It’s the extremely late edition of 20 Sided Discussion. I have excuses, but I’m not going to give them, instead I will just try to work harder to set things up so I can get the Podcast edited quicker.
Hey all, Ganz here just wanting to say thank you to everyone who attended my Saturday Panel: Martial Arts Fight Scenes V – The Ladies. As promised, here are the films from which I pulled scenes, in the order they were shown:
1. Cheng Pei Pei in Come Drink with Me
2. Kara Hui in My Young Auntie
3. Linda Ling Ying in Dance of the Drunk Mantis
4. Angela Mao in Lady Whirlwind
5. Cynthia Rothrock vs Karen Sheperd from Righting Wrongs/Above the Law
6. Cynthia Khan vs Kim-Maree Penn from In the Line of Duty 5
7. Moon Lee vs Yukari Oshima from Angel aka Iron Angels
8. Michelle Yeoh from Reign of Assassins
9. Zhang Ziyi from The Grandmaster
10. Shannon Lee from Enter the Eagles aka And Now You’re Dead
11. Rina Takeda from Karate Girl
12. Jeeja Yanin from Raging Phoenix
13. Michelle Yeoh/Cynthia Rothrock vs Dick Wei & Fat Chung from Yes, Madam aka Police Assassins aka In the Line of Duty
I’d also like to extend my thanks once again to to guys from FilmSmash.com both for filming my presentation (man do I still say “um” a lot. I must have been more nervous than I realized) and for reaching out to coordinate our material and ensure that there was no overlap. At the risk of sounding hopelessly cliche, I really think the big winners were the attendees who got a full two hours of solid fight scenes.
Hopefully I’ll see all of you guys again next year.
Hey Guys and Gals!
Two updates in one! We are happy to give you part three and, immediately after, part four of our Book to Screen podcast! We’ve covered a lot in these four podcasts, and it just isn’t stopping. We hope you guys enjoyed listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it!
Again, these time codes aren’t perfect, but the talking points are generally around these time codes.
The Chocolate War 1:45 – 3:45, Starship Troopers 4:00 – 5:50, The Watchmen 6:00 – 12:20,39:00 – 41:00, The Queen of the Damned 12:20 – 16:00, Stranger in a Strange Land 17:00 – 20:55, 50 Shades of Grey 18:45 – 19:25, Nausicaä 23:30 – 24:15, V for Vendetta 26:45 – 40:00, Solaris 44:30 – 52:00, Novels VS Films and Story-Telling Theory 51:50 -
Hey Guys and Gals!
We are updating with this week’s podcast. It’s all about the book to screen adaptations. We cover a lot of ground on this one, and a lot of stuff that isn’t in the spotlight as much at the moment. We hope you enjoy it! Again, a big *SPOILER* for all of the topics discussed, and some general time codes for what we discuss and when. Again, these time codes aren’t perfect so that is something to keep in mind.
Cabal/Nightbreed 0:00:30 – 4:00, Neuromancer/Johnny Mnemonic/Snow Crash 4:00 – 6:45, Lawnmower Man/More Stephen King 6:45 – 8:30, Tom Clancy 8:45 – 9:30, Dresden Files 9:30 – 11:45, Legend of the Seeker 11:45 – 12:15, Dragon Lance 12:15 – 22:15 Eragon 15:30 – 16:15, Tales from Earthsea 27:00 – 32:15, Fantastic Four 29:30 – 30:30, Lensman 30:30 – 34:00, John Carter 34:00 – 36:15, Jaws 36:30 – 45:45, Fight Club 39:30 – 45:00, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep/Bladerunner/Phillip K. Dick in general 47:00 – 56:00, Another 56:00 – 57:30, Battle Royale 57:30 – 58:15, Jurassic Park 58:15 -
Sadly a technical kerfuffle kept us from updating last week, but we are up and running to bring you podcast-goodness! I did a rough outline as to what we will be talking about in the podcast, it isn’t perfect, so they might be a minute or two off. *BIG SPOILER WARNING FOR ALL OF THESE ADAPTATIONS*
Either way, here are the Time codes: Game of Thrones: 2:45 – 19:30, Trublood: 19:54 – 30:45, Dexter 30:52 – 36:00, Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings 36:00 – 41:00, Berserk 41:00 – 43:45, Wizard of Oz 48:15 – 50:00, IT 50:00 – 57:00, The Running Man 57:00 – 1:00:00, Carrie 1:00:00 – 1:02:00, The Mist/Cycle of the Werewolf/The Stand/ 1:02:00 – 1:03:00, Dune: 1:04:30 – 1:06:00, Lovecraft 1:06:00 – 1:12:40
On this week’s 20 sided discussion, Wil, Ganz, Ray, and Little Mike take on Legend of Korra book III, The planet of the Apes, M. Night Shyamalan’s possibility of an Airbender 2, How to train your Dragon 2, The Fault in our Stars, and discuss the price of Wizard World Philadelphia
P.S. Nathan Fillion is not going to play Nova, it was announced AFTER we recorded this.
Wil, Ganz, Ray and Mike discuss Sony’s presentation at E3
Uncharted 4, Batman: Arkham Knight, Grand Theft Auto V, Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain, Last of Us, Playstation TV, Mortal Kombat X, No Man’s Sky, Abzu, Let it Die, Dead Island 2, Far Cry 4, Bloodborne, Magicka 2, Little Big Planet 3, Entwined, Destiny.
On this week’s 20 Sided Discussion, Ganz, Mike (Twerp from FK), Bex, Gabi, and Wil discuss the new edition of Dungeons and Dragons, last season’s television season finales, X-Men: Days of Future Past (Spoilers after the 42 minute mark), and what they have been geeking out over for the last week. So please join us in our 20 Sided Discussion.
Wil, Brian, and Ganz take on Godzilla: the King of the Monsters in this weeks 20 sided discussion leading up to the big movie release this weekend.
Don’t forget to like our Facebook page:
And check out the Godzilla:King of the monster Facebook group:
Good day everyone, it’s Jax!
Bex and I, with the help of Gans, gave a panel on Vampires in Anime last week at Philcon. The basis of the the panel showed the range of Vampires as main characters in everything from Magical Girl, to drama, to comedy to action and of course, horror. Below are some of the Animes we had shown as well as a few honorable mentions. Check them out!
Rosario + Vampire: A human boy accidentally enrolls in an academy meant for monsters. He befriends a young vampire girl and the adventure begins.
Moonphase : A vampire girl is trapped in a castle and meets a occult photographer, who does not believe in the supernatural, and tries to enslave him.
Vampire Princess Miyu : An vampire child of a human and a vampire who loses her parents and becomes a gaurdian.She is not affected by sunlight or crucifixes and has a reflection.
Blood the last vampire: Set in 1966, Saya is a vampire set out to defeat the chiropterans who can only be killed with her blood.
Blood Plus: A somewhat continuation of the series. Saya is an amnesiac who was adopted by a family and lives as an ordinary schoolgirl. Only once whe was attacked, she realized only she can defeat the chiropterans.
Blood C : Taken from the same world as the other series, the story is completely different. Saya is a very sweet and clumsy schoolgirl taught the art of the sword by her father with a sword left to her by her mother.
Dance In the Vampire Bund: Mina Tepes is the Princess/ruler of all vampires. They have lived in secret for many years, but when she creates a safe haven for her kind called “The Bund” and reveals their existence to all humanity, she soon requires the help of her protector, Akira, to maintain the peace.
Vampire Knight: Yuki is a student at Cross Academy, a very special school that consist of two separate classes. The Day class and the Night class/ The day class consist of normal students. The Night class however, unbeknownst to most, is made up of vampires. It’s up to Yuki and her friend Zero, the class guardians, to keep the Day class from discovering the Night class’ secret, as well as, with the help of Night class President Kaname, preventing the Night class from feeding on any members of the day class.
Diabolik Lovers: A girl is forced to live in a mansion with 6 sadistic brothers who happen to be vampires.
