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Creation Date: 2001-12-05
Unoriginality? Shameful! Not quite. You see, I got this manga called Weekly Jump yesterday after class. I had to go all the way to Chinatown to get it. It wasn't what I wanted, but it's interesting all the same. First off, it's very cheap for how extremely valuable it is. 220 Yen is remarkably little and better yet, in America, it cost me only $3.50. The exchange rate is quite nice, I must say. How do they pay for the paper, the clerks, the boat owner and crew, manga artist, assistants, and publishers with that little cash? Quantity, advertisements? I dare ask what huge quantity could pay for all this wonderful stuff. I bet that the $3.50 that I paid pays for the paper, clerk's wage, and boat owner and crew, nothing more. But who pays the rest? Advertisers and people in Japan who read it, I guess. Whoever pays for it, thank you much.

Aside from the fact that this manga is seriously undervalued, why should I copy a picture from it? Well, I was inspired to draw something from a manga. It was either going to be Gally from the cover of UltraJump or something cool from my new manga. But I don't just copy stuff without strict standards. The girl is cute, playing Go!, and is moderately easy to draw. It's not too easy to draw, but not too hard to draw, just perfect for me. Still, I didn't copy this picture. As you can probably see, my imperfections as an artist show up all over this. These imperfections were not intentional, thus making them more genuine. I did not digitize the pictures until I was finished drawing them. I did not want to taint my artistic perception. You see, art is ALWAYS imitation. You can say that no artist has inspired you to draw, but the truth is that it is wired into your brain to take what you see and imitate it. Even a person who has never seen art before (a very rare case) will imitate what they see around them. What about completely original art? Art such as aliens with a thousand eyes. Perhaps it is copied from a dream or copied and distorted from what a person has seen. Really, we can do little apart from imitation.

That is why I went on a tangent in the last "Making Of" column about Copying and Pasting. What I said may be baloney, but really has a good point to it. If we had the ability to copy and paste to an infinite degree, we would essentially have a model for the universe. To illustrate this, we shall look at the atom. An atom is supposed to be the indivisible particle. Well, tough luck for the physicists, atoms can be broken down into protons, neutrons, and electrons. No problem, those can't be broken down, can they? Well, it seems that they really aren't particles. They're more like energy. Travelling in waves and acting like particles sometimes, the whole wave/particle duality bit. I could go into that quite a ways, but I'll just continue on with energy. What is energy? Well, there's kinetic and potential energy. Kinetic energy is energy of motion. Potential energy is stored energy. But how is potential energy stored? Well, there's gravitational potential energy that we know so well. Objects that are placed farther from the Earth than others have more gravitational potential energy. Also, potential energy can be stored in chemical bonds, electric and magnetic fields, and a few other less-well known ways. So energy is things moving, things being placed in certain arrangements. But we just said that things are energy. So energy is energy placed in arrangements or moving. Does it make no sense to you yet? If it makes sense, then you obviously don't understand. Physics at high level is using circular logic, but we don't care. We just want to find out the answers to what we observe. So back to the subatomic particles. If you were to have a group of those, they would be an atom. These atoms can come together to get molecules, these molecules can do whatever they want, but some of them arranged correctly can become cells. Cells form organs and organs form organisms (animal, plant, insect, bacteria, etc). Then what? Well, then there's ecosystem, planet, solar system, galaxy, and finally universe. So really, the whole universe is a copy and paste festival. Yes, indeed, we can see from the smallest sub-atomic particle to the entire universe is a bunch of copying and pasting. What I say may be just baloney, but it sure does look to be like the order in the universe is the simple random collection of collections. Perhaps the reason why anything is different from anything else is a different collection of collections. For example, a collection of six protons, six electrons, and six neutrons will form Carbon, while eight of each will form Nitrogen.

Back on track, I did not trace the picture neither digitally nor manually. I drew it with my mechanical pencil on my trusty yellow notepad. Might I suggest that I stroked the pencil across the notepad so gently, that I almost had to stop myself from going into spontaneous orgasm. You didn't need to hear that last part, I bet. Hahaha. Perhaps I'm really becoming a manga artist. Or perhaps that girl is so beautiful that I need to stop reading manga written for young boys. You see, my favorite comic, Battle Angel Alita (known as Gunnm in Japan) is made for young adults. The new version is being published by UltraJump. The only similarly-named manga that I could find at Owajimaya is Weekly Jump. So obviously, it was written for Japanese kids much younger than me who don't have school uniform fetishes. Hehehe. Naw, I really don't have a fetish, per se... It's more of an affinity. Ya, that's the ticket! So... Oh yeah, I was talking about how well it went. I was finally able to do the eyes like a real manga artist. I usually can't and just draw circles, but this time I did it right. I'm so happy with it. Then I darkened the lines with my trusty straight-edge, the cap for my pencil. Yup, no ruler or ellipse-tool for me. The pen cap I have is curved just perfectly so that I can make it look right.

I guess that there's a bunch of lessons to learn for today. The first is: 20-year-old American guys with affinity for school uniforms, do not read Weekly Jump. Read UltraJump instead. The second can be: you'll know when you're really becoming a manga artist. If you're asking yourself, it isn't now, see the previous lesson. The third one ought to be: a good mechanical pencil is your friend, but is the boyfriend of your yellow notepad. He must treat his girlfriend well and they will get along fine. But he alone is no match for the yellow notepad, you must coach him on. Tell him what he needs to do and let him figure out for himself what love is. Okay, I'm out of analogies. Just put the pencil to paper and in twenty years, you'll be a manga artist. The fourth lesson should be: copy and paste, because it's all you can do; HOWEVER, how you copy and paste is what makes you different from what you copy. If you like Evangelion and you make a giant robot manga and follow the plot line of Evangelion, you're not going to make many happy viewers. However, if you follow a different plot line with different people, and distinguish it from Evangelion, you'll be named a cheap rip-off, but people who look past that might find the goodness of your idea.

With that said, I'd like to point to the fact that "Javantea's Fate" is completely original. In fact, I've seen a lot of similarities between it and stuff that I've seen before and after I wrote it. That only means that other people think like I do. What a wonderful thought that people on completely separate paths come up with very similar results. But only my details have really shown up in other movies and animes that I've seen. My main concept has never been seen outside the people I've told. That's a good thing. You faithful viewers are going to get a real treat, I swear! Indeed, a wonderful Scene 3 will be posted this week.

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