Category: The Arts


I have been following artist Prinnay on Tumblr for the longest time because of her wonderful and creative art style. It’s a jovial mix of traditional and digital art. I always hoped she would make a webcomic – and here it is! HoverGirls!

HoverGirls is a webcomic about two cousins, Jalissa and Kim, who have just moved to Los Aquaceros from Podunkville. Kim is a bubbly girl who spearheaded the move so she could become a fashion maven. Jalissa is reserved, sporty and much rather keep up on her soap operas. Part of what made her move that one of her favorite shows, All My Gambinos, is filmed there.

One day, little sprites struck them and suddenly Los Aquaceros became under attack by a floating fish. From there, they became HoverGirls.

 

[1st three pages]

 

I really love the art style of the comic and it is wonderfully refreshing to see a new take to the Magical Girl storyline. I’m always a sucker for fun fantasy.

The Arts!: Beat’n Path

I really like martial arts and have practice traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu for over a decade now (I also have discovered it is hard as heck finding a partner of any sort, including total noob, that is female or trans).

This also means I like martial arts media. Why, the only magazines I ever really kept up on the most was Black Belt Magazine and Kung Fu Insider.  (I kinda stopped reading because the articles got boring and how many White guys in gis are you going to shove on the cover?)

Lupe Fiasco went on a journey to China to the various birthplaces of Kung Fu. It is an introspective trip that is full of history, outstanding visuals and demonstrations of Chinese martial arts.

What I like most is that it’s not a version of “Eat, Pray, Love”, Lupe actually is a trained martial artist, has been since he was a kid. So that means he genuinely does appreciate what he gets to see and experience. Martial arts is presented as part of a historical culture, not “a way to beat people up and look cool”. The camera angles aren’t something out of National Geographic or BBC where we feel like we are experiencing the world of the Other through a heavy, orientalist gaze. Nor is it, “Rapper sees martial artists, says a lot of stupid stuff because they treat the experience like it is an extended VR feature of a Wu Tang flick.” It also isn’t depicted as Ip Man 5.

I really like the episodes, I recommend giving it a watch:

Beat’n Path (site)

The Arts: Tierra Whack

A buddy of mine, Femi the DriFish, hipped me to this performer, Tierra Whack. Here’s her music video “Unemployed”:

She’s described as the next Missy Elliot and, frankly, I see why. Her visuals are amazing and creative. She is gifted in rhyming, she put in the heavy work to actually be an emcee, not just another random Soundcloud spitter.

However! That’s where the “Just Like Missy” ends. Whack is definitely her own sound and identity. Look at this conglomeration short film she made of her various songs.

You can also find her on Spotify, FaceBook, Instagram, and Twitter.

I was able to read a digital copy of the manga, Adorned by Chi. It is a magical girl manga based in Nigeria that follows the story of Adaeze, a young, sensitive girl that is trying to make it through college life the best she can. Introverted and shy, she is stumbled upon by a small, puppy-bear creature, Chi Chi, and told that she, Adaeze, is the dividing line between the safety and destruction of the world. A nefarious group, the Order of Nothingness, wants to empty the world of all its joy – and Adaeze is the key to make that happen.

Paired up with her friends, Adaeze fights back against the Order and tries to bring peace back to her world.

Reading the manga, I have to say it is very delightful. I have grown up with mahou shoujo/magical girl stories (Sailor Moon, Cardcaptors and my personal favorites, Cutey Honey and 3×3 Eyes). Adorned by Chi is very similar to these stories but still puts a new spin on and old tale. There are still magical guardians, there is still mythical monsters and there is still an ominous, overwhelming force out to ruin the world/universe. However, the cultural infusion of Nigeria helps revamp the story and keep it from being just another “Magical girl” story.

The artwork throughout the manga is professional level, there are times it feels pulled from the pages of Clamp. There are still some slippies here and there with body structure and perspective but I chalk it up to being new – besides, they managed to avoid yaoi hands and shoujo legs so they’re off to a good start for a first book. The story line is simple but that’s not a bad thing, not everything needs to be read like it was penned by Lady Murasaki. Clamp had very simple stories but they wove together well to make for deep impacts. Adorned by Chi could probably do a little better though by removing the SFX directives (Example: “SFX: Bright Magical Light”) and let the art narrate for itself, it does an amazing job doing so without them. Some commas are missed in a few places, which can slow the story just a touch but, again, this is a new manga that is not backed by a major publisher. I expect it to get better as time goes on.

While there are some imperfections, imperfections doesn’t make for a bad story. Anyone who read One Punch Man when it was just a webcomic would know that deeply.

