Monday, September 1, 2014

MOON JELLY MONDAYS #10 - Holiday Cards

Today is Labor Day.

I'm sure I can look up what this holiday's all about.

I'm sure there's plenty of angry, militant, and knowledgable people who are vehemently upset with me for not touching upon what this day all about.

So in order to not piss anyone off here, feel free to research what this holiday is about and ignore this post.

If you wish to continue reading, I am using this holiday as an excuse to talk about some "holiday cards" I've drawn.

I remember it was one of things I enjoyed about the holidays. I'd draw my mom a card or my friend's a card.

It was genuine. It was sincere. It just felt good doing.

Why have some greeting card jerk off say things for me? I'm the one who's thinking it!

Flash forward many years later, and clearly I have not grown out of this.

Maybe you're thinking this stuff's sort of personal. To a degree it is, but here it is anyways. The Internet is nothing more than our lives for public display anyways.

This first one I drew was for Gretchen. Instead of drawing her something for Valentine's Day, I thought I'd draw her something for President's Day. I always thought it'd be funny to draw cards for holidays that don't have greeting cards, as if to say the corporations were really that desperate to make a buck.

Maybe this will be a dumb idea I should follow through on and release on etsy or some shit:

Gretchen was working at Starbucks at the time.
What at typical job for almost all the girls I've known in their 20's.
Isn't that what President's Day really all about?
The next card on this list is one I drew for Ann Louise. Again, the occasion was for Valentine's Day. She was the hostess of this open mic. I had hosted in her place before, and just from doing it for a day, I thought: "man, what a shitty, thankless job."

She's a Simpsons fan, so I drew her the "I Choo - Choo - Choose You" card.

Here's the original for comparison.
Next up are a series of "Happy Holiday" cards I did for people around winter time. Each one had the same printed front, but inside, I did some sketches:

"Santa Claus is Not Asian."
(Clearly, this kid has never seen Babes in Toyland where Pat "Mr. Miyagi" Morita did play Santa Claus.)
This was my first time drawing with a brush.
I tried drawing Fritz the Cat and ended up with this awkward thing.
I added this post it just to make up for it.
Mordecai from Regular Show. 
Jabba the Hutt from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
I've never liked how terrible he looks in Special Edition.
Poochie from The Simpsons.
This was a really terrible joke 'cause my friend's name is Chris and this was a Christmas card.
Naturally, I drew a Ninja Turtle.
My friend Chris kept telling me that one of the worst Christmas gifts he ever got was a tree ornament of Snooki from
the Jersey Shore. Naturally, I drew her for him for his card.
My friend Kaetlyn likes to try to date all the girls at once in the game Harvest Moon,
so I drew her the main character of the game. I added a feather and sunglasses to make him more "pimp."
This last one was for a birthday card:

Sadly, I glued on the art so it sort of got bent.
I encourage everyone out there to try drawing cards for people!

Monday, August 25, 2014


The nature of my job makes it that I'm busy over the course of fall and spring, so as such, I can't make elaborate updates like I used to.

All I will say is that I'm working on some songs.

Hopefully I'll have something for you next week!

Monday, August 18, 2014


Continuing on with what I said about Doctor Kill, I am going to detail the plot.

The fact of the matter is that I haven't really given the series much thought. If anything, I was writing ideas of gag strips where I was figuring out how many times I can harp on the joke that he's a skeleton.

The original story that I had in mind with Doctor Kill was that he is scientist from the future who is in a "Terminator-like" situation where he must travel back in time to prevent a crisis from happening using the power set that only he has.

Not much to that, but it's a start.

The second idea is a bit more tricky. I wanted to write a story about parallel universes.

Doctor Kill is a brilliant scientist heavily effected by an event that has left him traumatized and dissatisfied. Instead of giving in to defeat, he uses all of his knowledge to invent a means of traveling through various dimensions. His goal? To find a reality where things worked out fine for him.

That's the basic plot. Granted, that sounds more like the backstory to a villain than hero, but I've always liked the idea of parallel universe. Perhaps this will be a story of discovery where our hero has to accept the things he can't change, and will play with the idea that the grass isn't always greener.

Monday, August 11, 2014


I'm just going to say it: Doctor Kill is nothing more than a figment of my immaturity.

I think skeletons are funny. I've always thought skeletons are funny.

I grew up on video games. If you've played enough video games, chances are you have fought a skeleton. They are the most common thing to show up in a video game, especially ones set in a fantasy-type setting.

The permanent smiles. The lack of flesh. The hollow areas of where eyeballs are supposed to be.

Skeletons are HILARIOUS to me.

I remember a kid, my mom used to get this catalog of party favors, and they had these skeleton keychains. I wanted one so badly, but the problem was that you can only buy them in bulk, and there was no way any parent would buy their kid a lot of 20 skeleton keychains. My friend, George, had one, and I was super jealous of him for years. (The dude ended up breaking it.)

