Webcomic of the Week – CASSIOPEIA QUINN

wotwcardHey everypeoples, it’s Wednesday and time for a new webcomic! While I normally like to binge on long-runners, I’m going to mix it up a bit with a comic that hasn’t been around too long, but is too darn entertaining not to talk about.

This week’s choice is Cassiopeia Quinn, written by Gunwild and drawn by Psudonym, members of the Hiveworks network. It follows the adventures of the titular character, a flighty thief with a heart of gold as she travels the intergalactic spaceways with her robotic cowboy companion Zeke in search of the next big score. But relentlessly pursuing the daring space pirate duo is Captain Madison Vrax of the Prime Galactic Navy, a young blue-skinned officer with a head for order who often ends up the victim of a humiliating defeat. This does nothing to deter Vrax, who considers capturing Peia and bringing her to justice a point of personal pride as well as her duty.

No matter what goes on in Cassiopeia Quinn, there is something on every page that will make you react anywhere between a smile and an outright laugh, whether it’s a funny punchline, a ludicrous plan gone horribly right, or even just a tiny quirk in the art. The characters are incredibly endearing, especially Ms. Quinn herself; Peia enjoys her work for the adventures it brings, and she generally goes about enjoying it with no pants. Rather than outright sexualizing this particular trait, (although it is known to happen) Peia’s hatred of pants is often played for laughs and establishes her carefree attitude in stark contrast to Vrax’s strict, law-abiding code. Vrax sees Peia not just as an outlaw to be hunted, but also as someone she’d want to put in prison for being really, really, REALLY inappropriate and annoying. Though it’s hard to argue with that logic when someone escapes you by piloting an alien spacecraft with her butt…

Cassiopeia Quinn is a webcomic I appreciate when I need a pick-me-up; whether I read through the hilarity of the story, or just check out the gorgeous artwork, I always enjoy myself. The comic recently celebrated its one year anniversary, meaning the archives aren’t too extensive, so take the afternoon off and be entertained.

That’s all for this week, go check out Cassiopeia Quinn and show some love to the creators, and don’t forget to leave your suggestions for other webcomics in the comments.

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 15/08/25

botdcardGood evening everypeoples, if anyone is actually bothering to read these and my traffic figures are lying to me…

Going to keep this one short and sweet. This past week has been rather hectic, all of our college projects are starting to come to a head for the last push of the semester. We’re making 3D facial expressions, analyzing films and storyboarding all concurrently, and it’s rather sapped up all my energy. You may have noticed the lack of comic updates, but fortunately I have finally managed to come up for a bit of air, and will be able to continue with Elements of Eve on Thursday.

On the leisure side, I finally got round to watching Terminator: Genisys. Ridiculous name aside, it was a surprisingly good film, and a surprisingly good Terminator film to boot. Having not seen Terminator: Salvation, I didn’t know how to predict the quality of this one, but often going into something with no expectations is best because you’ve got nothing to lose.

Other than that, not much else to say about this week, I’m going back to playing puzzle games while I wait for my housemate to get back from Australia; thank goodness I don’t have to spend another night alone with three brat cats trying to establish dominance.

Ciao for now.

Sketchbook Saturday – 15/08/22

sketchcardEvening everypeoples, hope your weekend has been off to a good start. Mine was at least halfway productive, and after yesterday it felt really good not to have to get up before the sun did.

As I’m sure you can tell from the above statement, not to mention the lack of Elements of Eve updates this week, I have been utterly swamped with college work that is pulling all of my energy away like a black hole. But fortunately, all the energy I put into my sketchbooks did its job years ago, so that makes these updates relatively painless.

This week’s sketches are from a couple of years ago as part of a talent search contest held by Top Cow Comics. The submissions had to consist of eight pages drawn according to one of their older scripts. I never managed to finish my submission in time, but I still had fun with it; the sketches below are my attempts to nail down the looks of Top Cow’s characters while still keeping an element of my own style.

As always, these sketches will be in the gallery section along with all the previous weeks’ uploads.

Ciao for now.

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Webcomic of the Week – KIWI BLITZ

wotwcardHey everypeoples, it is the middle of the week and time for a new webcomic. I’ll confess, I’m going to cheat a little with this one because I didn’t have time to binge through anything this weekend, so I’m going with one of the webcomics I’ve been reading for a while. No judging, this one has an extensive archive, plus I’ll be throwing in a few extra recommendations at the end.

