Why Ask Why by TomPreston NSYAC - Listening In by TomPreston NSYAC - Culture Clash by TomPreston NSYAC - Stay Frosty by TomPreston NSYAC - Bummed Out by TomPreston NSYAC - Savant by TomPreston NSYAC - There There by TomPreston NSYAC - Easy as Pie by TomPreston Skyrim - Giant Golf by TomPreston Samus V Ridley by TomPreston

Of that batch only 3 of the SYAC strips could be called “political” in nature because they dealt with GamerGate. The rest? Not really about SJW, feminism, or any sort of agenda whatsoever. Now on the flip side I HAVE been making a lot of journals about social issues because, well, it’s my journal and I like to talk about stuff that’s going on. If my journals bother you, please unsubscribe from them and just follow my art. DA allows that choice for a reason.

So I would kindly like to ask people who are praising me for “going back to regular comics” to knock it off. I’ve been doing regular comics this whole time. And I shouldn’t have to make a journal like this to point that out, either...
  • Mood: Grumpy
  • Listening to: I don't care - I ship it!
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: Doctor Who Season 8
  • Playing: Bayonetta 2 Demo
  • Eating: Subway Sandwiches
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
DA’s New Update

Not really a fan. As usual there are a lot of unnecessary changes, things get arbitrarily moved around for no good reason, and key features that I want yet again ignored. So yeah, not really a fan, but at least it’s not AS dramatic of a change as it has been before so... I guess that’s a plus?

REALLY wish I could remove the comments section on my frontpage, still. Been requesting that for over a decade now. I know for most people it’s not an issue, but for me specifically that is the place where pretty much ALL of the hate directed at me goes. It’s a nasty hateful spot on my frontpage that I really just want to get rid of. Hell, I’d trade allowing comments on my art again if I could remove that shit-hole from my frontpage.

Noticed that DA added an “activities” section to my frontpage in an effort to “bring you closer to the community” which is a nice thought but thoroughly unappreciated by me. Plus it’s ugly as hell. Took that off right away. If I wanted to be “closer to the community” I wouldn't be turning off comments on my art, would I DA? I’m sure it’ll be useful to someone, but it’s not for me.

Overall... not as bad as it could’ve been. I’ll begrudgingly get use to it.

BTW, if you’re not following me on twitter, you probably should. 9 times out of 10 that’s where most of the stuff going down on the internet seems to happen for me, and it often shapes what stories and things I’m gonna talk about in journals.

I also often post pics of games I’m playing, or, if it’s been a very bad night, I’ll spam Korrasami artwork from DA there. So come on in and take a peek! I enjoy using twitter far more than I do using DA in some respects...

My twitter:

New Art
I know a lot of you are upset that I don’t update very often unless it’s a journal. I’ve mentioned it before but I think I need to again... I have a job now which keeps me very preoccupied and I don’t get to work on anything for myself as much anymore. Coupled with that is that I am trying to get my various websites moved to a new server so I can’t update there either until it’s done. Journals are, unfortunately, the easiest way for me to keep SOMETHING posted here on DA. I write fast and there’s usually something new and interesting to talk about each week.

I did manage to get a simple cartoon done this week just for fun, so if you haven’t checked it out, please do!

Historical Reenactors by TomPreston

I wish I could give you guys a better timetable of when new content is coming, but at the moment I can’t. I’m really really sorry about that. Life is, unfortunately, full of peaks and valleys.
  • Mood: Daily Needs
  • Listening to: I don't care - I ship it!
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: Bob's Burgers
  • Playing: Bayonetta 2 Demo
  • Eating: Subway Sandwiches
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
Robert Downey Jr. was scheduled to have a small cameo appearance in Captain America 3. RDJ didn’t like the small bit part and wanted a much larger roll. Since his contract was coming to a close, Marvel though this might be a good time to drop him (because despite what you might think Marvel is still a penny pinching miser when it comes to paying for stuff). Long story short, Marvel and RDJ have worked out a new deal which will have Tony Stark and Iron Man in a much larger capacity for what is being called “Phase 2” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (If you think THIS is confusing, check out my write up on WHY this is all legal red-tape:… )

Ok, that’s a lot of jargon. What’s it mean? Well, it means that it appears the ongoing “story” that will be happening in the MCU will be the Civil War storyline, slated to start with Captain America 3 and featuring Iron Man as the antagonist. Wow.

