In Jake and the Dynamo, I have a scene in which Jake performs a lengthy and elaborate ritual to shave his face in the morning. I thought it was funny to depict a fourteen-year-old going through so much trouble just to scrape away his peach fuzz, but aside from his abuse of aftershave, his morning ritual is pretty much the same as mine.
I did this in part because I wanted to hearken back to the days when shaving was a tad more difficult and therefore more of a rite of passage for the adolescent male.
This is called “wet shaving.” I first discovered it while perusing The Art of Manliness, where I came upon the article, “How to Shave Like Your Grandpa,” and upon reading, immediately realized I would not be happy until I gave up my ridiculous, modern ways of scraping hair from my face and instead found joy and solace in beautiful anachronism. There’s a tight-knit internet community dedicated to wet shaving, because there’s an internet community dedicated to everything, but it’s enjoyed a resurgence in popularity recently mostly because wet shavers tout it as considerably cheaper than shaving with the disposable cartridge-head razors. Continue reading “How to Shave Like a Real Man”
That trolling is a shameful thing, and that no one of sense would accept to be called ‘troll’, all are agreed; but what trolling is, and how many its species are, and whether there is an excellence of the troll, is unclear. And indeed trolling is said in many ways; for some call ‘troll’ anyone who is abusive on the internet, but this is only the disagreeable person, or in newspaper comments the angry old man. And the one who disagrees loudly on the blog on each occasion is a lover of controversy, or an attention-seeker. And none of these is the troll, or perhaps some are of a mixed type; for there is no art in what they do. (Whether it is possible to troll one’s own blog is unclear; for the one who poses divisive questions seems only to seek controversy, and to do so openly; and this is not trolling but rather a kind of clickbait.)
[Read the rest.]
Featured art by BeningK.
Crazy times over here. I’m preparing to move and then to go back to school … again.
But other things are still happening. I’m spending this afternoon (it’s actually my morning because I’m working nights now) finalizing and submitting an essay to Sci Phi Journal: The Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy, a site I recommend you check out if you haven’t heard of it. It publishes new fiction, some reprints, and philosophical essays using sf as a jumping-off point.
But it suffers a lack of magical girls. I’m sending in an article entitled “Justice Tempered with Cuteness: Moral Development and Retributive Justice in Craig McCracken’s Powerpuff Girls.” If that doesn’t get accepted there, I’ll post it here instead.
If it does get accepted there, I’ll start another essay on metaphysical concepts in Shugo Chara!, which I’ve been meaning to write for a while but haven’t gotten to yet.
I’m also working on the next part of Jake and the Dynamo, of course. And I’m making my way through a second viewing of Revolutionary Girl Utena, which I am proud to own in the limited edition remastered box set, and about which I’ll write when I’m finished.
I also recently read Herman Hesse’s Jungian/Nietzschean/Gnostic novel Demian, which inspired Utena, in the hope I would therein find the master key to understanding this most esoteric of magical girl anime. Reading a classic of German literature in order to understand a Japanese cartoon sounds backwards, but hey, whatever gets them reading, right? This is only the second Hesse novel I’ve read, and I’m now wishing I had greater knowledge of his corpus.
Also, as a heads-up to anyone who cares, a boxed set of the Revolutionary Girl Utena manga, which differs significantly from the anime as the two were made at the same time by different people, is set to release on February 7 of next year. I know I’ll be getting one. I just can’t get enough sexual-neurosis-induced-crisis-reaching-catharsis-through-swordfighting.
Good grief, these things actually exist. What can’t you find on the internet?
While the rest of you are playing with your little Pokey Mans, or whatever they’re called, I’m over here designing magical girl outfits like a boss. Yes, this is what I call a truly immersive video game experience.
Okay, not really, but at least these games aren’t encouraging me to trespass, walk into traffic, get mugged in back alleys, or give away all my Google account information.
So, in honor of dumb but addictive video games, I here present all the free online magical girl dress-up games that I was able to find just now. These games are pretty much like those old paper dolls your grandma used to play with, except now on the computer, and with magical girls. Such games prove, among other things, that I have no fashion sense. And also that I have too much time on my hands.
To test these games’ versatility, I decided my goal with each would be to get the character to look as much as possible like Pretty Dynamo. Let’s see how close I can get. Continue reading “Magical Girl Dress-Up Games”
To increase exposure, I’m working on hosting Jake and the Dynamo in a few other places around the internet. You can see there’s now a Patreon button on your left, right above the Paypal button. The story will continue to be available for free, of course, but if you’d like to put a little change in my jar whenever a new chapter appears, it would be much appreciated and will help me to keep the content coming, and to improve it.
I’m also looking to host the story on Royal Road, which hosts web novels and is, quite reasonably, asking for a verification of my ownership. That’s part of the purpose of this post.
EDIT: As a reader points out, we could use some more J&tD-themed artwork. That’s where any donation money would go first, actually.