With that out of the way, this week’s webcomic is Kiwi Blitz, by Mary “Cube Watermelon” Cagle. Set in a futuristic sci-fi version of New York City, the story follows Steffi Frohlich, a 14-year-old girl with a passion for battling giant robots and far too much time on her hands. While initially satisfied with dueling other mechs in the arena, Steffi takes her piloting skills to the next level when she receives her birthday present: Kiwibot, which is exactly what it sounds like i.e. a giant mechanical kiwi bird. Fed up with being confined to the junior Robot League, Steffi adopts the moniker of “Blitz” and takes her new mecha out onto the streets to fight crime as a superheroine. To aid in her daring-do is Ben (short for Benzene) who is totally not her boyfriend (surreptitious wink) and the cute yet incredibly creepy robot girl 42 (yes, that’s the only name she has). Along the way, Steffi encounters a variety of foes such as master burglar The Raccoon, the psychotic cyborg girl Gear, and a shady group called Alter who have their own conspiracy within the police force…

Kiwi Blitz is another comic where I have to gush a little about the artwork. It’s heavily inspired by anime and manga style, but is drawn with a cutesy charm and vibrant colours that make it truly unique. Even the most badass of characters have an almost huggable look about them, which provides a sharp contrast to many of the things they are capable of (watch out for flying limbs, yikes…). It also manages to be incredibly detailed without overwhelming the eye, something I’ve always had trouble with and envy. Add to this the range of stylized facial expressions taken right out of a Saturday morning anime and it’s practically begging to be an animated series, which I would watch religiously, by the way. Art aside, the characters are fun and have great chemistry; Steffi is headstrong and reckless, taking to the role of a superhero with gusto, even though she doesn’t really think the whole process through. Once Ben gets wise to her activities as Blitz, he helps to be her voice of reason and mission control, and their friendship grows stronger for it.

Kiwi Blitz has just recently started its 20th chapter and has been running for more than 400 pages, so take a day out of your busy schedule and dive in. And while you’re at it, Mary Cagle has two other webcomics running as well: Let’s Speak English, an autobiographical Yonkoma strip about her life as an English teacher in Japan, and Sleepless Domain, a recent collaboration with artist Oskar Vega starring a team of Magical Girls!

That’s all for this week, go check out Kiwi Blitz and the Cube Watermelon’s other projects, she’s a fantastic writer and all-round nice person so show her some love, and don’t forget to leave suggestions for future comic recommendations in the comments.

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 15/08/18

botdcardHey everypeoples, Tuesday again, so allow me to start rambling.

You may have noticed there was no Elements of Eve update yesterday (assuming you read both my comic and my blog), due to me being utterly destroyed by the weekend. Before anyone jumps to conclusions, the craziest thing I did was play a really intense game of Magic: The Gathering; I even almost won, so that was a good feeling. But I had a hard time sleeping both Saturday and Sunday, so I spent yesterday feeling like I’d been splattered by a bus and had to go to college on top of that. I actually find that I enjoy college work; I’m learning lots of new things, I get to experiment with new tools and it’s all linked to stuff I have an interest in. If there’s only one thing I find wrong with it, it’s the work environment…

I’m not going to say that no-one in my class does any work; there are some good students that make the most of their time, and everyone has their own talents and specialisations that allow them to turn out fantastic stuff. What I don’t have patience for are the ones who never pay attention, the ones who repeatedly fall asleep during the lesson, or the ones who insult and disrespect the lecturer when they leave the room. Surely if someone comes to an animation college and wants to learn about the field that could be their future career, they would want to put in the effort. Every time I look over and see one of these people holding up the class and slowing down the lesson because they can’t be bothered to stay focused, it really pisses me off. Granted, this is not my problem (I feel for our lecturer though, she gets just as pissed), but the negative attitude makes for a poor work environment, which is a shame because I tend to get more work done when I’m at college and not distracted by my bed like when I’m at home. There are some days when I pray to Leeroy Jethro Gibbs, the patron saint of head-slapping, for the chance to smack some people upside the head and tell them to get back in the game; we have been given the chance to learn some amazing things, why waste it? Unfortunately, we’re dealing with college students here, and naturally the opinions of other people don’t matter, so all I can do is keep my head down and my mouth shut, and try to do my best with what I have. I don’t care how hypocritical I sound (being a college student and prone to the occasional bout of laziness), I was given an opportunity and I want to make the most of it.

Okay, angry rant over, I just needed that off my chest. I’m going to go back to watching Avatar: The Last Airbender; I’ve been rewatching the whole series while I work at home and I’m nearly done with season 2. I have yet to find another modern cartoon that can compare with this kind of storytelling, the emotional connections one can make with these characters is so powerful. Have a good night everybody.

Ciao for now.

Sketchbook Saturday – 15/08/15

sketchcardA very late good evening to you all, everypeoples. I would have been uploading earlier, but a double bill of Divergent films and the most intense game of Magic: The Gathering I’ve played in a long time kept me rather distracted.

It is still technically Saturday though, so here’s three more sketches to add to the collection. This is a rather random assortment with varying degrees of interesting-ness, I just pulled them out of the folder and threw them in the scanner.

As always, these will be in the gallery on the portfolio tab along with the rest, so go check them out there to see their full descriptions, and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Ciao for now.

