February Blues


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February Blues

Postby mwchase » Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:38 pm

Here.

*generic grumblings about site structure and layout, possibly concerning the page head*

That aside, burnout is a serious issue. I've had it for months on some projects of my own (I shan't elaborate further here.), and... yeah. Anyway, the point that you did something different in adapting Heliotrope, and aren't yet diverging in any big way for Takozushi is valid if you say it is. (I think, from a reader's perspective, it's too early to tell by looking. On the other hand...)

I don't know what to say... I kind of feel like they're too close in form for anybody to want a straight adaptation (speaking only for myself, however), so I guess I agree. I think we want something of the creativity you've shown in the past, and not a rehash. If I'm right, your desires are aligned with ours. Past that, I don't think I have much helpful to contribute. (And yet, I said so in such a long form...)
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Re: February Blues

Postby Mitsukara » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:19 am

I don't think what's been done so far has been bad at all! The frame of the story is only beginning to be set, and the artwork is looking pretty good right off the bat.

I think what's lacking here is not your skill or creative capability, Jennifer, but your investment in what you want to tell here. It sounds like you feel like you're just rehashing a previously-told story as opposed to the past three comics, where you were clearly telling something with big dreams in it, and so it feels hollow by comparison.

If that's the case, what I suggest is that instead of worrying about how well you're doing it or worrying about how well anyone likes it yet (for the record of me personally, I've been at work 6 days a week and haven't really been foruming much in general, sorry- but I love what I'm seeing so far!), you should try to think of a way to make this story exciting for you. You feel like you're rehashing something old? Then what is it lacking? You have so many amazing ideas and concepts in your head, surely there's something you'd like to get out there- could it fit into Takozushi, make it a bigger story?

That's just my thoughts. A nice drawing can be nice by itself, but story art, good storytelling, isn't about obligation or feeling like you should do it- it's about having an idea that you like to think about, and getting it out there to share with everybody!

I have every confidence in your abilities, and I'm sure many other forumites will agree. We'd love to see what you want to show us.
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Re: February Blues

Postby Ashes » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:35 am

I'm sorry I haven't chimed in more often, but I really do enjoy Takozushi. I enjoy the picture-book-like "one big picture per page" thing. Now if we could just figure out how to get your audience back. People who came here for To Save Her slowly left without new content keeping them around. And now that there's new content, they don't know about it. Maybe if you have their email addresses from when they signed up for the forums...
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Re: February Blues

Postby Alfador » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:54 am

I agree with Mitsukara. We know the original story of Ika Takozushi. We still would love to see it drawn by you with your skills as they are now, rather than then. But that doesn't mean you can't incorporate something new into it somehow. Go further in depth into parts of the story you want to expand upon. Tell of more things that happen to Ika and Ton. Experiment. Fiddle with it. Do whatever you have to to make it something fun rather than a grind. *hugs* And remember, we're here, even if we aren't ALL here again yet!
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Re: February Blues

Postby Plasman » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:21 am

Yeah, what everyone else has said. ;]

Besides, it's still early days yet. It would be a bad idea to judge how you feel about the overall project by how you feel about it NOW. From my experience, long-term projects usually look awful in the middle (by "awful" I mean "nothing like what I had planned"), but usually come about looking more than adequate by the time they're finished. You need to wait until the project is complete before you can make a true assessment of how good it is.

EDIT:
In your February News update, you wrote:No one is complaining that my work here is bad, rather that it is empty.

Who said that? :?
If this last post seems ridiculous, please disregard it. Thank you. ;)
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Re: February Blues

Postby Anna » Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:42 am

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Re: February Blues

Postby TurtleFlower » Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:21 pm

If you feel as though the story is lacking in the spark of creative magic, it's probably because you're telling the same story again. Or perhaps, because there isn't something driving you in the telling. It's a good idea to sit down and decide exactly why you want to do this comic. I understand you might want to do the original story from the kamishibai to set up the premise of the comic but I think it's bringing you down quite a bit and making you feel like you have to conform to a mold. That could be why it makes you feel like it's commercial art instead of just... er... art I suppose. Once you finish telling the initial tale, I suggest just seeing where these characters take you. Back when you were doing Unicorn Jelly a lot of comics seemed to be done with just that in mind (before the muse brought the full scope of the story into focus of course.) You were playing with the characters and seeing what they did in different situations.

