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Some Thoughts on Tracing

Journal Entry: Thu May 16, 2019, 1:11 PM

These days, I might... actually qualify as being... a little jaded, and things that were once very black-and-white issues for me are now a bit more muddled.
Once upon a time, I used to take a really hard stance on tracing. It's easy to sit there and say, "TRACING IS BAD!" without putting much thought into what, precisely makes it bad.

Beware - the word "trace" will likely lose all meaning by the end of this ramble.

Realistically, and very technically speaking, most artists trace -- particularly when they're adding linework to a sketch. USUALLY, they're tracing their own work.
But when we talk about the act of tracing, especially on deviantArt and other online communities... Well, we're talking about someone who is NOT using their own work.

Which, let's call it what it is - it's a repurposing someone else's work or intellectual property.  In writing, even in small bits, this is plagiarism.
If done badly, this can lead to allegations of copyright infringement -- and if you infringe the work of the wrong person or company, you may find yourself on the receiving end of a very costly lawsuit.

But where is that line?

The clearest line is probably at whether the work is protected by Fair Use or not. I'm not a lawyer, judge, or anyone with the power to decide these issues in an official capacity, so I can only speak for myself.

So, what do we consider when one looks at fair use as a defense for what, arguably, could be called copyright infringement?

There's four factors that are considered in the United States --

(The following text taken from the US Copyright office)
  • Purpose and character of the use, including whether the use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  • Nature of the copyrighted work
  • Amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  • Effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work

Bear in mind, these factors are fairly subjective, and every case is different. In some case, the amount of the work that's used may weigh more heavily in comparison to another case, where someone was plagiarizing for profit.

So, what I'm saying is the line is fuzzy.

Here's how I generally look at it in online communities:
  • Is the work that was traced the poster's own original work, or work that they have the rights or license to work with?
      Yes? Okay. Stop thinking about it here. They own the rights, this is not anyone else's business.

  • Who's posting it?
      Someone under 18? That's someone else's problem. Move on to the next thought.
      Someone over 18? You know what, that's also not my problem.

  • Why are they posting it?
      They're learning? ...Hm, okay, maybe don't post learning materials online.
      Because it is popular? Eesh, that's not a fight I'm going to get into. I have other things to do.
      It was a commission? That's probably not okay.

  • How much of it was traced, and how much did they change?
      Did they trace poses, facial expressions, or something from another form of media, change it so it resembles the character they're drawing, and sell it in a comic book published by the big two? Well, that's... Um. It's a thing! But poses and facial expressions aren't copyrightable, and even though it's shitty to do... Who's going to waste money on that lawsuit?
      Did they trace a picture of Sailor Moon and post a modified version as their original character(do not steal)? That may be transformative, but still not a good idea when dealing with lawsuit-happy rightsholders.
      Did they trace a picture of Rukia from a screenshot and post it as a picture of Rukia, claiming it as their original work that they worked so hard on? .......Yeaaaaah, I think... someone might have something to say about that?

    --Okay, these might be somewhat... uh... specific, but realistically, if you think about these circumstances -- how close it is to the original work does kinda matter.

  • Are they selling merch or commissions of it?
      This is probably not okay.

  • If it's fanart, how close to official art does it look to be? Are people likely to mistake it for the real deal?
      I really hope the rightsholder doesn't notice.

  • Is it my work being ripped off?
      Yes? Consider fair use carefully. Act as appropriate within my rights.
      No? Popcorn I'm not getting directly involved in that! (If it's a friend or someone I know, I will give them a heads up if I know about it, though.)

It's also worth noting that rightsholders absolutely do have the right to tell infringers to stop, as well as to file a DMCA notice. They also have the right to file suit to have the matter sorted out in court, if necessary.

Okay that was a lot, what was the point?

I guess what I'm getting at is:
If you're tracing someone else's work without permission -- you probably shouldn't post it online.

Regardless of the reason for it, it's just... It's dumb. Say you get someone litigious going after you, and you've done the DMCA-DMCA counternotice dance. You're still either paying a lot in filing fees (if you decide to go pro-se), or you're paying a lawyer a lot to make the fair use argument for you.

Fair use isn't a "get out of court" card -- claiming Fair Use is an admission that you DID engage in copyright infringement... BUT you did so for a reason which is legally acceptable.  And a judge can still say "yeah, well... this wasn't really fair use."

Also keep in mind dA can't really go looking at everyone's stuff and actively moderating copyright infringement without a DMCA notice because the US' safe harbor laws are kinda fuckey, and this could cause them trouble.

tl;dr: if you're using someone else's work (without permission) to trace for something you're gonna post online, maybe don't.

Further Learning

US Copyright Office - Fair Use Index
(look for cases concerning painting/drawing)

"What if I don't charge?"

(Skip to 11:24 for the information I think is useful to this discussion)

Addendum: Why doesn't <platformName> do something about it?

Because actively managing content for copyright infringement would endanger their DMCA safe harbor status, and open up the website to more lawsuits from rightsholders.

Because DeviantArt (and other websites) rely on their community of people submitting content to them, moderating becomes a problem. But let's say they had an army of moderators to handle this at the volume of submissions they get daily.  A mod makes a bad call on a submission, lets it through, and a rightsholder gets upset?

Well. dA would probably be added as a party to the lawsuit! They have money, they benefitted from the infringement.

