Monday, October 31, 2005

My Digtial Stripper costs $20 a song.

If you're not a webcomic geek, ignore this post.

One of the things I've sort of prided myself on is how little I know about the comings and goings of the whole webcomic community/industry/super-secret treehouse/scene. Up until about 2 or 3 months ago, I wasn't even aware that there were "webcomic collectives" on the Internet, besides Keenspot, and I only recently found out that Jin "I am Not a Goth" Wicked is still alive. A few of you might understand how dramatically "sheltered" that is in regards to webcomics. I stumble back into the scene every now and again. Each time, while I do end up running screaming from the abyss, I go little deeper with each attempt. Eventually, I find someone on the fringe with a good view, and clinge to them like crazy. Bob Stevenson of Journey into History was the first "webcomic reviewer" that I could stomach. Not pretentious in the least, he would actually point out when other people were "over-romanticizing" the whole webcomic phenomenon. (Check out some of his stuff at the Webcomic Examiner to see what I'm talking about.) Sadly, Bob's "real job" took over, and his webcomic reviewing came to a close.
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And thus I started listening to Digital Strips. Well, it's not that simple, but that's close. For the people who don't know, Digital Strips is a website where two guys do a weekly "radio-show" in which they review webcomics. This is both very good and sort of bad.
Here’s the site:
The Good: Digital Strips does not have its own webcomic to peddle. Well, it does, but it's more of a side note, kind of like the Opera section on my site (or even the Comic section, if you're feeling particularly brutal). So without a secret motive, they just give you news. Also, Digital Strips doesn't flood you with too much information. That may not sound like a good thing, but it is for someone who's not drowning in the scene. They don't report every single thing....just the important stuff. That's starting to change a bit now with updates about t-shirts going on sale, but let's not split hairs. I guess that I find their site much easier to digest info about webcomics on than, say, Comixpedia or The Webcomics Examiner. Sure, both of those sources go MUCH deeper into any topic, but whenever I visit those places, I've no idea where to begin. It’s kind of intimidating. They're both great souces, but right now I enjoy my information in a small dose labelled Digital Strips. It just feels more casual somehow.
The Bad: Have any of you seen the movie "Comic Book Confidential" from 1988? It's a documentary film about the history of the comic book industry. It features a whole slew of artist/writers, including Frank Miller, Stan Lee, Robert Crumb, and Harvey Pekar to name a few. You know what's lame about the movie? There's nothing more embarassing than watching an adult try to describe what's going on in a comic panel when you can't see it. You know what I'm talking about. We've all had the friend who likes to "tell you" what was funny about the comic they just read. Sometimes the joke works, othertimes it doesn't. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that the punchline is funny in context of the strip, and when you add a phrase like "and in the final panel he's wearing a duck suit" you very often are killing the joke. If you don't believe me, rent the movie and tell me you don't squirm from embarassment for Stan Lee when he starts reading a Spiderman comic to you, complete with voices. Maybe it's just me, but that's the flaw I find in the structure of audio reviewing of a visual medium.

Damn. I meant to write a geeky endorsement of Digital Strips (because it's the only webcomic news source I routinely look at) and ended up getting seriously sidetracked. Reviewing a review site? What the hell is wrong with me? As penance, here’s a comic about the Digital Strips guys that won’t make any sense to you if you don’t know the show/site. I doodled it a while back when I noticed how EVERYONE started doing their own webcomic review-type podcast. Anyway, about two, maybe three, of you should enjoy it:
I've had it for a little while, but didn't have an excuse to post it. So I had to make one. Enjoy yourselves and talk to you later.
“who obviously has too much time on his hands...still.”

A Monster by Any Other Name?

I didn't have the heart to include this in the Halloween List of Monsters, but that didn't stop me from painting it and posting it here:
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I swear, the point of this isn't to offend for the sake of offense.
Think about it for a second. If you set aside Christian Mythology (in academic circles)/Faith (in less than academic circles), Jesus is the son of a God (remember, the Old Testement was polytheistic) that gets wrongfully tortured, killed, and rises from the grave not unlike a zombie. If it was a horror movie, Jesus would have been stabbing Roman teens with the nails that were still in his hands. Well, maybe not, but the whole idea of "Christian Guilt" ties into this as well. Hell, I think a LOT of people have had dreams where Jesus walks in on them having sex and he rants about how they're going to hell. I mean, I've had that dream and I'm told it's not that uncommon...but I digress before I piss off more people.
In short: I figure any living dead guy that's got half his genes from an otherworldly source that helps enforce a strict code of moral conduct isn't that far off from being a monster. Of course, this is all about taking Jesus out of his traditional context and spending too much time watching horror movies. Remember: The teens who sin (sex, drugs, and, well, coveting your neighbors mule) are the first to die in any horror film. They're like macabre morally-extremist religious tracts in cinematic form. Or something like that.
Enjoy your Halloween everybody.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

More Pumpkin Love...

