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Don't Be Sad, Merizan! - A Print for Jessica by koobismo Don't Be Sad, Merizan! - A Print for Jessica by koobismo
A print created for Jessica Merizan to thank her for all the support she has shown to myself and our lil' series. :)

It is based on the #SadMerizan twitter mini-meme created by Natalie Loftus (our Miranda and Jack, amongst others), which basically followed the adventures of a sad, tired and malnourished Jessica trying to reach out to the Mass Effect community while getting her energy from jelly beans and similar products...

...and then Marauder Shields came, bringing a delish pizza. ;)

A photo of Jessica receiving her print on San Diego Comic-Con 2012: [link]

All my scraps and additional stuff!
Be sure to check out my other scraps and unpublished stuff as well, including some funnies and my favorite shots from the comics (without speech bubbles), everything in this here scrapbook: [link]

A new poll about your favorite episodes!
If you haven't done so yet, tell me which of the listed episodes (starting with 24 and ending with 33) is your favorite (and why), in this poll: [link]

P.S. If you're trying to guess why Jessica is a Cerberus Nemesis... It's because we have a background character named "Merizzan" in episode 25, who will be returning soon. ;)
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:iconlukemcfc141:
LukeMCFC141 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2012  Student Writer
Merizan's sorta attractive.
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:iconbreakatmo:
BreakAtmo Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2012
Ironic costume choice - what's a Nemesis better at than killing your Shields? :D
Reply
:iconjacenleonhart:
jacenleonhart Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
A little SOS: Can someone please link me to ANY piece of news concerning Jessica actually dealing with the ME fandom on the endings? Sorry, all I saw were some of the Twitter posts and her interview with the BW higher-ups on the EC DLC endings, but I can guess where this is all going.

She really does deserve sympathy. It hard to deal with that kind of backlash, explaining BioWare's side and at the same time, getting to know just how pissed the fans are and relating that to the BioWare guys. I would know, since I had to help with some PR boo-boo's myself in my time.

JM did everything she could given the situation she had to work with, and it's not fair for some people to start flaming her because the ME3 endings sucked. Sadly, that's not the case. Something goes wrong in your company, people start blaming the company's workers as well, since in their mind: Company's work = company's people since they made it.

Not fair. So let me just say this to the flamers:

"The Alliance owes them medals, and the Council owes them more... and so do you." - Cmdr. Shepard

Besides koobs, at least she introduced you to the BioWare guys and they know you're doing a good thing here. That, in my book, is an indication that BW isn't as dick-headed as some people say they are. The fact that your work is being praised by the BW guys themselves means a lot.

Anyway, since she's a Cerberus Nemesis here... is she gonna get a part in the audiobooks as well if she has time? :-)
Reply
:iconnytell:
nytell Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012
I love this, actually i will use this for a wallpaper, and her face.. i love it too xD
Reply
:iconltkaidanalenko:
LtKaidanAlenko Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
Very generous of Shields, given the fact that she's been a part of horrible PR after the initial endings uproar, and has stated, among other things, that the Normandy was stranded on Mars (!). It seems Mr Shields knows how to forgive and forget! :D
Reply
:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
Horrible PR? Quite the opposite - Jessica is both an amazing person and an amazing community manager, seeing what she was given to work with and how we were all fed up with the endings.

Listen, this may sound like ass-kissin' (and if you do think so, just refer to my previous posts about EC and the Leviathan DLC to see that I don't really wear white gloves when giving out my opinions ;)), but I do know how this works from the other side... I've never been a community manager, but I've worked for companies that actually had a few, and there's a big, big, big difference between "what a community manager wants to do and tell" and what he or she is issued to work with, the constraints and bullet-points that the company sends from the top.

If there is one thing that I cannot agree on when it comes to Retake is that a percentage of the people involved want to flame individuals from BioWare for, well, doing their jobs. As if it was common knowledge that it was their personal choice or fault that the ending turned out to be what it turned out to be. Allow me to give ya' a hint: not Jessica's fault. ;) And as far as I know, contrary to the popular belief, not anyone's precise fault. Blame the process, hate the endings, don't hate the people.