Shiki: There is something strange about the village of Sotoba. One summer, the town becomes plagued with a mass of bizarre and mysterious deaths. The bodies quickly pile up and it is soon discovered that the dead do not always stay dead, and the town soon has a vampire epidemic on their hands. What happens to the village? ( If you are a fan of Salem’s Lot, you’ll most liekly enjoy this!)
Vampire Hunter D: Takes place in the far distant future. D, an expert vampire hunter, is recruited to rescue a young girl from the clutches of a vampire lord named Count Magnus.
Vampire Hunter D-Bloodlust: When the vampire lord Meier kidnaps a young woman, her father is forced to enlist the help of the infamous D to retrieve her, no matter what the cost.
Trinity Blood: In the post apocalyptic future, the world is plagued by vampires. The Vatican holds the one thing that can destroy them and save a humanity. The secret lies in Father Abel Nightroad, a pious young priest.
Nightwalker : A private detective vampire with the ability to form his own blood into weapons. He lives as a human and works with the police.
Hellsing (O.S. & OVAs): Present Day England is overrun with vampires that prey on the innocent at night. The Hellsing Organization, run by Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, has a weapon for defeating these creatures: Alucard. Want to know more? GO WATCH THE ANIMES!!!!..(It’s a favorite…can you tell?)
Black Blood Brothers: Jiro and his little brother search for a place called ‘The Special Zone’, where vampires and humans can coexist peacefully, all the while trying to evade the Kowloon children, a breed of vampires the pose a threat to both humans and vampires.
Don Dracula : A slapstick comedy of a vampire Earl who moves from Transylvania to Japan, where they do not believe in vampires, with his daughter CHocola and servant Igor.
A few more to check out: Karin, Blood Lad, Comedy, Nyanpire, Strike the Blood, Sheep’s Song, A dark Rabbit has seven Lives.
Have a fangtastic day!
…and the dead shall rise…
Hello everyone, and welcome to the second installment of our Halloween podcast. While I won’t deny that things have been a little slow around here of late, we have by no means forgotten about the site, and, in fact, have plans going forward to update more frequently. But if there’s one thing we all enjoyed the first time around, it was our Halloween podcast, so here is round two. Listen along as we once again talk at length about our favorite scary movies, as well as a mystery movie that we assigned to each other.
Back from summer break/ convention break! Did you miss us? Back to the creative work, not just the selling work. I must confess, making is my favorite part. Selling has it’s fun stuff too, though… mostly getting to talk to amazingly fun people, and see brilliant cosplays from convention booths. Yeah. Good points all around! Happy Friday the 13th!
And last… a familiar one, Gabi from Friday Knights on Bristol Board. Bristol Board was impossible to blend on! Practice, practice, practice.
We are finally taking the big step of make a print book. We went through every comic. We fixed some mistakes. We added new comment. We gave some commentary on every comic. We had the usual amount of fun and tears over this project, but it was unlike anything we’ve ever done before. Looking over the comic as a whole it is easy to see our growth as comic creators. Friday Knights has been a long learning process, and it isn’t over yet. The book will encompass the entire rebooted comic from the first page until the end of the beach arc. We thought that was a good stopping point for volume one.
We have a very limited first run being printed and sent to us before Otakon which will be available at out booth in Artist Alley. We want to test the waters, and also make sure there are not HORRIBLE ERRORS in it before we do a bigger printing.
This weekend, quite a few of the regulars on 20 Sided Designs will be headed out to Dexcon along with myself,
I will be selling in the artist alley and featuring some of my latest artwork as seen below. Stop by and hi! I’m all stocked up on candy to share if you do ^_^
Dexcon is a long running gaming convention in Morristown,NJ. It is a 5 day convention starting July 3rd and Ending July 7th. It’s run by Double Exposure and includes everything from board games, card games and tabletop gaming to live action rule playing games.
(I hope to get in on a live version of Clue while I’m there.)
If you are interested in Live Action Role Playing and wanted to ask some questions, Kitt and Amy will be over at the Doomsday booth to happily answer them. There are many role playing games going on this weekend , but from what i hear already, Doomsday does not disappoint.
I hear the elusive Gans who you may know from the panel “Awesome Animation not from Japan” shown at many conventions like Katsucon, Zenkaikon and Anime Next may be there hovering near our tables as well.
As always, if you ever have any questions about anyoe in our little band of miscreants, feel free to ask. We like to talk, and we like that you like to talk to us.
Hope to see you there!
BioShock Infinite Review
By the not-so-magical Shawn Hutz
Ok, it’s been awhile since I’ve reviewed anything. Forgive me, I’m lazy and poor. But the new Bioshock game was certainly a game I planned on getting regardless of my own budgetary concerns. That being said, this game is (for those who have been living under a rock) a First Person Shooter devoted heavily to telling a story. While the other Bioshock games were more of Horror games, Infinite is an Action Adventure. You ride the sky rails like a swashbuckling bad ass and fight off hordes of police and rebellions. The game was made by Irrational Games and published by 2K Games. Now that we have all the set up stuff out of the way, let’s get into this biz.
There is so much good about this game that it’s hard to fit it all into a single review. I’ll start with the biggest and best part: the games story. It’s phenomenal. The game starts as what seems as a simple rescue/escort story, but it evolves into so much more. As the game continues onward, you are left with a complex tale that seems like its opening a convoluted can of worms. The game gets pretty perplexing in the latter parts of the game, but nowhere was I completely lost to the point of confusion and dislike. I was always at the edge of my seat during explanations and new plot developments. The way the game goes, it feels like there’s no way to wrap everything up, but it does. Everything is wrapped up in a neat bow, and I was left…… emotional. The ending stuck with me. It really did. Bioshock Infinite has excellent replay ability due to the sheer amount of massive content thrown into it that is so easy to miss. When you begin the game the second time through, so many things just make sense. Throughout your playthroughs you collect audio diaries and find old videos that expand on the world of Bioshock Infinite and Columbia. Aside from the story, there are plenty of other things that make this game extremely enjoyable. A new addition to the Bioshock gameplay is the sky rails. These are rails that you can hook onto and ride while fighting your enemies. You can use it as a fast getaway, or to dismount and kick your enemy in crotch going 30 miles an hour. They make combat fast paced and interesting. Especially since your enemies can use them too. Returning from the other Bioshock games are the Plasmids. A new addition to Infinite is the Vigors. They are essentially Plasmids with new powers. There are some really neat powers you can get. One is called Murder of Crows. You fire a Murder of Crows at your enemies and they peck and swarm and feast on your opponents leaving them vulnerable. It’s easily the most useful vigor you get. The Vigors make for a fun addition when fighting enemies. Another new addition is Gear. Throughout the game you get certain hats, pants, shirts, and boots that provide you with certain minor upgrades. Upgrades such as: 10% chance to set enemy on fire when you melee, 50% faster reloading, things of that nature. They are neat little additions that I usually forget I even have until I run into another new piece. The designs of the game are beautiful as well. Upon the first glimpse of the sky city of Columbia, you get a gorgeous view, and throughout the game you are shown different angles of the continuously shifting city. All of the designs are pretty remarkable. There are a few times in the game where you are rewarded if you’ve played the other Bioshock games, and the references, while most minor, are really incredible.
Now my favorite thing from Infinite is easily the characters. From the brilliant characters themselves to the ways they act. This mostly applies to Elizabeth and (to avoid spoilers) the Lady and the Gentleman. Elizabeth seems like such a real person, while still seeming like a Disney character.
She’s skeptical to meeting Booker at first, but knowing that he’s her only real way to escape her tower, she goes with. Then, when she and Booker escape, she’s ecstatic. Elizabeth is then horrified by the first time Booker has to kill people to get out of a situation. These are the scripted events, but there are also times when she just seems alive. Elizabeth will lean against walls while waiting for you; she’ll warm up near a fire in the latter parts of the game; she’ll sit down on benches and chairs; she’ll point out the occasional lock pick you miss; she’ll comment on certain things as you pass by. The best thing she does is keep you stocked in firefights. Elizabeth will toss you ammunition, health, and salts when you’re running low, which is so extremely useful. There’s a point about halfway through the story where Elizabeth evolves and drastically alters her character reactions and her outlook. It’s a wonder evolution of her character. She isn’t an innocent girl anymore. The final great thing about Elizabeth is that you don’t have to worry about her in combat. She doesn’t get hurt, so there’s no losing the game because the character you’re escorting was stupid enough to run face first into a rocket turret. Also, the dialogue between the Lady and Gentleman with Booker and Elizabeth is so entertaining and enlightening at the same time. It’s really fantastically done.
