Wednesday, August 8, 2012

No its not dead, just sleeping...

There comes a point in every artist's life where they lose all creative juice and end up shaking alone, cold in a gutter.  They remember all the fabulous ideas that got them excited to wake up in the morning and causes them to loose track of everything else while they work.  Like junkies, they need that next fix fleshing out one of those ideas can bring.  They cant wait to see if others get as hooked as they find themselves. The world is full of sunshine and chainsaws.  And then...the water dries up and they wonder why cant they think of something new. 

This is a pretty colorful way to think about it but yes that is what happened to me some years ago.  I had a pretty bad case of artist block.  It was never so much a problem of a lack of ideas.  I had quite a few that sparked but never caught fire in my imagination.  I didn't feel the desperation to get it out of my head I once did when I was working on far too many projects in college.  I just couldn't get at the meat of any of it anymore.  Ideas I once couldn't keep off my mind were distant memories as I wondered "well I know the end and the beginning but the middle just won't come".  People wanted BLTL back and as my first baby I wanted to give them that.  But the random that was needed to write it was gone.  The things I did know what I wanted to I couldn't draw to satisfaction. Most painful of all, I couldn't draw anymore.  Nothing more than the odd doodle here and there.

It was probably stress that just piled up so high I needed to let it work itself out of me.  Yes I felt and still feel for the few fans I got before my juices ran dry.  I have been in there shoes as something I loved or even just found interesting dried up.  I always found myself wondering if the person that gave birth to such a thing was disappointed they couldn't finish what they started the way they probably wanted to.

For me college took its toll.  Between feeling like a complete failure by the time I left as well as the loss of some very important people in my life, one in death, others just drifted away for better or for worse.  Then when I got home I just kind of stalled out.  Now after all that time and a rough time dealing with my mother's steep decline in health until her death I seemed to have been able to finally let all that go.

The old juices aren't back as of yet.  They may be one day.  I still have fondness for old ideas and even would like to maybe rework them all in time.  I do have new juices though.  Things that have simmered for these years that have finally begun to take form.  Its nice to find homes for characters I never thought would meet paper.  So that's what I plan to work on now.

Currently I am diving back into this all with my passion for horror/scary stories and the anthology of such things as Vault of Horror and Tales from the Crypt.  What better way to get back into things than to take on a project that can have a definite end with any issue should I so chose?

More details will come about this project with time.  I wont post much here as I am beginning to transfer my attention to my tumblr account.  I will try and keep the more detailed posts here as well and a progress report once I have more progress to report on.  I will tell you I am two pages into sketching the first chapter of the new progress so the cat very well may be back.

Keep it scary,

Friday, August 5, 2011

Getting the Rust Off

So I've been working pretty steadily for the past week on actually getting pages done for my newest comic idea. Let me say it hasn't been easy at all.

Well in some ways its easier than it was when i first started since I used to do everything from panels to speed-lines by hand when I started doing this originally. I use a combo of PS CS5 and Manga Studio EX4 now and that part makes it easier over all. The thing it's taking some getting use to is the amount of time my rust forces me to have to spend on each little part of my work now. Thankfully it isn't as bad as it was when I did some character work earlier in the year.
Those took me about a week just to sketch out. The panel penciling is going much faster this time, if not as fast as what I would like it to be. Still its nice to actually be putting pencil to paper (even if it is virtual) and getting something done. It's also nice to be able to skip a bit of story-boarding that I had to do in the past on paper and just get straight into the meat of the work. If I don't like how its going I can just start a new one or delete the old. I find myself also planning further ahead than I used to on paper.

I suppose I'll get better at speaking about this process as I continue working and perhaps I'll even give a bit of insight into the inspirations I draw from that have brought me to this point.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

What To Do? What To Do?

I'm going to keep this short and sweet. I've been out of the b logging game for a while now and honestly I haven't really missed doing it. That said, I do find I want to talk about things from time to time. It's not as if I want to talk about one thing in particular all the time though. As much as I liked looking into other people's work (and will continue to do so) I figure I should also talk about my own struggle to get back to making art myself. So I will.

