Thursday, 31 December 2009

Thumbnailing is always a good idea - it lets me know what terribly neglected area of drawing I have to utilise next. Architecture, background designs and layouts in general seem to be the main things to look forward to in the new year that will end up making me lament the disparity between planning and execution.
Oh, and fire engines. I don't think I can draw those.

New year's resolutions - what the hell:
1 - Lose weight. Admittedly you could be dangerously anorexic and still be legally required to have this on your list of resolutions, but it's not like I can't use more gymtime.
2 - Catch up with my movie watching and telly. Resolutions shouldn't all be a chore, right?
3 - Get my shit together. I'm terribly disorganised as a rule, yet my life runs much smoother when I plan things out and pay attention to what's going on around me.

We'll see how well this works out by the end of the month.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Watching Push, I'm struck by a few things.
1 - This is pretty silly without being much fun, which strikes me as a bit of a waste.
2 - Dakota Fanning seemed to be doing alright until she had to play a drunk. Perhaps I should be more forgiving on account of her being two years old and probably not getting tanked off her fanny that much what with the acting and stuff taking up any of her time not devoted to... erm, whatever it is girls that age get up to, presumably stuff with ponies or shoe shopping - but no, I shan't be swayed here: she plays an utterly unconvincing drunk in the same way Chris Evans plays an unconvincing anything at all, and no goddamn way is that an absinthe hangover. Do your bloody research, girl.
3 - One of the actors is called Digimon and that is fucking awesome.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Checked out Sherlock Holmes over the holiday, and it was okay. Not great, but okay.
Ritchie has shown more of an interest in the idea of mockney Brit-cool than any deep love for the cultural weight of icons like Holmes, and it does show a little in a few sequences and moments when I thought more of Viz's 'Raffles the Gentleman Thug' than the inherently patriotic bohemian distracted by his own physical cravings that served as the lynchpin of Holmsian fandom for over a hundred years now. I also felt I wasn't even imagining the homoeroticism in some instances.

As I said before, not a great film, but far from a bad one.

The odd drinking and sleeping hours of Christmas have passed and all that remains is the yearly disappointment and/or embarrassment of New Year's Eve and the very bad decisions that are made on the night. Back to scribbling and hopefully catching up with the blogging after the 'daily post' plan fell through - damn you, alcohol and good company!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

because cliches become cliches for a reason, and I might not be posting tomorrow...

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Only yesterday I was remarking that I'm sick of getting links to Achmed the Terrorist clips on Youtube, so today I was quite happy to find I'm not alone in my opinion.
Naturally, this just means I'm late to the party as ever - first in not knowing about Jeff Dunham, and then about wishing I didn't know about Jeff Dunham and the braying, unwashed, beer-sodden, furrow-browed inbreeds he calls an audience.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Bloody Christmas!
Bloody flu!

Farscape. A good show taken on its own terms, with a nice line in pushing what it can get away with on account of being niche sci-fi no-one who wasn't a fan cared much about at the time. The 'who can take more hallucinogenic mushrooms and still walk' competition was still funny, mind.
Muppet Christmas Carol. A great take on an already classic tale, it's eerily harrowing to see the image of Kermit and Miss (in this case Mrs) Piggy as grieving parents, but not half as harrowing as Michael Caine's singing.
"Embedding disabled by request"? Bollocks to that.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Just scribbling some rough cover sketches for Babble, and boy, but the flu is not conducive for the old creative energies, as it's just one strike-out bad idea after another so far.

