Saturday 30 October 2010

the more wheels I got the better I like it I’m the brother of a truck drivin’ mother

--And now no pressure sensitivity, Vista? Pft.
Not even worth thinking up a sarcastic comment like I usually do, but I shall try anyway in the interests of continuity and tradition:

Vista is unreliable and I hate it.

An open letter to the makers of Glee:
I am well aware your show is very popular, lord knows I watch it myself, so I shall spare you a fruitless entreaty to stop making what is clearly a moneyspinner, the ongoing production of which offers employment to some in an uncertain economic climate and I will not presume to suggest that my personal taste in music is a sound basis for the termination of what must be several dozen people, some of whom are undoubtedly breadwinners for their families.
Instead, I offer the following list of songs I find to be 'guilty pleasures' so that you may include them at your earliest convenience on the show and ruin my misplaced enjoyment of them forever much as you have previously ruined Journey's Don't Stop Believin' and the entire soundtrack of Rocky Horror - a feat that as early as Tuesday I would not actually have considered possible - and allow me to concentrate instead on more worthy music such as the angsty whitenoise of Radiohead or the communist propaganda of Billy Bragg.

Mud - Tiger Feet
The Sweet - Wig Wam Bam
Tina Turner - The Best
Alvin Stardust - My Coo Ca Choo
Elvis Presley - If I Can Dream
The Monkees - Last train To Clarksville
Gary Glitter - I Love You Love Me Love
Imperial Drag - Are You A Boy Or A Girl
Blondie - Heart Of Glass
The Donnas - Take It Off
REO Speedwagon - Keep On Lovin' You
Kenicke - Punka
Echobelly - Natural Animal
Cat Stevens - Miles From Nowhere
Carly Simon - You're So Vain
ACDC - You Shook Me All Night Long
Simon and Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water
Seussical the Musical - Notice Me Horton
Terra Naomi - Not Sorry
Clout - Substitute
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Looking Out My Back Door
Dinah Washington - Mad About The Boy
Jerry Reed - Eastbound and Down
Gene Pitney - Town Without Pity
Aretha Franklin - Do Right Woman Do Right Man

Brigonos Mac Giolla Chomhgaill

Friday 29 October 2010

I don't want any god. Damn. Tea.

You are killing me here, Vista.
Still, I did at least manage to start it eventually and draw a single panel of the 1970s UK kids' comic adaptation of that bit in Curse of the Werewolf where Olly Reed basically tries to escape the house to get booze.

There would have been more ideally, but here we are.
This week's Sons Of Anarchy was epic, as the hairy homoerotic road hogs travel to Belfast from the airport by some bizarre coastal trajectory that lets them swing past Ballymena where they pick up Malcolm from Star Trek: Enterprise and meet some members of the PSNI, who for the episode are played by the Nazis from any WW2 movie where Nazis set up a road block and demand to see someone's papers. Then they have an open air orgy on the streets of Belfast. Mental stuff.

Thursday 28 October 2010

I said "monthly visitor" and even did the little air quotes - how did you not get that?

Okay, rush job again:

This time, technical issues held up the shop:

Oh, Vista... don't ever change.
No really. I'm pretty sure I'm just gonna buy a Mac when the PC goes so I don't give a toss what you do.

Werewolf Week is just not meant to be, I guess, but I shall see it out.

"GRRRRRRR" yeh complete setta bastids yeh

No, I don't know why the werewolf that looks like a big rat from Werewolf in a Woman's Prison is doing a Mel B impression circa 2004 - when you have three minutes to do a sketch and Manga Studio won't give you pressure sensitive response like it oughta, things get desperate.
Oddly, it wasn't New Vegas that kept me from remembering I'm supposed to draw werewolves for the blog, but getting back to a normal drawing routine for the upcoming Omnivistascope so I'm not pushing deadlines again.

Which I'll probably end up doing anyway...

Wednesday 27 October 2010

"But it wasn't MY FAULT!"

Still spending too much time on Playstation, so only a quick sketch for the blog this time of the eeeeevil Reverend from Stephen King's Silver Bullet, one of my fave werewolf movies and I reckon an appropriate subject given the season. I thought about doing a themed week of posts about werewolves, so maybe tomorrow I'll attempt to illustrate the divine narrative majesty of Werewolf In A Women's Prison, which is a real film and one I only watched because it had werewolves in it - which nobody believes when I tell them.
But in fairness why would they?

Monday 25 October 2010

"People die if they are killed"

Fallout marathon not over just yet.

I am weak.

I'm not normally a praying man, but if you're up there please save me, Superman

Scribble, scribble, scribble.
The weekend and the Fallout: New Vegas marathon is over, and my opinion thus far - a good 17 hours into it (don't judge me, you scum) - is that it's a good expansion of Fallout 3, but not that much of a step up that it justifies two years of development. It feels like more of a particularly big chunk of DLC in the Point Lookout vein, even though there's plenty that differentiates it from the previous game like switching to different ammo types during play to adopt to characters' individual armor stats, but it's also riddled with graphics glitches, collision detection bugs, and for some reason I seem to have bypassed a big chunk of story somewhere as my character started conversing with another about stuff I don't recall happening, which is kind of a big deal as it was stuff that advanced the story to a later point without me knowing what happened in the interim, though no doubt there'll be a patch to fix that coming along.

Still lovin' it, mind.

Saturday 23 October 2010

everything I touch is food for my hunger - my hunger for power

Just a wee break from Fallout: New Vegas (it is the weekend, after all) to take Manga Studio's line tools for a spin. Not quite there yet, but the perspective grid thingy sounds like fun whenever I finally get to it.

Friday 22 October 2010

Imma-man imma-man, imma... pie-da man!

So Fallout: New Vegas is out and I've been putting it off all day because once I sit down I ain't getting up again until tomorrow. Until then, I was mucking about with Manga Studio and think there's possibilities in its line tools if I practice a bit. It would be awesome if you could swap layered TIFFs between MS and Photoshop, that's what I'm taking away from it so far.

Thursday 21 October 2010

leave it to the gays to raise the only underachieving Asian in America

momentarily back to the webstrip scribbling before I return to sci-fi robotty stuff for the next Omnivistascope. Can I draw robots? No I can not. Yet here we are.
Also, Com.X picked up Babble for publication, which I forgot to mention until now, organised as I am, and Fallout: New Vegas comes out tomorrow - Christ only knows how I'm going to organise my time when I put in 4-5 hour stints on that one every day.

: Law and order: Los Angeles 1.4 - "Word to the wise: if you're gonna drop in on your friendly neighborhood meth lab, leave the kids at home." Yes, Law and Order, this is exactly the kind of comment your supposedly sympathetic main character should be making over the charred bodies of two children killed in their mother's car by a nearby meth lab explosion while she's screaming in anguish at what's happened to her babies. Who the fuck says something like that over dead baby corpses? Now it's coming back to me why I avoided this hateful, conservative, and reactionary misanthropic iteration of the cop show genre, and of course in this episode, like in all the episodes, it's the victim who is in some way to blame because she's a filthy, adulterous whore - no, really. I honestly cannot believe this franchise, with an attitude like that, is the one that came up with an entire series dedicated to capitalising on rape, and further problematic subtext arises when the father of the kids, upon learning of his wife's adulterous behavior being the reason his children are dead, laments that "I had a wife and two kids and now I got nothin!" because yes, the grieving mother and dead babies are objects whose sole purpose is to illustrate the pain of the stoic white male and the burden he carries because somehow it is all the Muslims' fault - I am not joking, adultery, dead children, the drugs epidemic and everything that is wrong with the traditional American family is here portrayed as literally the Muslims' fault. Blue eyed, blond female Muslims because women with opinions are the enemy too, and luckily, the Muslim is a woman so manipulating her love for a man is what saves the day and makes the court case. Oh, and then there's a whole plot thread that basically amounts to the main characters saying that the US military's programme of secret trials for illegally detained suspected terrorists doesn't go far enough because they require evidence for conviction, that this due process is denying the victims of terrorism justice, and then one character comments upon what a wrong-headed nuisance the ACLU is, while another later describes as terrorists getting their day in court as "a terrorist pep rally."
Fuck you, Law and Order.
The Defenders 1.5 - here's a much more trashy and glossy look at the field of crime and the courtroom, and all the better for it in my opinion. Going down the route of having a poontang-crazed lawyer represent a stripper/cat burglar while his wanger is practically hanging out of his pants pretty much makes your show above such critical appraisals as might ruminate upon subtext, mainly because there is precious little subtext in a plot that flat-out tells you it's a story about a lawyer wanting to bang a stripper. It's shite, but because of that it's hard to get annoyed at it - nobody's forcing me to watch it and it's not like it's springing any surprises on me by telling me what a bad idea human rights are. There's even a bit in it where a philandering senator is suspected of murdering one of his young female aides and my initial response was that it's still a bit rum to do that story in a trashy show like this, but it's heartening when the resolution is that it's all a misunderstanding and there is no grieving family or calculating ex-wives masterminding murder frame-ups and even irredeemable scoundrels are basically decent on a level that's not too hard to plumb. It's a humanist and gratifying message to see in days where televisual fantasy is dominated by the adolescent cynicism of CSI or Law and Order, but it is a terrible pity that it's only present in the trashiest of offerings.

