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Huh. Apparently a lot of people were not aware of the minor plot twist to captain America the winter soldier which I inadvertently spoiled in the last journal.

My bad...

Of course by the same token it's almost like spoiling who iron man is (pst it's tony stark!).

But yeah I guess I should've put up a spoiler warning all the same. I just thought it was already common knowledge is all.

Sorry everyone. Hope I didn't ruin your day TOO much...
  • Mood: Optimism
  • Listening to: Linkara
  • Reading: All-New Marvel NOW! Point One
  • Watching: Frasier
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Egg White Delight
  • Drinking: Hot Coco
Captain America 2
Wow. That whole bit about the winter soldier being Bucky Barns? Complete red herring for the major plot twist that upends pretty much the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe at this point! Kudos Marvel for keeping that plot secret for so long!

Also, not only is it a great political thriller in its own right with strong parallels to current events, but it's also a great character building movie. Black Widow in particular goes through a very strong arc in the film.

Oh yeah and the teaser at the end? Fuckin' hell Marvel... !!!!!

Awesome movie. Strongly recommend!

Nintendo Direct: Smash Bros
Meh. I honestly have stopped caring about smash bros since Melee. Can't afford a wii-u, don't really desire the game. Glad everyone else is pumped but personally I just can't muster energy to care.

Question though... Who thought giving Zero Suit Samus 90's inspired Rebook sneaker heels was a good design choice? They look atrocious.
  • Mood: Optimism
  • Listening to: Linkara
  • Reading: All-New Marvel NOW! Point One
  • Watching: Frasier
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Egg White Delight
  • Drinking: Hot Coco
If you haven’t heard yet, Marvel is branching out quite a bit lately and introducing a bunch of new characters to their roster. One of whom is a Muslim teenage girl who takes up the mantle of Ms Marvel.

Necessary Background Info
If you’re like me and don’t follow 100% what’s going on in DC or Marvel comics right now, some of the events in the story come across unexplained. So here’s a quick little explanation for the main reason of how Kamala gains her powers.

During the end of the “Infinity” storyline, a Terrigen Bomb was detonated in Earth's atmosphere during the Inhumans' fight with Thanos, releasing Terrigen Mist upon the planet. This caused anyone who was a descendant of an “Inhuman” to develop powers of their own.

Kamala Khan
In Ms Marvel #1 (part of the All-New Marvel NOW! Point One series), we follow the exploits of Kamala Khan, a Pakistani American teenager born and raised in New Jersey. Kamala exists in a confusing world. She sees white people as “normal” and her own family as being “abnormal.” She wants to fit in to the world she was born into (i.e.: America) but her family wants her to remember her heritage, which is often dismissed or is completely misunderstood by all Kamala’s white friends. She’s also a bit of a social geek, preferring to hide up in her room and write fan-fiction of the Avengers.

One day Kamala disobeys her parents wishes and sneaks out to go to a “meathead” party. The party sadly doesn’t go over well when she’s tricked into drinking Vodka. On her way home from the party the aforementioned Terrigen Mist sweeps through the city, causing her to pass out and daydream of her idol Carol Danvers (aka: Ms. Marvel). In the dream Kamala wishes she was just like her, to wit Ms Marvel says “be careful what you wish for” before disappearing. Upon awakening, Kamala discovers that she’s been transformed into Ms Marvel. However, despite looking conventionally attractive with white skin with blond hair, Kamala realizes that she still doesn’t feel like she fits in. And that’s where our story begins!

Impact
This single story has been so successful that it’s going in for a 3rd printing already. Not only is the art appealing, but the writing and overall direction is spot-on. Kamala is a fun and enjoyable character to read and sympathize with, and her powers reflect her insecurities but also her strengths. The critical reception of this storyline has been overwhelmingly positive, especially from the Muslim community. Not only does it add a new batch of POC to the Marvel line-up, but it does so in an unobtrusive way. The Mrs Marvel you all know and love still exists in this universe, Kamala just has the ability to shapeshift and look like her. It adds a much needed new perspective to the Marvel world and all I can say is “about damn time!”

I strongly recommend it if you can find it. There’s usually a digital download for between $2-$3, so it should be pretty easy to find and obtain. Especially through Marvel’s new in-phone apps.
  • Mood: Optimism
  • Listening to: Linkara
  • Reading: All-New Marvel NOW! Point One
  • Watching: Frasier
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Egg White Delight
  • Drinking: Hot Coco
Not because I’ve ever “been the fool” in a April 1st Prank or anything, but more or less because I have to endure the MONTHS upon MONTHS of people who unironically believe whatever bullshit joke a company decided to make on the internet that day.

Some companies do the joke well, like YouTube when they announced the complete YouTube DVD collection, or when they turned all the videos into old timey black and white film strips.

But others, more commonly associated with the entertainment media, usually just create a fake new story that unfortunately spreads like wild-fire. I STILL see people unironically blaming Nintendo for never releasing Wind Waker with updated Twilight Princess models and textures.... based on an april fools joke made in 2005!

And part of the ire I have about this day comes from how VOLATILE and quick to HATE on everything is on the internet. Nobody actually stops and thinks before they post anything, so jokes like this usually just end up devolving it flame wars and name calling blame games which, frankly, is tiresome to have to deal with.

So y’all can enjoy your April Fools Day jokes, i’m sure many of them will be clever and funny, but I’ll be doing my best to ignore everything that transpires tomorrow/today.
  • Mood: Gloomy
  • Listening to: Steven Universe - Amalgam
  • Reading: The Phantom of the Opera
  • Watching: Frasier
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Nachos Flander's Style
  • Drinking: Hot Coco
WARNING: Slightly irritated journal ahead. Take with a grain of salt.


