healyg: (apology)
Sorry I've been off the wagon for a couple weeks, y'all! I haven't been able to visit my public library since early January at the latest, so it's really cut into my ability to get new books. But I do work at a university library, and yesterday I checked out this neat book of essays on film called Perspectives on Citizen Kane (edited by Ronald Gottesman). As you know, Citizen Kane is often considered to be the Undertale of film, and I find it a fascinating movie, despite not having read much of the criticism about it before. This book is a good primer on that, I think; it's got essays by Bazin and Truffaut, among others, and there's a very good interview with Welles by Peter Bogdanovich near the back.

Best of all, I think, is the book's collection of reviews, written within the first decade of Citizen Kane's 1941 release. It's interesting to see how the critics responded to it; everyone could agree that it was a stunning film in terms of technique, but there were those who declared it a masterpiece outright, those who thought the film enjoyable but found the themes lacking, and those who believed the rest of the movie was a complete mess. Most baffling of all is Jean-Paul Sartre's review, who apparently thought of Citizen Kane as a work of art incomprehensible to the American public, and Orson Welles an artist cut off from the masses, a view that I find incomprehensible. (The man played The Shadow, for Christ's sake!) A fascinating review, and a really good book. Check it out if you can.
healyg: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Eh, music today is pretty good. Could be worse, could be better. Top 40 Radio isn't so hot these days, but then it's been like that for a while. As for contemporary artists I like, I think c2c is pretty good. (They're this French techno group.) The Mountain Goats are good, They Might Be Giants are good. I'm also a big fan of Toby Fox's work, which is not quite the same thing, but I really enjoy what he does.
healyg: (Healslime)
Heya, peeps! I've been working on a new Knytt Stories level for Fubaka's Epic Level Competition on the Nifflas boards. It is tentatively called "Sleeping Pills" (because it takes place in a dream world, you see) and I got about 14 screens done this week, not counting repeats. They're all in the same area, a kind of gloomy town. I hope to get started on a new area by the end of next week. Here are a couple screens:

The house where you start out
Just outside that same house
healyg: (aww)
Hahaha! I certainly did not mean to take this long to get around to this! Let's get down to business.

Vattu by Evan Dahm: This is a webcomic about Vattu, a little girl from a tribal culture who is forced into a life in a big imperial city. I tried reading this comic back when it first started (in 2010, 2011-ish), but it was taking too long to get to the point, and the pages loaded way too slow on my crappy connection, so I put it aside and forgot about it for a few years. (I think I might have tried again sometime later, but I ran into the same issue.) Then, on Wednesday morning I googled Rice Boy (one of Evan Dahm's other comics, set in the same world, Overside) for reasons I forget (I think I was researching something for Knytt Stories?), and remembered this comic. It picked up quite a hefty archive since the last time I checked, so I decided to try reading it again.

Spoilers: It turns out I totally loved it! The story really starts to pick up after it leaves Vattu's homeland and spreads its focus to other characters. It's still not done yet (we're about halfway through, according to some comments by the author), but the plotlines being set up now are fascinating stuff. My favorite is the one following the mysterious enclave of mystical chemists.

Rice Boy by Evan Dahm, also: I'm following along with the new rerun blog. It's quite fascinating! I never realized how much of the story was ad hoc before now. I was sort of disappointed with the ending when it first wrapped up, but knowing how much of the plot was still up in the air, at least in the beginning, makes me feel a little better about it now. (Also I've totally forgotten how hot T-O-E was until now.)

Thimble Theater by E. C. Segar: This was a collection featuring Popeye's first appearance. It's actually interesting to see the big lummox from the beginning. Most of the strip's focus was on this dumb blowhard called Castor Oyl (Olive's brother) and his pseudo-magical whiffle hen Bernice, but Popeye was already a forceful presence from practically his first entrance. No spinach as of yet, but already he's punching every badnik there is to punch. Something about his appearance here seems off, though. Maybe it's something in the face? Anyway, it's good stuff if you like old 20s-30s comic strips.
healyg: (apology)
Note: This post was written for the Fandom Snowflake Challenge. To learn more about it, click the banner below:
Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner

In your own space, set some goals for the coming year. They can be fannish or not, public or private. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

Goals, huh? Okay!

1. I would like to write more words this year than I did last year. Going by AO3 stats, it seems like I wrote about 8,000 words in 2015. I'd like to beat that total if at all possible.

2. I want to make something for this year's Epic Knytt Stories Level Competition. The goal is 300 screens, and while I've never made a Knytt Story level that big, I'd certainly be willing to try. My goal is to finish 10-20 screens a week, and I'll try to make check-in posts every Saturday reporting on my progress.

