Production Update 87

Finished up all of my freelance work this past week, and decided to take the weekend off from the computer. Mostly brought on by the fact one of my websites went down and I needed a break from the screen.

The nice weather was a good time to get out and explore some of the hiking trails by my apartment. I also decided to finish up watching Kids on the Slope, so I will have a review of that up soon. This past week I got notification that the local animation group I want to start will have it’s first meet up in early May. It will be a group for artists to share tips, techniques and learn new software. The downed website is also back up as well.

March has been pretty spotty for getting work done, but the freelance work is needed to keep the project funded for now. I sent other scenes to my audio person who will be working on those.

Recent Reading: The Flowers of Evil Volume 8

I have made it 8 volumes into The Flowers of Evil series, and I must say, it is easily one of my favorite titles in a long time. The character development has been very intriguing. However, when we left the story in volume 7, we were introduced to a new cast of characters for Kasuga to interact with.

I will admit that volume 7 left me a little curious with what direction the story was going to go, volume 8 didn’t disappoint. A new character is introduced, Koji, who is Tokiwa’s boyfriend. Tokiwa introduces Kasuga and Koji outside her house. You can catch a glimpse of a jealous side to Koji as the characters begin to talk and get acquainted. The characters decide to go and hangout; Kasuga reluctantly.

Tokiwa, Koji and Kasuga meet up with other characters in a shack and have a discussion. As the conversation progresses, it shifts more towards getting answers from Kasuga about personal topics. Tokiwa comes to rescue Kasuga and ends the conversation.

Following the events of the group hangout, Kasuga and Tokiwa decide to go out and talk about books and writing. Kasuga is enamored with Tokiwa’s writing and urges her to finish her story. While leaving the area, Kasuga runs into a person from his past Saeki. We learn that it has been three years since the events in the first 6 volumes. Saeki and Kasuga meet up at the end of the volume and talk. The topic of their discussion really sets up volume 9 and has me totally sucked in again, which is out in April.

Production Update 86

This past week was one of those weeks that you wish you could forget. It started on Monday morning when my car had a flat tire and the rest of the week followed suit. Seemingly, every once and a while you just have one of those weeks. Some of the projects I have been working on have hit a couple unanticipated snags and are slightly delayed.

While this past week has been a little rough I am optimistic that Monday can provide a fresh start and the projects can be wrapped up so Cosmic Rage can get more attention. I have a small list of tweaks and edits for a few shots before I finish up another scene. Here is to turning things around 🙂

Recent Reading: The Flowers of Evil Volume 7

The previous volume left our characters, Nakamura and Kasuga, on their way to the summer festival to unleash their plan on the city. We see how dark their actual plan is as it starts to unfold. However, not all goes according to plan.

There is a little bit of a time jump in the story that moves us forward to Kasuga’s new home in Saitama. Kasuga’s family left the countryside after the events of the plan and Kasuga started at a new school. he has no idea where Nakamura is as well, since she also left the countryside. Kasuga is left struggling to deal with the unknown whereabouts of his friend.

Kasuga struggles to assimilate into his new life. That is, until he is invited to an after school event by some of his fellow classmates, both boys and girls. Kasuga opens up a little but we know he still misses his former comrade, Nakamura.

While walking home, Kasuga stumbles across a bookstore and runs into one of the karaoke classmates. They start to talk over books and Kasuga starts to appear happy again. The volume wraps up with each of them suggesting books to one another and sharing titles.

Volume 7 was a little bit of a transitional volume which left some things to be desired. We wrapped up the first arc and moved to a new location with lots of new characters that we need to leaner more about. To be honest, I was a little bummed that we no longer get to see the characters that we watched grow over the previous 6 volumes. However, volume 7 does end with a very interesting twist that has me very eager to read volume 8!

Production Update 85

Another week is in the books. It’s been a busy week with some freelance work, but things should be calming down in the next few days so I can get back to work on Cosmic Rage. While I haven’t gotten any animation work done this past week, I was able to get a lot of things set up for the future.

I have found an audio effects artist to do the audio work on the project, freeing me up for more artwork. I was able to finally start filling up some of the large marker boards I picked up as I start to work forward in the story. My notebook of plot lines and arcs is now filling up a marker board, the reason for this is it allows me to move things around and see how events will unfold and characters will develop over time and what triggers them.

The second large  marker board is filled up with items for a new project in the works that ties in with the Cosmic Rage Universe. I will share more about this project in the future. Just a little teaser for you all for now.

With summer coming up, it is also time to start looking at cons and planning out a strategy as well. While I am still working on this plan and itinerary, the process has begun. We will see if any artist alleys are in the works or panel discussions!

Recent Reading: The Flowers of Evil Volume 6

The Flowers of Evil is starting to pick up steam, we last left off with volume 5 and a pivotal scene in the story (at least in my opinion). Our main cast of characters, Saeki, Nakamura and Kasuga, all collided as a result of the plan Kasuga and Nakamura were scheming, which was foiled by Saeki.

Volume 6 starts off with Kasuga panicking over the foiled plan. The summer festival is approaching quickly and he needs to plan something to unleash on the countryside with Nakamura. Looking back on Kasuga’s personality, you can see a definite growth and change since the first volume of the series. Kasuga even goes as far as getting into arguments with his parents instead of obeying their wishes. A blatant influence from Nakamura and her control of his emotions.

Saeki keeps inserting herself into Kasuga’s life, trying to win him back and be a good influence in his life. If you recall the start of Kasuga and Saeki’s relationship, Kasuga almost worshipped Saeki. At this point, there is nothing Saeki can do to gain more control of Kasuga. After their interaction, it seems as if Saeki starts to realize that she has lost.

Kinoshita even confronts Kasuga with everything. The main plot point of volume six revolves around the events at the end of volume 5. Kasuga starts to feel the school, city and his family start to turn on Nakamura and even start to blame his actions on her influence. Kasuga starts to feel trapped to feel trapped by the whole situation.

As Kasuga toils in his emotions, Nakamura comes to his house to take him away. After a confrontation with Kasuga’s parents, the two leave the house to formulate a new plot for the summer festival. Once again, we see Kasuga and Nakamura alone and we get an idea of how Kasuga and Nakamura work together and how the relationship works. Nakamura has complete control over Kasuga.

Volume 6 closes as Kasuga and Nakamura show up for the summer festival. A plan has been formulated and the two characters are there to make it a reality.

Production Update 84

What a last week and a half it has been. I am feeling better and have been catching up on some things over the last few days. I’m not sure what I had, if it was the flu or if it was a really bad cold, not sure. What I do know, is I slept a lot and quarantined myself in my apartment just in case it was the start of the zombie apocalypse. I think we’re in the clear on that.

As I start to get back to full health, since senzu beans don’t actually exist, I was able to start working on Cosmic Rage again. I got some files for some new shots imported in and started to do the light compositing of image sequences and drawings. I have a scene of a few shots getting close to being finished up; hopefully this week I can get them wrapped up.

I do have another small freelance project to knock out this week. I have purchased a couple things recently for the project so I’ll continue to add to the funds to keep the project going.

I hope you are all feeling well and staying healthy as winter hopefully wraps up and spring can get here!