Now the game isn’t flawless. There are parts that I think could’ve used some work, so let’s go over those parts. The gameplay can be pretty repetitive at times. Difficulty seems simulated by sending waves upon waves of enemies at you. There is a small assortment of varying enemies, but once you’ve defeated them once, you have a handle on how they are going to try and kill you (save for the Handyman. Fuck him). The Vigors aren’t as useful as you would hope, though it is still a blast to set your enemies ablaze with balls of fire. With the exception of 1999 Mode (the hardest difficulty in the game), I never found myself using Vigors all that often. There are a few times through the game where parts of the game seemed to drag on due to room to room firefights, but that only happens a few times, so it’s not a huge issue. There are also a few points in the game where I was left asking “What the hell just happened?” But that might just be a credit to my stupidity, so it’s not exactly Bioshock’s fault.
With all this out of the way, I come to my conclusion. This game is excellent. It’s an absolutely brilliant piece of video gaming. The positives of the game outweigh the negatives almost entirely. There are so many points in the game that blew my mind and left me wondering how much more awesome it could get. And it got so much more awesome. What kind of review would this be without some sort of arbitrary score? I give Bioshock Infinite 123 Bookers out of 130.
“Bioshock Infinite is proof that video games are a form of art.” – Me
Hello AnimeNext. First of all I want to thank everyone who came to my panels, both Awesome Animation Not from Japan and Martial Arts Fight Scenes IV: The Weird Stuff. As promised, here is the list of films from which I pulled clips for the Non-Japanese Animation Panel.
Rock and Rule – Canada
Watership Down – Great Britain
When the Wind Blows – Great Britain
Felidae – Germany
Dragonblade – China
Fantasmagorie (A Fantasy, silent short) – France
Persepolis – France
Gandahar (aka Light Years) – France
Renaissance – France
Brendan and the Secret of Kells (aka The Secret of Kells) – Ireland
Metropia – Sweden
Technotise: Edit i ja (Edit and I) – Serbia
Vals Im Bashir (Waltz with Bashir): Israel
Ronal Barbaren (Ronal the Barbarian) (Denmark)
Terkel i Knibe (Terkel in Trouble) (Denmark)
Aachi & Ssipak (South Korea)
I would’ve had this up yesterday but I seemed to have caught a touch of the con plague. Hope you’re all feeling well and you all come back next year.
I am gearing up for Otakon! We are not doing a ton of conventions this summer, mostly because Muggle work must be focused on right now. No sadness though, we will be at Otakon in the Alley! On top of that, the muggle work is paying off and I’ve been able to get the tech I need to produce all the things I want to make. That’s what it is all about here, making stuff I love… and I hope you might enjoy too! Over at the facebook page, I have been sharing all the geek artwork I love to look at. We all benefit from having more fantastic stuff to oooo and ahhhh over, right? Here is a sketch that I did on my phone. Part of the fabulous tech upgrade is that I can draw digitally on the go. I feel so spoiled!
A Friday Knights Update! Looking forward to gettin’ a new computer in the not too far future to make doing this easier. Limping by on my will and a prayer here. At least I have a job so I can afford to get it soon! Hurray for finally making what a college educated adult expects to make when they are a kid getting educated.
“Well, isn’t that cute,” Corny jibbed at his friend. Ryan looked sly walking across the room, wine in hand, orchid in his mouth. “You know that was completely unnecessary. We have 3 perfectly fine drinks on the tray. They brought them up with dinner.” Corny gestured to the tray as he started unloading it and placing the food on the table.
Ryan nodded and mimicked Corny as he sat at the table and placed the drinks in front of his friends. He removed his turban and held it to his chest. He slowly removed the delicate white orchid from his lips and held it out to Cassie. Bowing his head slightly and looking up he said “you will have to excuse me, Corny. I never find it unnecessary to bring a lovely lady a flower. I hope you can forgive any of my ungentlemanly advances and we can start again?”…
To Continue reading : http://www.cassieandtheflyingballoon.com/?p=177
Star flinched back from Robin’s grasp on her shoulder. Great not he was going to draw her into this Buttercup nonsense when she didn’t even know what the hell it was! Star let out a growl and pushed the already injured Robin down as she stood up and away from Mab.
For a while now I’ve felt like I have too many websites going on, so I have condensed! As part of the paring down I have moved Monster Mashing to Strangely Cute which will be a home for all my work that is not Friday Knights. I didn’t really like the name Monster Mashing, so I am calling the entire world Starling, which I like much better. So please check it out! I am now updating again, once a week! Yay!
Other content on that site will be any blog entries, art, love notes, reviews (such as my ongoing Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Comic reveiws!) and any other thing that comes down the pike will probably be on that site, unless it does something to warrent getting it’s own.
Thanks for reading!
Hey Everyone! Come Join The 20 Sided Design Group as we invade Zenkaikon! We’ll be running panels all weekend, and hanging out at our art tables. Please come to one of our panels, or stop by the table and chat with us. We’ll be at Table 39-40 and SugarHappy Jax will be at table 67 in Artist Alley
Here is the schedule of the panels we will be running:
-Sci-fi at Zenkai: on Friday the 22nd from 2:30PM to 3:30PM in room Live 1. (It’s an assortment of clips and stories about some of your favorite, and some obscure Science Fiction that has passed through the pop-culture filter.)
-Mahou Shoujo Exolution (Magical Girl Evolution): on Friday from 6:45PM to 8:15PM in Live 1 (A history of Magical girls from Chappy to Madoka. If you like to driss in frills and wave your wand about, this panel has it all!)
-Iron Artist: On Friday the 22nd from 5:00PM until 6:30PM in Live 5 (Do you think you have what it takes to become this year’s Iron Artist? The crowd will be distracting you as you try to create a masterpiece! Sign up between 1-4:30 at 20 Sided Designs artist [Table 39-40] in Artist Alley.)
-Serial Writing Workshop (With T. Campbell and Phil Kahn) on Friday the 22nd from 8:30PM to 9:30PM in the workshop room (commonwealth 2).
-Most Heinous Villains in Anime! On Friday 22nd from 10:15PM to 11:15PM in Live 5. (Out youngest member of 20 Sided Designs takes center stage as presents a list of some of anime’s most vile creatures to ever kill your favorite Anime hero or heroine.)
-Role Playing Games: From the West to The East and Back Again!: On Satruday the 23rd from 5:15PM to 6:30PM in Live 2 (An extensive history of Roleplaying Games Starting before Gary Gygax and going all the way up to Dark Souls and Skyrim!)
-Webcomics 101 (With Phil Kahn, T. Campbell and Kevin Bolk): On Saturday the 23rd from 6:15PM to 7:15PM in Live 1.
-Martial Arts Fight Scenes IV: The Weird Stuff: On Saturday the 23rd from 8:45PM to 9:45PM in Live 1. (Join Ganz as he explores some of the best fights form Wuxia and Martial Arts films. It’s his fourth year doing this panel, and these fights are all just weird!)
-Vampires in Anime: On Saturday the 23rd from 10:15PM to 11:15PM in Live 2. (Join Bex and Gabi as they explore the wonderful world of the undead. Where did they come from? What have they don in Anime? Where are they going? Find out!)
-Awesome Animation Not From Japan!: On Sunday the 24th from 11:15AM to 12:30PM in Live 1 (We’ve scoured the globe to find some of the best animation outside of Japan, and you’ll be surprised and delighted by what we came up!)
A Fine art parody suggested by Jenny, painted by SugarHappy Jax.
Look for the booth at Zenkaikon This weekend!