Maybe you need to just make some comics for fun for awhile and let other people enjoy them, as a way to recharge? Don't worry about a larger overarching story, just mix it up and let them interact in your head. See how that makes you feel, see if it sparks anything. That kind of comic fosters an oddly personal bond with your readers I've noticed, maybe that's something that you need?
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Re: February Blues

Postby Anna » Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:41 am

Well, some of us did say what we think with your problem with Takozushi.

Now, Jennifer, what about you?
How are your thoughts about our thoughts?
:wink:
I would like to say, Hey, let me help, but that's not possible.
You have to draw it alone. Your art is too special. (That's a reason for the quality!)
So we all should help in an other way.
What Do you need?
Reading?
We read.

An old ethopian proverb says: The word what can help you, you can't say it to yourself.
Let me tell again a memory, The Fachhochschule.
We had to draw on a coloured paper with chalk pencils, white and black.
(Chalk pencils? sorry I don't know the terms of "Pit-Kreide" in english, you can get them pure or in wood like a pencil.)
I did draw some can's. Yes, it looked fine, I showed to the Dozent,(special teacher in the Fachhochschule), and he wasn't convinced.
he simply used his fingers and did smear the chalk of my drawing like a brush.
Suddenly, real can's, metallic, light reflexions. Wow.
Just before It was all there, all the light and and the shadows, but I had a border in my mind, draw, drawing meant to me, draw, but not to paint with chalk, which was finally the real and better solution.
NO, that's not about your art!!
It's about a blockade, If I had visit a writers seminar, I had use this kind of example
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Re: February Blues

Postby Quaeras » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:34 pm

I just noticed your February news post.

I agree with the above posters, but I'll re-iterate what I've said in the past. You're a creative person, and sometimes you just cant force something, despite the feeling that "nothing is going to happen if I don't make it."

Give yourself time to stew over what excites you about the work, and then focus on that as a goal. Trudging through in the meantime isn't always great, but hopefully the point you focus on will be.

I like what you have up so far. It feels authentic and immersive, at least to me. The setting is masterfully created, and the tension is palpable. Don't sell yourself short, which I know can be easy.

Ask yourself this - what would you rather be drawing or painting? Try it. See if diverting your attention helps.

Personally i'd love to see some large UJ universe posters ... maybe even for sale? Every time I look at the beautiful Uni full page original you did for me, it brings the magic right back. ~.<
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Re: February Blues

Postby masstreble » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:17 pm

*Deep breath*

As a fellow artist down here in the suffering sewers of self-deprecation
I just gotta say that you shouldn't ever be your worst enemy because if
you ever want to overcome yourself I've found that you first have to do
exactly that as much as a paradox as-that-is--

There are two things happening
here at the same time
first there's that eternal enemy
self-doubt bringing you down
but it's also found a friend
in your boredom with the project--

It isn't right for me to tell you what to do with this project and I'm not about to because you're thing, not my thing, and since it's your thing, you should do your thing, that's the secret, to how you make it, so I guess my thing, in regards to your thing, would be to say to do your thing, with your thing, by finding your thing, that you want to do with your thing!

But bringing it back to that self-doubt, that lack of confidence,
I don't think there's anything that we can say, or that we can do,
that can help you, but except to say,
that we've been there, and that you shouldn't be,
that sure you're not the best, but nobody should have to,
and that you can do things, that nobody else can do.

Phew.

*pivots in place* MITSUKARA.
You got me reading Tales of MU.

As in ALL. OF. IT. Over the last couple of weeks.

I don't know if you owe me something, or I owe you something, or if I should hit you or what, I don't know, I'm confused. I'll get back to you later.
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Re: February Blues

Postby Mitsukara » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:42 pm

Hehe, um.... you're welcome, I think? To be fair it was another forumite that got me interested in it, and at one point on the site Alexandra Erin suggested quoting the story on forum signatures (I think? My memory could be making stuff up) to see if it garnered people's attention. It appears I was successful! :)

That said, I'm actually a little behind at the moment. I need to work on that...
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Re: February Blues

Postby Plasman » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:36 am

Um...
Just me, calling in to see if the comic is still coming along... :?

