Drawn Like My French Girls: ‘Miraculous Ladybug’

Les filles magiques de la France sont les meilleures filles magiques, non?

Miraculous Ladybug (a.k.a. Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir). Directed by Thomas Astruc. Written by Fred Lenoir, Matthieu Choquet, et al. Zagtoon, Method Animation, and Toei Animation, 2015-2016. 26 episodes of 22 minutes (approx. 9.5 hours). Rated TV-Y7.

Available on Netflix.

For over a decade, probably the most successful magical girl title from outside Japan has been the Italian cartoon Winx Club, a dungeon-punkish hot mess that’s like a cross between Harry Potter, Tinkerbell, and Sailor Moon. But within the last few years, France has gotten into the act with at least two strong contenders, LoliRock and Miraculous Ladybug. We’ll discuss the former some other time, but we’ll discuss the latter right now. A French magical girl cartoon rendered in CGI, Miraculous Ladybug is known in some countries (including the U.S.) under the more cumbersome title of Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir.

Le City of ze Lights et les girls de majeeks, oh ho ho ho!

Continue reading “Drawn Like My French Girls: ‘Miraculous Ladybug’”

Magical Girl Mixed Drinks!

See? I’m not the only one doing it.

A few days ago, I amused myself by inventing magical girl-themed mixed drinks (all are untested, so create at your own risk), except the Madoka is basically a ripoff of a standard Baby Guinness, only with Cannon Shot.

But I’m not alone. Kyla M. Covert beat me to it by creating the Magical Girl, a cocktail involving viniq, prosecco, and cranberry juice. I don’t even know what those are. Well, except for the cranberry juice … okay, viniq is apparently moscato with vodka. That sounds appropriately disgusting. Maybe not as disgusting as what I suggested for the Utena, but still.

Unlike me, Covert actually tested her creation. Here’s the result:

Reasonably classy.

It looks okay. It’s probably pretty sweet, but it really shouldn’t be called “the Magical Girl” unless it’s cloying and gross.

Speaking of which, if you really want outrageous girly drinks that will cause heart palpitations or possibly fits of rage in anyone with a Y-chromosome or a modicum of respect for alcohol, you totally have to check out the abomination known as a “unicorn.” As described on a blog inappropriately called Kidspot, a unicorn is an alcoholic beverage made with such ingredients as ice cream, milk, and cotton candy. And there’s booze in there someplace.

So, do you eat the cotton candy first, or do you push it into the drink, or … ?

This is apparently something of a trend, as Kidspot reports several bars with several variations on this diabetes-inducing creation.

Eww.

So there you go. Now we know what magical girls drink on their down time. As for me? I’m gonna go crack open a beer.

 

Why I Hate ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ (and you can, four!)

The Ten Days of Hate: Day Three!

Two days ago, we kicked off the Ten Days of Hate with a discussion of Cardcaptor Sakura, the hugely popular magical girl franchise. Then we followed that up with further hate.

Now we continue with more of Ten Things I Hate about Cardcaptor Sakura:

Number 8: Lame Magic.

Supposedly, Clow Reed, the creator of the Clow Cards, was the bestest wizard ever, and he supposedly encapsulated more-or-less all of his magic in the cards that Sakura steadily collects across the series. But there’s a problem—

The cards are hella lame.

Looks like Sakura isn’t the only one collecting a lot of crap.

Continue reading “Why I Hate ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ (and you can, four!)”

Art and Update

Featured image: “Those Mahou Shoujo Messiahs” by Ruri-dere.

To let you know what’s up, chapter 26 of Jake and the Dynamo is (finally) off to my writer’s group, so it will appear on the blog in the near future.

I’m writing a novelette tonight, and then in the near future I need to finalize the extra extra story that’s going in Down and Out in Fifth Grade, the first fully illustrated Jake and the Dynamo novel. The editor I wanted has agreed to take me on, and she can get to it in mid-June. So that gives me enough time to get the extra material put together and get things squared away with Roffles Lowell, the illustrator, as well as get the ball rolling on the cover art.

