The Dark-Eyed Mistress of Sweet, Sweet Pain (jenni_the_odd) wrote,
The Dark-Eyed Mistress of Sweet, Sweet Pain

I meme because I love.

Or because I am bored and feel talky. Take your pick.

apiphile associates me with:
  • Poetry -- Oh, lord. Poetry. If asked, my first instinct is to spit out "I hate poetry" and make a horrid face as though you've just asked me to lick the inside of Rush Limbaugh's most elderly pair of unwashed undergarments. Some people will then point out that I have been known to write the stuff. Yes, I respond, but only because I have to. I liken poetry (all creativity, really, but especially poetry) to menstruation. It comes and goes with little to no predictability, I have no control over when, where, or how enormous the onslaught might be, it responds to neither threats nor bribes, and not doing my best to accommodate it leads to inevitable disaster. Also, it tends to ruin pants.
  • Comics -- I first started illustrating my stories because I could not (to my immense frustration) quite get at what I wanted to convey with words. So I started drawing my characters, making elaborate costume plans and maps for their worlds. I originally hoped to write screenplays and make movies, and wanted to be sure my vision was carried out properly. At some point in high school I realized I am terrible at plots but decent at writing somewhat compelling characters. So I dropped the movie idea and focused on comics. This was about the same time I was first really exposed to manga, which opened up a whole new world (A DAZZLING PLACE I NEVER KNEW) to me. I'd figured out that comics could have story arcs and serious elements -- I had, after all, been reading Calvin and Hobbes and For Better or For Worse for years by this point -- but it had never really clicked in my head that they didn't need a punchline after every x number of panels. I picked up volume 12 of the Ranma 1/2 manga on a whim when I was about 14 or 15, and saw a comic written like a TV show. There was slapstick, there were jokes, but they weren't the point. The focus of the story was these wacky characters and their relationships. I never actually got into Ranma 1/2 beyond copying the art style for my first attempt at manga-influenced art. I quickly abandoned it for the prettier and far angstier Neon Genesis Evangelion, the indulgently middle-school-girl-fantasy Fushigi Yuugi, the terminally fluffy American dub of Sailor Moon, and the pretty-boy-saturated Gundam Wing. I think GW was the only fandom I was even moderately active in, and I outgrew my fannish tendencies when I realized I'd much rather write my own stories with my own characters than try and fill in the blanks in someone else's.
    I maintain that writing and drawing comics is a control freak's dream -- you are the writer, director, casting agent, wardrobe, set designer, everything. You never have to worry about actors not getting the inflection right. You never have to write out a character because a contract ends. While you can take suggestions from readers, you don't have to if you don't like what they have to say. It's a terrible shame that many people still consider comics 'silly' or just for kids. I think that perception is slowly shifting, particularly with the popularity of comic-based movie franchises these days (in addition to non-superhero comics becoming films, like Persepolis), but it's an awkward thing to defend. No, the comics are for grown-ups, too. No, that doesn't mean they're all porn. Yes, there is some silly stuff, or maybe some x-rated humor. No, that doesn't automatically make them children's fare or fap material, respectively. No, there aren't always people in vacuum-sealed spandex fighting crime.
    Webcomics, in particular, fascinate me because they combine so many elements of the 'real' comic industry with the wild new frontier that is the Interwebs*. Artists and writers are no longer limited by the size of a page or the number of colors they can afford to print in, only by their imaginations, their computer's capabilities, and their audience's willingness to scroll and/or click as necessary. It's curious how little this is actually toyed with, though. Most artists and writers seem content to remain firmly in the realm of print restrictions, perhaps hoping to one day publish on dead trees as well as online.
    Wait, what was I talking about? Comics? Right. I enjoy them.
  • Bunchies -- What is not to love about Bunchies, seriously. Pure, citrus JOY. I love anything that straddles the often-blurry line between disturbing and adorable, as well as anything that looks that damn happy.
    Also, I now have a reason to post this image again. Every time Bunchies scares someone, an angel gets its wings. And by 'wings', I mean 'Bunchies:
  • Surreal Humour -- See above. Oh, all right. When I was younger, I used to visit my aunt and uncle in Carbondale, Illinois (usually with become_a_robot now and then. Do you know what there is to do in Carbondale, Illinois? Not a whole hell of a lot, in 1995. My uncle was a professor at SIU, and I loved going to the university library with him. I love university campuses, always have. They have a sense of vibrance and hope and potential. Anyway. When not going to the library, or riding bikes, or doing whatever-else we did there, we would scamper down to the video store and rent something entertaining. I clearly remember watching The Muppet Show and various Muppet movies, and loving them, but I also remember a surreal, ridiculous video. For the longest time, I couldn't recall anything about it other than that it made me giggle, but a few years ago I realized what it was. Monty Python's Flying Circus. MPFC and The Muppet Show were probably some of the biggest media influences shaping my developing sense of humor. If you think about it, this explains a hell of a lot about me.
    Readers of Calvin and Hobbes can probably recall the strip where Calvin answers the phone by ordering a pizza. After hanging up on a confused caller, he grins at the reader and announces that he likes to make everyone's day a little more surreal. That has been my mantra for years. Harmless acts of absurdity have a certain beauty to them, and knowing you've made someone's day more interesting, or given them a story to tell next time they sit down to a meal or go to a bar with friends can make your day a little better, too. Organizations like Improv Everywhere appeal to me very strongly for this reason. The idea of committing Random Acts of Art around town (not graffiti -- leaving poems taped to bus stop poles, or small sculptures on park benches, that sort of thing) is also something I want very badly to do but lack the creative oomph and confidence to pull off.
  • Hats -- I am pro-hat. Be it a serious hat or silly one, I think it is a tragedy that hats are no longer considered a significant element of mainstream fashion. I also hate that I cannot seem to wear them, as my head is too big for most, my hair doubly so, it is far, far too hot in Houston to keep one's head covered during 75% of the year, and a good hat is expensive. To say nothing of the fact that the real reason I do not wear hats is the same reason I do not wear anything I actually like, fashion-wise: I do not feel like I could pull it off because I am big and fat (if I were just fat or just big, I think I might be able to deal, but I am both and it is Too Much). I am, however, so very pleased that because the Laurels issue this semester is Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass-related, my suggestion of a Silly Hats-themed reading has been approved. LET THERE BE HATS.

