For the benefit of any who might not know. I do bake and decorate birthday cakes for my cousin's children. His daughter has a serious peanut allergy that nearly killed her when she was one year old. Her allergy is so serous that on her second birthday they had to scrap a cake because they got it from a bakery that cooks with peanuts in the area. I felt so bad for her that I volunteered to start making the cakes for their kids' birthdays. Though, that tended to pile up through the years since my cousin and his wife have gone on to have three children. I just felt that their kids deserve to have some nice birthday cakes and their parents should know they are safe to eat.
Understand that I have absolutely no training in cake decorating. My first real attempt at cake decorating came up when their son's second birthday came. He wanted a Spider-man cake. I made two sheet cakes. One was of Spider-man's chest design on it. The second was just a red cake with a bunch of webbing on it.
Now, we jump to 2011, and my cousin's youngest son just turned 4 years old. He wanted a chocolate Spider-man cake. Through the years I've been able to develop in cake decorating to the point where I can now stack the layers and carve the cake into the shapes I need. Carving the shape of Spider-man's head was pretty easy. I just sort of laugh that I now make such elaborate cakes for toddlers who have no idea the level of work that goes into these.
Looking in these images you can see the depth put into the cake.
These cakes come at no cost to them. I get the supplies and do all the work for free. Why, you may ask. It's easy. I'm a schmuck. lol I started working on decorating this cake soon after Friday's Big Live Live Show. Because I watched that instead of decorating, I was up all night finishing this in time.
I forgot to add a ruler in the pictures to give a sense of scale. This is a three layered cake that's roughly about 11 x 9 inches.These things are pretty big.
It was on Friday September 9th that Whiskey Media celebrated two years of the site mergers and subscription benefits with it's Big Live Live Show. I wrote a blog review after the first one, and thought it would be appropriate to give it another go. The show consisted of eight full hours of live entertainment hosted by the stars of the various Whiskey brands....minus one.
First off, I really do have to express a lot of gratitude to the Whiskey Media staff for adding the stream to the front page of Anime Vice. I saw the stream up for all the sites, except Anime Vice and Tested hours before the show was to begin. One hour before the show's start, I saw the stream added to Anime Vice. I spent most of my time in the Anime Vice chat. It made for a great conversation, and I was able to suggest some anime and manga series to some new users.
Ryan's hosting was exemplary as per usual through the length of the show. Some of the couch stuff made for some of the best laughs of the show. The music was at times both engrossing and hilarious. I don't think I had ever expected to hear an eleven string bass be played together with a ukulele. We haven't seen a collaboration as unlikely as that since Aerosmith and Run DMC. The Dance Central 2 content almost seems as if it's scheduled to be released with the Live Show. It was on last year's show. Too bad it didn't get a little extra time to watch more of the staff compete in the game. That's full of entertainment potential.
Comic Vine had a nice interview with three members from the Gender Bending Justice League. That was nice, but I couldn't help thinking that they were basically what would happen if Emporio Ivankov was ever let loose in the DC Universe. Sara was being her usual charming self, and Tony really seemed to love his Batman ski mask. Whenever he wears that thing I keep thinking he's going to rob a bank. I always enjoy it when James Robinson is on the Comic Vine Podcast. Seeing him on camera for an interview was equally nice. I was rather surprised to see the people in the AV chat didn't seem to happy about him.
Anyone who was bothered by the fact the Comic Vine interview was prerecorded for the Live Show really needs to relax. I thought it was completely reasonable. Geoff Johns is kind of a busy guy at the moment. He probably really wanted to do the interview, but couldn't make time for it on Friday. They record the spot when time was convenient for the man, and they kept it until they needed it to air. Not everyone can just drop their plans for Whiskey Media.....but they should.
The Screening Room for the Screened segment was one of those films that was just so horrible that it was so much fun watching it be mocked. It really brought me back to the joys of Mystery Science Theater 3000. When I saw them giving that film away as I prize. I couldn't tell if it was a gift or a punishment.
Norm and Will from Tested were entertaining, and that surprise upset in their lock picking was a hoot. Out of those two, it doesn't matter who wins or loses. Their reactions are always fun to watch. I was sad to see that Gary Whitta never got involved in any of the on camera shenanigans. As an artist, I was really interested in Norm's interview with the guy who made replica weapons based from games. Norm also had some very nice photography tips for cosplay and conventions.