A take on The Kiss by Klimt
“I love stew. As a matter of fact, I just had some before I came here. Funny, Corny gave me the recipe. I wonder where he got it?” Cassie gazed at the tray and took a whiff. It smelled like home. A different time and place, but it was very familiar with the scent of thyme and sage. She smiled at Ryan as they sat silently awaiting Corny’s return. Her hands still folded primly on the table, she and Ryan would exchange glances and snicker like two school children trying hard not to reveal a very apparent crush…
continue reading at: http://www.cassieandtheflyingballoon.com/?p=172
I have more in the works as well, so enjoy
The Story: We pick up with Doctor 2, Jaimie (swoon) and Zoe. They materialize in a mall among… lots and lots of Police boxes?! Right away the story gets you wondering, what the heck is going on here? Why are there so many Police Boxes?! We don’t really get an answer to that, and as usual the Doctor is lost anway… but he spots a problem and sets about fixing it in his usual smarty pants manner. I thought it was good, but it felt really short. Jamie was not in it as much as I would have liked to see him. I wished that instead of having extraneous stuff like the police boxs (though a cool visual) that everything should have tied into the story, because then it would have felt longer and better put together. I guess they don’t have that much time to explore a large story with only one comic, but I wanted more! A nice little story overall. I would have liked to see a little more about the meta plot instead of a little bit at the very end, but I guess there is quite a while yet to go.
I liked the art better this comic. The heads seemed less smooshy. I thought the scenery was pretty fantastical which matches Doctor 2 perfectly. The art actually matched him more than the story. So that was a great improvement over the last comic, at least. I liked the colors used, again because I feel like the brightness matches Patrick Troughton’s Doctor.
3 XP awarded out of 5 possible! I really would have liked a better comic for the Second Doctor, but I still enjoyed it. I’ll add an extra point (+1) for the reference to moder times, did you catch it?
Stay tuned next month for PART THREE!
For a while I’ve been slowly developing a humor/drama based webcomic about Lolitas in a Reality TV setting.
The main character is Alice, the girl to the right in the picture below. She is a socially awkward, all-style loving Lolita, that applies to the show on a dare and then finds herself in the middle of Lolita related feuds, arguments, jokes and craziness caused by a bunch of exaggerated stereotypical Lolita characters. The comic follows her while she tries to make sense of these people and their issues. The idea of the comic is to poke fun at the stereotypes within the Lolita community as we watch the main character discover her individuality within the fashion & community while wrestling & breaking apart the inherent stereotypes within it.
“Cassie…ahem..Caaassieee” Corny quipped. “Snap out of it kid!” he shouted to her as she dropped her gaze at Ryan and looked over to him.
“What..oh..um..What was I saying? Nevermind.” She tried to avert her eyes from Ryan completely by picking up and fiddling with some scarves on the floor. She started walking around looking at things and headed towards the wooden box.
“You didn’t say anything, but you were definitely thinking something. Judging by how rosy your cheeks are, I definitely don’t want to know what that was.” Corny said putting his hands up in the air.
“Heh, I know I’m curious.” Ryan said just loud enough for Corny to hear. He quickly shot him a nasty look and smacked him in the back of the head, again.”Oww. Cornball. What the Hell? I can’t help if she likes me.” Ryan picked up his turban, went over to the mirror and brushed his locks aside. He caught Cassie perring at his relfection and shot her a wink and a smile. She rolled her eyes and continued looking through scarves…
to continue reading : http://www.cassieandtheflyingballoon.com/?p=168
Short Fiction by Ganz
Repairbot 517 moved among its assigned location, sensors attuned to potential trouble. Things weren’t as busy as they used to be around the factory, but there was still plenty to do. 517 was just finishing a sector sweep when it became aware of an odd noise. There were no assistance beacons active, another bot’s typical method of summoning help, just an external noise suggesting some sort of mechanical trouble. Lacking any greater priorities, 517 moved to investigate.
Turning down a little used corridor, 517 discovered the source of the disturbance, another repairbot had become disabled, its left foot tangled in a coil of wiring that had been discarded on the floor. 517 immediately went about diagnosing the problem. After a few minutes of scanning it had learned what it needed to: The other bot had become tangled in the wire, somehow, and the exertion of trying to extricate itself had blown both servomotors in its left leg. This had caused a feedback loop which ultimately paralyzed half of its circuits as it twitched away, awaiting the resolution of an action that could not be physically completed.
It was a particularly catastrophic series of events, but fortunately one that could be resolved easily enough. 517 extricated the other bot’s leg from the wire and ran a quick diagnostic to confirm that the only thing truly damaged were the leg servomotors. 517 could probably get more, after a fashion, but since this whole affair was technically outside the bounds of normal duties, it judged the most expedient solution was to simply remove one of its own and install it in the other bot. 517 could get by just fine with one, and so could the other.
The other bot sprung to life almost immediately afterward and the two stood there regarding each other for a few moments. 517 completed a final scan confirming that the other bot was now operational enough to return to its assigned duties. Though possibly tactless in other circumstances, it was not unreasonable at this juncture for 517 to inquire of the other bot just how it had managed to become so disabled, since repairbots were supposed to be capable of self repair, though, for some reason, this particular subroutine did not run. Instead, having confirmed that everything was sound, 517 turned on its heel (gingerly, to compensate for the lack of the servo) and returned to its duties. Though bots have no names, 517 was astute enough to get the other’s number and committed that to its memory banks: 286.
Hi all! Sugarhappy Jax here. I had a great time this past weekend and wanted to share a bit of that with you. There are few things better than meeting a kindred spirit. I had the great privilege of meeting a few at the artist alley at Dreamation hosted by Double Exposure. While I was only there for two days, and it was my first time there, the staff and other artists were pleasant and helpful. The weekend was an enlightening experience in which I learned a great deal.
Dreamation is definitely a gaming convention. It has been around for over 15 years and they consider themselves to be a small convention with great focus on personal attention. This was apparent. The entire hotel was filled with happy gamers. People were playing a wide variety of games including but not limited to: Battletech, Video games, Cards Against Humanity, Risk, Live action Clue, Magic. There was even a Doomsday LARP and a Poker tournament. I overheard discussions that the Risk game started in the afternoon and ended in a truce at 4 am. Con goers were happy to regale me with stories of their exploits while at my table, and I was happy to listen. There was even a semi-serious poster at the security station stating “USE SOAP.” The atmosphere was very laid back and fun.
The artist alley, while small, consisted of talented artists and merchants. (See below the links to the Artists pages.) They are trying to build up their artist alley and are very accommodating because of that. The staff regularly stopped by the table to see if anything was needed and they even brought me coffee! The poor guy couldn’t understand my gratitude until I explained that bringing me coffee is my equivalent of bringing me flowers. He smiled and nodded. Vinnie, who runs the show, would regularly stop by the alley himself to be sure that we were all having a good time. Every time he came by, he would have different pajamas on. It was a silly thing to look forward to but it certainly made the weekend interesting wondering what he would have on next.
My fellow table mates and I discussed My Little Pony love. I explained that I am not a huge fan, but I appreciate the show and watch it with my son. The started insisting they were going to convert me chanting “one of us…” and I was dubbed with the new pony nickname of “Chicken Sparkle.” I am a unicorn with a talent for cooking with pizzazz. My son was dubbed “Chicken Nugget,” fitting. We met a young man named Luke who was running a Battletech game and has a striking resemblance to Captain Jack Harkness. People informed me about their favorite conventions and why they like this one and Dex Con, (coming up in July.) There was an Ice cream sundae party on Friday night, which I unfortunately missed, and a chocolate party on Saturday. There were 3 tables filled with chocolaty goodness. M&Ms, Tootsie Rolls, Belgian Chocolate, flavored marshmallows, chocolate covered cookies and candy bars filled a dish that sat at my table and kept me awake. Did I mention this was included? Oh yeah, it was free!
I had discussions with the artists about self improvement. Those selling a variety of merchandise gave me pointers on how to merchandise my table. Jack, who was running the alley, was telling me about what a great help taking an anatomical drawing class was for his art. I also received excellent feedback about critiquing and judging my own art. It’s all about knowing that only you can create your art. It is your brain, your eyes, your hand and your muscles. While you may be able to recreate someone else’s work, it will still have a bit of your hand in it. Don’t compare yourself to other artists as being good or bad. If there is a technique you see that you like and are unable to do currently, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to with practice. Learn everything you want to learn, practice and find your own voice. That’s what’s most important.