Anyhoo... flu. Not great. Slept most of the day away today, and I know from lengthy periods of unemployment in the past that this is not a good thing to do with your time.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Don't worry - the above thumbnails make perfect sense to me! Finally finished lettering and colouring the first chapter of Babble and find myself at a loose end that I can hopefully use to clear up other commitments and projects left on the 'IN' pile.
Firstly, some killer bear pages need sorting, then the next chapter of a bit of future-robot malarky that SFX magazine described as 'Asimovian' even though that's not a real word, and some superhero-y stuff 'for kids' that kind of wandered off the 'for kids' reservation because planning ahead is not my strong point and it's basically a freeform thing that makes little senseand will probably end up as filler on this blog at some point in the near future.
All of this hypothetical work being done by the Me of the far future is, of course dependent on being awake and not needing to sleep every five minutes thanks to a headcold with all the trimmings like lethargy, nausea and aches in the extremities I've picked up, but at least I got Babble wrapped up so I can put my feet up for a bit.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Watching: A Christmassy Ted - a revisit of a Christmas standard that in Ireland is akin to the rest of the world's It's A Wonderful Life or The Great Escape, and a daft bit of whimsy tinged with self-awareness it is, too. One of my favorite lines oddly doesn't even get a chuckle from the canned laughter machine: Ted checks the newspaper to see if he's averted disaster and remarks that there's nothing about it in "the Catholic scandal supplement", and Dougal doing a funeral is always fun to see.

Otherwise just aimlessly doodling away, wrapping prezzies and playing GTA4, which I'm finally getting around to finishing well over a year since I actually got the damn thing.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Farscape season 1 - the great TV catch-up begins! For me, this was once definitively described at some point in the past as "that thing with the Muppets? Fuck that shit!", though I always simply found it too alienating (in retrospect, possibly intentional) and impenetrable to want to follow. taken from the off, however, it's a decent enough distraction - if a bit top-heavy with Aussies (though that's an observation more than it is a criticism).

Dexter - aw. Shame that character had to go, but a good season.

Venture Bros - not as great as previous seasons, but then it had a lot to live up to. It's moved on from the whole 'death of the Jet Age' themes to growing its main characters beyond their launch concepts, which is an odd move, as for every Ben 10: Alien Force, there's an All Grown Up or Joey. It's working so far, but it's not especially funny or inventive this time around, though I'm willing to accept that I'm maybe just too familiar with the setup and had higher hopes than might reasonably have been fulfilled.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Friday, 11 December 2009

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Monday, 7 December 2009

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Friday, 4 December 2009

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Well, looks like I'll be concentrating on the drawing a bit more than I'd have liked - my PS3 went tits-up with the red screen, and I had that many games saved and bought/saved to the hard drive I don't actually want to start over with a new machine, free replacement or not. BAH!

Monday, 30 November 2009

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Holy cats there's a new Jak and Daxter game out! I'm pretty sure I would have heard about this, so I can only conclude that I forgot about it as I do everything else, but it's a pleasant surprise to have that to muck about with and hopefully break my Fallout 3 addiction.

Monday, 23 November 2009

"I shall follow this Geiger counter wherever it may lead me - we are in the Arctic and no harm should come of it."

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Wandering about Belshaft in the wee hours...

Checked out the Odeon sci-fi all-night anime marathon: it had it's ups and downs, but did improve greatly when those who'd come along to find the presence of subtitles a source of shock and confusion eventually became too tired to continue a running commentary beyond "for fuck's sake, stick your cock in her!" in a half-hearted sigh every half hour. We got a goody bag full of what I would charitably call tat if I was charitable man and not a cynical one, so I shall call it crap: a BPM energy drink that was actually the green brand (which contains no caffeine), a packet of Bear in the Big Blue House bacon flavour corn snacks, a packet of Doctor Who stickers, a pencil, an offer to see Almost Famous, and glowy stick which they asked us not to use.

Anyhoo, the Odeon itself is a reasonably-placed multiplex and we were early enough that for some reason we ended up going to see The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which you may be surprised to discover I did not think was very good at all. It was packed with 8-10 year-old girls who gasped and drew breath when the 16 year-old 'native American' (it says on the casting call) pulled off his shirt, but surprisingly, the kids were much quieter than adults usually are at these things, and there was an air of audience participation to the viewing that began with the sighs of puppy-love for Teenage Wolfman (a wolfman) and arguably reached a nadir when the sight of Twilight (a dracula) and his girlfriend traipsing through the trees like something from a Hovis advertisement had the entire audience in stitches. New Moon's biggest problem is that it just isn't a knowing or self-aware film, which might have helped detract from the fact that it is a nonsensical and self-important one that suffers from something that the audience didn't really need spelled out as clumsily as it is here: Twilight is a wanker of a character, while the slightly more intense Teenage Wolfman seems to deserve a better break than he actually gets but is still an ethnic character in a white man's summer movie and for that reason alone you know he ain't gettin' the girl and it's got nowt to do with doomed romance and everything to do with the sensibilities of the middle-class America that made and watches this guff in the first place.

