Monday, December 31, 2012


Quite behind on updating this site, but deadlines are just about beat, after which we'll marathon some posts up. For now, here's a quick preview of an upcoming January poster featuring a composition inspired by the Norman Rockwell.
Warning, it can get depres.

Friday, December 28, 2012


This is some fan art for the Adrian Simon. Most of the music I use in my youchoob videos belongs to him (used with permission, of course!), and since I didn't get to do fan art of him last time, I thought now would be a great time to draw a token of my thanks. 

So the art "order" was for a "cute graphic" t-shirt with some kind of redhead-based saying. I couldn't think of any sweet sayings myself and research left me with nothing sumptuous, so I stretched a line a little to fit using innuendo (gingerly).

The expression I heard when I was young was "Red at night, sailor's delight; red in the morning, sailors take warning," apparently a nautical saying seafarers used to ballpark the day's weather before casting off to go fight the forces of the Negaverse or whatever it is people do in the Naaaaaavy. The phrase synched up pretty neatly with the AO, particularly when you factor in Adrian Simon's more recent work kinda gets a touch blue, so there was more to munch on there if you choose to take it up that way. Not that there's anything outrageous here that would make you turn your head, but it can go as coughy as you want it to.

Fun Facts: As we were driving up to LA for my interview to get the very job I currently enjoy here in Japan, we listened (appropriately) to Adrian Simon's Ivy League albums for the occasion, complete with his BUAD cover

The only one in the car who hadn't heard the song before, like I did way back when, squinted suspiciously after a couple repeats' worth of plays granted the lyrics lucidity.  It's like getting tricked into loving that song. But it's so great!  Ok, not the song, just his cover. I normally can't stand rap, but this dude killllls it.  Every single time.  I would be all over it if he did a rap covers album. He can make the most horrific stuff beautiful. Gosh.

ANYWAY. So I sketched this one mostly in my head, but early versions had him in a full-on Sailor Scoutfit but I thought that was a little much since it might inadvertently dishonor rather than laud the guy. So we just settled with a regular sailor's uniform but with Serena's pose. Clever right? Yeah I am.

But the trickiest thing was it had to be cute (I really wanna draw him cool, though, you know? I so badly wanna draw a cool picture of a redhead some day). I wouldn't normally do the extra-chibi-riffic thing but it was to sell the Sailor Moon angle, and because chibi has become a shorthand for cute, even if the SD figure isn't even actually cute (and who knows if mine is!).

As for making it feel like a t-shirt design, I tried to keep the colors simple, though if this were an actual t-shirt, I'd prolly just make it all flat.  Additionally, while I knew this would be destined for a red shirt, I thought it's be neat to make the frame riff on of the Heinz ketchup labeling.  Google it.

So, final score--redhead expression: check-ish. Cute: check-ish.  T-shirt graphic: check-ish.  Pretty close, right?

There was super short notice on this piece and I was neck-dope in a different production, but it was a fun project to undertake for the experience points.  I would love to make real t-shirts down the road someday.  I want to make them by hand, though; I'm not crazy about this 100% digital art business, ya know?

Oh! Also, if you've never listened to the Adrian Simon, you gotta chuckim oot.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Here's another Christmas card I made for a jKid who mailed me a Christmas card of her own. I didn't know what to draw so I went with a US-style snowman. In Japan snowmen are only made of two snowballs, two buttons for eyes and a bucket for a hat. They get a thrill out of how we deck ours out.

Speaking of decking things out for Christmas but not really but kinda anyway...

It's our Christmas Special for youchoob. It's only about a third Duel Masters-related, but there's plenty of other content including some looks at obscure manga. A lot of art in this video, too, including stuff we hadn't even debuted on this site yet.


Monday, December 24, 2012


This is a sequel Christmas present I drew for my pizza man. I was floored he still has last year's card!

Still waiting for Japan to get that stuffed-crust technology, tho, son!

But it's all good.


Friday, December 21, 2012


Here's the Making Of that one piece we did a while ago. Dang I love coloring snowmens.