This last batch of SYAC strips has really worn me out mentally. I think I’m gonna need to take a small break to recharge my batteries after this. I’ve been finding myself getting increasingly pissed off, angry, hostile, and irritated, even at things that don’t really deserve the frustration. Primarily as a result of having to re-explain incredibly simple concepts over and over and over again, as if my art doesn’t speak for itself.

On top of this, I’ve got a new job, a big project in the works, commissions to finish, and everything else that having a life entails. I don’t feel like I should have to re-explain myself SO MANY TIMES over something as simple as “women are people, treat them as such.” Nor do I feel like I should be sent death-threats over proposing such a radical idea either.

It’s so incredibly sad and pathetic that saying “hey, this isn’t cool, we should try and fix it” is viewed with such contempt, hatred, and vitriol by so much of the gaming/comic community. I want things to get better, but my god I don’t know why ANYONE in their right mind would want to TRY and tackle that ocean of disgusting outdated mentalities. All of which is rendered even more of an obstacle to overcome by those who claim to be playing “devil’s advocate” yet only speak up for men’s rights whenever someone brings up women’s rights.

By the way, if you self identify as a member of the MRA group (Men’s Right’s Activists), please do me a favor and either block or ignore me. I want nothing to do with you or your mantra. That goes for anyone who is offended by me being a feminist too. If you don’t like my views on feminism or whatever, please block or ignore me and move on with your life.  I have absolutely no problem with the idea of someone unwatching me because of my beliefs or views.

Bottom line... I’m done for now. I hate social justice blogging and this is about as far as I can go before I’m just worn out entirely with the whole deal. I saw some problems in the community, I made a few jokes trying to point in the right direction, and the ONLY reason it’s lasted this long is because one joke kept begetting another.

Side note, it’s also pretty sad that standing up for social justice issues is considered an insult now.

So yeah... I’m done for a while. I’ll get back to regular SYAC updates eventually once I’ve recharged my batteries. Got more important things to worry about right now than if someone somewhere on the internet doesn’t like my opinions on feminism and I can’t let this crap fester in me anymore. I can’t afford to get sick again.
  • Mood: Gloomy
  • Listening to: Steven Universe - Amalgam
  • Reading: The Phantom of the Opera
  • Watching: Frasier
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Nachos Flander's Style
  • Drinking: Hot Coco
Tangentially related but isn’t it kinda silly how so many people in the gaming community bitch and whine about how no one should “judge a game by it’s cover” whenever people have a problem with promotional artwork that’s released to the public *COUGH*metalgearsolidquietdesign*COUGH*, yet then turn around and BEG and PLEAD for everyone to judge a trailer for an upcoming movie like Michael Bay’s TMNT?

So the new trailer for the Michael Bay TMNT movie has been debuted:


My thoughts?

It looks pretty stupid IMO. The designs of the turtles are generally awful and unappealing. The very worse of the immature “realism = adult” mentality that Michael Bay is noted for infusing into everything. Their shells look more like over stuffed backpacks, they TOWER above all the other actors in gangly long legs, and their faces fall right into the uncanny valley effect. Not to mention that the actor playing “the Shredder” is clearly phoning his acting in, as it doesn’t remotely sound like he’s interested or invested in anything he’s saying throughout the trailer. Curiously, I had no problem what-so-ever with Megan Fox as April o’Neil.

Director Justin Leiberman has previously had a lot of experience mixing live action and CGI effects (having done Battle for LA and The Wrath of the Titans), so I don’t really have a worry about how well the turtles are integrated into the environment. I just... they’re ugly. Their designs gross me out. I don’t want to watch a 90 minute film where they look like that, ya know?

I could still be wrong and it could still be good... but thus far it seems to have conformed to all our of worse expectations about this troubled production. It’s going to be incredibly hard to hear these turtles quipping 1-liners and joking with each other and being lighthearted and funny when they look do damn disgusting and unappealing.

And that’s my two cents.
  • Mood: dA Love
  • Listening to: Steven Universe - Amalgam
  • Reading: The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
  • Watching: Bob's Burgers
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Cheeseburger topped with a fried egg
  • Drinking: Hot Coco
In my downtime I like to play video games. I haven’t had a chance to do so in a long time, so I’ve been storing up these first impressions for a while hoping to just post them as one big journal dump, and I think I’ve got enough now to do that! Keep in mind, these are first impressions not full reviews. They are also highly opinionated, so if you feel like I’m being unfair to a certain game... relax. It’s ok. You can still enjoy your game. Everyone has different tastes and these are my first impressions for all of them.

Batman: Arkham Asylum
Boring. Yes let’s spend the first 20 minutes walking SLOWLY down a hallway with the Joker making vaguely homophobic conversation with Batman. I mean, OK, I get the idea that The Joker is suppose to be kinda gay for Batman all thanks to Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight comic... but has it ALWAYS been this overt? Playing the intro to the game actually kinda felt uncomfortable because of how homophobic the writing seemed to be. It just reminded me of how Hollywood likes to portray feminine traits as being kinda “evil.”

Skipped the cut scene cuz I was so desperate to have something actually happen and finally got to begin the game. Left click, right click, click click click click click YAWN click click click click click click, gee for how rough I’m hitting these guys they sure take a LONG time to go down click click click click. DONE! What next? Oh... more bad guys...  click click click click click click click click click click

Meh. Not for me I guess.

Batman: Arkham City
Hello, what’s this? Playing as Catwoman? Oh this might be interest- Left click, right click, click click click click click ... DONE! Oh hey that wasn’t so bad. Now I can play more of... NOPE! HAHA CATWOMAN OUT BRUCE WAYNE IN.

Fuck you game.

Again with the long slow boring opening. Let me get into the god-damn game please! I don’t like wasting 20 minutes walking through corridors. Also, why is no one surprised or shocked that Bruce Wayne can fight everyone while still handcuffed and beat the snot out of The Penguin?

