Month: January 2017

Turn the light on your lonely home

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BBH was sick last week so instead Murphagator threw his own Randomizer stream on Monday where it was nothing but bootleg arcade games along with some bootleg Dank Art for fun. I made this Chun just for fun for that stream.

I was hopeful more of my other friends would be streaming to offer an alternative to AGDQ. There were a few challenges I did catch, such as the Sega Bass Fishing speed run, but overall there wasn’t much for me to watch at this instalment of AGDO. Hopefully in the summer when they hold this event again I’ll have a few races to watch and possibly draw some Dank Art along with. In the meantime, here is some stuff I drew to Trap’s cab stream that I made later in the week.

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Ghost n Demons Arthur & Chibi Ghoul @Aqy

Aquas was having some problems with OBS Studio, but when that wasn’t acting up he was taking his punishment playing Ghosts & Demons, a fan made Ghosts and Goblins tribute game which has a lot of elements taken from Wonder Swan release and its tough as nails.  Aquas is the world record holder for speed running Ghouls n Ghosts, so it’s natural that he’s all over this fan-made game. Try it yourself!

Overall it was a strange week where I did a lot more streaming than watching and making Dank Art of my own (possibly due to AGDQ) so I decided to squash two weeks into one blog post to make up for it being such a soft week.

I finally got thru all the PC Engine games (give or take a few sports games). The best one I found was this adorable race sim game called Usagi no Kuni no Kangaroo Race Wallaby!! This came out in 1990 and if you really care it can be found on the Wii Shop and online for the Wii U so you can play it in all of it. I haven’t looked myself just as yet, so if I get really bored to play it in HD I’ll let you know how that pans out.
This game could get away being called “WALLABY!!” as thats the way the game is presented on the boxart I found later. It’s one of the many Japanese “horse racing” games that were popular around the late 80’s and early 90’s as I keep stumbling across them in my searches for strange and new imports. The reason why this game needs a proper playthrough is because it looks adorable as hell, you can breed the kangaroos and you can talk to a wide assortment of marsupials.

The other great news is I’m back to fishing again! The sudden interest in fishing is back with the race that took place at GDQ when Sega Bass Fishing was featured and actually went off amazingly with an audience. The Dreamcast fishing titles have always been some of my favourite games ever created and I am excited to see these games get more attention. Sadly, I haven’t played much fishing as I accidentally erased my saved game last October just before the 1CC Athon where I played Sega Marine Fishing. I had close to all the collectable items for in game and in a matter of seconds I deleted it.

Or so I thought. It turns out I didn’t or I brought it back. All that matters is that fishing will happen again!

Inspiration

I was sharing a bunch of things on twitter when someone was asking me for links to Stanley Kubrick’s early photography work he did in the 1940’s. Google this if you’d like to check out the work because it’s very nice to see where a master got his early inspiration from. For myself, this week I was reflecting on some of the artwork that inspired me as a child to paint and draw and a lot of that inspiration were the very old Russian cartoons my father collected for me.

My family is Ukrainian though our family name could be that or Romanian due to how messy record keeping was in those areas of Europe. Still, the folklore and stories all seem to come from the same area and enjoyed despite what background you came from. Growing up as a kid in Canada my father always wanted me to know my roots and where I came from and one thing he took great pride in was educating me in the wild culture of the arts and music from the Ukraine and Russia. There was one animated movie that I have kept on a crappy old VHS since I was 3 called The Magic Pony.
This animation is also known by several other names such as The Humpbacked Pony or The Firebird or Ivan and the Firebird. It’s the story of Ivan (Ivan is a popular character in a lot of Russian folklore, Ivan being almost the equivalent of John or Joseph. When I was a child this cartoon was where it was at. I enjoyed the landscapes in this cartoon more than the story itself. The people were kinda weirdly drawn compared to the rest and the English dub was hilariously obnoxious though I learned to enjoy it only because it was terrible. The artwork itself is based off the famous Russian Illustrator known as Alexander Pypin who’s style is iconicity Russian and known for its use of colours, whimsy and moving landscapes…
which is something I have been doing with my own paintings for the last 10 years.

 


In the previous week of Dank Art….

