Steadily Working …

In addition to some other important things I had to do today, I’m spending my time on Jake and the Dynamo, so you’ll have to put up with more Cardcaptor Sakura fan art until I can get you a proper post.

This one, featuring Sakura along with her familiar and her scary psycho stalker, is Christmas-themed. We’re still not too far out from Christmas, are we?

And no, seriously, Tomoyo is one scary chick. Somebody out there, please tell me I’m not the only one she freaks out. I mean, just look at her eyes.

Anyway, I’m not sure where this image originates, as it’s on most every free wallpaper/rootkit site on the internet, without attribution, of course.

Art

Featured image: “Magical Librarian” by Sangrde.

I have an essay I really want to get to for the blog, but tonight, I have to work on important non-blog things, so enjoy some magical girl reading time with your magical girl librarian instead.

Speaking of which, don’t forget we have a new chapter of Jake and the Dynamo available for your reading pleasure.

Jake and the Dynamo Fan Art #2

Featured image: “Sukeban Tsubasa vs. the Demoniac” by Roffles Lowell.

CODENAME: Magical Girl Sukeban Tsubasa
ALTER EGO: Unknown
FAMILIAR: Kobe the tanuki.
CURRENT AGE: 15
THREAT LEVEL COMPETENCY: 2.4
MAGITECH: Gadgetry

When a spacefaring alien decided to upgrade to the latest model of mecha power suit, he gave his old model to a teenage human girl because he knew he could write it off as a tax-deductible donation. Thus, Magical Girl Sukeban Tsubasa was born.

Tsubasa’s identity is unknown. She has been seen primarily in New Beijing, though her name suggests Japanese origin. Her bizarre accent, however, is unidentified. As a brand new magical girl, Tsubasa recently made waves when she single-handedly and in a single evening cleared New Beijing of both zombies and robot dinosaurs from space. Although her threat level competency is modest, a formidable arsenal suggests that it is likely to rise rapidly.

Tsubasa’s power suit may not look like much, but it uses truncated superstrings to store a vast array of weaponry inside a pocket dimension, which Tsubasa can access through her bracelets. To assist her, the suit comes with a self-aware instruction manual that by sheer coincidence resembles a Japanese raccoon dog.

The full range of her weapons is unknown. However, it has been confirmed that the suit has a built-in antigrav unit that allows her to fly and hover. Astonishingly, she recently used a nanoprobe cannon to perform an exorcism, an ability not typically observed in magical girls who receive their powers from extraterrestrial rather than spiritual sources.

According to her own statement, she has, quote, “more guns dan a Navarrone rummage sale.” Experts are still debating what this means.

Although she has only been a magical girl for a few days, Tsubasa already has an avid fan following, primarily because of the way she boasts of scandalous behavior. Dubbed the “bad girl of magical girls,” Tsubasa claims to engage regularly in what she calls “bad stuff,” including such un-magical-girl-like behavior as smoking, drinking, vandalism, and hanging out with boys. She has not yet been observed in male company, but insists that she has several boyfriends.

Her most shocking act to date is challenging Magical Girl Pretty Dynamo to single combat. Pretty Dynamo is currently the highest-rated magical girl in Urbanopolis, with a threat competency rating of 9.0. However, critics and magical girl experts point out that Dynamo’s arsenal of electrical weapons is highly specialized. This makes her ideal for taking down large kaiju (and thus achieving a high rating), but can hinder her when facing other threats. Tsubasa has already demonstrated that she is considerably more versatile.

Tsubasa’s fans have petitioned the Threat Assessment Board to raise Tsubasa’s rating to 9.1 if she successfully overcomes Dynamo in a match. However, some experts warn that adjusting a girl’s rating when she fights other magical girls could set a dangerous precedent, as it might encourage more intra-sororal battles in the magical girl community and thereby focus the girls’ attention on competing for ratings rather than their true task, which is defeating the monsters bent on mankind’s destruction.

Art … and a Test

Featured image: “Magical Girl Melodie” by Rice-Lily.

According to the artist’s description under the image, Melodie uses stuffed toys as weapons. That’s an interesting idea, though she’d probably have to do it without that copyrighted image of Hello Kitty.

Also, the artist links to one of those silly online quiz things. This one tells you what kind of magical girl you are, so of course I had to take it.

Accordingly, I learned that my magical girl hair color is cream, my outfit is salaryman-themed, and my weapon is sarcasm.

I guess I wouldn’t make a very good magical girl.

Happy New Year from deus ex magical girl

Featured image: “new year magic” by mauroz.

I stand between the years. The Light of My Presence is flung across the year to come—the radiance of the Sun of Righteousness. Backward, over the past year, is My Shadow thrown, hiding trouble and sorrow and disappointment.

Dwell not on the past—only on the present. Only use the past as the trees use My Sunlight to absorb it, to make from it in after days the warming fire-rays. So store only the blessings from Me, the Light of the World. Encourage yourselves by the thought of these.

Bury every fear of the future, of poverty for those dear to you, of suffering, of loss. Bury all thought of unkindness and bitterness, all your dislikes, your resentments, your sense of failure, your disappointment in others and in yourselves, your gloom, your despondency, and let us leave them all, buried, and go forward to a new and risen life.

Remember that you must not see as the world sees. I hold the year in My Hands—in trust for you. But I shall guide you one day at a time.

Leave the rest with Me. You must not anticipate the gift by fears or thoughts of the days ahead.

And for each day I shall supply the wisdom and the strength.

—A. J. Russell, God Calling

Art, Featuring ‘Made in Abyss’

Featured Image: Cover art of Made in Abyss Volume 1 by Akihito Tsukushi.

I’m falling in love with the artwork of Akihito Tsukushi, and maybe also with him personally just a little bit. I don’t think I was aware of him or his work until just recently when I stumbled upon it, but I have found at least one place on the internet where he hangs out.

The featured image both here and on this post comes from his four-part comic book series Made in Abyss, which is unfortunately unavailable in English. The artwork is certainly stunning. Information on the series is scanty, but it is apparently about a plucky young girl and a boy robot who explore a giant cave system full of fantastic critters.

I don’t know if the story’s any good, but it sounds promising, and in any case, it’s clear that it would be worth reading simply for the visual feast, akin perhaps to Dinotopia or Neotopia. Who cares what the story is when you can look at that art?

Art and Brief Update

Featured art: “Momo” by Coco-Sweet

I spent last weekend drafting fifty pages of Jake and the Dynamo, but, unfortunately, the pages I drafted are for the final chapter rather than for the next one.

I was having some trouble with the next chapter because I was trying to decide if it should be the one that advances the plot, or the beach episode. But I think I’ve figured it out now.