C06P21 – No – MOKO Press presents: LeyLines, a Fantasy Adventure Comic by Robin Childs Skip to content
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C06P21 – No

C06P21 – No published on 21 Comments on C06P21 – No

To be fair to Tama, meeting someone who is a half-breed is equivalent to meeting someone who is a Unicorn. It’s not exactly commonplace. Or…believed to be possible.

He’s still a bit of an oblivious idiot, mind you, but he’s also a product of his world.

In a way, it’s a lot like culture-shock. One of the reasons I think everyone should travel if they can is to experience different ways of life. Sometimes it’s the little habits that might surprise you. Or a way of looking at the world that is very different.

When I was in High School, I had the incredible fortune to earn a spot on a Japan Study Tour. We were there 3 weeks, some of which was spent in a home-stay. Myself and one other student stayed with the Sakurai family in Yokohama, who were very generous and kind. That was my favorite part of the entire trip, in fact!! Ryoko was about my age and her English was excellent (which was good, because the best I could manage in Japanese was about four ways of saying “Thank you”). We went on the “Path of 1000 Steps,” said to be part of the path traveled bu Matsuo Basho — one of the greatest Japanese haiku poets. We came to a Shinto shrine, a small one, inside of which was a rock on a pillow. I remember asking her about kami, which is a little like a god and a little like a spirit, but not accurately summed up by either word. She pointed to the rock and said that it represented the kami. “Okay, but where IS the kami?” I asked. She shook her head, and pointed to it again. “What?” I said incredulously, “You mean — that IS it?” The idea completely threw me!! It was just a rock — wasn’t it??

Have you ever been surprised by something you learned about a new culture? What did you learn?

In all the excitement last update, I forgot to share the latest process video I’d made! This one’s on how I ink, and the preparation for color-blocking.

21 Comments

Children visit this site. Moderate your language accordingly.

Awww, shucks Kali, Tama won’t kill you without a second thought! Look at how many thoughts he’s got! I can tell at least 8 of them are trying to force their way out of his mouth right now!

(But I think you’re likely not going to give him time to spit them out.)

oh my! TAMA NO.

Also robin! regarding portable inks–I LOVE using an actual brush but I began to get kind of turned off of this idea because I like to be portable too. I use several tech pens (aka microns) still but I really love a brush effect. Pentel puts out a REALLY nice “pentel pocket” brush that is waterproof and refillable. It’s a touch expensive but its one of the best portable brushpens I’ve ever found. 🙂

You can’t really blame Tama, though. I mean, he makes a lot of noise about being the son of the Scion, but at the end of the day, the only reason he has so much freedom to break the rules *is* because he’s so privileged. He might think he knows things about the world, but he probably doesn’t.

Also, Tama sucks at tact.

(At least, that’s what I think.)

Funny you mention all this, Miss Robin. The summer after my freshmen year in college I went on a study abroad to the Philippines-it took my professor a while to convince me to sign up, but once there, I almost didn’t leave. (I’m being serious). We spent about a month there, travelling all over the country, and there were many beautiful and amazing places, but my favorite was a place called Banaue (I’ce probably butchers that spelling, its been a while) We stayed in this little…hotel, if you want to call it that. More like an unfinished log cabin with lots of rooms. The owner of the place was a little man called Romeo and his wife Rita. I came to adore them both more than I could possibly explain and spent as much time as I could around them. Rita explained to me exactly how she got the different dyes for the fabrics she made from the native plants (holy cow is that a time consuming practice!). It makes you appreciate the little things, like food dye for a couple cents at the grocery store! But I think what surprised me most were two things Romeo said. First, I asked about the statutes of the rice god and goddess, because I had heard him say that he was Catholic (common in this country), and, being the moat hilarious man I had ever heard, said “Yes, I believe in the Catholic god, and the rice gods, and all of the others. If you don’t believe in them they kick you!” He was being 100% serious! (I was a religion major, this blew my mind) and second… (its a good thing I have an open mind and am not easily offended) our tour guide, whom I will refrain from naming, had a crush on me. It was reciprocal, mind you, but his feelings were what mattered. They had this little, uh, hut, I guess. Old, old thing, but well taken care of, with very…VERY sexual depictions adorning it in beautiful craftsmanship. On one side of the entrance was a pregnant, naked woman, on the other was a, ahem, well endowed naked man. Upon noticing that our guide had feelings for me, Romeo very seriously suggested we get married and go into the hut to “have fun and make lots of babies.” Talk about culture shock!

I remember having a similar epiphany on religion when I was in a Buddhist temple and they had a Shinto shrine smack dab in the middle of it! At that time, the idea of two religions not only tolerating one another, but cohabiting peaceably, was a huge shock! It seems to be a fairly common practice in a lot of eastern countries — although I know historically they’ve gone through their purges as well. I wonder, a thousand or two years in the future — if we’ll have mosques and churches built into one another too?

You know, I once had a culture shock in one not-so-rural part of Russia. It was not that far from Moscow where I lived then, some 250 miles to the northeast. But, you now, Moscow is a real megapolis, with all kinds of people will all kind of faces. What surprised me there was that most people had the same faces, and were talking, though apparently the same language, but at unimaginable speed and with a “funny” accent.
Yet that was not that has stroke me. In fact, I felt something very familiar in these people’s look and speech. And after a while I relized: c’mon, that’s the face of my mommy, granny and auntie, and that’s the way they speak at times. For although they come from a rural area some 600 even further to the southeast, they are the same “rusifized” finno-ugorians, and so, though only by a half, am I.

It’s amazing how certain traits can get passed down from one generation to the next. Always interesting to find old pictures of relatives and marvel at how similar they are to the current generation!

Yup! And not only that.

During one of my visits to the Netherlands, me and my wife Nina went to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam – most known for the Rembrandt’s “Night Watch”. But what amazed that the faces of the people drawn on the pictures were just the same as I’ve met on the streets (well, Amsterdam and Utrecht are multicultural, but, say, in Leiden the Dutch population is still dominating). So these people on the pictures may well have been our contemporaries, just a bit weirdly dressed.

One of the neatest features of Rijksmuseum are the comments to the drawings. It’s not just like “Peter van Blahburg, ‘Blah-blah-blah’, 16XY AD”. They are very lively, they explain the meaning of the symbols on a painting (not unlike today’s memes), what was it for and what’s really going on. Say, on one of the pictures Rembrandt has drawn the members of the wool quality controlling commission. For a modern eye there are seven men, dressed in black with white collars. “But look out – says the label – the younger have long hair, and their collars are broad. The older’s hair is short, and their collars ate thin. They all have dresses and haircuts according to the fashion of their youth.”

These things give you a strong impression, that although the world has changed, the people remain people with the same needs as desires as we have. Such things really break the wall between the “present” and the “past”.

Oh dear, Tama…you and your big mouth 🙂 I can’t wait for the next page!

I’m really excited to show this video to my seventh graders this week! You’ve explained the importance of line weight in a much more streamlined manner than I could have.

Okay, this is ridiculously out of left field, but – please, please, please tell me you said int he comments what I think you did and that you actually stayed with someone named “Ryoko Sakurai” in Japan.

Because that’s the name of the villain from the first season of my favorite anime ever (right at the current moment) and I think that’s a coincidence too awesome to put into words.

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