I've been a web comic artist since about 2004 or so, and I had a really bad bout of depression a few years ago that killed any sort of creativity I used to have. I miss working on my dream, and it is with great pleasure I am starting to get back into doing comics again.

Is it easy? No. It's hard as hell to get back into drawing when you haven't been able to so much as sketch for almost four years. When I was at my prime I could hand draw a page, ink it, scan, clean, and text a page in just a few hours. I can't do that anymore at the moment and it's driving me up a wall. So for the time being when I feel like it I will be posting about the journey back to get my demons out of my system and get some focus going. Other than that we will see what sort of randomness I feel like rambling about.

- Nekko

Monday, May 31, 2010

4bia and Phobia 2

It's been a long time since I written a review but that doesn't mean I haven't been watching. I watch plenty its just I get so involved in watching I forget which one I was planning on reviewing. Today I am taking 2 movies off this list.

4bia (See Prang)

The first movie on our plate is 4bia or Phobia (the 4 is a pun and also a reference to this being an anthology). This is a thai horror film and I have to admit the Thai are starting to win me over with their contributions to the horror market. In this film we are presented with 4 different tales that at first glance appear to be unrelated but are all related by some connecting factor (for example the picture used in one part is of a dead person from another). Now since this is an anthology I suppose it would be more fitting to break down and rate each part then the movie as a whole.

Happiness (Thai title - Ngao/Lonliness)

Well other than the fact the translation of this title to "happiness", which makes no sense to me, this film had some nice tense moments. The story is about a young woman who has been stuck in her apartment with a broken leg and she has taken to trying her hand at online dating. Things appear to be going well for a while with the guy she meets but it doesn't take long before he gets weird on her. This story is light on dialog, which is fine since there are only like 3 cast members in the whole thing. The tone shifts nicely from simple loneliness to a building fear that one can't escape their fate. I found this one to be a nice opener for the film. It's the kind of story that was great for the length but because of the pacing I really couldn't see it being placed in the middle or end.
4/5 stars.

Tit for Tat (Thai title - Yan Sang Tai/Deadly Charm)

This title is a more fitting translation than the first one. Here we are presented with a group of teens who torment a outcast classmate. One day when he was walking home they drag him into a truck and beat him up in the truck bed while speeding on the highway. They accidentally drop him off the back and assume he is dead. The boy, however, is not very happy about what happened and curses them all to suffer violent deaths. Though the concept is rather standard the execution is not. The use of Thai witchcraft and the intensity of the death scenes just make for a good ride from start to end. If you can't make something new then take it over the top. This has a decent amount of gore but nothing too over the top.
4.5/5 stars.

In The Middle (Thai title - Kon Klang)

4 friends decide to take a camping trip and the night before they set out for the rapids they tell each other ghost stories and proceed to freak one of the guys out. He asks to sleep in the middle but none of the others really want to switch places because they are scared too. One of the guys make a remark that if he died he would haunt whoever slept in the middle. The next day they go rafting but there is an accident and one disappears saving the scared friend from drowning. The remaining three go back to camp not sure what to do about him only to be surprised when he shows back up. Something isn't quite right with him though.
This story is the comedy of the group but has some nice scares mixed in with a very enjoyable result. This tale ended up being my favorite of this set.
5/5 stars

The Last Flight (Thai title - Teaw Bin 244/Flight 244)

The book end of 4bia is about a flight attendant who is called in to work a flight when the attendant booked to fly has to leave after his brother goes missing on a camping trip (yes he is one of the guys from "In The Middle"). The flight is a special one for a Princess and on the flight the Princess dies from an allergic reaction to some food she talked the attendant into giving her. The attendant then has to fly back as the only person in the cabin with the body and things start getting weird as soon as they are in the air and she thinks she sees the body moving around. Now this one did creep me out a good deal but the story itself didn't really do as much for me as the others in the movie did. I suppose that was to be expected since it is an anthology and I rarely take to every story in most I have watched. It's not that weak compared to the others though just wasn't my cup of tea, and it did make a nice end to the whole thing.
3.5/5 stars.

