Matters of Perspective
by Meowaffles

Call me obsessive compulsive but it bugged me to no end when I saw my webcomic on a friend's computer and the colors were too light. I couldn't help but check his monitor just to see if the brightness or contrast settings were all the way up (They weren't). My monitor is kinda old and it still bugs me now that the art I am making might not be seen by people around the world as quite the same thing. A similar thing happened when I saw that my comic looked warped on someone else's computer. I ended up searching for a picture of a square online just to assure myself that it was due to his computer settings and not mine (He has a widescreen and seems to like things stretched that way when playing MMORPGs).

Bottom line, I should learn to let such little things go. The medium that a work of art is in will have quite a bit of bearing on the way it is seen and this should not bother me. Maybe I should recite a mantra "I-am-not-botherrrred, I-am-not-botherrrred, I-am-not-botherrrred, I-am-not-botherrrred, I-am-not-botherrrred".

I would still like to know if my work is coming through to other people right so if you notice something odd, don't hesitate to mention this with a comment under the offending page. I'm not sure if I'll be able to do much about it but I'll try. :)

Thanks everyone.

Achievement Man
by Meowaffles

Well, I guess I've still only posted one comic this week so far but I'm working on the next one already and will finish soon... maybe... I hope.

In any case, the time has come for the customary mandatory "Kung Fu" definition discussion. Kung (or Gong) means "merit", "work", or "achievement" and Fu means "man"...

So Kung Fu means "Achievement Man!!!", a superhero dedicated to work, skill, and more hard work!

Well, due to the wonders of human language, Kung Fu is actually better translated as skill gained through hard work; something like experience or capability but referring more specifically to that gained from constant training and practice or simple repetition. How it jumped from "Achievement Man" to Skill is a matter of international linguistic acrobatics. (Human Achievement = Great Skill?)

Kung fu has become synonymous throughout the world with martial arts (Special thanks to Kung Fu Movies) but is still used in mandarin to refer to any skill gained from constant practice. For example a master chef, a great soccer player, or maybe even a gangster could all have Kung Fu in their respective fields.

It's no wonder that martial arts "Kung Fu" often mixes well with "Kung Fu" of other disciplines, often with both benefitting from practice in one. For example, I once saw this lady on a cooking show who could divide a chicken neatly into around 8 separate pieces with only her bare hands... and I could see how similar twists on a larger scale might actually wreak havoc on a human being. Her cooking Kung Fu could improve her fighting Kung Fu or maybe it's the other way around.

(I'm now suddenly wondering if the Ling Nam Siu Lum Kung Fu Academy in New York has anything to do with the Ling Nam restaurant over here)

Whatever the case, when laziness and ineptitude rear their ugly heads, just call for Achievement Man to save the day!!!

My Kung Fu is Better than Yours?
by Meowaffles

Writing this comic has made me learn more about kung fu than I ever thought I would. My first idea was that I'd try and make a comic featuring bizarre fictional yet practical martial art styles that are odd enough to be ridiculous but actually useable so that the comic could teach real martial artists a thing or two, or at least make them try out some funny new moves. Naturally I turned to the esoteric appeal of kung fu. I mean where else do you get stuff called Seven Star Mantis, Supreme Ultimate Fist, Buddha Family, & White Eyebrows?

Having watched a lot of kung fu movies and martial arts documentaries as well as having some background in judo, karate, taekwondo, and even chi kung; I thought I was fairly well informed. I believed I could use my current knowledge to make up complete kung fu styles, techniques, and forms that kung fu practitioners themselves would find believable. (Well believable if not for the name, concept, and origin story of the fictional style) I soon found that I barely knew anything about kung fu, applied martial arts techniques, or the world martial arts. I still know precious little but I began to look at the martial arts from a humbler and more open minded perspective.