I think this just comes to personal taste, but I very much didn't enjoy the Star Craft 2 coverage. It went on for FAR too long. I watched that, and I have no idea what the hell is going on. I'm hearing all these words that I think are being used in sentences. It has to do with economies, and that's pretty much where I zone out. If it hadn't been for the chat. I might've dozed off.
I do wish the Comic Vine staff had more segments. They have a lot of personality that I feel deserved more time. It felt a little short in that area. I could really have done with more comic talk and a lot less Star Craft.
It was just too bad that Tom Pinchuk couldn't make it for the Live Show this year. It would've been nice for him to host some segment for the Anime Vice audience. Even if it was just a short give away for a few manga volumes or DVD box set. The guy has a lot of charm and personality.
It can't be denied that a ton of hard work was put into this year's Live Show. That should be appreciated above all else when it comes down to it. I had a lot of fun, and it was a great opportunity to chat with some of the users on Anime Vice live. I understand why the Star Craft 2 segment was in the show, but it went on far too long for my liking.
I didn't take part in any of the subscriber only features, because I'm not one. So I can't really speak to that content in this review.
I had to leave near the end of the show to meet some people for dinner. Last part I saw was Norm chopping fruit with a katana that he was wielding as if it was a baseball bat. I think that was near the finale. I hope it all worked out well for them and they got even more members. The gang at Whiskey Media worked hard and the outcome shows. Hope they got some rest during the weekend.
I've been a member of Whiskey Media brand of sites since July of 2009. I've been active in comments and the wiki, mostly on Anime Vice. I felt that with the second Big Live Show coming that the spotlight should turn to some of the users.
I've been at the top of the Anime Vice wiki editing list for some time now, but I was often curious about where I stood in ranking among all the WM editors. I put together a list of the top ten wiki editors, and I was rather surprised to see I'm the third highest submitter. The top two Screened users have a good showing, considering it's one of the youngest of the brands. Giant Bomb surprisingly only has one user in the top ten, and Comic Vine has the strongest showing with number of members.
Note that these numbers only reflect the points the user has one the site they rank the highest on. I don't take into account if the person has edited on any other of the sites. don't have access to those numbers. The totals were collected on September 5th 2011 at 4PM EST. Something I noticed in this research was that the majority of these users joined during the summer months. One joined in April.
These users deserves a lot of credit for the hard work they do in building the wiki database across every brand, and remember that these are just the top ten. There are even more people working hard.
As you can see, the Anime Vice wiki shouldn't be taken lightly. Publicly, the staff haven't done much to try and make the AV users feel welcome into the community events. It was absent in last years Live Show, despite Tom's involvement; I've never seen the Happy Hour advertised on the Anime Vice main page, and there was no mention of the site in the recent survey. I don't mean to make light the recent work that has been done, but actions speak louder than words. I do hold some hope that with some of the coming events will change some matters.
I have experience in a wide variety of manga/anime series, I write both editorials and news articles for the main page, and I will continue to be an advocate for the medium and users on AV. They are a good group of user who want to be involved, but most honestly think that Whiskey Media staff and users hate them.
This is a sample of a few of my comics of the characters that I created. Though, this isn't the actual story I've been working on. These are more humorous prequels about my character Ashien's adventures in motherhood. She is a sort of warrior woman who lived never expecting to be a mother. So she has no idea what she's doing, but honestly wants to try and be a good mother. Andria is sort of Ash's guide.
These two pages actually take place before the birth of Ash's son, Adler; and it's telling the story of how she picked his name.
The joke at the end of Part 2 is a play on words. In Japanese, "yuri" means "lily" and "ko" means "child". In manga code, "yuri" is also the name used to describe lesbian based love stories.
Manga and Anime isn't the stereotyped boys club many believe. A discussion of the influence women have as creators and readers.
Recently, I've been writing quite a few editorial and new articles for Anime Vice. I've covered a lot of issues, but one I've written about recently I think effects more than just the anime community. It also speaks to the Comic Vine audience as well. I'm not going to go into all the details on here. It was after reading Sara Lima's article on the state of DC's female staff that I was inspired me. I was thinking about all these women that you see on the staff of DC Comics. There was some writers, editors, and artist. I just wonder, how many of these women are actually the creators of the series they work on? Rather than women hired to work on a series that was originally created by a man. There are comics out there that are created by women and are very well done, but they are sadly more often Indy level series that never get the level of attention they actually deserve. That's because the comic market is swimming with series by Marvel and DC publishing. DC has/had (depending on the New 52 rebalancing), but Marvel not so much.