Now, as far as Mr. Shields forgiving anything - yes, we (as in: the MS team and myself) *do* forgive her for the utter crimes of supporting us immensely, talking to us as one of the first people from BioWare, helping us out with her knowledge, being in constant contact, promoting us on twitter and other channels, being excited to see where the comic will go and - last but not least - getting us drinks and introducing us to BioWareians on Comic-Con. ;) Yes, we do forgive that. ;)
Reply
:iconltkaidanalenko:
LtKaidanAlenko Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
I have drifted pretty far away from JM and onto more general rant about BioWare PR as a whole, so another example, this time involving her more directly. Remember, it's before the EC was even announced, every ME fan out there is running around the internet like a chicken with its head chopped off, trying to sort out what is up with the abysmal endings, the IT emerges suddenly and is yet to become the next best hope for something better, and teleporting squadmates and the Normandy getting stranded are the main issues at hand. And, all of a sudden, Jessica Merizan tweets that the Normandy is stranded on MARS. I mean, the planet in the game scene is green and has two freakin' moons. But yeah, Mars. And this is just the crown jewel, there were more Twitter diamonds like this. It was just bloody annoying :D . The sole fact that Twitter was used to tell parts of the story by a mainstream game developer (killing Emily Wong via Twitter - WTF, BioWare?) was awfully annoying... I guess I don't like Twitter very much (Sorry Koobs :P )
Reply
:iconnytell:
nytell Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012
the incident you mention, its just another proof, that she was under incredible pressure. And nothing more.
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:iconltkaidanalenko:
LtKaidanAlenko Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012
Sure, no doubt about that. I wouldn't even call that an "incident", more of a mishap, and it was just a small dot on the whole bigger picture, which was a bad one. (Look below at my previous post). Heck, just the fact that she, as the community manager, had to explain parts of the game story to the audience shows how bad the situation had been.
Reply
:iconredsteven:
redsteven Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
Your passion is appreciated, but this isn't the place : \
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:iconltkaidanalenko:
LtKaidanAlenko Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012
It's not really the time, either, since this is all pretty much beating a dead horse, I just wanted to address what I meant by "horrible PR".
Reply
:iconltkaidanalenko:
LtKaidanAlenko Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
Listen, I realise and acknowledge all this, I really do. Maybe my post came out more negative towards Miss Merizan than I meant for it to be. I'm aware she has an ungrateful job and does it as well as she possibly can. But as for the general BioWare PR and response to the initial uproar about the original endings (way before EC), and a lot of forum responses done by Chris Priestly and the mods on BSN, as well as entries on the BioWare Blog - it was all really rather unfriendly and dismissive, with a lot of intelligence-insulting overtones of "it's not our fault y'all don't get our mighty endings, they are ART!" This is where the entire widely ridiculed "artistic integrity" meme stems from. Oh boy, it's going to be a lengthy post...

Here's an example: [link]

What we're seeing here is a quote from Stanley Woo, a mod on BSN, in response to people saying the endings were pretty much all the same and no choices mattered. Pretty dismissive, wouldn't you say? He says "we didn't put the RGB mark on the game, you (the players) did". Never mind that it is really a polite way of saying "you're too dumb to understand the endings", the funny thing is that above that quote there's a print screen from a location of files from ME3, which someone has dug up some time later. The files are for endgame cutscenes. Their names clearly say: Red. Green. Blue. Just look at the picture, it's so bad it's actually stupendously hilarious.

This is just one example, but the entire assortment of responses people have managed to get out of BioWare (which was kinda scarce in the first place), including, among others, Jessica's tweets, BW blog entries and Ray Muzyka's statement, was kept in this rather dismissive tone. I don't know who's fault it is and it's not really that important, especially after all that time, but what remains is a lingering distaste of the company which was and largely still is essentially unwilling to admit that they have, indeed, screwed up. I am not hating on BioWare here, but I have an impression they might not be making games that are for me anymore, when the situation is this: they screw up (not for the first time from what I've heard - vide DA2 controversy), have thousands of people telling them they've screwed up, which they essentially fail to acknowledge, come off a bit narcissistic and on their high horse, and then basically start creeping backwards and walking in circles, making half-assed attempts to sort out the mess they've created. So, all that is what I meant when I said "horrible PR".

