Short Steampunk Subjects

Positively steamy!

I like things that are short.  Quite a few of my favorite types of media are short: theatrical cartoons, Three Stooges shorts, Aesop’s fables, and Isaac Asimov’s short stories, to name a few.  Curiously enough, my own writing consists mainly of short stories.

I initially kept my short stories to just one side of a page out of sheer habit, but as I write more I am finding myself becoming more comfortable with going beyond that self-imposed arbitrary limit.  Curiously enough, my very first short story came in at 12 pages, which I felt was way too long, so there’s that, too.

There’s just something about quickly getting to the point.  Sure, a one-page story doesn’t leave much room for character development, but it also means that a message can be delivered effectively without getting lost in the rest of the story.  It also leaves armchair psychologists with little room to to find deeper meaning in between the lines.

It may also explain why I enjoy comic books.  In addition to enjoying the exploits of Superman, the Green Lantern Corps and Mega Man each month, I have also taken a liking to the various Steampunk titles currently being printed by Antarctic Press.  In addition to artwork relating to the book’s theme featuring comely lasses, each one has also featured two or three short comic stories featuring the works of Rod Espinosa, Fred Perry, and other creators.

I really enjoy those short comics.  I read them, have a quick laugh or smile, and move on to other things.  But unlike the one-issue comic stories I discussed previously, which are ‘fire and forget,’ those short comics (especially Perry’s) have me wondering about just what happened before and after the story.  How did that Bad Guy end up as a pony?  Who ended up winning the Fairyland Steampocalypse? Just why did Dr. Frankensteam create her Monster?

I also wonder if I am being given glimpses of a bigger tale that has been untold, or are these the scattered pages of a work that is not yet done even in the creator’s mind?  Or perhaps, like myself, all they want to do is make a quick joke or point and move on without having to write a whole book.  I can certainly relate to that!





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Twelve Mezasu mini-con 2 Observations

As Hannibal would say, “I love it when a plan comes together.”  Our second Mezasu mini-con is over, and despite feeling really really tired, I’m feeling pretty good about how the whole thing went.  Some things I noticed:

  1. The old “can’t have fun when you work at a con” rule isn’t that big of a deal when you see everyone having a good time and have the opportunity to occasionally walk around and talk to people.
  2. I guess it was easier to notice this because this was a smaller event, but serious cosplayers tend to travel in packs…I don’t think I’ve ever just seen just ONE wandering about.
  3. The art auction was a huge bust, I think we need to do a better job of explaining how it works next time.  😦
  4. I believe you should always give your all whether 3, 30 or 300 people show up to your gig, which is fortunate for the 3 people that showed up to my podcasting panel.
  5. I am just not used to hearing my voice amplified; when making announcements or announcing raffle numbers over the PA speakers, I was worried about blowing out the speakers whenever I raised my voice.
  6. From the “beware of what you wish for” department: we asked, prayed and begged for rain,  got it…and a brief power outage.
  7. Thanks to Madame Jaqueline’s Apothecary, I now know what a ‘bath bomb’ is and does. Freaky.
  8. I bought an Android mascot figure in a “blind box,” from Bean Pot Toiz but I have yet to actually OPEN it to see which one is in there.  The anticipation is eating at me yet I don’t want it to end!!
  9. Considering how many times I was asked “How did you find this place?” I’m glad that we were able to make people aware of the nice facility and folks at Tripoint.
  10. At the same time, how can one not notice a building the size of a grocery store with a YMCA and a coffee shop?
  11. I forgot to pack cough drops and now my voice is a little hoarse.  Hopefully it recovers by the time work starts on Monday.
  12. I don’t want to go back to work on Monday…then again, do I ever?


San Japan 4TW was this past weekend and it was a BLAST.  Except for some technical issues at the concert and the general lunacy that went on in Con Alley before the rave, I had a great time.

Check out my Facebook photo album

Tell the San Japan guys how awesomesauce it was here!

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The Loliholix are no more, we are now NeRiMa ねりま


Artists Are Jer…um, I Mean, Interesting People!

I’ve never been in any “leadership positions” in any of my jobs thus far, save for the occasional minion or two that got tossed my way.  Thus, being “in charge” (big finger quotes there, I’m just the writer) of our first project at First Storm Manga is a new experience for me.

One thing I learned quickly is that artists are a lot like programmers.  We are touchy-feel-y people, prone to being easily distracted, and believe that we are special because what we can do something that not anybody can.

Oh yeah, we can also be jerks…especially that jerky-jerk AUSTIN!

