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    Joe - 4/5/04       Laura - 3/30/04  

when it rains it... aw nutz... there's a tsunami coming right for me!

April is going to be one insane month. First of all, next weekend (the 9th through the 11th) is Anime Boston. I'll actually be working the info desk at various times, so you may be able to catch me that way if there is some reason you really want to hunt me down. Since I'll probably be helping to clean up, next week's update will probably be late. Also, I'll be running the "So, you want to run a webcomic" panel that I ran last year at 8-9PM on Friday (check the schedule on the Anime Boston web page for the actual schedule). I didn't really think it would be worth plugging the panel too much since the con is COMPLETELY SOLD OUT! That's right. if you don't have a pre-reg, then you'll have to settle for an at the door pass that only allows you into the dealers room and the art show (and I think artists' alley... again, check the web page for actual details).

Next, there are some interesting developments going on behind the scenes. I'm not going to go into them. It's nothing bad, but these things just end up piling on to all the other stuff I have to deal with at the moment. Although... if any reader out there happens to be an IP/copyright lawyer and would be willing to do some pro-bono work for us... (... didn't think so).

Finally, I'm growing more and more fed up with my job. I think I may actually dust off the resume just to see what else is out there. Who am I kidding... the job situation in the tech industry really sucks right now. I sorta want to get out of my current field, but I think that anything I could get would end up being a dramatic pay cut (yes, the only thing keeping me at my current job is the money). I'd like to get some sort of job where I could be a little more creative. Ideally, someone with an insane amount of money to throw around would sponsor me to sit around and write all day. Any insanely rich readers out there up for the offer? (... didn't think so). Hmmm... I guess I probably shouldn't have said that since someone at work may actually read this. Meh, what the heck more could they do to me?

I guess I shouldn't end on such a low note. I was surprised to find the "Hoshi no Koe" (AKA Voices of a Distant Star) sountrack had been released domestically. It's one of my all time favorite animes. The amount of emotion that is crammed into that short little story is amazing. I remember saying to myself that I had to find the soundtrack when I saw it. There is one song in particular (actually, the entire score is based off of 2 musical themes) that just manages to give me shivers every time I hear it. I hope I can produce something that powerful one of these days.


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!