The weekend ended in no sales but new friends were made and a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity was had.
There are two things that are certain in life death and _____. (go ahead…fill in the blank)
…and a good time was had by all.
Links to more awesome people!
Amazing Artwork and cool arty stuffs:
art by Jack Parra : http://www.flickr.com/photos/73634058@N00/collections/72157614574823509/
Podcast from The Con:
The Double Exposure Con team:
“Wait. What? That’s not funny. You are joking right?” Cassie said to Ryan as his face maintained a very frightened look. She pulled her hands away from Ryan. She ripped the scarf from her head and threw it on the floor. One hand went to her hip as the other was quickly thrown up into Ryan’s face pointing at him. Her eyes widened as she looked at him, pointing, waiting to muster up the courage to say something. Her brows furrowed and mouth open, she tried to speak; nothing came out. Standing so close to him, she could feel the heat radiating from his face and she felt herself getting flushed. Her heart was racing. Who was this man? He was definitely attractive, although she had yet to see his hair. His eyes were distracting. How could she think of something witty with him staring at her like that. But, his wife? How did he come across that information? Why the hell would he tell her that now? He obviously never intended to. If it was true, her granddad must have known as well. She grunted and lowered her hand. As Cassie turned her gaze to her granddad, Ryan let out a sigh.
To continue reading : http://www.cassieandtheflyingballoon.com/?p=162
Right, so, I’m only about a week late on this one, but I did want to take a few moments to give a hearty thanks to everyone from Katsucon who came to my panels, Martial Arts Fight Scenes and Awesome Animation Not from Japan. You guys were great. A particular thanks to those who woke up at stupid-o’clock Sunday morning for the second one since I was legitimately afraid that there would be no one there.
Also thanks to everyone who stopped by our art table, grabbed a business card, or otherwise found their way here via our presence at Katsu. I hope you all find something here that you like. Our next stop is Zenkaikon. Hope to see some of you there.
I imagine that he’s not the super romantic type…more subtle because he doesn’t know how to express his feelings properly...that can happen when the only affection you’ve known growing up was all a farce. :/
So how is my first attempt at serial fiction going? I know it is rough, and needs a lot more editing. Once through I’ll do that, and let you see that process just as transparently. I’m trying to work out how to write a story that is the size of a novel. I think I am seeing the shape of it. It is really interesting to me as an avid reader to try and figure out how my favorite authors work their magic. Stephen King says that stuff is done behind the closed door, and for good reason. It is very damaging to one’s mental ability to create when someone sees something that is unfinished and dismisses it because it isn’t perfect, but I am part of the Internet generation and so… I’m putting this out there even though I KNOW it isn’t done and it isn’t perfect. Why?
What is the meaning of life in this world? What is a good life? What does a man need to live a good life? Trevor did not have the answers to these questions. It wasn’t that such musing were beyond him. He found that he did not care to dwell on them. His life was his, and the things that happened to him through happenstance or his own crafting simply were. He would not say that his life was a good one. He didn’t consider it a terribly bad one either. It simply was.
He considered his life comprised of moments. Fleeting and ephemeral though they were, he recognized them as that. When the moments were sad, his life became sad. When they were happy moments, his life became happy. The period after his Father’s death made for a sad life, but it passed as he knew it would. As the moments always did.
Trevor’s current moment, made for quite the happy life indeed. He sat on a large, flat rock in a clearing in the forest. His body propped against an old oak tree. The sun’s gentle rays dappling the soft earth, creating small will-o-the-wisps that danced and wavered on the ground as the wind tickled the branches of the trees. Trevor played his ocarina, his feet swaying to the tune that escaped the pipe. Next to him, lay his sword, ever vigilant should bandits or ne’er-do-wells try to disturb them. His faithful horse, Viggo, bent its head over the shallow brook sipping at the clear, cool nectar. This alone, could make for a wondrous moment.
“So, you are my Granddaughter. Well, shoot, I must end up marrying a very pretty lady to end up with such a beautiful Grandchild.” Corny looked to Cassie and shook his head. “This is a bit tough to wrap my head around, but I’m definitely glad he told me. Good ole’ Avery. Never actually gets you out of the bind himself, but he always has a way to make it happen. Guess I should write this down for later so I don’t forget!” Corny pulls a small notebook from the back of his pants, opens it, and jots something down. “Ok, now let’s go get something to eat, shall we?” He gets between them and swings his arms over their shoulders. He looks to Ryan, lowers his eyebrows and speaks in a deep tone “You… I know… Don’t hurt her…” He squeezes his arm around Ryan’s neck and lets go. A large jovial grin comes across his face and he happily chirps “or I’ll kill ya myself!”
To continue reading : http://www.cassieandtheflyingballoon.com/?p=157
(Listen to this while reading below: A Random Song )
Her chest rises and falls for the last time. Her body goes limp in his arms. He places her gently on the ground, on her side, eyes still open, pulls the knife from her back and whimpers. The ground quickly becomes saturated with her blood, flowing from her like a spring. Kneeling down in front of her as if to pray, he cuts at the ground with the knife and pulls the dirt away with his hand. With every scoop of leaves and dirt, a warm red pool began to form. He digs and digs, carefully placing the dirt to the side so as not to soil her dress any further. Tears flow from his eyes but he maintains a stern face. Occasionally he looks to her eyes to see if she will awaken, but her they have lost their shine and he knows it is done. There are no second chances. He pulls a tissue from his pocket, wraps it around his dirty finger, reaches out, closes her eyes, and wipes the blood from around her mouth. “You’re still beautiful,” he whispers quietly into the night, as he touches her frigid cheek, “you always will be, to me.” He digs late into the night until he is satisfied. A white blanket is laid gently in the hole, which quickly become wet and crimson. He walks back around to her and kneels down. He picks up her body like a parent taking their child to bed. Leaning into the hole, he positions her face up and places her hands over her chest. He grasps her hand and kisses her gently on the cheek. She is holding something. He removes a tear stained note from her icy grip. He opens it to reveal her last thought. “I know what you are going to do. I would rather die knowing you love me than live with the death of our love. ”
6 Ways Batman is Screwing Gotham
By the Radtastic Shawn Hutz
Batman is a hero to the people of Gotham, sure. He’s just a normal bad ass rich guy who spends a massive amount of money on being Batman. What makes him so enjoyable is that it is easy for anybody to think “I could be just like Batman!” And they can, so long as they are loaded. Unfortunately, for the residents of Gotham, Batman seems to be harming about as much as he’s helping.
1. If Batman had let the Police deal with most villains, they’d be dead by now
The Joker. Batman’s worthiest foe. He has caused the death and despair of many, including the death of Commissioner Gordon’s wife, and the paralyzing of his daughter. If only Batman could have stopped him…. Oh wait. He totally fucking could have. When Batman captures the Joker and places him in Arkham Asylum, he does it with a sense of justice. He beat the bad guy. However, when Bruce Wayne goes home that night to bathe in gold and bang women (which I assume is what all playboys do), the Joker will no doubt escape within the week. After that, several more people will be killed. All because Batman’s pride stops him from introducing his Batfist into the Joker’s head until the Joker stops breathing.
The same can be said for when Scarecrow makes his escape. He’s gonna roll over to somebody’s house, release his fear gas and literally scare the literal shit and life out of them. A bullet to the brain seems like a way better way to die. Scarecrow isn’t even a particularly difficult villain for Batman to stop. It’s a sham. Batman doesn’t want to take a life, but consequently, more people will die.