In the workplace, programmer ire is generally directed at management (for example, Dilbert).  I am rapidly learning that artist ire tends to be directed at writers such as myself.  It also doesn’t help that I am out-numbered.

I am the only person at First Storm Manga (so far!) that does not draw, I could call myself a “pure writer” with an exaggerated air of self-importance if I wanted to sound like an arrogant jerk.  I was puzzled for awhile as to why I was getting all the writer-hate from the other guys.  Actually, “writer-hate” is a bit strong, it was actually more like “treat the writer like a red-headed stepchild.”

After awhile, though, I figured it out: when doing a manga (or comic), the art is done first, and then the words are slapped on top of it.  Thus, the more words I come up with, the more the art is covered up! So, yeah, I guess they have a point.  I suppose the occasional barb or two is a small price to pay for seeing a “pure writer’s” story come to life in pictures, though. *smug*

They’re still jerks, though.


San Japanic!

San Japanic!

Page 1

Our first First Storm Manga project is a commission: we have been ‘hired’ to create a short manga (a Japanese-style comic book) to promote the San Japan 2.x Japanese Culture and Anime convention.  The manga is supposed to feature the convention’s four mascot characters: a bat named Dios (like most folks, I was all, wait, that means “God” in Spanish!  I presume its something different in Japanese) a longhorn named Suzaku, an armadillo named Hinode, and a girl named Sana.

The story will consist of all four characters encountering some kind of (hopefully) funny situation as they voyage to the convention.  I am the storywriter/editor (because I can’t draw) and we have three different artists working on the project.  Its lots of fun working with them, and I think it will come together quite nicely when its all said and done.  Click the picture above for the full image, and stay tuned!


Super Happy First Storm Manga Group Hey!!

Okay, so I got a little silly with the title…

First Storm Manga is a group of artists and writers that I joined recently.  We get together on Saturday nights at the La Taza coffee shop to go over various projects that we are working on for self-publication.  Our stuff is going to be done in the manga style of Japanese comics.

Well, the artists, stuff, anyway…since I can’t draw, I suppose that makes me a writer-slash-idea man.

I am working on a project right now, though I can’t say much beyond that.  Its neat to have a creative outlet and to meet and work with other Creative Types.  Its also like herding cats in terms of trying to keep things organized, and I admittedly don’t make things much easier, but we solider on, and if all goes well, we’ll have something to show for all our work.

I’m pretty excited about it, though, the thought of seeing something I created in words come to life in pictures is an exciting one!


Death Notes…or “Those Damn Otaku”

“Death Note” is the name of a suspense manga series that was been adapted into a pair of live-action films. I learned from San Japan’s website that a special showing of “Death Note II” was scheduled for tonight at a local movie theater. I saw Metropolis on the big screen a few years back and enjoyed it immensely, returning for a second viewing the next week.

I am something of a casual anime and manga fan; I have a sprinkling of anime in my DVD collection, and a few manga sitting among the comic books. I went to the San Japan anime con a few months ago and except for the heat and crappy parking, I enjoyed myself. I was overjoyed to recently see Robot Carnival again for the first time in about twenty years, and think that our friends in Japan make some pretty cool stuff.

I figured, why not watch a live-action suspense film from the Land of The Rising Sun? While I’m not a big fan of the genre, I figured it would be a good way to burn a Thursday evening usually spent playing Rock Band (sorry, RavynX).

So I hopped into the Reliant and headed out to the theater across town, stopping for a quick burger on the way. I was surprised to see the price for the movie was $10, but hey, its a limited engagement and I don’t go to the movies very often, so why not? Of course, for all I know all movies are $10 here in San Antonio now…

Watching the movie, I learned why it was a limited engagement. While there was an interesting story at it core, it had a “Godzilla” quality to it that made it unintentionally funny. I may track down the anime or the manga to get a better idea of how the story should be told.

The experience itself was also ruined by a portion of the audience (the aforementioned otaku) many of whom insisted on making loud snarky comments throughout the movie and laughing and ooh-ing and aah-ing very loudly at certain points. It was like being at a kids’ movie; actually it was worse, considering there weren’t many kids in the audience. It was funny for about the first 10 minutes, but grated on me as it continued. If this was supposed to be something like watching the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” it should have been advertised as such. I paid to watch a movie, not Amateur Night at the Otaku Comedy Club.

Ironically, those who were looking forward to the movie the most ruined it for everyone else. More events like are needed to expose people to anime and manga and Japanese media, but I can’t see anyone ‘on the fence’ wanting to be associated with the otaku after sitting through their poor behavior tonight. I certainly would not want to be labeled as such.

I am still looking forward to future events related to Japanese media, but will think twice the next time Viz decides to come into town.