Webcomic Project: Meet the Marlins
Inspired by Noboru Kawasaki’s 1973 manga, The Song of Tentomushi, This 14-chapter webcomic prematurely began my career as a graphic artist and designer while I was in my 2nd year of High School. I planned to have it last for a year or two, but a fight I had with my parents before the start of 2015 ended it abruptly before I could go further.
The story told of the Marlins, a family of 5 orphaned brothers and sisters who lost their parents in a fatal car accident living in the small town of Sechelt, located in the Sunshine Coast region of British Columbia(y’know, near Vancouver.). Their everyday lives consisted of making new friends and keeping up with their studies at school, not to mention, doing good while operating on the wrong side of the law occasionally. The eldest son, Jimmy, even gets to visit Vimy Ridge and Paris for Remembrance Day. Episodes after the comic’s cancellation would have had the eldest daughter Kimmy participating in her high school’s volleyball team, and younger brothers Timmy and Tommy would learn about Autism Spectrum Disorder as a group of students with the disorder were set to be new students at their school as part of a program dedicated to helping children with ASD. Meanwhile, the youngest sibling and protagonist, Tina, would have light-hearted adventures with her friends Krissy and Kelly. Kan Kandzume(a Japanese immigrant who first appeared in a Canadian Thanksgiving-themed story arc) would have also enrolled in Timmy and Tommy’s school shortly before the Summer Holidays of 2015, and continued his training for the then-upcoming 2016 Summer Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The first episode I drew was especially rushed, since I wanted to make it a race to meet deadlines as part of my practice in becoming a manga-ka(Chapters are usually published every single week!) However, the quality gradually improved over the course of several months.
After cancelling the comic, desiring to be more competitive in the manga industry, I drastically overhauled my design style to what it is now and has been since 2015, thus deleting my Tapastic account as a result.
Contest Submission: Emuparadise 15th Birthday
I drew this piece of artwork as part of a contest on long-time ROM-hosting hub Emuparadise back when it celebrated its 15th year on the net (it’s been up since the start of the millenium!). Prizes included 1 free year to a lifetime of EP Premium, as well as a PS4 or Xbox One as the grand prize. Unfortunately, it didn’t win. But it did signal a turning point for how I do things!
Promotional Material: Bishop Grandin High School Club: Emulation Station
In my final year of my High School education, a gaming club was among the new social hangouts of the school when it opened up again for its 2015-2016 year. Having attained the skills I learned from my Com Tech course in 11th and 12th Grade, I sought to create promotional material for my corner, such as this collage of kids playing on the retro systems of the past.
As for my role in the Emulation Station corner, I used my AMD APU-powered Lenovo G505s laptop to host the games. I even set up an additional video display to promote my corner within the club, which featured publicly available material ranging from vintage TV commercials to box art.
Doujinshi: Sonic Boom: Mystery of Golden Grotto
A proposed episode of the fifth animated incarnation of Sega’s beloved mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog. It was set to feature Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Sticks(Amy Rose was left behind so they could surprise her for her birthday) on a quest to find golden treasures which were, due to their weight enough to slowly sink their vessel, left behind by pirates on the bottom of the Southern Sapphire sea, 60 nautical miles south of Seaside Island, the primary setting for the TV program. They would have encountered a group of treasure hunters from an island belonging to cat-like creatures with long ears, who were looking for the same area. The gold they collected along the sea bottom would have led to the legendary cavern hole known as Golden Grotto, where Dr. Eggman, Sonic’s longtime arch-nemesis, would trap them using a camouflage robot shaped like a boulder, leaving Sonic and the gang and their opponents to figure their way out of the Grotto.
Concieved during my final year of High School, the lengthy 65+ page script was entirely complete, but I only drew the first 20 pages of the story. Unfortunately, due to the plans of the writing team, led by Bill Freiberger, for the show’s second season which began late that year, I abandoned the project. Oh, and I oddly received a copyright strike from Sega and Bandai Namco, so it has been removed from DeviantArt.
Children’s Book Project: St. Nick II
An original Christmas story that I wrote and illustrated(albiet incompletely) about St. Nicholas Claus’ titular teenage grandson who is sent on a year-long mission to the country of Japan to spread awareness of the Christmas Spirit, Polar City’s sole power source, to make up for his initial reluctance of taking his grandfather’s place as the new Santa Claus. Befriending the Shiroyuki Family whilst living in the fictional Kisekihana(meaning “miracle blossom”) neighborhood of Tokyo, Nick performs feats of magic across the country with the Miracle Mint Cane, which loses its power once the red stripe fades entirely away(the red stripe serves as its gauge).
I experimented with digital painting and watercolor effects to make it visually appealing to families and picture book enthusiasts. The art style I created is highly reminiscent of manga and anime(particularly, Gosho Aoyama’s popular murder mystery series Detective Conan, which I have enjoyed reading.)
In case you didn’t know, the story was available to read online for a very limited time in December of 2018. Though it’s gone for now, don’t be disheartened; a complete digital picture book will be available for sale on takahashisensei.com by the end of 2020!
Multimedia Project: Calgary 2026 Winter Olympics Bid
Mascot Creation: Hick & Hia
As a native of the city of Calgary, I was excited for Calgary’s preparations to be the host for the Olympic Winter Games of 2026, which led to the creation of these 2 human children, and the first since Lilehammer 1994’s Håkon and Kristin, Hick the cowboy, and Hia, a girl from the Blackfoot tribe! Hick would have represented the Olympics while Hia would have represented the Paralympics.