But since it's a global community, and they have to really be careful about this stuff... The better case is to do nothing. At minimum, this allows the site to not be sued into oblivion.

If you're curious about the safe harbor provisions, here's some fairly plain-language articles explaining them:

Addendum: What can I do if I've been stolen from?
Fill out the form at this link. You do not have to contact the person who is infringing upon your rights directly to give them any sort of chance. You do not owe them any imagined courtesy.

A few things to keep in mind:
-Usually, only rightsholders and/or creators of the original work can submit a DMCA (do not submit one if you didn't make the piece that's been stolen!!)
-Keep in mind that if they counter-notice you, next steps are usually to go to court
-You do not need to have a copyright registration in order to file a takedown notice.
-You will need to provide information such as your address because the DMCA takedown is a legal process - this is necessary!

Addendum: I've been accused of tracing, but I drew it!

  • Are you replicating screenshots near-faithfully?
  • Is your work easily mistakable for having been produced by someone affiliated with the property you're drawing?
While we can certainly admire your skill for being able to replicate something, the fact that your work is close in appearance to the original work or series is perhaps why.
Just because you can copy or reproduce a piece or a screenshot, does not mean you should, especially if you're passing the close-reproduction off as your own work.

Happy New Year

Journal Entry: Sat Jan 5, 2019, 10:09 PM

Happy New Year!

Long time no see!  It's been busy... hahaha...;

My cat's doing okay -- long story short, he's just got heart disease, which... Given his age? Not shocking.  His kidneys are holding stable.  There is a follow up with the cardiologist in April, but I'm honestly not worried about, because I've been able to put away some money since I knew about it in advance.

On the other hand, this winter has been really challenging for me!  November was migraine month (I had about one a week!  It sucked!), December was just bleh, and I felt burnt out and tired the entire time.  Plus, I hurt my shoulder.  So, overall?  Not the most fun time!

Turns out the cause of my exhaustion is due to some health issues that were preventable, so I'm taking steps to improve it.  My migraines?  ...Well, those are still a thing, but they're starting to be less frequent with taking care of my other health issues.
The other things going on are less-than-pleasant, but should subside with time.

On the upside? Things are getting better!


2019 Goals  (Personal and art-wise)

  • Keep up the trend of taking care of myself
  • Open up limited commissions again (Probably sometime in April?)
  • Draw more things that aren't comics!
  • Add a "world" section with some worldbuilding info to Linked's website

Commissions for Vet Bills

Journal Entry: Fri Oct 5, 2018, 9:21 AM

As you can tell this.... well, this is to cover some vet bills.

Edit to add: There is now a section for existing merch, if you like any of my other stuff.

Skip to the bottom of the journal for what the diagnosis is post-visit!

Clarification regarding slots -- I can take a maximum of 5 commissions at one time.  Other work would be placed on a waiting list and not paid until there is space in the present queue.
These are only bookmark commissions, other options are unfortunately not open at this point in time.

Current Queue:


  1. GiaZeries
  2. GiaZeries
  3. GiaZeries
  4. Nattosoup
  5. Nattosoup
  6. AurePeri 
  7. AurePeri
  8. Shinavar
  9. Magical-Mama
  10. Mahotou

Bookmark Commissions

Img 20180610 193817 by kabocha Img 20180614 233634 by kabocha
$15 each.  Shipped using USPS first class mail.  Comes with protective sleeve and tassel.

Paypal ONLY.  Due to shipping costs, I can only ship within the United States right now.
If you cannot receive mail or are too young to use Paypal, please do not commission me. I cannot accept points.

These are simple watercolor bookmarks, featuring a chibi character.  They are painted using professional quality watercolors, and include a small "quote" or something else if appropriate. They take anywhere from 2~6 hours each to produce.

The examples above are representative of what I will be doing.

If this is something you are interested in, please send me the following information in a note:

  • Your Email Address
  • Character Name
  • Reference Image
  • Desired Quote/Text (keep it short, please)
  • Background color (optional - if unspecified, I will choose)
  • Tassel Color (optional - if unspecified, I will choose. Options are below.)
    Your choices: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green Blue, White, Light Pink, Light Purple, Light Blue, Light Green
The backing paper of the bookmark will be chosen at my discretion.

You may request multiple bookmarks -- the fee is $15/each.

Once I have received your note, I will send you information to submit payment via paypal.

Depending on the volume of commissions I receive, this may take me a while, but I will work in order of whose stuff gets paid first.

The Process

Payment and references expected up front.
Once paid, if you are first in the queue, I will start sketching your bookmark.  I may work on multiple bookmarks simultaneously.
Once sketched, I will send you the sketch for approval. I will not proceed until I have this approval.
After it's sketched, I will ink and paint it.
I may post the finished bookmark to my gallery -- or to instagram.  But I will provide you with the final image, and confirm your shipping address with you.

After that, I'll mail it.

And that's it.

Pre-Existing Merchandise

So you like my art... But don't want to commission me? That's cool. I have other stuff you can buy:

Existing Bookmarks

Currently available:
Bulbasaur, Pikachu, Charmander, Chrom, Celica, and Alm

I'm happy to let Celica and Alm go as a set for $15 -- all others go for $10/ea.

Img 20181005 180410 by kabocha


Stickers are all about 3 inches tall.

