Doki Doki Festival 2017

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Yesterday I attended the Doki Doki Festival in Manchester which is a convention based on Japanese culture.

Lately I’ve been growing as an artist and for the last few months I’ve been strongly considering having my own stall at local conventions. The thought of this makes me excited and nervous as it’s a new and unknown territory for me. I don’t know the process of this or anything about it. After much deliberation I decided to go along to a local festival to see what it was all about.

It was with great fortune that around that time I discovered Doki Doki and arranged a trip with my brother to this festival. This was a very big thing for me as I rarely organise an outing.

Going into an unfamiliar place like Doki Doki came with apprehension and anxiety. The only convention I’ve been to up to this point was Kitacon but I knew nothing about Doki Doki. All I knew is that it offers Japanese culture like live music, train society and origami and of course art stalls but that was it. How did they represent their crafts? What were the stalls like? What was the building going to be like? I already made up my mind I was going, I was going to go, enjoy myself and hopefully learn a few things.

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It really was a great experience.

I didn’t know what I was expecting but it wasn’t what I expected it to be. It really was just like a convention where everyone was having fun with their friends, browsing and exploring stalls, drawing art and listen live music, not to mention Japanese cuisine which was delicious! Yum.  It was similar to Kitacon but obviously the theme was Japanese culture and not just about anime.

Initially I was overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of the crowd and the loud music, both which are my weaknesses. Once I got used to the atmosphere, which was amazing, I felt more comfortable and started to mingle in the crowd and explore the stalls on my own. It was a huge bonus that I didn’t get lost, brownie points for me! Haha.

I was more relaxed and comfortable talking to people, a feat which actually surprised me and it’s only through reflection that I didn’t realise how relaxed I was. At past conventions I perhaps spoke and acted like a robot but I spoke naturally and the conversations weren’t forced. Perhaps it’s just me getting used to speaking to people on a regular basis? I don’t know the reason but it’s very good for my confidence.

I did eventually reach my limit and ended up becoming light-headed, which increased later, but I was determined to make the most of it so I ignored my own alarming radar and continued to bask in the Festival. =)

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I managed to talk to all the artists. They gave me a lot of advice about being an artist, how to start up and how convention works. Since yesterday I’ve been feeling very inspired and highly motivated about my own art work going forward. For years I have been searching for my own ‘purpose’ and at last I think I’ve found that in the form of an anime artist.

Everything happens for a reason and I truly believe that I could cope having my own stall at a convention. It wasn’t easy but I did well yesterday and I don’t see any reason why I can’t handle having my own stall. I’m still growing as an artist and as a person but I feel that I can see my goal. I’m going to keep doing my best, keep producing art the best art I can and see what happens. =)

 

Thanks for reading,

Ryan.^^/

April Updates

Hello.^^/

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been very busy with all kinds of things. I’ve been out socialising, continuing my outside projects and helping out with various tasks.

I got back into swimming a couple of weeks ago. I was hesitant in both weeks as the pool was filled with adults and children and we nearly bumped into each other a few times. I do my best to read situations but sometimes you learn things through experience rather than logic, even if you practice the scenario 100 times in your head. Haha.

I’ve been out a few other times as well and watched Wrestlemania at my brother’s and hanging out at Starbucks. My bro and I were both laughing because the gentleman that served me thought my name was Ray, not Ryan. I was chuckling to myself at that silly moment whilst gazing at nothing in particular when a lady, who stood near us, looked up and smiled at me. I felt a little awkward at that moment it looked as though I’ve been staring and smiling at her all that time. Of course this wasn’t the case and I would understand if she thought if I was bonkers but I will take a smile over a frown any day!

 

We had a lot of visitors at my home throughout the week and I helped to look after my niece twice this week on the same days as yoga and swimming. All was well when I felt something was off when I came back from yoga. I don’t know why but I felt very dizzy and lethargic and at one point I thought I was going to be sick. Why was I suddenly feeling ill? I had no idea why. The answer came to me quickly, a combination of lack of sleep and not giving myself enough time to recharge my batteries.

