Friday, May 5, 2017

Woman's Comics (via Buzzfeed)

     Considering some of these are experiences from day to day life , I found these comics to be pretty humorous.They're similar to the some of the memes that are on the internet -- some that are are a bit too realistic or a bit too sad and yet are hilarious because everyone -- or a large amount of people -- can relate to the content. These comics are almost like a relief to the small, and big, struggles that are consistently faced by people and I think the fact they have settled into our internet culture quite a bit is pretty good.
     Overall, I enjoy their cartoon-y style as well -- relating back to Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics -- because, even though a particular audience may not be female, these comics still contain the fact that everyone can read them because if the story isn't relatable, we can still see a good amount of ourselves in the characters -- whether it be through expression or physical features.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Bus - Paul Kirchner

     This one was real trippy... real trippy yet quite unique. I've witnessed these infinite loop comics on the internet, but I wasn't aware that someone would have created them in a series. Aside from the obvious artistic style, some of the things that occur also remind of some children's cartoons -- for example, the bus that compresses the car and, in order to solve the issue, the bus driver moves forward and the car.. uncompresses? But I guess it doesn't need to make sense to be entertaining.. in fact, that's what makes it entertaining, I suppose. 
     Even though these comics are simple, they've also provoked some thought -- just as to how the universe that these comics exist in function. All of these panels are seem like things that the artist just randomly thought of and decided to illustrate. They remind me of things that I'd see in my dreams, practically. In fact, I can honestly hardly compose my thoughts with these comics, they're so random. 
    The Exact Fare comic, however, is definitely my favorite comic visually. Bringing us out into space creates a large, expansive mood in the short comic and larger than life scenarios are incredibly intriguing to me -- even down to the scale of a large ice berg or tsunami wave -- terrifyingly large yet fascinating. 

Battle Angel Alita "The Last Order"

     I've been a fan of Japanese media, like many of the people that go to our school. So, when I found out we'd be covering some of the most influential pieces of comic book work, manga, it was a pretty good moment. Battle Angel Alita was definitely a great read that did shounen manga justice -- violence, action, some comedy, and a decent plot -- not to mention the great art style. This type of work is right up my alley and I'm definitely going to try to make more time to find and read some work similar to it. 
     The most outlandish part of this particular comic is around the middle of the comic series -- when older men find the kids in the lab and try to kill them all. It felt like these guys were made to give off this overwhelming amount of masculinity -- steroid strong, extra tall, and incredibly violent -- almost to the point it was hysterical. Then, one guy walks up to this poor kid and exclaims "You don't work out enough!" and bashes his head in with a dumbbell. Talk about some shock value. I can't even imagine what people thought back when this comic series was first made. Yet, the rest of the story seems to support that kind of violence -- considering the scientist was shown having previously blew his brains out among some other graphic scenes within the comic.

Stories from the Heavy Metal

     The first two comics of Moebius, at least in the series of comics that I read, both contained sudden, unexpected events which made me say "Huh?" or it caused me to share what I witnessed with my friends so they could laugh at the randomness with me. In Arzak, when who I assume to be the repairman is approaching what I assume to be a communications tower, I initially found it odd that he was being approached by many naked people as he was walking through the sand. Then, suddenly, this naked man appears and delivers the ancient hidden art: the contact break kick to the poor repairman, all while his junk was just hangin' out in the air. I laughed at those two panels in the comic for a good few minutes and showed it to a friend of mine and we both thought it was ridiculously funny. But by the end, when he fixed the cog in the tower which seemed to allow pterodactyl to fly, I was pretty lost. So, I'd like to imagine that this wordless series of images was what the creature was seeing near the light before he was brought back to life.
     The Ballad, however, seemed to feel like it had a specific audience it wanted to target -- considering the girl we follow through the short comic considers the man who wears clothes one who has "forgotten where God is." The author definitely seemed to want to make a statement with this woman who believed in spreading her beliefs to other people, much like many people of today. I'm personally not religious nor do I have anything against people who are, but, again, the sudden turn of events where she finds other people in the desert and is suddenly barraged with bullets I thought I was funny. A poor fate to meet for the poor woman, but it's the spark of some random, short and anticlimactic violence that gets me. Nothing about either of the events left very much of substance to remember, but they definitely served some sort of comedic purpose -- at least within my understanding. I'd be willing to learn whether or not they had some underlying representationalism or if the author simply said, "Eh, why not..." and drew it in the comic. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Maus -- Art Spiegalman