In other news, I’ve got a lot of schoolwork coming up as we’re rapidly approaching the end of the term. And I have a new job.

So things are moving, if more slowly and haphazardly than I’d like. But it’s coming together.

I hope to have a new, fairly extensive review up in time for Easter. There’s a particular magical girl franchise I’ve been meaning to discuss at length, and Easter is the right time to do it. In fact, one of the magical girls in the above image is from the franchise I have in mind. If you can guess which girl it is based on the hint that it’s related to Easter, you can win the grand prize of ONE INTERNET, which I will award immediately.

Art + Update

Featured image: “Mahou Shoujo Cotton” by Maruuki.

I just finished working through my final pass of my upcoming novel, Jake and the Dynamo: Down and Out in Fifth Grade. I was waffling on the bonus chapter I had previously written for the end, but I think I’m going to expand it slightly and keep it. It’s not long enough to be sufficient bonus material, so among other things, I’m going to spend today working on a short story that will also go in the book, the working title of which is, “Young Rifle Maiden Plays It Safe.” That story, like the bonus chapter, will not be available on the blog.

I think I have things worked out with Roffles Lowell. He’s interested in doing the interior art. Right now, he’s just waiting for me to tell him what size, dimensions, and format he needs to work in, and whether I need black and white as well as color. He also offered to produce pictures for the chapter headings and section breaks, and I think I’ll probably take him up on that to give the book the appropriately gaudy YA novel look.

So things are coming together, albeit slowly. In my most recent pass over the story, I expanded a few sections, revised others, and fixed the inevitable typos that slipped through the earlier editing (and I wouldn’t be surprised if I missed a few on this pass, too). Also, because of the way I’m writing the story, posting as I go, a few inevitable inconsistencies have crept in here and there, so I’ve taken the opportunity to correct those as well. They mostly involve minor issues like the length of T.B.’s hair, Tsubasa’s threat competency rating, or how much access Marionette has to her own computer code. These are the same kinds of things you’ll notice in, for example, long-running web comics, even ones by creators who make more careful notes than I do.

The initial drafts go through my writer’s group and also get about three go-overs from me (once before going to the group, once after, and once in hard copy) before they go online, so what you see when the story updates is what we might call “upper middle draft,” as opposed to rough or final. Now that I’ve given the novel version my own edits, I think I’ve done all I can without someone else’s eyes on it. I haven’t lined up an editor yet, but hope to have that underway in the near future.

Presumably, after the editor has given it a go-over, it will need some rewriting.

A few years ago, it crossed my mind that it would be fun to write a light novel series, so I guess I’m living the dream, though Down and Out in Fifth Grade perhaps does not qualify as a light novel, since it’s about 95,000 words, whereas light novels generally run 40,000 to 50,000. So I guess I’m writing a novel series that’s light-novel-ish.

And if you’re following the series online, we’re already six chapters into volume 2, which presently has the working title of Jake and the Dynamo: Dead to Rights. It will probably contain approximately twenty chapters and around 100,000 words, just like volume 1.

Art: ‘Princess Tutu’ and the Art of Awesomesauce

Featured image: “Magical Girl Noveau: Princess Tutu Bookmarks” by Vivifx.

Today’s art post features the greatest magical girl of all time, Princess Tutu, an unlikely fusion of “The Ugly Duckling,” Swan Lake, and Revolutionary Girl Utena, with easily the most highbrow soundtrack in anime history. I ship Duck with Mr. Cat.

And yes, I said greatest. Of all time.

Because if it weren’t for Princess Tutu, there would be no guitar ninjas. You can’t argue with that.

Many fans of Her Tutuness consider the AMV for “Hold Me” to be a successful encapsulation of the awesomesauce, even though this song is not actually on the soundtrack: