Results tagged “honeyfields” from kwc blog

Tour de Comic-Con/Team Uni: Friday

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Schwag

Team Uni was riding at full strength for the first time yesterday as ota did a full course and there were temporary reinforcements from Temecula, as bleusky's friend jw drove in. The full team showed immediate dividends in the schwag competition: bleusky and jw were able to collect the popular Harry Potter bags, while ota did a blazing timecheck through the Wizards of the Coast booth to collect a Magic starter set.

The team's fast start was helped by a switch to The Cheese Shop for morning grub. There was no Guinness/coffee combo to be had, but massive carbs were delivered promptly.

Sketch Classification

Team Uni sent honeyfields, bleusky, and kwc to collect points in the sketch competition. bleusky collected several sketches, including a Stardust sketch from Charles Vess and a color painting from Scott Morse that earned her first in the sketch ranking on the day. kwc focused on collecting points at the Flight checkpoint, getting an excellent vampire from Rodolphe Guenoden, a beautiful fairy from Sarah Mensinga, and generally filling up the front of his Flight book with signatures. honeyfields added two more Sakai sketches to Team Uni's totals, with both a sketchbook sketch as well as a detailed sketch in the Art of Usagi Yojimbo hardcover.

kwc collected on the long-promised "Usagi Yojimo Charges into Battle on Bike," which was assisted by the Tour de France being on TV in Stan Sakai's hotel for visual reference.

Usagi commision from Stan Sakai Flight 4 Guenoden sketch

Panels

Team Uni made a wise decision to avoid the early day Hall-H-Category (HHC) sessions. The Whiteout session was reminscent of Paris-Roubaix as Kate Beckinsale was caught behind a the train tracks across from the Convention Center and her fellow panelists were unable to convince security of their status.

The team instead sent a big contigent to the Neil Gaiman talk, which did not disappoint. Despite have no prepared remarks or plan, Gaiman 'burbled' his way to many laughs with his Alan Moore ("he's very big and very hairy. And as he gets interested in something, he loooooms") and Guillermo del Toro (Neil's "Magic Dumbo") anecdotes. There were also some anecdotes of the early days of Comic-Con:

Gaiman: You'd sign for 10 or 15 people and then no one else would come
Audience: awwwwww
Gaiman: It was great!

Someone asked him why, if there was a God, why is there the Endless? "Isn't that like saying, if there was a God, why do you need to buy hamburgers?"

On Volume 2 and 3 of Absolute Sandman: "And of course you could kill someone if you dropped it on them. Useful. For the right person."

parakkum's diary covers the talk as well, including the Spectacular Spiderman panel beforehand. I like "Cheeks"' character design for the cartoon, but the backgrounds were crap.

m held fast in the Stargate doubleheader, taking many photos and reporting that the folksy girl from Firefly is moving to Stargate: Atlantis.

The strenuous course eventually helped Team Uni commit some missteps in panel selection later in the day. The very attendable HHC Star Wars at 30 punished ota, parakkum, and honeyfields with non-Star-Wars marketing, and the Jim Henson talk similarly punished bleusky. A Scott McCloud family slideshow had kwc gritting his teeth and pulling an early exit.

The team's spirits were lifted as parakkum's parents treated the team to a dinner at Nati's in Ocean Beach. The team stuffed its stomach with quesadilla crisps, jalapeno-soaked carrots, and Mexican-flavored carbs.

The ever-busy Saturday promises much in the way of panels. Just in Ballroom 20 is a string of Heroes, Battlestar Galactica, Futurama, and Joss Whedon. The hopes to avoid crashes on the convention floor and ride a good race, though it will have to do so without honeyfields, who has made a planned early exit for this year's Tour.

Tour de Comic-Con: Thursday

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Nutrition is important to Comic-Con: eat enough calories at breakfast, you can hopefully hold off hunger until the floor closes for dinnertime. Fail, and you must choose between crappy convention floor food or losing a couple of hours to venture out into the Gaslamp district.

Just as important is where you get your food. Team Uni has traditionally eaten at Hennesey's on the weekday mornings and The Field on the weekends -- the The Field offers true Irish breakfast but is not open on weekdays; Hennesey's approximates Irish breakfast. The compromise has worked until yesterday, when poor service cost Team Uni an hour right out of the gate and set the team back in the CRAC (Credit Ruining Accoutremonts Classification). Harry Potter bags were already gone; tickets for exclusive Transformers were gone. Shaun Tan advance reading copies were offered as consolation from Scholastic.

Such missteps do not keep Team Uni down: the team recovered by heading over to the Wizards of the Coast area and making quick work of the giant d20. parakkum, honeyfields, and bleusky combined to win Axis & Allies: D-Day, an Axis and Allies Naval Starter Set, and a Magic core starter set with online CD. kwc picked up a Star Wars Bounty Hunters booster pack but wasted too much time collecting stamp bonus. Team Uni hopes to repeat its Thursday morning gameplan on Friday with better results; Hennesey's will be avoided and kwc has already pre-collected stamp bonuses to move through the Wizards area quickly.

bleusky showed she has good legs despite being a rookie, easily collecting all five cards scattered acround the Convention Floor for the Avatar competition, earning a sixth bonus card for her efforts. She and honeyfields also teamed up to do a privacy-for-schwag manuever, earning Eduardo and Samurai Jack cellphone accessories from the MMOG booth.