     The holocaust, being an event in time that we all learn about at some point in school, was certainly a catastrophic period of time. Everyone learns of the general details and Hitler's goals as well as seeing the time period from Anne Frank's perspective. It was a cool to see a different perspective of how the Holocaust affected someone's life.
    Vladek himself, as a character, is certainly someone who I'd not admire. Through the story, I saw that there was definitely some antithesis in behavior between Vladek and his son, and Vladek was on the bad side of the spectrum -- being an angry, bitter old man -- One who suffered through through the events of the Holocaust and maintained his own racist beliefs despite how racism impacted his own life. It's almost shameful that he behaves so stubbornly. Although this was his story, by the end I felt like I didn't really care about Vladek. I found that some of the other characters in his story were much easier to pity for, especially the ones who died. In particular, the portion of the comic when (forgive me, for I am bad with names) he gave his son to his friend's wife to watch after them until the killings were over but he, as well as the wife and the other kids she was watching, ending up killing themselves to prevent being captured by Hitler's troops. This event in particular struck a chord with me as it created this sense of great despair -- the sense that I was close to being able to witness a family of completely innocent people survive the kills and then be taken out on a whim suddenly. 
     Overall, however, I didn't very much enjoy our main character's too much because they themselves did not have much substance in my opinion. Consistently being dragged out of the story and in to the comic's present day felt like a constant ruin of immersion even though they both took place within the same comic.

Fat Freddy's Cat -- Gilbert Shelton

     Underground comics, in my opinion, was definitely one of the more underrated golden eras. It's refreshing to see artists who have created a comic based on an idea they've had, whether it's offensive, serious, silly or some combination of the three. Nowadays, many things are censored because they "trigger" people and releasing content as such will result in a large backlash from some incredibly sore consumers, ultimately silencing many ideas that might of otherwise been great or, at least, funny.
     Luckily, Fat Freddy's Cat is a comic that was produced in an era where it wouldn't have been silenced by mass media consumers -- it had a chance to reach its own audience without being put down.
     From the beginning of Part 1, I was already enjoying the comic. Starting off any comic with some bars by a talking cat that makes you want to say "Ooh, damn" is simply incredibly entertaining to me. That first segment said so much about the character of the cat and how frivolous the comic I was getting into would be. The first story, about the "Hee hee hee" drug, is a great example -- we, as an audience, aren't even entirely sure of the severity of this drug. All we get is that it turns people queer. From there, he goes on this mission to find the factory that's producing it and lands on the wrong planet, kills everyone there, realizes he landed on the wrong planet and simply says "Whoops, lol, sorry" and leaves. It's incredibly basic, which I think is a grounds to give everyone a good laugh because it isn't hard at all to understand -- yet not so ridiculous as to cause an upset because it's about a detective cat. 
     I appreciated how free this comic felt -- the lack of restriction is something that I wish could see a bit more today.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

RCAD -- 2017 Spring Work

     Above are a few screenshots of an Adventure Game project I worked on -- an Adventure Game that brought about quite a bit of stress and frustration. It was my first crack at creating a small game from scratch (within Unreal Engine 4) and I had an opportunity to learn a whole lot and gain more appreciation about the strenuous game-making process -- constant trial and error, with sprinkles of success -- at least at the beginning. I had a chance to expand on my skills as a level designer, character creator, character animator, and level artist, which were all exciting to tackle and slowly triumph over.

     Another project I worked on -- Sculpting a character. This guy is paired with a modified Camaro '67 -- which I may upload after I take better screenshots. This character project gave me a chance to dabble into Zbrush, which began to feel like Photoshop after I got used to it. I still have to texture this guy as well and I'll update the photos when that is completed.

So much more to do~