Wednesday 20 October 2010

I fought an 8-year-old and the only reason I won is because he fell on a spike

And so to the hilariously imprecise and clumsy way Mr C goes about lettering his shit. Photoshop, as ever, is the main tool here, though I'm increasingly aware of its limitations as well as my own in this particular area. Functional seems to be the word I'm looking for, and considering that's the level of art I'm finally getting to, perhaps that's all I need, since as long as lettering is not aggressively terrible and sloppy the strip should read just fine.
More complex and in-depth discussion of the 'invisible art' of lettering can be found on Jim Campbell's blog, though I warn you the man's an unrepentant goth and must be treated with deep suspicion, caution and disdain.

Watching: Hawaii Five-0 1.5 - ah, man... Wood 'Avon barksdale' Harris, you can do better than this, surely? I like H50, but you can totally do better than this.
The Walking Dead 1.1 - based on the Robert Kirkman comic of the same name, this is fittingly downbeat and slow-paced stuff about the collapse of civilisation due to zombie outbreak, and like most zombie stories, despite the ubiquitous - some would almost say played out - nature of zombies in popular culture, nobody actually says the word zombie and even seem a bit clueless as to what the mythology entails. but it's entertaining stuff, taking necessary liberties with the source material to the point that it can get away with the talky scenes that dominate the comic and drag the pace to a standstill: here, the format supports exposition, but in many places the screen story eschews it in favor of the strengths that come with the moving image, particularly the scenes with the dude's wife instinctively shambling around their home after her death and freaking out her husband and son. It's definately one of the highlights of the new crop of shows this season - yes, even better than Hawaii Five-0 and the travesty that is The Event.
Caprica - So it's mature drama because he's made an anatomically correct sex robot that is identical to his 15 year old daughter? yeah, I'll go ahead and pass on this, thanks SyFy - but you keep on keeping it classy!

I've been watching the Big Bang theory and I haven't laughed once - obviously there must be something wong with the tv

I hate drawing mid-80s gothy hair - I can never get it to look right and clearly this is why it looks horrible. There can be no other reason.
If you look closely at what I'm doodling at the moment, you could be forgiven for thinking I'm slipping stealth penis into a kids' comic, but it'll be covered by the speech balloons.

