November 9, 2006

Nothing Beats a Classic.

It’s a good time to be an old-school Transformers fan right now. Not that I would classify myself as one, since I tend to enjoy the newer entries into the franchise a lot more than the original. But still, I was around back then, so I know the score.

The new 20th Anniversary Edition of the Transformers Movie came out on DVD yesterday. I watched through it today and it’s a very comprehensive package. The picture quality is the best that this movie has ever seen, with very vibrant colour and effects. The disk includes the full screen version, and for the first time ever, a widescreen presentation. It seems like the widescreen version was cropped from the full screen print, which is likely how the film was originaly shown in theaters, but it still works well compositionally. There are tons of extras, including nostalgic old commercials, trailers, the Japanese exclusive episode “Scramble City”, and a little bit of a preview for the upcoming live action film. It’s not a great movie, when you get right down to it, but I couldn’t help to smile while watching it again for what has to have been the 100th time by now. It’s probably my favorite part of the first generation of Transformers. This DVD completely blows away the DVD released by Rhino years back, and it’s totally worth getting if you’re a major Transformers fan, or even just somebody with fun childhood memories.

Transformers Classics

Also out now are the Transformers Classics line of toys. These are brand new figures based on the classic characters. I picked up Starscream and Rodimus. They are both really good. It’s cool to see these classic characters return in a more traditional design but with modern technology going into making them. I’ll put up some more pictures in a future post.


November 6, 2006

You call that a CHALLENGE?

I got this e-mail a few weeks ago, and I figured I should share it.

I read your whole thing. I agreed with what you said,but your pics did suck. why don’t you get lessons. seriously you need to stop or improve. If you want to see some good pics E-mail me
Wow! My pics did suck, did they? I need to get lessons, do I? Just imagine how shocked and appalled this person would be if they had stuck around this website for long enough to know that I, in fact, give drawing lessons as a job! Stop or improve: Such incredible advice! Just think about how many people spend so much money on art classes when that is the only thing they need to know!

So, I can only assume that the person who wrote this is referring to the classic “Stupid People HATE Ninjatron!” article. I can’t imagine what else the original post could be referring to, and it does not appear that this person ventured any farther than that, as this e-mail was written as if that article was the only thing I’ve ever done. It is amusing that this person agreed with me and still found it necessary to write those insults. But what is really amusing is that, since I can only assume that this person didn’t look at anything else on the website, the only pics that this person ever saw were the ones included in that article… which are supposed to suck! They were obviously drawn that way on purpose as part of an ironic statement of self-parody that completely flew over this bozo’s head.

But most interesting is the challenge at the very end. Well, of course I want to see some good pics! So I did send an e-mail, stating that I assumed the pics in question were, in fact, drawn by this person who wrote to me. And yes, I did get some pictures, and I asked for permission to show them to all of my fans. So here they are!

Some Good Pics


Come on, you can’t compare the fully rendered digital paintings that I do to these simple icons. Yes, they are nice, and there is nothing wrong with them, but who cares? They’re not even in the same category as what I do. And I even thing that some of the purposely sucky drawings I did for that article are more artistically interesting than any of these. Furthermore, I seriously, seriously doubt that the person who wrote to me is actually the artist behind these images, since this sort of thing can be found all over the internet. And with that in mind it’s possible that neither of these three pictures was done by the same artist at all. But still, good try. While I am not going to encourage it, I do admit that it is nice to have this sort of nonsense appear every once in awhile. It gave me a laugh


October 16, 2006

A New Toy.

I have some money now. This is a stark contrast to the way it used to be, when I didn’t have money. For the most part I believe this to be a good thing.

So, I bought something that I’ve wanted for awhile. I got myself a portable DVD player. That is to say, I got a DVD player that is portable in the sense that it is small and has a screen and a rechargeable battery, not a DVD player that is portable in the sense that anything which can be picked up and carried can be defined as portable.

I got the Mustek MP72, and it’s working pretty good so far. It has a nice, clear picture for the most part. In addition to playing DVDs, it’ll also play VCDs, MP3s, and even some AVI video files, which is a nice feature. Here’s a picture:

DVD player with Robotech is more awesome than all Cheese.