This actually makes sense for a number of reasons. The first being that Sony is in negotiations to get Spider-Man to appear as a cameo in Avengers 3 to promote their planned reboot of the Spider-Man franchise. Having Spider-Man in a series taking place in the Civil War storyline makes a LOT of sense and works well with the rest of the MCU. To learn more about the Spider-Man news I wrote a journal about it here:…

So if I have this right... Marvel is planning the Civil War storyline... Age of Ultron being the big team-up event for Avengers 2... are hoping to add Inhumans to the mix down the road... AND are still building up pieces for The Infinity Gauntlet. There’s also looking to be an Iron Man 4 movie in the works too, so RDJ isn’t leaving the MCU anytime soon. Although it is possible Chris Evans is looking to leave and retire once his contract is up (another possible reason Marvel was OK with keeping Robert Downey Jr. on for longer). I gotta say... this is pretty damn nuts! What a time to be a comics fan, eh?

Isn’t it fun how entire movies, storylines, and character development can be crafted thanks to contracts and movie deals?
  • Mood: Tender
  • Listening to: Bob's Burgers
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: Avatar: The Legend of Korra Season 4
  • Playing: Bayonetta 2 Demo
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
Long one today, so I broke it up so you can skip to the section you want:

Korra Alone - Spoilers
Best. Episode. Of Korra. YET.

I really wish this had been paired up with the first episode of the season. Season 4 episode 1 was... boring. While it did a good job of showing where everyone is now 3 years after the fact, it didn’t do much to further the story. It felt too much like explanations and dry setup to cooler stuff that will eventually happen down the road, than a solid episode in it’s own right. But episode 2: Korra Alone comes along and BOOM! It blows everything out of the park!

Korra’s struggles to recuperate after her fight with Zaheer are on full display here. Her inability to walk and do basic things is definitely a source of her frustrations and self loathing, as is the fact that she still has nightmares. And even when she is finally able to overcome her physical limitations and learn to walk and fight again... the mental toll isn’t as easily fixed. As someone who struggles with mental illnesses, it was really nice to see the creators acknowledging that the mental aspect can take MUCH longer than the physical. While Korra LOOKS 100%, she clearly isn’t there when it comes to her mental state... especially when she starts seeing figments of her brutal Avatar state self from last season haunting her wherever she goes.

I also really loved Katara’s roll in the episode. She makes it clear to Korra that it’s really up to her to work through the challenges, and that while it will be difficult, she will come out stronger and better for it. “I don’t know what you’ll find if you keep working at it, but won’t it be interesting to find out?” being of the best lines of dialogue in the episode.

Sidenote: There is even still a little nod to Korrasami too. Aside from Asami asking if Korra wanted her company in the Souther Water Tribe (implying no one else offered to go with), there’s also the fact that Korra only seemed to keep in writing contact with Asami, telling her “it’s easier to tell you these things” and “Mako and Bolin wouldn’t understand.”

And then of course the episode ends with Korra finding Toph alive and well living in a swamp. While it might seem odd that she’s living there, keep in mind that the first place Aang saw Toph was in visions in the swamp. So it at least kinda makes sense that, when Toph leaves to seek spirituality, she ends up there. How Toph is gonna help Korra sure will be an interesting experience alright!

Overall, GREAT episode of Korra. Loved every moment of it and I could even see struggles I’ve faced being represented too. So wonderful that this episode also debuted on WorldMentalHealthDay too. Perfect timing IMO.

Doctor Who - Spoilers
After the ABYSMAL “Kill the Moon” episode last week, I was ready to write off Season 8 entirely. I was completely on Clara’s side for chewing out the Doctor for being an asshole. But then we got “Mummies on the Oriental Express” and it (almost) made up for the asshole actions of the recent incarnation of the Doctor.

I’m still perturbed by Clara’s choices, though. After swearing off the Doctor in the last episode, seeing her step out of the Tardis with a smile on her face DOES kinda take the sting out of her justifiable anger in the last episode. Likewise, the ending’s resolution of her apologizing and going with the Doctor while metaphors of addiction fly around is equally confusing (addiction = good?).

Thankfully, the episode inbetween the beginning and ending confusions is remarkably good. It’s got a good setup (invisible monster that kills in exactly 66 seconds is only visible to the one about to die), lots of interesting characters and situations, and a good resolution of the Doctor finally saving (most) of the people involved. The best type of Doctor Who episodes are those which establish an established set of ground rules to work off of (such as “don’t blink”), and then allowing the characters to work off those rules as much as possible.

Best episode of Season 8 so far... though it’s still frustrating that the explanation for why the Doctor is a grouch and seems uncaring has taken THIS LONG to be explained. Should’ve been done in the first 2-3 episodes... not in the middle of the season IMO.

Bayonetta 2 Controversy
I’m not really gonna talk about the game or the demo itself, but the surrounding controversy going on right now because Polygon gave the game a 7.5 while everyone else is giving it a 9 or higher. Apparently this is... bad?