If Batman had never been in Gotham, the GCPD would have dealt with the most villains on their first and second offense. No cop is gonna not shoot the Riddler while he’s telling jokes after he just tortured someone. They’re going to fucking shoot him. Police don’t abide by the no-kill rule that Batman does. In fact, I’m sure they think it’s damned ridiculous. If Joker is going about his routine slaying, they will pump several rounds of bullets into his giggly ass. While it’s true that the GCPD are wildly incompetent, all it takes is one lucky shot. Even if it took the Police a while to bring the Joker down which would result in plenty of innocent deaths, when they finally get him, he will be put to death. Finally every family that has ever been affected by the Joker’s, or that matter any of these villains, they will get closure knowing that they won’t be causing anybody else harm. Hell, it’s Batman’s fault the Joker exists at all. He interrupts police who are about to fire on the Red Hood (who soon after becomes Joker).
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In “The Killing Joke”, the Joker shoots the Commissioner’s daughter, paralyzes her, strips her naked and begins taking nude photos of her in her catatonic state, then kidnaps the Commissioner and begins a psychological mind raping. When Batman goes to find the Joker, all he does is punch him a few times and then laughs at a joke the Joker makes. Seriously, he laughs for a good long while.
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2. Several Justice League members would be better fit to watch over the city
So Batman has been keeping the streets of Gotham at least a little bit safer, which is true. But compared to what just about any other hero in the Justice League could do, it kind of overshadows what Batman is doing. Sure, a superhuman crocodile monster is mugging an old woman on one side of Gotham, and Batman’s there to save the day. But what about the clay monster beating toddlers up on the other side of the city at the same time? Batman has no superpower to get him to the aid of those toddlers! For instance, if the Flash were to be in charge of Gotham’s protection, he could beat up the scaly reptilian beast and then super speed over to the abused children and save the day. Superman is in the same boat.
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Even Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter can at least fly to get there in a more reasonable time. Sure, they wouldn’t be able to stop the beatings from ever happening, but they can at least fly the kids to a hospital pretty quickly after they get there. Batman would have to make arrangements with a mortician because it would take far too long to get there.
Situation #2: A criminal in the city decides to learn how to aim a gun and shoots Batman in the jaw, where there is no protection. He’s dead. Superman wouldn’t have to avoid the shot, Flash could outrun is, Wonder Woman could use her bracers, and Aquaman could suck and die. Almost every hero would be better fit against an armed villain. Even Green Arrow will kill someone if the situation calls for it.
3. When Batman is out parading with the Justice League or Palling Around with Superman who’s watching Gotham?
Batman is Gotham’s protector. The Hero the need, not the one they deserve. He keeps the mean streets safe. Except for when he’s not there. When he’s out fighting crime with the Justice League, Gotham is left to fend for itself, after being so used to Batman saving the day. Sure, Nightwing may be able to lend a hand, but he has his own city to watch over. When the Justice League is fighting off Doomsday or Darkseid, what happens when Zassz decides to go on a murderous rampage while Batman’s away. It’s not like it wouldn’t be national, if not global, news. Any criminal in Gotham could take advantage of Batman’s absence.
This can lead to severe issues with the safety of Gotham. Any villain can take advantage of Batman’s absence and wreak absolute havoc. How many preschools and orphanages are going to be victims of arson? A shit ton. Because nobody can stop them. Sure, the police can try. But honestly, they aren’t very competent. They’ve gotten so used to Batman solving their issues. Now they will shine the Batsignal while orphans get cut by Zassz, not sure what else to really do.
4. Batman makes questionable decisions
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that Arkham Asylum is absolutely the worst holding facility in the history of fucking ever. Any time Batman defeats a foe of his, he has them placed into Arkham Daycare, where they will inevitably break out and cause more chaos. While it isn’t directly the Dark Knight’s fault that the villains are placed in the only Asylum around, he does makes the decision to not kill. But this is pretty common knowledge. While it’s easy to respect the decision he makes, it means every life taken after he spares a villain is absolutely Batman’s fault. He also made a horrific decision in taking up Jason Todd. That decision cost the poor Robin his life. It also doesn’t take a huge comic fan to know that a grown man parading around with a 12 year old boy probably isn’t the best idea.
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However, when Batman chooses to have Barbara Gordon become Batgirl, that choice ends with her losing the use of her legs. Dick move, Batman.
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And sure, Batman doesn’t kill, everyone knows that. But when it comes to beating the ever living hell out of someone, Batman’s who you call. He doesn’t seem to care about making people vegetables, or breaking limbs, or any other brutal beat down. He’ll even lay the smack down on you while the suspects are already in custody.
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I sure hope Batman’s donating to make every building in Gotham wheelchair accessible. (Which even if he was, would still be Bruce helping, not Bats). Think of the criminals he is hospitalizing. They deserve it and all, but who the hell is paying for it? If they have family, those people are getting totally screwed. Medical bills aren’t cheap. Now the families of the guy that Batman interrogated by curb stomping him within an inch of his life can spend a colossal amount of money on his bills.
5. The City has nobody to charge with the property damage
Batman is in the thick of battle with Bane, a gruesome foe. Bane charges at him and the only escape is using explosives to destroy a wall in his path. Ok, Batman escapes, eventually captures Bane (or has his back broken by him). All’s well. Except who the hell is paying for that property damage? Taxpayers. That’s right, you. Or fictional versions of you who reside in Gotham. But taxpayer money would have to go back into rebuilding that wall, or whatever Batman has the urge to destroy. Now Batman is actively screwing every taxpayer in Gotham. Dick move.
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Now seriously think about how many enemies Batman has. Think about how often he’s out fighting these foes. I’d say about 200% of the time he’s in and/or near a structure. He will just about always find a way to destroy that structure. He’s creative about it, too. He’ll punch a bad guy through it, jump through it himself, use it as cover when people inevitably start shooting at him. It doesn’t matter. When Batman is around, no walls are safe.
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On so many occasions the Dark Knight gets into a tussle with a baddy, and the situation gets hairy. In hairy situations, Batman likes to use explosives. Batman uses said explosives to defeat his foe, or make a daring escape, or to impress hookers, but each time he causes structural damage, someone has to pay for that! Sure, Bruce Wayne could be donating money to fix it, but then he’s not helping as Batman the Vigilante, he’s helping as Bruce Wayne the Philanthropist. So maybe Bruce Wayne should put more time into hiring better security instead of dressing up like a giant bat.
6. Batman is screwing the Gotham Police Department
Commissioner Gordon worked with Batman because Batman got results. Immediately after Gordon resigns as Commissioner, the new Commissioner comes in and places a warrant on Batman for his arrest. So now the police are actively working against Batman. Spending their time chasing this vigilante instead protecting Gotham from the real danger. With no Batman, they could all just focus on taking down the bad guys, regardless of their incompetence. So Batman has to evade capture while trying to focus his attention on his super villains, but in reality spends more time in police chases then he does actually rescuing anybody.
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Police officers are now being paid to bring the vigilante to justice. Batman has no quarrel knocking out these cops to get away. He’ll concuss a cop if it means keeping his identity secret. Now he’s breaking the law in more ways than just being a vigilante.
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Even when Batman goes back to the retired Commissioner Gordon to get his opinion on the new commissioner, Gordon tells Batman what he doesn’t want to hear. That Batman is breaking the law and that the new guy has a good reason to want him arrested. But because Batman is above the law, he goes off to fight crime anyway.
So maybe next time, when any number of crazy lunatics start causing an insane amount of chaos, Gotham should call Superman. Metropolis has only been destroyed a few times under his watch. I’d just recommend keeping the not super powered dude with an infatuation with bats and 9 year olds away from the trouble. Perhaps schedule him an appointment at Arkham.
I will be attending Katsucon this weekend in Maryland with the some of the other members of 20 Sided Designs. Please feel free to stop by the table and say hello! Some of my artwork will also hopefully be on display in the art show. Including the original version of the piece below along with other pieces from Cassie.
The Spider device from Cassie and the Flying Balloon
I drew this a long time ago when I first started experimenting with copic markers with other media.
I still love his expression.
I hope it was a howler that screamed some secret admirer’s love at him.
If I were at Hogwarts, I would sent howlers for all kinds of messages just to watch my friends freak out.
Could you imagine? XD
Friday Knights Update! Gabi is finally reunited with her pets after a very long summer vacation. In case you were wondering, Kelly has been feeding them but she isn’t really the cuddling type. So they missed their mommy a lot.