What? You thought I'd only carve one pumpkin this year?
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Yes, those are bananas.
By the way, you're looking at the first pumpkin I've ever had to carve (the others I've just painted). It's not terrible, but I have to say the whole "pumpkin viscera" all over my kitchen is nothing short of terrifying. Someone get me when they can genetically modify pumpkins to be hollow. THEN I'd think about doing this again.

Last Minute Halloween Costume...

Despite my love for Halloween, I never figure out my costume until the last minute. Last night I ran to the Halloween/Party store to see what inspiration chose to attack me with. I ended up buying the following: A masquerade half-face mask (think plain white, phantom of the opera type), two spindles of red crepe ribbon, and one of those see-through hoods that make your face too dark to be seen by other people.
With a bit of tape, paint, and cutting a big hole in the hood (thus ruining it for other use), I created this:
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The best thing is that the "tentacles" move when I breathe. Don't ask me what it is....I only made it so I could wear a big black cloak and scare small children on the Subway.
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Better pictures will be up soon, but I thought I'd share the preliminary pics.

Monday, October 24, 2005

AOL News: Rosa Parks has a delicious Booty.

Let me tell you a little story about AOL and how it loads on my computer. If you don't have AOL, allowe me to explain something. When you're logged in, there is a "current events" slideshow going on that flips to a new news item every five to ten seconds. Sometimes it's real news and other times it's just AOL trying to sell you something (but still masquerading as news). Here's my problem:
When I log into AOL, the Image that goes with the Headline gets out of synch. It eventually corrects itself but sometimes it's confusing, like the time I saw an image of soldiers in Iraq under the headline "Madonna's new Tour is coming to your town!" When I logged in a few minutes ago, two new stories got their wires crossed and something similar happened. Check it out:
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:blink blink: That's Rosa Parks. The Civil Rights "I will not sit in the back of the Bus" lady...but what's this?
There's a weird statement being made when one of the people who helped start the Civil Rights movement is called "bootylicious" on the day she dies. Delicious. Booty. Rosa. Parks. I do NOT need AOL to try to sell me on 92 year old women with delicious booty.
Rosa Parks, rest in peace, you fighter for equality...and I'm sorry.
"who would so spend his money on a "booty oriented" Rosa Parks hiphop album"

Man, I've been updating the Blog too much lately.

As such, I'm going to address two random issues and then pretend I don't have anything to share for a day or so.
Issue one: Cosplay and Candy?
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I don't care if there ARE a lot of similarities. Don't taint my childhood. Please. If you don't know what I'm talking about: Good for you.
Issue Two: National Emo Day?
Recently I confessed (via Web-Catholicism) that I check my site's statistics too much. After making that confession I went cold turkey...purging such interests and web-popularity concerns (mostly) from my mortal flesh. Up until yesterday. Then I found out some fun stuff. Fun stuff such as learning out that one image that I put on the site MONTHS ago was now being hotlinked to in what seemed like a bajillion blogs and forums. The good side: Since I almost never get any feedback about the Strange Art pieces, it's nice to know a bunch of people like it. The down side: Holy crap that was a lot of bandwidth leeching. That and, by following a few of the links my Host informed me were hotlinking to the image, I found out that a few people were taking credit for the picture and one girl was even making T-shirts. So very weird. I talked to the guys taking credit (they were actually pretty apologetic) and the people making T-shirts....aren't anymore. Nice people...just didn't bother to think or something. :shrug: Live and learn, right? Oh and here's the image in question (which now includes my web-address):
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It's totally weird to find out one random painting you did as a joke for someone is being passed around the internet like a bipolar girlfriend. Very weird.
On a related note: A few of you know that I hate talking about money. As such I feel pretty guilty drawing your attention to ANYTHING of material value. So, with guilt in mind, I must confess that I put the above Emo Emu on T-shirts and swag. Actually my manager did it for me, but you get the idea. In our/her/my defense, I felt it needed to be put in the store out of principle: Other people were already cashing in on it for me. Gah. Since I'm going to hell anyway, here's a link: And yes, I'm aware Cafe Press is pretty evil. Sadly, with me living in the land of Europe, it's the only option.
I don't know why I feel so weird about talking about money in relation to the website. I think it has something to do with so many people approaching them like a business rather than something fun, as stuff like this should be. Yes, this website pays my bills from time to time, but that's not what it's about. I'll quit rambling on about the topic and let you get on with your day. Enjoy yousrelves and be warned: Soon I will have to re-unleash The Capitalist Pig. You were warned.
"who will one day have to get over his hatred for making money"