Sketch competition

Scott Morse "sketch"kwc had a very good day in the sketch classification. Scott Morse did a "sketch" that was, in fact, the first color painting that he's done for kwc in five Comic-Cons and two APEs, and an awesome one at that. kwc also got a Mike Mignola, and Stan Sakai sketch, as well as a Wolverine sketch from David Finch of Ultimate X-Men fee. The latter was a split category prize: 1/2 sketch and 1/2 CRAC as it was a paid sketch. A Stan Sakai Usagi commission should earn Team Uni full dual sketch/CRAC points but will not be ready until Friday's stage.

honeyfields scouted the Flight booth and racked up huge sketch points: Sarah Mensinga, Johane Matte, Kazu, Clio Chiang, Reagan Lodge, and Ryan Estrada all did drawings for her sketchbook. They are all fantastic, but the Mensigna sketch deserves special mention. The rest of Team Uni will be making passes by the Flight booth based on honeyfields scouting report.

m's big prize on the day was a Magic art print from the artist that shows off all the detail that is lost in the smaller card form factor. m got his first-edition Stardust hardcover signed by Charles Vess alongside a previous Neil Gaiman inscription. He also dropped back to help kwc get his Stardust signed after kwc's legs cracked on the first attempt.

m, honeyfield, kwc, and bleusky did a team ride through the David Petersen/Mouse Guard booth, picking up three copies of the hardcover volume one and many sketches -- Petersen humored us and shared stories of eating dinner with Sergio Aragones, Mark Evanier, and Stan Sakai. The moral:

Never follow a Sergio shortcut through the snow,
what lies beneath you do not know,
for saved time you try to beg,
you must sacrifice Mark Evanier's leg.

King of the Mountain (KOM) competition

Thursday's stage had an unprecented addition that is a sign of Comic-Con's growing popularity: a Hall-H-Category (HHC) KOM with twenty-or-so unlabelled switchbacks that cut across half the length of the convention center and around the sculpture garden outside the Hall. The Hall-H-Category climbs were added in 2005 (related: Team Uni's first Hall H experience), but the major-movie-studio events that are held there have typically only occurred on the more popular Friday and Saturday stages. The Thursday event was a bit of an unknown: a Thursday major motion picture event, with Neil Gaiman and JJ Abrams.

m and kwc attempted to conquer this HHC climb, figuring that it would be easier than typical HHC climbs due to it being a Thursday. Instead, the course was harder than any previous HHC climbs, including events with Natalie Portman and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Only the fabled Spiderman 3 event ranks more challenging. m and kwc were forced to abandon after being told by referees that they were outside the time limit. With this surprising early defeat, m has already decided to forgo the KOM competition; kwc has yet to determine if he will have the legs to make a solo attempt on Friday or Saturday.

Panels

Team Uni regrouped at the Groo 25th Anniversary panel, which featured everyone who has worked on Groo, i.e. all five of them. parakkum's stage diary highlights some of the entertaining bits. I also enjoyed the banter between Sakai and one of the colorists (Colorist: "You could read the completed issue" Sakai: "But then the color would ruin it").

You can also read parakkum's diary to find out more about the Bill Plympton event.

Doping report

Overheard: Charles Vess remarking to his teammate, "I just had gummy bears, I can do anything!"

kwc has been suspiciously consuming packages labeled "doubleshot."

Tour de Comic-Con/Team Uni: Prologue

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Team Uni limped (literally) into the Prologue Preview Night: honeyfields is sporting a fashionable cane and kwc visited the team doctor this week to get his patella taped due to a problematic kneecap. The team scouted the very crowded Comic-Con Convention floor and scouted the offerings in the schwag competition: starter sets and booster packs from Wizards of the Coast appear to have the best $$$:item ratio and Harry Potter Deathly Hallows bags from Scholastic are of good quality.

m came through with passes to the Stardust screening Thursday night; kwc was five minutes too late, even though he showed up five minutes early. m was less lucky in obtaining a CC-exclusive Transformers Ford GT Rodimus for the CRAC (Credit Ruining Accoutremounts Classification), but he plans on going in an early morning break to attempt it once more.