Aster & Fox Stickers
  Sparkly -
$1.50ea OR $2 for both
  Glossy - $1ea

Ast Fox Stickers by kabochaAster-fox-stickers by kabocha

Postcard-sized photo prints 4in x 6in (10cm x 15cm) - $3 ea or 2 for $5

Printed on Glossy Canon paper  OR Sparkly paper!
Available images:
Submerged by kabocha Unmake - Print version by kabocha   Aria - Dance by kabocha Remi has no need to look dramatic by kabocha Watch my back, okay? by kabocha According to my notes by kabocha I hate my magic by kabocha Don't Mess with Mama by kabocha Cool Poses in the Woods by kabocha

Stars by kabocha


This guy:
Img 20180730 174022 by kabochaImg 20180928 143733 by kabochaImg 20181004 173846 by kabocha

Niji is my 15 year old cat, who was diagnosed last year with Chronic Kidney Disease.  This is not uncommon in cats his age, and has so far been manageable with a special diet and subcutaneous fluid.

If you've been following me for a while, you may know that I had been taking him to the doctor to get him looked at because he had suddenly lost a lot of weight and was vomiting.  We thought it was thyroid issues. It was not.
So, when his kidneys were finally diagnosed, we started treatment immediately - which was a kidney supporting prescription diet and other things.

This past vet visit, I suspected he had asthma or allergy issues because he's been wheezing.  So we got x-rays and done as well as the standard kidney workup.

We found out his heart is enlarged - while not terribly shocking given his age, this means additional care and a visit to a cardiologist to determine the cause and treatment.

When I called, the visit and cardio workup costs $740 total.  I do not live in a state with sales tax.  This would not be so stressing if we had not already just spent $590 with his normal vet to get him checked on.
Regardless of what happens, I will ensure that he gets the care he needs.

Ultimately, this is not a situation that will "get better". This is a situation in which we are aiming to keep things from deteriorating, and make my companion comfortable.

The money from commissions will be used to help pay for his vet care, because this has very very quickly gotten expensive.

Post-Visit Update

Update!  Niji went to the vet today to get checked out.  The long and short of it is that it looks like his left ventricle has some enlarged walls, though the cause could either be:
-Thyroid issues.
-Heart disease (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy)

Either way?  MANAGEABLE.  But, that cardio workup and appointment was still $740, which is still an expensive visit. T_T;;; So commissions are still appreciated, especially considering he has to go back in 6 months.

Where is Kabocha?

Journal Entry: Mon Oct 1, 2018, 9:56 AM

I've been... busy...

Lurking some, yes, but busy!  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

So yes, I'm making one of those journals.

Art Stuff

I've been busy with working on Linked, and getting my buffer back to "normal".  By which I mean -- not under 10 pages because I spent a lot of time working on prints for conventions back a few months ago aaaaaaaaa

I've been so busy that my inspiration well has been a little dry.  So, I start drawing something not-comics?  NOPE TRASH PILE.  Which isn't fun.  I did, however, finish a new world map for Linked, so I guess I should probably label it and.... y'know, put that somewhere.

Comic Stuff

Chapter 5 of Linked has started! Haven't read it?  Now's a good time to start - I've been having fun drawing parts of this whole mess.  And it *does* get to be messy...
If you're looking for a tool to keep your place, you can also use ArchiveBinge... Or ComicRocket.
I'd honestly suggest ArchiveBinge though.  I know the admin, and the site's maintained.

StArt Faire's magazine ended -- so Magical Girl Something Something is no longer a project I'm working on.  YAY FREE TIME.

Also, I've got a few friends whose comics I want you to check out!
My Dad is a Magical Girl by Shinavar 
Moonlight Apparition by DarkHalo4321 
Black Ball by MJ Massey
Rainy Day Dreams by RainyDayMariah 

In other news, my cat is cute.  He is also a cat who requires way too many vet visits, blood tests, and accommodations in the car.

cue endless screaming

Ink Drop Cafe Contest!

Journal Entry: Tue May 22, 2018, 5:29 AM

Heya!  Do you like contests with actual swag as prizes? Look no further, check out what we have going on at Ink Drop Cafe!

Basically, you draw our mascot, Squiddy, and send it in, and we'll pick our top 3 favorites!  Details are on the Ink Drop Cafe website, so check it out and consider entering!

Comic Tea Party and Archive Binge

Journal Entry: Thu May 10, 2018, 5:56 AM

Hey, so. Like I mentioned in the description of this piece here, there's a chat event tonight called Comic Tea Party!
It's on the StArt Faire discord, and every week, between 8PM US-Eastern and 10PM US-Eastern, you talk about a comic that's up for chat that week.

WELL.  This week, it's Linked.  Y'know.  My comic. :3

So, you wanna talk about it?

May 10th, 2018
5PM - 7PM PDT (that's 8PM - 10PM US-EDT)

Chat Link: 
(This invite link is only good for one day - if you want to join in after the chat, you can do so using the link on the CTP Website.)
You will need to use Discord for this. Discord has a webapp, and doesn't necessarily force you to sign in or sign up to start chatting, but I'm not 100% sure of the server settings for StArt Faire. Your mileage may vary.

