Thursday, December 30, 2004
But other wonders also await in 2005. I've gotten the strong urge to start drawing again and several doodles have been put to paper. My initial plan after college was to become a comic book creator, but the video game industry came a calling. In fact, the gaming fanzine that got me hired was filled with game art I drew because taking screen shots was far beyond my reach at the time. Looking back at older work and newer scribbles, I feel my talent is nowhere near at the level that would destroy the world in the way I would like or even pay the bills for that matter. Still, it's a labor of love and I'm having a great time.
I happened upon Anime Jungle during last year's holiday run to LA and I'm happy to report it's still going strong. They have pretty much what any anime goods store has, but they specialize in import items, especially gashapon, the little toys you get from crane machine games in Japan. They also have a healthy range of larger figures and resin statues, but there are stores here in the bay area that do a better job at that. Still, it's worth your time to check out the store if you're in the Little Tokyo area in downtown LA.
Also in that area is a Kunokuniya bookstore located in Weller court (at least I think it's still called Weller court). Sure, there is a Kunokuniya in Japan town in SF, but the selection is not as good. As a fan of Katsura Masakazu (Video girl AI, DNA, Is), I was delighted to find out he had a new series out. Zetman is a character he first introduced in an illustration collection and now stars in his own book. It's actually quite a departure as his books usually have mostly female leads. I only picked up volume one out of the four that were available, but it's highly entertaining. It's basically a superhero-like tale, at least from the initial volume. I'll have to pick up the rest soon.
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Yes, yes it’s time to hear all about what’s Wat doing. First off, I had quite a lovely Christmas in LA. Met up with a lot of old friends for some grub, some I last saw maybe 15+ years ago. That’s right, 15 years ago. Totally crazy. Kimi and I spent time with our families and had way too much food.
On our drive from the Bay Area down to LA, seemingly out of nowhere Kimi blurted out "Red Elvises?", which totally shocked me until a Red Elvises tour van passed us. Then it was my turn to shock Kimi as I told her I used be a big fan of theirs. It all started over six years ago when a little movie called Six String Samurai was getting some buzz. Any post-apocolyptic tale about a wandering dude with geeky glasses and a guitar that housed a sword is right up my alley so I was psyched. The movie turned out to be pretty lame, but the soundtrack packed with songs by the Red Elvises was awesome. How can you say no to surf rocky tunes with cheesy lyrics and a heavy Russian accent. In any case, the last album of theirs I purchased was Better than Sex released in 1999. It turns out they have been cranking out new albums practically every year since then. I'll have to download some of the free MP3s off their site to see if I can still be done with their vibe. It does appear they do more stuff in Russian now, which could be interesting.
There are quite a few more tales to tell, but I'll finish off this entry with two drinks I brought back. One is Heisal Plum and it basically tastes like non-alcohalic plum wine. Delicious enough that I bought this huge bottled version. The other is a special Matthew's Best Hit TV drink apply named Matthews Best Hit Soda. The blonde hair guy look familiar? That's right, it's the show Bill Murray suffered through in Lost in Translation. There are several bottle variations showcasing a different outfit for the intrepid Matthew. It tastes like a sweeter version of Mitsuya cider or the tradditional Ramune (the soda that comes in the bottle with the marble). If you've never had either of those, imagine 7up that is slightly sweeter and flavoredwith a light citrus twist. Well, it's sort of like that.