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Topics - Zealapeal

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break Room / What do you think?
« on: February 16, 2016, 12:12:53 PM »
Hey guys. I think I've been slighted, but I want to know what you think.

In my reply to the first message, I stated,
"Thanks. Don't message me about this again."
Word for word.

He messaged back his second and final warning this morning.
I know I'm not the most popular on the forum by far, but...
Are my actions that out of line to threaten a ban?
What do you think?


Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls!
Gather one and all to this time of competition and fiery spirit!

Test your mettle, test your might!
Show your prowess with the pencil, and the glory of all MR shall be upon you!

The rules are simple:
  • You must be an artist.
  • You must submit your own work.
  • It must be in by August 10th, 11:59 PM, GMT.
  • It must be according to the theme.
  • The photo must include your hybrid and the original Pokémon. // Kagepen, DBNext, and Blackbird given exceptions.
See! Easy!
Now, let's get down to the nitty-gritty.

This is a public competition, meaning anyone can join. Just say you're in, and we'll add you to the roster. Those of all skill-levels are welcome.

Voting will be publicly done via forum poll on August 11th.

The theme is as the title says: A Pokémon-Human Hybrid Contest. Simply put, merge your favorite Pokémon (or any Pokémon; Ditto does not count) with a human subject, and fwamo! You're in! Don't forget to put your human hybrid next to the un-modified Pokémon you selected, so we can tell what in the world you drew!

Examples are as such:

Feel more than free to not use a chibi-style if it is to your liking. The competition has no style guidelines, so please do whatever you see fit.
  Just remember:
Your Poké-Human hybrid and the original Pokémon. Together. In the same photo. That you drew.

Following so far? Great!
So, you in or not? Let's get started!

---- The Roster ----

MR Pub / Why Do You Draw / Write?
« on: November 16, 2012, 01:14:00 AM »
I've been asking myself this a few times and I have yet to find an answer, but I know it's come up multiple times with other people as well. It got me curious...

So, I ask you fellow MangaRaiders, why do you draw / write?

Tips and Tutorials / Psychological Fortitude
« on: August 08, 2012, 04:18:55 PM »
(Definitions from Dictionary.com) Sabotage, [sab-uh-tahze] / [sab-uh-tahze] n., v. -
1.) any underhand interference with production, work, etc., in a plant, factory, etc., as by enemy agents during wartime or by employees during a trade dispute.
2.) any undermining of a cause.

Being a creative individual in this world, be it an artist or an author, a sculptor, photographer, engineer or otherwise, takes quite a bit of mental fortitude. This can be applied to almost anything, as almost anywhere in life, you will face attacks physically, mentally, and emotionally, in an attempt to make you fail. Why do fellow humans sabotage each other and themselves? It could be for a variety of reasons, but I'm sure you can list a few already. After all, you've probably already been attacked hundreds of times by other humans; perhaps not overtly, but you've seen it, heard it, or felt the affects of it.

Physical attacks against humans with the intent to cause harm is a criminal offense - most people will stay away from this method of sabotaging you in your creative pursuit. You will find most attacks to be on the mental or emotional plane. Psychological attacks come at us from everywhere almost everyday. People with snide comments, insults, word-plays, even "helpful advice," serve to be psychological attacks, and these will slowly build up in our mind over time. Soon we will begin to self-sabotage, believing in the lies both ourselves and others have told us.

"Life has no limitations, except the ones you make." - Les Brown

How can we combat this ever-present threat to our goals and desires? One person might say to fight them back; sabotage them for sabotaging you. Yet, I would think this is not the correct way to go about it. If you're going to be successful as a creative individual, attempting to "get back" at someone is wasting precious time you could be working toward success. These people want to see you fail. What better way to show them up than to be successful? What better way to cause them to boil inside than to ignore or deflect every attack they could ever throw?

This is much easier said than done. Psychological fortitude, mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously, is built up over time, strengthened and reinforced constantly and periodically. It could serve to be a temporary barrier or a permanent defense. It can be constructed easily, but as easily as it is constructed, it can be just as easily under-mined and demolished. Remember, only you are the one who can build and demolish these barriers and defenses.