Here's the pencils if you're into that kind of thing.

Statistically you are not.

By the way, this piece is called MySpanta because of this. Boy, that link was worth clicking, wasn't it? Are you proud of yourself?


That last "ugh" wasn't directed at you.

I just can't get the taste of stealthed wasabi out of my mouth. Why don't they ever warn you?


That one was for you. My disdain for your disinterest in just exactly the things I'm interested in.

Speaking of feeling special for clicking things, if you click anything in this post, make it this picture. It'll zoom in so you can see our coloring proh-sess. We're using Copic Ciaos of course, and this time I got a bit more daring and used purple to bitter up the eye sockets. This is terribly exciting to me and only me. But now you know that.

That's it.



Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Drawing Christmas cards and such for people. This is a riff on a card I received in the mail.

Actual mail.

Gosh, I'm lonely.


Monday, December 17, 2012


Here's our proper December ALT poster, fresh in oh-twelve, right? Right.  We've got a special section on Christmas rock tunes including selections from My Chemical Romance, and The Matches, Something Corporate, Fall Out Boy, and Those Guys.  This one was kind of a rusher towards the end, but pretty happy with that Santa!

This is a close up of the reindeer I have named Doofy.

Trying desperately to draw a cute reindeer that doesn't look like a Chopper rip-off is not easy. But fortunately I failed miserably. I am the fool. Pity me.

I've started using my lightest skin tones for wood and stuff so I tried it out on the antlers and was pleasantly surpised with how it turned out.  Neat, said nobody but me.

This is a close up of our section on how to Secret Santa. Because that's a verb. Sentence fragment.

I would tell you more, but it's a secret.



Friday, December 14, 2012


Here's the third and final ING illustration. Can you guess the verb? Tough luck, the answer is "looking."

I was really happy with the character design here. I think I finally landed the perfect leader of the crew. I want to call her Jinjin.

I was so happy with the postcardy version that I did a run of her for my chardesign practice exercise. So this was the version of her that conformed to our challenge's rules. That session went so effortlessly and it was so fun. I would love to tell a story with her. But it's about assembling a team, you know? Who is good enough to hang with her? That's tricky.

As for her powers, she has a compass that gives her different abilities and techniques based on the direction of the compass rose. So for example, she'd get cold-based powers from the north, heat-based powers from the south. She also has basically an auto-shield against suckerpunches in her compass. So no cheap shots. And she always looks out for her crew more than they will ever know. But who is looking out for her, when even she can't?


Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I had to make some Holiday cards for the jKids. I normally loathe the term "Holiday" since that usually is just code for Christmas, but we were in actuality covering multiple holidays, so it was a tolerable usage this time around. The two holidays here are Christmas and New Years' (the year of the snake). I wanted to try going inkless, just pencils and Copics, but I still don't know how I feel about noinks. But I do know I love the word "noinks."

Gonna give this away to someone...but who?

Noinks. Away,


Monday, December 10, 2012


This is a char from the chardesign sketch sesh. This is Cory. Her full name is Van Ice Cory, but she rarely uses her first two names. Cory isn't her last name, it's just the last name of hers.

She can use peeps like walking globs of C4. She can use cold and ice through her hands and her breath. She can use heat and fire through her feet.

They say her "real" name is Corey...there are also some filthy rumors floating around...that she's Canadian.


Friday, December 7, 2012


Here's another selection from our ING practice. Can you guess the verb?

I'll give you a hint: eating.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Billted is from our chardesign exercise. I want very much not to have a boy be the leader. So this guy started out as a girl but then as he became more evidently a boy, it became a struggle to make him not feel like the leader. So he aspires to be the leader. Or maybe he just leads a rival, but lesser or minor crew?

Anyway, he's hooked on placebos. And he knows it. But he can't function without them. He's looking for the legendary Panacebo, which will cure all his placebo-related issues. But for now, he remains functional thanks only the the thin shred of functionality granted by his placebraces.

