kutsuwamushi: from a Married to the Sea Comic (edumacation)
([personal profile] kutsuwamushi Jun. 20th, 2017 05:14 pm)
I know I shouldn't, but I still get irritated when people use "popular" to describe things that are common but don't involve a preference or choice, e.g. "it's popular for languages to conjugate for person and number."

It seems that they're still mostly not using it for negative things - so it's still not synonymous with "common." But it's also not my meaning of popular, either.

I think I'm starting to understand what it feels like to be an old fogey afraid of language change. Help, the world is leaving me behind! I'm mortal and will die.
kutsuwamushi: (feminism)
([personal profile] kutsuwamushi Jun. 19th, 2017 04:53 pm)
So over on tumblr I subscribe to meninfantasyart, one of those ubiquitous art aggregators. And I've noticed something.

It goes like -
horromonster
bishounen
demon
bishounen
orc
glowing demon something
orc
wtf even is that
heavily armored bishounen


It's not supposed to be a cheesecake account, so while there are a few pretty men in there, the illustrations for the most part aren't about sex appeal; they're about how imposing, powerful, and intimidating these male characters are. The sex appeal, if there even is any, usually flows from that.

Meanwhile, I'm also subscribed to a few more general illustration aggregators. These also aren't cheesecake accounts. Women show up far more often than men, and they're always pretty, and usually presented in an non-threatening way.

So obvious of course. This won't surprise anyone. But it does get old.
spqrblues: (Blues 5 Felix colour)
([personal profile] spqrblues Jun. 19th, 2017 12:01 am)
Once I got started drawing--after a lot of warmups--finishing the pencils and inking went quickly. The dialogue started fighting back and being stubborn, though.

I accidentally left a speaker ambiguous a couple of comics ago, by having an off-panel not-yet-seen speaker. This time I thought I'd try doing it deliberately.

Read more... )
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kutsuwamushi: (Default)
([personal profile] kutsuwamushi Jun. 17th, 2017 09:29 pm)
I finally watched Moana. It took a while - but I knew I'd be interested since I first heard about it, though.

I won't bother summarizing the movie much since everyone probably knows the basics: Moana has to voyage across the ocean to find Maui, a shapeshifting demigod, and make him restore the heart of the goddess Te Fiti - which he stole a thousand years ago, causing a growing darkness that now threatens to engulf her island.

I really enjoyed it. The animation is great, the story is entertaining, the performances are wonderful, and .

There are some things that I didn't like - but these are really dangers of the genre. I've never been a fan of musicals, and the earnestness is sometimes too much for me. Also, I felt like that parts of the beginning werea bit "Intro to Polynesian Culture 101", in an awkward way - but it probably makes sense when you consider that the primary audience is kids.

Did I mention that it is based on Polynesian stories? I didn't, because you probably already know. It's not just window-dressing, though, which is important.

There's another thing that just occurred to me, as I was writing this:

Moana is the daughter of the chief and from the beginning is assumed to be the next chief of the village. There is no mention at all of this being unusual. I'm so used to "girl power" storylines, where the girl has to triumph over prejudice by proving she's worthy. It was refreshing to see Moana's gender not matter at all - to see girls already accepted. It's not ignored, but it really doesn't have anything to do with the story. (Although it does make the ending more powerful.)

So, I think it's worth seeing, if you haven't yet. I don't know that I like it as much as I liked Mulan, but I liked it a lot. If you're the type of person who doesn't generally get excited about Disney, but likes a few of their movies, this one is worth checking out.

Here is a tumblr post I made about the landscapes. Columnar basalts!
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thedeadparrot: (oracle)
([personal profile] thedeadparrot Jun. 16th, 2017 09:27 pm)
I have a bike now. I've been resisting for a while, because biking is scary and I felt like I needed a leg up into being willing to do it. I do have a ton of friends who do bike, though, and they all seem to be really into it, so I let one of them talk me into going on a bike ride with her and really enjoyed it. And that led to the slippery slope of actually buying a bike and then riding it to work. And then riding it back home in the pouring rain. It does cut down my commute to about 1/3 to 1/4 of how long it used to take, so it's definitely going to be useful going forward, especially if I need to get someplace that's obnoxious to get to otherwise. I don't think I'm going to give up on walking everywhere, though. I like the slowed down pace and not having to worry about locking up my bike.