Honestly, once the tutorial junk was done, actually PLAYING as Batman is pretty damn cool. I love being able to swing around the city, stalking villains, conversing with pedestrians who help you, etc. It’s very fluid and much more intuitive than the first game....

Then the story comes back and ugh... I don’t care about Harvey Dent. I don’t care about “investigating the path of the bullet.” Let me just roam around kicking ass.

SMACKS HARLEY QUINN

Game... that is not what I meant. Lost interest the moment the game tried to get me to “plan” out my attack against the thugs. Are these people so stupid they can’t look UP and see me just sitting up in the edge ready to pounce? Wish I could go back to roaming the city... or as playing as Catwoman. Blah.

FEZ
A little bit of a confusing opening, what with the “reset” sequence and all, but once the game starts it’s actually a lot of fun. I like how laid back it is and that it doesn't really punish you for dying. Cute graphics, cute charm, only two real complaints.

The first is that the sound of a door opening contains a squeak that sounds an awful lot like my cat. Every time I went through a door I thought my cat was right behind me meowing at me, and every time I would look around me and not see any cat. Confused the hell out of me until I realized it was a sound effect in the game.

The second is that I have no idea where I am going. The worlds are all vaguely interconnected and I tend to move around between them quick quickly. I kinda wish there was a better map system or something, but it’s not entirely detrimental. Just a mild offense.

The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind
I loved the shit out of Skyrim so I thought I’d play the game before it to see what it was like. Now... I MIGHT be able to overlook the god-awful polygon characters and environments (it is a 2002 game after all), but the interface... oh man... I just... I can’t deal with how you talk to people. And that’s such a main thrust of the story too. Dump a lot of text on the screen and my eyes just gloss over it all. I have no interest in reading a book on my computer when I’m trying to play a game. I’ll give it props for the fact that finding out information by interrogating people different ways works pretty well... but the rest.. I just... I just can’t deal with how awful the interface is.

Tomb Raider: 2013
While watching the intro I couldn’t help but wonder... do we REALLY need to have her “origin story” be so god-damn violent? Then the game moved on to her being held upside down and needing to get free. Yay... quicktime events. Cuz those are sure... fun. Then she falls down and BOOM! Right on a spike. Cuz, ya know, that’s what we wanna see right? Conventionally attractive women grunting, groaning, moaning, then impaled with spears and blood gushing everywhere.

Overall it kinda felt like the game was trying to avoid glorifying Lara as a sex object (the way she has in the past) but at the same time they conveniently do things like zoom in on her butt when she’s crawling. It’s like they’re trying not to be pervy, yet they still do it and pretend it doesn’t exist.

I didn’t get very far in this one either. Didn’t feel invested. Didn’t like how horrifyingly violent it was against Lara.

Sir, You Are Being Hunted
A very peculiar Survival Horror game. You’ve been “transported” to this weird alternate dimension (that looks a lot like a british countryside). You have to traverse the various landscapes to recover pieces of your... i dunno... ship? to get back home. You have an inventory which has limited space, no weapons, and stamina stats that occasionally need to be replenished by eating or banding up. But all the while you’re being hunted by these creepy robots with guns. They’re not very bright robots, but they seem to do a good job tracking you down, making running through the countryside very tense.

The game has a very quirky art style, the worlds are semi-randomly generated (i think?), and the worlds are quite large too. My ONLY complaint is the mouse sensitivity is insanely fucked up. It’s either TOO FAST giving you dizzy spells, or it’s too sloooowwww to make turning or looking up useful in any way.

If you can muster fine-tuning the settings to this I would strongly recommend it. It’s quite fun!

Super Meat Boy
Got this on Steam recently cuz it was on sale. I’ve kinda got a grudge against the original creators of the game because of the way in which they basically said “fuck you” to the Wii and Nintendo fans. Originally being developed for WiiWare, Microsoft bought the rights to publish the game on the Xbox. Had that been it, I wouldn’t have had a problem. It was the follow up “Nintendo sucks, too little space for WiiWare” response they gave for why they were dropping the Wii. I understand the Wii had a data cap of like 40mb for WiiWare titles but... ya know, Super Meat Boy doesn’t really look all that graphically intensive, if you know what I mean. I find it hilariously ironic that games like Ocarina of Time, or Chrono Trigger, or any of these other huge games from our past can fit into the space of 16-20mb, but the creators of SMB couldn’t fit their flat cel-shaded-blocky gameplay aesthetic into 40mb.

I dunno, it just always bugged me the way the whole thing was handled, ya know?

Having finally played the game... eh it’s ok. I don’t really feel compelled to get through the game to save his girlfriend, mostly because that trope just bores me to death, but the gameplay IS very responsive, fast, and has incredibly tight controls.

Sonic Dash for ios and Android
You know all those “running game” apps that exist out there? I’ve always felt that Sonic would fit right in. And ya know what? I was right! Sonic Dash for IOS is closer to how Sonic SHOULD be played than any other tripple-A game I’ve seen him come out with in the past DECADE.

Gameplay is SIMPLE. Sonic continuously runs along various environment paths. You can move him left or right using simple swipes of your finger. Jump with an up swipe, spin roll with a down swipe. Tap the button in the air to do a homing attack over large expanses to make it to the other side. That is LITERALLY IT. It’s simple, quick to learn, hard to master, makes for a fun aside, runs smoothly, and looks beautifully.

Not only that... but the game is fucking FREE. Yes it falls into the similar trappings of wanting to get you to buy in-game purchases to keep playing longer and more powerful, and yes there are adverts that pop up from time to time... but for a FREE game featuring Sonic to be this damn good and satisfying, I can easily overlook those setbacks.

It also proves that with good gameplay ya don’t NEED to keep trying to put Sonic into a 2-D perspective to please the old-school fans. I’m about as hardcore an old-school Sonic fan as you can get and I friggin’ LOVED this game.

