Posts Tagged ‘blog’

Salutations

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Hi. Welcome to the comic. Just a heads up that things are likely to be slow and awkward at first, as it’s our first time doing anything like this. When we started doing conventions to sell amigurumi, we had no idea that a webcomic would be a destination we’d arrive at.  That said, we’re glad to be here.

There are a load of people I’d need to thank for getting me to this point, and I’ll do that at some point down the line when there are actual readers. For now, I’ll simply say that I’m very thrilled to be on this ride, and I hope to provide fun content for anybody drifting over here from wherever.

So, Why A Webcomic? -Part I-

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

It’s a complicated story, really, and spans more than a decade. It all started when I met amu. She was this fantasic girl whose hands were built to create. Her art was amazing to me. She was studying fashion design at the time and her style back then was this precise merging of fashion sketches and an alalgalm of her influences at the time.

You could see Gorey, Burton and Addams filling their respective textures and detail inside a clothes designer’s linework. It was fantastic and entrancing, and I told her she should be doing comics. She brushed it aside, claiming that her style was too similar to that of her influences, and maintained a fear that people would criticize her for being a copycat. This was a really crap excuse, mind you, but it kept her from wanting to embrace the idea.

I began doing research on putting together a comic strip, positive that I could convince her should I present enough data to support what at this point had become my begging her to do one. In a stroke of random luck, I managed to find Curtis creator Ray Billingsley on AOL and he was polite enough to chat with a stranger about starting a comic strip. I regretfully cannot remember what he told me, but I do remember that the next day I managed to convince amu to start a comic strip with me.

Together we created a story, she drew up character designs and I scripted the first few strips. Right then, things already started to die. During the creation process we both somehow got distracted. The art was too time consuming to do for what would likely be little to no payoff. We were going to do this for fun, but it immediately became work.

I kept writing and developing the story in bits and pieces on my own, but it was a lost cause. We both moved on to different hobbies and interests and the spark faded to a single, microscopic ember. Anime, and all things Japanese swept our collective attention span and we embraced a swiftly evolving internet culture. A comic was the last thing on our mind. But was it really?

Stay tuned for Part II when I explain exactly how it is we got here today.

Holiday Faux Pas!

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Faux Pas

Happy Halloween everybody! I know we just started this journey a couple of days ago, but we wanted to be sure and wish anyone stopping by a great day. Enjoy yourselves out there tonight, and eat some candy for us!

Big Pimpin’!

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

The world of webcomics is a small one. Most people insane enough to get into it tend to know each other, and if they don’t they likely will. As I’m learning, this small world is also astronomically supportive when someone dares to be crazy enough, or lacks the mental faculties to otherwise resist temptations to enter into it. Two of the people who influenced me the most to get into webcomics have, during the course of this comic JUST getting started, retired one webcomic and started another one.

Nick and Marty, the creators of Dead of Summer, have moved on to their next big project. I’d like anybody stopping by to go ahead and check out Art Fight High School, a new webcomic by two of the people responsible for why I’m doing this little thing here. The comic updates on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so check it out often so you don’t miss out on all the awesome.

So, Why A Webcomic -Part 2-

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

Last week I told you about how a decade ago, amu and I first entertained a thought of doing a comic. What I didn’t mention is how this ties into webcomics. At the time neither of us knew that webcomics existed. Granted, this was 10 or 11 years ago, and our interests were very different back then when compared with today. The internet DID come into the equation though, even if not in a traditional webcomics fashion.

When pitching the idea to amu, I mentioned that while we would have difficulty nabbing a published strip right off the bat we might be able to increase awareness of it by plopping the images online. Back then I was doing tech support for a local ISP, and subsequently got free, legitimate webspace. The plan was to grab a domain and plop the images up when they were available. I’d share the site with industry folk and then profit, right? Having given up before we started, that wasn’t a possibility.

While I do lament that we didn’t get quite so far as to test out my plan, I’m very glad that things have happened as they did to put us in a much better place with a much better perspective. So what did we do during the decade long distraction and hiatus? We consumed. We became one with our interests and hobbies, and were introduced to new interests and hobbies. We started going to conventions and talking to new people. We slowly, very gradually learned all of the things that would bring us to this point.

Speaking specifically on hobbies, amu turned to knitting. She picked it back up after a dipping into a lull years prior, when she’d put down the knitting needles in her youth. Finding solace in the yarn, and being aware of knitting trends in Japan at the time, she took to amigurumi naturally. It became an obsession. She’d spend hours trying to manipulate giant balls of yarn into tiny little creatures. It’s really astounding what’s possible with just some yarn, a hook, and your imagination.