Read Linked:
Read Linked on Archive Binge:
Comic Tea Party:

Comic Tea Party's chats are generally guided, with 5 questions being posted over the whole 2 hours to help spark discussion -- and you don't have to stick around for the whole thing.

Archive Binge

Archive Binge is a useful tracking tool for webcomic readers, and a really nice listing tool for webcomic creators!

If you're the type of person who reads a ton of comics outside of places like, say, Tapas or Webtoon, ArchiveBinge is super useful -- you just add something to your favorites, and it'll notify you when it updates! (And you don't have to rely on an RSS reader :D)
If you decide to binge-read a comic's archive, you can sign in using Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus, and it'll save your place, so you can get back to it later.

If you're a creator who wants a tool that tells people when your comic updated, or maybe a way to list some pretty detailed tags, or... something.  Archive Binge is a good choice to list your comic!

....anyway yes, Archive Binge is good.


Journal Entry: Fri Mar 2, 2018, 9:12 AM

Oh hey!

SO, Galactic Con happened, and I still have some leftover merch!  There was some interest in buying books and stuff, and I am here to oblige~.

Table Setup by kabocha

I've only got the prints and such on the right side of the table (under "Linked") -- if you're interested in any of the Galebound merch... Well, I dunno what Respheal has in mind for the moment.
Respheal's merch is available~

ANYWAY!  Let's get down to business...

Because I need to clear out space in my office, I am reducing the price from what it was at the con!
...Also photo quality sucks because it's been basically rainy and dark all week.  RIP my yard.


Paypal only.  Send me a note with what all you want.  I'll send you a total.

Shipping Info

US-based, add $2 for shipping.  I am only shipping first class at the moment.  (This means no tracking!)

International Shipping: Well, um.  I guess it'll depend on what you're getting.
USPS Postage Rates
    Books: I don't recommend buying them right now.  Because the books are rigid, this may shoot shipping up to $10+ as they may be counted as a parcel, not a letter.
    If you're interested in reading Linked, I suggest doing so online and waiting until I can do an actual print run.  (Those books will be bigger and have more content~.)

    Prints and stickers: 4 x 6 prints and stickers are pretty cost effective :D  Larger prints?  Prooobably not.


Stickers are all about 3 inches tall.

Aster & Fox Stickers
    Sparkly -
$1.50ea OR $2 for both
    Glossy - $1ea

Ast Fox Stickers by kabochaAster-fox-stickers by kabocha

Magical Girls (limited stock) - $1.50 ea  -- or all three for $3
Your choice of Sailormoon, Sakura, or Madoka
Mahous by kabocha

Stars by kabocha


If you want the book signed, let me know~

Linked Chapter 1
- $3
    The internals are home printed, assembled, and stapled -- the cover was done at Catprint.  The book's 5.5in x 4.25in.
    Since this is hand-assembled, there may be some variation in trimming/etc.
    Comes with two holographic bookmarks
     Bookmarks by kabocha

Linked Chapter 1 Bundle - $5
    It's the same book and bookmarks, but you get a mini print with it as well one glossy sticker of each Aster & Fox!
      Book+print by kabocha

Stars by kabocha


Postcard-sized photo prints 4in x 6in (10cm x 15cm) - $3 ea or 2 for $5

Printed on Glossy Canon paper

Available images:
Submerged by kabocha Unmake - Print version by kabocha  Magical Girl Something Something - Part 3 Cover by kabocha  Aria - Dance by kabocha

Small, other sizes: $2 ea

Let me give you a hand by kabocha (Possibly 4x6, glossy)

Letter-sized Prints (8.5in x 11in) - $5ea

Aria - Dance by kabocha    See the sparkles?  Holo-prev by kabocha

Submerged by kabocha Unmake - Print version by kabocha 

Get this out of my house it's way too old and taking up space

Free with another Letter-sized print
A Wavering Radiance by kabocha  Fox - Book Magic by kabocha
I'm serious, get these out of my house.  Just tell me what you want.  If you just want one of these, and no other prints, GUESS WHAT! You only have to pay shipping.

Feature Time!

Journal Entry: Sun Feb 4, 2018, 6:38 PM

Oof, here's a thing I haven't done in a LONG WHILE.

But, I'mma do a feature thing. If you've been a watcher of mine since before noon US-EST today, comment on this entry, and I'll feature three (safe-for-work) pieces in your gallery that I like!

Limited to the first 10 commenters. Full up! Wow, you guys are fast!

Also, I strongly encourage you to do this, too! Spread the love!

1. :iconshinavar: Shinavar

Tenor's artwork is ADORABLE.  Also, she makes a really cute comic called My Dad is a Magical Girl, which you can read in StArt Faire :D

2. :icondracoplato: DracoPlato 
Contest Entry by DracoPlato Zenchav Promo by DracoPlato Lyall and Kelpie by DracoPlato
If you're not familiar with Draco's work, you should be!  It's bright, colorful, and full of character~  Draco's currently working on 5 comics (holy cats), and uh, also runs StArt Faire.  ...Draco is ALSO a member of Ink Drop Cafe, to boot!