Sonic 2 for IOS
Speaking of Sonic, I bought Sonic 2 for my iphone a while ago but only just recently got around to playing it. Having played it I have to say... this is the definitive version of Sonic 2. No questions about it. They’ve made much needed updates to the game and they’re wonderful to boot!

First, remember the 3-D running bonus stage? On the genesis it looked amazing because we’d never seen anything like it in a video game at the time. But in modern parlances, it looks like shit. So they’ve actually re-done those levels with 3-D graphics mixed with the 2-D sprites. It looks great!

Secondly, they added the unfinished Hidden Palace Zone back into the game. Longtime fans of Sonic will know that there was a hidden level that was nearly completed on the ROM, but never finished and was left in the game as unused code. The IOS version of Sonic 2 remasters the level and puts it back into the game! Awesome! (though the boss battle is a little more difficult to figure out)

Third... it’s widescreen. Looks GREAT on a iphone or andoid.

Funny how a game from about 25 years ago can still hold new surprises and be a treat to play!

Marvel Puzzle Quest
Is anyone else playing this? I got this because I saw a friend of mine going nuts over it and I can see why now. It’s a standard Bejeweled/Candy Crush clone with a twist. The colors you match up directly fill up your various superhero power bars which can unleash devastating attacks against opponents. You win comic book covers which help level up your various characters skills, as well as a purple gem-stone power that trains them better. The higher your character, the more hit/heath points you get. Each character has specific color coded attacks, and you can have up to 3 characters on a team. This results in a lot of strategy as you try to collect enough colors for your characters to deal out intense damage to your opponent before they do as well.

The game also features regular weekly events giving away special prizes and bonuses for how well you do, and new missions and objectives to take on. Again, it follows the “pay for more stuff” model most IOS games do, but it’s done in a much less unobtrusive way. It doesn’t constantly try to get you to accidentally click on things the way other games do, and you don’t NEED any to buy anything if you just play the game casually (which it is meant to be done anyway). So it’s kinda a win-win.

Only 1 real complaint. The music is boring.

Oh yeah, another pro? You can link it to your facebook account so if you switch phones you don’t lose all your progress. That really should just be a no-brainer for games on phones these days, yet so many don’t have it as a feature...

Conclusions
I don’t have much patience for long intro cut scenes. If your game promises me to play a certain way, just let me dive into it and let me play. I understand the desire to make the game more “cinematic” and to really showcase what they can do upfront... but they tend to just DRAG ON and ON and it bothers me to the point that I’d rather give up than keep playing. Noticed this starting to happen in games with Twilight Princess. Seriously, like 30-40 minutes running around your hometown playing before ANYTHING RELEVANT happens. FEZ dropped me into the story pretty quickly and had a very appealing cute art style.

So I guess I like pick-up-and-play gameplay over everything else. Batman and Tomb Raider all LOOK great... but you can’t really just JUMP INTO them the way you can other games. Which sucks because, as I mentioned, Batman Arkham City has great controls and gameplay... it just took forever to get there and it keeps getting shoved out of the way for story stuff I don’t care about.
  • Mood: dA Love
  • Listening to: Steven Universe - Amalgam
  • Reading: The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
  • Watching: Bob's Burgers
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Cheeseburger topped with a fried egg
  • Drinking: Hot Coco
Digital Motion Blurring
syacartoonist.com/digital-moti…

Part 3 is up. Just to be completely transparent here, I've done the digital motion blurring effect on a couple occasions too, though I didn't enjoy the results. It is a rather lazy way to convey motion, and if you have ink outlines I think it looks even worse. As Scott McCloud says, there are a lot of ways to convey motion. I just don't particularly enjoy this variation, especially in how it's used in modern mainstream Amerian comics.

Exceptions to the rule might be if the comic had colored outlines, or even no outlines at all. I think that might be a better use of the blurring effect, but even still it feels unnecessary. I dunno, what do you guys think?
  • Mood: dA Love
  • Listening to: Steven Universe - Amalgam
  • Reading: The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
  • Watching: Bob's Burgers
  • Playing: FEZ
  • Eating: Cheeseburger topped with a fried egg
  • Drinking: Hot Coco
Transparent Sound FX
syacartoonist.com/the-transpar…

This one is kinda less known but it bothers me a lot. I understand WHY it's being done (it allows them to have a big sound effect over the artwork and not miss out on too much of the art itself), but I just can't stand the way it looks. It feels cluttered and has little to no impact in my opinion.

Death Threats
So side note: I've been getting a bunch of death threats lately. Got at least 2 e-mailed to me yesterday and one sent to my DA note box today. Dunno if they're all the same person, or if they're just trolls, or if they're just people who don't realize that threatening someone with death is wrong but... yeah...

Lesson learned: Never stand up for women's rights because anonymous people on the internt will want to murder you for your opinions...

Sigh...
  • Listening to: Steven Universe - Amalgam
  • Reading: The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
  • Watching: Get A Horse
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Cheeseburger topped with a fried egg
  • Drinking: Hot Coco
Oops
Due to a scheduling mistake this comic, which wasn’t suppose to be posted for another day or two on DA, ended up getting posted before the Human Torch Race Swapping comic... which has sort of dulled it’s impact.

It’s my fault for not getting the dates right when I scheduled it, but all the same it’s kinda frustrating that a comic I was quite pleased with got overshadowed by the other one.

So here’s a link to it in case ya missed it here on DA

SYAC - Powered Up by TomPreston

Things I Wish Comics Would Stop Doing Part 1
And speaking of other SYAC stuff... remember when I said there was gonna be a little series about “things I wish comics would stop doing” being posted on my site? I wasn’t going to post them here on DA because they contain artwork that is not my own and it just doesn’t feel right posting them here.