I think that's it! And yeah, I know I skipped a few entries; I'm doing these out of order.
healyg: (Pink Alphys)
Hi! I'm HealyG (Healy on AO3 and everywhere but here) and this is my letter for Chocolate Box 2016. I'm pretty tired right now, so I'll just post my general likes and dislikes for now. Later I'll hopefully move all my requests and prompts over here so it's all in one place. Okay, that's all done. I might add some more prompts later but don't count on it.

Likes and Dislikes )

Lupin III )

Earthbound )

Steven Universe )

Brain Guzzlers from Beyond! )

Birdland )

Undertale )

Okay, that's all for now! Bye.
healyg: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Uh, eccentric? Somehow I feel like a lot of people are gonna choose that one. I've always had a little trouble fitting in, some places more than others (ugh, high school). But I think I manage myself well, all things considered.
healyg: (Healslime)
Note: This is a post for the Fandom Snowflake Challenge.To learn more about it, click the banner below:

Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner

In your own space, create a fanwork. Make a drabble, a ficlet, a podfic, or an icon, art or meta or a rec list. Arts and crafts. Draft a critical essay about a particular media. Put together a picspam or a fanmix. Write a review of a Broadway show, a movie, a concert, a poetry reading, a museum trip, a you-should-be-listening-to-this-band essay. Compose some limericks, haikus, free-form poetry, 5-word stories. Document a particular bit of real person canon. Take some pictures. Draw a stick-figure comic. Create something.

Wow, this is a long assignment. It's such a shame my answer is so short! Or maybe not? I'm thinking about writing something for Fandom Stocking, you see. Or maybe I'll just write up some reviews and junk and stuff 'em in this post later. Whichever.

Anyway! This is a drabble I wrote for Steely Dan's song Kid Charlemagne. I'm calling it "Still an Outlaw in Their Eyes":

Get along, Kid Charlemagne )

(AO3 link here.)
healyg: (scheming)
Note: This is a post for the Fandom Snowflake Challenge. To learn more about it, click the banner below:

Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner

In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created. It can be your favorite fanworks that you've created, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator.

Okay! There's no particular rhyme or reason to these recs, they're just the things I felt were most worth mentioning. So! Going in roughly reverse chronological order...

Jeebers golly look at all those recs )

So there you have it! 7 recs of my own work. And it's super long, too! It must make me look like the most conceited writer on the planet, haha! Hahaha! Hee hee.

So yeah boy am I gonna look like a chump when the next challenge is "describe something you worked on in detail" and I could have saved some of these words for that.
healyg: (apology)
Note: This is a post for the Fandom Snowflake Challenge. To learn more about it, click the banner:

Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner

In your own space, create a list of at least three fannish things you'd love to receive, something you've wanted but were afraid to ask for - a fannish wish-list of sorts.

Well, okay then! I feel pretty funny asking favors from strangers on the internet, but hey! If you're asking me to...

1. First off, I think it'd be really nice if someone recorded a podfic or made a translation of one of my fanfics. I'm not the biggest fan of podfic, but I loved the various comic dubs I've found on Tumblr, so I'd love to be a part of that. And having your work translated is always nice. (My work can be found here, in case you're interested.)

2. I'm always on the lookout for more prompt communities on LJ or elsewhere, especially panfandom ones with a focus on comics, animanga, cartoons, and/or video games. It'd be nice if they had a gen focus, too, but that's not a requirement. (I'm already aware of [livejournal.com profile] comment_fic and [livejournal.com profile] 31_days.) If anyone has any recs for that, please let me know! Also, if anyone knows of any good Undertale and/or Steven Universe specific prompt communities, let me know about that, too!

3. I've been getting back into drawing recently, and I'd like some good recommendations for tutorials on stuff like perspective and foreshortening. I'd prefer stuff that you can find online, but books on the subject are good, too. I think that's it.


4. Okay, there's gotta be a mash-up of Megalovania and Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, there just has to. I don't what form it should take (traditional mash-up? some kind of cover? just layering the songs on top of each other in all their discordant glory?), but I just know it needs to exist.

Okay, that's everything!
healyg: (Healslime)
Note: This is a post for the Fandom Snowflake Challenge. To learn more about it, click the banner:

Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner

Today's challenge:
In your own space, talk about why you are doing the Fandom Snowflake Challenge? What drew you to it as a participant? What do you hope to accomplish by doing these challenges?