See what I mean?

The story is captivating, the outfits are amazing, the animal guardians are cute, it is all very satisfying.

Pre-Orders are still available

 

The Arts!: Car Care

This The Arts! is gonna be a teeny bit different but, hey, cars can count as art due to design and features. For example, the 1934 Maybach, the original Mini Cooper (both the rally car from the 1950s and when they came back in the early 2000s), and the modern day Corvette – oh, and the Thunderbird. That and I have been working on my car, thus it is all I can think about. One day, I will get an electric car (I fancy the Mini Cooper most buuuuuuuuuuuut I’m biased because I like mini coopers). I think Teslas are nice but there’s several issues with it, including the techbro ego that I keep running into when discussing with others.

I scour the internet (and my owners manual) for info of repair and maintenance but I have happened upon a fairly decent channel that can also help with basics, such as changing the oil or a tire. When I search for car stuff, I tend to look for women mechanics because I feel the info is more direct and I get to run a lower risk of hearing sexist nonsense when all I want to know is how to boost the engine.

Jessica Chou has been very helpful in this department! She has several playlists and videos about car care that is simplistic and straightforward. Not all cars are the same but she gets you on the right track of what to do.

These are really helpful skills to have if you drive. You never know when your car will give you issues and good maintenance keeps the car on the road longer. While it would be great to have electric cars around because they are good for the environment and are interesting, they’re still big financial undertakings that is out of reach for many people. And then there’s the issues of sensor failure, others hacking the car, the list could go on and on. However, these vids hopefully will provide some help.

The Arts!: Tech/Arduino Edition!

On my Instagram (@thisblackwitch, just like everywhere else), I have been posting pictures and videos of my tech projects. I think of the things I am making, the current pile is:

– A drum light kit that is sound reactive via switch control

– A heating pad for sleeping while injured (thus, it doesn’t turn off or anything, just keep emitting low heat for injuries)

– An updated kitty feeder, because I am indecisive and made a new design that hopefully doesn’t suck. Or can be broken by said kitty. Now I have to mod my code again.

 

This kitty

 

I don’t have a STEM* degree – nor would I ever want one. I consider myself firmly planted in the Arts, strictly. Some may consider that STEAM but I don’t, especially since STEM makes pretty strong efforts to minimize, if not ouster, the Fine Arts. STEM also makes pretty strong efforts to keep it pretty White and male – I consider practically everything they do diversity-wise as lip service and window dressing until it isn’t. Because it usually is, look at Google and Facebook, for example.

Since I don’t have a degree, that means I kinda taught myself for the most part. Granted, I did work for NIST so I had very good help at the start but the rest I procured myself. I want to say it wasn’t that hard but frankly, it is a little bit and not always for the obvious reasons.

When it comes to STEM, I actively seek out female instructors online to get the grasp of things. I have noticed in my experience, the women were better and more succinct at explaining complex details. Their beginner guides were actually made for beginners. Guys seemed to not know how to break things down or worse, just used the opportunity as an excuse to show off an ego because they’re relatively meh at telling the difference between a 1 and a 0. I have no idea how many times I would see pissing contests on help forums that because “for the lolz”. It kind of defeats the purpose of having those places. There are such things as hard teachers but there is a difference between a tough teacher and a person that just wants to be a douche.

Because of these behaviors, I don’t participate, I just take my info and go like a ghost. I just wanna build stuff, not talk to guys who probably think mass murderer Rodger Elliot had good ideas. I already know how male nerds, especially STEM ones, get. Nah thanks, bro.

However, I have found some sites that are very good at teaching the basics as well as some intermediate stuff. It doesn’t look intimidating, the information is pretty clear and it isn’t a bunch of verbal flexing.

I had mentioned Adafruit in the past but there are other sites that I have found that are pretty decent, mainly about Arduino.

 

Tweaking4All

This website gives pretty good info on getting started with Arduino and coding without sounding pretentious or “I dream of Tony Stark every night”.

There are many tutorials, all written to be easily understood by people who are genuinely new to the subject. The tutorials start from “What is an Arduino and how do you use it” to much more advanced topics.

Random Nerd Tutorials

This site has tons of info as well but for those who have a slightly better grasp at Arduino. Just skim through their blog on their homepage and find what suits you best. You don’t have to sign up for anything.

Programming Electronics 

This site really wants you to sign up for free courses but if you dink around on Google well enough, you can get access without putting in any info. Here’s one on having the Arduino give out an outcome based on what it experiences.

 

 

These sites are pretty decent in my experience, check them out! Next up is Ask Black Witch.