"The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions." - Leonardo da Vinci

Many people in creative fields are prone to weakness in the psychological field, much due the fact that their work is based off of other people (being that the creative field is often a social field as well!). The ability to successfully invoke thought and evoke emotion is what many creative individuals strive to do, especially in the literary field. These emotions, thoughts, reactions - they are all based off of other individuals who praise or scoff such works. Aspiring artists, writers, photographers, sculptors, or what-have-yous just beginning in their field get much flak for their work simply because they are beginning to understand, or must soon begin to understand (or risk failure), that their work influences humans in certain ways and must learn to keep that balance between creativity and purpose, or meaning.

So how does one build this... psychological fortitude we've been discussing?

Many people rename psychological fortitude into something more familiar. They call it, "mindset." What is your mindset? What mindset is best for you?

I have currently found two mindsets in my personal search for answers regarding this.

There are those who have feed off of a positive, reinforcing mindset, and those who feed off of a negative, adversarial mindset. To put this into perspective, which lie do you prefer most:

1.) "I am the best artist the world has even seen."

Most people will prefer this statement. Why? It is a positive statement. It brings forth good emotions that says, "Yeah, I am the best artist in the world!" The want to believe that they truly are the best artist in the world helps push these people forward toward success. It also serves to be a counter-acting agent to negative statements. To provide an example, when people say, "Holy  :swear: , your bad at this," you can easily counter-act that statement with, "No, I am the best artist the world has even seen."

A positive, reinforcing message also can help keep things light and humorous, helping creative individuals approach their creative field with a happy heart and happy mind, allowing them to "play" in their environment like children would. Children are marvelously creative creatures, as they have no sense of limitations, both true or absolute false, "set" in their mind quite yet by other people.

2.) "I am the worst excuse for an artist I've ever laid eyes on."

Many people will NOT prefer this statement. Why? They hear it all the time from others already. However, some people will take this and feed off it it, and those that do so successfully often become very successful in their field. Hearing a negative statement or getting a negative response from others is so frequent and common, there is plenty to feed off of. Do not get me wrong, however. These people do not want to believe that they truly are the worst artist in the world; they strive to get better like the rest of us. The way they deal with these statement is through the passion and drive to prove that statement WRONG, along with all the others who feed him / her that lie.

"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein

Of course, there are other mindsets to keep in mind. These are two of the basics ones; a yin-yang so to speak. One can discover these mindsets, or create a new one, simply by finding what works for you. Looking at quotes of great men can help stimulate the thoughts needed to forge a new mindset that works particularly for you and, perhaps, you alone. Finding it is a necessity. Perhaps what you feel now is light adversary. As you improve in skill and climb the ladder towards your goals and desires, things will only get harder and harder, and if your psychological fortitude is not kept in tip-top shape, you will fall or cease to grow.

As creative individuals, we must strive for growth as it leads us to those goals an desires we have. A strong mind is something that will allow you to continue growing with passion and dedication.

"Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars." - Les Brown

Good luck. I hope to see you all finding your perfect mindset, getting out of those hurts, habits, and hang-ups, and reaching your goals and desires very soon!

Have a quote that gets you through the day? Care to share your mindset on how you take on the world? Have something you'd like to see added on to this? Comment and write it below.

Tips and Tutorials / An In-Depth Look at Copy-Drawing
« on: July 02, 2012, 06:21:13 PM »
Forewarning: This is a long-winded tutorial.

Hey folks! This tutorial will be taking an in-depth look at (or a very detailed explanation of) copy-drawing; the process behind it, its purpose, and how it can help you grow as an artist. I recommend reading through all of this, as it can assist both those who are new to drawing along with experienced artists. Feel free to skip around. Also, if you see something that is NOT covered in this tutorial, reply and make a request – I’ll add it to the tutorial (or make new, different one…?).

What will be covered in this tutorial you might ask? Great question! We will cover:

•   Copy-Drawing as a Whole: A Brief Overview
•   The Process of Copy-Drawing
  o   The Goal
  o   The Underline or Sketch
     -  Simple Forms vs. Rough Outlining
     -  Line Relationships and Negative Space
  o   Lining
  o   Shading and Detail
•   Understanding What the You’ve Accomplished
  o   What Makes Copy-Drawing Important Again?
  o   Growing as an Artist from Copy-Drawing
•   Detail-Replacing: The Older Brother to Copy-Drawing
•   The End…?

As a side note: This tutorial covers human forms and figures, NOT landscapes. Keep that in mind. Now, onto the tutorial!

Copy-Drawing as a Whole: A Brief Overview

If you’re not already aware, copy-drawing is the act of practicing your drawing skills by taking a picture that you like or that you find is difficult and replicating it by hand without tracing. In other words, you are looking at that picture and attempting to draw what you see exactly as you see it; it is the literal basis for art – which is observation.

It may seem insignificant, but it’s not. You see, many artists got their start with copy-drawing, and that should be a no-brainer for good reason. A landscape painter couldn’t have painted a landscape if he had not have seen one to begin with - and, more or less likely, he didn’t know how to do so without attempting to replicate a landscape through sight first. Most certainly, you couldn’t expect a landscape painter to “trace” that landscape. Physics simply wouldn’t allow it. Instead, he practiced learning how to paint a landscape by copying what he saw first, then experimenting with what he had copied by putting it into practice in his own original landscapes.

The simplified version of copy-drawing as a whole is this: Copy, analyze, apply. Copy what you like or what you see. Analyze what the biggest difference is between your copy and the original, correct what went wrong, and practice what you’ve struggled with. Finally, apply what you’ve learned during the copying and analyzing stages in your own works. The objective of this is to make massive leaps and bounds in technique and skill, so when you produce an original result, you already have the knowledge to accomplish what you want to achieve.

The Process of Copy-Drawing

To demonstrate the process of copy-drawing, I will be taking you through the process, step-by-step, so you can produce a result that is to your liking. I will be replicating an image I have not done so before, specifically for the purpose of this tutorial, and will be explaining how I do so. Pictures will be included, of course.

The Goal

So let’s begin. First off, pick an image that you like. I recommend you pick an image that mimics the style you are most attracted to. You want to integrate that into your own artwork, right? Best to practice it! Even if the style isn’t what you wish to integrate into your artwork, the practice is good for your hand and eye and could open your eyes to things you haven’t seen before.

Got an image? Here’s the one I picked from Safebooru:

Now, on to the fun part – copying it! Be sure to have a pencil of your choice (I use a Zebra M-301 0.7mm mechanical pencil), an eraser, and any other miscellaneous tools that will assist you (for me, a ruler for eye placement).

The Underline / Sketch

Your underline or sketch is probably the most important part of the whole copying process. It is the very first thing you are going to do, and for good purpose.

What is that purpose? Getting an overview of proportions and perspectives. It might not seem important at first, but when you begin to line and detail the drawing, not having the correct proportions and perspective can mess up the copy. You’ll find lines taking the place of other lines (hair especially!), portions of entire limbs looking irregular or unnatural, or objects overlapping each other during the detailing process. I’ve been through it, and it really sucks to learn you’ve messed up BAD simply because you didn’t sketch it out in the beginning.

Of course, there is a secondary purpose to this: Sketching is a critical part to original drawings. The reason is the same as stated above: perspective and proportions. It allows you to get the overall view on things before delving in.

 During this phase of the process, keep your lines light. No reason to dig into the paper – if you mess up, the lines are light enough to not be noticed again when you erase.

Aim for perfection – make your sketch look pretty darn close to the original picture as possible. Details can be left for later, but make sure the general “figure” looks like the photo. If not, retry. Don’t obsess over the details though – we can fix those later. You’re aiming for a good rough look.

If you're unsure how to sketch, check out the difference between simple forms and rough sketching or rough outlining. It might help you out...

Simple Forms vs. Rough Outlining

During this tutorial, you will see I am using rough sketching or rough outlining, not simple form sketching. Please keep that in mind.

You might have asked though... what is simple form sketching? Simple form sketching is using basic geometric shapes to get a 3D image of the figure. I do not utilize it when I am copying, but I heavily recommend you use it when you create your own characters and custom poses - or if you're just starting to copy-draw! Learn to use simple form sketching - it will help you get perspective and proportions down in a general overview, which seriously helps in the long run.

Thanks to Nexunn's references, you can check this out to get a good feel for simple form sketching: http://www.getty3.elfwood.com/farp/figure/williamlibodyconstruction.html

Rough sketching or rough outlining is similiar to simple form sketching in the sense that it can utilize basic geometric structures, but rough sketching will often include the details, such as hair, clothing, etc. This is what you see me use in this tutorial.

Line Relationships and Negative Space

Line relationships are very important when it comes to copy-drawing, and I'm shocked I didn't include this in the beginning. Oh well, here it is now! A line relationship is a relationship between a line and the lines surrounding it, or in other words, how one line is compared to those around it. How long is it, what angle is it at, how thick is the line? These comparisions should be made at all times during the copy-drawing process, especially in your sketching phase.