I painted the picture below for the art show at Katsucon n the DC metro area/national harbor MD next weekend.
Please stop by out table and check out the panel to be run by our very own Gans!
It is believed in Feng Shui that having the Dragon and Phoenix together in your home creates a perfect balance. The dragon is “yang” while the phoenix is “yin”. I made the painting below for the art show at the upcoming Katsucon! in Baltimore. It is said that it has the power to strngthen relationships, re-kindle relationships or help singles find true love.
It is the symbol of everlasting love!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
A smile slow as honey but cold as a winter gale dripped onto Mab’s face. “Oh, we are going to have fun, you and I. ” she paused glancing over her shoulder into Robin’s terrified eyes, and then focused on Star once more. “Many hours of enjoyment.”
They went down the hall and back down the stairs. Cassie was clutching the key in one hand while being forcibly pulled by the other. They heard whistles and chuckles walking back through the bar.
“Done already? Ha ha ha !” the loud man from before yelled.
“Yeah! I can do more to a woman in five minutes than you can do in a lifetime. Bye pal!” Ryan said jokingly as he gave the man a wink and a nod. As the exited the establishment, all Cassie could hear was the roar of drunken laughter.
They walked excitedly down the street. Ryan was still grasping Cassie’s hand tightly while walking quickly. “C’mon. Hurry up. Oh, it’s this way.” Ryan jolted to left and Cassie nearly lost her balance…
to continue reading : http://www.cassieandtheflyingballoon.com/?p=149
SugarHappy Jax has a website now. I’m not going anywhere, but now I can bring you MORE fun!
There will be Drawings, Random Comics, Stories, and Geek Chic home design on the Wit and Whimsy page.
Check back here once a week for an update of all that happened.
Howl’s Moving Castle fan art
Star Panels for your Home
Small Space Solutions for Gaming
Romantic Bedroom Ideas
Click below to check it out
The first issue of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special comics is out! Here is a review written by Laura K. Robinson, fangirl extraordinaire.
Short Fiction by Ganz
It is the lot of a mirror to be critical to a fault; to find flaws, to reveal imperfections. The better the mirror, the more flaws it will reveal. Few people are ever truly satisfied when they look into a mirror, and those that are don’t remain so for long. There was once a mirror that was particularly good at its job, owned by a queen with far fewer flaws and imperfections than most. Each day she would look into her mirror, daring it to find a flaw, to find the slightest blemish that would mark her as anything less that perfect, and each day, try though it might, and as hard as it looked, the mirror was unable to do so.
‘What’s going on?’ Cassie thought to herself. Why was she so comfortable with a man she barely knew kissing her? Her Grandad just passed away less than a day ago and she’s kissing his best friend in Egypt? She was on her way to go rescue him after merely hours ago making funeral arrangements for him. Cassie stood in the middle of the room clutching the key, dumbfounded. Ryan started rummaging through piles of clothes and boxes….
continue reading : http://www.cassieandtheflyingballoon.com/?p=146
“Oh come on, it’s only for a little while….”
“NO! GET OUT!”
“But it’s so warm and comfortable.”
“I’m not saying it again!”
Red had just about had it. This was completely ridiculous! She threw her hands up in the air and let out a loud, aggravated sigh
“For goodness sake, you’re not even in the right story!”
The young bear finally sat up and rolled his eyes.
“I know. But I need my Beauty rest, and that blonde haired brat stole MY bed. Hmmfff! Just Right my…”
“Enough! Just please, go home so we can get this show on the road.”
Baby Bear snuggled further down into the covers, crossed his arms and frowned. “No.”
Red blinked. “Excuse me?”
“You heard me. My furry butt ain’t going nowhere. So why don’t skip right on out that door and beat it!”
The young girl’s face turned a deep shade of crimson, almost matching the cloak she wore. She began to roll up the sleeves of her gingham blouse and balled her hands into fist, shaking one in rage at the cub.
“Why I aughta…”
Baby Bear put a hand up to silence her.
“Hey? Do you hear something?”
Sure enough, there was a strange sound coming from outside of the house. It almost sounded like….
“Is that chewing?”
“Oh, now what?!” Red fumed as she stormed over to the door.
“Hey, I didn’t know you had mice.” Said Baby Bear.
“We don’t!” hollered Red. Not even bothering to look back, she flung the door open and stared out.
“What the Hell kind of a joke is this?”
Red turned and was about to go back inside when she heard a voice coming from up above.
“Acht Hansel, Zis gingerbread ist stale!”
“Ya Gretal, und the icing taste like crap!”
Red backed up a few feet and gazed up at the roof to find two very rotund children gnawing on the shingles.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!!!”
They boy and girl stopped eating, looked at each other, then turned their heads and stared back down at her. The boy spoke first.
“Vell, ve vere lost in da voods…”
“Ya’ the girl interrupted ‘because our muder and fader left us there..”
“Because apparently ve eat too much und ze cannot afford to keep feeding us…”
“Ya, but it iz cold und dark und scary out zere….’
“Und ve vere hungry….”
“So ve started valking und valking und…”
“Und til ve spied your magnificent house of chocolate candies and ginger breads….”
“Ya, und ve thought you wouldn’t mind if….”
“If you tried to eat my Gran’s house? Really?! You seriously thought I’d be ok with that?!?!”
The two siblings looked at each other once more, then back down at Red and shrugged. Red just shook her head in disbelief.
“Get down. Now!”
The two nuisances shrugged once more and began clambering down the side. The girl made it down fine, but her brother lost his footing at the last second and landed hard on his back side.
“Ohhhhhhohoho! Mein heinie!” He sniveled while rubbing his sore bottom. Red just rolled her eyes and headed back inside. She had bigger fish to fry. Once inside, she turned back to the children one last time to yell, “SCRAM!” before slamming the door shut.
She was dismayed to find the Baby Bear had not left, as she’d secretly hoped, instead he’d made himself quit comfortable in her Gran’s bed and was snoozing away.
Red looked over to see the Big Bad Wolf enter the room. Hands firmly on her hips, she tsked at him.
“And just where the hell have you been?!”
The Wolf blushed, which was quite an amazing feat given that he was covered in dark gray fur, and sheepishly point back towards the room he had exited from.
Red shook her head again. “Whatever. Let’s just get rid of Sleeping Beauty here so we can continue with OUR story….”
She was interrupted as the front door burst wide open. The girl and wolf turned to see a very tall, handsome man stride into the room. Dressed in the finest clothing they’d ever seen, he stalked forth with an air of regality about him. He smiled at them as he ran a hand through his thick, luxurious, windblown, brown locks.
“Did someone say “Sleeping Beauty”?
“Whaaaaa…?” Said the Wolf
“Oh for cryin’ out loud!” Bellowed Red.
The man ignored both of them as his gaze wondered to the sleeping figure in bed. His smile widened, flashing picture perfect pearly whites.
“There! There she is! I have traveled from far and wide, searching. But it’s finally over. I have found her! My one…true…Love!”
“Are you nuts?!’ Exclaimed Red.
The man continued to ignore them as he made is way over to the bed and pulled back the covers to reveal a snoring bear cub. His eyes filled with tears as he glanced downward.
“She….she’s even more lovely then I imagined.”
Red and the Wolf stared speechless and wide eyed. Red recovered first.
“Are you blind?!?! That’s no Princess, THAT is a BEAR! And an annoying one at that!”
The man whirled around and glared angrily at the small girl.
“Silence brat! I will not have you speak such harsh and unkind words about my future wife.”
“Future w-wi…wi..wife?” Red stammered.
The Wolf leaned in towards her and whispered, “Something tells me this guy here is a few apples short of a picnic basket.”
They both watched as the man leaned forward and kissed Baby Bear, who began to stir soon afterwards. He yawned, stretched and regarded his audience.
“Well it’s about time, my darling.”
“I’ll say.” Said Red.
Baby Bear looked back up at the man leaning over him
“Hey. What’s going on?”
The young man beamed at him, “Fear not my darling, for I have broken the curse and awoken you. Now we shall away to my castle, where we shall be joined in marriage forever and all eternity.”
