Jun.24.13 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! >: )
Jun.17.13 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.
Jun.10.13 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!

May.27.13 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.
May.21.13 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
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