There are two main ways of determining a line relationship.

The first way is eye measurement. This will be developed primarily through practice. You will begin to learn the line relationships through time and you will recognize when something is correct and when something is "off." Getting that line on the first few tries becomes easier too. This is my primary method.

The second way is through reference measurement. When you are first learning to copy draw, using another object (such as your thumb, a pencil, or a ruler) to assist in knowing how long the line is and at what angle it is at is key. I still use this form of measurement when I'm unsure or wish to be more accurate in my sketching.

Reference measurement also refers to referencing the other lines in the photo you are copying and checking the measurements of the line that way. This should come naturally and with practice, however, if you are just starting out in drawing or copy-drawing, keep this in the back of your mind while you copy-draw.

Aim for perfection, but don't fret if you get a hit a little low of that mark.

Mmm... Negative space. I don't fret about it too much, but you should be aware of it. Negative space is the space around the figure itself. To give you a better picture of what I mean:

As you can see, on the left you can see the goat. The goat is in the foreground, and we can see the details of the goat as well as the ground. The rest of it is blank, white, nothingness. That space is negative space. On the right, that negative space has been darkened and the goat and ground were highlighted in white. Utilization of negative space allows us to see the general outline of the figure - however, we can't distinguish any details of that figure.

Keep this in the back of your mind when you draw, but don't put it as the forefront of your concerns.

You can see utilization of negative space in my sketching. Look for it and take note!

Here is sketching in action and my thoughts during the process:

[blank page]

You always start blank. The way I start filling in that space is with the facial structure, neck, then the eyes. I began with the girl on the left first, as her face and hair overlap the girl on the right. Interesting contradiction in the photo however, as the girl on the right’s clothing overlaps the girl on the left. Strange.

After finishing the face and the eyes (you can see the guidelines for the eyes), I moved on to the hair to get a basic gist of the shape of it. I roughed most of it out, excluding the bangs, just to get the general shape and positioning of it all. I’ll clean it up later in the lining phase. The bow was heavily roughed out as well, but we’re not focusing on looks, just perspective and placement. I prefer a clean sketch, but if it helps you to make many lines, go for it.

You’ll also notice I began to “box out” the body. What I’m doing here is making sure the perspective is okay and the torso is proportioned correctly. This helps heavily when it comes to shoulder placement and any details on the torso, particularly the suspenders and collar in this one. Of course, not having correct body shape for the girl on the left means the girl on the right will suffer some as well when she is sketched out, so I made sure that simple little “box” looked okie-dokie.

From this point, I added in the collar and a suspender to the girl on the left. The girl on the right is beginning to take shape, starting again with her facial structure. Taking from the current sketch on the left, I referenced where the face placement would “approximately” be. I think I hit the mark pretty spot on, so I continued with the eyes, her right sleeve, and some of her hair.

Again, you can see the guidelines for the girl on the right. I heavily recommend you use guidelines in your copying, especially for eyes. Eye placement is difficult, but if you keep in mind two simple rules, it becomes a lot easier. Rule #1: The distance between the two eyes is approximately equal to one eye. This makes it easy to judge where the eyes go, especially during the beginning stage of your sketching. Rule #2: The tippy-top of the top eyelash matches up exactly with the other eye’s top eyelash in a straight line – same goes for the bottom eyelashes. Follow these rules, and your faces will usually turn out wonderfully… or at least, the eyes will.  :wink:

We are officially getting closer to a finished sketch. The girl on the right’s sleeves are easily “boxed”, as they fit within the geometric pattern of a rectangle. Hurray! It makes it so much easier. Her hair is coming along and the guidelines for her face were erased so the hair could come along easier. The line coming out to the right of the sleeve that is blocking her grin / smile, is a guideline in a sense for the ear. The cheek in the original photo is our reference for the facial design leading up to the ear.

For the girl on the left, bows were added near her shoulders for her hair and her second suspender was added. Might rework the left suspender to better fit the curve of the breast. Hurr-hurr.

Finally, we have the finished sketch. Total time? Three hours. … For a sketch. Three hours. Yes, copy-drawing is going to take time depending on what you’re copying and how precisely you decide to copy it.