So going back to Doctor Kill, the whole joke was basically this:

However, I wanted to make this skeleton even more ridiculous.

I was watching the Angry Video Game Nerd's review of Frankenstein video games. He's commenting on how generic the name "Dark Warrior" was for one of the villains, and then quips:

"Then you fight Dark Warrior. Ooooooh. Scary name. How about 'Death Guy' or 'Mr Kill?"

These are purposely bad names. I played around this in my head for a few seconds on how I could possibly make this concept even worse. 

I began to think of Ed Wood's "Dr. Acula," and then it hit me: "Doctor Kill."

It's a dumb name, but man, do I feel that it can potentially be an iconic dumb name.

From there, the rest was history.

I drew a mock cover for Bloodwar X-Treme X-ecution Squad: 20XX, and I included "Doctor Kill" to the team. His design continued in the trend of 90's comics with kevlar body armor, wristbands, and elbow pads. The parts of his design that I feel make him stand out in regards to ridiculousness all stem from the fact that he is a doctor: a hospital standard issue name tag ID, a surgeon face mask, and a pair of daggers, which are supposed to be his operating tools. 

Lastly, I included a high-tech eyepatch scanner. Why? Because it's what's supposed to be a giveaway that this whole thing is a joke. Why would a skeleton with no eyes ever need such a thing?

I wanted to make Doctor Kill to be this thing that would come off as menacing and badass to a 7 year old, but if anyone were to really sit down and dissect it, it's really stupid. I wanted a recurring joke to be that while he is equipped with really intimidating and threatening looking knives, Doctor Kill is not a killer. Contrary to how deadly and terrifying his giant, sharp knives look, they bestow Doctor Kill with healing powers.

I believe this is a good place to stop. Next week: I will talk about the story of Doctor Kill.

Monday, August 4, 2014

MOON JELLY MONDAYS #6 - "The 'Cop Out' Post."

So I got into a car accident over the weekend. My head's not mentally here, and I have not finished what I was going to post this week, so in its place is this post.

I'm sorry for the FEW that are inconvenienced by this.

Tune in next week for something. Sorry!

- Kevin

Monday, July 28, 2014

MOON JELLY MONDAYS #5 - "Bloodwar X-Treme X-ecution Squad 20XX."

Today's Moon Jelly Mondays, I'm going to talk about Bloodwar Extreme: X-ecution Squad 20XX.

Bloodwar Extreme X-Ecution Squad 20XX is a send-up to the EXTREME COMICS of the 90's. I'll admit: I grew up on those comics. The 90's X-Men, the 90's Teen Titans, and a lot of titles from early Image Comics were things I grew up on. (I also grew up on Valiant, but they were doing things a little bit different from the whole "extreme" trend.)

To give you guys some context, before the 1980's "dark age," comics were these serialized, pulp adventures. They were mostly lighthearted and fun.

However, in the 80's, you got a bunch of stories that changed that tone. With Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, Alan Moore's Watchmen, and Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, comics were now shown to be able to tell any kind of story. The tonal shift in these three in particular were most notable in that they were much darker works.

Flashforwards to the 90's, and you got a bunch of people who tried to replicate these type of stories, but sort of missed the mark. They were vulgar, crude, and had a lot of "attitude." Despite being marketed as "mature" comics, they were definitely not "mature." Sure, they had "adult" themes such as hyper-sex and hyper-violence, but the stories themselves were still a bunch of pissed off looking dudes, yelling and punching at each other in their underwear.

I'm going to stop with the history lesson here because there's plenty of great websites that can do that for you. Just google "Rob Liefeld," and you'll find all you can need.

Moving along, here's Bloodwar X-Treme X-Ecution Squad 20XX.

Do want to note: This is a supposed to be a purposely dumb comic.


Being as this is a send-up to Rob Liefeld (particularly his "Youngblood" comic), the super team, The Blood Warriors, are much like the team in Youngblood being as they are put together and endorsed by government sponsorships. I wanted to take this concept much in the direction of a Nascar race car driver where these superheroes are controlled to every last bit; from what they wear and what they are told to say to the public. Of course, while the conflicts in these stories would come from external forces, the overarching conflict will be over this simple question: Can justice be bought? Who do the superheroes serve; the people, the government, the advertisers? These are all questions I'd like to address if I were to make this a series, while still keeping it fairly light and "tongue-in-cheek."

It's not supposed to be too deep. It's just supposed to be a really dumb comic about dumb things.


Zachariah - The leader of the group. Has a giant "Z" on his mask. . .  just in case if he forgets his name. Noble, but can be a goofball. His name is chosen just 'cause it sounds like it's biblical in nature. This was a thing that was overdone in 90's comics.

Doctor Kill - A time displaced being from the future, and is the team's doctors. He is actually not much of a fighter. His name and appearance alone tends to get people terrified. A recurring joke for this character is that he looks likes he is committing horrendous and violent attacks to a patient when he is actually healing them.

