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December 10th, 2004

10:13 am - Random Shit, vol. one
I remember back in high school (and all good Realist entries begin with those words so listen up), we did abstract drawings one day for art class. I remember being surprised when the teacher told us that one approach to the assignment was to sit in front of a subject (y'know, like a bowl of fruit or a naked woman or something), and base your abstract drawing on that. Without really even realizing it, I had always thought that an abstract drawing was just something that you "made up" out of thin air. The idea that these abstractions could have a very real, concrete basis had never really even occurred to me.

So I guess since I'm "drawing" graphic novels now. When I first started drawing comics, like most teenage cartoonist wannabes, the art was the principle concern. Once my art became of passable quality, it shifted to writing. Now my primary concern is the delicate balance between the words and the pictures, and for the first time I'm going "post-production" editing too. After drawing comics for more than ten years, I honestly feel I'm just barely beginning to scratch the surface.

I feel that drawing a cartoon face is closer to calligraphy than it is to drawing. The best cartoon drawing isn't one that's looked at, but one that's read and perceived the way you read words. You "read" a diagram to try to figure out how to put a bookcase together, and the best comic drawing can be read in the same way.

For whatever reason, I've noticed the newspaper comics I gravitate the most towards almost always avoid close-ups; in fact more often than not they show the whole body of the cartoon character despite the fact that they have limited space that would more easily lend itself to the "talking heads" format. Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts, Krazy Kat, Sazae-san... all these comics show the whole character more often than not. Comics that try to use more "cinematic" layouts, with heavy use of close-ups and strange angles, tend to alienate me, on the funny pages or even in graphic novels.

I planned on writing a long and cool post here that was going to be cohesive and good, like a little treatise about comics, but I don't have the time or the patience. Oh well. Please comment on the shit I did write though, won't you, fellow Realists?


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December 2nd, 2004

11:19 am - Nintendo DS First Impressions
There's a lot of nerdy things that I used to embrace in my youth. Role-playing games, superhero comic books, anime, video games... my interests read like a checklist of things you might expect a junior high school nerd to be into. For the most part with the passage of time I've left these nerd interests behind or they morphed into slightly less nerdy areas. I now read and create the oh-so-now "graphic novels" (i.e. comic books with pretension). I'll watch anime, but my standards are much stricter now whereas in the past I'd probably clamor for just about anything. I haven't even thought about role-playing games in years. I'm not trying to imply I'm "cool" now or anything, I'm just saying my nerdy interests don't reek QUITE so much of fanboy anymore (or so I tell myself).

The one notable exception is for video games. I still really love them, Nintendo in particular. I can't say why these are a hold over (post your theories, follow Realists) but they still bring out the "otaku" in me.

In this spirit I pre-ordered a "Nintendo DS" about a month ago, and spent a good forty minutes roundtrip on a train last night to get this unit a few hours ahead of its official Japanese release date of today. I played it until 2am last night, and chose not to bring it to work today so I could actually get some work done (oh, the discipline).

I won't give a detailed rundown about what this system is because interested Realists can find more comprehensive information elsewhere. But I will mention that it features two screens, one of which is a touch screen, and is region-free, meaning you can buy games from the US and play them on a Japanese unit and vice-versa. In addition to its own games it can also play Gameboy Advance games, and since I never got a GBA there are a ton of good older games I can get for it.

My initial impressions are good. The one game I got is pretty interesting. It features like 180 mini-games each of which is pretty easy, but throws them at you one after the other, giving you literally five seconds to figure out what the hell you're supposed to do (some of them are pretty bizarre) and then to do it. It's surprisingly addictive. Realists that will be in Minneapolis during Christmas will have an opportunity to see this firsthand if they so desire. I also urge other Realists to consider the purchase of this fine machine.

Comments, even if they only barely relate to the post, are always welcome.

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November 21st, 2004

11:41 pm - Korea, Vocabulary, this Society
Hey everybody! Well, its been a while since anyone said anything smart at the *other* Realists society page, so I talked to some fellow Realists and we decided to move from there to here.

First, I'd like to say that this society is NOT a bunch of elitists. As long as you respect the rules, and mind your manners, it should be as much fun as beach volleyball, or even more fun than that. Secondly, since we are all Realists, let's all remember to *keep it Real*. So don't be afraid of what anyone thinks as long as you are real. Finally, due to requests made by certain Realists, we'd like to keep discussion of music to a minimum. If music comes up as a part of some other discussion, being a Realists means that you don't have to run away from it like a baby, but be respectful of the fact that not everyone here thinks music is as great as free chocolate (although I do!!!!!), so don't rub it in their faces okay? ;-) I know I just said we shouldnt talk about music but I just have to say this one thing (but its negative): The new Snoop Dogg single sucks. I heard it today and was real dissappointed. Thumbs down. You can do better Snoop! :(

That said, this eve I was talking to my man Avi, and we are going to watch a Korean movie called "Spring Summer Fall Winter Spring". I think it's about 15 months in the life of this Korean idol singer but I don't know if its a chick or a dude. I'll let you know about that later. Some of you are probably thinking "Big Question: What up between Vogdoid and Korea these days?" The answer: I don't know!!!

Additionally, people have been talking about words/vocabulary lately. Everybody already knows about the cool new word "convi" which is how hip people say "conversation". I was thinking us Realists may want to expand in this direction, so one suggestion would be to say "compey" or "compuey" or even "compewey" instead of "computer". Lemme know what you think, okay?
HBL, -V.
Current Mood: curioussore eyes

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