Team rookie bleusky gave Team Uni its first points in the sketch classification, picking up drawings from Stan Sakai, the Flight folks, and Owly. The Stan Sakai sketches are rumored to be more difficult this year as Sakai and Aragones are unhappy with the eBay aftermarket, so it could turn out to be important as the standings shake out.

parakkum rode in the wind and carried hardcovers to protect honeyfields and they focused on heavy CRAC so they wouldn't have to carry it on the longer stages ahead. kwc had a similar strategy and picked up a limited-edition Scott Morse Scrap Mettle, RD8 Mimobot, Isadore Vimobot, Usagi Yojimbo Vol 21, Penny-Arcade Birds Are Weird and Armadeaddon poster, and CC-exclusive pink R2-D2 (R2-KT) (to add to his collection of R2s). kwc has never waited in line at for a CC exclusive before and was exposed to the troubling underbelly of Comic-Con: parents forcing their kids to go around the convention floor with them to pick up exclusives (to game the item/person limit) and schwag.

The early-morning Thursday gameplan for kwc and honeyfields is to pick up Harry Potter bags from Scholastic and possibly head over to Mimobot. kwc will head from there to pick up his Stan-Sakai-commissioned "Usagi Yojimbo on Bike" and to the Wizards booth to start collecting schwag points.

ota rejoins Team Uni today, straight out of a five-day stage race in Vancouver.

Bacon Math

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Update: honeyfields sends me a link to bacon band-aids

New York Times' London Journal

Should it be slithery or scrunchy, glutinous or grilled? The answer, British scientists say, may be divined by a formula: N = C + {fb(cm) · fb(tc)} + fb(Ts) + fc · ta.

That is the scientific answer to the question: what makes the perfect bacon sandwich?

via Scalzi

And while we're talking about the nytimes and food:

You can take the sugar out of soft drinks and the fat from junk food. But eliminate the pungent odor from what may be the world’s smelliest fruit and brace for a major international controversy.

The durian, a spiky fruit native to Southeast Asia, has been variously described by its detractors as smelling like garbage, moldy cheese or rotting fish. It is banned from many hotels, airlines and the Singapore subway. But durian lovers — and there are many, at least in Asia — are convinced that like fine French cheeses, the worse the smell, the better the taste.

Seven Kurosawa

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1) Why didn't I know that Rashomon is public domain? I love that movie.

2) After finding out (1), I did a Google search and found out that Sanshiro Sugata is also public domain and on Google Video. There's a whole bunch of 1940s Kurosawa films I've never seen, including this one. All Japanese movies pre-1953 are public domain, so now its just a matter of finding them.

3) Regardless, I love my Criterion Collection restorations (even if I end up buying the Seven Samurai from them twice).

4) parakkum sent me the Seven Samurai Drinking Game, which is good if you subtract out references to exact scenes (e.g. Kambei "gets shorn bald" is a silly drinking game rule, but "Has to remind himself he's bald by rubbing his head" is a good rule).

5) Speaking of which, I finally scanned in the painting I had Scott Morse do at APE 2006. Morse noted that he's a bit sadder in this painting than he was in the movie:

Scott Morse - Kambei - Seven Samurai

6) It goes well with my Yojimbo Comic-Con '05 commission

Scott Morse - Yojimbo

7) Tacked onto the seven like he was in the movie, Kikuchiyo, from Comic-Con '03:

Scott Morse - Kikuchiyo - Seven Samurai

Asimo fall down

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littlestar and parakkum got me a great R2-D2 robot that I can send spinning around a table. The trick that gets everyone's applause is when I cause the robot to fall over. For all the chirping and whistling noises it makes, it's the satisfying thunk of falling that convinces everyone that it is real.

Now witness the video above. Brave Asimo robot attempts to climb up stairs. Poor Asimo falls down. Dumb Asimo continues to talk even as it lies on the ground broken and its handlers pull screens around it to hide its pain.

via

Scott Morse paintings

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Update 2: cyclist sketch from Comic-Con 2006
Update: got another painting (Kambei from Seven Samurai) at APE 2005

The two items I'm happiest to have received at Comic-Con are both paintings by Scott Morse. After I got an awesome sketch from him in 2003 I picked a bunch of his stuff and became a fan of his illustration style. I tried to get another sketch in 2004, only to find out that he had stopped doing sketches and was only taking commissions for paintings. I nearly commissioned a sketch, but chickened out at my lack of funds.

This year I was determined to get a painting, no matter what the cost, and luckily, due to the generosity of Team Uni (especially honeyfields) I ended up with two paintings. Morse had some limited edition Little Book of Horror: Frankenstein books that he had done paintings on the inside cover for. After watching me covetously eye the limited edition, honeyfields picked one up for me as a very, very, very early birthday present.

The second painting is goes along with my sketch from 2003. In 2003 I asked for a Kikuchiyo (Toshiro Mifune) sketch from Seven Samurai. I debated getting paintings for all seven samurai, but I decided this was a daunting and prohibitively expensive goal. Instead I went for a Toshiro Mifune Sanjuro painting: gruff, base, improper-yet-honorable samurai. Next year I'll probably go for a Kambei painting (Seven Samurai) and perhaps one of these days a Ran painting so that Morse can spray bloody red all over the canvas.