Overall I loved 4bia and it has quickly become a favorite for me.
4.5/5 stars overall.

Phobia 5 (Ha Prang)

Now I suppose you would call only call this one a sequel since it shares the name and is an anthology but other than that its just another series of shorts and this time there isn't the nice little addition of connecting elements. This lack doesn't make it any less enjoyable, however.


This one is a tale about a juvenile delinquent that is taken to a monastery to become a buddhist by his mother after he gets himself in serious trouble after the death of a man who had car wreak after our boy and his buddy throw a rock threw his windshield so they can rob him. While at the monastery the boy is warned to respect certain rules of the region, but the boy takes it upon himself to disobey just about everything he can, however, the spirits of the area don't take very kindly to what he has done while in their land.
This time my least favorite was taken care of rather quickly with this entry. I found the tale to be a bit confusing as it kept going, with its mixture of flashbacks and cultural things. It's still creepy though and it does a nice job of opening things up.
3.5/5 stars.


A young man is put in the hospital after he broke both his legs when he crashed his bike. Though he wants a private room, he is given a room with a old man who is on life support. He is told the man is a was some sort of teacher and though he is not going to wake up they are keeping him on support until all of his students arrive so the young man has to bare it. Once things settle down the young man starts to see strange things and really begins to question just what was wrong with the old man to begin with.
This one makes up for the confusion of the first story for me. The pacing is pretty quick and the atmosphere is very foreboding. I'd love to give more about this one but that would just ruin the fun for you so instead I will just give my rating.
4.5/5 stars.


A young Japanese couple decide to backpack around Thailand and after a string of failed attempts at getting a ride the couple get a ride with a couple of shady looking truckers. One seems nice enough but the other seems to be on edge and before long it becomes clear something is wrong when he decides that he needs check his cargo.
Another great story with nice pacing. You know something is wrong almost from the first time you see the older trucker but trust me you have no idea what until you actually see whats in the trailer. Lots of nice tension, nice amount of gore, and great misdirection in the plot.
4.5/5 stars.


In this tale, we meet a used car sales woman who isn't particularly honest about where she gets her cars. She has cars salvaged and sells them to bargain hunters no matter what situation the car might have been in before. On night a distraught woman brings a car back screaming the seller lied about no one dying in the car and storms off but the seller thinks nothing more about it and rounds her young son up and goes about the business of closing up shop for the night. Shortly after this the woman notices her son disappear off the security camera after he goes back outside. Maybe there really is something wrong with the cars.
Now I didn't expect to like this one but I found I really liked it. It's fairly predictable in terms of plot but the scares are still nice.
4/5 stars.

In The End

On the set of a horror movie that's struggling to finish filming the actress playing the ghost comes in feeling a bit under the weather. While trying to be cool one of the crew members tells the woman that the show must go on so she toughs it out and tries to continue only to pass out on the set. She is set to the hospital with a crew member. Not long after the actress returns to the set on her own but doesn't appear to have gotten any better, in fact she seems to be worse an the ghost make-up isn't helping. As they begin to shoot again the director gets a call from the crew member at the hospital saying he was just told the actress has passed on. Now the remaining crew are left frantically trying to figure out what to do about their "returned" star.
This one stars the same for actors from "In the Middle" in 4bia and once again its a comedy but with scares. It was a great way to end the anthology and the twist at the end was priceless.
5/5 stars.

I loved this one but its just a little less great than 4bia. Even so it also made its way onto my favorites list and I highly recommend both it and its predecessor to those fans looking for a fun watch and don't mind subtitles.
4/5 stars.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Children (2009)

Well the cat is back and she is very alive.

I apologize for the lack of any sort of posting here but as with my other blog I just really hadn't had anything to post about and I have been doing my own writing thing for a bit now so that kinda eats up my time. The cat cant stay away from the world of horror for too long though. I start to go into with drawl and that can get nasty.

