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Hi folks! Remember me? I'm occasionally active ;)
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Who, What, Where and When?

Infoblast! Here are some links to my wurkz~
~~ Where to get my stuff online! ~~
~~ Where to get my stuff from me in person! ~~
Sunnycon :: Sunderland :: 21st-22nd June 2014
Hyper Japan :: Earl's Court II, London :: 25th-27th July 2014
Birmingham ICE :: Cannon St, Birmingham :: 2nd August 2014
Jcon 7 :: Derby :: 19th-20th September 2014
The Lakes Comic Art Festival :: Cumbria :: 18th-20th October 2014
True Believers :: Cheltenham Racecourse :: 7th February 2015
~~ Links to my online-y-ness ~~
Thanks for reading :D

DokiDoki 2013


Just found out I am located on Table A17! If you're visiting Doki Doki Festival in Manchester, please visit to say hello :D


iPhone case competition!

iPhone skin competition! Click to like your favourite design ♥

I am organising a contest via my website in collaboration with Camaloon, where you can win a skin to customise your iPhone4 or iPhone5. To be one of the lucky 3 winners you only have to choose between the 2 illustrations I've designed for this contest, hosted until 15th October 2013.

Both PinkAppleJam and Camaloon will publish the list of winners on 16th October 2013 with the chosen Squishy-chan themed design!

You vote by clicking on the heart of the design (click on image below);

From Camaloon;

"We are Camaloon - a young, multicultural and multidisciplinary startup-company from Barcelona. On our platform you can create and buy your own products (such as buttons, stickers, magnets, skins and wall decals) or browse and buy products made by designers for you!

We're always working to deliver:

  • the greatest quality product that makes your designs shine,

  • the most excellent customer service always available for you and

  • the fastest delivery all over Europe.

Our main product lines are buttons, stickers, magnets and mirrors. All designed by you."

Good luck and happy voting!!

Challenge Accepted

:: Originally posted by belak_krin at Challenge Accepted ::

"A couple of weeks back, prolific UK manga artist Laura Watton (check out her work at pinkapplejam.com) challenged me to play cover-artist for her popular Squishy-chan character, the lovable miniature octopus from the ongoing Biomecha series.

I think the result is a lot cuter than you might have expected, but perhaps less than Squishy may have hoped for. Be careful what you wish for Laura…"


I've had a big problem with a lot of anime over the past 5 years or so, and I wanted to write a blog entry to discuss it.

As an anime fan since the mid-90s it's been problematic to say the least! When anime was climbing mainstream it was all "eurgh you like all that tentacle porn" (I was buying Takahashi comedy manga and playing Street Fighter II on my SNES O_o) to "eurgh you like all that Pokémon childish stuff" (I was buying female-oriented manga for my gender/age group after a steady slew of shonen translations from 5 years prior, while finishing off my degree dissertation O_o), and...now?

Now, it's a weird sort of middle-ground style that has become popular. A massive slew of a certain style of CG arts appeared over the last 10 years and a lot of them stem from ero[tic]-game and CG art. It's sort of generic and after Broccoli, I can't tell who drew what. It's also sort of annoying because at one point in fandom's life you could tell who drew what (I guess I'm not hardcore enough anymore!)...

[London Expo shot, Vice.com, 2012]

Sexy 'toons are a staple in any animation fan's life, after all Barbie's predecessor started off as a pocket sized sex-aware character ("in interviews on the Lilli-inspired Barbie doll Eve Ensler efers to Lilli (without elaboration) as a "sex toy"."), everyone knows who Jessica Rabbit is and Betty Boop was not without her fair share of wardrobe malfunctions.

So anyways even though Betty Boop had a tiny body, she is obviously still an adult, right? And ironically, a massive influence on "anime style" (whatever that is nowadays), back in the day.

[Betty Boop, Max Fleischer, 1930]

I think my first experience of reading about an underage character was Minnie May in Gunsmith Cats. Even though she was under the age of 18 she had an adult lifestyle and experiences that allowed her to function in an adult world (part of a Gunsmithing bounty hunting team). She was pretty much in charge of her relationship with Ken and had an expertise in technical bomb creation.

[Gunsmith Cats, Kenichi Sonoda, 1991]
The two examples mainly given about lolicon in this blog entry s between GSC and Oh My Goddess! (Aah Megamisama). OMG was an early harem/magical girlfriend anime that had an insanely popular and very patient/passive (almost motherlike?) main character, Belldandy. Her older sister (Urd) was a sex Goddess (literally) and her younger sister (Urd) was approximately a 12 year old girl (though was very leggy and didn't look like a 10 year old moéblob), though had a vast technical capability catching and solving "bugs" from within their Yggdrasil technology.

[Ah Megamisama, Kosuke Fujishima, 1988]
Of anime from this era, the girls and boy from Evangelion were only supposed to be 14, but they looked like slender teenage models. Sailor Moon does not look like she is young enough (though acts it!)  to attend middleschool, even from the start of the series. Now there are a lot of characters that look like they are about 10, but are actually in middle- or high-school.

Moé, it always has been around. Described as "The word has come to be used to mean one particular kind of "adorable", one specific type of "cute", mainly as applied to fictional characters", it evolves a lot. I recently finished watching Puella Magi Madoka Magika (below). I guessed, I fit into this category being as I'm a fan of magical girl shows from my teens? So I watched it, and it was OK. I'm a big fan of the cheeky 70's Cutey Honey, and remember seeing Devil Hunter Yohko (both pretty adult) in my 90's anime watching days. But then I had a discussion on Twitter about Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha and realised that these shows are aimed at the otaku 20-30yo male One of the many "magical schoolgirl shows with a darker edge".

[Puella Magi Madoka Magika, SHAFT, 2011]

Good article in Metropolis about the "big friend" syndrome of "adult buying", which about 90% of you folks reading this have immersed yourself in, like I have, for the past decade or so, after leaving education and getting some sort of disposeable income. The term i otonagai “adult buying", and Japanese-based otaku do it better than everyone else. But what do they buy? By the looks of it, shedloads of crazy special edition BluRay discs with plastic figurines, artbooks and something extra that legitimises spending $200 on one purchase, more if it is archival. Is it honestly these customers that are keeping this mutated portion of the anime market afloat? Is that why moé is so ka-boom?

I guess personalised by the Studio Pierrot brand of (the unfortunately named) "Creamy Mami" (below), there is a gigantic large chap who is the friend of the male lead in this series, who is in junior high school, and runs around after Yuu (the blue haired girl who transforms into the 14yo Purple haired Pop Idol Creamy Mami)... Yuu is about 10. He tries to peek in on her changing etc etc. This is in the 80s! At the time I suppose it would have seemed more innocent? Now it just reads clearly as the fetishisation of the younger moé girl. (Luckily Yuu kicks shins and everything, just like a good tomboy should.)

This is literally a show aimed at small girls and features a Magical Angel pop idol, but did it's creators knew who to also aim at?
[EDIT:: Néojapanise, 2012 - An interview with Patrick W Galbraith on Otaku Culture, Part Two]
   "[Magical Girl show] Minky Momo is an important series because we see that an unintended audience of adult men is watching an anime for little girls. This crossing of gender/genre/generation boundaries is important for the emergence of otaku. Maybe even more so than older fans getting into a giant robot show for kids, given the response to bishōjo inside and outside the community.
About Minky Momo, let me just say that Satō Toshihiko, president of Production Reed and a planner on the series, told me that he was unaware of the adult male fandom until after the show was on air and a group approached him about starting up a fan club. Satō says that Minky Momo was from the start an idea to sell magical girl toys for a sponsor. He called male fans and their activities “disgusting.” It seems likely, however, that some in the company, for example animators and scriptwriters, were a little more tuned in to the lolicon boom. In Minky Momo, the protagonist’s father watches from the land of dreams and comments on how sexy she looks when she transforms (parodying the male gaze).