It has been a challenging week for me personally. I usually take things easy but lately I’ve been busier than ever and I’m not used to socialising with others more than once a week. Deep down I’ve probably withheld my stress and doing my best to persevere. My body and mind needs to slow down and take things easier, especially with things that aren’t in my control. It didn’t help that I got back into the habit of going to bed late and waking up very early.

It’s all ok though, as soon as I recognised something was wrong I tried to listen to the current conditions of my mind and body. What would cheer me up? Once decided I had a deep bath, watched Non Non Biyori and wrote some notes on my fantasy story. The only way I get rid of my negative thinking is to not try to force it out but to accept it and override it with something that makes me happy and only then will the negatives wash away. It works every time.

I feel it’s important to remember that even when I’m having an off day I know what makes me happy. =)

 

I also made the sad decision to get rid of my Lady Lamp. I’ve had it since I was sixteen but throughout the years it has been pretty much decaying to the point where it couldn’t be fixed. It was a very big decision and letting go of attachments is never easy. I was upset at first when I decided to let it go but I got used to its absence very quickly. It’s reassuring for me that I’m able to let go of materialistic attachments, especially something as precious as my Lady Lamp.

 

All these events remind me that no matter how challenging life gets things will turn out well in the end. =D

 

I like to talk about my current thoughts on anime and manga but I’ll leave that for another time. =)

 

Thanks for reading,

Ryan. =)

My 2017 Goals

It’s a new start to a new year and I have a mind-set that’s fresh and clear. I’m already feeling positive vibes from 2017 and I’m well underway with my goals for this year.

 

Socialising and Going Out

A lot has happened throughout my life. I always struggle with crowds but things are becoming easier overtime, especially with my new mind-set. I’ve accepted my weaknesses and limitations now but I persevere when I need to, both for myself and for everyone else. Despite my anxiety going out I do feel that I’m actually a people’s person and I often find myself putting everyone’s feelings ahead of my own.

I will try to go out more but only under the right circumstances. It’s all about dealing with each moment when it’s presented to me rather than analyse possible future events.

 

My Stories

For years I’ve been writing and making amendments for my children’s story and right now its under-going another editing process. I’ve completed the first book a good number of times but it was never quite ready to be published. As a result I’ve often lost motivation and lacked ideas to change. However, this is definitely the most successful editing process I’ve ever done for this story.

I’ve polished my writing style and grammar-correcting a lot and I have to thank reading different manga and light novels for that. The only materials I can read are manga and light novels but it really does go to show that no matter what genre you read, reading makes you grow as a writer.

 

Anime Art

I’ve changed my attitude and approach to my anime art and decided to take extra time to complete each art successfully. Last year I did get in the unfortunate habit of putting a time limit on each picture. Now I have the philosophy of illustrating at my own pace which goes hand in hand with my new mind-set for this year. You could say it’s a new beginning with a better approach and from now on I will emphasize quality over quantity.

 

My Current Works in Progress

-Requests (I’m undertaking around 10 requests and nearly completed 1)

-New Game! (This is a comic style landscape that features Aoba and Hifumi)

-Gaia: Mother Goddess (a more refined version of my own character, Gaia the Elf Goddess)

-Darkness (a single portrait of the masochist knight that could feature a few versions in different clothes)

-Valentine’s Day picture (to be revealed)

-Ai-Chan (going to attempt to shade Ai-Chan in the blue chrome shading style and see how I get on)

-Keijo x One Punch Man Comic (a crossover comic that is set in the One Punch Man universe but stars Nozomi and Non from Keijo)

 

I’m enjoying all these drawings right now and I can’t wait to see how they turn out in the end. 2017 will be a great year. =)

 

Thanks for reading. =)

Ryan.^^/

Life and Decisions

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I made a big decision today over a matter that I’ve been debating for years regarding writing an auto-biography about my life with Autism. Basically, I decided against it.

Since school I always envisioned myself writing an auto-biography as I felt it was my duty to rather than wanting to. Every time I dug down to my memory roots I would always end up feeling sad and feeding myself negativity. Nowadays I’m blessed with the fact that I can move on from the past but I had big problems when I was little, especially when trying to communicate with others. It was painful and frustrating not being able to talk to the point where it felt like they happened yesterday. I can still remember the pain I was in and how sad I was.