For the past 3 or so MONTHS we’ve been getting GamerGate people bemoaning “journalistic integrity and ethics” but the SECOND that a game review comes out and is (shocking!) actually critical of a game, all that spins around and people start demanding all journalists MUST march in lock-step with everyone else and give insane praise and worship on every game. Reviews MUST NOT vary or waiver EVER!

Guys... this is the problem... criticism means taking a step back and looking at things you enjoy with a more refined critical eye. You cannot demand journalists uphold critical and journalistic integrity with with the same breath condemning them for doing exactly that. If anything, demanding ALL SCORES be exactly the SAME is the exact OPPOSITE of what you’re championing for.

Even worse? It’s ONE review. ONE review that doesn’t quite match up with everyone else’s insane praise and adulation for a video game, and everyone’s freaking out. Guys... it’s OK to have different opinions. Variety is the spice of life and I dunno about you but I would HATE to live in a world where ALL reviews were EXACTLY the same thing. We had this same issue with Dragon’s Crown, when ONE reviewer (from a website most people didn’t even frequent) didn’t like the game as much as everyone else did.

It’s extremely sad that Bayonetta 2’s long-awaited release in Japan (and the demo on the Wii-U) is being overshadowed by all this nonsense and undue hate for Polygon’s semi-negative review of a 7.5 out of 10. If I were a developer or programer on Bayonetta 2, that sort of mob-based mentality would bother me because you’re not debating my game, you’re using my game to dog-pile hate on a website you don’t like.

This type of nonsense has to stop.
  • Mood: Tender
  • Listening to: Bob's Burgers
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: Avatar: The Legend of Korra Season 4
  • Playing: Bayonetta 2 Demo
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
EDIT: I added a few more little things, including a link for people who were asking questions

I’m sorry that the last journal seemed to upset so many people. It was meant as a cleansing of views and people around me that might introduce toxicity in my life. But I can totally understand how some people took it very personally, or felt that I worded it poorly. You are absolutely right, and for that transgression I am sorry.

With that in mind, I felt it might be a good idea to just give a refresher course on important personal rules, opinions, or views I have so that we’re ALL on the same playing field on where/what/who I stand for. So this is going to be a very BLUNT and DRY list of stuff about me and my opinions. I hope that it helps clear any confusions and I will be happy to elaborate on anything if you ask me in the comments section.


I am an atheist. While I am very tolerant of other religions providing they leave me alone, living in America has made me very intolerant of the more extremist Christianity sects in America. I acknowledge and understand that most Christians are lovely, decent, wonderful people, and that the bad eggs represent a vocal minority. My beef with Christianity often usually only rises up when Christian people in America try to harm other people’s faiths by refusing to let them enjoy their faith (such as the annual ritual of “war on Christianity” propaganda nonsense that crops up EVERY Christmas season).

I believe in a number of things, such as Climate Change (global warming) and the fact that we’ve been to the Moon. I do NOT believe in conspiracy theories like those of 9/11 truthers.

I am emotional. I’m an artist, after all, and I have an emotional way of thinking. I try to be logical and thoughtful about things, but I am not a Vulcan and sometimes if I’ve been worn down, emotionally drained, or exhausted, I can be prone to saying or doing something inappropriate. I try my best to not let that happen, but it does happen from time to time. I’m sorry.

I am a man of very strong opinions. I do not always think that I am right, but I am not afraid to voice my opinions in my personal spaces (my website, my comics, my journals, etc). I will NOT, however, go out of my way to invade OTHER people’s spaces and step on their opinions/views.

I live in America so ALL of my discussion should be framed with “in America” in mind. I cannot and will not try to force my opinions on another country, as I am not intimately familiar about their social dynamics/taboos/etc. And I would hope that people from other countries would respect that for me too and not try to impose their views on me. I can only speak for/about America.

Free speech is not censorship in my opinion. But free speech also is not a get-out-of-jail-free card either. Freedom of speech means that what you say CAN be challenged by others, especially if your speech it’s being used to cause harm to someone. That applies to me too. I do my best to not be on that side, but if my speech ever DOES harm someone in real life, I will apologize and try to make amends.

I do not believe that removing the ability to comment on my art or websites is a form of “censorship” as the rest of the internet is entirely open and free. As long as you can comment SOMEWHERE then it’s not really censorship as censorship really only applies to actual laws that a court can uphold preventing you from having free speech.

I can and will admit to being wrong.

I do not think that “all men are evil,” but I do acknowledge that America’s history from it’s creation strongly favored cis-white-men as the founding power structure/dynamic and that working towards dismantling the long established patriarchy system in America is a good goal to have for the 21st century.

I believe that feminism is very important, and that it benefits both men AND women.

I do not believe in humanism because I cannot support “equal rights for everyone” when we’re not all equal yet or on the same playing field legally/socially in America.

