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kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, July 13, 2015

-LA Union Station taken by kawaiidaigakusei

“The next and final stop on this line is Los Angeles. Please collect all personal belongings and use the handrail when using the stairs. Please keep all hands and arms away from the automatic train doors.”

It had been a while. I needed a change of scenery and the City of Angels was beckoning me back with wide open arms and smiles from the familiar faces of close friends. The return trip felt new and refreshing when juxtaposed with the train ride I made while departing Los Angeles two years ago.

The months, weeks, and days leading up to my final days in my Los Angeles apartment felt like a never ending sunset when I knew somehow that my time living near the beaches, the glitterati of Hollywood, the abundance of raw food/vegan restaurants, and bumper to bumper traffic on the 405 was coming to a standstill. So I took a break. I left with very little fanfare and told the people closest to me that I was moving out of the country again.

Now there I was, two years later, walking down Union Station like the same wide-eyed, nineteen-year-old girl, who had left her familiar suburban Southern California hometown one decade before. It is funny how the passage of time becomes more apparent once one starts paying attention to it. I walked down Olvera Street on my way to Chinatown and could not help but notice the number of renovations due to gentrification in downtown that had gone down since my last visit.

When selecting a setting for a webcomic, I would always be drawn to familiar real-world environments. In the same way that Stephen King has Maine and Woody Allen has New York, I have Los Angeles. My first year in Los Angeles was filled with the sort of activities that fed my creative mind: I spent lots of time wandering around art museums, I read philosophy, had thought-provoking conversations with professors, and fell asleep under Jacaranda trees in the sculpture garden. I remember reading The Catcher in the Rye and hating Holden Caulfield because I knew deep down that I secretly loved him. Los Angeles was the first city that really challenged me to shape an identity independent from everything else I had known.

I want to draw a version of Los Angeles that is an honest reflection of what I know. It might not be the same city that focuses on the glitz and glam like the one depicted on television. To me, Los Angeles has minor cracks, hidden alleys, hole-in-the-walls, and imperfections. Los Angeles is the city for many stories that all have the potential to be unique.

From which city do you draw your inspiration?


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Hi everyone! I updated the #pageant rules for the July and August competitions last week in the Forum, the comic #Pageant (where most members are voting) and Drunk Duck @ Facebook.

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Do you have any original art to contribute to our stock image database, announcements, community projects, ideas, news, or milestones to report? Please leave general comments below or send a PQ to kawaiidaigakusei. Email me at kawaiidaigakusei(at)gmail(dot)com.



mishi_hime at 2:16PM, July 13, 2015

The real world is boring. I prefer other places and times. I like creating the world as much as the characters. It gives your story more atmosphere and personality I think.

VinoMas at 9:45AM, July 13, 2015

Hope you enjoyed your visit! Thanks for the shoutout!

ozoneocean at 3:00AM, July 13, 2015

Anyway, the particular style of old buildings and port infrastructure helps provide fuel for my work, especially when I was drawing bits of Tunisia and Libya for Pinky TA.

ozoneocean at 2:58AM, July 13, 2015

It had interesting markets and funny little shops where I'd buy presents for people... great secondhand bookshops I could spend ages browsing in... Great NEW bookshops as well. When I got my unemployment money that's where I'd go. It's also where I got my first steady graphic design job. I trounced an arrogant Irish guy at giant chess in front of the church in the middle of the city... I had my art exhibited there on a few occasions. I used to hang out with many friends there over the years. Seen many great bands and musicians...

ozoneocean at 2:51AM, July 13, 2015

I wish we could "like" newsposts. :) I remember those trains... very expensive considering how far they go. The city within a city that I draw my inspiration from is Fremantle, which is the port part of Perth... PPP! I just invented that. Fremantle is the only place where we have more of the older style buildings left from the city's heritage. In this place the people with the money and the power don't care for old things so history is repeatedly ground up and destroyed to make way for cheap, glittery, crap... Freo was the place I'd always go with my dad for bike rides on the weekend for early morning breakfasts that would last till late afternoon as we camped out at an outdoor cafe table and had coffee with a series of friends that would drop by over the course of the day. We'd go fishing under the wharf when you could still get in there before it was shuttered off by a thousand security fences and brutish obnoxious guards.

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