Jennifer, I hope things are working out for you.
If you're still feeling sluggish about the comic, maybe you could work on something else in the meantime? Or even just join in the forum and have a chat?
It could put your mind off I.T. for a while, and allow you to regroup yourself until you figure out what to do with the comic.

And, in case you didn't notice, people here seem to like it when you say hello!
If this last post seems ridiculous, please disregard it. Thank you. ;)
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Re: February Blues

Postby Mitsukara » Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:42 pm

I second that! Any sign that you're alive and well is good at this point. If you don't want to work on the comic, just hang out on the forums and have some fun! We'd all love to see you. :)
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Re: February Blues

Postby Anna » Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:41 am

I made a post some days ago and a few hours later I deleted it.
It did contains a simple suggestion:
Jennifer, if you don't want to draw Ika Takozushi, then stop it.

Sad is, you can't recieve the french german broadcaster "arte", from next Monday on, they will bring a lot of japanese movies.
They will start with the full restored movie "The Seven Samurai", http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Samurai
Then there will follow some other samurai films.
It had could been a nice inspiration for you.
I just have seen on DVD the anime "Sword of the stranger", also action and fight.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNDX7MSveQ0 -that's the final fight, don't look, it's a spoiler-
Here you all can find also some other scenes from the anime.

However, Jennifer should be honest to herself.
Do you wan't to work at Takozushi?

But I suppose, there is a bigger problem.
Your depression.
As much as I know, you can't go to a doctor to get some help.
You've got no insurrance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_John%27s_wort
Maybe a lot of tea of it can support you.
-.-
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Re: February Blues

Postby Coda » Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:39 am

St. John's wort is all right, and as supplements go there's one called SAM-e that also seems to be doing fairly well for my wife's depression.
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Re: February Blues

Postby Haleskarth » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:08 am

My opinion is that the illustration is absolutely breathtaking, and that you have invested a great deal of time and energy into creating such work. I wonder if you cannot infuse the same enthusiasm that you had for your other works into Ika Takozushi because, as others have said, you have written this story before, and you are simply repainting that which has already been done. If you feel comfortable doing so, perhaps you could alter the story with those characters, so that you can explore new ground? If you truly feel that you cannot devote yourself to the story in a significant way that would elicit a connection to the characters in a similar way to your previous work, perhaps you could start on something else? (Although it would be a shame, considering how gorgeous Ika Takozushi looks right now. But if your heart is not in it, far be it from me to request that you finish a story that you cannot complete, for whatever reason.)
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Re: February Blues

Postby Tychomonger » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:19 pm

Perhaps you could take the characters Ika Takozushi and Ton Katsu, and drop them into another universe. The adventure they have would be close enough to the original plot that after a thousand years it could conceivably become the kamishibai story we originally we were told. I'd love to see, for example, Iko in Whistlestop, drawn in this same style.
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Re: February Blues

Postby Aster Azul » Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:13 am

I second all of the suggestions of changing the story. I find that I HATE re-hashing stuff. Even moving from script to comic is annoying. So I just change stuff. I make changes that are sometimes meaningless and sometimes ones that change the whole story. It makes it interesting again.

I also suggest drastically cutting down your material. You have this big project you are working on and it's going to drive you crazy if you waste all this work. So cut it down. Make the project short enough and small enough that you can finish it. Lower the quality if you have to. Just find a way that you can make it through as easily as possible.

If I had accomplished as many wonderful beautiful things as you... man. I mean, you can do anything.

-.-

And what you have here is incredible. I don't see the "uninspired" in it. It's not visible to me. It's good stuff.
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Re: February Blues

Postby Quaeras » Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:30 pm

I agree with above. I haven't read the original, and i'm *very* much looking forward to finding out what happens.

Send up a flare in here Jennifer!
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Re: February Blues

Postby Plasman » Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:50 am

Another idea: some more backstory on these two would be interesting. Perhaps a kind of prequel? How did they meet?
(I've read the original Kamisibai, but it's been a while, so... you might have already covered how they met.)
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