I strongly support the LGBTA (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender, Asexual) movement.

If you mention my fetish work at all, chances are you will be blocked/muted. I don’t mind if someone actually wants to have a discussion about things, but usually it’s only brought up as a pun or a condescending insult. 10+ years since it happened and I’ve developed zero-tolerance for it. Because doing so shows me you don’t respect me or are just trying to be antagonistic or troll-worthy.

Speaking of... I do not actually have any problems with sex, sexuality, sexy costumes, or sexually charged characters/stories. If it fits the situation and is in-character, then fine. I DO have a problem with “stereotypically sexy” character designs or tropes constantly being used for no reason. IMO, a fictional character is not a real person. They cannot do things for themselves, they need you (the artist) to tell them what/how to do things. Therefor unlike real life where a person choosing to dress and act a certain way (like Nicki Minaj for example) is empowering, constantly dressing characters in skimpy outfits and posing them in unrealistic intentionally erotic poses for no good reason is a BAD thing IMO. There has to be a reason for it to exist other than “the target demographic is men” or “it’s a fantasy setting so it’s not really realistic!”

I do not appreciate being linked to hate blogs, parody artwork, or anything making fun of me. You might be tempted to send me links because you want me to do something about it, but I honestly am doing everything in my power to NOT see that crap. Report it silently and move on. I do not need to know about it because I already KNOW people are doing it anyway.

Links with no description explaining what it is will be reported as spam or ignored.

I had an issue with Anime 10+ years ago when I was running the Anime club at my college and was treated generally pretty badly by the members there. While I did make some bad remarks and artwork about my hatred of Anime back then, I have since gotten over it and don’t care anymore. Anime is fine.

I respect criticism and help when they are made by my close friends/peers and less so when they are made by random internet strangers.

Speaking in a condescending, angry, resentful, or profanity-laden manner will usually result in me NOT paying attention to what you have to say or completely ignoring you entirely. Even if the user might have a point (such as providing criticisms), if the point can’t be made without insults and personal attacks, then it’s not worth my time or attention.

I do not believe in supporting people, groups, charities, or websites that I find to be offensive. For example: I cannot support anything made by the creators of Earthworm Jim or Shadow Complex because of their anti-gay views. Another example: I do not support PETA because PETA believes domesticated pets (like dogs and cats) should be murdered and eradicated. And I expect the same of people who don’t like my work either. I fully accept your right to want to deny me money or views if you do not like my work. That is your (and my) personal choice and I will not frown on anyone who does that.

SIDE NOTE: If you wanna learn more about what I mean by PETA, this is a very helpful short video explaining it: [link]

I am also a consumer rights activist. I believe that customers should be allowed to be upset if corporations do things that are wrong (such as when Microsoft tried to pass off all the anti-consumer-friendly nonsense of the original X-BONE). That said, I do sometimes feel that consumers can get a little out of hand (such as the "retake Mass Effect" movement over the bad ending to ME3). Overall though, I will generally take the side of the consumer, because our wallets are what is at stake.

I support the concept of things (such as approving of Brony culture as a way of challenging current societal masculinity norms), but not necessarily the methods or actions of said groups or organizations. This is why I cannot support the actions and methods GamerGate, but I DO support the idea of ethics in games journalism.


If ANY of these views, opinions, or rules of mine are “too controversial” or “too whiny” for your tastes, you have my permission to not watch me or follow my artwork. I’m OK with that.
  • Mood: Neutral
  • Listening to: Bob's Burgers
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Playing: Star Trek: Trexels
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
So yeah... if you support #GamerGate in any way, could you please unfollow me? After yet another women in gaming being driven out of their home from DOXXING and rape/death threats, and the fact neo-nazi's have joined the cause... I want absolutely NOTHING to do with this group. I don't care if it'll lose me watchers or views or whatever, or if I don't completely "understand their cause!" I don't care now. There is no turning back for me. Please do not follow me if you support this clear hate group.

Likewise, if you don't support women's rights or the LGBTA movement, please either unfollow me or just don't comment or respond to anything I post from now on, ok? I don't want that anti-progressive hate filled stuff here either.

OK, thanks, bye.
  • Mood: Anger
  • Listening to: Bob's Burgers
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: Twitter Explode
  • Playing: Star Trek: Trexels
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
Some people took interest in this from my last journal ( Spider-Man and the Avengers ) so I thought I’d try to explain it better here. Please keep in mind that this is a SUPER CONDENSED version of events that took place (starting 60 years ago) that led to the convoluted mess that is currently Marvel’s various film franchises. Also keep in mind that I will be using industry shorthand like saying “comic book industry” to refer to the American comic book industry giants of Marvel and DC, because that’s how we do things here. Anyway, here we go!


