Hwoah. We are looking December in the face already, and I can't believe it. I think it's kind of funny how I only have about two to three weeks of school left this semester, as well as about 5 or 6 projects and exams to do, and yet I subconsciously tell myself it's nothing to worry about. yikes.
You know, I think I'm coming up on the one year anniversary of Guten Tag. I'd like to put them in a book eventually, but I'm going to have to find time for that as well as several other projects I want to do.
Sorry I didn't get this up earlier, but late is better than never.
At the risk of sounding corny or preachy, giving thanks isn't something we should only do on Thanksgiving. Be thankful for what God has blessed you with: your family, house, friends, ability to go to college, anything. These are all blessings that we shouldn't take for granted, since any of them can be taken away so quickly.
This is somewhat inspired by waking up to see footage of the standoff in Mumbai, India, but tragedy and war, conflict and persecution exist all over the world every day.
As Americans, we need to be thankful for our military for protecting us from danger abroad as well as within our borders, as well as our police, firefighters, paramedics, etc. who risk their lives to protect U.S. citizens. This is something we take for granted, and it is a blessing from God. We need to thank God for that.
But as Christians, we need to be thankful that our God is not the God of the U.S. alone. His children live in India, Pakistan, Iraq, China, Africa, all these 'dangerous' areas that we watch on tv from the comfort of our living rooms. We need to be thankful that God is watching over them. That God is in the midst of every war, every terrorist attack, protecting his children, and giving them the strength and peace to carry on through conflict and share the joy and love of Jesus with others.
I know we are almost desensitized by the amount of tv coverage of war in the Middle East and other places, but we can make a difference by praying that God continues to protect his children--missionaries as well as Christian nationals--and works through them in these difficult situations to bring others to Christ. And if you feel called as a Christian to serve in the military and protect our country, do it. We need to be thankful and pray for our troops in general, but also for our brothers and sisters in Christ who have made such a difficult decision, that they always seek to serve God in their actions. God blesses countries that protect their people, and He will bless his children who risk their lives to keep others safe.
I know I usually shy away from long posts, but this is something that I've wanted to share lately. I hope everyone has had a great Thanksgiving with their families and friends. Okay, I need to do homework.
Guten Tag is back up and running every week, hopefully. School is busy, but I managed to plot out a couple ideas ahead of time, so I'll be able to work off of those for now.
Time for some things I'm interested in.
I want to see this movie so bad. I haven't spoiled myself by reading any reviews, but I hope it's as good as 3:10 to Yuma or better. Viggo Mortenson and Ed Harris are great choices for a western.
2) Anathallo-Canopy Glow
Goodness. One of the greatest bands right now, and this album is finally coming out on November 18. If you don't know who they are, it's honestly hard to describe their sound besides saying that it's multi-instrumented and almost cinematic. Instead, listen to 'Noni's Field' on their myspace page: anathallo
This song is so promising that if all the songs on the album are as good as this, it could easily be better than their previous album. Which for me is hard to fathom, since Floating World is up in my top 5 albums. Gah. They're so good and from Michigan (although they've moved to Chicago).
Okay, quick update since I have to leave for school in a couple of minutes. I say 'quick' because I've been busy with classes and other projects, and I was going to put this up on Sunday, but didn't get to it. Thankfully, I've gotten Photoshop and Illustrator up and running on my Mac, so it's going to make doing my strip a whole lot faster. Alright, have a good rest of the week.
Sorry about the non-post last week. Last weekend was hectic. I was expecting to roll into the semester like it was nothing and just have all this time to throw around and put to good use, but instead I came to the realization that 15 credits can kick your butt. I had to buy a lot of books and supplies. I think I'm getting a handle on the flow of it, though.
Well that's a brief break that I wish could last just a bit longer, but I've got to work on my speech that's due tomorrow. The topic is what I would do if I had a million dollars. I don't think I'd do anything outlandish, except provide the financial means to work on comics and music and design without worrying about having money to pay bills. Of course, I'd need a house to pay bills on. So I'd buy a house. Probably in Tennessee or some other state that has landscape nice enough to look out on every morning. And then I'd have room for a recording studio and an art studio. But I should probably invest it first. Whatever.
Happy Labor Day everyone. Hope everyone's relishing their barbecue and family or whatever you're doing. I personally have been relishing my first ever 44 ounce Ocean Water from Sonic--a moment made all the more better by the fact that I got it half off during happy hour. great.
(Give me a squiggly...)