But I promised to give y’all a heads up when they started going up so... here’s the first one! Enjoy! syacartoonist.com/the-art-dump

If you don't have an account on my SYAC site, feel free to use this journal as the comment board about your thoughts on it.
  • Listening to: Steven Universe - Amalgam
  • Reading: The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
  • Watching: Harry Potter 1-7.2
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Cheeseburger topped with a fried egg
  • Drinking: Hot Coco
The Incredibles 2
Yes, the Incredibles is getting a sequel. Finally. Hip-hip hooray? I honestly am not all that excited about this. I was never part of the group of people bemoaning the fact this movie never got a sequel while movies like Cars and Toy Story did. I honestly never really felt like the Incredibles was sequel worthy to begin with actually... it’s such a self contained movie I don’t see why you’d need to expand upon it.

Speaking of Cars...

Cars 3
Oh no! Cars is ALSO getting another sequel! The horror the horror!

Honestly I’m a little tired of the Cars hate from so-called “Pixar” fans. Fuck you guys. If you don’t like the movie, don’t friggin’ watch it. It’s not really meant for you. There’s this strange concept called “being able to do two things at once” guys... companies and movie studios and artist, etc are all allowed to do more than one thing at a time. Making a Cars 3 doesn’t really impact your life at all if you don’t like the franchise... And you’re STILL getting your precious Incredibles 2 so... grow up?

Whether you like it or not, the Cars franchise foots the bill at Pixar. It’s a MASSIVE money making juggernaught and it allows them to continue making movies like The Incredibles 2. And you’re not even the target AUDIENCE for it... so... why do you have to bitch about it every time it’s even mentioned? Let it go guys... relax.

Smurfs Reboot
So the Smurfs is getting a reboot where Sony pictures will be animated it entirely in CGI. No more live action Neil Patrick Harris New York world crossing bullshit. Why? Because their CGI animated shorts got better reception and praise than their live action shit. Wow... who’da thought eh? Sticking closer to the source material yields.. GASP... better results? D’uh!!!

Chip N’ Dale: Rescue Rangers Movie
Speaking of ignoring source materials... there’s rumors going around that there is a Chip N’ Dale: Rescue Rangers Movie in the works... and that it will be a combination of CGI and Live Action.

Ugh...

Great, now I get to see Chip N’ Dale being portrayed like the CGI Alvin and the Chipmunks monstrosities...

Alvin and the Chipmunks TV show
And speaking of Alvin and the Chipmunks, guess who’s making their way into a new CG animated TV show? Yup. The Chipmunks.

I’m actually a little hopeful for this one. The redesigns of the characters seems like a nice blend between the 2-D style of the 80’s and the CG style of the movies. So here’s hoping this isn’t all that bad.

Space Jam 2
Yes... this is a thing that is actually going to happen.

I don’t even know what to say about this. The words “WHY” just keep flashing through my mind.
  • Mood: Questionable
  • Listening to: Steven Universe - Amalgam
  • Reading: The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
  • Watching: Nickelodeon's TMNT
  • Playing: Minecraft
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Hot Coco


No. Just... NO!

Look... It’s incredibly commendable that Blue Sky (A studio who’s talent is sadly grossly ignored by the general public) is able to re-create almost perfectly the art style of Charles Schulz with computer graphics. My main problem is... WHY? Why does it have to be 3-D? Why does it have to be CGI? Ever heard of Occam’s Razor: “The simplest solution is often the best?” Why work so hard emulating a hand drawn art style in 3-D instead of just doing it HAND DRAWN? For all their hard work, this looks like a 2-D Peanuts cartoon minus the outlines so... why not just animated in 2-D and don’t use outlines??? You can even apply a post faux 3-D effect over it to achieve basically the exact same results you get here so... Why?

To be fair, the movie looks like it’s going to be very faithful to the original series and probably will be very cute. I just don’t understand why it needs to be 3-D.
  • Mood: Hope
  • Listening to: Steven Universe - Amalgam
  • Reading: The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
  • Watching: Marvel's Agents of Shield
  • Playing: Minecraft
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Hot Coco
Later this week SYAC will be posting a series of “Things I Wish Comics Would Stop Doing” strips. This is the start of what might be an ongoing series within SYAC in general, though it really depends on how well it goes over...

In the past I’ve drawn my own artwork to explain things, but that’s always resulted in people accusing me of not knowing what I’m talking about and demanding actual sources. I don’t like the idea of using actual sources because my criticism of these techniques could easily be misinterpreted as criticism against specific artists, which is entirely the wrong idea. A lot of the time, these are pervasive techniques used throughout the mainstream (American) comic industry and are not the fault of any one particular artist. It’s more of a condemnation of perpetuating “bad habits” than anything else.

As a result, this new batch of “Things I Wish Comics Would Stop Doing” strips will feature actual artwork from selected sources as examples. Because of this I do not feel comfortable posting them here on DA since I didn’t draw any of them. I could probably argue “fair use” to justify posting them here on DA, but it still feels kinda wrong. So instead I am going to keep these posted ONLY on my SYAC website: syacartoonist.com/

And just to be clear here... this is my own PERSONAL TAKE on these techniques. Just because I personally don’t enjoy them, doesn’t mean they can’t be used effectively or that you yourself can’t like them. Please, please, PLEASE do not take my criticism of these techniques as a personal attack against your favorite comics or characters (or god forbid a personal attack upon yourself). I really shouldn’t have to clarify that, but having been on the internet this long I feel like I need to at this point.

So, yeah! Starting around the 19th-ish-or-so, I’ll be posting the first batch of these criticisms on my SYAC website: syacartoonist.com/ I hope you all find them informative!
  • Mood: Hope
  • Listening to: Steven Universe - Amalgam
  • Reading: The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
  • Watching: Marvel's Agents of Shield
  • Playing: Minecraft
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Hot Coco
I’ve got a bunch of little annoying petty things I wanna bitch about. I need to vent. Please don’t take all this stuff seriously, or even try to offer advice on how to fix any of them. I don’t care. I’m just venting frustrations, not looking for help.