However, there is a problem with the sketch alone. While you could submit it now and get some appraise for such work, it’s not as good as it could be. Why? The lines aren’t finalized, there’s no detail, and no depth. You might be able to pick out some things from overlapping lines, but it isn’t as good as a drawing with clean lines, clear detail, and shadows.

Needless to say, we’re not done yet – but we are with the underline / sketch.


Because we have an underline / sketch, this part is a cake-walk.

The first objective in lining is to go over your lines one “final” time and clean up those sketchy lines. Utilize any tools you have in your disposal for this – it looks cleaner if you do, which is what we’re going for. During this time, add some detail. For example, in my sketch, I didn’t add any detail whatsoever for the eyes; the biggest reason being it is a huge pain in the arse to erase dark detail lines if you misplace the eyes accidentally. They stain the page nicely, and it’s not very good looking in the end.

I won’t be showing the transition as I did in the sketching phase, as I don’t believe it to be necessary. It’s pretty self-explanatory to just follow how your picture looks.

Go for it!

Now it’s lined. Doesn’t look like it changed much, just darker and cleaner. Now we can focus on details – lines in the hair, patterns on bows, clothing, etc.

Shading and Detail

Ahh – shading. Shading in copy-drawing is a little tricky if you’re following a digitally altered photo like I am. In my original photo, you can see little fluffy bubbles everywhere that highlights certain parts of the photo. I like to leave those out.

However, the rest is fair game. Shading is easy on a traditional format; the darker the lines, the deeper the shadow.

Personally, I find it really hard to tell the difference between a shadow and a color – thus, I came up with a quick solution. Make the shadow lines look different from the color lines. In other words, make them change direction. If you’re shading with vertical lines, make your colors horizontal lines.

As for detail, keep it simple. No need to overcomplicate it unless it is absolutely necessary. Achieve the look, and you’re good to go.

When shading, block the shadow. Basically, draw a very light line where the border of the shadow is, then fill it in. This keeps your shadows clean and it’s easier on the eyes – after all, the eyes do like patterns.

There it is. The finished result. The total time for a simple looking photo like that was about seven hours – three for the sketch, one for the lining, three for the details and shading. Take your time with your work. It’s not a race. Plus, the more time you spend on it, the more mistakes you catch, and the better it’ll look. Honestly.

Understanding What You’ve Accomplished

Alright, sweet. So you’ve got a picture you’ve copied.

What Makes Copy-Drawing Important Again?

Copy-drawing is an exercise. This exercise is to help you learn as an artist multiple things, from proportions, perspective, eye placement, hair physics, clothing physics, lighting and shadowing, sketching, and the process behind getting a complete photo.

Secondly, it trains your hands and your eyes. Hand-eye coordination is essential as an artist. Your hands will learn the specific contours of lines, the curvature of many of them, and how to steady itself during those straight and narrow sections. Your eyes will learn what looks right and will be able to guide your hand from imagination to reality.

Lastly, it’s practice. Through this practice, you are getting better at drawing as a whole. Simple as that.

Growing as an Artist from Copy-Drawing

As mentioned before, you are learning during this process naturally. Your brain will learn to recognize the patterns and you will grow from that.

However, there is a more deliberate way of learning as well. Look at your drawing and look at the original image. What is something that could use improvement? Was it the hands? Facial structure? The hair? Shadowing?

Find something that needs work. Anything. Then work on it – if it was hands, pull up reference pictures of just hands and work on it; sketch, line, detail, and shadow.

Be sure to find the areas of the photo that are related to what you were having trouble with and recopy those as well. For example, if I struggled with facial structure, I would draw that face again and again, but I would also draw the bangs, placeholders for the eyes, and the neck, just to get a feel for how things connect.

Also, keep in mind that when you copy-draw, you are getting exposure to new expressions and poses. This is a huge benefit to copy-drawing, and, taking from what Nexunn said, "The amount of poses you can learn from manga is endless."

Detail-Replacing: The Older Brother to Copy-Drawing

You may have heard about detail-replacing before. Detail-replacement, in a nutshell, is finding an image and replacing a certain detail about it – be it the eyes, the hair, the clothing, etc. Of course, it could be a whole selection of things instead of just one, but the idea of it all is to merge both your “solid imagery” with your “imaginary imagery.”

Copy-drawing goes hand-in-hand with detail-replacing. You will need to learn to copy-draw before you can effectively detail-replace. The exercise of detail-replacing is to make the character still look like the original character, just wearing something different or with a different hairstyle, or what have you.

