Category Archives: Brainstorming

Conflicted About “47 Ronin”

Related Post: Attack on Titan: Analogy to World War II.

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From Left to Right: Rinko Kikuchi, Tadanobu Asano, Hiroyuki Sanada, Keanu Reeves, and Kou Shibasaki.
Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

I am very conflicted about going to see 47 Ronin starring Keanu Reeves in theaters December 25th.

On one hand, the film seems to have little to do with Chūshingura (忠臣蔵), the original kabuki (歌舞伎) play I read in the “Traditional Japanese Literature” class I took at Sophia University (上智大学) in Tokyo. Moreover, the film has reportedly not done well with Japanese audiences.

BUT, on the other hand, I really want to support the amazing selection of Japanese actors cast in the film. And, for that reason, I’ve devised the following list…

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Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Hiroyuki Sanada (真田広之)

  • Best known for in the U.S.: Dogen on Lost (Season 6).
  • Notable Accolades: He performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company and received an honorary MBE award.
  • Why is he awesome?: While filming The Last Samurai (2003), he almost cut off Tom Cruise’s head (“Cruise has brush with death”).
  • Film Recommendations: Sanada-san stars in my favorite samurai film The Twilight Samurai (2002). This film has only two fight scenes (one short and one long), but they are both jaw-dropping in their seemingly effortless choreography and will have you on the edge of your seat!

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Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Kou Shibasaki (柴咲コウ)

  • Best known for in the U.S.: Mitsuko Souma in Battle Royale (2000); she was slated to play Gogo Yubari’s twin sister Yuki in Kill Bill, but dropped out due to other commitments.
  • Notable Accolades: She won a Japanese Academy Award for her performance in Go (2001).
  • Why is she awesome?: She starred in the first Japanese television drama I ever watched called Orange Days (2004) in which she played a deaf character, performing all her lines in Japanese sign language.  Plus, she’s an adorable pop singer (“KISS Shite” by KOH+).
  • Film Recommendations: Shibasaki-san stars alongside Joe Odagiri in one of my favorite Japanese films called La Maison de Himiko (2005) about a young woman who is asked by her dying father’s young male lover to work in her father’s nursing home for gay men.

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Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Rinko Kikuchi (菊地凛子)

  • Best known for in the U.S.: Mako Mori in Pacific Rim (2013).
  • Notable Accolades: She was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Babel (2006).
  • Wh is she awesome?: She’s the first Japanese actress in 50 years to be nominated for an Oscar! Plus, she’s appeared in a number of films with Tadanobu Asano (see below) including his directorial debut Tori (2003).
  • Film Recommendations: I absolutely adore The Brothers Bloom (2009), starring Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, and (of course) Rinko Kikuchi!! :) Kikuchi-san silently pantomimes throughout this film and is an absolute delight to watch.

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Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Tadanobu Asano (浅野忠信)

ONE OF MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE ACTORS!

Some of these film recommendations might be hard to find outside of Japan. If you’re having trouble finding a title and really want to watch it, message me at gegallas@hotmail.com and I’ll see if I can help! :)

Also, for those of you who go see 47 Ronin, leave a comment here and let me know what you think!

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Please visit my store: thepoetandtheflea.storenvy.com!

For more updates, follow me on facebooktumblr and twitter.

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


New Year’s Resolutions 2014

Related Post: New Year’s Resolutions: End-of-the-Year Evaluation!

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2014

This may be a few weeks early, but I’m getting the ball rolling…!