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Webcomic of the Week – DEMON HUNTER KAIN

wotwcardHappy Wednesday everybody, if you are the sort of person who holds a special place in your heart for the middle of the week. The true significance of it to me is simply to refer you all to a newly discovered webcomic. Going to slap a warning on you right now: this week’s webcomic contains scenes with violence, gore, disturbing twisted monstrosities and strong language. Mature readers only, folks!

This comic with a disturbingly diverse range of deviance is Demon Hunter Kain, by Burrell Gill Jr. It follows the story of two characters: Zandalee, a high school student plagued by terrifying hallucinations despite her medication, and the titular Kain, a boy with a tragic past and the power to battle demonic invaders. Match made in heaven, right? The scene is set with Zandalee attending her first real day of school in four years, having spent the intervening time hospitalised and medicated for her schizophrenic visions. It isn’t long before she starts seeing things lurking around her school, and her less-than-subtle reactions to them immediately brand her as weird and disturbed. But when the supposed hallucinations start attacking her, only the intervention of Kain saves Zandalee’s life, and helps her understand that she isn’t insane.

The first thing I really want to praise regarding Demon Hunter Kain is the artwork. For a story as dark as this, one could easily have done it as a stark, dramatic, tonal piece with plenty of shadows. On the contrary, the pages are fully coloured in a western-manga style, allowing the reader to see every horrific detail of the gruesome abominations that Kain fights, and the intense emotion on the characters’ faces. Gill Jr. has a flair for the monstrous, and while the demons never reach a Clive Barker level of horrific, they will easily make your face crumple in disgust. The human characters are equally well designed, everyone has a distinct look that is recognisable at a glance. The two leads both have tragic backstories that feed into their current lives; Kain’s guilt over past mistakes and his relative inexperience with demon hunting make him driven to prove himself to his superiors, while Zandalee seeks to learn more about why she is able to see things no-one else can and, for the first time in her life, have a real friend.

Demon Hunter Kain was initially a title I found on a list of webcomics that I thought sounded just corny enough to be good, and I was right, albeit for the wrong reasons. What I thought would be an over-the-top, angsty drama turned out to be an intense, character-driven urban fantasy that I am thoroughly enjoying. The comic updates on Mondays and has archives dating back to 2011, so set aside a few hours and prepare your stomach; it’s a wild ride.

That’s all for this week, go check out Demon Hunter Kain right here, and if you can recommend any webcomics for me to binge and review, let me know in the comments.

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 15/08/11

botdcardGood evening everypeoples, Tuesday night again, and time for me to talk about stuff that’s been happening… even when nothing is happening.

We’ve just come out of a long weekend, which is a phenomenon that I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with. On the one hand, it’s three days off, uninterrupted and relaxing to allow one to get their head clear. On the other hand, it’s also a convenient excuse to get nothing done. It’s something that I’ve always been very guilty of, but for all my intentions to use this kind of free time to be productive, I tend to fall back on procrastination. Obviously, if a deadline is looming and I have no time to waste, then I will work my ass off to get my work done, but if there’s no immediate hurry, then I get lazy. This is especially a problem when I’ve had a busy week (which is every week, near enough) and my brain is a convoluted mess that keeps firing off random ideas even though I’m exhausted and trying to sleep; I use my down-time to slow my brain down so that it’ll give me peace and quiet. In the process of trying to make my brain shut up, I lose track of time and miss out on getting work done. I’m not proud of it, consider this a confession of sorts, though if you know me well enough already then this is old news.

However, as a storyteller (even a mostly-unrecognised one), a lot of my personal distractions tend to involve some kind of story-building element. If I’m reading something, it’ll likely be an article on character development or defining how effectively a plot twist can work in certain situations. If I’m playing something, it’ll usually be a game with a good plot, or at least have a situation that I can project my own personal idea for a plot onto; have you ever stopped to think just what the story is behind the randomly named and generated special ops sniper you just sent to blow an alien’s head off? Or if I’m watching something, it’ll be a show (or more likely, a cartoon) with characters that I can easily identify and follow; I’ve been watching a lot of teen comedy anime lately, and I wish my high school days had been half as hilarious as some of these…

One particular thing I often find myself turning on to kill time, is a panel done by one of my favourite webcomic writers, Micheal “Mookie” Terraciano. The creator of Dominic Deegan and writer of Star Power, he has done a panel on the convention circuit called Writing Unique Heroes and Memorable Villains. Mookie describes it as not being a be-all and end-all way to write characters, but he does provide some very insightful thoughts into how we as creators can craft stories that we as readers find meaningful to us. There are a couple of recordings of this panel on YouTube, the most complete and comprehensive one being here; I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to make their writing a little more quirky and interesting.

That’s all for this week, maybe by the next one I’ll have actually done something.

Ciao for now.