3.  :iconmiitee: Miitee
FM - Litella LeBlanc by Miitee  CE: Im sorry Sol!! by Miitee  Improvement Meme 2017 by Miitee
Miitee's work is very cute -- and has a nice, rich coloring style, primarily using colored pencils!  If you haven't given this gallery a look, you should!  It's very cute~

4.  :iconvoltronz1: VoltronZ1
Return of Zeo Teaser TrailerA/N: This is a teaser for a new Morrison Rangers miniseries coming next winter. Please enjoy.
(The teaser trailer starts off with the DeviantArt logo appearing on the screen before we fade to black. We then immediately cut to a somewhat messy and darkly lit apartment in the middle of a snowy night, making the whole room look dark blue. We mostly see dirty clothes hanging all over the furniture, bottles of Jägermeister and Jack Daniel’s drenching the shag carpet, a news report about the Morrison Rangers being aired on the TV before we pan over to see a shadowy figure, whose face was naturally hidden away from the camera, putting on his navy blue biker leather jacket, black leather biker gloves and jeans in the bathroom, along with loading his custom Colt MK IV Series 80 pistol with a fresh clip of bullets before chambering it, meaning that he was getting ready to go somewhere very dangerous. Once he was fully dressed, he soon makes his way to the door, but not before walking
  Something Wicked This Way Comes 1-3Something Wicked This Way Comes
By Donald Morrison
(And assisted by RedFalcon23 and Eric B. (Shnoogums))
******************** (Prologue) ********************
(Background Music: Combat Redux Instrumental by Ron Wasserman)
(Our story begins in the downtown area of the city of Winnipeg on a snowy winter day, where everything looked seemingly peaceful and quiet, too peaceful and quiet that is. That would change however as the next shot takes us to see the fourteen members of the Morrison Rangers, those being the young but noble Donald, the tough gunman Chris, the smart and bright Mark, the fun loving Mike, the hyper friendly Delphine, the tough but likeable street girl Mecca, the hard working Jeff Nichols, his wise cracking younger brother Brad, the wild urban cowboy Alex Kucher, the fashion loving pony Rarity, her small but brave little sister Sweetie Belle, both of which were in their Equestria Girls style human forms, the joyful and active monkey girl Makoto Natori, the somewhat rough R
  Defending the QueenDefending the Queen
By Donald Morrison
******************** (Opening Titles) ********************
(Background Music: Marvel Studios Fanfare by Brian Tyler)
(The special episode starts off with a slideshow of the many scenes from the main Morrison Rangers episodes, done in the same style as the 2013 opening of the Marvel Studios logo. As the rapid slideshow goes on, we notice the DeviantArt logo slowly turning and eventually, the rapid slideshow fades away, as the DeviantArt logo fully appears, right after it finished turning around, with the mention "A DeviantArt Studios Special Presentation" standing below, along with the mascot of the website itself, Fella, appearing on the left of the logo.)
A DeviantArt Studio Special Presentation
Narrator: This is a DeviantArt Studio special presentation.
(End Marvel Studios Fanfare)
(With the DA logo out of the way, we fade to black and the Morrison Rangers logo appeared, with the twelve rangers all standing together like a team.)
The M

VoltronZ1 is a deviant who specializing in writing fics -- mostly with the story evoking a feel similar to the 90s sensation, Power Rangers!  If OC crossovers and pandemonium are your thing, check out his writing!

5. :iconlurxneat: Lurxneat
Chapter 6: Turn of Events by Lurxneat  Gloom Under Night by Lurxneat  ::Lunar New Year 2015:: by Lurxneat
e-excuse me a moment while I question what I've been doing with my life, because Lurxneat's gallery is just so good.  Really -- give it a look! :D Like.  Now.

6. :iconaureperi: AurePeri
Yes, whatcha need? by AurePeri  Dawn Oriel, colored by AurePeri  Watching that Everlasting Sunset by AurePeri
Jabanimations and I have known each other a... very long time.  Holy crap, dude, has it been a decade now!?  Anyway, the cartoony, expressive style you'll find in this gallery is definitely worth a peek. :D

7.  :iconblackcoffeeneko: blackcoffeeneko
Under the sunset by blackcoffeeneko  Reol by blackcoffeeneko  Coffeeeeee by blackcoffeeneko
BlackCoffeeNeko's artwork is not only adorable, but it's very well rendered and colorful to boot!  Both things I appreciate. :D  There's a good variety of OCs, commissions, and other things in their gallery, so swing on by, hm?

8.  :iconfreiha: Freiha
Crystal and Mio by Freiha  Squirrel Girl by Freiha  [Contest Prize] Sweetheart Amore by Freiha
Freiha's got a lot of very very cute art in their gallery -- as well as PLENTY of pages from their comic, Arindia no Densetsu.  (Which you can read on dA.  That's a thing you should consider doing if webcomics are up your alley.)

9.  :iconcrash-the-megaraptor: Crash-the-Megaraptor
BD - Whisper and the Pirate by Crash-the-Megaraptor  BD - Not Jedi Day by Crash-the-Megaraptor  G - Minnie and the Dreamguiders by Crash-the-Megaraptor
Crash's gallery is another one full of cute and charming characters!  There's also some short comics interspersed within, many of which made me chuckle. :D

10.  :iconsonicgirl582: Sonicgirl582
Cute Spyro by Sonicgirl582  ~The Last Rose Of Summer~ by Sonicgirl582  ~Thank You Rosette~ by Sonicgirl582
Sonicgirl's gallery is full of a lot of varied work!  There's photography, original work, and a fair bit of fanart, too!  It's obvious a lot of time, care, and work goes into what's posted.