 

BBH had his first Arcade Roulette stream for 2017 as well as playing Sunset Riders and Cotton on Thursday. I do remember seeing cabs for Sunset Riders when I was a kid, but only in the city as my hometown was never good at getting much of anything related to arcade games. Sure enough, Sunset Riders is a HUGE fan favourite and as soon as I finished it quickly turned into my most popular Dank Art for the year. On a less popular note, that Soccer game was officially the first BBH Roulette game of 2017 and when I set off to do the Dank Art I didn’t want to do it at all. I will admit, I have done A LOT of Dank Art in the last year, often the Dankest games make the best Art but honestly I am not a huge fan of really terrible games. Often you can find the crack in a game’s darkness that will let the light in, but some games are just terrible with nothing to them but straight up mocking.
BBH did have a weekend Extravaganza, but I missed most of it due to meeting up with friends & BBH ended it early due to an illness he’s been trying to get over. Speedy recovery, BBH!

After a week of Arcades, Macaw got a special delivery of Japanese games, most things that haven’t been dumped or categorised yet. Most of these games were on small floppy drives for the PC 98 which he can dump and then emulate, but for the floppies, it might take a bit longer as he doesn’t have the hardware for larger disks. I like streams where there’s a bit of discovery and sharing off a huge pile of things with a bunch of friends so I take away a lot more from these streams than just seeing a bunch of games fly by. Most of the games are duds, but some of them do have that interesting feature to them that makes them fun. There’s also a chance that the games will have some NSFW porn stuff on them as well being that they are older Japanese computer games. Macaw will just censor the naughty parts but you can play the full dumped copies of the games on your own if that’s what you came for.

Aquas is back with more bandwidth this month as he wasn’t streaming as much due to issues with his isp. Now that is figured out I’m looking forwards to him streaming more often again and to get moving on his speed running stats. Aquas also held his official “2,000 Follower Special” this past week where he played a whole bunch of games for 24 hours straight. He said he mostly did it to get his sleeping back in check, but he did commit to streaming the entire day with a few breaks every now and then. Aquas not only speed runs but will also occasionally have a creative stream where he will play the guitar and I hope this year he will have enough money to get this Classical Guitar he talks about often when he streams music. I was a bit disappointed that he was not attending AGDQ this year as he has attended in the past speed running Ghouls n Ghosts and Mr Gimmick. I ended up giving my Dad the Mr Gimmick Dank Art as it clearly was the best Dank Art I’ve made for 2017 and I usually reserve the best Dank Arts for my dad to choose. He actually yelled, “THIS BETTER BE THE BEST ONE” when I gave it to him as I had hidden my big book of Dank Art so he wouldn’t take all of the really cute dumb ones I love. My dad is a Gimmick fan but his idea of Gimmick is he’s a mouse or a hamster that’s a lot like a Care Bear who fights shadow monsters using the power of hope so he can save an innocent person. You know, my dad isn’t that far off there with his thinking and in my family hope has always been drawn as a star symbol so when I would come home with stars on my test paper my dad would joyfully snicker “There’s hope for you yet!”
I love my dad.
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Collecting things

Those who know I am an Earthbound fan and have been since the game came out way back in 1995. I have a copy of Earthbound, the player’s guide and all that mess, but when I got those items this was way back when the game would fetch $50-150 depending on the condition the game was in. Those days were simple days when no one liked Earthbound and it was something special I shared with just a few people.

Today Earthbound is every collector’s shelf candy and in I have seen the game fetch $700 to well over $900 complete simply because no one wanted this game back in the day and now it’s a bit of a collectors gem because of such. It’s also one of the more reproduced bootlegged game I have come across when collecting games in the wild. To me, the Earthbound Uncut SNES Bootleg cart that is going around shouldn’t be for sale and the people who use the cover art for it are ripping off the original artist who posted that on Stamen.net a million years ago. When I see this bootleg for the $35-65 price range it will fetch at shows or in shops I want to leave.

Bootlegs and fraud copies of games are over saturating the collectors market making the hobby a scary thing. Especially when I see things such as this on sites I usually buy cheap dresses and Korean makeup from:

That’s right- someone is listing fraud Earthbound carts on the Wish app. Buy it now for $59 you can SAVE 65%!!! I kid you the F not this is real and soon after I found more SNES games that were listed as RARE that were obvious fakes. Now who in their right mind would even think to use Wish to look for an obscure Japanese SNES game?2
You know your hobby has entered the mainstream when they tempt you with bootlegs next to underwear.

