Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dragon Gate U.S.A.

First of all, I will be at DGUSA on Saturday. For less than $15 you can see the show with me! (I’m Golden Circle) iPPV

So this is one of the top secret projects I was working on from September of last year until this morning, the video that almost wasn’t:

And I have to say, it came out ok. Hard to believe this took me a whole year almost! Well, to understand where this video came from, let me take you back.

It’s September of 2010. I’ve been working on a secret DGUSA video for Bryan Danielson’s return to the promotion for a couple of weeks, and have just replaced my Windows XP machine with a brand new Windows 7. True, the old computer crashing means that several hours worth of work now has to be redone, but since I had backed everything else up, at least the worst was over. Plus, this machine is my dream computer, and cheap too! So everything is coming up roses.

Finally, after weeks of late night drawing sessions and coloring, the half live action/half animated video hits YouTube. Now below is a link to it’s new home on Topaz Videos, but let’s not get too far ahead yet. Here’s the video:

Well the week of DGUSA, I show the video to Gabe. He loves it! Another fan is Bryan himself! So after that weekend, I pick up the pen, and start to work on the next animation.

Now I didn’t want to jinx this video. I LOVE surprising people with my cartoons, so I only told a few SUPER close friends what was going on. From September 28 until mid November, I’m just sketching away. At last, this is coming together and looking fantastic. As I’m getting ready to color though, something goes wrong.

Mama has a health scare.

Now I’m happy to report that she’s ok, but from November until January, my world is shot to pieces. On top of this, my family is facing one financial crisis after another, and there are people calling day and night, trying to collect on the debt of people who DO NOT LIVE HERE!! I documented what I could here: but I’ll be honest. I was having a breakdown. There was A LOT more going on, but let’s move ahead to-

Oh wait. I’m still in January? Why? What happened here? Oh wait… aw crap.

So after THAT gets settled, I start noticing an overfull Gmail-box. I’m getting hate mail from bitches I have never heard of before, upset that I like Bryan. Within hours, I’m being hounded with death threats and all kinds of rumors, and my Twitter is being screwed with.

Then my Facebook acts up, and I’m seeing replies to messages I didn’t write! And my Gmail emails keep getting swapped. (It’s always fun explaining to a Sailormoon fan that no, you didn’t mean to ask them to put someone in a choke hold, that email is meant for the wrestler who just got a deranged email about a pink Fuku.) OH GOODY! Well if I didn’t sound like an alien before, I bet I do now.

Well there’s nothing like death threats, jealous bitches and glitches to screw with your ability to draw.

And screw it did! So many of my drawings looked so ghastly! So after changing some of my account settings, I started calming down, and focusing on my work.


What was that? Oh SHIT!!

So YouTube pulls my first DGUSA video. Apparently someone threw a temper tantrum over Miku Hatsune singing “The Final Countdown” and instead of getting a grip like an ADULT, he or she blew the whistle and got the video pulled. Lovely. So now it’s time to emergency back it up onto Topaz Videos.

…. Which I didn’t realize until this point needed a major overhaul, because for SOME stupid reason, browsers made after I.E. 6 can no longer play videos from a simple < embed > < /embed > code. WOW! And OH GOODY!! YouTube is pulling another 42 videos on top of that. YIPPIE!! Guess who spent several sleepless weeks trying to fix THIS mess?

Ok. So now I have a second YouTube channel and a re-vamped website. Great. Let’s pick up the pen and draw somebody.

It’s Spring now, and the cartoon is starting to take form. Earlier sketches are being fixed up, and CIMA is the first one done. And just in time for the DGUSA iPPV! Groovy, now I’ll just enjoy myself this weekend, do some sketches as I watch, and then start the coloring process for the next wrestler.

By the end of that weekend, I have over a minute and a half of Jon Moxley vs. Jimmy Jacobs sketched out. All I have to do is shade and color. But this is great! The timing is PERFECT. I even drew in the chain and spikes. This is great. I can’t wait to color in-

*Breaking news ~ Moxley to become Dean Ambrose in WWE’s FCW*


Now for those of you who don’t animate, a minute and a half of HAND DRAWN animation equates to several hours. In some cases, more than a day. This is if you’re doing things by hand, with cheap materials and want to get the coloring right.

