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We've got new Zed Fanart from Dream Catcher who does the comic Dealing with the Devil

We Also have Fan Music! A midi called "Worth Dying For" by Rajan Mann.

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    Joe - 5/10/04       Laura - 3/30/04  

The story of a manga addict

Just a quick note to start off with. The people over at Malakhim have started their second story arc! For those of you who haven't heard of Malakhim, it's a fairly well thought out story with a number of thought provoking themes... and it has some pretty elegant art to go along with it. Like EF, it's probably not going to appeal to everyone, but you should go check it out and see if you like it for yourself.

I went to my semi-local mall this past weekend to pick up some lunch and to check check out some of my usual favorite shops for potential purchases when I saw Waldenbooks had a buy 4 get 1 free thing going for any books they had. Well, manga trade paperbacks are books, so I decided to go and check out what they had. It's actually fairly amazing that there is an entire section dedicated to manga these days. Back when I was in High School and just getting into anime and manga, I never would have guessed that it would be this easy to get manga. I eagerly aproched the shining paradise of the manga section. It was a sight to behold, a wall of manga just waiting for me to read! Then I started actually looking at it all... and I realized that there wasn't anything that I really wanted to buy! Over 80% of the titles works that I could not bring myself to be interested in! It felt like I was in that twilight zone episode where that guy finally gets to read all the books that he wants to but ends up breaking his glasses. It took me a really long time to actually find 5 books that I actually wanted.

I think I've just become too pickey of an anime/manga fan. I used to be the type of person that would watch anything and enjoy it. Of course, it was all new to me, so everything seemed interesting. However, as I saw more and more, I started to notice that a lot of things had just become rehashes of things that came before. It's not really that I find them uninteresting, it's just that I don't find it worth my money or my time (which really is worth way more to me than my money). In a way, I can't blame the companies that are bringing some of the titles over. They look at something like "Love Hina" that is successful and decide to bring over another "boy with harem" title because that's what they see as people wanting to buy. From my point ov view, I really don't see the need to buy yet another "boy with harem" story. After seeing so may incarnations of "Tenchi Muyo," I think I've had my fill for a long time. Looking at my current situation... it looks a lot like drug addiction. It used to take just a little for me to get a high, but now, I seem to need bigger and more powerful doses. I can't help but to think of that Guns & Roses song "Mr. Brownstone" where the refrain goes "I used to do a little, but a little woudn't do it so the little got more and more. Just kept tryin' to get a little better just a little better than before!" If this keeps up, I'm going to need an intervention!


Eh, sorry about the later than usual page. I forgot that I was going to a friend's bridal shower this week. 0_o Oh well.

For some strange reason, in the past week or so, a lot of people have asked me about my art process on the comic. I don't know what caused all these questions to emerge at once, maybe some kind of cosmic alignment. But I thought I'd just sort of summarize it here for anyone else who's curious.

Now, up until the Christmas piece I did in 2002, I hand drew all the comics with a 2H pencil on bristol board. For like the first couple pages of the comic, I inked the pencils with a ball point pen, but later decided that it just took too much time, so I cut out that step. Instead, I just cleaned up the art in Photoshop when I scanned it in. Then I would color the comic in Photoshop, save the file and bring it into Illustrator where I would lay out all the type. Then I would bring the image back into Photoshop, tweak it or make any changes or fixes, and save it for the web.

Then, when I got my Wacom tablet and the Painter program a little over a year ago, I basically just started drawing the comic right on the computer. I find it saves some time and let's me create cleaner looking images. I've also started to do some of the coloring in Painter, mostly backgrounds, and then I bring the file into Photoshop and resume from there.

So, I hope that satisfies anyone else who might've been curious. I'm always open to questions about it, so feel free to e-mail me. But I can't give out any almighty art secrets. It's just the same with everyone, practice and hard work.

All content unless otherwise specified is Copyright 2003 Joe Lee and Laura Galiffe of the Bonsai Mecha Factory. All rights reserved. If you violate our copyright or piss us off, we'll send Hinoki after you!