After that, we hung around for a bit and then wandered into the first anime movie of the evening: Mamoru Oshi's dour and pointless Sky Crawlers, the story of immortal kids drafted to wage 'safe' wars on behalf of nations through corporate third parties. According to other cinemagoers, the original novel was a commentary on the undemanding nature of anime fandom and the film was deliberately made to have a slow pace and obtuse story, but no matter how much you go out of your way to replicate the trappings of a bad plot and a lousy film, you still end up with a bad plot and a lousy film and it's not art, it's just poor film-making. My main gripe was that there are no clues to the situation for the viewer to unravel, a character just wanders in at the end and spells it all out for you, which might be a deliberate artifice for all I know, but is still pretty lame.
First Squad is the story of a team of Russian super-teens killed during WW2 who are resurrected to fight a zombie hoard of Templar knights raised by Gestapo mystics to turn the tide of battle on the Russian front. Their only link to the world of the living is the pre-teen Russian samurai Nadya, who must brave the land of the dead and jailbait SS kung-fu twins to win the secret war the world never knew about, and the whole thing is interspersed with live-action interviews with (fictional) WW2 Russian vets, historians and psychologists. It's a bit goofy, but fun nonetheless, with a nice design sensibility, even if the animation isn't what you'd call great in places - though it's always functional.
Time of Eve held it's English-language premiere - for all of five minutes before the film had to be stopped as the subtitles on the print were actually off the bottom of the screen and couldn't be fixed, so I have no opinion on that. Instead the screening of the current revamp of Gainax evergreen Neon Genesis Evangelion was moved forward and it looks as cheaply-animated as ever, with several episodes chopped down to make the first part of a trilogy. I've seen most of this around ten years ago and it was just as overrated (though undeniably solid) then as it is now, albeit there's the odd extra frame of animation thrown in here and there in the new version.
King of Thorn is a post-apocalyptic story about a small group of characters escaping from the cryogenic suspension chambers in which they were supposed to sleep through the destruction of the human race - except then it isn't about that and goes a little bit off the rails. You might guess a twist or two, but the big picture remains an unmistakably anime tale full of visual excesses and logical failures as only the Japanese can do with an utterly straight face, but it's a seriously mad bit of business that went down well with the audience.

They spent millions of pounds on ^^this^^ and there are dozens of people homeless in Belfast. Just sayin'.
It reminds me of that Thundercats episode where they discover gold on Third Earth and Panthro bends it into a necklace then throws it in a bin.
Homeless people.

The Belfast Eyesore.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Back to d'drawing board, and the tale of cuddly old Shako, who was kind of a forerunner of Bear from The Bear In The Big Blue House, but with a more British sensibility. This is for 2000ad fanzine Zarjaz to see print at some point.

It's set in the Arctic, so backgrounds aren't what you'd call busy.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Scribbles today. Getting into edits for Babble and layouts for a Zarjaz fanstrip about a cuddly bear, but otherwise just doodling or watching telly.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Aaaaaaand chapter one's done and dusted.
Sort of - still the edits to the later pages to sort out, and then I'm slotted in for the lettering and colouring, too, which should take a couple of weeks. Still a bit of an achievement for me, though, as it's the first full 'issue' of a comic I've done from someone else's script, and tellingly, it's a lot more visually consistent than art I've produced for my own scripting efforts, which tend to be continued/finished as and when I can be bothered/remember.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Ah, backgrounds - the bane of many a more capable artist, and something I occasionally like to leave until I've finished with the foreground - usually when there's no interaction between the two and the background may as well be a painting of a landscape as the real thing. Of course, that means somewhere down the line I have to devote all my time to backgrounds, which aren't very exciting, but a necessary evil.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Friday 13th November 2009

Never even noticed today was friday 13th. Go figure.