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Strip 803, Volume 5, Page 59

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< Piro >

"comiket dreamin'"

Monday - January 2, 2006

[Piro] - 16:19:05 - [link here]

For the past ten years or so -- almost back to when I randomly typed 'fredart' into corelDRAW when creating a dumb logo for my first art webpage -- i've wanted to go to Comiket. Every year i entertained the wistful thought that maybe that would be the year i finally managed to go.

It would be the year that I somehow managed to justify the expense of going, to arrange flights, hotels, the blackmailing of friends in japan into helping me secure a table for my 'circle'. It would be the year that somehow i managed to pull together a really good doujinshi, got it printed and offered it to the swirling otaku masses from my little table. It wouldn't matter if i didn't sell a single book, or that no one even looked at my stuff... all that would matter is that i could finally say that I had done Comiket.

What is Comiket? Comiket is a mecca of sorts for mangaka wannabees like myself. You can find a very decent description of what Comike is over on Wikipedia. (Though i think you will find that this just gives you a much... deeper appreciation of it. Yes, i worry about Seraphim with a nailbat. I do.)

Now, believe it or not, i have actually produced work for comiket. For Comiket 59 In 1999 i did the cover and some inside artwork for the T.A.R. (Translated Anime Ring) circle that Tsubasa and I were a part of (warning: scan of this very very horrifyingly bad cover artwork (tara-chan) can be viewed here.) They had also translated a Saint Tail fanfic that i wrote (yes, fanfiction. i've been there :P) into Japanese. Not quite the full blown 30 page doujinshi i always wanted to do, but i felt honored that the T.A.R. guys let me do the art for their book.

The following year for Comiket 61 in 2000, i was able to pull together a far more cohesive project. I had become a fan of True Love Story 2 game and with Tsubasa's help, wrote a little short story and did some artwork to accompany it. The TLS circle that tsubasa was part of was called MJ-12, and my little project called Envelope was included on their TLS fandisk CDrom. It was actually quite well received by other fans of the series. They said i managed to catch the feel of the game quite well, and i was proud of that. After finishing Envelope, i started working on Megatokyo.

Now, there was another little side project that i won't mention again until it's actually in production was that i had already started working on before envelope, and that was going to be my first real work, my first doujinshi project that i would proudly take to my first Comiket... at some point. I did Envelope and then started working on Megatokyo to get some practice so that the little side project wouldn't be quite so embarrassing. For reasons i still can't fathom, Megatokyo somehow became, like, popular and stuff, and had lots of people reading it online... then there came books -- whole books, not just a little 30 page doujinshi, but three big fat whole books. I've done over 800 comics, have lots of wonderful faithful readers around the world, my work is translated into a dozen different languages by a bunch of crazy people in europe (:P) Hell, there are even publishers in other countries printing translated versions of my books (German, French, Polish, Italian.)

Yet... i still wanna go to comiket. I want to do my little nameless 30 page doujinshi and sit there and hope that just a few people will look at it and find it worth buying just on it's own merits. I just want to do comike for the sake of doing it - no Megatokyo stuff, no "i've got books published in the states and around the world aren't i great" stuff, just me and my work, hanging out in the crazyness with some of my friends, dealing first hand with the otaku insanity that is Comiket. Maybe even see if Akamatsu Ken or Yoshitoshi Abe remember me....

(sigh) oh well, One of these days. Till then i can vicariously attend like everyone else by reading reports by some of the people who do go and share the experience with us. Shingo over at Heisei Democracy has some very thorough reports in progress about C69 (the one that happened last week), as well as some very informative guides about what to do if you ever plan to go to Comiket and want to do it right.

-- --

In other small bits of news, there were some things i dropped at the end of last year and almost dropped. Believe it or not, i finally managed to pump out a lame little foreword for Little Gamer's new book. Go to Little Gamers. Order their new book. If you don't, they'll make fun of Piro and Largo in their comic again, and no one wants that. :P

We all hate it when our favorite program gets canceled before it has completed it's run. Fans of The Big O know that feeling, and are working hard to try to bring the series back to TV. Save Big O had a december promotion that they wanted me to advertise for them and i totally was not able to get their banners up before Christmas. There is little i can do to fix that, of course, but i would still like to encourage you, if you liked the show at all, to visit the Save Big O website and do what you can to help.

< Dom >

Oop ack!

"Belated Christmas thoughts"

Monday - December 26, 2005

[Dom] - 10:30:00 - [link here]

Sorry I haven't been writing lately--I've been in a holiday funk, which is usually only lifted after I see my nieces. They have enough energy for everyone in the room and more, so it's infectious enough to lift even my spirits.

And hey, congratulations to part of my extended family, Liz Buchholz, who brought Henry Buchholz into the world on Christmas Day, adding that much more holiday cheer to the collective Phan and Rogers clans.

Too bad that future Christmases will stink for poor little Hank (I think we've decided that we're calling him Chewie regardless of what his real name is, but that decision's out of my hands), since inevitably, people will get lazy and just say "yeah, that's your Christmas and birthday present in one, kid."

But ah, well. It's a wonderful little present Liz has given the family, and I wish the Buchholzes and their new baby a wonderful holiday season.

As for me, I've been doing alright post-Christmas. The Bears winning the Holiday Bowl in spite of horrible refereeing (to be fair, there were missed calls on both sides, but it seemed like the worst ones went against the Bears... but I digress.

It's funny, Christmas is usually my favorite part of the year, and this is one of the first times I've ever had a holiday funk. I remember one back in college a few years ago, but otherwise, it's been 24 years of happy times.

During my annual walk to church on Christmas Eve, one of the few times I truly feel like no one else is around, I was thinking about the last year. About what I've accomplished, what I've put to pen, and I realized that I've simply done less than last year, and while I don't consider this a lost year, I just think I need to raise my standards for 2006. And while Fred is spending his time working on MT for that same purpose, I'll spend this week helping him out, and also figuring out what I want to do with myself next year.

Anyway, I've talked through enough of my angst, and I'm sure you're all tired of it. Though I plan on ranting again this week, I'd like to say just in case, I wish you all a happy and safe New Year. I hope you don't live in an area where idiots like shooting guns in the air...

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