WARNING: FOUL LANGUAGE AND CURSING

YouTube
Fuck you, YouTube. I don’t want to use a Google Plus Account because Google Plus is bullshit and I the ONLY reason I got it is because you MADE me get it. Every time I log into YouTube you automatically switch me from my TomPreston6 account name to a Google Plus name I DON’T USE and I am greeted every time with the “you have no subscriptions” warning. FUCK YOU. I HAVE SUBSCRIPTIONS. THEY ARE IN MY TOMPRESTON NAME! I DON’T USE GOOGLE PLUS!

Seriously, this has gotten SO frustrating lately (literally every single day it’s done this) that I am seriously considering quitting YouTube ENTIRELY. That’s BAD MANAGEMENT Google. You’re driving people AWAY.

My iPhone
I have a 4s iphone and it WAS awesome. Now it’s a piece of shit. First through multiple OS upgrades I’ve gradually lost features I use to have (such as being able to play videos in a playlist). Then one upgrade cost me the ability to export video to my TV because the damn OS thinks I’m using the new “lightning cable” that the iPhone 5 came with. But my phone PHYSICALLY HAS THE OLD CABLE PORT. UPDATING THE OS DOESN’T CHANGE THE HARDWARE MY PHONE HAS, IDIOTS.

And because that port is so faulty now, it doesn’t play audio well at all. It keeps trying to switch between exporting the audio, or playing it through the speakers, which results in music and videos constantly stopping every few seconds and requiring me to press play again and again and again. The only way to ensure it will play from speakers? Plug it into my computer... which is pretty pointless since I already have itunes on my computer anyway so... why bother?

Then the power button got stuck and now I can’t turn the damn thing off.

FUCK THIS PIECE OF SHIT.

Tumblr App
I use tumblr savior on my computer, which is a feature the tumblr app doesn’t have. But the tumblr app just works BETTER than tumblr on the computer. Searching for stuff is so much more efficient on the phone than it is in a browser. FUCK YOU TUMBLR.

TV Show schedules
Seriously, WTF is up with TV show schedules now? It use to be that if a show got a season, they would play 1 episode every week till the season ended. Simple, easy to follow.

But NOW all the new TV shows have these severely RANDOM schedules and seasons. Bob’s Burgers puts out 1 new episode every 3-4 weeks. Sherlock takes a 2 year hiatus between seasons. Marvel’s Agents of Shield puts out a new episode about every 2 weeks or so. Both Steven Universe and Adventure Time took a MONTH BREAK to promote Christmas specials. FUCK YOU CARTOON NETWORK.

Because each show has it’s own unique fucked up schedule, I can’t plan anything around them. Every week it’s entirely new and different and some weeks I don’t get to watch ANYTHING AT ALL. WTF TV? How is that more EFFICIENT? How is that making me want to KEEP WATCHING YOU?

Thus far the only show that’s been regular in it’s updates is MLP:FiM, and I DON’T EVEN LIKE THIS SHOW ANYMORE! GOD DAMN PIECE OF CRAP!

Frozen sucks
I’m just tired of seeing SO MANY PEOPLE bitching and whining about how much they HATED Disney’s Frozen. For god’s sakes, people, FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO BITCH ABOUT ALREADY. Let those of us who actually enjoyed it, enjoy it. Stop trying to ruin our fun with your shitty attitudes.
  • Mood: Rant
  • Listening to: Lego Movie Soundtrack
  • Reading: The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
  • Watching: Steven Universe
  • Playing: Minecraft
  • Drinking: Earl Grey Tea, Hot
I hate the Oscars for a variety of reasons, but last night we got more proof about how little respect and decision making actually goes into things. Frozen, as you might know by now, won “Best Animated Picture.” But what you may not know is that only some the people voting had actually SEEN the movie, or for that matter, ANY of the animated films listed in the Best Animated Picture category.

The Hollywood Reporter was able to get a few quotes from academy members who were voting for various categories (specifically best animated) and here are some of the results:

1. I have seen none of them. I have no interest whatsoever. That ended when I was 6. My son dragged me to a few when he was 6; I would seat him and go outside and make phone calls. My pick: I abstain.

2. I thought Frozen was amazing, and my personal favorite was Despicable Me 2, but I didn’t see all of the nominees, so I didn’t vote. My Pick: I abstained.

3. I don’t see much of a contest here. Frozen is intelligent, empowering, and inspiring. My pick: Frozen.

4. I voted for Frozen and none of the others were even in the discussion. Honestly, if they did not have the animated category, Frozen would have easily gotten a best picture nomination. It just delivered. My pick: Frozen.

5. I like them all about the same, so I decided not to vote. My pick: I abstain.

6. I agree with everyone else, Frozen was a very special film. My pick: Frozen.

7. I did not see all the nominees. My pick: I abstain.


The worse is clearly the first guy who pretty much embodies everything American animators hate about the industry. It’s no secret that here in America, animation is seen as a child’s thing and is usually not taken seriously, despite all evidence to the contrary. To see such a nasty remark against all the animated films up for nomination only goes to remind us that while animation has made progress in America over the years, we’ve still got a LONG way to go before it’s recognized as a legitimate medium.

But I think what’s even more telling, and more disappointing, is how only a select few had actually SEEN the movies that were being nominated. Most seem to just abstain from voting because they hadn’t seen anything, or voted for Frozen because it was the one they knew the best out of all of them.

It’s pretty depressing to see this because, while I do feel that Frozen deserved to win something, this inside look into the inner workings of the Academy makes me feel cheated. It feels like there’s no effort put in at all on who does or doesn’t win, and for such a big award ceremony that is suppose to be so significant, it severely taints the message they are trying so hard to convey.

Worse still it’s quite a slap to the face of all the other animated films who should be recognized for their hard work. The Croods in particular is an amazingly fun movie with a strong moral message and extremely unique character designs. All of those other animated films worked so hard and they don’t even get mentioned because Disney was able to promote the hell out of Frozen. That’s so very sad.