Morse Frankenstein Morse Yojimbo

Gender swapping, easily

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Here's a fun little tool to occupy your bored time: regender. It swaps male and female terms in a Web page. Sometimes the effect is barely noticeable, but in the case of Wikipedia's Masculinism and Feminism entries it's A Whole New World. Other pages I found interesting: * horizonline's review/quotes from Baudolino * honeyfield's entry on womens' rights to abortion * meta's entry on Kids, Girls, and Communication tech * Bush's speech announcing John Roberts, or Bush addressing the National Boy Scout Jamboree (via danah boyd)

The Drawing Board/Zowie/Sketchbook Sessions artists did some great sketches for me and honeyfields. I don't know the proper way to refer to them: they were promoting drawingboard.org, an artist's bulletin board they use, as well as selling Zowie 2, an anthology of "Tiki Terror"-themed stories and art. Sketchbook Sessions is an LA-based subgroup that meets regularly to draw.

It's a little difficult to draw a line between this group and the Flight folks as Guenoden, Matte and Kazu have done work in both Zowie and Flight. Kazu discussed the competitive nature of these anthologies during the Flight panel. They are both mediated by the Web, with some contributors as far away as Singapore, and the artists are able to view each other's work posted online. Individual pages for Flight are posted as they are completed, causing some artists to scrap their existing story idea or redo completed pages in an attempt to one-up each other.

I like how both groups have coupled Web-based community, local community, and community-produced physical product, with each layer serving to improve the others. These aren't Web comics anymore than photos posted to Flickr are Web photos, but whatever label you want to apply to this Web-enabled community process, it produces beautiful and creative works.

Sketches: Rodolphe Guenoden, Keith Holven, Shane Corn/maizekid, Ed Reynolds

Rodolphe Guenoden Keith Holven Shane Corn Ed Reynolds

I picked up a copy of Zowie 2 (compiled by Ed Reynolds) and honeyfields, ln m, and I all picked up some of Rodolphe Guenoden's sketchbooks. Ed Reynold's sketch below is one of two he drew of honeyfields as we sat there and chatted -- mine is the first, the second is captioned, "Why does this guy keep drawing me?" honeyfields showed some of them her own drawings while I eavesdropped and got sketches.

Comic-Con: Drafting

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It was honeyfields who first pioneered the Comic-Con drafting technique, modelling it after the drafting technique used in road cycling. Both techniques attempt to conserve energy while maximizing your pace, but unlike road cycling, where drafting shields riders from the wind, indoors Comic-Con drafting shields riders from other people. The convention floor, especially on Saturday, is so crowded that your efforts to move to your next destination can quickly be brought to a halt by cross-traffic or people stopping to take photos of scantily clad women. A solo effort from aisle 400 to aisle 5000 can leave a rider unable to continue further and wastes valuable time.

Proper Comic-Con drafting technique requires getting in a line, with the person in front moving as quickly through the crowd as possible. If available, a strong poster tube can be held sideways by the lead rider to encourage other people to move aside; the poster tube can also be used as a blunt weapon. The other riders follow in the lead rider's wake -- it's important to stay very close and not let cross-traffic break your line. When the lead rider begins to slow from fatigue, the next rider in line moves to the front and continues the forward charge.

drafting sketch

Tour de Comic-Con: Thursday's Stage

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threadlessGood news for Team Uni today. honeyfields started in the yellow t-shirt jersey after her superb efforts in the CRAC. She continued her efforts today, picking up a variety of comics, Gagne's Odd Numbers, and a limited-edition painted version of Scott Morse's Little Book of Horrors.

  • sketches: honeyfields, ln m, "Mega-Calves" neverthere, and kwc all picked up sketches today, including ones from Ted Naifeh, Mike Norton, Michel Gagne, 'Gabe', Ryan Claytor, and Ken Steacy. kwc also got four mini sketches in his copy of Flight #2 by some of the many contributors, including Kazu.

  • schwag: kwc, honeyfields and ln m scored the coveted Lego mini schwag, taking three sets in an early morning attack. kwc attempted to score more points with later attacks, but was turned away. Team Uni scored five Adult Swim blank journals late in the day, so kwc will be wearing the green t-shirt for tomorrow's stage as he tries again to collect more Lego mini schwag.

parakkum went on an early breakaway to protect jamesq's spot in the DC and Disney artist portfolio reviews. Today was mostly jockeying for position in those classification: tomorrow will be the big day where jamesq will have to put the portfolio hammer down.

Team Uni morale continues to be high. A panel by Bruce Campbell kept everyone in stitches for an entire hour (a partial transcript of his remarks will be posted at a later date -- update: here are the notes). The full team of dlf, ylf, h.o.b., jamesqq, parakkum, ln m, honeyfields, kwc, "kitchen" neverthere, MC neverthere, and jay had dinner in the opulent backroom of Rama, ordering far more Thai food than could be called reasonable. Fun was had, though anytime h.o.b. mocked a Robert Jordan panel he attended, items on the table seemed to mysteriously fall over. The day ended with a meeting in the hotel to strategize for tomorrow's stage.