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Weekly Art Experiment: God Told Me To.

There's a weird routine that I go through every week to guarantee that I end up painting something that I wouldn't ordinarily paint. After my weekly update, I vow to paint or draw the next thing or two that I hear or read someone request. This includes contests and guest strips. It actually keeps me not only busy with new stuff but routinely meeting new people online. It's a fun practice and it's introduced me to a lot of people I wouldn't ordinarily have a conversation with online. Sometimes the person likes it (like the art for the Webcomic Telethon), sometimes they don't (like my Guest comic for 8-bit Theater) . Lately I've been kind of lucky. Last week it was art for a band called Tin Soldier Empire and guest art for PCweenies, and this week it was a comic for Monkey Day and a guest comic for a small manga webcomic called Angel Reaper. I don't read Angel Reaper (or any Manga come to think of it), but when I googled "Comic Contest", that site showed up on the first page. So I took it as a sign.
Btw the band Tin Soldier Empire (a Nintendo Gloom group, that's my term for it) has already been fooling around with making flyer with my design. Here it is, if you're curious:
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This afternoon I sat down to do a guest comic for the Angel Reaper project. I've been meaning to start experimenting with more "narrative" comics. While I like sticking to single frames, I'd like to pretend I can branch out from time to time. Angel Reaper actually had two contests going on. One was for a Guest Comic. I spent a few hours this evening and ended up creating this. While I don't think it's my best, maybe it'll bring you joy:
The other contest was a "color the Lineart" contest. So I turned This:
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Into this (by printing it out and painting it by hand):
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Like I already said: It's fun to experiment, even if it is for someone or something you don't really know.
At any given time there are at least two dozen people/sites looking for guest art/comics or just out there making weird artistic requests. By diving into the first one or two I see, I'm sure to meet people. It doesn't matter if their site is popular or not. Hell, it doesn't even matter if I LIKE whatever it is they usually do. As long as I don't have to draw naughty bits, I'm wiling to paint whatever the Fates toss into my path. It also introduces me to new realms of the Internet that I wouldn't normally dive into. It's the closest I get to promoting this website, and it's less about promoting than it is making people happy and trying out new stuff. God that makes me sound like a huge hippy. Damn it. Nevermind.
Before I forget, you can find Tin Soldier Empire here:
and you can find the original Angel Reaper site here:
Until later, enjoy yourselves.
"who hopes he hasn't offended anyone with this Blog post"

Saturday, October 22, 2005

A very special parting gift...

While I would never be so rude or confrontational to talk about this in person, I think the following doodle/toon accurately conveys what needs to be said:
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I'm not naming any names, but I think you have to have a pretty special relationship with someone to tolerate their curly pubes all over your face soap. I will say that I currently do NOT have this special relationship with anyone on the planet. Gah.

Why I really love Halloween & why Norain is Awesome.