Once again, I am happy that Frozen won. I just wish I didn’t know how the inner workings of how the Oscars select their winners actually worked. It pisses me off and depresses me that so many people even in the year 2014 don’t appreciate animation as a legitimate art form.

Fuck the Oscars.

Source: www.today.com/entertainment/an…
  • Mood: Tired
  • Listening to: Lego Movie Soundtrack
  • Reading: The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
  • Watching: Steven Universe
  • Playing: Minecraft
  • Drinking: Earl Grey Tea, Hot
This journal contains a lot of potentially buzz-work things that could result in arguments from people who don't take the time to read my message. For example I mention Anita Sarkeesian, but I don't want people to start arguing against her points of view because that's NOT what this journal is about. So please, read carefully before you respond to help avoid knee-jerk reactions since that's exactly what this journal is about trying to AVOID.

Over the years I’ve had a pretty straightforward view on gun control. Guns are dangerous and need to be restricted and made more inaccessible to prevent future acts of gun violence. I’ve never genuinely believed in the idea of banning all guns because I do think people DO need to have ways to protect themselves.

However, I’ve recently been thinking more about a different aspect to the gun control debate and it’s broader implications to other troublesome politically charged areas of our (United States) culture...

Education.

And I’m not just talking about education as in schools and colleges... but just education about basic safety and health information.

Mental Health
Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. Guns are merely the tools people use to help facilitate their actions. Yes making guns more difficult to get ahold of will help, but if someone is mentally sick, they’re gonna find ways to express their illness in other negative ways. If not through gun violence then through some other horrible act.

What we need to do more of is educate people about mental illnesses, how to identify and notice them, how to treat them, and basically how to handle being around people who have them. Depression and other illnesses are caused by chemical imbalances in your brain, and telling these people to “just think positively” doesn’t really help. We need to educate people to look out for signs of depression so that we can help treat people who might commit suicide rather than trying to ban the gun that was used to commit the suicide. Likewise, banning guns doesn’t stop a mad-man from committing horrible acts of violence against a large group of people, but educating people to identify and help that person get treatment is a much safer and beneficial way to deal with the problem.

Sexual Education
And education doesn’t just stop at gun violence and mental health, it can also encompass more societal issues too. Sexual education and easy access to a wide variety of contraceptives does FAR MORE to prevent unwanted pregnancies, abortions, and sexually transmitted diseases than advocating abstinence. People who are educated know how to avoid making mistakes, and if you look at the statistics it’s always in areas where people treat it like a taboo and don’t educate their kids that all that bad stuff starts running rampant.

Advocating for sexual education and contraceptives doesn’t have to be against your religious beliefs either. If you don’t want to use them, then you do not have to. But denying people the knowledge that could potentially HELP them from making mistakes is really detrimental to everyone. To use the gun analogy again: a person who is educated on how a gun works is far less likely to have an accident than an uneducated person just waving it around haphazardly.

Symptoms vs Problem
Far too often it seems like we’d rather fight the symptom than the actual problem. A mentally unstable person uses a gun to kill someone? Don’t focus on the gun. Focus on the mentally unstable person. Understand WHY they’re mentally unstable. Find ways to identify this behavior and figure out how to treat it with medication or therapy so that it doesn’t happen again. Banning the gun won’t stop a mentally unstable person from committing some act of atrociousness. Treat the problem, not the symptom.

Nerd and Geek Culture
And again, the need for education can be applied to SO MANY aspects of our lives. It seems more or less like the reason so much shit happens in the world is because people haven’t been educated on really BASIC things. We direct our attention to focus on symptoms and rarely focus on the problem. Case in point: There are more people arguing against Anita Sarkeesian than there are people who are trying to argue against the problems Anita brings up. Even if you disagree with her opinion, tearing HER down doesn’t solve the problem. It just helps the problem continue to fester because you’re not really addressing the issue.

Nerd/Geek culture and Gaming in particular have a SERIOUS ISSUE when it comes to how it views and treats female members. This is a real phenomenon that needs to be fixed and whining about “fem-nazies” isn’t helping it. Stop trying to deny the problem exists and try to help solve it by realizing... hey, this isn’t ok... maybe we should try to change things for the better.

Conclusion
So yeah, gun control, poverty, mental health, abortion, sexual education, feminism, sexism, racism, homophobia... all of these things would be easier to solve if so many people weren’t against educating themselves and others. So many people’s knee-jerk reaction to these issues is to try to AVOID dealing with the problem and accusing the people bringing up the issues as being the CAUSE of the problem instead.

I think that if there are problems in the world and we see them existing, we have an obligation to point it out and try to EDUCATE people on WHY this is/isn’t an issue and how things can be resolved in a peaceful way. Remember:

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
~Desmond Tutu
  • Mood: Unheard
  • Listening to: Chip Tunes
  • Reading: The Art of Frozen
  • Watching: Honey I Shrunk The Kids
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Oatmeal
  • Drinking: Earl Grey Tea, Hot
Old Artwork
I’ve been uploading a lot of my old artwork to my website lately. Over the past few days I’ve uploaded 304 old works of art to my gallery. Many of them aren’t even on DA anymore or were put into storage long long ago, so this is the only way to see them now! While doing this I started to notice a few trends and had some thoughts I wanted to share with y’all.

Processing Power
It’s funny how the quality of my artwork is almost entirely dependent on my computer’s processing power. For example: You can see a lot of my earlier work had a more painterly effect at times, but right around 2009 when I got my first MAC you see my art shift to become flatter and more simplistic because I didn’t have all the fancy painting programs that I originally had on my PC anymore.