The Hollywood star power for Friday's stage has greatly increased from previous years. Warner Bros will be previewing Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire, V for Vendetta, The Fountain, and Corpse Bride, Disney will be previewing Cars and Chicken Little. The presence of Natalie Portman in the convention center will likely drive things into a frenzy that hitherto has not been seen on a Friday stage. Perhaps it will equal the madness seen for Sarah Michelle Gellar's appearance at last year's Saturday Stage. Team Uni will to ride carefully, perhaps going for some of the coveted Hollywood schwag, but they will have to avoid spending too much time in the long lines associated with these events.

Tour de Comic-Con: Prologue

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Team Uni made it through the first climb up the escalator to the registration booth in record time. The entire field was moving at a much faster pace than last year, which bodes well for this year's Tour.

The prologue stage was a quick circuit around the convention floor. There were no talks, movies, or other entertainment to worry about, so Team Uni focused on schwag and sketch points, as well as the extremely dangerous CRAC (Credit Ruining Accoutremounts Classification).

  • schwag: There weren't too many schwag points to be had on this stage. kwc attempted to go for bonus Lego Mini schwag that was hidden in a bag at the Star Wars booth, but they were too closely guarded. Now that they have been spotted, though, they should be easy takings in tomorrow's stage. The easiest schwag takings were dwarf mercenary DnD miniatures: parakkum and kwc both took two and ln m picked up another. No one on Team Uni plays DnD miniatures, but they have five dwarfs.

  • sketch: kwc got two sketches from Michel Gagne, but it was a bad day for honeyfields and ln m, who both forgot their sketchbooks. honeyfields plans an early assault tomorrow on Sakai and Gagne to get back into contention.

  • CRAC: The best showing for Team Uni today was in the CRAC. ln m and honeyfields tore through the Kinokuniya booth, purchasing two copies of the Art of Cowboy Bebop, as well as a Final Fantasy digital concepts book and a FLCL animation sketchbook. kwc added a set of Copic cool grey markers and Michel Gagne's Odd Numbers to the collection. Other teams spent a huge amount of time in line for mini Megatron statues and Han Solo busts, but Team Uni feels its nimble strategy focusing on more useful purchases will yield better results.

The nevertheres will be competing in all the stages contrary to earlier reports, which is a big boost to Team Uni morale. h.o.b. was spotted in the Viz booth but returned to his hotel room before this reporter could get comments.

Tour de Comic-Con: Team Roster

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Team Uni's roster for Tour de Comic-Con:

  • parakkum: Tour veteran. He's been doing this his whole life. If there were a comparable cyclist, it would be Viatcheslav Ekimov, who has finished all 13 of the Tour de Frances he has entered. There isn't a curve or a bend in the convention floor he doesn't know, and his knowledge of Tour history will keep the Team Uni in the right position for the right opportunities. He'll be looking to ride well for himself in the writer's competition, but he'll also using his veteran skills to help his teammates ride high in their classifications.
  • kwc: This is his third year riding with Team Uni and he'll again be looking to collect the schwag points jersey. The need to avoid all knowledge of the Other Tour will put a burden on his fellow teammates to keep him protected. Last year's effort was ruined by an inopportune radio snippet, "..Armstrong in yellow..." This year's strategy will be to place a teammate between kwc and all newstands, TVs, and anyone wearing yellow. It's a 946 mile course, but hopefully he'll be able to finish this year's Tour without any mishaps.
  • honeyfields: honeyfields possesses multiple skills that will be crucial in keeping the pace high in this year's Tour. Her uncanny knack of befriending fellow artists, even the geeky antisocial ones, should make it easy to get good sketches and her ability to find parking spaces quickly should shave off minutes from their overall time. She's a proven ally of kwc in the schwag points classification, so look for good performances there as well.
  • jamesq: Tour rookie and designated penciler, he is Team Uni's Popovych. parakkum will be trying to help jn to ride into a good place overall in the artist portfolio review competition. His inking style is bold, the form is clean, he should do well in his debut.
  • ln m: Tour gearhead and new member of Team Uni. His nose for sushi and complete collection of Apple-emblazoned gadgets should keep Team Uni in good spirits. His impressive collection of Asian cinema will also be important at the Kung-Fu Extravaganza.
  • h.o.b.: He's a last-minute entry, a Tour veteran that's been away from the sport for several years. He and parakkum used to ride together and hopefully he can quickly come into form. With him and parakkum riding together again Team Uni should be unstoppable. He's a hometown boy, so he'll be looking to impress.
  • dlf: Recently back from several years in Japan, he's another hometown boy who should return from foreign competition with an edge in the Tokyo Pop and other anime-related courses. As a veteran of the San Diego Comic-Con, he should be able to pull off an impressive run.
  • nevertheres and tooches: They'll only be competing in a couple stages, which should make their efforts even more frenzied and impressive. The tooches will be arriving with the Tour bus which will hopefully provide Team Uni with some much needed rest.

Movie: Madagascar

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honeyfields got us into a screening of Madagascar, Dreamwork's latest animated film. This is the first time I've seen a feature film where there was someone involved in the making (Rex Grignon, head of the character animation department) answering questions afterwards -- it was like having your own abridged post-commentary track there in the theater, without having to wait for the DVD.