In the past 48 hours, three interesting things have arrived at my doorstep: A package from my family in Florida, a package from a friend in Singapore, and a nasty fever. I'm not sure who to blame the sickness on, but me getting ill might actually have been a good thing. The logic behind this is simply that I don't really let myself sleep. It's a bad habit, I know, but I really feel I can't get enough done in a day. So even if I draw and paint for an entire day straight....I really don't feel it's enough. Sometimes it's a good problem, sometimes it's obnoxious. So anyway, me getting sick allowed me to get a LOT of sleep completely guilt-free....which was nice for a change. That said, let's get on to the more interesting things that showed up at my door:
The Birthday Box: Yesterday I opened a box from my family that contains about a half-dozen or so birthday presents for me to open in a couple weeks. (For those curious, my birthday is November 9th.) You see, this is the secret and true reason I love Halloween. Halloween is the harbinger of the Holiday season. Halloween, with all its candy and costumes, is quickly followed by my birthday which is followed by Thanksgiving which is followed by "National give gifts in the name of baby Jesus" day followed by New Years. Point is, the day my family mails me material goods to show their love is the day I know the holidays are really upon us. The worst part of getting the gifts now (which are wrapped) is that I really have to use the self-control that I don't have to resist not opening them.
The magic box from Singapore: If you'd asked me a year ago of what I thought of online friends, the answer would have been pretty cynical. I think it has something to do with people being less "accountable" for what they say and just having more freedom to be rude as hell. Of course, over the past year I've met a lot of great people online. I've even gone that extra step and actually met a few of them in real life, which has been without fail pleasant. My one friend in Singapore, Norain, randomly sent me a something: her Wacom drawing tablet. Now, while I do almost everything you see on the site by hand, the whole tablet thing has been something I've always wondered about. I think it has something to do with how everyone else seems to use them to create all sorts of magical things online. I'm extremely flattered that any friend, let alone someone I only know through digital words on my screen, would send me such a gift. So before I get all gooey and emotional, let me jus say: Norain, thank you. You rock. Really.
As penance, here are the first things I created while playing around with the tablet (and yes, I'm aware they're terrible).:
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Such a fun toy.
"who is more tech-stupid than you can imagine"

Monday, October 17, 2005

Eternity of Pumpkin Pain and Pleasures....

While I really made this for a Clive Barker article that's going on the site tomorrow night, I couldn't help but spoil the surprise:
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The joys of Halloween pumpkins, right? I really have too much spare time.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Never check your friend's hard drive....

You know that friend that I mentioned in the previous post? The totally geeky one? He's apparently got a rather large collection of hentai, cosplay, and, um, "other" pictures that he's been carrying around on his laptop as backpacks across Europe. I don't know if he's got them to trade for food/shelter/favors, but I did a terrible thing.
I looked.
I cannot undo what I have done. I cannot get back that little part of my soul that just died. I CAN illustrate how I feel though:
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It only took me a few minutes to throw together, but I think it conveys what I wanted it to: Opening my friend's "My Pictures" folder was very much akin to opening that damn box in Hellraiser. I seriously feel like hooks on chains broke through my computer screen and sunk into my (at the time) innocent flesh.
I miss the times when colors were brighter and children were still laughing in the park. Now the world is very cold....and filled with japanese video game characters doing things WITH things that they really, really shouldn't.

Why I stopped reading comic books....