Artistic Droughts
You can also see a dramatic decrease in original artwork right around 2008, which is when I started making Alex Ze Pirate comics on a near regular basis. The same thing happens again around 2010 which is when SYAC started to become popular. It’s pretty clear to me that while it seems like there are huge gaps in my gallery, during those times I was still working... just not on creating personal artwork. And can ya blame me?

Categories
The website, while still a little sparse, now has a handy categories page. Up top left next to the home button will take you to a page where you can quickly browse specific categories of my artwork. Be it from Nintendo to Disney to Minecraft, you can now easily sift through all 304 works of art.

For me, it’s a little sobering to see 10 years of my artistic life condensed and compressed into about 4 html pages...

There are still a lot of little things missing, for example I do not have all my old Danny and Spot Wii comics up here yet. I am also wondering if maybe I should start uploading Formera here too? I dunno... And of course there are just some nitty gritty pieces that are just pretty... awful... that I don’t want to upload there anyway. I can pick and chose my own art, right? LOL

Here’s the website link in case you were wondering: andysartworks.com/

Anyway, Just wanted to give y’all an update. Please check it out when you get a chance, browse through the galleries, leave some comments, share some of the older works with your facebook friends, etc! Have fun!
  • Mood: Winter Downs
  • Listening to: Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers - The Jets
  • Reading: The Art of Frozen
  • Watching: Lilo and Stitch
  • Playing: TMNT Arcade Game
  • Eating: Mac 'n Cheese
  • Drinking: Earl Grey Tea, Hot
So this past week or so I’ve been experimenting to see what works best for both promoting my website, while also making sure that I don’t alienate my fans or watchers. I’ve tried a couple things, some which worked, some which didn’t. I’ve also been given some good advice from my webmaster and from reading the various comments about what to do and I think I’ve come to a good conclusion on how to move forward.

The good news is that those preview pages (while they did provide extra views) are gonna be discarded. So no worries about me spamming up your inbox with only a fraction of what you could be faving and reblogging. Ok? Sound good? Cool! Back to work!
  • Mood: Winter Downs
  • Listening to: Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers - The Jets
  • Reading: The Art of Frozen
  • Watching: Lilo and Stitch
  • Playing: TMNT Arcade Game
  • Eating: Mac 'n Cheese
  • Drinking: Earl Grey Tea, Hot
So the good news is that the new technique of posting a preview image with a link to my website does indeed generate quite a bit more of extra activity to my ad revenue generating pages. From the few tests I’ve done so far I get on average an extra 2-3,000 views than when I post the comic on DA with a link.

The bad news is that this means it’s in my best interest to post more stuff on my various websites, and not on DA. Which is problematic because I enjoy interacting with my fans here on DA far more than I do on my website. I like having everything kinda all together in one place and this new technique kinda disrupts that flow. While it’s in my best interest, it also kinda feels a little cheap and annoying.

Maybe I’ll be able to combine the two at some point, updating the older previews with the full comics/art like a few weeks down the road, but I don’t know. It’s also sadly likely in my best interest to update all my older strips that are still popular with links to my website instead, thus helping continue to generate advert revenue for me and make living my life as a comic artist a bit more fruitful.

This is one of those things that bug me about being an artist. I hate putting watermarks or previews and etc on my work because I want to give my fans the cleanest possible artwork to spread around and enjoy. But art thieves, money, and advert revenue force me to go against my instincts.

So I dunno how to feel. On the one hand, it clearly works better than how I’ve been doing it. But on the other hand I feel like I’m givin’ y’all spam.

Thoughts?
  • Mood: Winter Downs
  • Listening to: Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers - The Jets
  • Reading: The Art of Frozen
  • Watching: Lilo and Stitch
  • Playing: TMNT Arcade Game
  • Eating: Mac 'n Cheese
  • Drinking: Earl Grey Tea, Hot
Trying New Things
So some of you might’ve seen that I attempted to do a “preview” of a comic on DA with a link to the full comic on my website. It was clearly a first attempt and the information I’ve gathered from it is still... inconclusive. According to statistics, the number of views didn’t really change at all compared to other posts where I didn’t have a link, but on the other hand I got more people communicating with me on my SYAC page for a change. There was also some confusion about if it was a preview or not, and that’s my bad for making such a terrible preview image. I’ll do better next time, I promise.

The whole point of this all is to try and generate more advert revenue on my various websites without bombarding y’all with pointless stuff or looking like i’m “whoring” my work. That’s one of the few things I kinda dislike about social network marketing... it can very easily turn into spam and I don’t want to do that.

Thanks for being patient with me while I try out this new process.

Guardians of the Galaxy Trailer


This movie is either going to be really really good and awesome... or it’s going to suck. It’s very hard to tell at the moment. On the one hand it’s pretty clear that the budget has gone into world building and creating the fantastical creatures, but on the other hand the humor seen in the trailer could easily be extreeeeeeeemly corny in the final film.

There’s also the question on weather or not the average movie-goer will be able to wrap their heads around this film. Sure, you and I could enjoy it... but the real buck comes from people who make movies like “Grown Ups 2” a financial success. It’s quite a juggling act and I gotta hand it to Marvel for putting so much faith in their series to trust audiences with this much... zaniness.

Don’t get me wrong. I WANT more movies like this. I want big budget films that go nuts with unique characters, races, technology, worlds, universes, action, adventure, etc. That’s something that’s been sorely missing from most modern films, and it was something that use to be more popular in the past. So I am thrilled that films like this (and Pacific Rim and Elysium and The Avengers) are getting made and becoming popular. I just don’t want the general public to turn against such creativity thus potentially hindering future films.

I still remember when critics of the first Mission Impossible movie and The Matrix thought the films were “too confusing.” Sigh...
  • Mood: Winter Downs
  • Listening to: Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers - The Jets
  • Reading: The Art of Frozen
  • Watching: Lilo and Stitch
  • Playing: TMNT Arcade Game
  • Eating: Mac 'n Cheese
  • Drinking: Earl Grey Tea, Hot