The following year, Studio Pierrot produced another magical girl anime, Creamy Mami, the Magic Angel, which again attracted older male fans. In a personal interview, Nunokawa Yūji, representative director of Studio Pierrot, told me that he was aware of older male fans when producing Creamy Mami and was far less upset by them. So this is something of a turning point in awareness of, about, and among otaku."

[Creamy Mami, Studio Pierrot, 1983]

So lolicon has always been around... but stylistically now it's overt, uncomfortably obvious, more than ever before? To me that blog article describing lolicon doesn't apply to characters who are aged 14 for the story but even to me as a 14-year-old-anime-fan they always looked older, but now are they supposed to be 14 (over the lower end of Japanese consent) but look like an actual child?

[EDIT :: AltJapan article, 2011]
Amazingly the Southern Cross arc of Robotech could have looked very different.

   "Uchiyama is actually known as -- I am not making this up -- the "Emperor of Diaper Manga." The description of his 1982 series Andro Trio, which ran in the very mainstream Weekly Shonen Champion, reads like straight-up urophilia cloaked in a paper-thin parody of Akira Toriyama's already scatological Dr. Slump. (The pre-teen protagonists not only wear diapers but actually live inside a house shaped like a giant diaper, as Dr. Slump's do inside a giant coffepot.)
   Sounds like something you'd see consigned to the all-porn day of Comiket, right? Only it wasn't. In the early Eighties, Shonen Champion sold something like a million copies every single week. That a comic like Andro Trio was running right alongside the work of greats like Osamu Tezuka only goes to show how firmly entrenched this kind of fetishism was in pop culture of the day Another example of how mainstream it was might hit closer to home for American anime fans

   "When Tatsunoko, producer of the hit anime series Macross, was casting around for talent to design characters for the sequel,Southern Cross, they actually turned to Uchiyama. As you might expect, Uchiyama's character studies were so over-the-top "loli" that Tatsunoku got cold feet. They quickly replaced him with a pair of more experienced anime designers who turned out more conventional designs."

From this concept idea to Southern Cross production art in 1984.

Nowadays it would be reversed, right?

Is the upsurge of moé due to the popularity of a more inane female protagonist and lack of popularity for a more antagonistic, 80's/90's style heroine? Fetishisation of the more softer, simplistic type of femininity pioneered by Oh My Goddess' Belldandy character, but in a childlike "younger sister" form? Is this linking to a popularity in a "wanting to control" something in a relationship? Can it be accredited to the baby boomers, debt accumulation and Parasite Single lifestyle?

Hideo "Disappearance Diary" Azuma is widely credited as the "godfather" of lolicon from 1979.

[White Cybele #10, Azuma Hideo, 1981]
  "Take for instance experienced manga-ka Hideo Azuma, who's considered a pioneer in lolicon manga series & erotica, even being labeled the "Father of Lolicon" in Japan. Since the late 1970s he's been pumping out works that focused on fan-service or sexualization of young loli girls. So how does he feel about moe series? Well he recently wrote about his experiences (in manga format!) watching the current top moe series in Japan, K-On. So how did that make him feel? Pretty interesting results:
  [Azuma]"I watched [moé staple anime] 'K-On!' It was empty. It was nothing. The jokes made no sense. It didn't even have any eroticism, any grotesquerie. Just the mildest, faintest hint of fetishism. Are the people who made it and the people who watch it that unable to cope with reality? It just feels gross -- kind of like maid cafes, now that I think of it."
    --That's right, the Father of Lolicon said watching K-On felt gross. Make of that what you will."