I suppose having no greater motivation in my early martial arts training than to look cool and be like the karate kid didn't help much. I had good teachers but I was a soft kid and had neither the drive nor the maturity to get far in the martial arts. All I learned from my karate class was that it was painful. I at least learned how to fall and how to use my weight in judo. My taekwondo class was better and I stuck around longer but I still looked at some of it as a chore and was just learning it so I could do fancy moves (I never got to the fancy moves part). I also tried chi kung but also didn't get very far. I've certainly gained confidence, strength, and practical fighting skill I wouldn't have otherwise but my understanding of martial arts was still quite shallow.

I guess it's odd but the more I studied martial arts for a silly comic book, the more I appreciated what an amazing achievement they were. In trying to make characters that personified certain fictional styles of fighting, I was forced to break down the techniques, cultural background, and philosophy of real martial arts and look at all of them objectively.

I see now though that, no matter what I put in these pages, someone can always find a way to criticize the realism of the fictional styles I'll make. I'll just do what I can with what knowledge I have and see how far that takes me. Probably the best thing that's come of this comic so far is that it's given me the opportunity to study under an actual kung fu sifu. I'm taking things a step at a time, trying to cultivate the right attitude and trying to use what I've learned in the past without letting these get in the way of what I'm being taught. I'm starting with tai chi chuan and am learning it not so much for the comic but simply to improve myself and to gain greater understanding of the full whole art with all its symbolic, historical, cultural, and martial meaning.

Now my kung fu is better than it used to be... just a bit.

Time Space Warp!
by Meowaffles

Wow! I can't believe it's Friday already!

I honestly thought it was Thursday and was rushing to try and get 2 pages out for this comic at the same time. (So I could upload them tomorrow) Seeing as it's really Friday evening over here I've just uploaded the finished page I have and I guess I'll upload this one that I'm currently working on sometime next week. I'm trying to work my way up to 2 pages a week but don't want to make any promises until I can continuously do so.

I'll likely be able to do that next week unless my upcoming client buries me with work. (I'll make sure to upload a page a week even if this is so)

On the topic of time though, I hope I'm not boring everyone with the pace of my comic. The pacing's fine on paper but I guess it feels slow to me on the upload-each-week basis. (Again, I'll be working to speed that up).

On the topic of boring everyone, I wonder who actually reads my blog. I don't make it a point to read webcomic blogs or any blogs and have only done so sparingly but I have, on occassion, been pleasantly surprised by some of them. Some people just have these amazing insights or fun stories to tell. Of course I don't really expect many people to read my blog nor am I even really hoping a lot of people do so. (I'll hope for that when I write something that'll really move people, make them laugh, or make them think.) I know that at least my mom will read my blog. (Hi mom!) I'm really just curious about what people who I'll probably never meet actually think about it. I guess it's fine to wonder since Curiosity Cured the Cat!... or not.

Tai Chi Lessons
by Meowaffles

Hello once more and welcome once again to my webcomic blog.

I've been pretty busy with freelance work this week but I have managed to work on the webcomic and plan to regularly upload at least one page (maybe more) once a week around Friday-ish (Philippine Time). Not much longer now. I'll follow a more proper schedule when my schedule becomes more proper :)

Anyway, I'd just like to tell everyone that I'm now learning Tai Chi!

You can't imagine how difficult it is to find a good instructor who knows actual tai-chi & other kung-fu and will teach the real thing. I just happened to be fortunate enough to know one of his students, who was amused enough by my comic to decide I should learn kung-fu. Don't expect to find odd secret techniques in my comic though. I'm making up a few fictional kung-fu styles for fun... so don't try them without supervision from an actual martial arts instructor. You'll just look silly.

So now I'm studying Tai Chi in a small class of 4 students weekly and already have "homework" for next week. It's been over 24 hours since that class and my legs are starting to feel more normal and less like I'd spent a day swimming. I now know some stances; that they exist, what they are supposed to look like, and how to make mine eventually look like what they are supposed to look like; and how to breathe properly. You'd be surprised how often people hold their breath when exerting themselves. Needless to say, I felt like I was a large rock or an oversized slab of ham throughout most of the lessons.

For now, I'll be off to pursue my dream of becoming a kung-fu master so I can challenge the old kung-fu masters in the mountains of northern China... rather, I'll continue scanning and coloring my comic so you guys can read it.