Not a lot's been going on this week. I just finished my last day working at Walmart Friday, so I'm kind of relieved that I don't have to go back there and toil away aimlessly at projects that just get rearranged a couple of days later.
"Here, take a couple of hours and stack all of these heavy things on that shelf, and make them line up, and make it look like there's a ton of them, and price them all, and make sure they all have clearance flags on them...even though we plan on moving them somewhere else tomorrow. Thanks."
Now, I'm not bitter at all, it's just that when your job is basically moving stuff around so people will buy more stuff faster, you realize you really don't have anything to show for your work. And that's why I don't want to stay at a place like Walmart. I have some opportunities this fall that I wouldn't be able to fully commit to if I were still working there. And this is already on top of a full 15 credit hours this semester. So that's why I decided to quit.
Trust me, it was nothing against the people who work at my store, because my attitude has totally changed over the past year. I went from trying to distance myself from my coworkers in an immature effort to maintain my sphere of comfort and 'normalcy' to getting to know a bunch of people who are actually really fun to work with. I think people who are there for years are able to do it because they get along with their coworkers and that helps them to get past the stupid things they have to deal with.
Well, mull that over and take your next retail job with a grain of salt. Hopefully it helps.
Alright, back to school this week. It should be pretty fun.
Well well, the Olympics have come and gone. And now it's back to school for most of you, as well as me. Personally, I'm excited to get back into the swing of art classes, as well as being able to work on a couple of projects I've been putting on hold this summer due to work. But I'll have an update on what those are once they've gotten a considerable amount of momentum behind them. (hint: one's comic related, and the other's music related.) So yeah, I can't wait for this fall.
Alright start crackin some books. learn you some edumaction.
Here's this week's strip a little earlier than usual lately:
haha. If there's any hidden reference to China's solution to their stray cat problem before the Olympics, believe me, it wasn't intentional. But I'll take full credit for it anyways, because that's the attitude of a winner.
I don't think much more can be said about Michael Phelps winning his 8th gold medal last night that hasn't already been said, but wow. America totally dominated swimming in this Olympics.
Alright, have a great final week of Olympic coverage that will be sadly void of swimming events. Let's hear it for Team USA in...basketball? volleyball? Anyways.
Ni Hao! Hello everybody. I hope you all get a chance to watch the Olympics. I know I've been almost glued to them since day one--partly because I went to Beijing last summer to visit my brother and sister-in-law, but also because it's the perfect sporting event for those who hardly follow sporting events. I know everyone's talking about Michael Phelps, but I'm wondering if they're ever going to show the decathlon events. I just want to see people throwing heavy stuff and javelins. We'll probably see. There's a whole week left.
Hello hello. I've got two new strips this time, since I was lazy and didn't get the last one up in an appropriate amount of time.
Lately I've been coming up on a day or two before my strip is due, not having a clue what I'm going to draw, and I'll sit there for hours hoping some sweet idea pops in my head. It's not particularly a good way to do things, but I think the nature of my strip allows it to work, since these strips really don't follow a strict chronological order. Anyway...
For all of you who are interested in comics, but shy away from them due to the overabundance of nerd that's inextricably associated with them, let me suggest a book that will restore your faith in this medium:
It's called Flight, an anthology of various stories from several very talented independent comics creators who are still up and coming. The stories range from personal recollections to inventive fiction, and each author has their own unique style of writing and art. This is the fifth volume in the series, and like the ones before, it's a
great value for the amount of story presented (around 380 pages!). My favorite stories were "Igloo Head and Tree Head in Disguise" by Scott Cambell, "The Dragon" by Reagan Lodge, and "Seasons: Frank and Frank" by Chris Appelhans. I'd suggest checking it out at Barnes and Noble or Borders first, if you're not familiar with the series, but it's definitely worth it. You can also get it on Amazon.com. These guys are doing a great job in comics.
Alright, until next week or the week after that, have a great week.
So like a select few hundred thousand nerdly Americans young and old across the country, I attended a midnight screening of The Dark Knight last night. By the time I got to the theater from work, it was already packed and people were throwing beach balls around in restless anticipation for the movie to start. Yes, there were a lot of Batmen in the crowd, but I saw more Jokers, and from my seat all the way at the top I could even spot a 60s era Robin down on the floor...who turned out to be my friend. But it was all good, since this movie was and is worth it. Go see it.