    pvenables associates me with:
  • Being "Bravo" and having a kickass last name -- It is a good last name. If I were pretty, I'd probably have tried doing the Hollywood thing, because seriously, the name needs to be out there. Also, if I ever trick someone into marrying me (and mark my words, it will involve lies and possibly magic) I would not change my name. Barring, of course, marrying someone with the last name of "Super-Awesome".
  • Your family sounds like a laugh riot -- Oh, you have no idea. My entire family is funny. When we are all together and we are 'on'? Tears flow from laughter. Strangers have been overwhelmed by the sheer force of Funny exhibited at our dinner table. People sitting at nearby tables in restaurants have thanked us for entertaining them. I am not at all joking when I say it was a personal goal of mine to make bits of dinner shoot out of the noses of my sibling's friends when they first ate at our house. I am not joking either when I say I achieved this goal on at least one occasion. One of our finest strengths is our ability to run with an idea, no matter how absurd. If he is in the right mood, Gabe and I can keep a joke going for hours (sometimes days), usually dissolving into laughter once we reach the point where we have to admit that, say, keeping the poison right next to the canned condensed soup is a terrible idea, and why do they even make cream of poison mushroom soup in the first place. Emma is picking up on this particular skill quickly, and in time I expect her Funny Capability will rival any of ours.
  • Chibi comics I don't see so much anymore but really enjoyed -- Yeah, they were pretty cute. I just haven't felt like drawing in the past year or so. Haven't written anything, either Okay, I've now broken the streak by drawing some crappy plants and writing a few panels of a comic, but I don't like any of it and it took HOURS. It was like pulling teeth. I used to be an overflowing fountain of stories and ideas, and now I'm empty. I miss it, and at the same time, I don't. I feel like there should be this gaping, painful void in my life where Art and Writing used to be, and there isn't. There's just... nothing.
  • Your brother ran away... any idea where he is now? -- As I write this, snoring on the couch to my left. I'm not sure how public it was, but Gabe returned home after being gone for about three months, and currently sort-of lives here. He technically has a place of his own, with a roommate, but he stays here quite a bit because our house is closer to where he works and attends school. And also we have food and a washing machine.
  • Living in the Southern USA -- I believe you mean Texas, sir. Geographically, we might be Southern (or Southwestern, depending on your point of view), but Texans are a bit different from 'regular' Southerners. The accents are different, the food is different (BBQ means beef, goddammit)... We've gotten a bad rap for being bass-ackwards, and been blamed for producing a certain president who shall remain nameless, but we've got some fascinating culture going on. My hometown, Houston, is an amazing place for art, music, and multicultural influences. Fourth largest city in the US, and woefully under appreciated. I, like many Texans, am pretty damn proud of my state. As much as I may bitch about the weather (and most of you would MELT here), it's a beautiful place and I would quite happily live in Texas -- most likely in Houston -- all my life.
    ... Dear lord, even in my mind I read that last paragraph with a drawl. Damn, y'all.

