Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Line weight constant as the northern star okay for foreground. But for background also?
Not so much.
Watching: Mongrels, Magnum, Royal Pains, Hung
Listening: Drugstore, Jeff Buckley, Tindersticks, Lemonflowers, Betty Boo, Bangles, Johnny Cash
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
Yeah, that's right, Sketchup - FUCK YOU.
Watching: Magnum, Secret Life of the Sanctimonious Pro-Life Television Executives Who Make TV Shows About the American Teenager, the IT Crowd
Monday, 28 June 2010
Ah, the simple joys of the comic artist - there's not many jobs where you can accidentally draw a sex scene instead of a bar, but this is one of them.
Watching: Magnum, Magnum, Magnum - I do so wish he would shave.
Sunday, 27 June 2010
There's a decent, user-friendly art app somewhere in Sketchup, I just don't think I have the time to go look for it - should have stuck to Photoshop and throwing random texture samples at a perspective grid. Same effect, apparantly, except the latter allows you decent resolution.
Live. Learn. Etc.
Watching: Dr Who, Magnum, the Phantom
Saturday, 26 June 2010
Friday, 25 June 2010
(although in retrospect perhaps something about the character on the right turning Asian all of a sudden - it's like a DC Comics legacy character that they can't kill off fast enough! Speaking of--)
Reading: Rise of Arsenal - no, really. My thoughts on it are "This is just that heel turn Cassandra Cain Batgirl took a few years back that they backtracked out of like Speedy Gonzales except she had fans and could sell a book or at least she could if she was white or published anywhere but current DC who gives a shit about Speedy?". In other DC news, they're promoting their diversity by making Aquaboy a black person.
I'm sure he'll do well.
Thursday, 24 June 2010
reading: I Kill Giants, a mainstream manga effort from Joe Kelly and Ken Niimura about Barbara Thorson, a little girl who claims to kill giants of an indeterminate nature and has a fixation on the Dungeons & Dragons rulebook. To go into too much detail would spoil a straightforward tale whose twists aren't hard to see coming but which nonetheless hit all the right beats just when they need to, particularly near the end when a character is called out of school in a moment that brought back personal memories for myself.
I get the impression that the creators are angling for a movie deal with this one given the three-act structure of it, but it's a fun tale that commendably appropriates manga stylistic tropes and shows that medium to be just another form of comic book easily capable of complexity, subtlety and pacing no matter what the penny-pinchers promoting their backwards books would like us to believe otherwise every time they churn out yet another cheap collection that barely qualifies as toilet paper but which they inexplicably claim is an authentic representation of an art form featuring a teenager in an orange boiler suit punching people in the balls for seven hundred pages.
I Kill Giants is manga done well - by which I mean it is a great example of a comic book and well worth anyone's time.
Wednesday, 23 June 2010
Watching TNA Slammiversary, I didn't realise how awesome a performer Kurt Angle is inside and outside the ring, especially for a guy whose best days are apparently behind him and shouldn't even be performing at all. Mind you, I spent most of my time watching WWF/WWE getting drunk and shouting about rock music with my mate Tart and younger brother Kev, so I probably didn't take much from it beyond that ECW was slightly more entertaining and this Rock guy might be going places - but I remain convinced that Angle was less interesting and slightly larger-built at the time.
Speaking of the WWE, it doesn't half show that it's of late become a pale shadow of the entertainment Juggernaut it once was while watching Smackdown and RAW. The franchise has recently made a significant effort to clean up its act after Linda McMahon - the wife of WWE CEO Vince McMahon - set her sights on a place in the US Senate and programming content has suffered from an undue level of caution being applied to storylines. Not that WWF/WWE couldn't think through some of its more questionable story angles a little more, like that time Eric Bischoff had lesbians make out in the ring so he could have them beaten up on camera, or that time a man in a cowboy hat (JR) whipped a black man (Coach) in the middle of an arena while thousands of baying rednecks cheered on the guy doing the whipping, or that time two gay men tried to have a wedding and were booed and jeered until the tables turned and they got beaten up while the audience cheered - these are things that might have benefited from a moment's pause for thought before broadcast occurred, while stuff like banning choke holds on the shows may - may - have been something that should have been done right after one of the company's top wrestlers choked his wife and son to death rather than only done now because one of Linda McMahon's political acquaintances thought it was wrong to show it happening to someone wearing a suit and tie.
