* There's an IchiRuki (as in an Ichigo and Rukia romantic pairing) fanart and fanfic contest going over at the IchiRuki FC at Bleach Asylum for Halloween. You can find more details here. This is the contest that is going to break my through my writer's block like a steel ball because I've got my eye set on that fanfic prize--a poster of the phone spread! One of my favorite color spreads by Kubo!
* Oh, and don't forget the Second Annual debbiechan and Ishida's birthdays Contest! I'll have more details about the rules and neat prizes I've scored for you contestants later. I must clean up after Hurricanes Gustav and Ike (Ike was no biggie--he blew around some lawn chairs and we lost internet for a mere three hours today)and I'll get cooking with promoting that contest. I'm all a-flutter about the RenIshiHime category.
* Today, when the power was out, because my tablet is broken, I drew some more with colored pencils.
Here is a Rukia for Kit's birthday (which was long ago but I couldn't seem to draw anything for it that wasn't cross-eyed---this Rukia is a little better than previous drawings).
* Lastly, here are some daily noodles. Maybe not the fortifying kind that come in a bowl with lots of seasoning and calories ... maybe the stray kind you find dried up on your lapel an hour after lunch is over ... but I was visiting the forums again (oh, I can NOT help myself!) after my 10 day diet from them (thanks to Hurricane Gustav--I could never have quit forums on my own) and the one ridiculous statement I kept seeing over and over was "when Kubo writes the words, then (fill in the blank) will be canon." People demand text. Orihime has declared her love for Ichigo; ipso facto her love is canon. Byakuya told a touching story about his wife that showed his love for her, but his love for her, by these peoples' definition, is not canon--they require text.
Guys, manga is a visual medium. You can't have the story spoon-fed to you in simple sentences. Sometimes the author has to show, imply, infer meanings. (Warning; slight shipping content)
Rukia tells us about her life with Kaien. She TELLS US IN WORDS WHAT HAPPENED AND WHAT SHE FELT ABOUT IT.
But look at the damn picture. Here she is saying how wonderful she felt around Kaien but she obviously looks UNHAPPY.
Closed eyes, ta downturned mouth, that expanse of white space around her that Kubo-sensei has said before he uses when he wants to focus on a character. It's not until the following panels that we know why Rukia is unhappy. She doesn't come right out and say why though.
The message is inferred.
Now, tell me. The text reveals a simple fact. What does the art say? You see close ups of Kaien eyeballs and Rukia eyeballs and a Rukia with what is obviously a very pained expression on her face.
She was in love with Kaien-dono.
How much more obvious does the story-teller have to be?
Remember when Ishida was fighting Mayuri in SS and Ishida had sacrificed his all power, his Quincy identity basically, in order to have that last one power surge that would allow him to fight? Was it for revenge because of what Mayuri had done to his grandfather? It seemed so--Ishida was shown the desecration of Souken in a picture and then suddenly he was shown standing swearing to kill Mayuri.
But the juxtaposition of pictures tells us something else.
Ishida isn't fighting for revenge (and eventually he doesn't kill Mayuri--I would even argue that he spares him; Nemu herself makes this observation). Ishida doesn't understand things that we, the audience, are supposed to understand. Ishida doesn't know why he wants to fight--but we are supposed to know who he wants to protect (Orihime) and Ishida doesn't know what his father wanted to protect (him, Ryuuken's son).
Look at Souken's knowing glance. In the next frame he pats Ishida on the head and tells him that in time he will know what his father wanted to protect. But we, the audience, are already supposed to know.
This is good story-telling.
This is telling by inference.
This is telling without SPELLING IT OUT WORD PER WORD.
This is what a lot of people who read Bleach (I hope) will never get insofar as resolution for the relationships I find most important to the main story--what Ichigo and Rukia feel for one another.