An example from Safebooru:

You can see the difference.

Keep in mind what is the same: The pose, her facial structure (not facial details however), her hair, and the background.

Keep in mind what is different: Clothing and facial details.

If you feel confident in your abilities, give detail-replacement a shot.

The End...?

For now. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or requests for this tutorial, please feel free to leave a reply. I will attempt to address those questions, comment on those comments, consider those suggestions, and oblige to those requests.

Hope you learned something!

General Discussion / Commissions
« on: June 20, 2012, 04:53:47 PM »
Commissions, in reference to art, is, "the purchase of the creation of a piece of art most often on behalf of another," according to good ol' Wikipedia.

Being an artist who is a little - ...erm... - lacking in money with expenses piling up left and right, I saw this as being a potentially good revenue source. According to my observations on deviantART, many decent artists accept commissions for their manga artwork. Many of these pictures, as you might imagine, are very well done, colored, clean, and incredibly professional-looking. You can also guesstimate it took the artist maybe about a week or two to conceptualize, sketch, check if the client likes that sketch, scrap, re-sketch, re-check, line, figure out a decent background (be it simple or very complex), color, and finally clean up that picture before submitting it to their client for payment. How much the payment is? That would depend, commission to commission.

Of course, I personally will not be doing this in the near future. Why? Not quite that skilled yet.  ;)  However, some of you might be interested in that line of work, and thus I brought it up. If you're not looking to be a full-on mangaka but would like to make money from your works, I suggest taking a look at this. I would think that, since you are the artist who produces the work, you can most likely negotiate prices and work schedules with your client to fit your lifestyle more, so the work is a little more laid back.

Anyone else have any experience or thoughts regarding this, or may be interested in this type of work?

While switching back and forth between traditional paper and pencil and the Wacom tablets, I've noticed that paper has a distinct advantage - the ability to use other, hand-held tools such as rulers, compasses, design sheets and miscellaneous objects.

However, I've noticed a few of my friends who are also fellow artists tend to shy away from these tools, as if they are cheating by using them. Being a peer and subject to such pressure, I always drew free-hand to mitigate any potential negative criticism. Beginning to use my sketchpad, having found a new motivation to draw, I realize these tools could have really saved me a lot of struggle in drawing.

So my question is, how many of you use other tools (meaning not paper or pencil) whilst performing your work, and do you recommend it to other artists, both aspiring and accomplished?

Starter Gallery / The Small Gallery of Zeal
« on: June 17, 2012, 07:34:49 PM »
Just a few of my "copy-cat" images. All free-hand, no tracing. Photoshop is a helluva program for cropping, so it will just show the image drawn, not my sketchbook's bindings or the very tip of the scanner. Excuse some of the shading - the scanner does a wonderful job, but it just can't detect some of the subtle shading lines that either faded from being in my sketchbook for a while or just were light to begin with. Anyways, please enjoy. Any comments or criticisms on any of them are always appreciated!

If you're interested in who the characters are, from top to bottom, they are: Mikazuki Yozora (From "Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai"), Houraisan Kaguya (From Touhou), Palmtop Tiger (From "Toradora!"), Ruri Goko (From "My Little Sister Can't Be This Cute", also no idea which name is first or last...), Hatsune Miku, Izumi Konata (From "Lucky Star"), and finally, Flandre Scarlet (From Touhou).

Welcome Center / Hey! The name's Mike.
« on: June 16, 2012, 11:50:05 PM »
Pleased to meet you all! Although I haven't met a single one of you quite yet, I'm sure your individual charms will be a pleasure to see!  ;)

As mentioned before, my name is Mike. I'm a guy from the United States who's getting into manga a little bit more (rather than just being a fan of both manga and anime!), especially in the writing and drawing categories. I'm not the best at either of them, but I can copy professional artwork nearly line-for-line quite nicely, and peers have said I'm a pretty decent writer.

Being a fan of anime and manga, I do have a few favorites! Lucky Star (being the first anime I watched, surprisingly), Clannad, Toradora!, The World God Only Knows, and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. If you've heard of it, I'm also a Touhou fan. Never played any of the games quite yet (looking forward to!), but absolutely love the personality and look of the characters. The music is fantastic as well.

Not much else to really say about me, and I certainly hope I didn't bore you! Looking forward to participating on the forum and getting to know a good deal of you!


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