Rex talked about how they wrote some new software for this film to try and make the CG rendering more cartoony -- i.e. unlike Shrek, where the characters had skeletons that followed natural laws, animators in this film were able to stretch, bend, and distort as needed in order to get more dynamic poses and motion. For example, if a character moved quickly, they could stretch out the hands/fingers and pop-out the eyes a bit to give a sense of faster motion.

Rex also mentioned some of the footage that ended up on the cutting room floor, a lot of which probably features Ali G's/Sascha Baron Cohen's improvs. Cohen's character Julian role was rewritten after the first recording session during which Cohen would turn a single line into an extended riff. One of these riffs, in which the Julian joyfully proclaims "spanking machines for everyone!" didn't make the cut; after a test screening with mothers and children: 1. The children found spanking machines frightening 2. The mothers didn't find hundreds of lemurs dancing to spanking machines entertaining either

As much as I enjoyed having this live commentary, though, Madagascar is not a good film. It seems that someone was aware that the story wasn't very good because nearly every shot has to have a gag; they are so afraid of people paying attention to the story that some gag has to be going on in the background, or some story-stopping movie reference has to be thrown in. Granted, many of these gags made me laugh and chuckle, but a good film has to know when not to tell a joke.

Katamari Damacy (Evil Cute III)

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honeyfields, ln m, and I teamed up to beat Katamari Damacy (actually, it was honeyfields who did most of the work, we just came in near the end). Unlike Grand Theft Auto, Katamari is family friendly because it makes horrific death and destruction of animals, people, and towns cute.

Bunnies on Stairs

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Stormy tends to get more of the photo-love because of her Evil (Dead) Tendencies, but just to show you that the rest of the bunny troupe are all equally cute (even when they're not being evil cute):

Bunny stairs Bunny stairs

more bunnies in the extended

Living in the SV

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Screw the O.C., this is the S.V.

UBERNRD

Update: this is the day for S.V. license plates. ln m spotted 3DSTUD and honeyfields spotted GOTMAYA. Also, back in the archives there's good ole KILLAOL.

Evil Dead Bunnies

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In a followup to my Evil Bunnies photo posting, I now present my dead-as-in-possum bunny photos, featuring histrionic Stormy. Rabbits don't appear to be capable of "slackness," so, when you turn them upside-down, their bodies have a rather rigor-mortis-like rigidity.

2005-03-05-001 057 2005-03-05-001 058

mac world, mac office, iLife

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I think I've discovered my mutant superpower. I've long pondered this after we discovered honeyfield's ability, which is the power to speak to anyone, including extreme geeks (artisty/gamer/programmer), for extended periods of time; hers is a very useful power to have at Comic-Con.

My power, depending on your allegiances, either qualifies me as a superhero or supervillain. Without saying what my power is specifically, I will present evidence rendered in crude infovis.

MacWorld (data you have provided in comments, as well as macs at work not in my immediate vicinity):

macworld.jpg

Mac Office ('k' = me):

macoffice.jpg

iLife (Macs that have had direct, frequent contact with me [metamanda, honeyfields, d, parakkum, ln m, pqbon]):

maclife

I think I'll make frequent trips to the Apple Store to see if I can focus my powers...

Animation festival

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Went to Shrunken Head Man's presentation of films from the Ottawa International Animation Festival. The first segment was best student films from 2003. The second segment was best professional films from 2004. Much fun, too tired to write much about it other than what's already here. I wish I had several of these on DVD, but for now I'll have to be satisified with the few clips I found online. I'm not going to write much about the ones I didn't like, except to mention that I think "Mr J. Russel" scarred both parakkum and honeyfields -- during another short, honeyfields muttured, "No, no more dogs," a bit louder than she intended, and a several rows laughed (probably because they shared the same fear).

Favorites that have clips online:

howtocopewithdeath_web.jpg

How to Cope with Death, Ignacio Ferreras: one of my favorites, featuring a confrontation between an old woman and Death. short excerpt is online (have to navigate to films->How to Cope with Death).

crabes.gif

La Revolution des Crabes, Arthur de Pins: a funny film about crabs that can only move from side-to-side, unable to turn (I saw political undertones, others did not). Update: just realized clip online doesn't have subtitles. Oh well.

ryan.jpg

Ryan (Chris Landreth): not quite a favorite, but visually interesting with an good human interest story (with an animation crossover). I personally was not a fan of the aesthetic.

Urinal.jpg

Proper Urinal Etiquette, Kurt Nellis: funny parody of classic education films dealing with the all important choice of urinal stall.

Pets, blog-style

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rabbit(this is mainly for honeyfields) "Blog Pet" is a little rabbit that sits in the sidebar of your blog. If the Japanese translation is anywhere near correct, it reads your daily entries and "learns" new words from them, which it then repeats back to you. It will also try to find articles related to your postings and even collects visitor statistics. Here is an adorable screenshot of the blog pet learning to say "Master!"