And by "creeping backwards", "walking in circles" and "half-assed attempts (to sort the mess out)" I mean the EC and the Leviathan DLC, which are pretty much attempts to validate the original screw-up by expanding on it and providing additional background (the last part of Leviathan) which ends up with giving us, essentially, an upgrade to the famous "I heard you didn't wanna be killed by synthetics so I made some synthetics to kill you" meme to "synthetics created by organics will always kill their creators so we've created some synthetics to solve this..." etcetera. But you know all this, you've said as much in the Leviathan review :) .

Back on topic, I've spent way too much time on BSN after the endings, it was all rather emotional and mostly unpleasant, so now after the all the responses I've been talking about, after the dust had settled, forgive me while I approach every future BioWare PR statement with a little scorn-pouring.

Another bunch of bad nuts is the role the rEApers had to play in all this, but that's a topic for a different discussion, methinks :) .
Reply
:icontherealjaydee:
TheRealJayDee Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012
I have to agree with LtKaidanAlenko on pretty much everything. I get that PR and community management is a shitty job, especially if the product that's discussed generates so much controversy and emotions like ME3. But there were a lot of things before and after the release of ME3 that made me as a customer and part of the Bioware community feel like I'm being made a fool of, and that's just not a good feeling.

I don't know who actually is responsible for deciding what is allowed to be discussed and commented on by mods and Bioware employees and how it's allowed to be discussed and commented on, but in the end it's the mods who act on whatever orders they have that will take the heat. Still, I believe there are ways to deal with certain topics that are way more elegant and honest than what I've witnessed around the releases of both DA2 and ME3.

The way the issues of a) the broken face import and b) the non-existance of enough War Assets to get all SP content without playing multiplayer were handled alone have severely (and irreparably?) damaged my goodwill towards Bioware('s PR and community management). Silence, misinformation and maybe outright lies do not help to solve anything, and will not help to improve the feelings of customers towards either a company or a product.

Now I do believe that Jessica Merizan is a really nice person, I really do, but that doesn't change my feelings about how Bioware's PR handled things, and that was imo mostly rather poorly. Like I said, I don't know what restrictions they had work with, and I can imagine that everyone just wanted to do a good job, but honestly, I don't feel they did. I have to add that while I don't remember Jessica ever being that much helpful in dealing with the problems at hand I also don't remember her seemingly being actively not helpful, like for example Chris Priestly gave me the impression of being sometimes.

Anyways, as you can see this is a topic that isn't really one I can deal with cool-headed, so I'm just gonna stop right now. Like LtKaidanAlenko I spent way too much time on the BSN, and like he said that wasn't always a very pleasant experience. I feel a little ridiculous sometimes that a game generates that much emotion in me, but damn, it's Mass Effect.

If only ME3 had been the game it should have been, the game we hoped for. We probably would all be friends, and there'd be no hard feelings. But hey, we do have this funny little comic called Marauder Shields, and that is something many can enjoy and discuss, be they Bioware employees or disgruntled Bioware fans.

Thanks again, koobs!
Reply
:iconredsteven:
redsteven Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012
Have no fear, marauder shields is here!... to make everything better.
Reply
:icontherealjaydee:
TheRealJayDee Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012
Okay, that's what you get for posting yourself in rage. I never meant to say that community management in general is a shitty job. I think it can be great fun and really satisfying - unless you have to deal with something like the ME3 backlash. And even then there will be lots of good things coming from the job, I imagine.
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:iconchapomon:
Chapomon Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
I wonder what kind of pizza it is. :hungry:
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:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
Knowing me it's probably salami/pepperoni. ;) But generally anything non-vegetarian will do, I love meat.
Reply
:iconsami217:
sami217 Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
can i ask u something do you paint these pics and comics yourself or you have a whole team
Reply
:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
I do them myself, but calling the process "painting" would be pretty... undetailed. ;)

Allow me to just copy a reply I pasted for someone last week:

"The base of a single shot (as in: the first layer) is always a screenshot from one of the games (ME1, ME2, ME3), a GMOD render, a bought royalty-free photo or something I cook up from ground zero (I recently started using Sculptris) - usually it's around 3 to 10 such thingies collaged into a single shot (but I think my record went beyond 30 in a single frame). Once I'm happy with the shot and I've relighted it a bit, I drag it through my post-processing routine: adding effects, using filters/plugins, playing with colors, depth of field, brightness, contrast, finally a bit of overpainting with my Intuos 4 tablet (started doing a lot more of that recently - I think it shows), which finally leads to last touch-ups, usually involving making everything even more contrastey and spicing it up with even more lens flares and heavy lighting. I always emphasize that I'm not a graphical artist, but a writer and a storyteller - the comics have the nice lil' pictures to showcase the story, not the other way around, so I'm not really claiming any special credit for the graphics."
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:iconsilverignika:
SilverIgnika Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012
Hey Koobs, I don't know about everyone else, but I think it'd be pretty cool if you did a "behind-the-scenes" look at the process behind putting these comics together. Not that you don't already have a lot on your plate; just might be kinda neat.

And I've got to ask, because I can't figure it out; which frame contained over 30 elements? Just curious.
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:iconsami217:
sami217 Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012
thx for the info
Reply
:iconnicart9:
nicart9 Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012  Student General Artist
I believe he uses the game's character models and renders an artistic filter over it in an image editing program along with other visual adjustments to make it look more comic-like.
Reply
:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
Ayes, that's the gist of it - I've posted a full reply above.
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:icontherealjaydee:
TheRealJayDee Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012
That is... adorable!
Reply
:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
Thank you. ^^
Reply
:iconfritodan:
FritoDan Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012
I love how MS seems to look at her so sympathetically, haha.

Way to go, man. Very thoughtful of you.
Reply
:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
Thanks. :) I really want to emphasize that Jessica was and is a dear to myself and the whole project - she a friend of what we're doing and I can't be anything less but completely grateful and happy about that. :)
Reply
:iconhaupmann:
Haupmann Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012
...lol.
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:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
:)
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:iconstrawberryrainpop:
StrawberryRainPop Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012
She suffered for Bioware's sins.
Reply
:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
And I hope we will see #HappyMerizan soon. ;)
Reply
:iconbig-wired:
Big-Wired Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012
Oh wow, love the art design! Black and gold do go well together.
Reply
:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
Heh, Cerberus always uses the best colors, doesn't it. ;)
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:iconporecomesis:
Porecomesis Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012
And she STILL looks upset.
Reply
:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
That's because she didn't get the pizza yet - Marauder is still approaching. :D
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:iconporecomesis:
Porecomesis Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
Shields, I know having an arm blown off can slow you down a bit but can you PLEASE pick up the pace?
Reply
:iconbon-fire5:
Bon-Fire5 Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hehehe, Marauder looks so innocent. Or in love.
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:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
Indeed. :D
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:iconthegman123:
TheGMan123 Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012
or both!
Reply
:iconthewonderingsword:
TheWonderingSword Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012   Writer
Jessica we :salute: you!
Reply
:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
And we should. :) She really is a friend to our lil' project. That's why she's the part of a group I like to call "the BioWare Coolcats", people who are incredibly cool towards us.
Reply
:iconthewonderingsword:
TheWonderingSword Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012   Writer
Glad to have her on our side.
Reply
:iconcoobalt-dahonli-one:
Coobalt-Dahonli-One Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012
Awesome! XD
Reply
:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
Thanks! :)
Reply
:iconmatt67potter:
matt67potter Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012
ah bad guy kill kill
Reply
:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
Just to be clear, neither Jessica, nor Marauder should be considered a "bad guy". x)
Reply
:iconmatt67potter:
matt67potter Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
why their in the ememy unfiorm so to speak
Reply
:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
Because Cerberus has the prettiest uniforms. :D In all seriousness: I'm just playing around by putting Tully Ackland and Jessica Merizan on opposing fronts (Tully is seen as an N7 Marine, Jessica as an elite Cerberus sniper). :)
Reply
:iconmarclallen:
marclallen Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012
Great!
Reply
:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
Thanks! :)
Reply
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