  1. Fund and film my first short, Death Is No Bad Friend.  This is a ginormous endeavor and I’ve already put so much time and energy into it. Our trailer turned out beautifully and I’m both nervous and excited to launch our Indiegogo campaign mid-January (if everything goes as planned). For more information, please visit and follow Siren’s Gaze Productions at sirensgazeproductions.wordpress.com.
  2. Finish the script for The Poet and the Flea. Check out my plan here: Happy 256th Birthday, Mr. William Blake!
  3. Work on the next 10 illustrated pages of The Poet and the Flea. I’ve decided to dedicate December to this goal! I’ve been working on pages 31 through 40 for the past week or so, and have made much progress. I’m almost done outlining everything in ink and will begin with greyscale markers very soon. If everything goes well, I may even start on pages 41 through 50 this month!
  4. Work on the next 10 illustrated pages of The First Reich. I’m hoping to work on pages 11 through 20 in January. :)
  5. Find a publisher and/or agent to represent my work. How? Well, I’ve tried inquiry letters and I’ll continue down that path. But I also want to attend some major book fairs so that I can meet publishers and agents in person and chat with them. We’ll see how this goes!
  6. Get settled in Washington, D.C. Meaning I’d like to reconnect with old friends and make new ones too. Also, I’d like to network with D.C. filmmakers and try to get involved in local filmmaking. This past Wednesday, I met with two filmmakers — Steve and Kate — to discuss a collaborative stop motion animation short film. I’m excited to see how this project shapes up and will post more information about it soon!
  7. Attend some more film festivals. My wonderful time in Cannes has motivated me to expand my experience of film festivals. I hope to attend some local D.C. film festivals as well as perhaps some bigger ones like Tribeca or maybe even Telluride. I also plan on looking into the Creative Minds program in Toronto (though I probably won’t have the money for that).
  8. Get a decent part-time job and earn a little money. This has been a real struggle for me — getting paid versus doing something I love. I really don’t want to settle for a job that has nothing to do with my interests. But everything to do with my interests are unpaid or not enough to make ends meet. We’ll see…
  9. Perhaps invest in some film equipment and/or filmmaking software. I need to do more research in this realm, but I’m interested in learning more about Final Cut Pro, Dragonframe, and other film/animation software.
  10. Very long-term goal: Move to Brooklyn! I do miss New York City and feel that it’s the best place for me as a filmmaker. I’m hoping to start building up a nest egg so that I can eventually move! :D

This is a very challenging set of New Year’s Resolutions, but you never know until you try! :D

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Please visit my store: thepoetandtheflea.storenvy.com!

For more updates, follow me on facebooktumblr and twitter.

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


New Year’s Resolutions: End-of-the-Year Evaluation!

Related Post: New Year’s Resolutions, Anyone? and New Year’s Resolutions: Mid-Year Evaluation!

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2013

Once again, I’ve revisited my 2013 New Year’s Resolutions — and I think I’ve done a pretty good job! Some goals didn’t work out and other I’m still working on. But, all in all, I feel that I’ve accomplished a lot this year. :)

Coming Soon: New Year’s Resolutions 2014!!!

In the meantime, here’s the breakdown…

Goals for 2013

  1. Complete materials for Elias & The City of Cats (hopefully before the end of January) and send out to publishers. I completed the materials for Elias & The City of Cats early April. The book hasn’t been picked up by a publisher yet, but I’m glad for the experience. In June, I was hired by Zest Books for a number of freelance illustrations and Scared Stiff: Everything You Need to Know about 50 Famous Phobias featuring 50+ of my illustrations will be released this coming February. :D When I get the chance, I’m hoping to write a children’s book myself entitled The Flatulent Earl. And, of course, I’d love to continue illustrating other writer’s work!
  2. Finish first 10 pages of The First Reich and get them up online. I completed the cover and first 10 pages of The First Reich in October and am excited to continue on to the next 10 pages. A preview zine of the completed pages is available on my online store The Poet and the Flea Market at thepoetandtheflea.storenvy.com/products/3203094-the-first-reich-zine.
  3. Begin working with Masa and Gabe on full-length screenplay collaboration The Blanks (working title), to be finished before June 2013. This project really didn’t go anywhere. But, in the meantime, I’ve helped a few other screenwriters edit/fix their screenplays. So that was an accomplishment!
  4. Send out query letters about my completed full-length screenplays to production companies. I’ve sent out a number of query letters to publishers, agents, etc. about both my screenplays and graphic novels. No success yet, but I just gotta keep trying!!! Next year, I’m hoping to attend some big book fairs in order to scope out and talk to publishers and agents. We’ll see how this goes!
  5. Finish the script for The Poet and the Fleahopefully somewhere between 60 – 75 pages. This is still a really important goal! And I am making progress one step at a time. For more details, please see my post Happy 256th Birthday, Mr. William Blake!
  6. Work on my first zine (possibly a tie in with The Flea) and self-print it. I have succeeded in creating and self-publishing a number of zines this year — “Smithereens,” “The Ink Drinker,” and previews of both The Poet and the Flea and The First Reich. I’ve really enjoyed learning how to self-bind these little books. :) Furthermore, I’ve exhibited these at the SF Zine Fest, SPX, and APE. So I feel very accomplished in this arena. You can check out all my zines and other merchandise at The Poet and the Flea Market (thepoetandtheflea.storenvy.com).
  7. Open up a Storenvy account to sell zines and other merchandise (prints, t-shirts, etc.). Done and done!!! The Poet and the Flea Market (thepoetandtheflea.storenvy.com).
  8. Work on the next 10 illustrated pages of The Poet and the FleaThen the next 10, and so on and so forth!! This goal is currently in progress! :)
  9. Find a reliable and talented director and/or producer to turn one of my short scripts into a short film. Then enter the short film into a number of festivals. I have a whole cast and crew lined up to help me transform my short script Death Is No Bad Friend into a short film! Currently, we are hoping to launch our Indiegogo campaign January/February 2014 and, if we get funded, film around June/July. This is an extremely challenging project for me and I hope you all will support our efforts! For more information, please visit Siren’s Gaze Productions (sirensgazeproductions.wordpress.com).
  10. Finally get an official internship, fellowship, and/or job in a field of interest. January through April, I worked as an intern at Zest Books.  In May, I went to the Cannes International Film Festival through the American Pavilion Film Program. I earned a little money and lots of experience illustrating Scared Stiff: Everything You Need to Know about 50 Famous Phobias. Now, I’m about to start work on a collaborative stop motion animation project. The busy bee never rests!