“What?! Now hold on a minute! I’m not…”
“Nonsense my pet! My trust stead awaits us out yonder in the woods”, the man scoffed.
“No, no no no no no nonononono! You don’t understand! This isn’t even my story!”
“No kidding!” Red commented.
“Come my beloved, let us away!”
And with that final statement, he scooped up the protesting cub and ran out the door. Outside, Hansel and Gretel could be heard arguing over which path to take to get back home. Red and the Wolf stared out the doorway for a short period of time before closing the door, heads shaking all the while.
“Well, thankfully that’s all over with. Now we can get on with the story.” Red declared.
She looked back over at the Wolf to find him staring oddly at her. He licked his lips and smiled, fangs glistening in the dim light.
Red closed her eyes and sighed
By: Wilfred R. Robinson
Art By: Laura K. Robinson
Wallace made his final dash. His pursuers, not more than regular folk of the village, Culloden, descended upon him in a scrum. Their hands grasped at his back and haunches. Fingers tried to close on his sleek, feline, muscles, or grasp the short fur on his hind section. After several failed attempts, the large sausage-like fingers of MacGowan the smith clenched around the tip of his tail and pulled. Wallace tried his best to ignore the pain. The man had a tenuous grasp at best. Wallace could not look back, dare not look back. Should he even turn to bite the smith’s hand, they would close in on him. With his progress momentarily halted, they already began to crowd about him. He thought about his friends and fellow toms. He thought about Snowbell, the queen whom he loved and shared his kills. He was their living memory now. They could only live on, if he lived on. Capture, and the subsequent death that would follow, wasn’t an option, he knew that.
Hey there! Having a rough week? Yeah, me to. Venting helps though.
Have a great weekend!
(The Sugarhappy Jax site is being built andshould be completed within the month. You will be able to enjoy things like this on it. Keep checking back for more updates! <3)
The cold ball hit Star in the exact center of her back. It was the shock of a snowball trickling down onto bare skin. She pushed off of one leg to pivot and face the new attack, but her body didn’t move. She was frozen. Again. This time she felt as though she was a statue. It wasn’t just that she couldn’t move her legs to run away. She couldn’t move a muscle, or even blink. She couldn’t move her lips to talk. Her whole being was still. She wasn’t even breathing, but she didn’t feel starved for air either. Darkness covered her vision, dripping down her face in an inky wave. She could see the shadowy form of Haine’s carcass by the water, and Robin crouched a few steps away from him. At least there was that. Haine was utterly destroyed.
Ryan ushered Cassie into the room qucikly and shut the door behind them. He turned and shot her a smirk as she turned to face him. “Is it safe to take this off now?” she said looking around.
“You can take off whatever you want. We’re safe and sound in my room now. Don’t worry, I’m locking the door.” he turned the lock, fastened the chain and started sauntering over to her.
Cassie shook her head as she took off the blanket and hung it on a hook on the wall. ” ok, there cowboy, calm yourself.” She turned around only to come face to face with Ryan who placed his hand on the wall beside her, looked in her eyes, raised his brows and smiled. “Really?” Cassie giggled as she brushed his arm aside and walked into the room.”Exactly what type of girl do you take me for?hmm?” She crossed her arms and stood firm, but her smile gave her away.
To continue reading : http://www.cassieandtheflyingballoon.com/?p=134
Star glowed brighter with every step she took towards Haine. The pain she knew she should be experiencing from her ungraceful landing at the foot of the tree was gone. Her terror in the face of the powerful beings surrounding her vanished. The light pouring from her body cleansed her. Now they would be the ones to fear her gaze. She was finally free. She didn’t know how, and she didn’t want to look too closely at what she was doing. For all she knew it would fall apart under scrutiny like a cartoon character’s ability to run on thin air as long as he didn’t look down. She took another two slow steps forward, her eyes never wavering from Haine.
She was staring again. Looking out over the rim of her dark sunglasses she tried to force her eyes away but it was the fascination of being attracted to something she knew she should hate that kept it ever so slightly in her line of vision. Her eyes quickly flicked to glance around her, the people on the street passing her by without a glance, and she felt herself relax. There was really nothing forbidding her, per-say, from enjoying, even walking over except her own pride. ‘And feeling of self-worth.’ flew through her head with a bitter edge.
Heaving her bag higher up on her shoulder she glanced down the street once more as if to assure herself that she was not being followed or watched. ‘What is it they say about a paranoid mind?’ She smirked tightly to herself before hitching a breath and throwing her foot out in front of her feeling for all the world that the anxiousness settling in her stomach was based on more than just her own paranoia.
‘Coward.’ Her mind taunted her as she stared through the thick glass at rows and rows of shiny and glittery shoes. The glass was pristine, clear of markings and smudges and allowed an unobstructed view of the merchandise inside. True, she was a shopper like any other female but at this point in time she looked through the glass not really seeing what was on the other side. She saw the fragmented reality of the outside world thrown back at her and for a moment she was trapped in a world not her own.
Shaking her head to erase the thoughts from this odd train she glanced again through the window, focusing on the shiny satin of a grey heel that winked in the florescent light before her eyes shifted to the right and betrayed her. She had tried to walk to her original destination, but her body had taken her to the shoe store’s window as if she had no say.
The purr of an engine forced her to refocus her gaze again and through the reflective surface of the glass she saw a sleek black car pull quickly to the curb. Now her knowledge of cars pretty much ended with the color but she could tell this was no cheap cookie cutter model. The car had a sharp design, edges that were made to throw caution to the wind and a finish that screamed power. It didn’t just ride on the road, it belonged there. It was a beautiful machine and she narrowed her eyes at the mirrored image in the glass knowing it was something she could never afford.
The slightest whisper of a click and the passenger door opened with a flourish. A booted heel stepped out onto concrete ground and though it was several meters away she could practically smell the leather. She had a moment to appreciate the gentle sound of cloth slithering over the glossy seating of the car’s interior before the woman stood, and she saw her face.
Expensive sunglasses covered pale feathers that, though they appeared delicate, were set with strong lines. Her blond hair was thrown into an elegant hairstyle and a manicured finger came up to set back and fix an invisible strand. She sniffed, her head held high as she looked around lazily before raising her other hand and stepping away from the comfort if her metal chariot.
She blinked. ‘Was she smoking?’ It was something she did not expect and seemed a dirty vice that did not sit with the image before her. Sure enough however the woman raised a rolled paper to her painted lips that was sure to be expensive, and inhaled. ‘If it’s not rolled in gold I will be shocked.’ She must have snorted without realizing it because suddenly the blond head snapped her way. She froze. Still looking through the reflection she was unsure of what to do. The glasses hid her eyes but the women seemed to stare right through her, trapping her in their hold and daring her to meet, tinted glass to imitation plastic. She swallowed, giving one more false glance at the shoes before straightening her shoulders and turning lazily. Her eyes having never left the other woman’s locked gaze.
The minute her body had turned the woman tilted her head, smirked and dropped her cigarette, crushing it beneath the pad of her leather boot. Her eyes never turned down and her smirk never waved. Angered boiled inside her before she knew it. No words needed to be spoken, nothing exchanged. The blonds face, her actions, spoke volumes.
With a final stomp and swish of expensive cloth she turned and walked towards the store on the right. A man dressed in a fine burgundy jacket and white gloves nodded to her, before grasping the golden handle of the designed door and holding it open for her. She strode forward, purposed, sure, before stopping just inside the entrance and glancing behind her once more to lock gazes. Their eyes were still fencing in an uneven match through the slightly tinted glass as the door shut and she could read the words she had stared at so many times before.
The blond finally turned and disappeared into the store. With her gone, the only thing she could see was herself, reflected back in the glass of the door and the words laying overtop her own skin as if to taunt her themselves. She straightened her back and lifted her chin. What a fool she was. She knew, everyone did. Spells and magic were only for certain types of people in the world, the wealthy and the privileged. She sniffed once, hard, before turning on her heel and continuing down the street away from the store. She didn’t even hesitate as her own foot lifted and fell onto the expensive cigarette, now just another piece of trash littering the sidewalk.