Riding the Dragon: Part 2

Written By: Johnny


On Monday I described my childhood experiences with Dragon Ball Z, today I will tell you what brought me back into it, and ultimately making it a part of my life forever. Early 2014 I decided to get into Snapchat. Which is a social media app that allows you to send pictures or drawings to friends for 10 seconds or less before it disappears forever (unless you screen grab it). The drawing feature on Snapchat is pretty basic. A small color wheel (or palette if you have an android device) and one medium-thick brush that cannot change thickness and the ‘undo’ button only erases the most recent lines, so if you decide your first line was too curvy, well too bad, you have to start over. There are many artists out there that have perfected this technique. I do not consider myself among them but I have gotten better since I started back in January.

So early on my friends1 and I would snap each other crazy weird pictures and art, at first my thing was to draw over a picture of myself taking a dump and pretend I was surfing or apple picking. One night after drinking with Chris, I went home early and sent everyone who was still at the bar a Snapchat of me as a Super Saiyan (to the right). I was so proud of it I wanted to share it with some kind of Dragonball Snapchat fan page, so the next morning I went onto Instagram to find one, but I couldn’t. Did one exist?

If I pulled back and looked at the Snapchat Instagram page, or even the #snapchatart, I would have seen some snap art that was 10x better than mine. It would have discouraged me. But I didn’t do that, what I did was use Snapchat to create more DBZ Snapchats and ask my friends to do the same.

After a couple days I felt obligated, no, destined to create the page that featured the art that I was doing, and @dbzsnaps was born. I think what really drove me to it was Kevin Smith’s philosophy that led him to create the movie Tusk, “I want to see a movie like this, no one will ever make a movie lke this, I should make this movie.” Except in my case you replace ‘movie’ with ‘Instagram page’.

After starting the page, my dwindling campfire passion for Dragon Ball burned hotter than a hooker’s coochie with Chlamydia. I started to rewatch all of DBZ, no easy task because the uncut version has 291 episodes. I then watched all of the DBZ movies starting with the Dead Zone, and ending with Battle of Gods. I then started to watch all of Dragon Ball, which was way better than Z in many ways. Then the Dragon Ball movies, my favorite being Dragon Ball: The Path to Power, which is the retelling of the anime for its 10th anniversary. (BTW I watched all of this in about 3.5 months)

Dragon Ball Path to Power Poster

I’m very happy my life has gone down this road, I reunited with my favorite anime at a very exciting time in its history. A new movie is on its way with the Revival of one of Z’s most sinister villains, Freeza. Early last month marked the 30th Anniversary of the Dragon Ball Manga. I’ve already purchased the first two seasons of Dragon Ball Kai, which is the remastered version of Z that cuts out all of the filler, making it more true to the manga. The final chapter of Kai is currently airing in Japan and the uncut English version just began airing in the States on Adult Swim.

In the meantime, @dbzsnaps g37rew and grew and so did my art (most recent drawing to the left), as of writing this in December it has just reached 3700 followers and 2700 submissions. It takes up more of my time than it should but I love it and its not work to me. I’ve met amazing people and witnessed the creation of awesome artwork that exists just because my page gave it a reason to be created. I try and keep it respectful for everyone and I’m happy I’ve been able to make a pl;ace where I can go and not be judged and strangers accept me for who I am. So if you’re reading this because you saw the link in my page, thank you for having an interest in what I do, and double thank you for getting this far(so many words in this blog entry aghhh). I hope you are passionate about something and pursue it with all your heart no matter how many people say it’s weird or pointless., It’s never pointless if it means something to you, never forget that.

Enjoy some photos of my favorite snaps below, and if you’re ever on Instagram, Snapchat, or Tumblr; follow @dbzsnaps


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