One day, today, I thought to myself if this was really worth it. Is it worth digging into my past and re-living those painful memories for the sake of sharing my story and possibly making some money through book sales? I came to the decision that it’s not worth it. I don’t want to think about those times let alone talk about them so why should I torture myself? I have a lot of wonderful stuff going on in my life right now and no matter how I look at it, living in the present, today, is far superior than re-calling the memories of the past. =)

With that, let’s talk about how good today is. =D

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My life is wonderful at the minute. I’m editing my book after a few family discussions and I’m in the process of creating a huge database for my fantasy book so I can keep on top of my own information. =D

I’m really happy and touched by the amount of support I’m receiving throughout social media and art sites. =D I’m just happy if one person looks at my art but some of my art are getting more than 1 view. Some get over 10, some over 100 and remarkably some over 1000. Before I joined Deviantart I never would have predicted that I would receive so much activity with my art. Joining Deviantart is definitely one of my best life decisions to date.

I’m in the midst of tackling some fanart requests as I feel I’m ready to give it a go. So far I’ve completed 1 request out of 5 and at this moment I’m coping with the pressure rather well. I was asked to update my Yoko Littner picture by adding more colours and correcting the length of her right glove.

The final good news is that I recently reached the landmark of 30 completed pictures from my Manga Girls series. I find this exciting as this simple style of black and white with only the hair and eyes coloured allows me the freedom and time to complete pictures quicker. If I include backgrounds I focus too hard and take too long but if it’s just the lady, I can go all out as drawing girls seems to be my forte.

I amended and employed plenty of styles along the way and I actually think I get better every time I touch the tablet with my pen.

 

Thank you for reading, have a great weekend everyone. =D

Ryan.^^/

Anime Fall Season and My Thoughts

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I really liked the Summer season, it’s my favourite season this year. What’s your favourite? Now that Summer is over we welcome Autumn/Fall. So far the only anime that I’m planning to watch is Keijo!!!!!!!! Hip Whip Girl.

I know of Keijo and by what I’ve seen online it looks funny, quirky and offers something different. It’s basically a sport that takes place on water and you have to knock off your opponent with either your bum, your hips or your chest. This is a female only sport… if this becomes a real life sport I wonder if we will see this as an event in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics? That will be fun to debate about. =D

Keijo is only airing 12 episodes this season but I suspect that Xebec could have made 24 episodes due to the amount of manga volumes that Keijo have already published. Perhaps they’re seeing how popular this anime becomes before creating more. Maybe they have a second season planned that will air next year but haven’t announced it yet.

Whatever happens, I’m really looking forward to Keijo! =D

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Right now I’m happy and healthy. I worked out the geography map for my fictional story and I’m soon going to celebrate my Niece’s first birthday. =)

My art is going swimmingly well. I recently adopted the colouring and highlighting style from the New Game! anime and because of this I’m liking my art much more, which I didn’t think was possible.

I am taking a rest from my drawing for now as I’m getting rheumatism in my fingers which means that I’m working too hard. It’s a sign that I need to rest.

I’m getting quite a following on DeviantArt and Pixiv and I feel touched by this. It means that my followers are enjoying my work and that makes me extra happy. =)

 

Thanks for reading. =)

Ryan.^^/

Manga Girls

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Some of you may already know but I’ve created a theme called “Manga Girls” where I draw girls in black and white but colour in their hair and eyes. The idea appealed to me when I finished drawing Nozomi from Love Live! in this way and decided that I wanted to carry on this theme but under the bracket, “Manga Girls.” =)

 

I do feel that I’ve come a long way with my manga art and I do think that I keep getting better, especially when it comes to backgrounds and shading the character. I think this is because I’m choosing to take my time with one picture rather than try and cram five pictures into one day. If I don’t complete one picture today, I can look forward to completing it tomorrow, as Saitama would say “I’ll leave tomorrow’s problems to tomorrow’s me.” =)

 

I’ve got a huge list of which girls to do but I feel that it’s important for me that I don’t overwhelm myself. In the past I tried to give myself projects and it always ended badly because I gave myself way too much work to start and finish. However, I feel that this time around I’m confident enough that I will continue this theme. I created a spreadsheet in which I prioritise certain pictures and put them in categories based on importance.