    twfarlan associates me with:
  • Art -- For me, this ties into "comics" and "poetry", because both of those are a form of art. I realized recently that I think of 'art', at least, the way most people would categorize it, as mute. Yes, it can convey things and even tell a story of sorts, but it's silent. As soon as words or text enter the equation, I consider it something more than basic 'art', and it has shifted to being closer to 'comics' territory (even if it is a single painting that just happens to have some text, or a collage that includes words). I think it has to do with the level of control the artist has over the interpretation.
  • Family -- I believe we have covered this sufficiently.
  • Sarcasm -- I take offense at this accusation, sir! I have never uttered a sarcastic word in my life. My speech is filled with the sweetest of truths and kind sentiment.
  • Houston -- Ooh, almost another repeat. But yeah, this was answered pretty much above.
  • Feminism -- Huh. It's only in the past year or so that I've become really interested in feminism beyond the basic "equal rights are good kthx" opinion that all decent human beings share. It's an extremely fascinating topic, and, quite frankly, addresses a lot of minor things that have always irritated me for reasons I was previously unable to put into words. I went through the "Gaaawwwwd I totally hate women" phase that apparently a lot of women go through, years back. It was misplaced blame for a fucked-up system that hurts everyone. I'm learning more about that system, and just how it fucks over everyone (even those who do manage to reap some benefits from it -- namely, straight white wealthy, cisgendered men) and it is really, really amazing in a horrible sort of way.


    *There is a lot of talk recently about how mainstream/newspaper comic artists are in a huff because they aren't making money anymore and they want to try this internets thing they've heard so much about. But they don't want to sell out and have to make cash from merchandise and stuff, because that's so low-brow and cheap. They're artists, man. They're above that. Which is, of course, the biggest load of cowshit since Paul Bunyan's ox got diarrhea. ANYONE looking to make cash from their work is either going to sell out to some degree, especially if 'selling out' constitutes merchandising. We can't all be Questionable "T-shirt Factory" Content**, but it's rare you'll find someone who puts hours of work into creating a comic (and if it's done well, it can take hours upon hours for a single panel, much less a cohesive story that spans pages) who wouldn't mind a little return on their mental, physical, and emotional investment.
    **I believe this particular title was stolen from Your Webcomic Is Bad and You Should Feel Bad. While I disagree with that particular blog on many fronts, I will admit that yes, sometimes it seems like QC is just an elaborate ad for t-shirts disguised as dramatic comedy.
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