If you look into the manga industry. There are a lot of incredibly popular and high selling series that are created by women. In many cases, they are the original creator, writer, and artist. The most well know to the Western audience is Fullmetal Alchemist. Hiromu Arakawa is a woman and her series was incredibly successful during it's run in one of the biggest manga publisher in Japan. The list doesn't end there. There are a ton of high selling series created by women. One of the most influential design group in Japan is actually an all female team that goes by the name CLAMP. The artist behind the original Suzumiya Haruhi light-novel series that spawned the blockbuster anime is a woman named Noizi Ito. Rumiko Takahashi, the creator of Ranma 1/2, is credited as one of the highest selling female comic artists in history. Her various works have sold over 170 Million copies. Layla Aker, a senior editor with VIZ Media, even boasts that their publication of Shonen Jump (a serialized magazine collection of several manga) has a 40% female reader base. How many mainstream comics can make that claim? Aker has also said that she believes that women are more open minded as readers.
I just can't possibly believe the dubious claim that there just aren't any talented women artists and writers out there for DC and Marvel to find then publish the series of their creation. Not when Japan's manga market is filled with women who are producing some of the highest selling series. These aren't even "girly" series or even manga specifically targeted to women. Many have broad appeal across genders.
Women in anime are also the voice actors behind some of th biggest characters in the industry. This is really only a preview of what I cover in the article on Anime Vice. I hope the readers on Comic Vine come check it out. The conversation in the comments has been really good. Readers have been adding to the list by naming off the series they love that are created by women. It's pretty interesting. There are a lot of series that I've heard of but never realized women were the creators.
Here is the first opening for Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. The anime adaptation for Arakawa's manga. You can even find most of the episodes available for free streaming on FUNimation's youtube channel. Episodes: HERE
It's been kind of a sad week in my area. My local Borders is finally closing up shop since the company is now liquidating. It's been there for quite a few years and it was great having a book store so close to home. It was here that I took part in the release party for the last Harry Potter book. Last Friday, I went to take advantage of some of their steep discounts. My goal was to get some particular manga and I found most of what I was looking for. This Borders keeps the manga and graphic novels (comic books, if you will) right next to each other It's just always been noticeable that through the years this store has been open. The manga section has grown considerably and the trade paperpacks for comics has not grown much at all.
Naturally, I wasn't the only person there looking to pick up some things on discount. There were a lot of people going through the comics and I was able to overhear the conversations people were having. I casually joined in as a group of four was talking about Batman: Year One. I mentioned how that was being animated. I also did a bit of name dropping by telling them all they could get some good information about this at "ComicVine.com". After talking for a bit about what makes Batman so cool and one of the best superheroes. The conversation shifted to the Hush story, Under the Red Hood, and Catwoman now knowing Batman's identity. This is when the topic of the DC New 52 started and it wasn't too pretty. There was frustration about what this would mean for Catwoman's history with Batman, and these readers seemed worried. I again directed them to Comic Vine for that video interview with Judd Winick.
We then got into the whole who could win in a fight talk. I brought up my theory that though Superman is physically stronger than Wonder Woman that she's still win since she's a train warrior. Supes didn't start learning real fighting until he became Superman. One reader brought up how Batman already has a plan to take out everyone.
About this time, another person joined the conversation and the topic of Superman and the changes came up, and the mood began to turn. They all started to vent their frustrations. It was all mostly targeted at a complete lack of continuity in comics. Events and story never seem to lead into anything and editors or writers will just wipe things from history and expect you to act as if they never happened. I brought up the preview of how Clark's marriage to Lois is being wiped from the character's history and not a single person even generally liked the idea. There were a lot of OMD comparisons brought up. One person mentioned how wiping out decades of history then trying to claim you aren't only made them feel as if publishers were treating him like an idiot.
It was around here that I wanted to gauge the feelings these readers had toward manga and mentioned how continuity is almost a universal constant in most of these series. I was surprised that three of the group talked about only recently getting into manga and two were well into the story of the bigger named series Naruto, BLEACH, and One Piece. They were even looking forward to the latest episode of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood that would be airing the next day on [adult swim]. This was ironic since the outcome of those events were in the manga that I was holding in my hand at the time, but I wasn't going to spoil.