Johnny Fatale - I did not create this character, but rather my friend Kasatka did. On the team, he deals with the more paranormal aspects. He can talk to the dead. He can travel between dimensions.

The Boarman - The standard "big guy" on every team, ala The Thing, The Hulk, or Badrock. He is actually big cosmetically. He is a mood swing-y junkie. (Just to clarify: this is not the same Boarman from the other Boarman comic I do: Boarman 1960's.)

Hawx Klaw - Obvious Wolverine ripoff. Everyone had claws in the 90's. Also has a giant H in his chest . . . just in case if he forgets his name.

Chastity - Chastity is a super-powered, Amazonian-esque woman. I actually want her to have this origin where she gets her powers from a demon, but became too powerful for the demon to control.

Dick: THE HARDEST MAN ALIVE - This guy is like Colossus in which he can harden into a metallic form. Those "chin balls" are grenades, but of course, they're just there for comical imagery.

Cryclops - This guy fights with his dreaded "cry beams." His powers are tied into his emotions. He's like an "emo Hulk"; The sadder he gets, the stronger he gets!

As you can see, not much thought was put into this, but if I were to make this into something, it would definitely be a fun book to do.

Monday, July 21, 2014

MOON JELLY MONDAYS # 4 - "May + Amy"

Recently, I decided as practice that I would draw some mock covers. The main purpose of them was to tighten up my art skills. Once I had finished two, I thought it would be fun to put them up online on facebook. If any of the covers generated any interest through interactions, I would consider making the drawing into a series.

The two I did so far were: “Bloodwar X-treme X-ecution Squad 20XX” and “May + Amy.” (You can look at them on the Dissect My Brain Facebook page HERE.)

Of course, with comics, art is only half the story. The rest is words.

As such, I will be going over my pitches for each of the series on this blog.

As I teased last week, I will be talking about “May + Amy.”

I've already gone over the history of May/Amy and Arisa. (If you haven't checked it out, be sure to go back and read last week's post if you see fit.

Here's what I would do with the characters if I were writing and drawing them right now.

First off, let me just say that realistically, I would like to start off by establishing the characters, and with that, I feel I'd do some sort of just vignette strips. If it were to start as anything, it would start off as short humor pieces.

If it were to go beyond that (and without getting too detailed), I would tell the story of two best friends: May and Amy. They both went to the same high school, and were unpopular. They would go their separate ways when it came time for college. They reconnect later in life, and through circumstance, end up living together. The comic would go on and tell the stories of their daily lives during the duration that they live together.

I want the story to be as much about how the characters have changed over the years, but more importantly, how they have not changed.

Of course, the book would be a humor book, as I generally enjoy writing comedy. I'd also want to do away with cliches.

The three big rules I'd want to set ahead of time are these:
1) These characters are college/post-grad. (Too many goddamn stories are about high schoolers.)
2) Any time there's a scene that would lead into sexy fanservice in any other comic, it ends up leading to something completely plain, boring and anti-climatic instead. (Realism!)
3) You can consider this a spoiler for a hypothetical comic, but in the end, no matter what, May and Amy never have this big falling out. As with life, people just come and go; they simply have to part ways.

And now to go over our two main leads.

May is the older of the two, but is easily the more immature one. She rides that fine line between being a genius and being batshit crazy, and that's the charm to her. She is very spunky, and expressive; she's generally honest, but when she does bullshit people, she makes for a terrible liar. She wasn't very popular in high school, and was more inclined towards the arts and music. Flash forward years later, she hasn't changed, but is now exposed to a larger circle of people who celebrates her for doing the exact same things she's been doing for years.

Her newfound popularity leads her to date all sort of terrible people, each one for more shallow reasons than the last. At the start of the story, I feel she has made some mistakes in her life, but hasn't quite learned her lesson. (I'm leaning towards being a college drop out.)

In regards to the redesign, I wanted to make this May, more or less, the “sister” to the original May. She's got the black hair, pale skin, and amber eyes. However, whereas the original had a “hair metal,” “glam rock” look, this May is more into alternative rock. Physically, I wanted her to look more older and adult when compared to Amy, but also wanted to dress her in ways that still retained that she is youthful herself, and not as experienced as she'd like to let on. I gave her an ocean motif as I feel it fits her “fluid,” “ever changing” personality. I took inspiration from Neil Gaiman's Death, merged with a very “Yoshiyuki Sadamoto” girl kind of look.

NOTE: May had a cameo in Season Three of Dissect My Brain. (Yes, this was always supposed to be the reboot's May.)

And now onto Amy. She is more analog to Arisa in the original series, than she is to the other character named Amy.

