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Live Events, Giveaways, and Anime Fest 2017

One of my all-time fav conventions is nearly here! Anime Fest (August 17th – 20th) has hands-down been one of my favorites since I started attending them some years ago. I am extremely biased when it comes to these sort of events, however, because I’ve always preferred smaller crowds. Granted, the fact that AnimeFest is now being hosted near my home in the Sheraton Hotel certainly means they’ve grown exponentially.

And have you SEEN the guest line up for this year? If you haven’t, seriously go look it up.

Unfortunately, for our team at Dusk Publishing, we weren’t able to snag a table this year at the event─ But, we are doing panels. And a panel I have planned oh hohoho~~

If you aren’t currently watching my Live Events, or are just kind of tuning in, I do live writing panels and stories for DuskLive on FB from 2p.m. – 2:30 p.m. These usually don’t go for more than a couple of minutes, but I like to stay on the safe side, just in case we have people asking questions! Once these live events are finished, I post them on all of my social media pages. So if you can’t attend, no worries─ they are always posted afterward. (like the one this past Sunday about a scary experience I had while I was in Japan doing research for the Hell’s Gate book series.)

For the AnimeFest panel, you can expect to have all my usual bizarre Japanese culture and Urban Legends content that you can find on Soundcloud (now slowly being added to my YouTube channel) and on my Livestream events.  This year, I’ll be covering modern Japanese urban legends and where they come from and also talking about some ancient Japanese urban legends. We’ll all sit and reminisce as I talk about my experiences from Japan (interesting, bizarre─ and the everyday life as a ‘normal’ Japanese citizen)

The panel will be held on Thursday, August 17th from 5 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in Panel 4. 

For this panel, I’ll have copies of Hell’s Gate readily available, or you can bring your own for signing!

If you aren’t aware, you can actually enter to win a free copy of Hell’s Gate in our contest. (Hurry, it’s only running until 7/27/17!)

This next Sunday, (July 30th) I’ll be covering ways to combat writer’s block and techniques that I use to help. See you guys there!

 

xoxo

C.A. ❤

 

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Why Scary Movies Were Banned in My House

I knew I was different when I was a child. That sounds narcissistic as fuck, but it’s true.

Some years ago (when me and my mother were on speaking terms) I remember describing to her in perfect detail what my baby room looked like. Lot’s of violet and stuffed animals with gauze-y white curtains and white furniture. I remember my favorite stuffed animal was a white seal that I liked to bite on the nose. (It felt good on my gums. :3)

My mother blinked a few times and then, being the religious/superstitious woman she was, suggested that angels must have guided me out of my tiny human body into the spiritual realm, throwing me into an out-of-body experience.

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Whoa. Intense.

But, sadly─ my mom was wrong. Because unlike typical accounts of ‘out-of-body’, I didn’t see myself, or outside of my field of vision from the crib. (not to mention, I think it’s all a bunch of horse dung.)

To my mother’s credit, there is something unnerving about a child that not only corrects everything you say, but also tends to be extremely blunt and appears to lack feelings. This was the 90’s folks, and there was nothing more than just talks about ADD. (attention deficit disorder, now more commonly referred to as ADHD) But, alas, her daughter couldn’t have that, because mostly males were diagnosed with it at the time─ let alone any other possible issues.

And so, I was branded─ the Demon Child.

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Not because I was the spawn of satan, or some- such nonsense, but because I was that man’s daughter.

As you may have guessed, my parents split. Just after I was born, in fact. My mom’s thoughts?

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e.g.: me.

I was tirelessly and incessantly curious about everything─ especially death. When someone explained something to me, the first phrase that inevitably came out was ‘but why do we do it this way?’

I loved watching scary movies, so much that I would sneak out into the living room like a ninja behind our couch to watch ‘adults only’ films.

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Eventually, my mom and step-dad caught on and gave in. And so the three of us (my brother was very young then and slept in a crib) would sit on Friday nights and watch films. I’m sure my parents wanted to watch it in peace─

but I had questions.

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For the longest time, I would ask my parents obsessively about god, heaven, and bad guys. I would listen to the stories in church, but watch movies about the most horrible sides of humanity. My mom displayed both sides equally. So I would get a constant flood of conflicting evidence on human behavior.

