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Guests' Web Picks

Special Guest: Elizabeth "E.K." Kirkindall

Hello to all anime fans young and old, in all nations! My name's Elizabeth Kirkindall, but I go by E.K. I'm also known in some places as JobsTurkey. I've been an anime fan for almost 10 years, and an artist from the time I could hold a pencil. I'm really honored to be able to put my 2 yen in at the Anipike's Guest Picks page ^___^.

I'm kind of a combined rarity in the otaku world, in that I'm: 1. female, 2. a female fan artist, 3. a female fan artist with an actual art career, and 4. a feminist. ("Did she say she was an anime fan AND a feminist?? Somebody grab a rope! I'll start the fire!!") Err, pardon me, I think I hear carping from both camps. *shuts window*

Hmm, where was I? Oh yeah. That anime stuff. Well, at the moment, I'm completely obsessing over Cowboy Bebop, and if you have the misfortune of living in North Georgia or North Alabama, I've probably already gushed and shown you my fansub. (Volume 1 comes out from AnimeVillage on the 12th.. supposedly...) If I haven't subjected you to it yet, just know that the wacky music I'm humming lately is the kickbutt opening theme. Bebop rescued me from the Post-Eva-Overkill slump. (Ah, Yoko Kanno, how do I love your music? Let me count the ways...)

I've loved anime ever since I was about 5, but back then, I didn't really know what it was, so I don't suppose it counts... Anyway, fellow old-farts might remember kids' shows like The Adventures of the Little Koala (which got me started drawing anime-style in 4th grade...), Belle and Sebastian, and The Mysterious Cities of Gold. I'd been drawing "big eyes" for about 5 years when a friend of mine showed me das uberintroanime, AKIRA. I've been hooked ever since.

Well, I shouldn't be talking about myself, I should be giving links, right? Just to get this out of the way, please forgive me for indulging in the following act of blatant self-promotion:

Obligatory Website Plug:
This is my online art gallery. It's very simply laid out (no frames, animated gifs, or java), and all the thumbnails are under 5k, so you should be able to view it in any old browser (even Webcrawler, mein Gott! @.@)

Obligatory Website Plug 2:
This was the old home of Big Big Truck Productions, but now it houses older parody and humor materials. I think the Eva Humor Page and the Fangirl Arsenal will be of the most interest out of all the stuff there.

Obligatory Website Plug 3 (Last one, I promise):
This is an Eva fanfic I've been working on off and on since last December. And... it's a fanfic. Two chapters so far. My friends dig it. Check it out if you want.

And now... the guest pick type stuff!

Okay, these first few links (well, most of the links I'm giving here, actually) are art-related. That is to say, they're the websites of anime artists.. who draw anime art... and are drawing..... anime.... and, um, stuff. Yeah.
Actually, this is more of an online resource for comic and anime artists... but hey. This is kind of the hub of online anime art activity. Go there.
SHE IS WENDY! Josh Lesnick has a sassy website completely devoted to a sassy original character (you know, I wonder if Wendy has a last name...) Stop by, read the Free Talk, drop in some comments, check out Josh's wacky art style... it's like Tsukasa Kotobuki meets Ryuusuke Mita meets John Kricfalusi gone scratchy. Crazy, man. There's some adults-only stuff here, so kiddies beware.
All I can really say about Pendako is that this place houses the most AMAZING anime art I have ever seen come from fan artists. I wonder why these guys aren't doing character design at Madhouse or something... wowwww.... @.@
Zahara Medina is a very talented artist with a unique style. I guess the best way to describe her style is "gentle", or "gently drawn". If you like shoujo manga, definitely stop by Zam Paradise.
GDC2K is a collaboration of 12 artists from the Internet to produce a digital calendar to be distributed on CD. All the artists contribute images for each month of the year. These are then fashioned into calendar pages that can be viewed on computer or printed out and displayed. You can use the calendar art as a desktop too! Artists participating include Ian Kim, Naska, Josh Lesnick, Primera, and me. You can preview some of the calendar graphics on the website.
Technically, Toastyfrog is more of an online zine than an artists' page, but the design, layout, and illustrations are all so nice that I just had to mention it here. Lots of humorous/parody material as well. Be sure to check out Evangelion Thumbnail Theatre!
This remains one of my all-time favorite websites. Psychommu Gaijin is a non-profit online 'zine that is not afraid to look at the idiotic underbelly of fandumb. (Just the underbelly?) PGaijin rides the border between loving and biting self-referential satire. If you hold fandom sacred (or frequent newsgroups), don't stop here. But if you want a laugh at your own expense, you'll love it. Check out "the Fanboy list". Also, they review different beers as well. These guys are after my own heart. ^__^
Hanamaru is a weekly online zine... "weekly" meaning it's updated weekly, not that the material changes that frequently ^.^;; Hanamaru is actually run by professional manga artists (!), and houses a message board, online manga, manga how-to's, and art galleries for amateurs and pros.

This is about the best fan fiction I have ever read. Evangelion:R has broken free of the Eva storyline, and created one of its own. The prose gets a little too flowery at times, but the compelling story makes up for it. This is also the most extensive fanwork I have seen, with art contests, opening and closing animation (in .avi format, sorry, Mac users ;_;), manga, and audio files with dialogue from pivotal scenes.
If you haven't seen Cowboy Bebop yet, don't despair, AnimeVillage is bringing it out in the USA very soon. This is the best English-language site I've found on it so far. The host server is sometimes slow to respond, but it's worth the wait.
This is one of those Internet-based chats where you have to use an avatar and refresh the screen about ever five minutes or so, but it's still a good place to go if you're exceedingly bored.
The con that's a party. The kindest con. The con where you meet and make pals. AWA is one of those cons you go to not for the anime, but for the people. 2500 people converge on Atlanta to meet, greet, and laugh, and if they see some anime along the way, that's fine too. No matter how big and glitzy other cons get, I'll always be coming back to AWA.

Non-Anime Sites
OK, so this has nothing to do with anime, really, but if you're a CG artist, there are loads of free and trendy downloadable fonts at Fontalicious.
This is a wonderful, wonderful website - not half so much about feminism as it is about utter intolerance for stupidity and wussiness in BOTH sexes. Great stuff.
The official fanclub for SPITZ. Of all of my friends who like JPOP, not one of them has heard of Spitz. Their sound is very likable, yet hard to describe. They remind me mostly of Del Amitri or the Smithereens, but with much better lyrics ^.^;; One of my friends who heard their 7th album, "Indigo-no-Chiheisen", said they were "like the Gin Blossoms, but good". ^_^;;

Thanks for reading through all this! I hope you decide to check out some of these links! Jaa, ne!--EK

Anipike not being responsible for Acts of God or the vaguaries of humans  ;)
this column will appear 'as and when' articles come in. New articles will
be announced on the "New List" page. (So original, da yo..^^)

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Last Update: 7/26/99