Amy is younger, but far more responsible and cautious when it comes to life. It depends on who she's with, but most people would describe her as a “Plain Jane.” I picture her being soft-spoken and space-y. It wasn't so much that she wasn't popular in high school, but rather, she was more or less ignored and considered irrelevant. She gets along with people fairly well, but with May, she is able to open up. She doesn't deliberately hide any secrets from anyone, but rather feels that the average person she runs into doesn't want that deep interaction, so she never really lets anyone in.

Physically, she looks closer to my design for Arisa, as opposed to Machan's design. Part of the original design for Arisa was to give this “pop idol” look. However, I wanted Arisa to look like an average girl on the street, and as such, I had to ditch the bells in her hair. I've seen girls wear felt balls in their hair, and so I gave Amy the sun and the moon on her head as I felt it matched with her personality of balance. Whereas May would deliberately dress in something flashy, Arisa would be the kind of girl mocking that sort of thing, and would wear a really dumb sweatshirt that just says “fashion” on it.

I originally wanted to make Amy blonde, but I figured that would just give the whole “Betty & Veronica” / “Strangers in Paradise” / “Ghost World” kind of vibe, and so I kept her a brunette. (Of course, I did this without realizing the possibility that people might compare the duo to being female version of Kevin and Patrick from Dissect My Brain, but I assure you: this is not the case.)

While I think it would be really ridiculous to say I've got fans from 2004 who've followed my work since then, I feel that on a personal level, I feel that I could make these changes, while still making they are still at their core, the same characters. The original May and Arisa were always a duo of misfits; this new May and Amy are still the exact same thing.

The only thing that's changed are the more silly elements that would work in the context of the comic that they were originally from. I'm a little bit older and didn't feel I need to make any more jokes about a metrosexuality, so the “glam rock” man-May is gone. I also feel that it would be misrepresentative and too archaic to NOT have a comic that stars women.

I do feel that I will make nods to the original series, but we will get there when we get there.

Monday, July 14, 2014

MOON JELLY MONDAYS #3 - That One Webcomic I Did 10 Years Ago.

(WARNING: You will see a lot of terrible art from when I was 16 in this post.)

Let's be honest: I don't think many artists like to think/talk about their earlier work. 

Hell, it's been 4 years since I started the Dissect My Brain comic, and I don't really like talking about the earlier stuff. I don't even like talking about its last run in print for the Union Weekly, and that ended just about 2 years ago.

So how much more when it comes to talking about a comic I did 10 years ago when I was 16?

Normally, I would disregard this as a work of irrelevance, but if we're talking about comics I did for the public's eye (albeit, a small public), this would be the grandma to everything I have ever done since.

Being as I don't feel comfortable sharing all of it, I won't name the comic in question here. (However, if you REALLY would like to see the original comic, it still lays dormant on the interwebs. Just shoot me a message/comment/e-mail, and I will link it to you. However, be forewarned: it's as embarrassing as I'm about to describe in detail in this blog.)

So, to give you guys some context: I'm a sophomore in high school. The internet isn't quite as blown out of proportion as it was today, and I didn't know many people in real life who shared the same interest in anime and manga as I do. As such, I used to frequent a message board dedicated to the genre.
One day, I had the brilliant idea to say on the message board: “Hey. We're all into comics here. Why don't we all start our own comic?”

The premise was simple: everyone on the message board contributes a character (typically, we would go off of our screen names), and it would be up to me as the “editor in chief” to tie in the universe together. I would take suggestions on the plot, but overall, I was in charge to come up with everything.

Armed with MS Paint and PowerPoint: the comic was put into production.

Needless to say, from 2004 – 2006, a crude mess of a comic was born. I mean this in both a good way and a bad way, but it was the “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” of webcomics.

The main story was a simple, run-of-the-mill, “terrorist causes a national disaster-anarchy consumes the land-various factions fight over being the next ruler of the universe” sort of deal. Everyone has their motives. Morality is kept on the shades of grey, so who you chose to root for was entire up to you. (Trust me, there's not as much depth as I'm making it sound here.)

As with a lot of my works, the story wasn't really the focus. In fact, a lot of it was parody, so it was always “tongue-in-cheek” and derivative of anime tropes. The focus of the comic was the dialogue, characters, and their relationships.

And with this came the creation of May and Arisa.

First, I will start off with the character I created: May Sixteen

Get ready. Here comes the crackheaded, obviously derivative story that only a 16 year mind can come up with. (I want to preface it here that I was writing a comedy, so don't take any of this stuff TOO seriously.)

May Sixteen (named after the Lagwagon song of Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 fame, and not the Guilty Gear character or Queen's James May, mind you) is the sixteenth genetically enhanced, artificially engineered human created in Schwarzwald Labs, Germany. May is androgynous, but at the start of the comic, is widely accepted as male. As part of a lab experiment in tampering human's abilities, he was granted the ability of super-speed. In times of high emotional stress, May also unwillingly transform into his alter-ego of Amy, who is far superior in strength and abilities. (Amy would later on be revealed to be similar to the girl that May was originally cloned from.)