This post is very geeky and not really that Art-related. My friend from America is staying with me and he's this total comic book dork and has dragged me into talking about comic books more than I ever thought I could. That said, here's a goofy rant/confession that came out my friend asking me why I don't read comic books:
I've mentioned comic books before on the blog, but I've never really shared why the hell I avoid them like the plague these days. That's not to say there's not anything good out there....just that I got sick of some of the crap involved in the whole comic book "industry."
The whole "Death of Superman" thing was a pretty popular reason to get out of comic books. I've said it before but I'll say it again: When they start interviewing people on CNN concerning the death of Superman, you'd better kill him. CNN. DC comics people appeared on CNN to talk about the death of a cultural icon. So, two months later when Superman was alive and well, you have to wonder what would bring DC comics to lie to a bunch of legitimate journalists? (I'm not saying "comic book reviewers" or whatever aren't journalists, but, well, it's not the same. CNN > Wizard magazine. But I digress.
The reason I got out of comic books is simply this: They kept killing off my characters simply to spice up their story. Now, I'll admit, no character should live forever. All stories have endings and I'm not naive enough to say that any character, no matter what his popularity, should survive everything that happens to him. But a character's end, no matter what it is, should have SOMETHING to do with the character, or SOMETHING to do with a grander plot, or, um something. When these stories still fail dramatically or when the only "strength" revolves around the "OMG A CHARACTER DIED!" factor, something starts to suck. Before I give you my two examples, I will confess that I have a weakness for the more light-hearted characters. Characters that bring comedy to the table, or at least spice up the usual imposed seriousness with a slightly askew perspective. In other words, I'm doomed to love the characters that are infinitely expendable...because if anyone watches horror movies you all know that the funny guy is the first to die. So when the writers of a comic book want to spice things up or change the title's direction, Mr. Light-hearted is usually the first to bite it. It doesn't matter that almost no one dies forever in a comic book universe...death usually means someone is out of circulation for 6-10 years...that's all. Still, when the dead guy was what kept you interested, that's a hella-long wait. I'll admit I'm obviously not the target audience, but, um, yeah. This is why I stopped spending my allowance on comic books:
Multiple Man gets Super-AIDS!
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I can't believe they killed my boy by giving him AIDS.
Around issue 70 or so of X-factor, the title turned into a satire of both the X-men and modern politics. The artist (who I sinfully can't remember his name at present) had a style that was almost cubist and very experimental...and the series was really, really funny. Hell, you knew it was satirical because one of the team members was named "Strong Guy"...because he was, after all, the Strong Guy of the team. I like reading books that at least give a nod to the clichés in comic books. Long story short, Jamie Maddox, a.ka. The Multiple Man, was the comedic relief of the team. A ways down the line, he gets infected with bubonic super-mutant-HIV and dies. What the hell. The whole super-AIDS virus plot wasn't that touching or they infect the funny guy so he can die in agony. Well, screw me for liking the light-hearted side of comic books. Oh and nothing sucks more than having your favorite character killed off when a comic company wants to stay "current" and address a hot topic, in this case the AIDS epidemic.
Warlock takes the Pipe!
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There are few comic book characters that I fell in love with at first glance. Warlock, of the New Mutants, was one of them. He was this shape-changing robot that'd look completely different from panel to panel and pretty much had this fluid character design that brought me a lot of joy. Admittedly it was ridiculous, with him turning into flying spaceships and giant catapults to get around, but, well, I already admit that I like the light-hearted cheesecake of comic books. Funnily enough, I think I drew Warlock over and over again as a kid...I blame him for why none of my characters have elbows. After drawing liquid robots for the better part of my childhood, elbows just seemed unnecessary. Oh and they killed him in a goofy plot I don't want to talk about. However the REAL reason they killed him was because he was goofy and funny and in 5 more issues The New Mutants would turn into the ultra-flashy and "hardcore" X-force. No room for comedy when a geriatric mutant/cyborg from the future is around. Of course they brought back Warlock...only it wasn't him and well, now he's not the character I onced loved.
I wish I could take comic plots more seriously. Then I'd stop falling in love with the characters that sort of mock them, like Multiple Man and Warlock. This whole post is just me geeky complaining about my characters dying....but it's more than that. Death in comic books is NOT the end....we ALL know that in 40 years there will still be Spiderman, Superman, or whoever. They may be posted on an internet site instead of printed on dead trees, but they'll still be there. I think that's the problem with heroes. They shouldn't live forever. I'm not saying our iconic heroes should all bite it, I'm just saying that death makes any narrative universe more accountable. Of course when you only kill off the second-string characters that not many people like, it really, really doesn't count. I'll shut up now.
Oh, and if any of you out there know the character "Slapstick," then you know the name of my secret love and shame. I'll shut up now, as my geek gland is about to exhaust itself.

PS: A friend of mine came over to my apartment with a stack of copies. After seeing "Jerome is Special," he’s challenged me to do something similar with a bunch of these:
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While I don’t think I’ll end up painting 50 of them, I think a mini-sequel entitled “Abe Lincoln is Special” may be in order in the coming days.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Art Crash Closure...

Just so there's a sense of closure, let me tell you that it's available for the curious to see. I ended up posting the entire set of "Jerome is Special" paintings on the can check them out here:
All I can say is it was a LOT of fun to do this....and WILL be doing this again. To all of you guys (by all I mean the four of you) who emailed me with your support: Thanks a bunch.
Oh and did I mention I'm pretty happy with how this turned out? No? Well, yeah...I'm pretty happy with how this turned out.
"who will return the Blog to its usual mini-article state eventually"

Monday, October 10, 2005

The 38th Hour...

I'm done. A few need to be touched up but all the painting is done as is the inking as is the whatever else I could think of. This ended up taking more time than I thought it would, but hey, you'll have to see if it was worth it. I'm happy with it, but admittedly it's a first attempt. I'd say more and post a few pics, but right now Jared wants to catch up on a little sleep (and talk about himself in the third person). Suffice to say that instead of an article, the website update tomorrow will include the 51 painting series "Jerome is Special", my weird and gimmicky (and first) attempt at a narrative.
Enjoy this last photo of the chaos:
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But for now, I'm going to slip into a coma.