Will he ever find the Panacebo? Or will he learn to overcome his crippling, entirely constructed dependency himself? One thing's for sure, he will never remember to zip up his pants.


Monday, December 3, 2012


Here's a QUICK poster I did for an elemenary visit. They popped this request on me the day of (I'm beginning to suspect a doggone pattern). But I'm pretty happy with how this one turned out. I even finished BEFORE (just before, let's be honest) closing time! Really happy with how the early reviews went from the jCrew, but woulda loved to see the little jDudes lose their little jMinds!

Here's the process shots. Not as detailed as usual since time is terribly precious on these one-dayers.

Anyway, I got the common mark of success--people wanted to rub the drawing...guys, you gotta stop doing that...especially on the pencils(!).


Friday, November 30, 2012


I did three little postcardy things for the jKids to demonstrate ING verbs.

We'd slow reveal the picture to have them guess the verb.

This one is cheering. Go Oakland.

I took the opportunity to practice more char design, hoping to finally unlock the new lead design I've been looking for. This one isn't it (not too happy with it, but the jKids enjoyed). Two more chances...


Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Skiddish tries so hard to make everyone happy. He hates himself because he blames himself for his ancestors' planetary destruction. So though he has the power to demolish entire celestial orbs, he has locked those centruries' etched programs and applications away in his memory. He can't actually delete them, though, so they're always there. But if they're permalocked, they can't ever be accessed again...right?

Short of recovering and unlocking his Critical Error files, he will stop at nothing to please and make things right with reals. Maybe he will redeem his kind and become a real himself. Maybe he will fall into the wrong hands and destroy us all.


Monday, November 26, 2012


More from the chardesign exercise. I wanna call this guy Beaux (or Beauox) Piœίpe or something.

He's rich and fancy and looks like a girl if you squint a little cuz when I was drawing him I thought I was originally drawing a girl.

But this exercise was about being kinda spontaneous and following the sketch. So maybe it's a girl...we'd need to see some development.

Anyway, if you can manage to land a hit, just don't touch the face. I can't stress that enough.


Friday, November 23, 2012


Another one from the CharDesign exercise. This one started with the froggy hoody which lead to the froggie poncho.

She has literary-based powers. The only spelling she always has cast is "Dunbar's Mask."

I want to name a character Kanon, one of the coolest names I've encountered here in Japan.

This one is exciting to me.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012


More from the Moleskine character design exercise. I think her name is Annie Who. She has comedy-based powers.

Although I didn't really like Annie Hall. It was so surprisingly sad, it hit me outta nowhere. I had to watch it for a comedy class.

I severely want to have a character wear one of those bucket hats. And suspenders. Not necessarily together.


Monday, November 19, 2012


I've been doing a character design exercise recently. It started with this little sketch. The rules are: draw it in my moleskine with my janky writing pen, but draw it as cleanly and quickly as you can, make it fun, and make it evoke a story, as if I'm assembling my own Straw Hats.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012


It's time for more Homework Sketches. We've got a Megaman for a Rockman fan, authenticish pizza from New York for a US-Pizza-eating-wisher, and a clarification illustration for the difference between "cloth" and "clothes" for a confused kid.

Clockwise spiraling, we've got a rare Naruto draw for a Narufan and an even rarer (debut, right?) Bleach sketch.  While waiting for my snow tires to get swapped in at the car shop, I perused the body shop's Bleach collection, and I have to say, it didn't live up to the hype.  I've even seen a few minutes of the show and found it painfully boring and aesthetically off-putting.  I hate the half skeleton masks and stuff, but included it for the Bleach fan because he loved the series so much, I didn't want to let him down.  He even drew a study of my pic for his report on anime!  How cool! I would post it up, but I hear that's illegal. So.

Anyway, we keep the rarities flowing with some Animorphs fan art for a fellow book-enthusiast.  And to mix it up, a rare upshot of pizza.  Yum.