Gotta love that Republican mindset.
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
"No, Mr Bond, this is not a top secret document it's your pink slip. Fuck off."
Watching: CSI - a duo of episodes, one about rape and the other a dead baby. That's hedging your bets, CSI.
Reading: Gravity - a typically angsty teen superhero romp that's quite ephemeral and features one of the dumbest superheroes I've read in a while "That guy totally disappeared just before Black Death appeared - I WONDER WHERE THAT GUY WENT TO?" No really, it goes there. I also wonder why Marvel felt they needed to create a new superhero who manipulates gravity when they've got a teen-aged Alex Power sitting around doing nothing, but then I also thought that when Dan Slott came up with Cloud Nine instead of just using Jack Power. Gotta keep churning out those IPs I guess.
Oh Fallout 3 - next you'll be in my dreams.
CSI - "Strangulation - it's a man's crime."
Warren the Ape - "Yes there was a lot of sexual abuse when I was growing up - oh, you mean inflicted on me..."
Reading: Darkwing Duck - easily one of the best superhero comics I've read in a while.
Monday, 21 June 2010
Saturday, 19 June 2010
Been reading Colsmi's great blog about 2000ad of late and it's made me think there's nothing wrong with a bit of overthinking, so I thought I'd put down my two pennies' worth why - even though his post Brand New Day tales have been entertaining - I don't like Spider-Man and think he's a dickhead.
One of the Marvel universe's most beloved conceits is its ability to have characters be in some way defined by flaws as much as their superpowers, and Peter parker is flawed from his first appearance where he's the shy kid who gets picked on, gets some powers, then basically tells the world to fuck itself hard because he's gonna get him some poontang and benjamins and don't owe nobody nothin'. He has powers, but he isn't going to use them for any noble purpose - he probably swings by burning orphanages without helping just after he became a superhuman, he's that kind of A-hole and total dick until his uncle gets shot, after which Pete suddenly feels he should "contribute to the betterment of society" using the only language a bullied kid understands - he beats people up and mocks them as he does so in order to make them feel insecure to the point they hate him and thus continue a cycle of violence and enmity that would most likely have burned out if the villain had managed to get away with that loot from the bank robbery and retired to Hawaii like they'd planned - there are a lot of Spider-Man villains who really, really hate Spidey and do what they do as much to get to him as to make themselves rich, cure their mutated conditions or Take Over The World, and as for the odd story where he struggles with powerful opponents who initially best him before his coming back in the last act to trounce them, those can be reduced to Spidey basically being upset because he's found someone he can't beat up.
Spider-Man is a story where the bullied kid not only becomes the bully and we're supposed to applaud, but a story where violence begets violence and happiness is fleeting and ultimately unattainable because even when Spidey goes through hell for something or someone he holds dear, when he finally starts to give back by becoming an educator and showing his face to the world instead of hiding behind a mask, he'll just sell it all to the devil in the end so that he can regress back to being a bully again, living the life of a mooching wastrel and contributing nothing.
Don't get me wrong, we're rarely in doubt about certain people needing kicked in the face, but Spidey takes pleasure in doing so, antagonises his victims unnecessarily, and at the end of the day, after he's wound them up something rotten, it's the faceless, nameless inhabitants of the world he occupies who end up paying the price when they fulfill their only purpose in existing in the Marvel universe by becoming a bodycount. Ben Parker and Gwen Stacy die and it's a tragedy that scars his soul, but the thousands of others sent to their maker fail to register beyond the tale's end and the villain will do it all again when he breaks out of prison because in not even having the courage to kill someone like Carnage - whose entire deal is that he murders people because he can - Spidey has basically put his own sense of morality before the actual lives of other people. You're either making the tough decisions and taking the safety of others into your own hands or you aren't, dude.
You're a grade-A wanker, Spider-Man, and I've never liked you.
Well, maybe when Erik Larson was drawing you. You were fun then.
Friday, 18 June 2010
Thursday, 17 June 2010
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Monday, 14 June 2010
Sunday, 13 June 2010
Saturday, 12 June 2010
Well that'll teach me to start late in the day - but in my defence, napping in front of the tv is great.
Watching: I dunno. There was some sort of CSI thing with a bet that someone paid off but didn't, a Magnum episode that's got me wondering why they burn sugar fields, and She's Out Of My League, a Something About Mary-type comedy about a guy dating out of his league, except he's not that fugly because this is Hollywood geeks we're talking about here, and she's not actually all that so the huge yet paradoxically shallow divide we're supposed to buy into for the premise to work simply isn't there. I'm actually typing this as I watch and the dude's just ejaculated in his pants during an impromptu dry-humping, and lawks o'lawdy but her parents have just come through the door - hilarity will no doubt ensue.
Thursday, 10 June 2010
Watching: The girl In The park, and what an uncomfortable and miserable old film it is, too. Well-made and acted, but there just comes a time when all the stories are told and I'm waiting for the bit where they pull the rabbit out of the hat and when that doesn't come - when character A doesn't turn out to be harboring a dark secret and character B doesn't either - I just end up wondering why I can never get the time back and why this got made in the first place. I don't mean that in a critical way, I just wonder what the draw was for those concerned to make a film that seems to be an examination of a character stuck in the denial stage of grief without ever making a breakthrough, especially one scripted and shot like it's got a card up its sleeve and a reveal is forthcoming when there's nothing of the sort, just more of the same and then it ends, because - if you'll forgive me a moment of specificity - in these days of epidermal laser surgery in shopping malls, a birthmark that isn't there is no closure at all, and disappointment ensues for anyone who has the sneaking suspicion the carrot-dangling of an alternate explanation to events that indulges ludicrous coincidence would have been far more entertaining.
Also Magnum PI, which is not great as I'm watching it in 2010, but it's fluffy and inoffensive to those not worried by facial hair.
Wednesday, 9 June 2010
Damn you artist's block - you win again!
But I can post today on the technicality that doodling poor-perspective backgrounds and lettering still counts as making comics.
Watching: Secret Life of the American Teenager, Treme, Magnum
Listening: War Rocket Ajax, Gymkommentary, Animetal
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
Watching: Treme, Drop Dead Diva, Magnum, Hill Street Blues, why are there no good cartoons on telly right now?
Drawing: teenage luchadores putting racist dinosaurs in the Million Dollar Dream, stemming as it does from a comment on Lee Robson's blog earlier when I schooled him on how the T-Rex is mightier than Bruce Lee and even God feared its wrath.
Monday, 7 June 2010
Saturday, 5 June 2010
Friday, 4 June 2010
I got up reasonably early today, even with a hangover, and got some scribbles done. Then I spent four hours in front of Fallout 3 because that thing is a fucking time sink. I've also been watching Magnum PI for the first time in, yep, it's been decades, and I could swear Tom Selleck was more affable but in the first season he has a punchable face and his car isn't as awesome as I recall. There's also an episode where Magnum has to outwit a master of kung fu and yet the most action-packed sequence is a bit where he's running about trying to stop a lass getting dehydrated because she's been on the beach a bit too long. I should just type 'fail' in all caps and leave it there, but explaining that I could do that will fill a bit more space so it looks like I've put some effort into writing a blog entry today.
Thursday, 3 June 2010
Damn you, perspective - you win again. What is with this dude's hands? How do I miss stuff like this?
His mom was like a crazy ho for thalidomide, I guess, but can you imagine having a little baby hand like that? It'd be like every time you touched yourself a child was doing it.