Linked Cover Proof + Print + A look

Journal Entry: Thu Jan 25, 2018, 6:01 AM

My proofs came in!

One's a cover, and one's a print. I've already tested putting them together in an actual book, and they look GOOD.

front cover and mini print by kabocha back cover by kabocha inside by kabocha

I'm doing all the printing of the internals at home -- mostly because it's cheaper, and I have far more control over how the tone comes out, because these are half the actual size (seriously, the book's original size is at 8.5 x 11 -- this run is 4.25 x 5.5), and Acrobat slices the images and eats my screentone for breakfast.  And lunch.  And dinner.

I probably could lay out my booklet in Photoshop and take it to Kinkos, but that's a lot of work...

This is JUST chapter 1 -- maybe one day I'll do a run of Chapters 1 - 4, but... getting a quote of that... Holy crap, I'd need to crowdfund or do preorders.  That's like, at least $1500, and I don't know that I have the fanbase for that.

Anyway, the convention I'm going to is next month. Aaaaaaa help I only have a month to get ready and my inkjet printer is on the fritz and I probably need to buy toner for the other one and Oh Noes! Oh Noes! Oh Noes! Oh Noes! 

Assuming I have leftovers after the convention (probably will -- I'm not popular on the comics scene here), I may have some up for sale.  But then again, I've only got 25 copies, so I may end up having to do another run. :'D

(Also, I'm sure some of you are like: "Kabocha, I want to support you, but.... I don't have money/What if you run out/Shipping is super expensive to where I live" Guess what -- you can read my comic right here.  If you like it, I do have a commenting feature now!

Alternatively, if you wanna read some good comics, you should check out Ink Drop Cafe~)

...So how are you guys?

January 2018

Journal Entry: Mon Jan 1, 2018, 6:31 PM

2018 is starting out interestingly!  My car's dead. :'D  I'm pretty sure it's the cold weather, but...  damn it all!

Anyway, goals for this year:

  1. Do sketches from reference at least once weekly
  2. At least one monthly illustration
  3. Get some more stickers designed
  4. Get Chapter 1 of Linked printed (if y'all have recommendations for a good on-demand printer, I'm open to suggestions! Right now I'm thinking about RAComics Direct)
  5. Attend local-ish conventions
  6. Try and comment more
I've got a small convention coming up in February, which should be fun!  ...I need to do a bunch of prints before then though OTL.  But, it honestly shouldn't be too hard to break even, I hope. :'D

December 2017

Journal Entry: Fri Dec 1, 2017, 12:05 PM

Well, it's Christmas!  Merry Christmas 'nat.  Sorry I've not been around as much?  I sometimes feel like I need to apologize for not being on dA as much lately -- I know some of it's just...  I've been out of sorts?  I got sick earlier in the month, and then sucked into a programming project at work... 2017 certainly has been a year!

I hope the rest of you guys are doing all right.

Stars by kabocha

Dec 1 2017
After skipping November... Hm.  What do I say happened?
tl;dr: LIFE.  Also comics and Ink Drop Cafe.

New issue of StArt Faire is out -- and consequently, that means a new issue of Magical Girl Something Something.
My friend Jazeki has an article in the magazine as well.  It's a good read about writing dialogue. :3

Right now I'm kinda hating my decision-making skills for comicking because holy cats why did I decide to draw a crowd scene on these pages of Linked?!  

So, yeah.  What's up with you guys?

Are any of y'all interested in some concrit?  I need to uh. Improve my skills for a thing.  So, for a limited time, comment on this entry with a link or thumbnail to one piece you have in your dA gallery.
It might be helpful if you tell me what areas you're looking for suggestions on how to improve, otherwise, I'm going to talk about whatever comes to mind.

October 2017

Journal Entry: Thu Oct 26, 2017, 7:12 AM

Look at me, bein' all late to submit this. It's the end of the month!


Been swamped. Also hurt my back, got sick earlier in the month and all that fun stuff. SO YEAH.

ANYWAY the bookmarks came in and they are gorgeous~
Img 20171026 095805 by kabocha

I'm waiting on another shipment of prints to come in of THIS illustration:
Aria - Dance by kabocha
Should be pretty nice~ :D I'm gonna be cutting them out myself.  ...So we'll see how that goes!

Also been working on chapter 4 of Linked, so that's coming along.  I realized I didn't want to draw certain things, so I'm editing some work.  And hating myself because we're coming up on a city scene. :'D Oooph, nope.

Stars by kabocha

To-Do List

  • Art trade with Magical-Mama 
  • Draw more pages of Linked
  • Contest prize for Fario-P
  • Contest entry doodle
  • Put together an IKEA bed

September 2017

Journal Entry: Fri Sep 1, 2017, 8:33 AM

September 27, 2017
Oh hey look, it's that person who's been unable to answer notes in a timely manner! HI!

I just got done with a weekend from hell, and now am fending off another cold.  WOOH, I love this time of year.

In other news, I hit my page goal for the year, regardless of whether or not I include the end-of-chapter filler comics.  I managed to do 7 pages of comics in a week -- granted they were fairly simple pages, but overall not bad.

I also updated/moved Linked to -- from  Mostly because the original URL was longer.  So, new domain name, wooh.