Super Famicom

In awesome news, I finally got my Super Famicom back in my console collection after a few years hiatus. I used to own one a few years back, but without going into that story I had to part ways with it. The main reason why I wanted to get this back into my life is I had a few awesome games I wanted to share and show off with the system and also I picked this baby up for $70 when I was Downtown Toronto with my best buddy Sarah. Collecting for the Super Famicom is always less of a headache for me as I find that the prices as usually cheaper than the Super NES plus I always liked the original Japanese box art better than the North American art. Stay tuned to my upcoming streams as in the future I should be showing off a few things for the system in the upcoming weeks.

Speaking about my stream, I am Busy!screenshot-2017-01-08-18-21-06I have been taking on a bunch of new commissions as I am trying to finish up a few lingering projects from 2016. A lot of the new stuff I will be working on will be on my streams, so make sure you have subscribed and have alerts turned on for when I do go live. As for now, Sundays at 8:30/9 am, EST is always when I will try to have a chill wake up stream, so do try to make it out for those as it’s kind of where I like to touch base and get caught up with everything I am working on.

This week I went thru several of the dungeons in Mother 3 to help bring myself closer to completing it before it’s never announced for any system by Nintendo. Yes, the Switch is launching this week and I am 100% guaranteed that Mother 3 will NOT be announced as part of its launch lineup. Will Mother 3 fans have to wait even longer for a North American release?

Most likely yes, though already I am hearing rumours that the game might come out later on down the line. For me, the game came out well over 10 years ago and as long as I have that wonderful Fan Translation I am alright with whatever they choose to do.

 

I can’t forget but I don’t remember who

Yearly Wrap Up
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I’ve missed my blog over the past few weeks. I’m glad to be back as I haven’t stopped making art and doing things so make sure you sit down with a nice cup of coffee or tea with this one as there’s a bunch of stuff you almost missed!

Missing Dank Art

Coming up in March it will be exactly one year of me making Dank Art. Though I have made lots of sketches and even paintings for my friends when they stream, it was Puri_Puri who used the term “Dank Art” and I found this so amusing that it stuck over time. I think if I didn’t call myself AnnK then Dank & the play off my nickname wouldn’t be funny. HOWEVER- I started drawing Dank Art for Puri, Aquas & Macaw to name a few around that time and now I can find myself doing art for 2-3 different streamers a day.

One of the best thing about a year of Dank Art is that I have made so many new friends as well as getting myself back into making daily art. I seriously get excited about when my friends start streaming that I want to rush somewhere to start watching & painting. I now carry a supply of basic paper tiles with me if I find myself away from my art desk at home and in the need to paint.

I was hopeful that more of my friends would stream over the holidays but like most people they were probably busy with family and other activities. However I am glad I got to catch a bunch of exciting & fun streams. Also a happy birthday to good buddy Aquas who just happens to have his just before Christmas. That means double the gifts?

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Harvesting all the yummies in Stardew Valley with @kee_fry

Please go follow my friend Kari fry! She is an amazing artist and an incredible person. She’s already well-known in the community and in her own right, but she’s recently started streaming on twitch! Yay Kari! She’s very into Stardew Valley and also streams a cosy creative stream where she shows you things she is working on.
Kari does incredible art and already has a few books out over at Fangamer that you can check out here:

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Adventures in Dank Art img_6324I started to put my Dank Art tiles I make during Twitch streams into a big book made especially for the paper. It’s a bit like a photo album and looks very impressive when you turn all the pages and see how many of them I have made. I have so much Dank Art that I need another book! You can help me make space by purchasing and collecting your faves. If you don’t have the cash, that’s OK as I do give out a bunch too if you follow me on Twitter. If you would like to buy my work or inquire about getting something custom done, please email me or send me a DM over Twitter :3

A bunch of work went over the holidays! I no longer have these pieces as they now have forever homes. Thank you so much for supporting me and my work! One of my holiday commissions was actually paid in paint as we made a trade, art for pant, and I am totally in love with these tiny sets:

img_6970I’ve already started to use them and I think I’m going to work these new colours into future Dank Art. I’m also a huge sucker for metal tin sets like these :3

In the meantime I am working away at a few more commissions and cleaning up a few pieces that I made recently. In future streams I should be making more Super Mario Bros 2, Cotton and more fighting game characters so make sure you are following my stream to check them out live. If you have any requests please tweet them at me!

One day it might be nice to really settle in and make art a bigger part in my life. If I keep working hard and keep sharing my work then maybe I can.