It is the best Batman movie in existence. It has the best plot, the best characters, the best action, everything works. Heath Ledger owned Joker, and I would say almost stole the movie from Christian Bale. I used to love the animated 90s Batman tv series, and this movie evokes the grittiness and dark chemistry between Batman and Joker better than any other Batman movie. I knew I was going to love their characters, but Harvey Dent was the icing on the cake for me. Finally a realistic, fully realized Two Fa..I mean, Harvey Dent. He belongs in this movie, and it only works because of him.
The only sad thing about this movie, is that I don't know what to be excited for in the next one. With the last movie, we were waiting on Joker, but now it could be anyone, and that's a little scary. I don't want to see the third movie suffer to a lame, minor villain that, sadly, the Batman universe is full of. Who would they reinvent? Riddler? Mr. Freeze? Poison Ivy? Penguin? I don't see how they'll fit into this franchise. I just think that they've already picked the best villains (Ra'as al Ghul, Joker), and they're going to have to write one heck of a story for the third movie.
Alright. Nerd ramble completed. Go back to your lives.
This comes in relation to a recent purchase I made. I finally broke down and bought my first Apple computer. Yeah I know, I might as well be attempting to make fire with a bunch of sticks and rocks, since I'm living so far in the past, but I decided it was a good time to get a decent computer if I'm going to go ahead and do graphic design for the next couple of years. I went with the Macbook Pro for a couple of reasons. One of which being the wider display that's better suited for design programs such as Photoshop and Ilustrator. One of the things that gets a little on my nerves when using Photoshop is having to move the toolbars around so they're not constantly in the way of my 'canvas', and hopefully this will free up that kind of space. The other reason was the faster processing speed and higher memory that will be needed to run those programs simultaneously without lagging like heck. Finally, the Pro has these cool stereo speakers on the sides of the keyboard that are louder and, I think, fuller than the ones on the Macbooks. Anyway, I'm liking it so far. Plus, I got the free iPod deal for being a student. I was going to go with the nano, but I got the 8 gig Touch cause it's like having an iPhone without the phone, and having to pay for it every month.
Alright, enough jibber jabber about Apple. Hellboy 2 comes out tomorrow, and I want to see it so bad. I will burn in nerdly passion until I see it. Here's a movie poster I want, because the creator of Hellboy drew it, except it's going for upwards of hundreds of dollars on ebay.
Alright, I'm out. Gotta earn them dollars at Wally World.
Have a good rest of the week, sorry for the belated update.
Sorry for the delay. Good news is I have two strips this time.
Man, I've been pretty busy lately. As some of you may know, I work at Wal-Mart and they recently decided to give me around 36-37 hours every week. Now this would be alright at any other Wal-Mart or any other retail store, but I work at a Wal-Mart in Taylor, Michigan. I imagine it would be hard for anyone unfamiliar with the area to understand what that means, but it's usually a sea of people every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings.
People who are more than less unaware of the fact that we employees essentially clean up after them all day. People who don't understand that this is a company that can afford to roll back prices on almost everything, because the majority of its merchandise is made in China.
Having worked at Wal-Mart for more than a year, I'd like to share some advice that I think might help potential or current customers:
Don't expect the employee in a certain department to be an expert in all things covered in that department. He/she doesn't have time to sit around and compare specs between toasters or air conditioners or pools. More times than not, she's just going to default to reading the product label back to you.
Don't expect that since Wal-Mart sells and assembles bikes, it also has the expertise of a local bike shop. The assemblers at my store have about a 15 minute time limit per bike, and don't really have time to make sure the brakes are adjusted just to your liking. And please don't bring a bike back multiple times to get it fine-tuned. If you want professional service like that, go to a bike shop and pay for it. Wal-Mart can't provide it for free.
If you're going to buy anything that you plan to stick in your vehicle, make sure it fits in your vehicle. Honestly. I think one week I helped at least 3 people carry out a pool/tv/furniture to their vehicle only to find they planned on driving it away in a compact. Like it would just magically fold down into the trunk.
Don't leave your trash on shelves. Although this really goes without saying, but there are more than enough people who need this advice. I'll admit, cups and water bottles are one thing, but come on, used kleenex? band-aids? And honest to God, there have been two separate occasions where I've had the distinct privilege of finding a used diaper. Oh yeah, you're right, that is a good spot for it, right by the books.
Well I hope that helps. You guys have any more questions, feel free to ask me. But right now I have to get ready for work. And it's my birthday, no less.
"I wanna play the guitar...and I wanna get paid.."