I'm also working on a couple promo bookmarks-- one of Aster and one of Fox.
Here's Aster's, for a preview (I don't have the file onhand so this is the preview from CatPrint):
Aster-bookmark by kabocha

Fox's... Still needs work.

Aaaaah I can't wait to get these done though - they're gonna be nice and sparkly.  Color fronts, black and white backs. :D

Stars by kabocha

September 1, 2017
I need sleep.
It got stupid chilly after being 90+ the past few weeks and I'm under the weather (probably my sinuses/allergies bugging out). I just want to sleep all day.

On that note, I'm reaching my new year's goal for pages drawn of Linked for the year -- or have I hit it already? I don't really count the extra pages, but... if I do, I guess I did already.
...I added comments over on Linked's site as well, in case you wanted to snark along with the alt text. Or yell at the characters.

At the end of last month I had a scare with my VPS. RAID failures. First, one of the mirrored arrays failed, which is fine. But then one of the disks in the surviving array failed.
....Almost lost my data. :|

...Have I ever told you backups are important?

There's also a new StArt Faire this month -- no MGSS, as Otakon kicked my ass. BUT my new brush set is in it -- but it'll be out everywhere else tomorrow. ;3

Also, my cat seems to be doing all right on the new food. We'll find out for sure at his upcoming vet visit, but at least he's happy!

August 2017

Journal Entry: Tue Aug 15, 2017, 1:31 PM

Aug 18 2017
Welp.  took the cat to the vet for a yearly checkup, although he was kinda acting up.
Last year, when I took him in, his blood tests came back "normal".  Saw a diff vet at the same clinic, and they told me what the values were last year compared to this year.

SIGH.  Buddy boy had high-but-normal levels on several tests on his kidneys last year.  And this year it looks like he's got some kidney issues.

My free time is probably gonna depend greatly on how this first month goes.  Starting out on prescription food, and then we'll see how he improves/etc.

Aug 15 2017
Oh hey, it's August.  HALFWAY THROUGH IT, EVEN.

Where have I been.... Oh, that's a question.

Here.  There.  Doing work. Preparing for the end of a few projects, and some deadlines that I'm reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally not looking forward to.

I meant to make a post on July... 25, I Think?  I've been making my own PS brushes for 10 years now.  I'm working on/finishing up a special set to celebrate that anniversary. ;3  ...10 years though.  Egads.  Hard to think that it's been 1/3 of my life. :|

  • Listening to: Tally Hall - Turn the Lights Off

July 2017

Journal Entry: Sun Jul 2, 2017, 11:26 AM

28 July 2017
Finally got my butt to the post office to mail things that were well overdue!
USPS, don't bend stuff right in front of me, pls. :|

Aside from that.... I started drawing the first pages of chapter 4 of Linked.
I sat down last week and stuck a ton of post-it notes to my wall to plot out the story and such, too.  So, now I've got a very clear course to follow. :'D

There's something very nice about having gotten a good chance to plot this out, and put a ton of thoughts and vague notions in a logical order.

Stars by kabocha

14 July 2017


So I'm in the midst of building a gallery page for Linked, and am adding art to it:…

If you've done art with one of the characters from that comic (and you want it there) and I haven't reached out to you by this evening, hit me up!

Also, I'm looking forward to finishing the next few pages of Magical Girl Something Something -- although dang, this whole "deadline" thing is rough.

Stars by kabocha

2 July 2017
I guess now is as good as any time to make a journal entry! Hi! Long time!

I need to get caught up on my message center, which is kind of a wreck.

Um... What have I been up to.  I've been working on Linked, and have one page left until I've finished drawing chapter 3!  Wooh!  ... ...I should be done with the chapter sometime in October, I think?  Unless somehow, I lose my mind and blow my buffer at once.  (I don't recommend doing this with webcomics.)

Chapter 4 is also mostly scripted, though I'm making periodic revisions.  Not bad, yeah?

I also may have wrecked two illustrations I was working on by not testing the paper I was using at the start.  Which blows.  So I'm redrawing them right now... -_-;;;
I'm so used to hot press paper being more... I dunno, smooth?  Less absorbent 'nat?

In other news, my friend Chad and I have debuted a new comic, which is basically a comedic-ish 4koma called "Magical Girl Something Something".  It's going to run in the free online magazine, StArt Faire, as of issue 16.

...So, yeah, that's basically it.  Time to re-ink these doodles and hope I don't wreck them again.

  • Listening to: Tally Hall - Turn the Lights Off

Comic Art Scholarship

Journal Entry: Wed May 24, 2017, 9:58 AM

Are you a student? GOOD NEWS.

Natto Scholarship…

My good friend Becca (one of our Ink Drop Cafe members) has a scholarship opportunity!

SALE CLOSED: Help Finance My Bad Decisions!

Journal Entry: Thu May 11, 2017, 9:32 AM

So, I have a machine that was not suiting my needs. And so, I went to the store, intending to get it repaired or the bad part replaced under the manufacturer's warranty and stuff.

...Oh boy did I ever "fix" my problem. By replacing it.

Yep. Hence the title of the journal. :P I'm in a mood to poke fun at myself.

Everything else is normal price, primarily because they take more time to do, and I've gotta hit that balance between comics and commissions, yeah? .... >_>;;

Anyway, here's what's up on offer (all prices USD). Sale ends May 26, 2017 -- so payment is expected to be in by that point.