This is kind of a weird question for the first day, but all right: I first came across this challenge last year when I was looking around for fandom related stuff to do after Yuletide. I was still pretty new to blogging at the time, so I only managed to complete one challenge. But I wanted to do more, so I decided to do it again this year. As for what I hope to accomplish, I'm really looking forward to looking back on what I've accomplished this year (well, last year) and seeing what trends have popped up in my work. I don't know if I'll go the whole 15 days, but I definitely wanna finish more than one.
healyg: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Listen, bud: when you make up superheroes you can't create just one. You gotta make up a whole universe of the guys if you wanna do it right. So sure, there'll be Professor Death, out to avenge the death of his family after a tragic lab accident, but there'll also be Joruz, Sergeant from the Stars, Skelly the time cop, and a whole host of other super-powered folks.

As for actors, I think that's more of a "cross that bridge when you come to it" situation.
healyg: (apology)
If you're looking for this week's Currently Reading Wednesdays, I'm sorry to say that it's not here. HOWEVER, the Yuletide fics have been revealed, and with it some very cool stories, including three of my own gifts:

The End of Autumn (They Might Be Giants - No One Knows My Plan + Destination Moon): An eerie tale of an astronaut, an engineer, their love, and mad science. I really dug how the author worked in the details from the songs.

The New Model (Lupin III): A cute short story about how Lupin can be kind of a jerk sometimes, especially towards women. A lot more focused on dialogue than most drabbles I've read, which I like.

Doing the Job (Beat the Champ - The Mountain Goats (Album)): A werewolf wrestler struggles to contain himself during a match. I really liked the slice-of-life take on a wrestler's life on the road.

Plus there was some other great fics, like the following:

A Heart So True (Undertale): Who would have thought that a Pokemon AU fic could be so good? It's got some good worldbuilding and gets pretty heartbreaking near the end. (Note: Contains mild to moderate spoilers for Undertale, if you care about that.)

The Demon and the Cobbler (12 Dancing Princesses): A very sweet story about two characters who become unlikely friends after the end of the fairy tale. I liked the take on the nature of the 12 princes.

Three Jeweled Branches, and a Golden Cup Too (12 Dancing Princesses): This is a simply delightful CYOA story, and I say that having written a few myself. What I really liked was how the writing for the different protagonists made them all quite distinct.

Filibuster Vigilantly (They Might Be Giants - Birdhouse in Your Soul): A quiet fairy tale about a nightlight who fights off an invasion. It's got a warm and cozy feel to it that I absolutely adore.

Inheritance (Red Riding Hood): A deliciously creepy tale about Red Riding Hood after her fateful encounter with the wolf. The overlapping voices are what make this fic for me.

And that's all just what I've managed to get around to so far! There's a bunch more gems hidden in there. I'm probably going to be reading fic long past reveals at the rate I'm going through them. You should dig in yourselves, see what you can find.
healyg: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Oh boy, Christmas! I think we're going to have a party with my aunt and uncle's family on Christmas Eve, since we do that every year. After that we're going to church, and after that I'm not sure what we're doing; seeing Star Wars, maybe?

Re: shopping: I'm going shopping for a family gift exchange tomorrow, and we still need to buy presents for our sister, who can't visit us this year. But other than that, we've got our shopping in the bag.
healyg: (scheming)
I apologize for being so late with this post; I was rushing to finish my Yuletide assignment and this blog sorta fell by the wayside. But! I just wrote it up and posted it last night, and while there are a couple hitches in it (namely, I haven't checked it for SPAG yet, and there's an extra scene I should write to make it hang together better), I am fully prepared to call it finito Benito for now and work on other projects. Like Currently Reading Wednesdays! Here's what I was reading the past couple weeks:

Top 10: Season 1 by Alan Moore and Gene Ha: This is the superhero police procedural that Moore wrote at the turn of this century. It's pretty good, and I enjoyed it, but there were a couple things that bothered me about it. Mostly it had to do with all the sexual content; none of it's very explicit, of course, but it permeates the entire exercise (like, say, the Martian Manhunter-esque hooker lady), to the point where it seems like the author can't get his head out of the gutter. (Then again, I might just be a ginormous prude.) Also, the police department struck me as a bit trigger-happy; events from the previous few years have sensitized me to this sort of thing. Still, it's a pretty nice book.

Hellboy: The Wild Hunt by Mike Mignola and Duncan Fegredo: This was pretty great, and it advanced the story of the series quite a bit, but it ended on a cliffhanger, which bugged me immensely. I'll reserve judgment on this until I read the next book in the series, but I was a little disappointed in this.

Boss Fight Books: Earthbound by Ken Baumann: I used to really love this game as a little kid, and what with Undertale blowing up the internet right now, I decided to read up on one of its primary influences. This is a very good book; it may be a little too "New Game Journalism-y" to some people's tastes (Baumann spends much of the book relating to Earthbound through his own life and experiences), but I thought it was a good fit for something as weirdly personal as Earthbound. I can't wait to read some of the other books in the series.

