It is my belief that Danny Trejo should be in all the movies. ALL the movies. So when I heard that the third Bat film would feature Bane NOT portrayed by Danny Terjo, I felt this injustice could not be tolerated!

I know Danny is voicing the animated version on Young Justice which is pretty awesome. But I feel he really needs to be the live action version. It is a crime against humanity that he is not!

As much as I despise reality television programming, I can find nothing at all wrong with RuPaul’s Drag Race. It’s one part America’s Next Top Model (which is seriously a crime against humanity), one part Project Runway (which I actually can stand), mixed together with a whole lot of attitude. It’s fucking fierce!

On the fifth episode of this third season, the lady boys were challenged to put on their television newscast complete with a gossip segment, a weather segment, and an interview with some lady from “The Hills” (another crime against humanity). The Queens were split into teams and chose roles. For her interview segment, Manila Luzon decided to break out the “Ching Chong” speak. It caught everyone off guard and made a lot of the queens uncomfortable, including Ru who I imagine isn’t offended by a whole lot. Manila is Asian so she got the “Well, it’s okay if she does it but it’s not okay if a non-Asian does it” pass. The judges thought is was so wrong it was right and Manila went on to win the night. If you’ve got the time and it isn’t region restricted, here’s the episode:

The Case Against Ching Chong

I admit, I laughed at the segment. It was horribly uncomfortable, but I laughed. Manila just went all out and over-the-top which is kind of what you expect from drag anyway. But I was disappointed in her. It’s not a choice that I would have made and I hope it’s a choice that Asian entertainers avoid.

It’s not that I don’t think that we can’t laugh at ourselves. Asians make fun of Asians all the time and it’s usually from our perspective as Asians. What bothers me so much when Asians do the Rush Lamebaugh “Ching Chong” bit is that it comes from an outside perspective. It’s an insult to Asians created by non-Asians. As Asians, we shouldn’t be using other people’s insults to define ourselves. We should be using our own insults!

The Margaret Cho Question

Margaret Cho does a version of the “Ching Chong” in her act. Whenever she does a bit about her mother, she squints her eyes and talks in a high pitched, broken English. But to me, this is not the insulting “Ching Chong” that Manila used. Margaret’s impression of her mother is an authentic representation of the way her mother speaks. No one else came up to Margaret and said, “Hey, your mom is all like Ching Ching Chong Chingy Chong.” Her impression comes from her perspective. It’s endearing and charming and absolutely hysterical.

Manila’s “Ching Chong” interview did not come from an authentic place. She’s Filipino. Her “Ching Chong” was clearly aping Chinese or Japanese. If she was doing a Filipino version, it would have sounded much different. It would have been hysterical to hear her version of a relative who speaks English with a heavy Filipino accent. Or hell, just break into some proper Tagalog and confuse the hell out of your guest. That would be some funny shit.

Instead, Manila fell into the “Ching Chong” trap. It’s funny and horrifying but mostly funny to all the non-Asian judges who rewarded her for being so “bold.” But it wasn’t bold. It was rather safe. It was using an old stereotype foisted upon Asians by the same type of people who still refer to us as “Orientals.” For it to have been bold, Manila would have had to have brought something real to her impersonation.

I Ain’t Mad Atcha, Manila

I thought it was a poor choice, but I won’t crucify Manila for it. In some ways, drag is a parody to begin with. Why bother conforming to political correctness on a show that celebrates doing your own damn thing? I just wish she had done something truly unique.

My wish for all Asian entertainers in the new damn millennium is to really come up with something unique and not lean on stereotypes perpetrated by non-Asians. Chris Rocks “Niggas vs. Black People” is a legendary bit that perfectly articulates the inner struggles of the Black community. We need an Asian bit that rises to that level. Come on, Asians, we can do better than the “Ching Chong.”

Neil Gaiman sat down with the Open Rights Group to give his thoughts on the internet, copyright, and piracy.

It’s great to hear Gaiman’s perspective, especially the notion that those who obtain his works for free weren’t going to buy them in the first place so there’s no real loss of sale. It’s advertising to a new audience.

What does this mean for webcomics? Well, you can’t really pirate my stuff since I give it away for free always. And I haven’t seen an increase in my book sales because, well, I have no books to sell. But my shirts sales have gone up exponentially compared to any previous attempt I’ve ever made at selling things online thanks to giving away my comic for free. Hopefully, we’ll see if this trend continues later this year when I plan to put together my first ¥P collection.

In order for the free content model to work, you need eyes on the product. That’s why you’ll find that most webcomicers are secretly (sometimes not so secretly) obsessed with their traffic numbers. Traffic equals eyes on your product equals more potential customers equals more potential sales. I have no real basis for this number, but let’s suppose you generate one sale per 100 free viewings. Now for someone like Neil Gaiman who’s probably attracting bajillions of free viewings per product, that’s a shit ton of sales. It takes a while for a webcomic to reach that kind of traffic so it may be a good long while before the traffic to sales number is worth any significant monetary value.