In the world of the comic, May is introduced as an amnesiac who tries to make an honest living day to day as a traveling musician. However, since this never seems to work out, May resorts to transforming into his alter-ego, Amy, and partakes in local heists, robbing banks, museums, and liquor stores.

One of the main characters looking to become ruler of the world mistakes May as a female, and captures him, thinking he would make a suitable queen. While held captive by this character, May is mistaken as part of the group, and is now hunted alongside her captors by rival factions.

The conception of May was simple: Ranma ½ meets D.N. Angel. My username on the message board was “May 16,” and because people weren't able to figure out that it was a song reference, I was frequently mistaken for a girl on the message board. When it came time to transpose this into a character for the comic, I figured: why not make May androgynous? It wasn't this bold, profound statement on gender roles; it was just a tongue-in-cheek reference to a poorly chosen user name. The initial design for May was based off of Hyde of the band, L'Arc~en~Ciel. One of my friends at the time was really into them, and we were watching the “Blurry Eyes” video together with his sister, and the whole time she could not figure out if Hyde was a man or a woman.

As for writing May, he was always written to be an unassuming doofus. You would think the part about May being a washed-up rock star was a fun jab at myself, but no. Back in 2004 when I was writing May, I had just started playing guitar and was not quite the jaded veteran of local music scene as I am now.

May's relationships in the comic vary from character to character (most of them find him downright annoying), but her one friend in side-story comics was going to be Arisa.

Credit: Machan
Arisa was created by a poster by the name of Machan. (I would later get to know her as “Emily”) She did a series of 3 side-story comics that established Arisa's character. Her likes include Final Fantasy X's Tidus, bells, and dancing. Her dislikes include (ironically) singing and peanuts. The character was very similar to May's; she's was another washed up musician in the comic universe who was only there for comic relief. The only difference was that Arisa was a pop idol-type of singer.

So naturally, with Machan's blessing, I decided to pair the two into a very shitty band called: “T is for Tidus.”

A lot of promotional work for the comic paired them together, but alas, in 2006, I decided to leave the comic. It was popular on the message board (mostly for its novelty, I'm sure), and I probably left at its peak.

I was a “Jim Shooter” type of editor. I was constantly making sure that there was continuity and an overarching storyline to the whole thing. Some people liked this creative choice, while others didn't care for it. I tried taking a break from it at first. When I came back, the comic had turned into more of a continuity-less "gag a week" strip on Internet fads. There were more posters with more ideas, so I took it upon myself to start a new comic in the same universe to meet the demand of people wanting more of a storyline to the webcomic.

It was fun while it lasted, but I was creatively spent by the end of it. (I remember somebody pitching a rape-revenge sort of story, and I didn't feel comfortable drawing that.) I was also very immature at the time, and couldn't work well with some of the other cooks I let into the kitchen, so I just gave it to them. By then, I had picked up skills messing around with the comic, and was just starting college.

I officially left on the 27th strip of the main story (it was appropriately titled "New Beginnings), and did 10 side story chapters before I was out. (As of writing, Dissect My Brain has been about roughly 40 strips.) The comic ended on its 42nd strip in 2006.

From there, I started drawing autobiographical comics (most notably, one about “Fat Joe” and another one slightly more popular called “Clockwork.”), and I would never return to the realm of sci-fi ever again.

And for the time being, I still won't.

However, at times, I do miss writing the actual characters of May/Amy and Arisa. In fact, I had a lot with them that I feel I could say.

Still, I do fully acknowledge that the past is the past, and what's done is done.

This is Arisa and May as cosplaying the Ultimate Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch for laughs, btw.
I don't think I'll ever write them EXACTLY again, but spiritual successors, however?

That's not entirely out of the question.


SPECIAL THANKS to Emily ("Machan") for giving me the opportunity to mess with her creation many years ago.

Monday, July 7, 2014

MOON JELLY MONDAYS # 2 - Random Notes on Anime Expo 2014

(NOTE: I'm going to be talking about some stuff that may not make sense to you if you know nothing about anime or fighting games, so I apologize if none of this makes a lick of sense. . . but then again, why would you click on this post anyways?)

Truth be told: I had no intentions of being at Anime Expo this year.

Despite people assuming that I'm a huge "otaku" since Dissect My Brain is in a "manga" style, most anime made after 2000 just seems to not connect with me, so I'm not what someone would call a "dedicated fan" of the genre.

I had been going on and off since 2001, meaning that I've been at this event for the majority of summers spanning over a decade now. Every year, something always seemed to happen that ruins my overall enjoyment.

However, once news got out that the "godfather of Mega Man" Keiji Inafune was going to be at the event this year, I decided on going. My brother, Jon, had a free hotel room near the convention center, and one of my close friends, Gerald, would be staying with us, and would help out with the expenses.

I figured with all the stars aligned and we're all pretty much older, responsible lions, I figured not much could go wrong with this event.