I was even an ambassador for YesCalgary2026, a grassroots organization in favor of having the games here in Calgary. My vision for the Winter Olympics for the 2nd time in Calgary was to make it even more memorable than our first from back in 1988. “C for Yourself” became the motto and hashtag for my promotion of the Olympic Spirit to everyone not just in Calgary, but in Canada as a whole.
Unfortunately, it was not meant to be as Calgarians had voted “No” in the plebiscite on whether or not the Olympics should come back to Calgary late that year.
On June 24th, 2019. It was officially decided that Italy’s Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo will be the sharing host cities for 2026, beating Stockholm.
Not wanting my hard work to go to waste, I’m making Hick & Hia into mascots for the Calgary Stampede instead.
Good luck in Cortina, Team Canada!
Creative Excercise: Artwork for Halloween 2018
After recieving my first ever graphics tablet and tinkering with it a bit in September, I was aware that Halloween was coming up at that time. By that time I was still unemployed, but attending various HR sessions. Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. It also happens 10 days after my birthday! For years, however, our house was lacking in trick-or-treaters, which is quite unfortunate(Sucks that we live in a cul-de-sac!). Hoping to find a work-around, I decided to find a way for kids and teens living in our neighborhood to be attracted in time for the 31st. I bought liquid chalk markers earlier in July around the time of the Calgary Stampede. But that wouldn’t be the only time I used them…
Not only that, I still needed to provide the kiddies with an extra treat in case they were saving their calories. That was where this quadro of manga-inspired illustrations found its place.
Note that all of them were created entirely through digital means.(GiMP, particularily!) Most of them took me about a day, while others took more than two…
I proceeded to print off the images on label paper used for nametags and other purposes. Unfortunately, half of the printed copies were in monochrome, even though I set the printer to full color. I guess the color ink needs to catch its breath sometimes.
Then, Halloween night arrived.
But over an hour later, they were gone. We had about 12-16 groups of people at our doorstep, some big, some small, and some in between. That Halloween had become my family’s most successful yet.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by on Hallow’s Eve!
Free Advertising: Superbowl LIII
I cheered on the Los Angeles Rams for the 2019 Superbowl in Atlanta!
Manga Serial Project: Vestibula
Considering that one of my establishment goals in my career is to be a manga artist, I wanted to socially stay up to date with the current trends of modern society. I had been really learning about the hype surrounding the rebirth of Virtual Reality with the then-upcoming Oculus Rift and HTC Vive about to become the first commercial headsets of its kind, I wondered, “What if there was a gaming platform engineered to be the most immersive compared to the big ones?”(PS4 and Xbox One, obviously.). It was 2016 and I had been dabbling with concepts for one-shot or ongoing stories to publish in Shueisha’s “Weekly Shonen Jump”(though I also felt I should put its rival publications into consideration), for about 2 years at that time(“Meet the Marlins” had me pumping out a chapter a week; it was a lot of work for me at the time!). I wanted to really outdo what other manga-ka had been doing at the time. But so far, I have found it more challenging than my expectations suggested, especially considering how frighteningly similar many serialized works are to each other (plagiarism is not something to make light of, creators!). I present to you, “Vestibula”. Originally titled “Phantasmagoria” and “Phantasia VR-70” during development, I decided to give it the name “Vestibula” as a nod to the name of the human balance system, known as the vestibular system, which is often tricked by the sensations experienced within Virtual Reality. My goal is to have this series ready for serialization in “Jump” sometime after the events of the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. Now, let me explain to you what you can expect from a meticulously planned storyline 3+ years in the making:
In an alternate reality where innovation and technological achievement is possible in the 21st century, exclusively on a newly-formed island in the South Pacific known as Techo City(jointly owned by America, Canada, China, Japan, and a unified Korea(under the law of the Republic of Korea/South Korea)), Virtual Reality is taking the center stage in the entertainment department, as a group of friends, Phil Ferguson, Nina Tendon, Seg Gaminski, Cap Compton, and Sonia Nison learn of an all-new high-tech VR head mount and console in one known as Vestibula, developed by a surprisingly wealthy startup company known as Fanta-See, which has been claimed by the company to last for 2 generations(or 10-12 years).
With high-end processing power and state-of-art patent pending hardware and features, as well as the user interface and software developed using an original programming language known as Pygmalion, making it easier for developers to program games for it than any other system in the competition, it seems like they’ve saved up their allowances and paychecks for the ultimate miracle of the century…or have they?
Upon entry into the virtual world of Vestibula, they learn of a menacing array of programmed creatures known as Cogs, which are responsible for rewiring the neurons and altering cognitive functions in the human brain as well as permanently damaging it, effectively destroying the internal boundary between what is real or fantasy within whoever is victimized.
In order to save Vestibula and Techo City from the threat, Phil and the gang must form a team as they compete with and against various players, explore the worlds of new games being released every few months, solve the mysteries and uncover secrets surrounding them, and do battle with villainous foes. They will also encounter new friends and allies, gain abilities and special attack moves, making their quest to expose Fanta-See’s criminal secrets a reality…as long as great risks are taken with their lives!
Consider this immersive adventure a concoction of Sword Art Online, Jump’s own Yu-Gi-Oh, Bleach, and My Hero Academia, and The Pagemaster, except it’s not about books, but rather, about EVERYTHING!
Check Out what the cast looked like back in 2016!
Save for Seg, think you can tell who’s who?
Now check out these new sketches from 2017-18!
Promotional efforts are already underway well into 2019!
More information will be coming in 2019!