Rise of the Video Game Zinesters by Anna Anthropy: I actually know Anthropy from her days back at Glorious Trainwrecks, so I was familiar with her work. Anyway, this is a primer on the indie (or alt, they seem to have changed names when I wasn't looking) games scene, with a look at the history of the movement, their games, their goals, and some of the tools used to create indie games. I don't always agree with her arguments, but this is a fine introduction to independent games and game design, and worth a look if you want to make a game yourself.

(Note that the next two weeks may be pretty busy for me, given that it's the holidays. But I'll try to put out at least one more installment of Currently Reading Wednesdays out before the end of this year.)
healyg: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]That'd be Steven Universe, of course! I just love its friendly and sweet nature, its delightful cast of characters, and how it's not afraid to get serious when the time calls for it. I also like Batman: the Animated Series, which is pretty different, in that it's a darker, more violent show, but it's got a noirish atmosphere that I wish were more common in animated TV series.

As for the second question, hmm. I wish Batman: the Brave and the Bold were more popular nowadays, but that finished its run a while back, so it probably doesn't count. I wish there were more "light" superhero entertainment going on, though.
healyg: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]I moatly like listening to poppy rock and rock-ish pop. R.E.M., The Mountain Goats, The Beatles, They Might Be Giants, stuff like that. I also like listening to video game soundtracks (the chippier the better!) and remixes thereof.

I don't really talk about music much at work.
healyg: (apology)
Currently I'm reading this screenshot Undertale Let's Play by fellow Brontoforumus member nosimpleway. (Undertale by Toby Fox.) Naturally it contains spoilers for the game, so if you haven't played Undertale yet and want to do so unsullied, you should hold off on reading it.

Anyway, both the game and the LP are pretty great. The writing and art and characters in Undertale are very charming, and nosimpleway's commentary is engaging, witty, and informative. He also takes the time to link to music from the soundtrack, and even uploads videos of boss fights that are hard to get across with just screenshots. My only real problem with it is that it advertises as a blind playthrough, but this seems to only be true for the first dungeon or so. I think he's up to the end of his first playthrough, and he'll likely do a second one to show off the best ending. If you wanna see how someone else plays through the game, or if you're curious about Undertale and don't mind spoiling yourself silly, why not give it a shot?
healyg: (apology)
I apologize again for taking so long to write up a new Currently Reading Wednesdays. I've just been feeling kind of "blah" the last few days (maybe because of all the turkey?) and didn't get around to it.

Anyway, currently I'm reading The Jack Kirby Omnibus Volume One: Starring Green Arrow, with art by Jack Kirby (natch) and writing by various. It's a collection of all the various stories Jack Kirby did for DC Comics in the 50s, mainly for science fiction magazines like House of Mystery and Tales of the Unexpected. (There were also a couple Green Arrow stories in there, like it said in the title, but I didn't really get to them.) The inventiveness of the stories and visuals are a real treat, which is to say that everything is properly wacky in that amazing Silver Age way. One of my favorite stories is the one where a guy takes a concoction that turns him into a flat, 2D man. Kirby's art just sells the transformation and really raises up what would have been just a passable short story into something very enjoyable.

I'm also reading Get Real, a Dortmunder book by Donald Westlake, who also wrote the Parker books under a pseudonym. It's pretty good, but it's a rougher read than I expected. Apparently this was the last Dortmunder book Westlake wrote before he died, so that probably explains it. I'll keep an eye out for earlier books in the series, and see if they're any better.

I'm also play/reading Jay's Journey an early RPG Maker game. It's okay, and the humor is actually pretty good for an RPG Maker game from 2002 or something, but I keep having trouble figuring out where to go, which is really not something that should be happening in a game as linear as Jay's Journey. Most of the time it seems to be due to some underclued puzzle solution, like when I spent 15 minutes in one room only to find, when I looked it up later, that a switch I thought didn't do anything actually did something, I just couldn't see it. A hint guide would have helped here, whether in game or just in a text file. Still, I like it enough that I'll probably go and finish it.
healyg: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Gosh, this is a tough question! Well, I haven't had the time to fully get into it, but I really love movies from the 70s. There's a feel, an aura to them that you don't get anywhere else. It's where directors like Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg cut their teeth doing their earliest work, to some their most important work. And of course it was the time of the great police and crime movies (Dirty Harry, Serpico, The Outfit, Duel, just to name a few). I wouldn't say movies will never reach those heights again, but it'll probably be a while before we get another epoch like that.

Besides those films I mentioned, I'm also a big fan of Miyazaki's The Castle of Cagliostro (1980).


healyg: (Default)

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