"A video game comic and blog that would have been awesome and relevant 10 years ago. Maybe." -Famous Website
Life in Aggro is a series of video game gag comics that are quite often tied to news, opinions, actual game experiences or simply wild tangents that Fei and I come across in our discussions. Each week we attempt to publish the comic by early Friday morning in hopes of kicking off the traditional weekend in a light hearted mood for our readers. Many times, Fei and I express our actual opinions in our thoughts posts and leave our avatars Bear and Pie to go wild in the comic to express extremes in viewpoints (not always necessarily our own) to get a laugh.
As far as history, Life in Aggro came about as a starter to help us at working on a project together. Originally we had two ideas in mind on where to start; one was a story based action manga style series by the name of Chromatic Shift and the other was a humorous game-related comic, Life in Aggro. We were hoping to do both at the same time but quickly realized that we needed to concentrate on just one because of time constraints. Since we felt that it would take a lot longer to get Chromatic Shift off the ground we decided to focus on making Life in Aggro as polished as we could.
Working together has been a tremendous learning experience and Fei and I are both excited to work on it together. We both hope our readers find enjoyment out of it and that it helps us grow as creators to continue making Life in Aggro better and one day making Chromatic Shift an excellent story based manga.
This was a difficult section for us to write. Should we write in 3rd person or 1st person? Should we even bother? At first this section only had my write up on myself (in 3rd person) and nothing for Fei. When I finished re-coding the website in early 2011, we decided to re-write this in first person. We even thought about scrapping it since so many other creators don't seem to publicly disclose information about who they are. After considering it, Fei felt that when she is a fan of something she would like to have some background information on the creators of her favorite things, so we ended up keeping it.
So for those of you interested in knowing us a bit more personally, feel free to read below.
Right now I guess you could call me the writer of the two of us, though I don't actually consider myself one. For one, Fei and I work on the scripts jointly - every week she and I sit down and discuss what has been going on in the game industry and try to come up with something humorous for that week’s entry. I mostly pitch jokes and see if I can get them to land between the both of us. If we agree that it has good comic potential, I go and write a script in Word and usually storyboard the flow of the panels for her on paper.
Once she gets the line work done for each comic, I come in and draw in speech bubbles and do the foreground character coloring. I started assisting her with the bubbles starting on comic #7 or #8 (we forgot) and started to feel more confident and decided to help her by doing the character colors on comic #10. Although I had no experience in doing Photoshop work on the Wacom tablet, I really wanted to be more involved in the comics creation because I didn't like the idea of me putting in about 10% of the work while she did the rest. As it stands now, we split the work pretty evenly which I am much happier about.
As far as me personally, I love games, anime, manga and Fei. I love to experience new things, taking on new challenges and I love living in Los Angeles because of its diversity in cultures, which I find especially appealing. I highly enjoy playing online games because of the social aspects but I still love console and handheld games just about as much. I have a strange proclivity to being a guild leader in online games and I enjoy spending time with my guild mates. I am generally a private person and tend to listen more than talk.
The biggest rule that I live my life by is to never live with regret; every decision I make is one that I come to after a lot of thought. Even if I may make wrong decisions, I will not regret them because I know that at the time I made what I thought was the best decision. I never want to find myself living in the past and try to challenge myself constantly to get better at whatever I am pursuing.
Meeting and living with Casey has brought about huge positive changes in my life and the way I live it. We share a lot of interests and beliefs, but I admit that he's much stronger, confident, charismatic, and experienced with life than I am. I love and owe him so much and am very blessed the both of us can work on Life in Aggro together.
I've always liked drawing for as long as I can remember. Most of what I used to draw before high school were Ninja Turtles, Megaman, and various fantasy-like creatures. I don't think it was until after my discovery and infatuation of anime and manga in eighth grade that I began getting serious about drawing. I made a friend in high school who also liked drawing and for years after, we fueled each others' fire to create anime inspired art and stories. He gradually became more and more interested in manga and as he did, he introduced to me a number of interesting obscure titles, techniques, and aspects in manga that have helped lead my interests in comic-ing into what they are today.
For years I've felt a heated desire to make a successful comic series that would bring to life interesting and likable characters with a story that would touch and inspire others as many manga have done to me. I've done a lot of drawing in the past, but I always lacked confidence in anything I came up with; I never felt any of it was worthy material to work off of and felt that my art skills were inadequate.
The mindset we had when just starting Life in Aggro was "don't think, just get started," which is basically why the first comic is so lackluster compared to its successors. I'm really happy we got over that hump because working on LiA has really been a great experience. There've been many times in my life when I've felt guilty because I felt like I should be doing something more with my time; working on LiA has definitely been worth it.
Studio AiZen is the name of our little business, and is just made up of the two of us. We want to build Studio AiZen to do a large variety of creative endeavors and to act as an avenue for us to take on projects that we think will help us grow creatively and challenge us to become better.
Right now the business is legally recognized as AiZen Innovations, a company I started while working in the technology field which I still do business under. Once we find our footing in creative projects, we will change the name officially.
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