 

*Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine

The Arts!: The Holidays!

It’s the holidays so that means it’s time for the good ol’ holiday post! And as a reminder for Yule/Solstice cheer, you can play with shelter kitties over a live feed with robotic toys, even snap a pic of the kitties you play with. Check it out here!

Now on to the Black Witch holiday classics!

This is pretty much going to be tradition here on Black Witch: The KRS-One x Lupe Fiasco Christmas Battle! It’s adorable seeing Lupe and KRS battling as Blitzen and Santa.

The next selection is from Wong Fu Productions: “The End of Wong-Fu: A Christmas Story” The old tale of being careful what you wish for, you may get it.

 

I nearly forgot! My Chemical Romance did an amazing cover of “All I Want For Christmas Is You”

 

Happy Yule!

 

And that’s The Arts! this month, yup yup.

Next week is Ask Black Witch, so if you haven’t sent in your questions, do so. Remember, good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated!

The Arts!: Holland, Dom & Hyo

Welcome to The Arts! My cat and I are loaded from Thanksgiving eating (dislike the history of the holiday, I just like the food part. Ditto with July 4th). Before I go into The Arts officially, I would like to mentioned that my shop, BW Shoppe, is having free shipping from now to Cyber Monday. It appears that my 3D Printed bookbinding stuff is selling a lot but there is plenty more, such as Black superhero symbol stuff and gender symbol stuff. Now, onwards and forwards!

Holland

I was recommended to listen to this Korean vocalist by a friend of mine. Usually, I’m not big on K-pop (the most I know is Big Bang (mostly G-Dragon), Psy, and that BTS is very popular) but what makes this vocalist stand out is the fact that he is a queer idol, which is quite rare to see in Korean popular music. Just like in America, it is difficult to be any part under the LGBT+ flag and in music because general prejudice against people who simply aren’t straight. Add in the strict dating rules idols have to keep an appealing and very straight image and it can be stifling. However, being gay is this part of Holland’s identity, which he puts front and center. It actually adds dynamic to his music, especially his love songs, which revitalizes an oft-plowed and over-picked subject. Take a gander on his music video “Neverland/네버랜드”

He also has a twin single, titled “I’m not Afraid” and “I’m so Afraid”

He has an upcoming mini project as well! Follow him for more information:

Instagram

Twitter

Music Videos

Dom & Hyo

I’m always trying to improve my language skills but it is difficult to learn languages. Especially when you know a lot of them. One day, you feel confident. The next, you feel like you only know three words. Korean is a language I’m still working on and sometimes the grammar still eludes me. Or crashes into my Japanese. Or French. Or Chinese.

Dom & Hyo is a site that helps with Korean learning through easy-to-understand info-graphics.

 

 

Also, there are webcomics about the creators of the site, Dom and Hyo.

The comic is entertaining and a pleasant read! Check them out on WebToons!

You can also check out their channel, which also features great how-to’s for navigating Korean.

That’s all for today. Next week will be a big Ask Black Witch because I skipped a few! Good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated, send them in!

The Arts!: Tre Watson

Tre Watson
Good Metalcore is hard to find nowadays. Tre Watson’s music is definitely a great snapshot of the evolution of the genre. The screaming, the melodic singing, hard drums and driving chords are dynamic. Here are a few songs.

“Harrier”

My personal favorite is “Erection Injection” (yes, I know. The title is a bit risque, welcome to Metal.) I also dig the Senpai hat.

“Bakemono”

Check out Tre Watson’s music here:

Bandcamp
FB Fan Page
Instagram

It’s a short selection this month! I’ve been working on my other project, MultiMind, so it’s been sucking time from me. That and there’s the BW Anniversary that is coming up on June 9th. Nothing too wild planned, just an FB live stream.

Guns, Explained with Cats
This insightful video by Alex Clark explains why there should be better gun control in the United States – because, there should be better gun controls. Explained with cats.

 

I grew up with gun violence, it’s not fun and it devolves from “good guy with a gun and bad guy with a gun” to “people with guns” really, really fast. And frankly, this is America, is extraordinarily hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys, especially when they’re doing the same thing – shooting. Then you’re just a plain ol’ shooter. Just get better gun control already.

Avant Guardians
This series is absolutely wonderful and chuckle worthy. It’s of a guardian angel in therapy to work through her problems so she can be a better guardian angel to her human, that she warmly nicknames “Creepy Charlie”. Watch all the episodes here on their site but here are the first two episodes:

 

 

 

That’s all for this week! Next week is Ask Black Witch. Good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated! Send them in!

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