Finished Inking my Comic

I finished inking my comic! It took me forever to draw and ink this thing, and it’s barely a step above stick figures. Although, now comes the hard part. In lieu, of using a T-square, I decided to not draw borders by hand and use a computer instead. I’m also doing all the word bubbles and text in the computer. I know word fonts look crappy in comic books, but trust, it’ll look much better than my chicken scratch (at its best it looks like 3rd grader’s, at its worse someone mentally challenged). However, what this means is now I have to scan everything and manipulate it on the computer (which I am terrible at, as one has probably observed from my photoshopping abilities. So, it’s at least a month away from complete.

As for novel, that’s going far worse. I currently have lots of bits and pieces that don’t quite add up to a climax or an end. I must be halfway in and as someone pointed out is kind of the “point of no return.” Fewer than halfway, you can easily just junk it and start over. At this point, it needs to get finished.

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The Lone Samurai Review

The boat slowly sails to Gangryu Island, a small Japanese island sandwiched between Kokura and Nagato. It is cold this day. This is where they agreed to meet, Sasaki Kojiro and Miyamoto Musashi, for an exhibition of samurai skill. The two greatest samurai of the 17th century set to have the greatest battle of either’s life. This moment becomes a major focal point in William Scott Wilson’s The Lone Samurai: The Life of Miyamoto Musashi. Kojiro has been waiting for three hours and watches Musashi’s boat with intensity. Musashi is late. Kojiro unsheathes his overly long sword dubbed the Drying Pole; for Kojiro “the soul of a swordsman was bound up in the weapon he carried at his side.” Musashi is half asleep as the boat limps to shore. He is filthy and unkempt, he pulls out his weapon, recently carved from a wooden oar. Musashi jumps into the water and wades toward his opponent. Kojiro thinks to himself this is the legendary Musashi?

Kojiro yells insults at Musashi. Musashi ignores him. Out of anger, Kojiro throws his scabbard at the water. Musashi laughs and says, “You’ve lost, Kojiro. Would the winner throw away his scabbard?”

In The Lone Samurai the reader stands on the shore and watches these two warriors trade blows. Wilson wants us in the thick of things and for a while he succeeds. For the first fifty pages he does an incredible job of blending story with history. With the popularity of Japanese lore, and so much myth still resonating with us, it’s refreshing to go back and get this image of the samurai at the height of his profession. Musashi is still relevant to modern culture. His book The Book of Five Rings has often been compared to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and discusses discipline, knowledge, the every day mind, fluidity, and psychology. Because of this The Book of Five Rings became briefly popular with American business in the 80’s.

Wilson’s career has been primarily that of a translator, but he demonstrates a surprising ear for prose in this first English biography of the man whom many consider the greatest samurai that ever lived. Still he demonstrates his translator roots when he defines samurai; Wilson strips away the warrior connotations and gives the true meaning as “one who serves.” Wilson has translated many samurai books, and his publisher Kodansha International was so impressed with his translation of The Book of Five Rings they gave him a chance to do this biography.

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