Posted August 5, 2013 at 12:13 am
Heya KB crew!
As I've mentioned, I'll be at Otakon this weekend!
I'll be at booth K-06 in Artist Alley, as this helpful map details:

I'll have my KB books, a new Monster Girl art book, buttons, posters, and of course original art and commissions at the show!
So come see me and say hi! Otakon is always such a fun show to see and participate in, and I'm excited for my last con showing before moving away for a few years! o3o
Posted August 1, 2013 at 08:45 am
Heya Guys!

Since we're between chapters and I'm crazy busy doing commissions and getting ready for Otakon, I was thinking of running some quick Q&A-style comics over the next week.
So basically, I was wondering what general questions you guys might have about the world or the characters. Obviously I won't answer anything that'd be too spoilerific, but I figured this'd be a good time to give a lil' backstory while I draw commissions and make buttons.

So drop me a line here if you have anything in mind! and I'll make a big post about where to find me at Otakon soon.
Posted July 29, 2013 at 02:36 pm
Things have been crazy over here, but Monday Music finally returns with a special segment this time!
When I mentioned that I consider Blood Sugar to be one of Gear's themes, people asked what other music I tend to associate with various characters.
This is something I actually think about a lot, so here's a big post for those that are curious!

In general, each major character has an associated genre of music. They also have a song or two that I consider their 'theme', which might or might not match said genre. I'll also list a DDR song that I associate with the character, because that is also a thing I do for no good reason.



STEFFI



Genre: POP
Theme: When I Grow Up
DDR Track: Cartoon Heroes

BENZENE



Genre: ROCK
Theme: Take Me Out
DDR Track: Captain Jack





42



Genre: TECHNO
Theme: Secrets from the Future
DDR Track: Matsuri Japan

CHANDRA



Genre: BIG BAND
Theme: Baccano! no Theme
DDR Track: Mobo Moga





REED



Genre: CLASSIC ROCK
Theme: All Along the Watchtower
DDR Track: Rhythm and Police

HEINRICH



Genre: NEW WAVE
Theme: Junebug
DDR Track: Speed Over Beethoven





GEAR



Genre: DUBSTEP
Theme: Apex
DDR Track: Trip Machine

KIWIBOT



Genre: DRUM AND BASS
Theme: Fasten your Seatbelts
DDR Track: Dynamite Rave

Posted June 24, 2013 at 02:47 pm
So, since I've tweeted about this and people be asking questions, I wanted to take a bit to clarify what's going on.
In mid-October, I will be moving to Japan to work as an English teaching assistant with Interac. Yep, you heard me right! I'll probably be living there for two or three years.
Basically, I'll be going in October to their Tokyo HQ to receive training. I volunteered for their alternate program, which means I'll be hanging around Tokyo doing random jobs until a full time position opens up somewhere. Most likely it'll be a random rural town, but I won't know specifics until I'm about to go.

As for what this means for my comic work, it's hard to say exactly. KB will continue as usual for the next couple months, but I may very well need to go on hiatus while I move and get set up in Japan. But as soon as I have time and am in a place where I continue, I plan to resume comics time. KB is really important to me, and I'm excited to show you guys what I have in store for the future!

Meanwhile, I also want to do journal comics while I'm over there, to show people what's going on and what it's like to live in Japan as a foreigner. I may or may not be planning to draw everyone as cute animal people like so.

But those will probably just go on my tumblr or something.

In any case, this is something I've been interested in doing for years and I'm really excited to finally have the opportunity. But it's definitely not something I'm choosing "over" comics, and even if I need to take a short break, I'll be jumping back in with more experiences and skills to inform my work than ever! And I'm sure I'll have some pretty interesting stories to share by the end!

Just a heads up, and I'll see you on Wednesday as usual for whatever the heck is going on in this chapter! >: )
Posted June 17, 2013 at 05:52 pm

Image links to a playlist of select songs on youtube



Like many of these groups, Pendulum has contributed a chapter title to Kiwi Blitz. In this case, it was The Vulture for Track 9.
As I mentioned back then, Pendulum is my favorite band. Their songs are full of so much energy, and they all mesh together well without being repetitive or boring. I'm constantly changing which song I consider my "Favorite", because there's just so many amazing ones!

Pendulum came out with three albums while they were together:
The first, Hold Your Colour is my favorite and probably their most solid. Hold your Colour, Through the Loop, Sounds of Life, Tarantula... They're all grade A as far as I'm concerned. I can loop this album for hours and never get tired of it.

Their second album, In Silico, is probably my least favorite, but still has a lot of really great songs like Propane Nightmares and Showdown. It just doesn't have quite as many memorable tracks as the other two.

But they brought it back with Immersion, their third and final album. Immersion starts to move closer to dubstep in some places, but songs like Witchcraft and Watercolour bring back the sound that made HYC so impactful.

Bonus note, I consider the single Blood Sugar to be Gear's theme song. Don't ask me why the guy put a picture of Haruhi up on that post.

Unfortunately, the band reformed as a dubstep group called Knife Party. I do love dubstep, but I feel like their newer music just doesn't have quite the same impact as their D&B work. But it's still solid stuff that I'll continue to keep up with, and meanwhile I'll be forever loopin' their older songs.
Posted June 10, 2013 at 04:49 am
WARNING: Today's Post features extreme levels of ANIME GIRL VOICES. Be advised!





If you've been to the right places on the internet (like, cough, my tumblr), you've probably run across images of this gal. You may have wondered what anime she is from, which is a reasonable question. The answer, however, is far more weird and complicated than that!


But, while she's made appearances in anime and video games, Miku is first and foremost a Vocaloid.
Vocaloids are a line of voice synthesis programs for music composers. Each voice bank is purchased separately, and is represented by a particular character. The one on the right is Hatsune Miku, who really kicked off the popularity of the software. Many more vocaloids have been released since then by various companies, to the point that even I can't keep up with 'em all. But that's more or less irrelevant, because my fascination with the whole enterprise doesn't rely on any particular voice bank.

Much as webcomics allow people of many various interests and skill levels to create comics and put 'em out there for others to enjoy, Vocaloids enable random guys on their computers to compose songs without the need for a singer willing to engage in their craziness. The result is a lot of crappy music, of course, but also a lot of really crazy stuff you wouldn't get from a major record label.

The most popular 'loid

The other really important part of the Vocaloid scene is the collaborative aspect. While composers use their skills to create songs, artists create music videos. Usually they star the vocaloids that were used in the song's creation, though not always. So you end up with a bunch of crazy songs on all kinds of topics, with interesting independent music videos to match.

That said, lemme pimp some of my favorite composers for anyone I haven't already lost!



JIN (Kagerou Project) (link to a playlist of MVs)


The Kagerou Project is a series of rock/pop music videos that tell the story of a group of kids with magical eye powers. It's actually pretty damn hard to follow the overarching plot, but I like the songs so much that I don't care. Several of them have pretty complex music videos, too. Mekakucitydays is on itunes and contains all the earlier songs.


Oh! The same guys also made a music video about browsing tumblr gifs. It is pretty great.







Ryo/Supercell (link to a playlist of select MVs)


Supercell is group of artists and composers that have collaborated on a lot of projects, including vocaloid pop music in this case! Melt was one of their first songs to really hit it big, and since the success of their self-titled album, they've all moved on to lots of interesting projects. Ryo himself has gone on to compose more music with actual singers, which is always an interesting transition to see!







Wowaka (link to a playlist of select MVs)


Wowaka's one of my favorite composers, but his work isn't the most accessible. I guess the main word for it would be "angsty", but in a way that I find very real and relatable. I love the manic energy that makes me want to rock out while crying.


His album with all his major songs is available on itunes!



Anyway, that's enough rambling about my strange love of Japanese robot composers! I also have a general playlist of Vocaloid songs I like by all kinds of random people. They aren't for everyone, certainly, but it's really interesting sometimes to see little anime girls singing dubstep or metal songs!

SO NOW YA KNOW
Posted May 27, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Click above for the itunes store page


There's been alota talk about Daft Punk lately, what with the release of their new album Random Access Memories. (Which is great, by the way!) So I thought I'd take the opportunity to discuss my favorite DP album!
Alive 2007 is a live album recorded in Paris in 2007, obviously enough. It includes mashed up remixes of all of DP's most popular music at the time, and it is awesome.
I love Daft Punk, but a lot of the time their stuff is a bit too mild for me to rock out to. Alive 2007 is a bit harder-hitting, and brings its own cohesive sound to the table. That said, it might not be for everyone. But It certainly gets my drawing juices flowin'.

It's hard for me to pick a favorite from the set, partly because it all flows together so perfectly. But as a small confession, I sometimes like to imagine Touch It/ Technologic as the opening to a KB movie or cartoon. The RBL fight from chapter one starts at the 3:41 mark. Please don't take this away from me.

In any case, the album's only 8 bucks on itunes! I say this is a steal.

Please tune in next week, where it might finally be time to open up the can of robotic worms known as Vocaloids.
Posted May 21, 2013 at 12:39 am

(Click the image for the best youtube playlist I could find)



After a weekend of Extreme Animes at ACEN, I had no choice but to bring this one up! Can you tell that I like Soundtracks yet?

Puella Magi Madoka Magica is one of my favorite shows, period. It's an anyone-can-die deconstruction (and reconstruction?) of the magical girl genre, and it hits so many notes that are just... perfect.

It didn't hurt that the score was composed by Yuki Kajiura, who's tied with Yoko Kanno for my favorite soundtrack composer. If you watch a lot of anime, you might know her work from .hack//sign or Noir.
Her compositions bring so much emotion to each scene! From the beautifully sad Decretum, to the triumphant Credens Justitiam, to the just plain awesome Pugna Cum Magna. I don't think the show would have been quite the same without her involvement. If I think of any of the big moments from the show, chances are I can remember what song was playing; The two are so perfectly tied together.

Oh, and of course the Ending theme was awesome too. I loved that they hold out on playing it until the third episode, just in case you didn't know what kind of show it was already.


I guess this post doubles as an Anime Recommendation, which is fine by me >:3
Posted May 13, 2013 at 08:15 pm

Click above for the album's official site



Majora's Mask was another of my favorite N64 games as a kid. People seem to have very mixed opinions on the title, but the overwhelming sense of unease and despair really got to me. The soundtrack was a big part of conveying that mood, from the sorrowful giants' theme to the way Clocktown's theme grew more desperate over time.

So I was pretty damn excited when I found out about this remix album, which recreates some of the more iconic music from the game with a more modern and orchestral sound. Terrible Fate is probably my favorite, with its incorporation of the song of healing and that damn mask salesman's creepy laugh. But I love the whole album, and it's really brought me back to how it felt to play this game as a kid.

It's also FREE! Though if you can, this guy definitely deserves support.
It's just the first of a planned series, and I can't friggin' wait for the next installment. Maybe it'll come sooner if he gets enough funding? But regardless, Time's End is a great product by itself.

Terrible faaaaaaaaate~
Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:55 am

CLICK ABOVE FOR YOUTUBE PLAYLIST



Neil Voss is a mysterious and illusive creature.
Back in 1997, a game called Tetrisphere was released for the N64. While the word "tetris" doesn't generally intimate badassness, this game was basically the coolest thing ever to me as a kid. Not only was it a fun puzzle game, but it had a kind of dark and ambient mood. Also there were robots. But most importantly, its music was the flippin' best. Tracks like Manic Drum Mix and Phony stayed in my head for years until I finally found a game rip. (And of course, track 4 of KB is named for Phony).
This soundtrack is still one of my favorite albums to work to. I never get bored of rocking out to it, and it's just perfect for keeping me pumped without distracting me with lyrics.


Later I discovered that Voss also did the soundtrack for the New Tetris, another N64 game which I never played. turns out its music is also awesome.


Ever since then, I've seen occasional hints of his continued existence on the internet. He popped up in the credits of a PATV episode and I just about shit myself. He was also present on an OK GO remix album! But if you go to neilvoss.com, you're greeted with nothing but an epileptic seizure. What exactly is this guy up to?? Does he still make any albums, or just mysterious small projects on the side? Is there any venue for informing him of how much he influenced you as a youth?? I just don't know! But I know I'll continue to keep an eye out for anything he might get up to in the future.

Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:31 pm
I want to start a regular Monday blog post where I share some of the music that I love, because I've got SO MUCH music that I love and it demands to be shared!
It seemed reasonable to start with a soundtrack that Steffi was actually listening to back in Track 3 of the comic, as a bit of trivia!


Back in high school German class, we watched an interesting movie called Lola Rennt (called Run, Lola, Run in America). The movie is pretty great, and is basically about the butterfly effect and parallel realities.
But what really gripped me at the time was the music. The eponymous Lola spends almost the entire movie on the run, and the soundtrack matches the pace with driving techno. The lyrics are often more of a chant than singing, and... y'know what, I'm not very good at talking about music. It's just awesome.

Unfortunately, it seems impossible to buy the soundtrack digitally (though you can find old CDs on Amazon), so I just... went ahead and stuck the whole thing on Tindeck. For your earholes.
Enjoy!
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15

Track 9 is the one Steffi's listening to on that page, and is probably my favorite (though that's a tough call since I love the whole thing)
Posted March 12, 2013 at 06:38 pm
Heya guys!
As I mentioned in the last comic's post, KB is going back to twice a week this week!
But since the Trenches(which I draw) and Table Titans(which I color) run on Tue/Thu, I've decided for the sake of sanity to run KB on WED/FRI instead. So there will be a new KB tomorrow! Followed by another on the fries.
Thanks for your patience everyone, and I'm excited to be picking the pace back up!
Posted February 22, 2013 at 07:09 pm
Heya guys! Once again, I will be exhibiting in the artist alley at Emerald City Comiccon this year! If you'll be in Seattle between March 1st and 3rd, come see me at F-10!
The con floor is friggin' huge this year, so here is a helpful guide to finding me:




I'll have Volumes 1 and 2, along with original art, posters, and buttons! I also take commissions, so if you've ever wanted an original drawing of something specific it's a great time to get one!

ECCC is always one of my favorite shows, so I'm super excited to be attending once again! I'm also in the charity art book Monsters and Dames this year with this piece:

So be sure to pick up a copy from the official ECCC booth if you're there, and feel free to come by and have my sign my page if you'd like!

After the week following the con, I should have enough time to move KB back up to twice a week :) Thanks so much to everyone for your patience and understanding, and I look forward to seeing some of you in Seattle!


Posted February 5, 2013 at 04:04 pm
Heya Everybody.
I'll start out with the TL;DR version for convenience's sake:
Temporarily, KB will be updating once a week (on wednesday)

Now for the long version:

As some of you know, this is a very transitional period in my life. I'm out of college and in the middle of trying to figure out how to best support myself monetarily while keeping a maximum amount of time for the things I love to do.

At the moment, that means I've taken on several coloring jobs. Coloring has always been my favorite part of the process, and the fact that people like my stuff enough to pay me to do it to THEIR art brings me some serious joy.
But it also means I have about five things going on right now, which makes it difficult to devote two days a week to drawing my comic.

I want to stress that this is not the beginning of some downward spiral for KB where I eventually abandon it. I know updates have been all over the place time-wise, and it might seem to the layperson that I don't care. KB is still very close to my heart, and I can't wait to show you guys some of the events that are coming up in the story. But it's a very small chunk of my income right now, so at this point I need to prioritize where the money is.
As soon as I get caught up on all this work, KB will resume its normal schedule. At this latest, that will be early March, after Emerald City Comiccon (which I'm excited to exhibit at once again!)

Thank you so much for sticking with the comic despite these ups and downs, and I hope you continue to enjoy it! Nothing brings me more creative satisfaction than people caring about this world I've created. And I'll see you with a new page tomorrow!

Meanwhile, you can always check out my art twice a week on the Trenches, as well as my coloring on Scott's new comic Table Titans.
Posted December 25, 2012 at 02:33 pm

Heya guys! Just posting real quick to wish everyone a Merry 25th of December!
KB won't be updating today, but it will return on Thursday for more shenanigans! Meanwhile I'm getting some serious family times up in the hizouse. Also getting some other work done. But mostly family!

Thanks so much to everyone for supporting KB throughout the year and being the best readers ever! The comic's always a joy to draw and share, and I can't wait for you to see some of the stuff I have planned for next year! : )
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