It’s been awhile, so I thought I’d let you know what’s been going on.

Comic Class

I started taking a free online class from the California College of the Arts through a service called Kadenze.  So far it’s pretty interesting.  The class is Comics: Art in Relationship and seems to focus on the theory behind comics.  The first lesson is really about examining what a comic is, and the professor has some pretty interesting ideas on this.

Here’s a comic I made for the first assignment, which was to tell something interesting about yourself using their two page panel template, and have at least one panel with no words.

comic class

comic class

I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to draw, but I’m pretty happy with what I came up with.  And the people in the class seem to like it.

You may ask why I’m taking this class?  I’ve always loved to learn, and the opportunity to take a FREE college level class about comics was too good to pass up.  Hopefully it will help me improve some of my techniques and teach me some things I can use to make better comics.  I may look into more classes in the future.

Alternative Press Expo

APE 2016

Well, it looks like I will be appearing at at least one convention this year, APE in San Jose in October.  Dan Vado finally responded to one of my emails after he sent out the registration application for this year’s show.  You may remember that I said Dan, the owner of SLG and organizer of APE, had been dodging me since I’ve been trying to get a $250 refund after I wasn’t able to attend last year’s show.  Well, he finally got back to me after I asked if I could just apply the balance to this year’s show.  So that’s what’s happening.

Honestly, I would have rather gotten the refund and I’m pretty disappointed in how Dan has handled the whole thing.  Even if he didn’t want to give me the refund he could have at least responded to me after I reached out to him about a dozen times.  It makes me think less of his character, and I’m kind of glad we never ended up publishing a book through him.

At least it’s not the same weekend as the Giant Pumpkin Festival this year, so I won’t have to miss that.  I’m sure it will end up being a lot of fun, my $250 wasn’t wasted, and I have plenty of time to come up with some cool stuff to sell at the table.

Retro Games

Retro GamesI’ve been on a big nostalgia kick lately (well, more than usual), specifically focused on video games.  I set up my old game systems (GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Nintendo 64) in my son’s room, and I’ve been loving it.  I regret selling my NES and Super NES even though I barely played them, but at least I can play most of the games on the Wii’s virtual console.  I needed money though, and like I said, they were pretty much just taking up space.  Still, I wouldn’t mind buying them back some day.

I always seem to regret selling video games.  It’s one of the few collections I really have.  I probably wouldn’t care too much if I sold my Sega Genesis or PS2, and I didn’t really mind selling my PS1 or inherited Atari 2600.  The Nintendo ones are the ones I’m attached to.  I’ve always been a Nintendo guy.

I know I’m pretty late to the party, but I’ve started enjoying the world of YouTube gamer videos.  It’s a lot of fun to look back at the old games and learn about the ones I had only heard of as a kid.  And some of these guys are pretty entertaining.

One thing I didn’t expect when I set up the old games is how much my son is enjoying them.  He’s been raised on Wii and Wii U, so it’s nice to see he can still appreciate the older stuff.

The other surprise is that I’ve fallen in love with my Nintendo 64 all over again.  It feels so good to go back and play some of my favorite games like Mario 64, Banjo Kazooie, Diddy Kong Racing, Star Fox 64, Tony Hawk and Mario Kart 64.  Plus the games and accessories are so cheap now, so I can finally go back and play the games I missed out on like Glover, Paper Mario, Donkey Kong 64, Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask.

About those last two…I’m a big Zelda fan and have played pretty much every game, except the two N64 classics that many say are the best games in the series.  Honestly, that’s a little hard to admit.  I wasn’t so into Zelda as a kid.  I liked the first game and A Link to the Past, but Mario was my real passion.  So I never picked these games up on the N64.  My best friend had Ocarina, so I’d watch him play it and try it out, but that was about it.  I did end up getting both  games on the GameCube, but never got very far on them.  They just didn’t grab me when I could be playing Wind Waker.

But now I’m in the middle of playing Ocarina of time, and I love it.  In the past I think I’d get bored by the slow intro, and by the time I finished with the Deku Tree I was kind of over it.  But now I’m in Jabu Jabu’s belly rescuing Ruto, and I’m loving every minute of it.  I fully intend on finishing it and playing Majora’s Mask before the new Zelda game comes out for the Wii U.

Hollywood Handbook

Hollywood HandbookThis is one of the funniest podcast I’ve ever listened to, and from what I gather it’s not all that popular, which is a shame.  I started listening to Hollywood Handbook about two months ago and now I’m working my way through the back catalogue.  Sean Clements and Hayes Davenport teach you all about what it takes to make it in Hollywood via their absurd portrayal of elitist celebrity snobs, and it cracks me up.  The way they improv off each other and their guests is just fantastic; whether it’s script read throughs, stories from on the set, brainstorming ideas for new movies or telling you what gifts to get your assistants, the whole thing is hilarious.  And really weird.

It’s a little like what we were trying to do with I’m Famous! and I think the Lone Wolf would fit right in on this show.  It’s not going to be for everyone, but do yourself a favor and listen to an episode and see if it makes you laugh.

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