On a more alarmist note, this article was written in Anime Vice (you will recognise the shots from MCM Expo last October), what do you think?
    "Junior Idol models [in Japan] – child models in bikinis, basically, the image below is about the tamest one I can find – can be as young as eight years old and feature in DVDs and picture books, often wearing lingerie or swimsuits."
Considering the uproar that any children's underwear bearing lewd slogans creates in the UK, it feels to me like the nature of child pornography isn't really being taken very seriously in Japan, in comparison. Different cultures, I understand. I find it very hard to comprehend the gaze-averting.
I feel uncomfortable watching some anime nowadays, I don't find any new shows have the same sort of appeal and I guess I just have to let it drop? For something that's been a massive mainstay in my lifestyle for so long this is hard to grasp, but the most popular and prevalent type of anime being created, bought and the cycle of perpetuation by the stay-at-home singles with money from their well paid jobs while they sit on 2chan...

I will happily rake through the anime catalogue created between 1960 to 1995 and watch everything that Japanese animation has to offer me as an older fan, though; and gems such as Redline will continue to shine through, and losses such as Satoshi Kon and his genius will be sorely missed.
Good comments I suppose I can summarise from this site, though.
    "Different times, different tastes. People want to be entertained faster and on a more superficial level these days. Life's on the fast lane now. "
    "Moe is restricting its market. Men and women who enjoy moe now might not be attracted to it as they grow out of their teens, except for the stereotypical 30 year old otakus. With animation in the West moving more towards 3D, anime is becoming more niche than ever."
Censorship by any means is bad, I understand. I guess I just don't feel comfortable with these wimpy moé babies being the visual forefront of something I have held dear for a long time. Seeing it turn into something weird and fetishy is really creepy, and I wonder when the next wave will be, or if there will be another wave.
So finally, I guess some sage words from the comment section of the link above.
  "The studios need to step up their game and try to cater to draw in more new viewers instead of catering to only the current fanbase."

::EDIT :: [Néojapanisme, 2011, I don't wanna grow up... because maybe if I did I'd have to date 3D adults, not 2D kids
Excerpt from Burikko Magazine/Otona Club, 1983 :
    "Modern otaku culture is increasingly less about nostalgically clinging to the anime, manga, or toys of one’s youth, and more about a single-minded obsession for simulations of little girls in tender fetishwear. Lolicon never went away; it blossomed into the trend now known as “moé.” Little did Ejisonta and Nakamori realize that their allusions to this superdeformed sexuality were merely a preview of things to come: an (economically) apocalyptic future in which the lolicon otaku represent the last saviors of a crumbling consumer kingdom."
   "[A]s a famous lolicon manga artist once said: “Even otaku boys have a chance to meet girls, so don’t lock yourselves up in the dark. Go out and make friends!” Damn straight."

Basically... the anime fanbase outside of "current" have been pretty grossed out by 'sameface', cutout moé-moppets for a pretty long time.


Stuff for sale via Comicsy!

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Thanks for looking ^_^

Birthday pic

The lovely aneiryn drew me and the cats for my birthday earlier this month <3

Those who know me will see just how shockingly accurate it is xD
(Though the cats are flattered, they are a lot fatter than here - haha!)


AmeCon 2012 - Pinkapplejam writeup

I have returned from AmeCon, I had a great weekend. I haven't enjoyed a convention like that for a huge amount of years, what a high!