And inconclusive data made me upset. Really upset. I liked control and understanding everything.

And so, my tiny villainous brain devised a scheme. Remove the control, and we have a predictable outcome where all other outcomes would cease to screw up my tireless conflicting world views.

Do any of you remember these?

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They were little 2×3 space heaters. Now hilariously illegal.

What happened to cross my mind at the moment, or what force compelled it, I’ll never know. I simply remember at the time, logic dictated that I do it.

And so, I stared at the wall heater. And it at me.

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I wasn’t allowed to touch the heater again.

And my scary movie days? Had to return back to me becoming one with the dark ninja force. At least, until after the coast had cleared.

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Kimi no wa Movie Review – A Stunning Visual Masterpiece

Kimi no wa releases in the US this April 7th and it is every bit as amazing as everyone has lead on.

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Makoto Shinkai has yet again created a beautiful visual masterpiece. If his name sounds familiar, you may know him as the creator of Voices of a Distant Star or She and Her Cat or more recently in 2011 Children Who Chase Lost Voices

 

 

It is my firm belief that anyone can relate to and enjoy this movie, no matter if you are an anime or film fan. I was lucky enough to get a pre-screening and decided to share my experience with all of you.

The story follows the life two young people living in Japan:

Mitsuha from the fictional Japanese countryside town of Itomori.

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And Taki from the large city of Tokyo.

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It begins somewhat confusing as you slowly become aware that Mitsuha and Taki have switched lives. The interesting part of the story, was that it didn’t happen every day─ but rather, every so many days. You get to ride along with each individual as they experience the delicate intricacies of each other’s life.

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At first, they both lay out certain (and most definitely hilarious) rules for each other.

(I don’t care who you are, you will lose your shit at these scenes.)

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What starts as both people feeling a sort of general annoyance at this life change, gradually turns into an appreciation for each other, and respect for one another’s lives

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Until one day, Taki stops receiving messages from Mitsuha and begins to only wake to his normal, every day life.

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Time passes and Taki decides to take a train to the town to discover why Mitsuha has stopped being such an important element in his life.

What he finds, will simply floor you.

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Enter the life of Mitsuha and everything that happened within the lost time.

 

Eventually the two find one another again,  working together to prevent one of the biggest tragedies Japan has seen in a long time.

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It is as eloquent as it is brilliant─ written to pull the heart strings as much as provide you with a hearty laugh. It is one of those films that literally takes you on an emotional roller coaster.

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It’s a story of tolerance, acceptance, and walking in someone else’s shoes. It will sweep you into its magic and make you really feel as if you are part of something larger than yourself.

It’s a story of fate.

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Do yourself a favor─ Grab a box of tissues, go with your dearest pals or family and experience this amazing film together. I promise you will love it.

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I give it a huge 5 out of 5 possible stars.

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Here are the official trailers, please enjoy!

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English Version Trailer

What’s next?

2/12 Valentine’s Day Japanese Cake Recipe Blog – How to make one for your sweetie in the US. If you don’t understand the difference in Valentine’s Day in Japan and White Day, here’s a little info over both.

Info here:  Valentine’s Day and White Day in Japan – The difference

2/14 Come visit my podcast/audio book page here: https://arisevalhalla.org/podcasts/ for thrills and chills this Valentine’s Day as I talk about internet urban legends Kisaragi Station, Slenderman, and The NoEnd House.

 

 

Weekly Releases and Quick Update Info

So, as most of you have noticed I usually update my comics on Tuesdays. (last week was an exception due to my day job)

But, know that I work diligently each week to bring you laughs, or groaning and shaking of the head.

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What’s in store? Well, as I search for a job that will somehow manage to cover the ever-climbing costs of living in Dallas, I have found my only form of sanity is releasing these comics to all of you.

But, what else?

What else indeed! Last week I ran a poll (which I giggled at myself for only getting 1 vote) But, none-the-less still realized that the one person took time out of their day to click the vote button on Twitter and so I shall make ready the spooky tales that they requested.

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So, in honor of said-mystery-individual, I offer the internet Slenderman in all his glory and fame online─ including his origins, and different variations on this particular Urban Legend.