 

Over the Holidays…

img_6119I had a very grim Christmas. I worked long days and due to some major changes at one of my jobs I have been feeling emotionally drained. That’s why I haven’t been able to get my blog out at all in the last few weeks because everything else had to come first before anything I wanted to work on. I still wanted to make Dank Art and stick to a streaming routine, but the blog being what it is takes more time and it was cut so I could squeeze in a last-minute christmas job.

I would have loved to see more of my friends over the holidays but I am grateful that I got some visitors. I did get to go to my pal’s Nadeem’s annual Christmas party where I drank an entire punchbowl full of tequila, ate his food and examined how well-organized his food wrap and lunch satchel drawers were. Yeah, I’ve turned into that party guest now.

I had a modest and cute tree this year which quickly came down after christmas was over. But when it was up it was cute and had a lot of nice things on it like Sarah’s painting, pearlers, DP’s and birbs.

I really just wanted to spend time with my family this year as we spend so much time apart. I didn’t really get to do that this year and it’s mostly why I had a very grim holiday. I spent most of it alone working on my projects and into the night putting the final touches on jobs and loose ends.

Mother 3
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Mother 3 is the follow-up to Earthbound which was only released in Japan for the Gameboy Advance. It has a well done Fan Translation a few of my good friends made which gave english speakers everywhere a chance to play this game. Over time the Fan Translation has gone through updates, new language packs and minor tweaks to perfect it. Because of the fan translation, Mother 3 has had a lot of infamy, rumours and serendipitous inspiration over the years.

Mother 3 will most likely never see an official release. Only Nintendo knows why yet won’t say why. I think it has more to do with money & ownerships then any of the top stupidest excuses (the worst excuse is being the Fan Translation itself).

I decided it’s been a while and that I have never played Mother 3 on a solo playthru on my twitch. I’ve always been part of funfests and events playing a segment from this game, but never on my own. I also thought it would be a good choice to play this game going into 2017 after having such a terrible end to 2016.

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Picking up Mother 3, it is a stark change from the tone and feel that Earthbound leaves. You go into Mother 3 thinking it’s going to be amazing, wiggly and cosy and suddenly it thrusts this terribly dark and somewhat gruesome plot immediately in the first chapter of the game. The game keeps encouraging you to find hope and to keep playing because it can’t get darker than that beginning, oh no! Can’t top that one! Then it does. And it does it again. And again. Mother 3’s narrative is a vicious cycle of suffering and hope which is relatable to everyone over 25 years old or possibly even higher. I’m saying that because Mother 3 deals strongly with themes of loss and that’s also my non-spoiler warning as well.

Mother 3 really got to me emotionally when I first played as I lost my best friend who was as close to me as my own brother when I was 6 in a tragic event. I had to deal with a lot of loss growing up as a child so it was always hard for me to build on relationships. I lived in townhouses so any friends I made would simply move away when the rent was gone, move away if their family got successful or moved away when police showed up looking for drugs or worse. I also lived most of my childhood in fear of people my own age who hated my brother, hated my family and took great pleasure in making me feel bad for who I am. Not everyone was that way, but it was enough.

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Mother 3 does have a crack in its darkness that lets light in so don’t go thinking it’s all glum and sadness. It’s a beautiful game with amazing music with a lot of different elements to the gameplay that makes this if not the perfect RPG you’ll ever play. Period. Perfect doesn’t mean it’s the best or for you- but for me this game is perfect and even tough to win over friends have told me this as well after I got them to play it. This game is also beautifully written and because that Fan Translation is so well done you actually accept is as the official translation.

Tune in and watch when I am playing it if you can’t please play it yourself- Mother 3 is worth your time if not watching, but playing and experiencing on your own terms.

On more Earthbound related news: My Kickstarter fulfilment arrived for You are Earthbound

2013 AnnK was rather poor and I kind of regret not getting the next tier of rewards. Still, I am delighted that my efforts made it and I am apart of this project. I can’t wait to see the finished movie! Thank you Jeff Benson and my friends at Fangamer! Dreams do come true :3

Looking forwards to 2017 I hope to stream more, make more artwork and make more friends. I hope my Dank Art will take me on more cross-country adventures and I start all new projects that will challenge me. I’m still going through a bunch of PC Engine games and soon I’ll be moving onto the CD’s, so if anything tune in for that mayhem on my Twitch channel.