“Seduction of the Innocent” comes out (a moral panic book which blames comics for kid’s wayward negative behavior), massive book burnings and censorship of comics ensues. Old comics burned or lost, thus increasing the value of the few comics that remain.

The Speculator Boom

News starts hitting people that those old comics they bought for, like, 5 cents as a kid are worth MILLIONS now. Speculators get idea: Buy comics now under the assumption that comics would continue to appreciate in value (completely ignoring the fact that the rarity of those older comics is why they were valuable in the first place).

Marvel and DC realize speculators are buying their books, and so they start producing “special editions,” introduce new characters, kill off famous ones, all in an attempt to make their books appear like they’d be worth buying now for value in the future.


The speculator bubble bursts when people realize that the comics they’ve been buying aren’t rare, and thus aren’t valuable at all. The entire comics industry collapses. DC (which is owned by Warner Bros) is able to stay afloat, but Marvel is forced to file for bankruptcy.

To keep from closing, Marvel sells off the licensing rights to many of their franchises in package deals to big Hollywood studios. For example, FOX get X-Men, but that also means they own the concept of “mutants” and thus any character who is called a mutant in the Marvel universe even if they’re not regularly part of the X-Men. Some of the franchises sold off included Blade, The Punisher, Ghost Rider, The Fantastic Four, X-Men, Daredevil, The Incredible Hulk, and Spider-Man.

The Rise of Marvel Studios

As superhero movies start making lots of money, Marvel creates their own film studio and starts an ambitious project of “world-building” their various franchises, starting with Iron Man. The Incredible Hulk is sold back to Marvel after the first film (by Universal) bombs.

Disney buys Marvel and throws their weight behind Marvel’s large-scale film ambitions by attempting to buy back the rights to many of those dispersed franchises. Meanwhile, rival studios who own the other various rights to Marvel’s creations start to become worried. If the studios don’t keep making movies with Marvel’s characters, the rights could revert back to Marvel/Disney. This is why Fantastic 4 got a sequel AND a reboot, despite the poor box office, and why Sony is still clinging desperately to Spider-Man.

Present Day

As of right now, Marvel/Disney owns the rights to Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, Punisher, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Black Widow, Ghost Rider, Blade, Black Panther, Daredevil, Elektra, Ant-Man, Cloak and Dagger, Dr. Strange, and Luke Cage. Marvel/Disney share the rights to Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (due to a legal technicality that they’re often part of The Avengers) with FOX, so both studios get to use the characters in their films (which is why Quicksilver was in “Days of Futures Past”).

Future Plans

Disney/Marvel have partnered up with Netflix and plan to release a new Daredevil series to be followed by a Jessica Jones series, then a Iron Fist series, then a Luke Cage series, which will all come together into a “The Defenders” series where they all team-up. Sort of a mini-Netflix version of the larger marvel movie Avengers series.

Keep it in Perspective!

Wanna know why DC doesn’t have this same problem? Because DC is owned ENTIRELY by Warner Bros.

So, yeah, when you start hearing news about a series you like, please don’t jump to conclusions about “OH! They might be in Avengers 3!” and try to keep these weird legal ramifications in mind. For example: There IS going to be a new Deadpool movie. Deadpool, sadly, is owned by FOX and thus Deadpool will be in no way “connected” to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. Another example: Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will be in Avengers 2, they just can’t legally mention that they’re “mutants” or mention Magneto.

Aren’t legal and licensing rights FUN?
  • Mood: Confused
  • Listening to: Lindsey Sterling - Shatter Me
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: Bob's Burgers
  • Playing: Star Trek: Trexels
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
Back when Marvel was bankrupt in the mid 90’s, they sold the licensing rights to many of their characters to a variety of film studios. Sony got Spider-Man. When Marvel started to try and world build their universe after many successful films, some of the companies didn’t want to comply. Universal sold the rights to The Hulk back to Marvel after the first Hulk movie bombed, which is why The Hulk was in The Avengers. FOX owns the rights to the X-Men franchise (and by extension the concept of Mutants) which is why Marvel is possibly looking towards an INHUMANS movie to help allow X-Men characters appear in their films by calling them inhumans instead.

Sony, meanwhile, has been CLINGING onto Spider-Man and refusing to let the rights return to Marvel (now owned by Disney which is a competitor of Sony). Sony was trying to world-build their own Spider-Man universe with the latest “Amazing” brand of movies, hoping to kick-start it off with a Sinister Six film.... but things haven’t been going well for Sony. The “Amazing Spider-Man” reboot has been getting universally panned by critics and bombing in terms of sales (from a movie executive perspective, not an actual logical perspective).