So here it is. Here's a quick, "random notes" edition of Anime Expo for The Moon Jelly House of Fun this year.


- Anime Expo was having some technical difficulties, so there was delays in registration. We were in line for over 5 hours. To those familiar with the geography, the line went from the front of the LA Convention Center and actually had to be expanded to other side of the street. Gerald, Jon and I were underneath the 10 freeway for a long time. Made various skateboard trips to get food and mind-numbing entertainment.

- Found my old MP3 player and didn't realize that I had deleted most of what was on it. I listened to these albums on repeat:
* Ugly Duckling - "Fresh Mode."
* Elliott Smith - "Elliott Smith" (Self-titled.)
* The Hives - "Veni Vidi Vicious"
* The Flaming Lips - "At War With the Mystics"
* Hospitality - "Hospitality" (Self-titled.)
* Evangelion 2.0 "YOU CAN (NOT) ADVANCE" OST (Discs 1 & 2)
* The Strokes - "Is This It?"

- Went to Little Tokyo right after. Had a curry and beer at Kouraku. Afterwards, played some games at the barcade, EightyTwo. My kind of night, to be honest.


- Went to the NiS America panel. Never won a raffle before in my entire life, and I finally did. The prize was a poorly received video game on a console I don't own: "Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection." From my understanding, the game is a spinoff of an rpg series. In this game, you take one of a selectable cast of girls, and lead them into pop idol stardom. Weird concept for a videogame, but obviously not the weirdest. I'd be willing to try it out if I had the means.

- Walked the dealer hall and bought nothing.

- Ate at Manna Korean BBBQ for dinner. It's a classier joint than the other kbbbq places I go to, but I'll admit that my favorite thing was the mountain of potato salad. I thought it was kind of funny that they have this giant screen that automatically displays any tweets posted to their twitter account. None of it is screened. You can post all sorts of crazy things to @mannakoreanbbq, and it would show up on a display monitor.

- I got asked quite a bit about the Moon Jelly House of Fun, "Background Character" T-shirt. I probably should've done the smart thing and printed some of these to sell, but I sadly didn't.


- Went to a manga workshop. Eiji Otsuka was the professor. He's a very knowledgable guy who learned all he could from Shotaro Ishinomori, who is one of the most credible names in regards to Japanese comics. He's more in-line with the theory that comics should be cinematic, and as such, the writers/artists should treat themselves more like a filmmaker. If I were taking his class in Japan, he'd expect I'd have done 500 pages in three to four months. (Yeah, that's not going to happen.) Also, as a project for his students, he actually makes them storyboard their work, draw out their work as a finalized comic page, and lastly, has the students film their work. Crazy stuff!

- Went to the Aksys Games Panel. They more or less showed trailers for their upcoming games, as well as announced a couple of games. I felt I could have skipped this one since the majority of the games displayed did not catch my interest. They did announce that their newest fighting game, Guilty Gear Xrd, would be playable on the show room floor. I sat through some of the "Q & A" session at the end of the panel, but once some guy started asking about "frame data" on the Guilty Gear Xrd, I left to actually play Guilty Gear Xrd instead of listen to theoretical nonsense. (Video games are supposed to be fun, pointdexter.)

- I got around to playing Guilty Gear Xrd, and naturally I played as my favorite character in the series: the anchor-wielding, dolphin-summoning May. In my opinion, Guilty Gear was the last of the what I consider to be the "golden age of fighting games," and May is the last great charge character. I got paired to play a "Best of 3" with some really awkward guy. Not much to say about playing Guilty Gear Xrd; it's definitely a Guilty Gear game. It feels a bit slower, and May's new sweep attack seemed to mess up any semblance of what I used to do in previous Guilty Gear games. Regardless, I beat my opponent decisively via high-definition dolphin attacks.

- Ate at Smashburger. Pretty awesome burger, but my favorite part? They seriously take less than 5 minutes to make a burger that's of so much better quality from other similar burger joints.

- Went to the JesuOtaku panel titled: "Review Anime and Get Internet Famous." To give you some context, I have seen some of her reviews on "That Guy With the Glasses," but I would be lying if I said I had seen the majority of what she had done. She's always has a well-thought, well-spoken opinion on things, which, even if you don't agree with her, you can see where her logic comes from. I do prefer her later, current style which is more journalistic. Her older videos had skits and cosplay, which definitely should be commended for the effort, but at the same time, it didn't seem to mesh well with the serious, analytical approach she would take to dissecting shows. (Of course, this is just my opinion.)

But moving on, I actually ran into her at the dealer hall before going to her panel. . . or should I say, she ran into me? (Literally. She wasn't looking and bumped into my skateboard.) At the panel, she spoke very honestly about the whole experience of "internet fame," and how it seemed to be working for awhile, but now, the whole idea of being an internet reviewer is not feasible due to over saturation and the money just simply not being there. She spoke a lot about Internet creepers, and it really just made me feel for her. Some of the stuff people have said to her is downright despicable, and I commend her for being a strong individual.