Hey, look! Robotech is on! Kick ass.

I mostly got this for teaching. I used to bring my own full size DVD player to class every week so I could show anime fansubs that I burned onto VCD. The one I bought a few years ago still works OK, but you have to stick your finger in there like a dentist to open the disk tray. This new player should be easier to bring back and forth to work since it’s much smaller, and it should be more durable since it’s meant to be traveled with. Plus, I can take it with me to conventions to watch in line, and I don’t have to rely on those other screw-ups I room with at Anime North to bring one. Rock on.


October 7, 2006

Shoujo Manga Exhibit.

On Wednesday I went on over to The Japan Foundation here in Toronto to check out their exhibit on Shoujo Manga. I had hoped to go see it with some company, but in all the chaos that just couldn’t work out, so I went all on my lonesome. I’m glad that I did though, because it was a very cool experience. They had original manga pages on display, where you could see the pencil marks, the texture of the paper, and even spots covered up with correction fluid. And there were also plenty of full colour illustrations there, which were incredible to see in person like that. The richness of the paint and the vibrant colours needed to be seen to be believed, and there were some really awesome pieces of artwork. I gained a new appreciation for those drawings and paintings after being able to see them up close like that.

My favorite part of the exhibit was definitely the very beginning. Nothing that explores the history of any facet of anime or manga would be complete without the works of Osamu Tezuka, and this exhibit on Shoujo Manga did not disappoint in that regard. I gasped a little bit when I saw the original manga pages from Ribbon no Kishi that hung on the wall there. It was a pretty special moment for me to be that close to something so historically important. There were also works from other pioneers that I admire, such as Leiji Matsumoto and Shotaro Ishinomori. As the exhibit progressed chronologically, it delved into popular and important series such as The Rose of Versailles and the works of CLAMP. There wasn’t really anything that I could find about Sailor Moon though, which I think was a glaring admission, but otherwise it was fairly in depth with lots of artwork to look at.

Now, at this point I’d recommend that you go see it if you’re in the area, but I can’t do that anymore because the day that I went was the last day. Too bad. But I really enjoyed it, and the Japan Foundation is a very cool place, so I’ll be keeping my eye out for other interesting things going on there.


Well, that’s pretty much me in a nutshell, isn’t it?

I should really be doing this more often so that I don’t post all these topics at the same time that have nothing to do with one another.

Botcon was last weekend, and with it came lots of interesting new Transformers news regarding future toy lines and the upcoming movie. 2 or 3 years ago I’d have been really excited. But now it seems like I’ve lost some interest. I don’t know why, I still like Transformers and all, but I guess the more important (and less fun) elements of life have pushed their way to the forefront of my mind, so it has been hard to get excited about things like this. So I have to take a more relaxed approach to fandom for the time being, because even though I am interested enough to keep up with everything, I just can’t be bothered to care about it that much.

When I was out of town, I saw Jet Li’s Fearless. I thought it was phenomenal. By far my favorite movie of the year. I absolutely loved it. In fact, I wish it were longer, because I could have easily sat there and watched that movie for 4 or 5 hours and enjoyed every second of it. But, of course, watching a big epic with crazy kung-fu and subtitles is my perfect idea of a good time, so perhaps I am biased.

So, apparently YTV in Canada has applied for a license to broadcast an all anime channel. It’ll likely be on digital cable. Provided that this doesn’t interfere with anime shows being broadcast on regular TV as well, I think this is a great idea. Really, it should have already happened by now. There are so many shows out there that deserve a chance on Canadian TV, many of which have already aired or are airing now in the US. Plus, there are also plenty of classic series that should be on TV but would otherwise never get up on the air unless something like an all anime network came about. There’s a link right here to leave your comments so the CRTC can be convinced that this is something they should allow to happen. I’m going to let my opinion be heard, and so should you. Click the “2006-10” button on the link, then check the box that says “YTV Canada, Inc.” and take it from there. Let’s make this happen!

Life goes on, and I know that everything is not always as bad as I often make it out to be. But still, I can’t help but to feel that life is very unfulfilling right now. Situations being what they are at the moment mean that there’s nothing I can do about it except endure. But endure is what ninjas do best, so that’s what I am doing.