If you're interested, please send me a note with details, refs, etc. Payment is expected up front before I start work.

Limited to 10 slots.

  1. 4 for $20 watercolor ATCs - keytajoy 
  2. 1 Bookmark - keytajoy 
  3. 2 chibis - keytajoy 

Watercolor ATCs -- $7/ea (or 4 for $20!)

These are NOT cutout style ATCs, and will have a simple background.

Price includes shipping in the US. No tracking. (+$1 for international)

Amaryllis by kabocha What do you mean, I'm a magical girl?! by kabocha Anuenue by kabocha

Marker ATCs: 2 for $10

Simple backgrounds only.
Discount only applies to purchases in pairs of two.

Noel by kabocha Cards! by kabocha

Simple Bookmark: $8/ea

Simple background, no cutout.  On scrapbook or washi paper.
Overall size: ~5.5in by 5.75in
Katrina by kabocha

Chubby Cheeb: 2 for $15

Discount only applies to purchases of two or more. Characters can interact.
Fat Chibi Yuki by kabocha Lil' Chibi Aster by kabocha Boring Chibi Fox by kabocha Won't you kiss my hand? by kabocha Drunken Holiday by kabocha

May 2017

Journal Entry: Tue May 2, 2017, 6:38 AM

May 21, 2017
I keep saying I need to get better at responding to comments.  I am doing a damn terrible job, and I am sorry!  Half the time, I sit there and stare at them and I'm like... "I'll do it later..."  I've just been super tired lately.

Very recently, there was a bit of a shakeup on twitter (and forums) about some stuff going on with Tapas, a site folks use for posting or mirroring their webcomics.  Tapas, in case you didn't know, added (and then later removed) a Right of First Refusal in their general Terms of Service for the platform.

It has been kind of exhausting to watch, so at this point... Nope.  Just glad I don't host or mirror there, even though Tapas "fixed it" by removing the clause.  If it hadn't removed it, it'd be extra incentive to avoid the platform all together.

If you're curious, here's a breakdown in a Bleeding Cool article.

Stars by kabocha

May 14, 2017

New brushes on my site - they're for Clip Studio:

Stars by kabocha

May 2, 2017

Okay seriously, where has time gone and why is it May already?

So, a few days ago some friends and I launched a comic collective - Ink Drop Cafe. It's gone surprisingly well, actually! I'm not used to so much activity in Discord, but hey. :D

In other news, tomorrow is my husband's birthday! Wooh. ...also my cat's. He'll be 14. (the cat, not the husband. We're a fair bit older than the cat.) :meow:
cat~ by kabocha
pictured: cat. Because my husband won't let me take photos of him without a fuss.

Stars by kabocha

To-Do List

  • Edit pages of Linked
  • Draw more pages :|
  • Contest prize for arcanaprince

Introducing: Ink Drop Cafe

Journal Entry: Sun Apr 30, 2017, 2:24 PM

What is Ink Drop Café?

Ink Drop Café is a friendly comic artist collective and community that welcomes a variety of storytellers. We value unique viewpoints, especially those that champion feminine, nonbinary, and minority visions/aesthetics. All mediums, formats, and styles are welcome!
We are united by our desire to create engaging stories, foster community growth, and nurture aspiring creators.

We have a bunch of comics for you to check out -- one of which you miiiight be familiar with. :meow:
We've also got a few affiliates -- all of which are focused on artists in one way or another.
  • Nattosoup Studio Art & Process Blog -This blog, run by Becca Hillburn ( Nattosoup ), provides a myriad of tutorials, reviews, and other things for comickers, watercolorists, and art supply enthusiasts!  Really, if you're any sort of artsy or curious, give it a look and try searching for your favorite brand of marker or paint!
  • Paper Cat Press - Paper Cat Press is a wonderful resource if you're looking for freelance work, contests, or other sorts of paying jobs.  ...Actually, if you're looking to find comic/art Kickstarters, new comics, and other things, Paper Cat Press might just be a resource for you as well!
  • StArt Faire - StArt Faire is a comic magazine which is published online monthly, free of charge!  They're regularly open for submissions, and are always looking for new, artists to participate in the magazine~

Squid Tea by kabocha

What's the deal with the Squid?

Squiddy is our mascot.  :3  He is adorable and hangs out in teacups.  ...You're not supposed to drink from the cups he hangs out in though.  ...We actually don't have a name for him yet.  HMM.

Submissions? New Members? :D :D :D

We have gotten this question a lot!  At the moment of this writing, the group is about a day old (and we're quite active!) -- so right now, we don't have plans to open submissions.  We're still getting our bearings and figuring out our place in webcomics.

We ARE however totally happy to have folks join us on Discord and chat, ask questions, or share their art.  :meow: We're all human so everyone can't be around all the time, but there's lots of folks hanging out!

Where do I find this wondrous collective?

You can find us at!  Come and sample our tasty comics!

April 2017

Journal Entry: Fri Apr 7, 2017, 9:43 PM

April 8, 2017
Let's see...

Got a bunch of drawing done, wrist is still derp, still have downed trees in our yard...

Workin' on comics...  ...Um.... What else?

To-Do List:

  • More pages of my comic, Linked