On to business. I have a long list of horror movies, books, comics/manga that I never quite get around to checking out in a timely fashion. Sometimes something new pops up and distracts me others I just keep putting it off until I completely forget about it. The Children (2008) is one of those that kept getting pushed back. One of the reasons was I kept seeing mixed reviews about it and the plot has most certainly been done before. Lets be honest you can only do so many takes on the village of evil children thing before its played out. Then I remembered what sort of people generally give their two cents about horror movies on the internet and finally bit the bullet and watched the film. Loved it from start to finish.

Now this movie doesn't really add anything. Children are creepy in general the horror world knows this and this movie doesn't add any extra kick to that concept. What it does add is isolation, one of my favorite horror devices, a small cast, and some of the most impressive child actors I have had the pleasure of watching play methodical killers. If I was to have a complaint it would be the adult acting but that's a minor one as their performances are far from sub par its just with the emotional flip flops asked of the younger stars their acting just get over looked.

The movie has enough gore to unsettle you but nothing over the top and a good placing that keeps the tension building until the children actually do snap. I recommend this for anybody not looking for the generic Hollywood drivel that keeps getting tossed out to the gore hungry masses that only want truck loads of blood and guts.


Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Watch List: All Hallow's Eve

AS I should have posted this earlier (yes I am lazy I know I know) I figured I would give a short list of movies I like to enjoy on this festive day. Now I have a lot of horror movies I am fond of but strangely I only have a hand full I actually like that have anything to do with the day itself.

Halloween (1978)

Don't get me wrong the remake is something I enjoy in its own right but its just not the original. Something about the wonders of this low budget movie for hire and the magic its creators stumbled upon while trying to make a simple story about babysitters being murdered just simply cant be duplicated again.

Halloween II (1981)

Now I know what you are thinking. "Nekko if you are simply going to list the whole Halloween series why not just save us some time and just say so?" Well dear reader thats easy to answer. These are the only two I would want to watch on Halloween honestly. I have seen all the series (minus Zombie's versions of one and two) more times than I can count. This one picks up right where the original stops and if you only had to watch two of the series you could watch this one and leave feeling completely satisfied. Again I think these two are the best in the series and probably will for the remainder of my fandom.

Night of the Demons (1988)

Purely and simply a cheese-fest. Bad acting. Nothing special about the story, just a bunch of kids getting trashed and happen to piss off the spirits of demons in the house that possess them. Yatta yatta yatta. So why bother with this one? Its so horrible its fantastic thats why. the story in itself is actually a pretty good idea if not a simple one. Bunch of kids get invited by the weird girl in school to a halloween party at a supposedly haunted house where she plans to freak them out. Things go horribly wrong and they get taken over one by one in some pretty entertaining ways. Strangely to me it feels like this movie is great in spite of itself. If you haven't seen it at least once before and you call yourself a horror fan then shame on you. Clear your mind and enjoy the movie for all the cheesy fun it brings. Heck maybe even some of the things in it will give you a chill here and there. Does have its moments.

Trick R Treat (2008)

Ah now this is new to my list. Just came out on DVD this year after a few years of being put on the shelf for other "better" horror movies. Now the pleading of those longing to see this gem have finally been heard and I personally couldn't have been happier. Its an anthology but not in the typical sense of horror anthologies like Creepshow. All the tales are happening at the same time in non-linear fashion weaving in and out of each other. This isn't a gore fest. There isn't one particular baddie to be terrified of. Instead this movie is pretty much trying to capture the spirit of the season in all is ghoulish glory and I must admit it put a nice smile on my face.

Well there they are. Now its your turn. What movies are your favorites for the holiday? Share. Maybe we can get a new list going together eh?

Friday, October 30, 2009

'Tis The Season to be Scary

I have a much better post for when I not so sleepy so enjoy this in the meantime. One od my all time favorite clips I associate with Halloween.