One of the awesome things about getting the bike is that I got it, plus accessories, from a local non-profit called Bikes Not Bombs, and the money I gave them will also hopefully support the cool work that they do both locally and abroad.



Other thing I have been fascinated by lately is Mastodon. It kind of is a roll-your-own Twitter clone, but it also is built to be less awful than Twitter? 500 word character limits, cut-tags (called content warnings) for hiding content if necessary, per-toot(tweet) privacy settings. Open source, free of advertising, strong moderation rules. And a way of viewing the local community through the 'local timeline', where you can see the stream of the entire site in one place.

You might be wondering how this idea scales, because a local timeline on Twitter would be a shitshow, and you're right. It would be. But the idea of Mastodon is to be decentralized, which is kinda difficult to grasp these days when all of our social media is so very centralized. What does that mean in this case? It means that there are a bunch of different webistes that run the Mastodon code, but all of these websites can integrate and talk to one another. The easiest comparable example is e-mail. You may be on yahoo.com and I may be on gmail.com, but we can still send e-mail to one another without issue. The way the local timeline is supposed to work is that you get to see the chatter that's happening in your particular instance, and hopefully you've built a cool little community there. But you can also follow people on other Mastodon servers and see their content and interact with them.

Anyway, I started investigating the idea of setting up a fannish Mastodon site ("instance" in the local parlance), where we can gather and talk about fannish things and have fandom-oriented content policies and code of conducts, but still be connected to the larger Mastodon universe if people want to be. It seems like I'm a bit late to the party, as someone else has started a similar project, but I've been invited to help out as well, so that could be fun. Hooray.

There's also a great set of newbie documentation that's been compiled if you're interested in exploring it further.

I'm not going to lie. It's kind of funky. The UI is generally pretty good, but it can be kind of weird at times. The Tweetdeck-but-not can feel kind of limiting. There's tons of Twitter features that haven't been implemented, whether by lack of time or by design. There's still some weirdness with the distributed nature that makes the integration less than seamless. But I still find it interesting and fun, and I'm a sucker for new things.

If you want to find me (at least for now), I'm @thedeadparrot@mastodon.social. My instance is closed down for new signups right now, but if you're interested, I can also dig up other reputable instances if need-be.
spqrblues: (arch scribe)
([personal profile] spqrblues Jun. 13th, 2017 11:00 pm)
Posted on Twitter today: I played with a sampler of QoR watercolours today (instead of getting the next comic done--but it was something I could do while thinking through the next complicated(!) steps in the plot).

QoR paints are made with a synthetic substitute for gum arabic, a binder traditionally used in watercolours and mostly sourced from one type of acacia tree in Sudan. I've heard that the synthetic binder is used in art preservation, but that disqualifies QoR paints from joining my ancient palette, even as a substitute for something poisonous :) The paints needed some finessing to work nicely on the sketchbook paper. They wouldn't be my first choice of paints, but some artists like them. I'll keep playing with them until my tiny sampler runs out.

These are photos, not scans, so the colours and proportions are slightly different in each Iusta image.

(click 'em to see larger)

Read more... )
spqrblues: (arch scribe)
([personal profile] spqrblues Jun. 11th, 2017 03:04 pm)
Today's warmup features antique & new dip pens; J. Herbin's archival black ink Encre Authentique (said to have been used by all the classiest ye olde French notaries); a variety of Rohrer & Klingner inks (the two iron-gall inks are not waterproof, the overenthusiastic burnt sienna is); and Copic markers, which I admit is a very weird combination of materials.

I grumped about the black ink not working with one of the nibs, but eventually got it going. The Copics sopped right through Stillman & Birn Alpha paper, but they blended reasonably nicely.

Read more... )
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