This is about 6 hours straight GONE from my life. I was challenging myself to stick to people still in DGUSA, so now I had to come up with a new plan.

This is also around the time that I opened up my new website, just for my cartoons:

So now I’m running three websites, working on more than one animation and drawing countless wrestlers. Okay, I’m doing good.

UNTIL Later that Spring, when I start seeing my name crop up on a Wiki Blacklist and on a hate site run by fanboys of Anonymous and Lulzsec. HUH??? Oh I see, a few people ages 16-30 threw a bitch fit over a CGI I did on a lark earlier this Spring, so now they think it’s “ok” to send me death threats, run a hate site on me, deface my family’s photos and stalk me. Oh, and then ask me to take a nude photo of myself, then hang myself. Right. REALLY??

Oh, and these people are also tagging every other wrestler under the sun in crude, pornographic photos… that they stole from a hacked porn site, who’s owner is now beside himself. Wow. Oh and now they’re tagging my pages and my friends in them too. And dumping a fake address, telephone number and my personal stats on the net, along with the phone number to the Wrestling Roundtable. Wow, this is getting better. 9_9

So this is two months of talking to police officers (who suggested that maybe it’s best they do nothing) FBI agents and SO many people who own every fucking site in existence, trying to get the stalking to stop. All the while, my internet attackers are hacking PBS Kids, and a shitload of other people. “It’s just for fun” “See we’re helping by taking away your privacy so everyone can see you’re WEAK!” are the “nice” messages these geniuses send along, when they’re not calling me “Sailor Whore Fuckhead”. Color me not shocked when I discover that the first morons arrested are between 17-24 years old. Oh, and a 59 year old too. Nice. I figure the rest of them are kids whose daddies never hugged them. “Daddy made me eat my veggies! I’ll show him by hacking people, Photoshopping porn pics onto Rebecca Black, and making everyone miserable. That’ll show you!!”

Okay. I’m backing away from that mess to focus on this cartoon. I just finished Shingo’s part. Ok, now I’m going to scan.

Scanner is slow.

Ok, I’m going to replace the scanner.

Brand new Kodak printer.

Ok, scanning is done, now to color. I’ll just open up Adobe Photodeluxe 2.0 and…





Oh this is NOT happening. I need this program to color. Oh oh ok. So Adobe and Kodak products don’t play along. Gotcha. Oh no, oh WTF? Did this program… AAAAGH it just ATE half of the sketches I was working on!! HALF OMG HALF that was 3 months of work GONE!! This isn’t happen- wait… am I crying … blood?

So three days of tech-non-support later, I come to the decision that after 15 years or so of Photodeluxe, it’s time to upgrade. So I download GiMP, which is backwards, hard to navigate, frustrating to use, but gives me the sharpest, cleanest pictures I’ve EVER made. Ok, learn the new software.

… A MONTH??? Did it just take me a month to learn this?? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!

So now it’s July and – WHAT? What do you mean I’m traveling to southern Illinois? I already told you I can’t stand dad or his side of the family. NO I am NOT going. I’m 24 fucking years old. I’m a grown assed woman, you can’t guilt me. Besides, you two are separated!! I am NOT going to listen to you two fight for four hours down, four hours back, just so I can get picked apart in the middle by a bunch of people who never wanted me to begin with! Can you not see I am a quarter BLACK and they have ALWAYS resented the fuck out of that? LET GO LET GO!! I’M NOT GOING!! Wait… Grandpa’s sick? Fine fine.

So there’s three days down there. Fortunately, the economy’s bitchslapped the lot of ‘em, so I wasn’t picked apart THIS TIME, Grandpa’s alive and best of all, I got to hang out with my friends Jimmy Falcon and Richelle

Okay, back to the drawing b-WHAAAT?

Well kids, can you spell FORCLOSURE NOTICE?? I’m not typing this out again, the story is here:

Okay, now I’m having splitting migraines, my allergies are all over the place, my muscles are tense and my stomach hurts. Time to draw!!

So between August and today, I threw myself into finishing the video. It’s shorter than I wanted, and I still have so many unfinished sketches, but really if I can get a chance like this again, it’s WAY worth it. I was even able to round it out with Creative Commons footage from DGUSA and a public domain track from

I hope you enjoy the cartoon a lot more than the story of how it was almost derailed. ^_^

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