Amu then began creating characters that she sold at conventions, mainly in cellphone charm form. That first convention we noticed that a fan item she started working on at the table was generating more interest than the things she brought with her to sell. We took commissions and a fever was born. We loved selling at cons. The other side of the table was too big a draw. Our one consistent problem was that the fan items still sold more than the original creations.

How does this tie into doing webcomics? Well there’s a Part 3, you see. Tune in to hear how the tale ends and how I got involved in turning amu’s hobby into a comic.

A Different Amigurumi World

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Amigurumi Discworld view 2

I confess to not being very well read on Terry Pratchett. In a geek’s world, this is tantamount to blasphemy, but I have at least become familiar with his humor via the requisite Good Omens, which he co-wrote with Neil Gaiman. Just last week I reminded myself that it’s been a good long time, years in fact, since I’ve sat down and had a good read. The book I picked was Pratchett’s Feet of Clay, a book in his Discworld series I’d obtained quite by accident about 8 or 9 years ago as a result of not sending the card back to one of those hardcover book clubs I belonged to at the time.

They sent the book and a bill and on the shelf it sat until last week. I picked it up in my attempt to trick myself into reading again by diving into something different and surprising. I got through about 14 pages before I got very sleepy. Not the book’s fault, as this epiphany that I should start reading again struck me well after midnight. It got lost in a pile, and distracted with other things I completely forgot about it.

Last night, brainstorming for some ideas on how to bring some regular content along to this show, I remembered what I used to do when stuck for content–scour Etsy and Flickr. The things you stumble into at either of these places is often very unique, interesting, and in this case prescient and inspiring. I ripped through stacks and piles to find the book I’d started just a week ago and set it with my bag to take to work today.

On the bus and subway I read and am thrilled to have had that little jolt to my memory. Good Omens was very clever, and very british. It was sometimes outlandish, but that isn’t necessarily uncharacteristic of Gaiman alone. I’m getting a feel for how irreverent, whimsical and absurd Pratchett’s work can be. I have to admit that I like it. I like it a lot.

Photo Phriday 1

Friday, November 14th, 2008

Today I think I’ll start a new feature to keep the non comic related updates consistent. Every Friday I’ll post a photo I’ve taken of some of amu’s amigurumi. This is more or less strictly to keep me taking photos, which I’ve been neglecting to do lately if it isn’t related to the comic. Granted, this is a rather old photo, but then again I just thought this morning to do a feature like this. Phuture Phridays will see me creating new photos each week, hopefully displaying noticeable improvements in my grasp of photography as the weeks go on. For now, on to the very phirst Photo Phriday!

There ain't no party like a Ninja partay! Hay! Ho!

There ain't no party like a ninja partay! Hay! Ho!

Howdy Systemics

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Welcome to anyone coming in from The System. This show’s just gotten started, and the next comic posts Wednesday at 9am eastern. It occurs to me that any visitors coming here via the guest comic find me in the middle of what’s somewhat a downer. Have no fear, for things pick up next week with the silly again when we introduce some new characters.

Come back on Fridays for what I’m hoping will be creative photos of amu’s amigurumi, and keep your eyes peeled for updates on when you may be able to pick up your very own Ninja doll. We hope you continue to check out the comic in the future, and also that you enjoy yourself as you do so.  Thanks for stopping by.

Ninja Mail

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Ninjas have attacked the e-mail

Here at Amu’s World we can’t get enough of Ninja. There’s hardly enough Ninja in the world. That’s why when Google launched Gmail Themes today, we were pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of a Ninja theme. If you’ve got Gmail (which, really, you should) then change your theme and MAKE IT NINJA!

Photo Phriday 2

Friday, November 21st, 2008

It’s the end of the week and thus time for another Photo Phriday. As it turns out, my short-term memory is a thing of useless complexity. You see, I somehow managed to forget about it until just now. The intention was to set up a super neato shot sometime during the week to keep up the old photography learnin’. Seems I had other things on the brain (I’m lookin’ at YOU new XBOX 360 Experience!)

What happens now is that I post yet another OLD photo, with promises to make next week’s a brand new one that’s better thought out. We can dream, yes?

Ultragurumi swoops in to same somebody's day. Probably some kid or another.

Ultragurumi swoops in to same somebody's day. Probably some kid or another.