I just have to wonder if the actions of comic publishers are just starting to push more reader away than they will get new readers. Not one called the DC New 52 a "revamp" and they all used the term "reboot". As I was leaving to get into the long checkout line. I noticed some of the group walking over to the manga section and pick up a book.
QUMA is Something a Graphic Artist Needs to See to Believe!
As a graphic artist, I think a lot of others would be interested in this awesome little robot I recently learned about on Twitter. We have always seen those little wooden dolls in art supply stores, but a recent jump in computer technology has brought this to a new level with an awesome invention being called the "QUMA". Basically, it's a computerized version of those dolls. By posing the figure. It manipulates a 3D model on a computer for an artist to then use as reference for an illustration.
When I saw this cool little thing in action. I kept thinking that Marvelneeds to send one to Greg Land. He seriously needs one. That man reuses so many poses in an issue it's not funny.
The video of this device really needs to be seen to really understand how cool this can be. To see the Video of it in action on my article on Anime Vice: HERE
I know for a while we have heard about Selina Kyle being in Dark Knight Rises, but we've never really heard if she would be playing "Catwoman". While I was looking on youtube, I saw this trailer that looks as if it "could" be real. My problem is that it has audio clips from the previous movie. It also shows clips that could be from the actual movie, such as watching a guy be injected with what appears to be the Venom. I would show the trailer that I found, but without knowing if it's the real deal I'm not comfortable perpetuating some fraud.
I'm really suspicious about this image since this appears to be a drawing straight out of the comic books - including the goggles. The more I look at it the more I feel it's fake. Also, that mask for Bane doesn't look anything like what we have seen in the teaser posters. What are your thoughts? EDIT: This has been proven a fake, now!!
Hey all, it's been a while since I've written a blog post for Comic Vine. I've been spending so much time writing guest article and filling out the wiki over on the sister site, Anime Vice. Just recently I wrote another guest article that got posted in the news section. So often, I think anime get's stereotyped as either hentai or over-the-top fan service. While that does happen. No more so than in regular comics. The article I wrote was listing many of the most powerful women to be found in anime/manga. It's titled Anime Vice: Strongest Women of Anime. It's been quite the hit with readers. I went through a list of some of the largest series in anime and selected the strongest character in the female cast.
Too often the women in comics aren't really given as much respect in the writing as they deserve. I wanted to share this list with the Comic Vine crowd to show you the kind of female characters that there are to read about and watch. I've personally filled out the profiles on many of these characters. So, if you are curious about any of them you can check out their profiles to learn more about them.
I hope I've interested some of you into at least checkout out the article I put a lot of work into. Feel free to leave a comment and check out the profiles. If you're curious about the header image here. Those are several of the women from the series Black Lagoon.
This was a little something that I was hired to draw a while back. I'm only just now sharing it with the Whiskey Media communities. I got a PM on my devArt account asking me to draw both Iron Man in his latest Bleeding Edge Armor and the Code Geass protagonist Lelouch Lamperouge in his final Knightmare Frame(KMF) the Shinkirou. It's a combination of two of his favorite characters. I think this is probably one of the first crossover images that I've ever been asked to draw.
The hardest part to plan out was how to draw this and have Lelouch be seen, since the KMFs have enclosed cockpits. I figured that since they were fighting, I'd make it look as if the cockpit was damaged and the top flew off at some point. Not wanting to make this seem to be a one-sided fight, I also gave Iron Man some battle damage. I made the setting in the skies above the Area 11 settlement. I thought it would be more visually interesting than putting it in some blank sky or above the ocean. It also gives a sense of scale.
This was originally drawn in pencil on paper. I scanned that and digitally inked it with my new graphic tablet. The color work was also done on the tablet. The background was all painted freehand on the computer. I wont go into how much I was paid for this, because that seems in poor taste. The hardest part about this was drawing the Bleeding Edge armor. Even with Comic Vine's extensive image library, getting images of the back wasn't easy and so many images were colored so dark that I couldn't make out any real detail. I just took a general idea and made up the rest. The Shinkirou came out looking pretty sharp in this picture. People seem to enjoy the image. Though, most of the comments I've been getting as been a debate about who would win this fight. It would be cool to get more commissions such as this. I'd like to hear your thoughts.
The size is limited on this site, but you can see the full sized version on my deviantArt account: HERE