 

With this system in place I don’t feel pressure, I don’t get into a head mush and I feel no signs of overwhelming myself. I almost feel like I can take on requests but there’s something about the word “request” that daunts me so I avoid drawing pictures for others unless it’s for family. I don’t mind if friends, fellow users or people suggest ideas to me of who to draw next but I know I would feel pressure if I did a “commission.”

 

This is the list of Manga Girls that I’ve done so far

Nozomi Toujou – Love Live! School Idol Project

Nozomi Kaminashi – Keijo!!!!!!!!

Tiona Hiryute – Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

Rias Gremory – High School DxD

Nel Tu – Bleach x Monster Musume

 

If you have any ideas of which girl to draw next in this theme, please feel free to suggest them. You can contact me on various sites, comment below or even drop me an email.

 

Thanks for Reading. =)

Ryan.^^/

Holding onto Attachments

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From my personal experience holding onto attachments can come in many forms whether it’s with physical objects, past memories and emotion.

Finding my own identity was always an issue for me and it was tough as my autism was severe back then and I did not adapt well to change, especially clothes. Every time I would have to change shoes or get new shirts I would get really upset as I felt that I keep on losing my identity, every time.

I really dislike letting go of things so I started to attach myself to everything whether its old objects like clothes, past school works, old ideas for my story and even reminiscing about my past. I really didn’t like this but because I was consumed by all of this I felt that my past thoughts and past objects and emotions were parts of my identity as a person- maintaining the status quo, not adapting to change.

However, one day, I decided to change my mind set. Why should I remember sad thoughts? Why am I holding onto things and not letting go? That was when I realised that I’ve attached myself to objects and emotions as I convinced myself that’s what my life is like.

By focusing on the things that make me happy now I gradually detached myself from the sad memories and past objects. They include anime like NEW GAME and Non Non Biyori, hanging out with my family, Vlogging, Blogging, Art, Writing, Yoga, the list is endless.

Attachments are not bad, you just have to recognise the good ones from the bad ones and it very much reminds me of change. There’s good and bad change in time. As time ticks every second we are living in the present of that tick-tock on the clock with something to look forward to in the future. If time stopped, we would stop, frozen solid and never moving.

The only nostalgia that I kept from the past that still exists in my life today is the presence of Thomas the Tank Engine. Some of you will already know why he was and still is very important in my life. That is a happy attachment. =)

Attachments, emotions and memories are very powerful to the point where you do question your own identity. It wasn’t easy and it did take a lot of time but when I focused on my current happiness I gradually detached myself from the sad memories and the things that made me sad without realising it. In time, they disappeared completely. They may pop up every now and again but pop ups are insignificant to the bigger picture.

I questioned if I was sad, if I was a monster, if I was autistic and so on but those days are now behind me. Being happy made me realise just who I was and that defines me perfectly. =)

Kitacon Karnival Experience: Part Two

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(Kitacon Karnival Experience: Part One)

  1. BAD START TO THE DAY

The morning was not the perfect start to the day, for many reasons. I woke up late for breakfast as my alarm didn’t go off. I also accidentally yanked off my golden wristband. I was trying to adjust it as it was giving my wrist a bit of a rash. When it came off I was like “is it really that important?” and threw it in the bin. It turns out, as I found out later, it was VERY important. I wasn’t allowed in the dealer’s room so I had to go back upstairs and retrieve it from the bin…

Then, when I went to the game’s room the crew spotted that my wristband was *cough* damaged. Zen guided me to Ops where the crew gave me a replacement. After all this I decided to go back to my room to unwind where I learned there and then that I accidentally locked myself out of the room. I left my keys inside. It just so happens that my brother had a second key.

I did feel embarrassed at my own clumsiness so I decided to spend a while in my room to chill out for a bit.

  1. DAY TWO at the KITACON and STREET FIGHTER TOURNAMENT

I spent the rest of the day mostly talking to cosplayers and taking photos. I found them all pleasant to talk to but my confidence was a little bit shaky.