:: Great things ::
  • Western karaoke room in the Chillout area! Made so many new chums!
  • Amazing auctions for charity, £300+ whipped up from the crowd in change in 10 minutes
  • Partying, dancing, being able to stop selling and start partying on the same campus (no B&Bs, travel or driving)
  • Brilliant breakfasts, delicious Brioche toast!
  • Pristine manners and cheeky fun from the Keele uni and bar staff and security
  • Meeting up with fellow dedicated hardcore con oldskoolers!
  • Having a great con buddy & table helper, wyldflowa
  • Polite and respectful people, people happy to talk about art and anime tropes over breakfasts
  • No screaming weeaboos, for example extremely few free huggers and space invaders
  • Great dancing music, and bar prices!
  • Incredible range of cosplay
  • Catching up with J-pop Go (eyes on this space!)
  • Bargains from the Bring & Buy & Dealer's Room
  • Live Twitter feeds and updates, LiveStreaming
  • The feeling of inclusion as an artist dealer
  • A beautiful accommodation room with en-suite bathroom and spacious bed, plus fluffy duvet!
  • The freedom of partying as a punter in the evenings
  • Dance floor parting to show dancers with impromptu dance offs, congas, macarenas, you name it.
:: Things of note :: (Nobody's fault I guess, just awkward)
  • No food to buy after 4pm on Friday in the Student Union U_U If there was, a bunch of us missed the adverts. The difficulty of having a con on campus. Dominos Pizza was oversubscribed. We got packets of crisps and pints, and camped outside the greasy spoon van with insane looks in our pupils til 9pm, when it opened!
  1.   Friday - No food from 4pm-9pm
  2.   Saturday we stocked up on pot noodle, didn't see many food options
  3.   Sunday - not even a pastie left in the cornershop.
  • Improvised by eating yoghurt using a banana and sticking one half of the nana on a coffee stirrer stick, carving out a concave bit of banana with our teeth and using the 'nana as a spoon. I MEAN, SERIOUSLY. (It was funny by this point though.) Shop needs moar sandwiches!
  • Certain awkward people just talking about themselves, no interaction skills, derailing conversations to also direct to themselves (le sigh.)
  • Lots of hardcore. I loved having a dance - just wondering though, hardcore 2 nights in a row? The western songs in the AMV disco was great warm-up fun. IMO, needs moar memes and anime/Jpop tunes (No Kyari, no Panty & Stocking? Sadface!)
  • Noisy, NOISY people in Lindsay Court student lounge. Loud noises until 3:45am. This would be absolutely fine, but all the windows were open... paper thin windows and walls meant yes we heard all the renditions of "Ring of Fire", NUMEROUS TIMES. >_< At least people were having fun though, and not being dicks like running, banging on doors etc. Awkward accommodation positioning there...
  • A good amount of panels on the schedule, though personally some were a bit too early, and some a bit too late, only based on our personal arrival/departure plans though. I look forward to catching up on the "Changing Face of UK Anime Fandom" one online at some point.
  • Unfortunate traffic bonkersness on the way up. At least the drive back home was painless ^_^
:: Things to remember for a future Uni campus con ::
  • Chopsticks/fork/spoon, a big mug, flask, small bottles of water, non-caffeinated teabags, soundproof headphones for sleeps.
  • Probably a freeze box to make Saturday food up from.
  • Decent shoes (my Primarni specials got rained out on Sunday).
Does anyone have anything to add to the above? Keele was my first Uni Accommodation experience, great in many ways, things to know for the future would be gratefully received.

A few things I have realised which may explain my comfort over the weekend. I feel UK anime & manga conventions have gone from this to this since the 1990's to the 2010's (a very rough approximation!);
  1. People drawing pinups & comics, some people doing cosplay, VHS fansubs
  2. A good balance of all of the above, internet subs
  3. An internet influx of cosplay, people not buying comics because they were not made by Japanese people, crossover of licensing laws meaning only UK subs can be shown
  4. Small press boom; comic events open to anyone who makes comics of any style; anime conventions being more for cosplayers, showing DVD releases of UK licensed titles, more comic and Disney themed cosplays
  5. A boom of artmakers, print sales and original art; cosplayers cosplaying more and more comic, film, game & TV characters than only anime characters.
Not many people seem to make comics or concentrate specifically on one theme any more. This is great though, because the most imaginative of creations span from all of your favourite influences. There seems to be more cameraderie in feeling, and swapping prints with your fellow artists at the end of the weekend is a great way of showing the love, whether you do just pinups, just comics, or both.

It is also flattering to hear I don't look my age (shut up Laura, you love it you slag), haha. 8D

Thanks to all the event organisers and the attendees for being polite, respectful, courteous and overall FUN to be with! I may even have the post-con blues! ♫


Monster High - Draculaura

Draculaura, the cutest Monster femme at Monster High, possibly.
Fanart by myself. Monster High charas copyright Mattel!