The 24 hour mark....

24 hours and still painting. Things I have learned:

After 8 hours of inking/painting, your hands stop working right.
When doing something artsy like this, you shouldn't take so much caffeine that your hand shakes like that old math teacher who still has shrapnel in his head.
If I actually do this with a time limit, do NOT use acrylic paint, as that takes an hour to dry if you really have fun with it.
Do not forget to eat. This CAN result in ravenously grabbing food when you realize you're starving and forgetting that your hands are covered in paint...only remembering said fact when you TASTE said paint.
Apparently if I stay up all night my hair looks great. This knowledge is of little use as, while I look good, I stink.
When you ask your video store to "just give you stuff that'll keep you awake," remember to check the tapes before you get home. Apparently my friends at the video store thought it would be funny to give me a softcore porno film about a large breasted woman who avenges her husband's death by drugging criminals and smothering them with her huge breasts. Oh and the film's titled after her breasts, a.k.a: "Deadly Weapons." Gah.

Oh and I'm 32 paintings deep. Only 19 more to go.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The 12 hours mess....

To save time from having to change my tainted water every 5 minutes, I decided to start getting certain colors out of the way. Here's my prison/art room 12 hours into this experiment:
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The only things you can't see are the other 8 that I'm trying not to step on.
Since I ran out of table/sofa/floor space, I'm taking a break. Time for food and candy.

Jerome is Special (an update)

It's now a bit past 1 and, for the love of all that is holy, my hands hurt like a bitch. But here's the current state of things.
In a surprise move, I ended up being kind of organized about this. Right now I have
51 drawings done. All 51 of them are inked. All 51 of them are cleaned up. I'm starting to paint them right now. While I intended for these to be random drawings of whatever came to my mind, somehow they ended up making a story. There's only 13 words in the whole thing, but there is indeed some sort of narrative thing. Sort of. Here's the first page, completely unfinished:
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Jerome ends up being kinda special, even if he doesn't talk much.
On a related note, I've never had more fun doing this, even if my right hand is bleeding. I can't believe I hadn't tried doing anything this industrious before. Did I mention I'm manic and happy?
Now to see how long it takes me to finish. Right now I'd say the key is ignoring the fact that I've got what looks like a bajillion things to paint. More later.
PS: Just so you understand, (it'll be important later, trust me) here's a look at the thing I Xeroxed 50 times:
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So very simple, but definitely fun to play with. Like I said, more later. I've got to PAINT.

Art Crash begins!

I can only hope I can pull this off.
Just so you know, I'm starting at this very moment. (16:45 local time) I'm not sure what I'm going to do with these pictures but paint hits the paper in mere minutes.
I'll check back in when I run out of room and end up just waiting for paintings to dry.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

It's time for an Art Crash.

