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The Crusades

Star Wars Convention Under Assault by Star Trek Crusaders


The Los Angeles Convention Center before yesterday’s attack.

LOS ANGELES – It was an otherwise bright and balmy day at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles yesterday. However, underneath the calm exterior, a far more sinister and brutal scene was taking place. At noon a group of extremist Star Trek fans assaulted the building in the middle of the largest official Star Wars convention, Star Wars Celebration V.

In a matter of hours, the combined force of cosplaying Klingon, Federation and Romulan fans had secured a little over half the premises. They had soon erected a 12′ tall statue to Gene Roddenberry, also consecrating the convention center as holy ground in his name. Despite the fierce Trekkie assault, the Star Wars fans have managed to secure their own ground within the center due to an unprecedented truce between the imperials and the jedi.

Fighting continued throughout the night with many of the taller Trekkies donning Jar Jar Binks costumes for brave suicide raids on enemy defenses. Not to be outdone the Star Wars fans managed to erect a pair of large projection screens on the front lines, playing so called “reset” episodes of Star Trek: Voyager in an endless loop to break the enemy’s spirit. Despite the efforts of both sides, neither has yet managed any sort of conclusive offense and the stalemate is expected to continue for some time to come.


The crack imperial cosplay 501st unit prepares to join the fray.

In the hopes of breaking the deadly stalemate, both sides have sent ambassadors to Los Angeles’ anime community and online anime forums hoping to strike an alliance with the remaining fandom super power. So far there has been no word from the anime community, supposedly the gift boxes of Star Wars: Clone Wars have not been well received, while the 3 foot scale models of the Enterprise A may have won the Trekkies a critical diplomatic victory with the model makers.

The decision, however, largely hinges on the currently split demographic of Yaoi slash fic fans. A recent surge in high quality Kirk/Spock and Luke/Han doujins has completely divided the already fractured community. Proposals for an updated Chekov/Sulu pair, using the actors from the new J.J. Abrams movie as models, have become a popular hope for breaking the deadlock.

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Hard Learned Lessons

I’ve learned a few lessons in drawing the hard way. Today I want to share the biggest bitch that comes with learning how to draw in an anime or manga style.

Moral of the story, learn volumes first! Hell, do still life drawing and life drawing, focus on the lighting and rendering. If you can render it right, you can draw it right, but if you can only draw it right, you’ll have to unlearn how you see things in order to render it right.

Final Thought:
Everyone can draw a circle, square and triangle, especially since it really doesn’t have to be perfect. Therefore, you already know everything about shape needed to start doing still life. The real challenge of still life is to look at something, say an orange for instance, and instead of mentally filling in a shape, circle in this case, to instead see how the contrast between light and shadow is creating that shape. It can be boring, but hang in there and you’ll appreciate it later!

Nine-ish years ago now, there was a movie named The Cell. It stared Jennifer Lopez and Vince Vaughn, and to be perfectly frank, I don’t hold either in esteem for their acting abilities… But the concept… a hell of a concept, there, dream diving. I only saw parts at a time, but the cinematography and visual style were almost spot on… almost.

Six years later an anime named Paprika was released. The concept was revisited. Again it was a thriller, though this time not a crime thriller, at least not in the sense The Cell was. The acting of the drawn characters, and the voice acting behind them is clearly professional. The stylistic tone changed from obnoxiously loud to thoughtful and colorful.

At one point the conceit is carried slightly too far, but it is used to convey the final connotations of the theme. Also to finalize the exploration of the characters and their subtler motivations.

I’m not sure what I think of The Cell, to be honest. It was good, in it’s way, but not a great work of cinema. I’m not sure how I feel in it’s entirety about Paprika… because I am simply in awe of being allowed to witness such powerful and sublime cinema. Or to put it simpler, it would be like comparing the difference between a Micheal Bay film, and Schindler’s List. For whatever faults I can eventually nit pick out of examining Paprika, I find so much more, that I hadn’t even been aware of as I watched, that leaves me in awe of their writing and directing.

I only regret not watching it sooner.