By Tatsuya Ishida
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September 29, 2002
I got your back
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

I knew this one girl who always went for guys she couldn't have. Something about wanting a challenge. So naturally I told her she couldn't have me. "I'm off limits, baby. Sorry." And she was all, "Oh really?" And I was like, "Really." And she went, "Why?" And I went, "Because I don't agree with the whole notion of pursuing someone out of some desire to feel challenged. That cheapens the very concept of romance, as if it's all just a game and the goal is to win. No, baby. The goal is to love." And I meant it, too. Cuz, you know, I'm all heart and shit. So anyway, we went out a couple times, but then she met a guy she really couldn't have, and it was game over for me. And I thought to myself: Damn, I played it all wrong.

September 22, 2002
I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 100
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

So some jazz dude is suing the Beastie Boys for sampling his music. I'm more than a little interested in the issue of artistic ownership, since I too have "borrowed" other people's creations. So far, no law suits. But you never know, especially if I ever make it big. I can see it now. People'll be suing me for the tone of my voice and shit. "Your honor, the defendant spoke with a blatant disregard for my emotionals thus causing me great psychological distress and metaphysical injuriousness which has rendered me incompacified and utterly abjectly discombamboozled, thusly, ergo, i.e., I seek the monetarial damages and compensation of $100 million billion dollars to the googol power times infinity plus one, your honor, sir."

September 15, 2002
You can't handle the truth!
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

On censorship. Censorship is confusing. Like, I don't quite understand why "shit" is so unmentionable while the word "hate" is perfectly acceptable. Think about it. You can say "hate" in the classroom, on television, to your parents, to little children, to the Pope, to anyone at all without any worries of impropriety. But say "shit" and all hell breaks loose. What message does this send our impressionable youth? What sort of values are we teaching the kids? That hating is okay compared to the unspeakable sin that is taking a dump. So we're programmed in this Puritan society to feel guilt and shame for taking a crap, but we're free to hate all we want. "Forgive me Father for today I pinched out a loaf that stunk to high heaven. I am a bad bad moral midget of man. Then some dude made a crack about how I fouled up the restroom. Lord, how I hate him. What a jerkweed. As if his shit don't stink --oops, I mean, poop. Sorry, Lord."

September 8, 2002
I gotta go see about a girl
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

On self-awareness. To know oneself is tougher than it seems. Cuz we sorta assume we know who we are. Mostly just the good stuff. And maybe some cursory acknowledgment of our faults. But to truly know oneself is a life long task, and even that may not be enough time. We tend to flatter ourselves, then criticize ourselves, without ever really getting acquainted with ourselves. We go hot and cold, we're on again, off again, in a stormy love-hate relationship with our own selves. When our hearts stray, and we do things we really don't really intend, say things we don't really mean, we cover it up and we lie to ourselves and we grow distant from... our own damn selves. Ah, if only we can remain true to who we are, and love who we are, and just be who we are, in spite of ourselves.

September 1, 2002
Inconceivable!
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

On life. At any given point in life, you're either in training or you're in the trenches. You're either learning the ropes or paving the way. You're busy searching or busy realizing. And most of us are trainees, bush leaguers, Padawan learners not yet allowed to sit at the Jedi table. We use kidproof light sabers. Simulate battles in the Danger Room. Ride with training wheels. Practice, practice, practice. And we're all so impatient to engage with the real world, eager to change things and make everything perfect forever. And in our haste we defy our higher-ups, set off for the big bad world, and roundly get our asses whipped. And every one of us, sooner or later, end up back in school. But ain't no shame in that. That's the way of the world, the circle of life, the master plan, you dig?

August 25, 2002
You gotta get yourself connected
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

On women. Women are burdened with a power that most guys haven't a clue about. The future of humanity depends on them. They are the judges in the great Gene Pool Sweepstakes. They are natural selection. Meanwhile, us guys are walking around picking our noses, driving really fast and watching sports. You know, the important stuff. Cuz when the fourth quarter rolls around, does anything else really matter? Anyway, back to women. They determine whose genes get passed on. They gotta choose wisely. Look around. Comparison shop. Read the fine print. Cuz everyday they're bombarded with guys like me advertising his goods: Check out my chromosomes, ladies. I got all sorts of cool Xs and Ys! I gots the premium choice special blend DNA! Neat recessive stuff, spectacular dominants! Act now! Take my double helix out for a test drive!

August 18, 2002
I write on the lintels of the doorpost, "Whim"
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

The process. So I get an idea and I sketch it out and I rework it a bit and I change this around and switch that up and I read it again and I erase that little section and add a little something over there and then I draw a little clock in the second panel just for the heck of it and then I'm like, oh shit now I gotta draw that same damn clock in the other panels too, so I think about whiting that little bugger right off but then I look at it and it looks pretty cool so I suck it up and draw it again and again and again and I'm like, damn, I wish I had a copy machine and then it occurs to me that Photoshop has that copy and paste command, which means I totally wasted my time, but I'm an old school purist who prefers hand drawing every single line myself, so it serves me right!

August 11, 2002
Watch me dance now!
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

Drawing comics, like anything in life, is all about trial and error. You try out your ideas, some work, others don't. Sometimes you hit a groove, sometimes you hit a wall. Sometimes people pat you on the back. Sometimes they bust your balls. Sometimes you play it safe. Other times you take a chance. Sometimes you go, "Damn, I'm a super genius." But most of the time you're like, "What the heck am I doing?" Sometimes you're ready to quit. Sometimes you feel like you've just begun. And sometimes, once in a long while, you get one of those epiphanies, them zen moments when it all comes together-- you understand your place in the universe, you are one with everything, the future's looking bright, and you're living in the now.