Socialising is still a big learning curve for me but I feel like I’m able to read situations better than ever and gauge people’s reactions slightly better than I did the year before. I think on this day in particular I probably did put myself under unnecessary pressure to socialise and I think my approach to some conversations did come across as unnatural and nervy. Luckily all the cosplayers are very nice and understanding of each other, even though we don’t necessarily know each other all that well. That’s the kind of vibe that I get from everyone. It’s that kind of atmosphere.

At one point during the day I did feel like I’d had enough and felt I would rather be at home. But, I still tried to make the most of it whilst I was there and told myself that I was going to be more active in the evening and see what happens.

Later on I took part in the Street Fighter V Tournament despite the fact that I’ve never played the game before. I was never in it to win I just wanted to play the game as I thought it would be a lot of fun.

  1. THE MASQUERADE and the PARTY

The Masquerade was a daunting experience and it was the first ever masquerade I had ever been to. I was extremely thankful that I got a VIP badge as I was allowed front row access right on the side so I could disappear anytime if it got too overwhelming. I found that reassuring. The atmosphere was not as loud and energetic as I thought it was going to be, instead it was just cheers and clapping and I don’t mind that so much as we’re supporting the cosplayers on stage.

I did my utmost best to get as many pictures as I could but everything was happening rather quickly and unfortunately I didn’t manage to take as many photos as I would have liked. I was disappointed but I did the best I could. It went on for quite a while and I did enjoy it but I think it ended at the right time, at least for me personally, as I can’t really be in a room in a large crowd for too long.

I went to my room to have a long rest after the event was done.

A couple of hours later I found my brother and good chum Chris and we danced in the party. I liked the party on the second day more than I did on the first day and I felt that it was because I was hanging around with a group whom I was familiar with whilst interacting with new people at the same time.

I spoke to a very nice lady. I think she’s a very interesting person and I enjoyed talking to her. It felt natural and I felt comfortable, a couple of years ago I might have made a polite excuse to go away from an impromptu conversation. Instead, I braved it and spoke to her. =)

I was also part of that humongous conger line and I was near the front, right behind the person who was videoing it with her camera phone. The best part of the conger line was that a Stormtrooper was right behind me. =D That conger line was fun and when it finished I decided that it would be a good time to leave and go to bed. I was in a good mood but I still had a very bad headache. If I left now, it would be on a high.

So I did.

  1. LAST DAY

It was nice and calming on the last day even though I did feel very ill in my head and body. I think because I had been speaking to so many people over the last couple of days, I felt the energy was zapping away from me. It was the right time to go home.

I did manage to take some more pictures on the last day but I wasn’t feeling as energetic as I had been, but I think most people were probably feeling the same.

OVERALL

It was a very good experience and probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life. I think this Kitacon was a lot better than last year’s Kitacon and I think it helped that I had prior experience and that there was not as many people this time around.

I’m always going to be ill and be faint in huge crowds and socialising with people but I can will myself to ignore the negative emotions and enjoy the good times that were presented to me. I had the courage to speak to more people this year than I did last year and I even managed two parties in a row.

I had some good moments and some rather bad moments but everything I did was a big fun learning curve and I’m really glad that I went. I’m growing in confidence year by year and I’m learning to be comfortable with new people as well as with my current friends.

I’m also learning not to put unnecessary pressure on myself as things will happen naturally if you live in the moment rather than plan the future.

WILL I GO TO NEXT YEAR’S KITACON?

I’m not sure. There are more positives than negatives about this year’s Kitacon, for me, so I do feel more encouraged to go than not to go. But, I still don’t like planning or thinking too hard about it as I will feel apprehensive.

 

Thanks a bunch for reading, I’ll see you next time. =)

Ryan^^/

Kitacon Karnival Experience: Part One

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(Kitacon Karnival Experience: Part Two)

  1. LAST YEAR

I first went to Kitacon last year so I had a rough idea what it would be like this year. Big events like this can be tough and challenging for me due to my autism. This means that I tend to get overwhelmed in huge crowds, meeting new people in unfamiliar surroundings and loud noise. It was a shock to my system when I first went to Kitacon to the point where I went for long periods of time feeling faint and dizzy. I sometimes felt that I couldn’t think or move properly whenever I went to panels or spoke to new people.