Blog Pet

Bunnicula

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honeyfields bunnies are evil! EVIL!

01-24-05.bunnicula-1.jpg

more evil bunnies in the extended entry

Meet the Feebles

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More fun with the Yahoo! Japan avatar tool as well as some previous avatars to round out the set.

me (forgot this the first time around):
kwc

redchilipepper:
rcp

d (who claims this is far too girly):
devon

honeyfields in work mode and winter mode (she is now using the avatar tool to choose future haircuts):
honeyfields honeyfields

parakkum (with the only semi-anglo face available):
parakkum

metamanda (oldie but goodie):
meta

Kenji and Justin did their own:
kenji justin

The almighty water filter

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honeyfields has this PUR water filter on her sink that lets you switch between unfiltered (dirty) water and filtered "PUR" water. If you leave the switch in the normal position you get the unfiltered water pouring out. If you twist the switch, the water gets redirected into this filter and comes out "PUR" out of another spigot.

I got to thinking that if I ever have kids, I would use the filtered faucet to teach them all about morality. When they were really young, I would explain that there's good water and there's bad water, and it takes more work to make good water, but people like good water more and they live longer drinking it; the bad water might taste more interesting, but then you'll end up sick and dying of weird diseases.

When they get a little older and start reading comic books, I'll then use the faucet to explain different models of morality. There's the Lord of the Rings model, where you either flip the switch one way and have good water or flip the switch the other way and have bad water. Then there's the Spiderman model, where you can mix the good water and the bad water by sliding the switch only partway, but the good and bad water come out of separate spigots and don't mix. And finally there's the Wolverine model, where the good and the bad water mix together and come out of one spigot.

When they're even older and are trying to work on their math homework, I'll use it to teach them the difference between discrete and continuous math...

My hypothetical kids will have issues...

Retail

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Bought a lot of stuff Saturday while hanging out w/ zealot in the city. There were the typical purchases (unread book count now at 58, some more DVDs for the movie list), but the real prize was a set of post-it notes with comic book characters on them. Each post-it has a picture of a superhero with an empty speech balloon that you can write the note in. Don't be surprised if your belongings get attacked by a band of superheroes speaking in my handwriting.

Other weekend highlights: Iron Giant/Eternal Sunshine at honeyfields, crepes with rcp, Presidential Debates spiced up w/ Daily Show footage

E-mail me if you want divx copies of recent Daily Show episodes, or of Stewart's infamous appearance on O'Reilly Factor.

Don't F#$! with honeyfields

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movie stillJoey arranged a little shooting trip for us, which was a whole lot of fun. I haven't shot since I took the Pistol PE class in college, and I've never been able to shoot that many different firearms. There were a couple shotguns, a .44 magnum, a Desert Eagle, a Glock .40, various .22 revolvers, a Sig P226, and some other guns that I'm not gun-savvy enough to remember. The P226 was the best balance of accuracy/power of the guns I shot, though I thought the Glock .40 felt better because the grip on the P226 was a bit small for my hands. The Desert Eagle and .44 Magnum were pure entertainment.

One of the more entertaining aspects of the evening was watching honeyfields holds guns that grossly outsize her. If you're in need of entertainment, be sure to check out the video of her shooting the shotgun (click on photo above, ~5MB). You can see the range instructor come in and out of frame as he tries to position himself to catch her in case she flies backwards. There's a another clip I have of her after her first shot with the shotgun when the range instructor asks her if she wants to shoot some more and she's holding back this grin. You can e-mail me if you want the URL of that one as well as some other photos.

You can checkout photos of my target in the extended entry. It's not very interesting -- we only got one target so I had to shoot to use the whole target. I aimed at the center, left 7, right 8, top 8, and bottom 8 for the most part. We were rotating guns so we didn't get to adjust the sights, but beyond 20 feet my groupings sucked anyways and I couldn't see where I was hitting on the blue target.

Our sentiments exactly

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iMac comic

ln m, honeyfields, pqbon, and I got into a long discussion over the aesthetics of the new iMac (with some Powerbook tangents). This comic succinctly summarizes much of our 30 minutes of conversation, right down to the post-it notes.

I would also like to add that IMHO, it looks like the iMac got hit with the stupid stick (I'm sure Jay Leno likes it). I also boldly assert that this is the least user friendly computer design manufactured by any company (including PCs) in the past five years (no easily accessible USB ports, headphone jacks, or power button -- in fact, everything is equally inaccessible).

Any other praise/not-praise?

Cellphone shopping

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Not for myself, as AT&T can't seem to drop the price on the Nokia 6820 that I want to upgrade to (I have the 6800). Honeyfields was looking for a new Cingular phone, so I had to entertain myself as she browsed through the demo models.

