Philcon- Vampires in Anime

 Posted by on November 17, 2013 at 2:33 pm
Nov 172013
 

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!

 

 

Halloween 2014 Podcast part 2

 Posted by on October 31, 2013 at 8:00 am
Oct 312013
 

Halloween 2014 podcast Part 1

 Posted by on October 30, 2013 at 8:00 am
Oct 302013
 

…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.

Friday Knights Update: Cancel the Noise

 Posted by on September 13, 2013 at 8:00 am
Sep 132013
 

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!

Playing with Markers

 Posted by on August 18, 2013 at 4:58 pm
Aug 182013
 

MarkerKikiBeen playing with markers. I’ve never really used them before. Here is a Kiki and Gigi rendition done in mostly cheap Dual Brush markers, and a few Prismcolors on marker paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MarkerKataraThen I tried Katara again, with almost all the Dual Brush, but a colorless blender from Prismcolor on marker paper. I am getting better at blending!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MarkerGabi

 

And last… a familiar one, Gabi from Friday Knights on Bristol Board. Bristol Board was impossible to blend on! Practice, practice, practice.

Friday Knights: Character Building

 Posted by on July 27, 2013 at 7:20 pm
Jul 272013
 

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.

 

This is the image we are using for the wrap around cover!

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.

Onward to Dexcon!

 Posted by on July 3, 2013 at 1:59 pm
Jul 032013
 

This weekend, quite a few of the regulars on 20 Sided Designs will be headed out to Dexcon along with myself,

SugarHappy Jax!
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 ^_^

Down Diagon Alley

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.)

Along with me will also be Katie Rizzo Art and Awesome selling her amazing portrait prints like as seen below.brother5

 

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

 Posted by on June 21, 2013 at 8:16 pm
Jun 212013
 

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.

 

Box Art

Box Art

The Good

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.

Columbia

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.

From appearance to mannerisms.... except, ya know, Belle didn't deal with as much murder.

From appearance to mannerisms…. except, ya know, Belle didn’t deal with as much murder.

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.

 

Heads?

Heads?

The Bad

                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.

 

Seriously. Fuck him.

Seriously. Fuck him.

Conclusion

                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.

She scored the game a 4.5/5

She scored the game a 4.5/5

“Bioshock Infinite is proof that video games are a form of art.” – Me

Maybe if we stay here, we can forget about wiping away the debt.

Maybe if we stay here, we can forget about wiping away the debt. (Click for gif)

Non-Japanese Animation

 Posted by on June 11, 2013 at 9:04 pm
Jun 112013
 

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.

FK Sketch: Knights Doctor Who Style

 Posted by on June 7, 2013 at 11:47 am
Jun 072013
 

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!