Jul.05.11 at 01:25 am

Guys! Guys!
Okay first, there will be a KB page this week, but a bit later! First I gotta get home, and then get to my sister's house so I can help watch her freaking adorable new corgi. I shall bring my supplies and draw the page there!

Now, ABOUT ANIME EXPO!
Aaaagh I can't even express how cool it is to meet people who're fans. Right on day one, an awesome gal (whom I forgot the nickname of like a big jackass! Please post in here so your awesomeness can be known!) gave me the Winston plush you see up top. It is life-sized and super soft and so freaking adorable. There's something kind of strange and touching about a total stranger from across the country taking the time to make something for me, just 'cause they like my comic! It is a pretty amazing experience.
Huge thanks to the Misters Sato as well for coming by three of the days with food and gifts! I bet I gained a few pounds on Japanese pastries, but dammit it was so worth it. And further thanks to Driflooning, and everyone else who came by and gave me a little something or bought a book or just said hi! This is the kinda interaction I live for!

I've already signed up for a table next year, though I'll have to figure out the best thing to do for where to stay and how to get there and such. But that's later pffft. Right now I'm thinking about Otakon and the things I should prepare for THAT!
But first I better get a few hours of sleep before this early morning plane flight. I love you guys and you are the best and I'm sorry for the delay but I'm very excited to make the next page!
Jun.28.11 at 09:54 am

EDIT: So tomorrow is the last day~! I'm now in the front row of AA, by aisle 1200! I'll be discounting basically everything tomorrow 'cause I don't want to lug it all home, so stop by for half-off prints or $5-off books!

I was really planning to do a regular update today, but things got batshit in these last few days before AX and I will stop making excuses right NOW!
But meanwhile, I am very excited! This is my very first big anime con, and I've been getting emails and tweets from people who're

planning to see me there! It's gonna be so great I hope! Also I'll be boothing with Kel McDonald of Sorcery 101 so we finally get to hang out properly! Plus a lot of other awesome artists will be there whom I hope to say hi to oh boooyyy!
I'll be sure to post a wrap up post, in the proper blog area when I get back :<

Oh yeah! The images are the new prints I'll be debuting at the con; the left one is all the starter pokemon, and the right is from an anime called Puella Magi Madoka Magica which is super bitchin. I'll also be doing commissions, selling older prints and original art, and of course selling books.

It's a FOUR DAY CON! This is gonna be nutshits!

And apologies to everyone this doesn't matter to whatsoever, and I love you.
May.15.11 at 01:46 am

SO! If you've been on the site much lately, you probably noticed (and maybe voted on) the poll about what gender ya are.
I gotta say, the results really surprised me!

I always assumed more girls would read my comic, for a few reasons. But apparently the guys outnumber the gals by more than 2 to 1! Which has really got me thinking about this whole topic of gender demographics and whatnot.



In general, I've always thought of KB as being kinda gender-neutral. It's action-oriented and involves mechs and robutts, but it's also ridiculously colorful and cutesy and stars slightly more female characters. I always assumed that it would naturally draw more girls due to the latter elements, and just 'cause I'm a girl and will subconsciously hit on some... girly elements? Heck, any time I ask someone who read the comment what they think, the response is almost always "It's so cute!" This is not generally a hallmark of male-centric comics!

Well, except in some Japanese comics, where moe is a thing. I'm actually starting to wonder if this dynamic is catching on among American males, but I couldn't even begin to guess at that kind of cultural shift. Also, if you feel like you want to be Steffi's dad then you are crazy (much like Steffi's dad).

This is actually something I'd like to hear about from you guys. If you're a guy, what drew you to KB and/or keeps you reading? Same if you're a girl! And "everything" doesn't count, though I appreciate the kisskiss. ;< Did you make any initial assumptions based on the art style that changed or dissolved when you read the comic itself?

Note that this is all a matter of curious speculation, and probably won't change much about how I draw the comic. It'll actually be interesting to see if the demographic shifts a few years down the line! Perhaps the slightly darker parts later on will draw men, but the introduction of at least a little romance might get some more girls? WHO KNOWS! But as long as people keep reading, you know I'll keep drawing whatever my manly mind finds cool!
May.06.11 at 03:09 am
It's true! If you look over to the right, you'll see a button to donate to KB. The author of KB that is. Which is me, incompetent college student Mary Cagle!
It'll let you put any amount in, but a dollar is just fine! Once the transaction is complete, it'll take you to a page containing the wallpaper and metaphorical hugs.