It’s also worth pointing out that Marvel actually owns the TOY rights to Spider-Man. So Sony only really earns profit on the films, NOT on the merchandising which is often where the REAL money comes from. Also, as far as I know Sony only owns the film rights, which is why Marvel/Disney has been able to have Spider-Man appear alongside the Avengers in cartoon form. So for all those reasons and more... it appears Sony is looking to make a deal with Marvel/Disney.

This is all rumor at the moment, but it looks like the deal would be to let Spider-Man appear in the Marvel/Disney world-building universe (tentatively Avengers 3 since Avengers 2 is already done filming), as a way of helping generate interest in YET ANOTHER reboot of the Spider-Man franchise which would then lead into Sony’s long-planned Sinister Six film. Source:…

See, Sony HAS to keep making Spider-Man movies if they want to retain the rights. If they don’t keep making movies, the rights can legally return to Marvel/Disney. This would both be financially damaging to Sony and severely hurt their corporate “pride and honor.” Given how badly Sony has been doing in the tech industry lately with plummeting sales (don’t quote me on that that’s just what I’ve heard), losing rights to such a high-profile franchise would be devastating.

I’m luke-warm on the idea. I personally enjoyed the original Spider-Man trilogy and absolutely HATE the “Amazing” franchise. I’m also, frankly, kinda SICK of Spider-Man and I really REALLY don’t want to sit through YET ANOTHER reboot of the franchise. BUT... I AM psyched that he might get to appear in Avengers 3, and if Sony lets Marvel/Disney help out with the reboot it actually could be REALLY GOOD. So yeah... I’m conflicted.

The legal red-tape that all of this keeps putting us through is astounding, isn’t it?

PS: If you'd like to learn more about the legal issues over who owns what with Marvel, I made a journal here: A Brief History of Marvel's Film Rights
  • Mood: Confused
  • Listening to: Lindsey Sterling - Shatter Me
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: Bob's Burgers
  • Playing: Star Trek: Trexels
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
I had an interesting twitter discussion this morning. Last night I simply asked if there had been any specific character in all of Avatar: The Last Airbender which was anything but heterosexual. The closest I got was a joking “cabbage-sexual,” but this morning I also got some really negative responses too.

It's a kids show in America. You're not the target audience. Most kids don't give two hoots about that stuff.

I'm opposed to the idea of forcing ideals on children and demanding things change unnecessarily to suit peoples own agendas.

Neither of us, I assume, had cartoons or games with gays as kids. Neither of us are homophobic. So WHY do kids NOW need it?

God damn it, kids don't need to know, or give a shit, about fucking gay rights. Their parents can tell them if they care.

It's a retarded question. It's a god damn kids show.

That raised a lot of questions for me. Such as... why is it wrong to have LGBT representation in a kids cartoon? I’m not talking about showing people having sex, or even kissing. Just the idea that you can’t say a man is in love with another man, or show the parents of a family being of the same sex. I’m well aware that Disney had a live-action TV show on their channel which depicted same sex couples without freaking out... but I have yet to see this in a cartoon. Cartoons, apparently, are different?

Here’s the thing. Representation matters. During the 1960’s, depicting a black woman on TV’s Star Trek as being equal to everyone else on the show was revolutionary. It helped inspire many more black women and actors to seek roles they wouldn’t normally have tried for(including Whoopie Goldberg and Oprah). Representation DOES matter. And for kids who are growing up in a very confusing time of their life, having representation like a same sex couple in a show they’d watch would send the positive message of “you are not an abnormality.” Like it or not, what we watch as children really DOES profoundly affect us as adults (which is why I also dismiss the argument “it’s just a kids cartoon who cares?”).

Remember the controversy surrounding Tomodachi Life? People weren’t upset that Nintendo patched out a bug which allowed same sex couples. People were upset that Nintendo then issued a statement which said that “it’s just a cute game, we weren’t trying to send any sort of political message,” without realizing that a dating game where everyone is heterosexual IS sending a political message. The message that gays don’t exist. It wasn’t the bug or the patch which upset people, it was the concept that “heterosexual life is normal, everything else is a glitch to be swept under the rug.”

Now for the most part I blame Christianity for this, primarily because America is predominantly Christian and Christian morals and beliefs are what permeate 99% of all kids cartoons on TV here (That’s one of the reasons I loved Avatar initially, because for once it wasn’t a kids show espousing Christian morals and concepts, but instead more along the lines of Buddhism). Christianity seems to have it’s hooks deep in children’s media, and that kinda bothers me. Sanitizing and watering things down for kids isn’t always good. Kids are smart and kids can handle deeper challenging stuff. There’s a reason darker shows like Batman: The Animated Series or Gargoyles stood out as being “important” shows in the childhood of people my age. And out of all religious groups, it seems like Christianity is the one doing their best to prevent things like LGBT representation from happening.