I experienced a lot of highs and lows last year and admittedly I was anxious about going to this one.

  1. THE ANTICIPATION

In the end, after much discussion with my brother and my family, I decided that I wanted to go. Last year I think I put too much pressure on myself and tried too hard to experience everything about Kitacon rather than doing what I wanted to do.

When it comes to big events or social gatherings like Kitacon I will always feel faint, dizzy and suffer many headaches due to the stress of meeting new people and socialising. I’m very self-aware of who I am and I’m no longer ashamed of what I am. I will always suffer from these quirks but I’m able to cope and subdue the negative emotions that I often experience. Even if I do feel ill at certain moments I can still enjoy the times that’s given to me and think positive. =)

  1. FIRST DAY AT KITACON

I settled in the building much better than I did last year, and it helped a great deal that I got the same room from last year too. I got into the Kitacon spirit quite well. I knew that my art was going to feature in the Kitacon book but I submitted two back in January and I was not sure which one was going to feature. It was my illustration of Kirin from The Asterisk War anime. It was a really exciting moment when I saw the picture in the programme for the first time. It was a humongous achievement for me and I was excited at the prospect that a lot of people from Kitacon were going to see it. That book is definitely a special souvenir. =)

The uneasiness that I felt for obvious reasons suddenly faded to the back of my mind and I then had the confidence to go round and take photos of cosplayers in their amazing outfits. I was more confident at taking people’s pictures this year. I still had to prepare myself mentally to ask their permission but it was much easier to approach them. They were all friendly and I managed to make small conversations with some of them. This lifted my spirits and my confidence went even higher and I like to think that I was able to speak to so many people because of my photography. Taking photographs was the perfect icebreaker for me otherwise I don’t think I would have the courage to speak to anyone at all.

There were some panels that I didn’t enjoy last year, namely the Hentai Panel, because it was so crowded it made me feel unwell so I decided to leave. I decided to give the Yuri Panel a try but I was a little bit anxious about that panel as I anticipated it was going to be like the Hentai Panel from last year. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed it. The two ladies spoke about the concept of Yuri, played a few clips and showed a few photos of female couples, including Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. There were some very risqué photos and clips but it didn’t overwhelm me once and I think it helped that I sat right in the corner near the back so I could “escape” anytime but luckily there was no need to “=)

I was nearly tempted to go to the Burlesque show but by this time I felt that I needed a rest from socialising and big crowds and I went back up to my room for a couple of hours to be on my own in the peace and quiet.

After some respite I went to the party with my brother to dance to the loud music. I didn’t really enjoy it this time around as my body started to feel light and I was suffering with a really bad headache. I was really quite ill by this point so I left the party early to go to bed.

I didn’t particularly have a good night, I was restless for stress related reasons and for the sheer fact that I was sleeping in a bed that wasn’t my own. However, I wasn’t as homesick as I was last year and that was a humongous positive. The other positive so far was that I get to spend some more time with my niece as this was her first ever holiday away from home and I can say that I was part of that. =)

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Thanks for reading, stay tuned for part two. =)

Ryan^^/

My First Fanmade Comic

Hi everyone, did you all have a good Valentines Day yesterday?

I did. Yesterday I did the unthinkable and actually completed my first ever doujin comic. =D

It’s a Naruto x D-Frag Crossover. For many months I’ve had this image in my head of Roka (D-Frag) getting the better of Sasuke (Naruto) in the most comical way. All I’m doing at this moment is drawing and reading manga and I decided to take this opportunity to draw this comic whilst I was in the zone. In my mind it was successful as it came out as I exactly how I pictured it. =)

I also decided to give my original character, George the Robin, a debut as he makes a small cameo on page one. Can you spot him?

If you would like to see this comic, just check out the links below.^^/

Naruto x D-Frag Crossover Doujin Page One

Naruto x D-Frag Crossover Doujin Page Two

Naruto x D-Frag Crossover Doujin Page Three

 

I’m now going to take this opportunity to get some more rest as I’ve still got this rather nasty chest infection. I’ve got plenty of manga to read and anime to catch up on so I’m never bored. =)

 

Ryan.