This time it's a Pokemon-related one (as readers suggested during a livestream), but I'd love to do more of various themes if this one goes okay! So if you'd like to see a specific piece of art, just comment here with your suggestion. I know I'd like to do Magical Girl Steffi at some point! ;<

I've never asked for donations until now, for a couple reasons. One is that I was worried I couldn't offer anything worth a dollar (which is kinda silly I know! It's only a dollar, Cube!), and the other is my constant fear that I'll put work out there that nobody will be interested in. I gotta say, that fear stifles a lot of initiatives on my part!
But you guys have been super supportive of the comic with the books and just your comments in general, and I can't tell you how much it means to me. I honestly was incredibly relieved when so many of you preordered Volume 1! I really earnestly hope that I can make my living at this someday, and you guys are helping me inch my way towards that goal! So whether you donate or not, I love ya to bits.

C'mere so I can give you a big ol' hug!
STOP RUNNING COME BACK!
Apr.18.11 at 01:21 am
Heya guys! First off, I'm feeling much better after sleeping the weekend away. Thank you for all the well-wishes!
While bellyaches may have been my biggest problem this weekend, there's something else that's been bothering me that I really feel like posting about.

As many of you know, I attend the Savannah College of Art and Design here in Georgia. I'm in a major called Sequential Art, which is basically comics. A lot of people ask me what I think of the school and my time here, usually in the interest of maybe attending themselves. It's hard for me to give advice in this arena, since the experience people have here is so varied. But I feel like the conundrum I've been having lately is a good look at what it's like to attend college for something as weird as comics.

Right now I'm in a class called Visual Storytelling I (VIS1 for short). The basic idea of the class is to draw a shitton of pages in a small amount of time. Well, it's obviously more complex than that, but that's what everyone gets out of it.
It's a simple idea; comic artists need to be able to work fast, so we'll make them practice working fast! However, the problem comes in when you consider that you have up to three of these classes at a time, all which teachers who have this idea. At the same time, you're always encouraged to keep up your own projects, since that is VERY IMPORTANT TO YOUR SUCCESS as they remind you. Which is true, and is why I hate that I can't update KB more during school.

Because you know what? KB does much more good for me than any school assignment. Yes, VIS 1 is hard. I'm drawing fast. But I'm not learning to SUCCEED at drawing fast. I'm churning out shit that I'm not happy with and getting an appropriately mediocre payout. And you know what I realized? This is a more extreme example of everything I've taken since intro. SEQA assginment are often strangely specific (like that Environments assignment with the WW2 plane and the corgi that I posted and confused everyone with), and teachers will actually discourage you from including them in your portfolio since everyone's seen them. Not that I have a conundrum with that; nothing I've produced in my classes would ever be considered portfolio-worthy by me.

This whole thing highlights an essential problem with teaching something like comics in an academic setting; the lack of specialization to individual students really brings it down. Teachers have to give generic assignments and generic critiques because 90% of the students will never have enough skill to do this as a living. They have to push us to our breaking point with deadlines because most students won't do so on their own. In short, they have to treat us all like idiots who won't do anything better with our time than play videogames if they don't fill it with assignments. I don't envy them the job of trying to balance these extremes. How do you encourage kids to do their own work while making sure not to give them time to goof off? It's a really shitty paradox, and I understand that it can't be fun to try to ride that line. But I think the kids who really ARE self driven, who DO have useful things to do with their time, really suffer from this.

So what IS the point of art college? Critiques are a big part, right?
But when I turn in this six-page assignment penciling from an old script that I'm working on right now, I know exactly what the problems will be. The backgrounds are weak, the execution is mediocre, blah blah. OF COURSE IT IS! I was trying to give some of these sleepless nights to my other classes as well!
...The result is that not only does each class receive mediocre work, but KB's quality and frequency suffers as well.

So as one might wonder, is there a solution? I'm currently considering dropping this particular class, doing some of the assignments while I have time, then turning them in after I re-sign-up for it online after I move out. (It's a required class for both the on and offline majors) Gonna go talk to the teacher about this possibility Tuesday. We'll see if he tries to convince me to stick around and push through the class for the purposes of... great success. After all, it's just 7 more weeks. But the more time I spend here, the more time I feel like I'm losing before I have to go get my "day job" and drawing becomes something I do before I conk out back at home. I'm too young to feel this old, yo!

Anyway, sorry for the super personal and ranty post. I just really wanted to get these thoughts out somewhere before they drove me nuts! I promise this won't be a regular thing.

...Jesus that post was long!
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