Well, my mania to do SOMETHING hasn't really subsided over the course of a long night spent painting for cash. I finished my illustrations for "The Student Singer's Starter Kit (Volume 1)" by Cindy Sadler last night....and I'm sort of "free" to do something strange and rewarding.
So I'm pulling an Art Crash. For the two (or any) of you who haven't been reading the Blog since it started, I tend to stay up painting a lot and not stopping until I have to pass out. Usually it's so I can get a project done in time or just finish a bunch of stuff I had lying around. Art Crashes aren't as industrious as they sound, because I take breaks like crazy and generally slack my butt off. Art Crashes typically only produce a dozen or so interesting pieces. That said, I've decided to kick my own ass.
TOMORROW I will be starting one seriously hardcore Art Crash. I took a very simple drawing (a couple of circles, really) and Xeroxed it 50 times. Here's my challenge/plan: Tomorrow afternoon (and I'll post again so I can officially see how long this takes me) I'm going to sit down and paint 51 variations in acrylic, watercolor, ink, and whatever and not sleep until it's over. I'm not sure how long this is going to take, but the joy is really seeing what the hell comes out of my brain. I also stocked up:
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What you see are the makings of the experiment: 1 very basic drawing, 2 bottles of Soda Club cola mix (pure caffeine+sugar that you're supposed to mix with carbonated water), 2 snobby energy coffee drinks, 1 Halloween blister pack of kinder eggs, 1 bottle of absinthe, and 1 bottle of Chartreuse. The only thing not pictured are my gothy and oh-so-bad for me cloves that I smoke. The Kinder Eggs, for those of you who don't know, are these chocolate eggs with toys inside of them. Not normal toys either. I've pulled tiny plastic Frodos and a glow-in-the-dark ninja mushrooms out of these things. When I first heard about the 24-hour comic, my first instinct was to do one where I wove a randomly generated plot by simply basing the whole narrative on what toys I got. Example: Plastic Ninja + tiny jigsaw puzzle + Spongebob eraserhead= The story of a ninja trying to piece together his sanity while hallucinations from invading American Pop Culture assault him. Or something like that. Basically sometime tomorrow I'm going to try out the idea and base a few of the paintings off what I pull out of the eggs. The booze is included because if I'm not impaired/affected enough by hyperfocus and sleep deprivation, I may want back-up. I stopped my "Drunk Painting" series a while back and this might be an excuse to do that again. Maybe. Oh and kids: Don't smoke and drink. It's very bad for you.
I'll post again when this whole thing officially starts tomorrow.
Oh and since I feel bad for blathering on about art stuff so much, please enjoy the flyer that came with my Pizza last night:
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My pizza place now offers a "Pimpmaster" pizza. Bacon, pepperoni, onions, and um...stuff...on BBQ sauce. Keep in mind that when they say BBQ sauce, they mean there's no tomato sauce anywhere on the pizza. Germany is a lot like those pizza places in those "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" movies. They actually offer all sorts of pizzas with alternative sauces. Alternates include: sour cream, sweet & sour sauce, oil & vinegar, and some weird German thing that translates to "mustard." Gross.
Oh and besides the "Pimpmaster," my pizza place now offers dishes entitled: "Busta", Shrimpmasta', V.I.P, and Gangster. Man, is that lame.
See you guys tomorrow.
"who feels sneaky by announcing and starting this on a weekend when he KNOWS no one is reading"

Friday, October 07, 2005

Ryan Estrada will make babies for me.

Well, I'm not sure how that'll work exactly, but there'll be babies made somehow. Or not. So why am I implying homo-erotic love involving someone that I just learned about? Ryan Estrada makes me want to do crazy things. Ryan Estrada reminds me what I loved about working in experimental film. Ryan Estrada is legitimately cool, in that geeky sort of legitimate way.
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I've learned, by talking to e-friends and what not, that a lot of people don't know who the hell Ryan Estrada is. This is blasphemy in webcomic circles, but I don't really travel in those too often and neither do a lot of folks. Ryan Estrada, of, is this guy who's running endurance marathons involving art. Now (as I've learned from webcomic circles), the idea of a 24-hour comic is nothing new...but it is to me. The idea is simple: You sit down and start drawing. 24 pages in 24 hours. 45-year old webcomic guru (as his site says) and sort of crazy/hippy/capitalist Scott McCloud came up with the idea about 15 years ago, but the idea really isn't that new. (By the way, Scott is crazy/hippy because he named his daughter "Sky." Sky McCLOUD. Jesus. If they have a son what are they going to call him? Stormy? Scott is also sort of capitalist because of his idea to charge a few cents per webcomic.) Artists are often slackers and the idea is to get off your ass and do nothing but create until you're done...with a deadline ticking ever closer.
So what makes Ryan Estrada special? He's done a few 24-hour comics but he's also pulled off a 175 hour comic. 175 hours. Christ. Awesome.
There's more to him so check him out if you don't know what the hell I'm talking about:
So why are my panties in a bunch? Why am I so freaking manic? Ryan Estrada seems to approach the whole webcomic thing with a passion you don't see very often. It's one thing to say you're passionate and create a conglomerate/forum to help support webcomics. It's a completely other thing to sit down and create, create, create! :sigh:
The whole thing reminds me of all that crazy crap me and the other film students pulled. Like when I hid in cardboard box for a day in the middle of the student union and only filmed people as they opened the box. Or that time I got deathly ill from being covered in green tempra paint. Or that time I made a film by stealing all the crap people had thrown away from their projects. Or that time I didn't sleep for a week and lived in an editing room the size of a bathtub, just so I could get my 16mm project done on time.
So, what am I going to do with this energy? Blather on and on and eventually do nothing? I hope not. I dug out my old folder and realized that all my painted storyboards might make a great comic book. Hell, my idea of an experimental/interactive narrative might actually WORK on the web. Why the hell hadn't I thought of this crap sooner? So am I going to do a 24-hour comic? Yes. Eventually. Right now I've got to clear my slate and finish illustrations for an opera book and a children's activity book. Damn, I hate artistic responsibilities. Luckily, they pay bills occasionally. But that'll all be done within the next 24 hours anyway. So, just to do something crazy and different here's what I'm going to do next week:

