The Japanese Beetle!
The Japanese Beetle! for February 09, 2004
Strips:  Archives | World Famous Comics
Goodies:  Desktop Patterns | How A Strip Is Made
Discussion:  Message Board
February 09, 2004
For those of you wondering where all that extra cleavage came from on Asashi, please consider that this is Ken's dream Asashi and not the real deal. I mean, the real deal is a doormat, but not that much of one...

The effects in the background of the first three panels are being done with Crayolas. It's a neat effect - I don't think I've got it all figured out yet, but it looks like wax crayons can definitely have their uses.

Convention season is rapidly approaching - and I'm thinking of offering t-shirts for sale (both at cons and on the site). However, I'm not going to waste money printing them up if there's no demand. If you're interested in purchasing one, please let me know through the poll below. And be sure to drop by the T-Shirt Thread on the Message Board, and let us know what sort of shirt would float your boat.

Book: Philip Roth, "Portnoy's Complaint" (page 120)
Music: Dave Brubeck, "Take Five"

February 11, 2004
Okay, I got a bit behind this weekend. Hopefully the two strips posted today will help alleviate that. Also, one of my Lenten resolutions is to try to get a strip up every day, so maybe the power of Christ will compel me to actually draw.

Today, I'd like to recommend a new comic - Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan's Demo from AIT/PlanetLar. The book first came to my attention thanks to the striking cover of issue #2 (reproduced in the thumbnail), and it's already become one of the few comics I look forward to.

Demo draws a lot of comparisons to X-Men and for good reason - both of them use superpowers as a metaphor for adolescence and maturation. However, you won't find any costumed characters or fistfights in Demo. Instead, the comic explores more down-to-earth issues like running away from home, the unintended consequences of speaking without thinking, and coping with divorce. In that sense, it's more like a sci-fi or horror tale from Steven King than your average Marvel Comic.

And what style! Brian Wood really brings you inside the characters' heads, without overwriting their internal monologues or resorting to ham-handed symbolism. Becky Cloonan's art is engaging, and she has a better-developed sense of storytelling than some seasoned pros I know. Issue #2 in particular is a masterpiece - Wood lets Cloonan set the tone, and uses silence to great effect.

Demo retails for $2.95 an issue and should be available at most comic shops.

Book: Philip Roth, "Portnoy's Complaint" (page 150)
Movie: Satoshi Kon, "Millennium Actress"
Music: White Stripes, "Fell In Love With a Girl"

February 12, 2004
Today my brother Chris and his site, DCStandup are mentioned extensively in an article in the Washington Post Weekend Section. Check it out. And also be sure to check out Comedy Kumite III, coming March 21 to the Stacatto Lounge in Washington, D.C.

Music: Chemical Brothers, "Let Forever Be"

The Japanese Beetle and all related characters are copyright ©1998-2004 by Dave "The Knave" White. All rights reserved. Any passing resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead or otherwise, is purely coincidental except when it isn't. Really, we swear. Please don't sue us. Published on line by 741.5 Comics.