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Please visit my store: thepoetandtheflea.storenvy.com!

For more updates, follow me on facebooktumblr and twitter.

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


Adventure in Tomahawk Cemetery (est. 1870)

Related Post: Cross-Country Adventure Hiatus!

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Not much happened on the road… But this was the highlight of my cross-country trip!

To my surprise, right next to our hotel in Kansas was this charming 19th-century cemetery. So I thought I’d jump the very short fence with my shiba inu Nikki (who I had to throw over) and have ourselves a little adventure. :)

The most interesting tidbit about Tomahawk Cemetery is that there is a total of 65 marked unknown graves.

During a street widening project in the early 1990s, the City of Overland Park identified 30 obvious graves that would have to be relocated to another area of the cemetery to accommodate utilities. Some graves were missing headstones and many stones were illegible… Some of the graves identified had headstones that were moved, and for those missing headstones, new granite markers were be placed. While moving the graves, a large number of unmarked graves were uncovered, moved, and also marked. –Johnson County KSGenWeb

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Please visit my store: thepoetandtheflea.storenvy.com!

For more updates, follow me on facebooktumblr and twitter.

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


Character Design: The Toxins

Related Post: Logo: Radiant Pessimist Productions.

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Just in time for Halloween…

Long story short, not only have I had time to play around in my new sketchbook, but also I finally bought a new version of Photoshop Elements (upgraded from version 3 to version 12, ha ha ha).

Just some fun character designs!

The Toxins Colors

The Toxins 1The Toxins 2The Toxins 3The Toxins 4The Toxins 5The Toxins B&W

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Please visit my store: thepoetandtheflea.storenvy.com!

For more updates, follow me on facebooktumblr and twitter.

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


Long time no see, D.C.

Related Post: Plans for SPX 2013.

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As you already may know, I was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in the Potomac/Rockville/Bethesda area of Maryland. I haven’t had a chance to go back since 2011, so SPX (Small Press Expo) was a perfect excuse. :)

I had a little bit of extra time on Friday to visit the National Gallery of Art — and I am SO GLAD that I did. Ever since watching Nodame Cantabile, I discovered a great interest in Igor Stravinsky’s life and music, especially his ballets like The Rite of Spring and Petrushka. My interest became even greater with the film Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (starring my beloved Mads Mikkelsen). So I was very excited to get a chance to see the exhibit “Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909-1929: When Art Danced with Music.” I really learned a lot from this exhibit — about how the Ballets Russes commissioned so many amazing artists including Picasso, Matisse, Cocteau, de Chirico, etc. — and enjoyed seeing the original costumes and amazing costume designs. I was also excited to see Alexander Calder’s magnificent, ginormous mobile again — a childhood favorite.

Below are some photographs I took and images from the exhibit to give you a taste of my experience!

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Outside my friend Tina’s apartment complex.

SPX 2013 09

The Washington Monument, under construction.

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The National Gallery of Art, East Building.

Diaghilev 1

Design for the front cloth from Petrushka (Copenhagen revival), 1925, by Alexandre Benois.
Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Diaghilev 2

Costume design for Vaslav Nijinsky from The Afternoon of a Faun, 1912, by Léon Bakst.
Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Diaghilev 3

Costumes from The Rite of Spring, 1913, by Nicholas Roerich.
Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

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Costumes from Le Bal, 1929, by Giorgio de Chirico.
Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

SPX 2013 07

Alexander Calder sculpture right outside the gallery.

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Please visit my store: thepoetandtheflea.storenvy.com!

For more updates, follow me on facebooktumblr and twitter.

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


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