Overall, after giving so many cautionary tales, she ended on a high note, encouraging everyone to do something because they're passionate for it, and not for the fame and wealth. I will say that one of my complaints about the panel was that she allowed some mic time for amateur reviewers to briefly talk about their aspirations and goals as a reviewer, and these reviewers seemed more interested in getting themselves over, that some of them ate up time in a way that I thought was very disrespectful.


- Started the day in line for autographs. I was able to meet Uki Satake. She's an idol in Japan, but in the states, she's best known as the voice of QT the robot on the show, Space Dandy. There's this episode where QT the robot falls in love with a Coffee Maker robot, and so I told Uki that I wish I had a coffee maker for her to sign. She liked my comment so much she proceeded to violently slap me double high-fives ten times in a row. She also said I have a good name, to which, I awkward didn't know how to respond to, so I said: "My parents chose well?"

- I will probably have to talk about Keiji Inafune in full length some other time, but today, was more or less dedicated to him. To give you guys some context, one of the very first video games I ever owned was Mega Man on the Nintendo. When I started drawing as a kid, I would draw nothing but Mega Man related things. I can credit Mega Man as being a big part of my childhood, and as one of many things that kickstarted this imagination of mine that would lead on to the guy you see to day.

So needless to say, meeting Keiji Inafune was sort of a big deal for me. When I got to meet him, I handed him this warped, damaged copy of Mega Man. It's the same one that I've owned since I was a kid. Before he starts writing, I tell him: "This was my very first video game. It survived my house blowing up. Thank you so much for everything." The translator tells him my comment, and he smiles.

I really have a lot more to say here, but I'll leave it at that for now. We later go on to his panel, and got to witness firsthand the announcement that his new game, Mighty No. 9, is going to be made into an animated series.

- Went to CWF. (Cosplay Wrestling Federation.) It's an interesting concept in which cosplayers trade their best disses to each other. The only problem? The event is PG, it's late night, and the moderators didn't seem to be doing their job well. (They seriously let some of these terrible promo guys go on for 20 minutes just talking on the mic.) I feel the event has potential, but didn't quite have that great of a showing as it should have.


- Went to the Dark Horse Panel for Evangelion manga. I am excited that they announced that Tony Takezaki's Neon Genesis Evangelion is going to the be translated and brought over to the states. Takezaki does such a great job of capturing Sadamoto's iconic art style that it just adds to the comedy presented in this parody series. I can't want to get my hands on this next year.

A couple of the guys from Megas 64 joined a Dark Horse representative, and the three of them conducted a rather intelligent discussion on the latest and polarizing Evangelion movie. I watched it last year, so my memory of it wasn't as fresh, but definitely I feel I will have to watch it again after seeing this panel. The three guys seems to have a lot of faith that the final movie in the series will nicely wrap up everything, but we'll just have to see when it comes out. (I'm particularly concerned about Mari. I love everything else about the rebuild movies, except her. She just feels like the "Jar Jar Binks" of these new movies.)

- Wrapped up the day by picking up some free stuff at the dealer hall.


- People can make or break an event for me. Again, some of the human beings at this event make me very uncomfortable, but overall, I had a good time at this con.

- I'll admit: as a single male, I noticed some attractive girls, but of course, I'm a gentlemen and have no plans on being THAT creepy older guy. I was actually skating on day three when these two drunk girls were stumbling home. They had the brilliant plan of all getting on my skateboard to go where they needed to. They got home all right, and even though they were boozing, they seriously looked like a pair of sixteen year olds.

- I thought about cosplaying, but then I realized [a] it's way too hot, and [b] I'm really not that deprived of attention. I'm not saying all cosplayers are attention whores, 'cause their not. A lot of them are highly dedicated artists to their craft, and a lot are even just super fans to characters. However, of course, let's not deny that the converse of this actually does exist.

- Gerald and I were playing a game in which we gain points for each time we run into someone at the convention that we did not want to. The game ended in a tie.

Monday, June 30, 2014

MOON JELLY MONDAYS # 1 - State of the Moon Jelly Address

Here's a fun little thing I haven't done in awhile: write.

I was going over through the all-so-charming/embarrassing archives of my last blog, and had found out that I had not written anything in over three years.

What has changed between now and then?

Nothing with me, personally.
I'm still the same loser.


Nothing's changed.

However, the world has changed! Attention spans have certainly changed. If you have made it this far into this blog post, please give yourself a pat on the back. The way we share information is now being limited to a handful of words, hashtags, pictures, and 15 second videos.

I'm not going to be a pretentious dickhead and tell you whether or not this is some sort of moral game of "good" and "bad"; it simply just is what it is.