I've always said that I'd actually get good if I had to draw/paint the same thing over and over again...but that never ends up happening. So I made a simple, simple ink drawing (of a random guy) and Xeroxed it 50 times. At some point next week I'm going to start painting and not stop until I have 51 paintings in acrylic, watercolor, pastel, ink, ketchup, or whatever I end up using. 51 variations of the same drawing. No sleep, just painting and eating (and maybe going to the bathroom).
What's the point? The point is just to create. No fundraising, no attention grabbing (I don't plan on "announcing this" beyond what you see here, though I will make a post in the blog announcing that I've started), no reason beyond just seeing whether I run out of energy, paint, or inspiration first. Maybe I'll add in a time limit, but I think 50 hours is MORE than enough time. (I may be forced to eat these words later, admittedly.)

I think that's why the whole 24-hour comic thing strikes a chord: You're guaranteed to learn something about yourself as an artist. There's also that weird "I'm a psycho dedicated to my craft" rush in there somewhere.

So right now everything that's said here is just energy and manic whim. Ignore my "OMG I plan on doing blah blah blah" for the moment. Just check out Ryan's stuff and I'll let you know when the experiment begins. The hardest part of being really inspired by something is resisting the urge to do the same damn thing that whatever inspired you did. If you read this week's Batman article, you know what I mean.
“who doesn’t understand why he was called an Art fag in high school”

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Always with you.....

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What’s interesting about the internet is how timeless it is sometimes. Well, that’s not completely true. What I sort of mean to say is how a site that some guy put up almost a decade ago is still up and what you find isn’t always exactly “new.” If you’ve ever been a forum whore (or just hang out on a forum casually), then you know what I’m talking about. You find something funny as hell, you post it, and about three responses later someone posts that they saw that years ago and you’re just posting old crap that everybody’s already seen. The Internet is HUGE. Unless you’re really hunting 25 hours a day, there’s no way you’ll find or be exposed to everything out there. There are still people who don’t know what yiffing is and folks who really don’t understand why “All Your Base Are Belong To Us.” And yes, believe it or not, there are people who don’t know who Strong Bad is. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing, really.
I guess my point is that the digital population is always changing and there’s no way to cover it all. Old stuff gets forgotten. Hell, I remember the Night of Terror when the “Hamster Dance” rampaged across the populace. But I digress.
Here’s an old thing that was highlighted by a very long time ago that I’ll share for the sake of the two people who weren’t total webheads four years ago. This guy decided that God called him to draw how Jesus watches over people in their everyday lives. So he made a series (and is still making, actually) of drawings depicting various folks doing their job while Jesus lurked over their shoulder. All in all, it’s pretty creepy.
Check it out here:

Apparently I wasn’t the only one who found it creepy, as some random guy decided to put “captions” to the various pictures. They’re sort of funny and can be found here:

The most interesting thing here is how, years ago, I thought that was the funniest thing I’d ever seen. Now….meh. But that’s the value of the Internet in a way. You can see the things that you used be obsessed about and check them out as your present self. Hell, even looking at my old posts in forgotten forums is sort of telling.

There’s an interesting accountability to what you post and say online, because there’s always a huge chance that it’ll stick around long enough for you to change your mind. Hell, it totally freaks me out all the absurd crap I was posting online back in 2001.
It’s always surreal to find out you were a complete ass. Even worse is realizing that five years from now you might be think the same about what you post today. On that note:
Dear Jared of the Future, I’m so sorry that I suck. With any luck, your Japanese sex android can help you forget what a total douche you were back in 2005. See you later,

Squid Fanaticism Haunts Me...

No clue why it's still in my brain, but I ended up doodling yet ANOTHER Dr. O'shea cartoon. If you don't know who that is, at least read the post below this one.
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And yes, Dr. O'Shea IS designing special containment units for giant squid. I doubt they'll let the squid rampage across the countryside, but I can dream.