Winding up/down, we've got a trio of Radwimps fan arts.  We've got a chibi Yojiro Noda. and a sketch of their best album's cover. And then a nice close up of the charismatic, mysterious leader of the 味噌汁'S.

And that's that!


Monday, November 12, 2012


Wow! I thought I lost this! But here it is! It's my very first mini-ALT news.

I was showing some of my regular posters to elemKids during an elemVisit, and they elemAsked me to make a poster for them.

On the spot with time ticking, I had to think quick, so I just went with the old, look out the window and go plan.

So it was raining, and I like dem Boston Terriers, so we were off to the races for pic and text.

I just finished the illustration by closing time, although I did have to hand off the last of the lettering to the regular staff to complete.

So there we go!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Here are some more Homework Sketches.

The wolf is from a band I recently got into a little, Man With a Mission. Nice guitars but the lead vocalist kinda misses with me.  Great English for a jRock band, though.

Next is a man of iron.  And then a baseball boy for a boy baseballer, and a key chain for someone who knows someone who's name sounds like "keychain." 

We've got a sketch of two cards I enjoy, Mortivore (done totally from memory, to horrific results!) and this dude from Duel Masters.   And there's a snowman for a fellow fan of winter (we just had our first snowy day, though it was more like hale and it didn't last too long)

Here's where it gets wacky--the badominton sketch is for a badmintonista who they say is a strong candidate for the OLYMPICS!  WHA??  Yeah!  I even saw her on the cover of Badminton Magazine!!  I don't know what's cooler, that Badminton Magazine gave her the cover, or that Badminton Magazine exists.   

To bring it home we've got a big gulp for someone who says he wants to visit the US to partake in its giant foodery (wonder if he's ever heard of a Big Gulp?) and a bird mountain for the coolest of the bird mountains this side of Akira.


Monday, November 5, 2012


We're figuring out a new character in the old sketchbook, researching some short hair styles and jRock fashion.

Today's study: Stereopony.

I don't love all their music, but I would certainly put them under the "they pretty much rock" column.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Here're the final four monster cards from the set I made for the jKids. Thanks again to Endling for the processing tips (yay no inks!) and Magic for the layout inspiration.

The kids all seemed to really enjoy my game, beyond just the cards. The only problems that arose were that my mega prizes for those who had both a Victory monster and a Victory mark got nixed, and the max non-mega prize payout was capped to two candies instead of three (I planned one for each of participation, Victory mark, and Victory creature).

I hope the jKids don't think I tried to short them! But then again, two is better than zero, particularly when jAdults act as if you're trying to give kids puffs of stuff rather than candy any kid would eat on their own time, anyway.

Speaking of limited participation, I only ran this game with my main school, but I did have a few extra sitting around and gave some to a couple of jKids at my secondary site who came by to talk Duel Masters, and they were thrilled just to get these random little cards of which they had no idea about--unfortunately the second crew didn't get to play the game. Maybe next year? Hopefully next year.

Here are some close ups on our guys. I drew this set after completing the first because I thought it would be cool to have some variety--originally I was going to do a boy and girl version of each monster, but then thought it'd just work best if that were only for vampires and just made two versions period.

Really cool to see their reactions to the super-rare ghost! They even did his little ghost peace sign to each other haha! The female vampire, by the way, is inspired by the Innistradian ones from Magic, just so you know. But I think my favorite of all is this set's zombie or werewolf. See if you can spot an Easter Egg in one of these guys.

Speaking of covert drawing, I drew these mostly during the downtime of judging this English tournamenty thing.

Pro tip: don't take the tournament stuff too seriously, English judges; no need to be jerks to the jKids.



Monday, October 29, 2012


I made these little Magic-inspired monster cards for a school-wide event, the first major, original initiative of my little career, culminating in a candy give-away on October thirty-oneth to any student who doesn't lose their fragile, microscopic monster card and remembers to bring it to me at the appointed time. The give-away part's actually a huge deal since jSchools are usually quite strict about their no-candy policies, even if the prize is a tiny choco droplet the size of a marble.