August 4, 2002
Ya hearrrrrrd?
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

Random things at the San Diego ComiCon:
Security guards searched and detained me when my fully armored Robotech costume set off the metal detectors.
First time convention goers dropped to their knees, overcome with a feeling of oneness. "I'm home," they said.
Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes were seen outside the convention hall, selling weed and harrassing patrons.
Highlight of the Masquerade Ball: An amorous Nightwing getting jiggy on the dance floor, putting the moves on Tank Girl.
Riots break out when Vampirella versus Elvira: Celebrity Mudwrestling is cancelled.
A Westside Story type showdown occurs between Jhonen Vasquez and Trent Reznor to decide once and for all who is the gothest of them all.

July 14, 2002
And Bingo was his name-o
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

Psychological Test: Imagine you're in a forest. You come across a cup. What kind of cup is it? Do you keep it? You move on and you see a key. What's it look like? What does it open? You walk deeper into the forest and you arrive at a house. What kind of house is it? Does anyone live there? You press on you and come to a body of water. What's it like? Do you dip your hands and feet? Go for a swim? Finally you move out of the forest and come to a gift shop. You walk in and a clerk says, "Thank you for playing our Psychological Test! Please choose from our wide selection of memorabilia to remember your visit! Souvenir cups! Key chains! How about this handsome number: 'I Took A Pyschological Test And All I Got Was This Stupid T-shirt.' Tre chic!" Do you buy anything? Ask to see the manager? Or do you kick the clerk's ass and trash the joint?

July 8, 2002
What's another word for pirate treasure?
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

Movie Idea. Bizarre crop circles appear on surfaces across the globe. So the government dispatches Agent J to investigate, who uncovers a massive plot involving a lesbian clone army on planet Ya-Ya. He races home to expose the divine secret of the sisterhood, but a bounty hunter is hot on his trails. To elude his pursuer he travels back in time to the 1970s where he meets funky diva Destiny Bootilicious. After much sex and violence he is bitten by a genetically engineered hamster and fights crime as Stuart-Man. Meanwhile back on earth giant eight-legged freaks run amok, while the Croc Hunter explains how to properly wrestle one to the ground. Suddenly, the Mystery Machine pulls up and the Scooby Doo gang reveals that the big spiders are actually just dragons in disguise, who would've gotten away with it had it not been for you meddling kids.

July 7, 2002
Todays' the greatest day I've ever known
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

Some new parlor games:
Six Degrees of Separation from Your Momma. "Kevin Bacon was in Apollo 13 with Tom Hanks who was in Saving Private Ryan with Matt Damon who was in Good Will Hunting with Ben Affleck who was in Chasing Amy with Joey Lauren Adams who was in Big Daddy which is what your momma calls me when I nail her."
Full Contact Slaps. Variation of Slaps that includes headbutts, drop-kicks, and eye-pokes.
Jabberwocky Password. Same as Password, with totally made up words. Impossible to win.
Virtual Staring Contest. Stare down your opponent via webcams!
Extreme Thumb Wrestling. A no holds barred version of the original. Go nuts!
Socrates' 20 Questions. Stump your opponent with 20 philosophical questions and force him to reevaluate his whole belief system. Warning: May result in death by angry mob.

July 1, 2002
Don't go chasing waterfalls
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

They should do a National Geographic Animal Kingdom-type special on cartoonists. Have like Jane Goodall study them in their natural habitat. Imagine the log entries:
DAY 1. I'm in the artist's studio. The creature is hunched over his drawing table, totally spaced out.
DAY 2. In an attempt to gain his trust I smear my shirt with ink blotches, just like his. I think I'm making progress.
DAY 3. I lean over to see what he's drawing. This was a mistake. He nearly bites my head off. Crikey! The bastards are touchy.
DAY 4. The creature is scribbling frantically. He is visibly excited. I keep my distance.
DAY 5. A breakthrough. During one of his many cigarette breaks, the creature tosses me a stick. I think he's accepted me as one of his own. I'm part of the tribe now.

June 30, 2002
I got the brains, you got the looks
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

On business. The artist/business relationship has always been a stormy one. Michelangelo haggled with the church. Kubrick tangled with the studio. Prince locked horns with his label. Watterson battled his syndicate. It's tempting to romanticize the whole thing as integrity versus greed, and that's exactly what I'm going to do. It makes me smile when I think about Watterson telling the moneygrubbers to go blow themselves. I get a kick out of Prince taking on a giant conglomerate. And who knows, I may one day go a few rounds against big business myself. Maybe I'll change my name to a semi-colon or an asterisk or something. Oo, I know. A dollar sign! Won't that be rich? The Artist Now Known As Money battles corporate greed. Ha ha!

June 23, 2002
We don't need no thought control
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

On philosophy. As most of you know, I'm a very philosophical cat. I gets my think on, you know what I'm saying? I'm always contemplating shit. Deep shit. Like, if a tree fell in the forest and no one's around, does it make a sound? Which came first, the chicken or the egg? And just how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood? Now, call me crazy, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the woodchuck had something to do with that tree falling in the forest. And the chicken probably came first, cuz he's better trained, what with all that crossing the road he does. But don't feel bad for the egg; he gets laid more. Which goes to show you the cosmic balance and harmony of the universe. I'm off to my mountaintop to meditate. Ooommmmmmm...

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