But I guess this is a really controversial topic? Like I said, the whole initial exchange on twitter is what got me started about this all. I was incredibly surprised to get such a NASTY response to asking such a simple question. Why IS it so wrong to depict LGBT in a positive way in kids media? Why MUST everything conform to heterosexual normality? Why should we pretend a HUGE PART of life and our population simply DON’T EXIST? Do you think kids can’t “handle” the idea of same sex relationships? Is it morally reprehensible to suggest kids understand or deal with life issues like that in their cartoons, while other life issues are allowed?

I am genuinely curious here. What do you guys all think of this concept? Can it be fixed? Is there a solution? What’re your thoughts?
  • Mood: Confused
  • Listening to: Welcome to the Bighouse - Tina Fey
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: Doctor Who - Kill The Moon
  • Playing: Star Trek: Trexels
  • Eating: McD Breakfast
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
Legend of Korra Book 4 is up now
I watched the first episode and I won’t spoil anything for you here. Suffice to say it was a little more lackluster than I anticipated it would be for a season starting episode. I understand they’re setting up a LOT of stuff (with the 3 year time jump), but overall I felt kinda blah about this episode. I hope it gets better. I think the next episode is going to examine what happened to Korra during those 3 years and that sounds like it’s gonna be awesome. So here’s hoping!

DC Apologizes for Offensive T-Shirts
This little news story broke out over the week. DC unveiled 2 new official t-shirts. The first depicted Superman kissing Wonder Woman with the title “SCORE!” over his head. The other was a Batman shirt that read “Training to be Batman’s Wife.” I have less issue with the batman shirt than I do the Wonder Woman shirt, because it’s pretty indicative of what DC seems to think of her. She’s not a powerful character in her own right, she’s a love interest for Superman to be conquered.

Almost immediately after revealing the t-shirts and getting angry complaints from women, DC apologized and said they too found the shirts offensive (then why’d you try to sell them you rubes?) and that they’d be working with their licensing department to create better official art that appeals to everyone. Great apology but it belies the more serious problem here... that these t-shirts slipped through and NO ONE thought “hey, these might come off a little sexist!” and also that it seems NO ONE at DC seems to understand or recognize their female demographic.

If there was a “training to be Wonder Woman’s husband” shirt, I probably wouldn’t even give this story a second glance. Sadly it just helps reconfirm suspicions that DC really doesn’t understand how their demographics have changed and that women make up a much larger reading group than they anticipated.

Troll by Shane Koyczan
The animation isn’t all that great, but the spoken word aspect is phenomenal. Strongly recommend everyone watch this video! Really powerful stuff!

Deconstructing the Anita Sarkeesian Effect
I know a lot of people don’t like to deal with this, but it’s very important. This video is a little long, but it’s well worth the watch. It’s not even really about Anita at all, but more or less the idea of people cherry picking facts to fabricate conspiracies that don’t really exist. In the climate that video game culture has been in lately, I think this is a very sobering video that needs to be seen and watched. This guy might even become the next big “overthinker” YouTube star. Here’s hoping!

Intel VS Gamasutra
In other related game news, Intel has pulled advertising sponsorship to the developer website Gamasutra amid pressures from GamerGate proponents. While this is seen as a “win” by GamerGate people, it’s a little more complicated than that... Gamasutra isn’t a games enthusiast website. It’s a website for people working in the industry. It’s not FOR gamers, it’s for game designers/developers. Demanding companies remove sponsorship from this website seems to go against the core principals of GamerGate supporters, which is suppose to be about ethics in game journalism.

Intel has since issued an apology:…

But it’s still a little disconcerting. This is not really a “win” at all. This is more or less just proof that fear tactics and pressure works, and that the squeaky wheels always get the grease. It’s hard not to see this as an attack on women when the REASON GamerGate targeted Gamasutra with their “operation disrespectful nod” was because of an opinion piece that freelance writer Leigh Alexander made back in August about the mistreatment of Zoe Quinn.…

Despite me being rather openly opposed to GamerGate, I want to remind you all that I AGREE WITH THE CONCEPT OF THE MOVEMENT. Transparency in the gaming press is a GOOD thing, and it’s needed. However... I do not think that things like THIS are the right way to go about achieving that, and that more often than not these “operations” seem to have the intent of removing different voices and opinions (overwhelmingly female or supporters of feminism) from the field.

Please, true honest to goodness genuinely NICE supporters of GamerGate? Please help stop this sort of thing festering in your ranks. This is not helping your cause!
  • Mood: Sadness
  • Listening to: Welcome to the Bighouse - Tina Fey
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: Avatar: The Legend of Korra Season 4
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Potato Skins
  • Drinking: Decaf. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
So I finally bit the bullet and disabled comments on all my artwork. I had been thinking about doing it for a while now, and after conducting a poll and seeing an overwhelming support of doing it, I decided to finally act upon it. Deviations I submit will no longer have comments. Journals and my FrontPage will because I can’t disable those (trust me, I would’ve disabled my FrontPage comment section YEARS ago if I could. That place is a cesspool).