So the idea is that we do class just like normal all week, but I give each stud a card randomly, including a super secret monster, and the cards only come into play as the aftermath of the activity (although when kids learned of the stakes, they got freakishly focused on excelling during the day's activity). The students who win a given class's activity (or just achieve notably impressive work/effort) get a victory mark--my sig--and the first student in a class to win a victory mark captures that class for their school-wide monster team (their card's monster). At the end of the school week, I tabulate the captured classes to determine the victory monster and that monster's cardholders get a bonus candy (bigger than the standard marble-sized choco-drop, like a mini-Meiji bar or two-stick Kit-Kat pack, etc.) when they present their card to me. Students who have a victory mark get a bonus candy, too. But if you have a victory mark AND a victory creature, you get a mega bonus--i.e. a full-size Snickers bar, Ghana bar, Pocky pack, etc.

I modeled the cards after Magic: the Gathering frames and I drew their illos at what I thought was print size. I penciled these during my down time at a volunteer gig I went to, and I thought I'd ink these after getting home, but then I remembered my newly-learned, time/ink-saving Endling inkless inking technique and decided to put that to idea to the test in this print-heavy project.

These came out really nice in print--they are quite small (about half the size of their originals' size), but the art reads great. And I think the "Oolf" was their favorite, although zombies got people pumped, too.

To spice it up, I decided to draw two versions of each main monster, but only one of our secret rare, since only a few students would ever grab one--so cool to see them flip out about popping the rare--or even just seeing one!

But things didn't go as perfectly as planned...the srilling conclusion Wed.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012


If you can't get enough food lately, we've got a giant treat for you today. What is it? Here's a hint:

No, it's not some kinda basebally thing--I'm an A's fan, anyway (see if you can spot the Oaklander in the final capture below, below the Shield-Trigger eyes, that is...)

That's right, it's our latest Duel Masters video, currently kinda exploding on Youtube!

See, the giants in this 大決戦オールスター12 set are usually food-themed. So.

It all makes sense.


Monday, October 22, 2012


Here's the third and final course of what old man Sanji's been a-cooking.

These are foods I never eat, minus sushi and rice, which I kinda have to since it's Japan, ya know?


Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Here's the second serving of what Sanji's been cooking.
These are the foods I sometimes eat or never eat in the case of fugu.


Monday, October 15, 2012


Naw, girl, how things wichoo? Aww, nuthin, juss chillin in japwn, you know.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Here's select slides from a true/false presentation I gave on school rules JP vs US. After giving the rule, I'd have them vote on whether it's true or false in Japan and then in the US. It was funny when they disagreed on what the rules were in Japan, as some seem to think certain rules aren't, thus tacitly admitting to breaking them! Oh dear.

But after tabulating US votes, we hit one of these slides for O true or X false. These were some of my favorites of the slides.

Also The Ring, copyright of its original owner, is not scary. Enough already. Fun Fact: when I first visited Japan, I got to tour Toho Studios, where The Ring (US) was actually shot!



Monday, October 8, 2012


Here's the first serving of what Sanji's been cooking. So much food...These are the foods I do eat.



Wednesday, October 3, 2012


This was an army of characters I drew for a worksheet about present progressive. The jKids have a sheet of these characters but half the names are missing so they have to look around the page for a character whose name they want to know and ask their partner, who has every name the OG lacks and lacks every name the OG has.  Thus the partners must interview each other using the present progressive to describe the character whose name they want to know.

For example, one kid digs j-Rock so he wants to know: Who is the [boy] [sing+ing] a [song]? The [boy] [sing+ing] a [song] is Yojiro (Noda).  Hiloonity ensues.

Many Easter Eggs, including but not limited to TV Reporter, RADWIMPS, Base Ball Bear's female bass player, Maximum the Hormone, the horrifically over-rated Ring, and Kaburagi. Oh, and Where's Waldo, which is called "Where's Wally" in Japan.  So pumped to get some jLaughs since even though the deadline was super tight, I took time to make the names and chars inside-jokey to the jKids!  The best part is when they excitedly chatter about getting a joke before everyone else then they break it to their neighbors and then they all enjoy it together.  So neat! Anyway.