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In addition to this spook-fest, I decided to add a Japanese Urban Legend of my choosing. So, be prepared for a fun-filled audio adventure! I do so adore old radio shows and recording books are something that I simply love. So when combining the two, I like to really put my all into them. These last few shows I’ve done felt a little under-whelming, so

I’m going to make all the sound effects in the new one!

I plan on updating these with images on my YouTube channel as well as adding my own digital art to each. (this girl has a real affinity for the dark side)

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Some of my online comics will be dramatic or manga-esque, but most will be for the lulz. So with that, I leave you with this update message:

The creepy audio is coming soon, children, and the Tuesday comic will be up tomorrow as planned.

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Quick update – Today’s Comic Release

Hey guys! This is just a brief update on yesterday and today. Normally, I release a comic every Tuesday. As most of you know, I have a day job like everyone else.

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Which means my days can go from busy to:

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When you run a company, and work a day job (plus adding a kiddo to the mix 2-4 days a week) let’s just say my life is not lacking excitement.

Yesterday was a day of nightmares.

Finally, after trudging home at 10 p.m. (having worked at my job which currently has me as Marketing Director/CSR/Web Designer) I finally was able to try and finish my comic. Then, the realization hit me. I’d left my file at work and forgot to save it on G-Drive.

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Needless to say, (tl;dr) I’ll have it up today.

Check out my poll on twitter today @chrystal_Annecd at noon─

You all get to vote what my next Urban Legend podcast will be over. :3

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Happy thoughts, children. ❤

─ C.A.

The Most Influential Comic Creators of all-time. Episode 1 – Frank Miller

This is going to be episode 1 of a mini-series I’m wanting to cover. Of course, the main comic creator I had to add first was Frank Miller. Why? I admire the hell out of the man. His style captures both main stream and comic audiences. And he has that sort of, ‘no fuss’ attitude I so love.

 

 

In a recent interview Miller says just that. They ask him if Marvel should pay him for creating Elektra, to which he responds:

“I’m not running for president. I don’t want to be one of those cranky old guys grinding an ax, wishing I got paid better. I’ve done my best to pave the way for artists in the future to be treated better than I have. And that’s all I can do. Beyond that, I’d be pissing and moaning about things I have no control over. I’ve signed every contract that I’ve signed and agreed to the working conditions that I’ve worked in. And I’m not going to whine about this. I make a good living.”

Why else? Miller is soft spoken, but extremely intense. Which are two combinations, I can completely relate to. Being a fairly intense person myself, I can understand the need to really work hard on something that you love. My stories are no different. You have to know the balance between your own bias, and what the public will want to read. Sometimes, it gets rough. But Miller has proven that you can walk that balance by putting your own style and touch to something others can relate to.

To date, I’ve yet to find a Batman that really speaks to me like Frank Miller’s version. He’s real, he’s raw and gritty─ and he cares. Though it has it’s interesting moments, the earlier versions of a more jovial Batman from the 1940s-1970’s just never spoke to me. He [Bruce Wayne] had been through a lot, and watched it all. This would profoundly affect a person and how they behave. Having been through many tragedies of my own in life, I can testify that you can go one way or the other with all the bad things that happen that you can’t control.

In the recent interview in March, just before the release of Batman vs. Superman on the 25th, Miller spoke about how he drew from the Dark Knight returns and what inspired him with the original gritty character. He explained that he knew what it was like, losing control and being mugged─ having a gun waved in his face. He had been involved in a few muggings in Manhattan. It made him angry, and that anger transferred to the Dark Knight.

One of my favorite quotes, was one in Holy Terror, Batman! that sounds suspiciously like Miller’s inner monologue:

“All my life there’s been something wrong. Something missing. A sense that everything I’m seeing all around me isn’t entirely true. That this seemingly ordered world of laws and logic and reason is nothing but a shroud, a chimera. A mask. But every once in a long while, the mask falls away. Every once in a long while, the whole world makes perfect sense. The world reveals itself. I am at peace. And at war.”

Like this? Stay tuned for my next show covering Manga creator and horror grand-master, Junji Ito. His haunting imagery and wickedly crafted tales will keep you awake for hours.

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