The reasons for disabling comments are pretty simple. I get a lot of hate on the internet and it’s negatively affecting me. I am, I admit, a special case. I likely get more hate than most “famous” DA users do, and as such I have to tailor my needs specifically. I also have been growing very wary about how toxic the DA community can be at times. DA doesn’t police new accounts and it’s very easy for trolls to perpetuate their activities. Blocking doesn’t really DO anything as anyone can just create a new account to get around it. Reporting is slow and doesn’t usually resolve problems. And more often than not people are far more willing to tell you what you did wrong, than what you did right.

I’ve been growing kinda distrustful of comments in general across MANY platforms, not just DA. The more I see how comments can be used as an abusive system, the less I’m in favor of them. This has been something that’s been festering inside me for a while now.

Of course there is likely going to be a backlash against this practice. Disabling comments sends the message that you don’t want feedback or criticism. And I’m already known as the poster-boy for “can’t handle criticism” on the internet. Others might object because it’s seen as “censoring” their voice, from people who do not understand what censorship actually means. Not allowing you to comment on a work of art, is not censorship as long as you’re allowed to comment on it in SOME public form/forum on the internet. And guess what? Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets are designed for JUST THAT PURPOSE. So while you may not be able to comment HERE, you can still have a voice and express your opinions ELSEWHERE.

At any rate... that’s what happened today. I am not leaving Deviant Art, but this is likely the starting point of me migrating away from the communities and just focusing on making art and comics for fun and entertainment, free of the nagging belittling comments that permeate everyday life for me here. While I have every intention of improving my artwork over time, forcing myself to get better for the sake of getting better is not a belief I hold, and I would much rather make art that’s fun and entertaining for me (warts and all), than striving for perfection and making art that’s technically nice but utterly soulless.
  • Mood: Angsty
  • Listening to: I'm Blue - Eiffel 65
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: Doctor Who (10th Doctor)
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Subway Sandwiches
  • Drinking: Green tea. Hot.
Vivian James was created by 4chan as part of designing a character for The Fine Young Capitalist’s video game contest thanks to the amount of money they donated to the group. However, despite her original intent of being a video game character, she was quickly adopted by many GamerGate people as a sort of spiritual mascot for their cause. She appears in pro-GamerGate memes, user icons, fanart, etc.

While many don’t want to admit that she’s their mascot, if enough people keep using her to symbolize their struggles and as meme shorthand for their cause... I’m sorry but that’s pretty much the definition of a mascot.

A mascot is any person, animal, or object used to represent a group with a common public identity.

And it’s this reason people need to understand that as a mascot she can represent many things that aren’t part of her loosely defined “character.” Mickey Mouse, for example, is often used as a mascot or symbol for Disney in a lot of parody work. He’s often depicted out of character to further whatever the point is trying to be made about Disney. It’s not a shot at Mickey Mouse, it’s a shot at Disney themselves.

So yeah... all this hatred of the past couple comics featuring Vivian James seem to be centered around nitpicky semantics and people’s unwillingness to see how their cause is portrayed by those outside of the group. I got news for ya, GamerGate people... your cause is NOT looked highly upon. And if THIS much anger and hatred is created just by having a mediocre webcomic artist poking fun at a fictional character loosely associated with your group... that’s a BAD sign.

It’s funny how a group that tries so hard to preach the idea of “ethics” seems to have no problem mocking and dog-piling obscene amounts of hatred and vile content on anyone who even APPEARS to oppose them. I’ve always said that I respect the CONCEPT behind GamerGate, but that I don’t actually believe they’re capable of fulfilling it. And with this latest show of harassment and malicious attacks, I think i’m pretty right in believing that.

In the past 48 hours I’ve endured a torrent of hateful messages being sent to me on twitter, death threats, people wishing I’d commit suicide, parody comics (which ironically bemoan me sexualizing Vivian by using a sexy female version of my bear character?), nasty e-mails, and about a gazillion balloon puns (because a decade ago I use to draw inflation artwork therefor it’s an easy way to make fun of me now).

You wanna know why GamerGate has a bad reputation? This is why. I wish the actual people who want GamerGate to be successful luck... cuz from where I sit, ya got a LONG way to go.
  • Mood: Stumped
  • Listening to: R.E.M. - I am Superman
  • Reading: Twitter
  • Watching: Doctor Who (12th Doctor)
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Mac + Cheese
  • Drinking: Chamomile tea. Hot.