Who is the boy whose art is making me the most happy?  The boy whose art is making me the most happy is Takeshi (Hosomi, sporting Ellegarden and The Hiatus gear, natch).

This was the one doodle I was most happy with.  It came out of nowhere, but I loved how he turned out. 

I'm not really into The Hiatus as much as Ellegarden (Hosomi's previous band which went on indef. hiatus in 2008, just as I became a fan of them soon after landing in Japan for my first visit here).

But I am definitely rooting for Takeshi Hosomi's success. And check out how fluent he is!!

This was also a neat one.

It's a splice of Naruto and Totoro.

Get it?

Got it?


In conclusion, I wish my Yojiro Noda woulda came out better.

Why is it that the ones you really want are always just beyond your fingertips?


Monday, October 1, 2012


I feel like I make the G-Unit pun a lot. It's gotten to the point that I almost can't even remember where it comes from anymore.

All I remember is just that a lottttta white kids used to say it in middle school. But they'd stutter it, like, G-g-g-g-g-g-GEE-unIT. Soft g.

As in Sanji.

As in Sanji-ji-ji-ji-ji-ji-JI unETCETERA.

None of that has to do with the purpose of this piece.

Which was for a worksheet I made about food.



Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Our first batch of Homework Sketches of the new trimester back at school.

We've got a snowman for a kid who's favorite season is winter, a to-scale technical drawing of my Intuos for a kid who I got to talk/write shop with,  and my first Chopper in a while.

The other three are neat cuz  they're based on an activity I made for the jKids.  I gave them some OriChars at random and then they had to practice third-person descriptions by extrapolating and describing those characters' characters

It was neat to see what they came up with having just a pin-up and a name to go off of (Chief made a great suggestion that we can even let them change the name--so cool to see their incredible, original names).  The RPG homework sketch was for a kid who wrote an interesting and quite accurate(!!) estimation of what a scrappy little monk-looking warrior named Garry was about. But I also included brand new characters that haven't even hit Removal yet (well, a version of Ko has...), so I was basically doing market research as to what the jKids dig in their characters--I was thrilled to see they really got down with our new female lead, Smile, so I sketched her on one of the jKids' responses.  This was such a cool assignment and I loved seeing the utter creativity of the jKids unleashed! 

But perhaps the coolest thing, though, was after the sessions, the Chief already made suggestions on how to make this assignment rock even harder next year.  Did you catch that delicious subtlety?  That feedback suggests they assume I'll be here next year, but for that to be true, they have to want me back for at least one more year, which the assumption implies is true.

Bum bum bum buhhhm,


Monday, September 24, 2012


I heard this kid's loaded, man.

He seems to enjoy giving Dan a rough time.

And how come he's such a picky eater?



Don't forget to smile...


Wednesday, September 19, 2012


I came up with a new game. The jKids are split into two teams, a sumo wearing black and a sumo wearing gray. They must create original "Must" sentences in order to pimpslap the opposing students' sumo. Slap em twice and they fall over and lose. But the opposing sumo can respond with a Must sentence based on the attacker's Must sentence to regain balance. Then the defending sumo can give a fresh Must sentence to initiate a counter attack.

Each sentence-speaker can only speak a sentence once and then they must sit down, so it naturally gets harder as weaker or more timid students remain, to the panic, peril, and peregrine of the loudly whispering advice-giving sitting students. All the while I update the board with a print-out of each sumo's status, based on some brainstorming sketches I made in my handy-dandy noto. No one unlocked the super slam, though...

Speaking of unlocking something Japanese, how about an old yoochoob vidja for the peoples? This one used to be our most recent selection until it wasn't. Go figure.

This one was the first in my efforts to branch out towards sharing more of JP culture at large--today's guest spot goes to Radwimps. Who knows what the future holds? Well, I can tell you what the next video will be about, but then I'd have to thrill you.