It’s great to hear Gaiman validate the free content model, something that webcomicers have been kicking around for ages. It is not an easy model to deal with and it certainly doesn’t lead to rapid wealth development. I also suspect that we webcomicers tend to more into it than we get out of it.

It works for now, but it certainly doesn’t work as well as it does for Neil. Hopefully some one who has proper business sense can figure out something more proper. And then tell me!

A few years ago, there was this Batgirl art meme that circulated around pretty much every artist who had an online presence. Except for me. Cause I’m lame. So I decided to make up for lost time and do a Batgirl.

Bats are kinda brownish, not blue and grey, so I decided to give my version of Babs a brown theme. Oh, my version of Batgirl is Barbara Gordon. I also never liked her hair poking out of the mask. That’s the first thing any good thug would grab so no flowing hair for my Babs. Also, giant boobs kinda get in the way of kicking ass so I made sure she put on a comfy sports bra. Not entirely sure why she’s saluting, but I wanted a kind of action pose.

Every once in a while, someone will ask me how to draw more betterer. I tell them to just fucking do it, but I’ve been told that that’s not always productive. So I thought I’d further clarify what it takes to draw more betterer with a fun list. Here are 7 sure fire ways to draw more betterer:

  1. Draw Everyday
    Draw every single day. Every. Single. Day. And don’t make any excuses. If you honestly want to get better at drawing, you must, MUST, draw every single day.

    If you have time to watch TV, you have time to draw. If you have time to sit on the toilet and take a shit, you have time to draw. If you have time to sit on the train to go to work, you have time to draw. If you have time to eat a sandwich with your non-dominant hand, you have time to fucking well draw. Draw draw draw draw mother fucking draw! Make the time. There are so many little moments in your day that you can fill with art. Find them. Fill them. Draw.

  2. Draw Things You Hate to Draw
    The things you hate to draw are the things that you need to work on. You hate them because they look like shit. Force yourself to make your art enemies your friends.

  3. Draw From Real Life
    If you are gifted with a photographic visual memory, perhaps you may ignore this step. For the rest of us, reference from real life is key to learning anatomy, proportion, lighting, and how objects interact with each other in a given space. Google, Bing, Flickr, and the like offer great tools for looking up images online. But honestly, the best references are from really real life. Sure, it’s probably difficult to get a reference for a 57 Chevy motor unless you live near a classic car garage. But there is infinite reference material around you. If you’re drawing buildings, nothing beats walking around a city to get the feel for how those sky scrapers reach out to the clouds. If you’re drawing people, nothing beats seeing how clothes move over muscles while walking. Take the time to observe the world around you, how objects and people move through it, interact with it. Train your eye to see the little details that we often ignore. Putting them into your work will breath a new life into your pieces.

  4. Draw More Biggerer
    Don’t hide your sketches in a little corner in the pages of your sketch book. Your sketch book is the place to work out all of your art problems. Get them out in the open. Fill that page with large swaths of hands or feet or hair or whatever bedevils you. Use the space to work those problems out. Never, ever, eeeeeever hide from your art problems!

  5. Warm Up Before You Start A Finished Piece
    So you’re tired of practicing. It’s time to sit down, grab your art weapon of choice, and create the best piece you’ve done to date.

    Fuck. Yes. Do it.

    But before you get too far, spend a few minutes with some warm up sketches. It’s the same concept behind warming up before you run an entire marathon. If you haven’t been drawing all day, your art muscles need some warming up. You can start off with some basic exercises like drawing circles or you can do something a little more pertinent to your piece by whipping off a few thumbnail sketches of the final piece you’re about to do.

    You will end up erasing and starting over anyway. But if you spend some warm up time throwing out these loose sketches, you may find you will end up erasing and starting over less.

  6. Break Free From the Vacuum
    I once got into a rather stupid philosophical argument with an art professor over the notion that art cannot be created in a vacuum. As a snot-nosed contrarian art student, I contended that art can indeed be created in a vacuum, that you didn’t need to pay attention to the world around you, and that if you created something that was exactly like something else, that was totally fine. I have since learned that I was totally full of shit and possibly trying to impress a girl who completely ignored me.

    It’s a good idea to see what’s out there. Not only can it help you avoid copying someone else’s idea, you can gain inspiration for something new. New is sort of a relative terms since at this point, nothing is really new. But you can come come up with an original spin on something that’s been done before and you can’t know that unless you break out of your vacuum and see what’s out there.

  7. Learn From the Best
    This is the best time in history to be an artist because your art idols are mere keystrokes away. Chances are, your favorite artists have portfolios and blogs online. Many of them are more than willing to share their techniques, their advice, and their secrets (here’s the secret, there ARE NO SECRETS) with everyone else. Some of them will even respond personally to your questions.

To conclude, just fucking do it. If you really want to draw more betterer, don’t waste time with excuses or questions or hesitations or any lame shit that isn’t drawing. Pick up that pencil and get to work.