I've read so many blogs/tweets/status updates that began with: "UGH. I HATE BLOGGERS." "TL;DR" has become the standard response for anything more than a sentence. Again, this has nothing to do with people's intelligences; it just really is the technology of the times. I'd be no different than the jerk who got upset when writing was first invented, and thought: "Pfft. Books! Now people don't have to remember anything. Everyone's gonna be dumb as shit."

(On a side note: I do think we're more "buffet consumers" of information than we are "connoisseurs" of information, but that's an entirely different discussion that is neither here or there.)

What does this have to do with anything? Nothing really. I just thought we'd touch base and reacquaint ourselves with one another before proudly announcing the reboot of The Moon Jelly House of Fun!

For those already familiar, welcome back! You may skip a couple of chunks.

For the majority of you, here it goes.

The Moon Jelly House of Fun is the all-encompassing label for the arts and merriment of myself, Kevin Ng. The painful follow-up question you're probably asking is "Why in the blue hell is a guy in his mid-20s still doing art and music? Hasn't the real world crushed him by now?"

The truth is: I have been crushed. In fact, I've been crushed on so many levels, but I really can't seem to stop myself from doing it. It is both my life force and my unhealthy compulsion. So far, my projects have included music, comics, short stories, and film.

So basically, what I'm doing is that I'm creating art, and releasing it to an over-saturated scene. I've pretty much given up any semblance that I will ever make any profit on this, but that's okay. That's not why I do it anyways.

Here's the rundown on stuff that I've been working on:

- I opened up a ReverbNation with select tracks:
"Death and the Moon Goddess Take Me Away."
"SUV/Roadkill." [LIVE]
"Stuck In Traffic on the 405." [Garage Practice Session.]
"L'Espirit D'Escalier."
- It's not quite creatively where I want to be yet. Anyone who's heard the past decade of strange demos knows what I'm talking about. I'm a perfectionist, but I have some realistic standards. I'm not settling on just being "good." It needs to be "great." I've always prided myself on a hard work ethic; the lazy slob when it comes to music is just everyone's perception.
- Our next show is on July 25th at Rebel Bite in Long Beach. After that, I'm helping run a show in August for my friend's birthday. (I've learned over the years that the only way I'll be able to get a show is if I run it myself.)
- Been having a dry spell on writing songs. I still write a lot, but none of it really sticks with me at the moment. Truth be told, I really should just sit down and record.
- I've tried all means of DIY promotion. I refuse to cave in and hire a manager, so I'm going to try something new: not promote. (Okay. I won't do that.)

- I'm still working on this at a snail's pace. I did finish 2 pages yesterday. That felt good.
- The goal is still release a follow-up to last year's "Life Support Zine." The theme will be on drugs and medicine. I've been drawing this mock, anti-DRUG PSAs. They're not really pro or anti drugs; they're just really lampooning how goofy the whole Reagan, "War on Drugs" campaign got. Regardless if you're for or against them, I'm going to peer pressure you into believing that anyone that peer pressures you into anything is an asshole.
- The full length Dissect My Brain? Man. I'd be lucky if that's finished before I die.


-I haven't been working on films. I've always loved the reception I've received for my work, even though everything I've done has been a "glorified home movie." In the meantime, just watch that 2-year old, glorified clips show I did:

-Again, it's a lot like anything I do; it has to be just right. There's a lot of people who want to work with me, but it's finding the right project that would work with these people. I'd also love to take it to the next level and do some legit film work with perfect lights and sound.

- I have been teaming up with Mike "RevMan" Revis for RevMan Gaming. We shot a short series of "Road to EVO." You can check out his YouTube channel here. Not much to say here: it's just us playing fighting games. (I make a lot of bad jokes!) I'm more of a 90's/early 2000s player, and we've barely touched any of those games. . . so just expect me to suck, tremendously.

On another note, I play bass in the band, Marker, now. There's really not a good story of how it happened; I was more or less asked to do it, and I went and did it. I really do like the songs, and it's an excuse to hear them. . . even if I do mess them up at times. It's also been a pretty relaxed commitment, which has been nice. I honestly never thought I'd end up playing bass again, 'cause the last time I did it, it really 'caused a lot of problems for me. The guys in this band respect me, which is really nice.

But yes, I do play in Marker, so go check them out here. My personal favorite song we do? "Frustration, Disappointment." (Of course, I WOULD say it's all good but also really recommend "Half Full of Shit.")

Also, this happened outside of our last show at Ham and Eggs Tavern:

That's it for now.

As always, I leave you with the question: what would YOU like to see out of The Moon Jelly House of fun?

If you'd like to help me out, I'd totally appreciate more stockholders. (NOTE: There's no money involved.) I've worked with so many great collaborators over the years, but I've yet to find anyone who's super down to join in the Moon Jelly Vision.

Then again, it's super easy to just start up your own label. Everyone thinks they're a critic and a writer these days, why not you?

In fact, just do that instead.

- Kevin Ng