Wow. Quick week: Watching the red wings almost win the cup, work, watching the red wings finally win the cup, saw the Indiana Jones movie (more on it later), more work, graduation open house for my cousin, church, etc. Dang, summer is going by too quick, and I have too many projects on my mind and not enough time to complete them. Music and art are competing interests right now for me. I feel like I have a lot I want to do with music, and a lot I want to do with art, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to pursue both equally or have to choose between them. I guess it'll come down to whatever pays better..haha. Sadly.
Oh yeah, Indiana Jones. I don't know, I hear a lot of negativity hurled towards this movie, but I'm going to stick to my guns and say I liked it. I thought it kept the tone of the other movies, even with the use of today's special effects and cgi. The action scenes were pretty exciting, except I don't know about the Shia LeBeouf tarzan scene, that was a little stretch. There's a lot of negativity aimed at the end of the movie, but without giving it away, I thought it wasn't too far fetched from what some people believed actually happened in that culture. (with giving a little bit away, at least it didn't talk or make contact with the characters). Anyway, if you're an Indiana Jones fan, you have to see it. If not, I'd wait till dvd. It was pretty good.
Alright, I obviously don't have a career ahead of me in movie reviews, so I'm going to leave that to the professional cynics who have lost imagination and know that movie sequels are fundamentally doomed to suck in comparison to the original.
Twice the wait means twice the Guten Tag. Hope you can handle that.
Go see the Indiana Jones movie, like I...will soon be doing...
Can you find the hidden message in this one?
One day I'd like to collect these in a book. But I think I'm going to wait until when I graduate from Wayne State and don't have a reason to do these every week. Hopefully by then more people will be reading these. That should bring the total readership up to one.
Oh man, I'm watching The Empire Strikes back, and I've come to the decision that the original Star Wars trilogy is one of the few movies worth passing down to my kids. That is, if I have kids. That is, if I get married. If I get a girlfriend. Anyways. I remember first seeing the movies as a kid and thinking how big the story was, and how believable the characters were. Now, after watching the documentary that's on the dvd box set, it's crazy to see how they made so much work on such a small budget, at least by the standards of today's movies. It's weird that with all the advanced technology and ability to depict space battles in cgi in the newer Star Wars movies, the models used in the original trilogy look and feel more believable to me. Well enough nerd musing. Have a great day.
Alright, Guten Tag is back. I didn't have to turn it in for a couple of weeks due to finals, and I was a little swamped with final projects myself, so I took a little break. But it is indeed back. Now with 50% more good.
Hey everyone. This week's strip comes to you devoid of any underyling political leanings or eco-friendly diatribes. I think it pretty much sets the tone for all future strips. But I must apologize, for although I drew this strip with my bare hands, I outsourced the job of coloring to my computer. I think it did a pretty crappy job. It's fired. Have a good week.
Gah, the snow came back again this past week. But it's alright. Like a friend who has difficulty recognizing when he's overstayed his welcome, it'll finally go away. In a wet, ugly mess if it has to. Oh hey, I drew another strip. And wouldn't you know it, it's somehow related to what I just said. What a coincidence. Have a good week.
Happy St.Patty's Day everybody. Go celebrate your temporary Irishness but try to cut back on the alcohol influenced vehicular manslaughter.
Yes I know I've been slightly lazy in getting these strips up, but they're up now. I've also switched my process again, and I now draw and ink the strips first before scanning them in. I was dissatisfied with the final look of my earlier strips that I had done in Photoshop, and I think the traditional method of pen and paper brings out my personality better. Whatever. Here are the three I did since the last update:
Hey what are you all doing today? Reading my new comic strip? That's good to hear, cause I read your mind and decided to place it in this blog for your convenience. That way you don't have to call me up and ask if you can come over to see it. Or mail me for a copy of it. It's right here, free of charge.
So you're not reading my comic strip today? That's cool. I'll let you get back to Facebook. Here, I even provided a link so you don't have to do any typing. Facebook
Alright new Guten Tag. This is also the first strip in which the tall guy is named. But not the short guy. That might come later. You might just have to stick around to see that.
Also, unrelated to Guten Tag, but I have another idea that I'm working on, that I can hopefully post weekly or every other week. It's basically short visual gags that I come up with when working on the strip or other stuff. I'll have to think up a catchy name for it though. Hmm.
Indeed I have a new strip to post. It was inspired as I walked back to my car from class Thursday night in the bitter cold of approximately a billion degrees below freezing, waiting for any one of my extremities to fall off. I'm pretty sure the cold vacuum of space is somewhere around the temperature of any given winter night in Michigan.