My entertainment, repeated at two different booths, went as follows: * begin playing with my cellphone, tossing/twisting/bouncing it around * let the cellphone drop and hit the floor * watch horrified looks of mall-goers walking buy (usually someone will say something like, "looks like he needs a new phone") * turn towards Cingular salesperson, make some point about the phone being really tough, showing him how its still working. * intentionally drop cellphone directly in front of salesmen, letting it break into about four different pieces (phone, battery, battery cover, sim card) * observe the truly horrified look of the salesperson

I scared one salesman enough that he started comforting his anthropomorphic cellphone (kinda how you might pet/comfort a bunny), going as far to get out his cellphone case and put his cellphone back in it, as if to protect it from my doberman cellphone.

Comic-Con Quotations

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Ted Naifeh (approximate quotation):

I thought life would take me many places, but I never thought I'd draw a three-breasted woman

honeyfields seemed to like this one, which I gave in reference to the numerous, inexplicably long lines for collectible, expensive, merchandise:

A fool and his money should be parted swiftly, not slowly and painfully

Sarah Michelle Gellar, most popular excuse she gave for why she had never been to Comic-Con before:

There's not enough merchandise with my damn face on it

Comic-Con Summary and Advice

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First off, I must give my thanks to honeyfields and parakkum; without both of their unique skills Comic-Con would have been an impossibly overwhelming experience rather than the manageably overwhelming experience it has been the past two years. parakkum served as the war-hardened veteran with the encyclopedic knowledge of all things comics. Who's where, what's cool, where's this were all questions I repeatedly asked and had answered. Honeyfields served as the charmer: she'd approach the booth first and strike up a long conversation with the artist/author, by the end of which we'd both have great sketches (though usually hers are a bit better :) ).

Now that I have completed my second trip, our game plan has been further tested, implemented, and tweaked. This game plan pretty much summarizes how I spent everyday at the con, and it worked fairly well for me. I offer this as advice to all those who plan to attend future Comic-Cons.

Samurai

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samurai

parakkum, m, and honeyfields are coming over tonight for some RoboRally/LotR RISK madness, but I may have found a game for our next game night: Samurai. You get ten free games before you have to pay $20, and it comes with single player, multi-player, and multi-player networked play modes.

Movie: Musa

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MusaIMDB users think that Musa is fantastic, but personally I thought this movie sucks. It's probably also fair to say that parakkum, honeyfields, and meta all thought it sucked as well. I picked this up in Chinatown with the help of rcp (who complained about not wanting to have to watch a movie with Chinese subtitles :) ) and I expected big things from a $60M war epic -- Hero was good, right?

Musa is a Korean war epic that takes place in China, where the band of Korean warriors struggle the make it safely back home. Along the way it manages to become a protect-the-princess flick, and then after that a confused mish-mash of other epics, like Seven Samurai. There's also probably more blood and dismemberings in this film than Kill Bill Vol. 1.

Instead of defining itself as an epic with its own character, Musa instead felt like a bunch of other epic movies edited together with Asian actors substituted in. The flow of the story is disruptive, the characters inconsistent, and suspension of disbelief becomes difficult when the character motivations are so thin.

As I mentioned at the start, though, apparently other people liked this movie, so if you want to borrow it from me, feel free; I don't think I'll be watching it again soon ;).

Kona Shores

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honeyfields, meta, and I stumbled upon Kona Shores, which sells Lappert's Ice Cream in the Haight. The store is only three months old, but honeyfields knows the owner from a store he used to own in North Berkeley. I haven't had Lappert's since I was in Maui for meta's marathon, and the Kona Shores owner mixed me up a nice combination of Maui Mango ice cream, strawberries, and mandarin oranges on a cold slab that was pretty yummy. I liked it better than the ice cream I got at Cold Stone Creamery, which was a little too heavy for my tastes. So if you've had a hankering for Hawaiian ice cream and haven't found any in San Francisco, or you want free wireless Internet access, you can check it out (at the corner of Masonic and Haight).

Internet blackout

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Aside from being out and about all weekend (you can read honeyfield's watching horses and Napa bike riding blog entries for more info), I had no Internet connectivity at work yesterday. The msblast worm apparently said "all your base are belong to us" and our network agreed. Perhaps this was all a result of my jealousy at the NY blackout. I mean, if the East Coast can get a day off due to power outages, why shouldn't California? Didn't we start that whole concept?

Comic-Con: Bendis, Oeming, Mack

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The Image booth was one of the first booth's I visited. Bendis, Oeming and Mack were all there. Bendis did a really funny drawing for pqbon, and honeyfields managed to talk to Oeming for so long (~30min+) that he broke out the brush and did a really cool Batman for her (I believe her request was for something "bad ass").

I didn't get a chance to talk to Mack until much later in the convention. We briefly chatted about his Alias covers (which I really like), and he ended up handing me a generous stack of his Kabuki works for free. I'm looking forward to reading the Kabuki works, because with the Alias covers at least, I've found his artwork to be a good transition from real world into the story itself. Also, unlike most comic books that feel like they take place in complete fantasy, his mixed media style makes you feel like you're in a slightly altered universe, only different enough to allow a fantastical story to take place.