Sunday, December 10, 2006

Hokkaido... Where being a "Redskin" has a whole other connotation...



And he's back....

I come to you all refreshed and revitalized from the Land of the Rising Sun! My Goodness... it was tough getting on that plane to come back to this cesspool, I tell's ya... after 3 full weeks of clean efficient subways, immaculate urban landscapes, and scrumptuous preservative free meals, I had to use some SERIOUS self-persuasion to get myself into that economy-classed tiny flying coffin back to the States. I had a tremendous time this trip... from the steel and concrete canyons of Tokyo proper... to the mist covered mountains of Hokkaido! I hit all the regular haunts... all the Tokyo favorites (Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ikebukero, Akihabara, and the rest), vibrant Osaka, the old city of Kyoto, and the beautiful Onsens of Hakone! We then took a "Romance Car" Shinkansen bullet train all the way to Hokkaido... we had our own little private room, complete with pull out beds and a huge glass ceiling to watch the stars go by as we hurtled across the country! We ate in an old fashioned European dining car and showered on the train as it rumbled on through the night. Once we hit Sapporo, we partook of the local cuisine (barbequed mutton... YUM!) and basked in the quaint small town charm of the tiny city. We also soon realized that after taking a 9 or so hour train ride, the body doesn't always immediately recognize afterwards that it is no longer travelling at upwards of 200 mph while being seated! I've NEVER found myself getting motion sickness from simply sitting in a stationary position before...WEIRD!
The sickness soon passed... but we all found it hilarious that while walking upright, we felt no ill effects... it was only after we sat down that the wooziness hit us! Ahh... sweet inertia...

After Sapporo, we headed inland to Noboribetsu... home of the "Valley of Hell" and the many Oni (Japanese horned Demon) who inhabit that part of world! This area is a hotbed (literally) of underground hot springs that can actually be seen bubbling and steaming up through great cracks and fissures in the Earth! With all the gurgling steam and the strange multitudes of gathering crows cackling in the background... certain areas of this place really DO seem quite frightening and Hellish! They even have a gigantic Oni statue over 60 feet tall pointing to the resort area as if to say, "Here lies the Valley of Hell!" These demonic figures are actually the "mascots" of this region of Japan... and it is quite endearing to see how fond the locals are of them.

I'm trying to get back into the swing of things at home now... back to the drawing board. The next page is progressing nicely, although my previous ocular affliction has once again reared it's ugly head. What's with that, eh?

Photos from my trip will surely follow, once I start organizing them...
In the meantime, I leave you with more carnage, fresh from my demented noggin... enjoy!

13 comments:

Dan Springer said...

Eeeeeehhhhh?!?! Hatsumi, ne?

The Keeper's Notes said...

The trip sounds amazing, man...just went to Mitsuwa mall today..just gives you that tiny taste of Japan..and makes you miss it that much more...so who's the lady in the pic with you??

Pencils are looking good..and a better scan to boot!

Greg said...

Hmmm... Dan, I'm not exactly sure WHICH reference your making. There are two vastly differing directions that comment could be pointing to... are you just being purposely cryptic.... ijiwaru Dan-kun, NE? MOUYADA!

Thanks for the words of praise, Justin... I'm just trying to get my groove back. Just a few more pages, and then the type and color starts up. I hope to have a few finished pages for San Diego next year... wish me luck!

Oh.. and the little gal with me in the pic is Kazuko... the smallest Oni in all Noboribetsu.

Anonymous said...

Hey Greg, guess who! Your art is looking good, as always. OK, now that I've stroked your ego, do you want to play 20 questions or do you want me to just tell you who I am?

Greg said...

Err...

I'm suddenly beset by phantoms from my past...
Ok... let the questions commence!

Fire away!!!

GREG

Anonymous said...

OK, here goes.... Why?

Greg said...

Now now... play fair.

Anonymous said...

OK, how about this one... Have you guessed yet?

Greg said...

C'mon... come clean.
This excessive cleverness is becoming tiresome...

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I thought you were the one being excessively clever. Customarily the one doing the guessing is supposed to ask the questions, but it went wrong somewhere...


I don't want to bog your blog down with my schtick. It's Robbie Reynolds. If you want to take this elsewhere, email me at rob@fatdogamps.com.

Greg said...

GOOD GOD!

Robbie?
It's been years, man! How are you, old chap?
Thanks so much for getting in touch again!

Who'd you hit up for the link, sir?
Mr. Dobb?

Regardless, I'll be sure to send you a proper post tomorrow at the specified address... I have some sketches to wrap up this evening... oh... and some freakin' sleep to catch as well!

Thanks again for reaching out, buddy!
Let's stay in touch from now on and toast to one another's exquisite cleverness ad nausium!

YAY FOR US!!!!

GREG

Anonymous said...

I don't remember a Mr. Dobb. Or at least I don't remember the name. Once in a while I think about people I knew almost 20 years ago and I type their names into Google. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. Your name is distinctive in that it doesn't appear to be associated with any pornography.

The Keeper's Notes said...

Time for an update...let's see some of that Tokyo swag!!