Monday 18 October 2010

You didn't miss, your aim was fine - he was just in the wrong place, is all


normal service will resume shortly

Watching: Cougartown, The Middle, Clone Wars, Magnum
Reading: been checking out Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's All Star Superman #6 again as a bit of enjoyable research into how not to fudge emotion when doing comics, with ASS#6 being the most obvious example of a moving tale in the comics medium that came to mind, possibly prompted by the trailers for the upcoming animated adaptation of the comic that reassuringly seems to ditch much of the emotional core in favor of explosions and sub par animation.
If you don't know the plot, All Star Superman #6 is where Pa Kent becomes more than a footnote in Superman's backstory by passing away and giving a young Clark his first palpable taste of the limits to his abilities, a shameless lift from the first Chris Reeve movie but with a great twist that highlights how Superman can, if not defeat, then certainly cheat death.
The story takes place in the past when several future bearers of the Superman mantle arrive in the idealised American heartland of Smallville while pursuing a creature from the distant future, and while coming to their aid in trying to contain it, the young Superman fails to be present when his father passes away. At the funeral, Clark Kent breaks down while delivering his father's eulogy, but one of the future Supermen is revealed to be Clark Kent, who traveled to the past to be there when his father passes, reassuring him at the last that he's a better man for Johnathan's influence and stealing back the minutes he lost to the grim reaper the first time around, an act all the more important to Clark because he faces his own death in the near future through the machinations of Lex Luthor.
It's probably the highlight of the series for me, mixing daft Silver Age conceits like the future Supermen and the Chronovore with the definitive swansong for the Johnathan Kent character, who promptly popped his clogs in Smallville in admittedly less emotional fashion, and then again popped his clogs over in Geoff Johns' Superman run that seemed to be vacuuming ideas from All Star and the Legion of Superheroes cartoon like there was no tomorrow and yet somehow still managed to make JK's send-off both crass and emotionless, which is quite a trick. Sadly, the Johns' patricide story is also devoid of ASS#6's 'cake and eating it' twist of having Superman both fail to be there with his father when the worst comes to pass so we see the eulogy and emotions present yet thankfully avoid this being some sort of separation anxiety rationale for the lengths of Superman's heroism, and yet he also gets to spend those final moments with his father in the end, cheating not just death, but also the rather narrow remit of the modern superhero and the perpetual angst-driven vengeance quest by showing that Superman isn't driven to heroism by the parents he lost but rather the compassion and honesty whose merit he learned from them.
It's a fantastic comic, and if you have not read it, you should do so.

Sunday 17 October 2010


One day, Manga Studio, it shall be me who is the master!

Saturday 16 October 2010


Whoops! Nothing at all to post today as I've been beavering away at lettering and colouring to get that Judge Joyce story finished for the weekend and I can't really post any more without spoilering stuff, so appropos of pretty much nothing beyond that I've got no sketches or other finished art to hand, here's some Deep Space Nine fanfiction from back in the day:

Thursday 14 October 2010

If the murder of twelve innocent people can help save one human life, it will have been worth it.

Watching: 2 minutes, 27 seconds. That is the exact moment watching Vampires Suck became utterly unbearable and my Worst Movies of All Time quest hit its first major obstacle.
I know humor is subjective more than any other form of entertainment, but surely someone in the few weeks it took to make this, among the hundreds of production crew and actors, someone pointed out that the script wasn't funny? It gets to a point where it just staggers belief that something like Vampires Suck could ever be made, and yet people will watch this and more of its kind will be made in the future and it's not that it's awful because God knows I can watch and even enjoy awful movies, it's that it's awful and it isn't funny. There were hundreds of people involved in making this and I refuse to believe that not one of them had one funny anecdote or joke about the supernatural among them. Vampires Suck is beyond being a bad movie it is a statistical and logical impossibility whose existence cannot be proven with science.

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Smurfs don't lay eggs - I won't tell you this again! Papa Smurf has a fucking beard!

Watching: Sons of Anarchy (manly), Glee (increasingly tiresome), NCIS: Los Angeles (shit), Good Wife (hormonal), life Unexpected (blah), Outsourced (reassuringly ethnic), Family Guy (there must be something wrong the tv)
Reading: I am shortly beginning my quest to read the most creatively worthless comic books I can find (a sister quest to my ambition to watch the 100 worst films of all time prompted by comments I made on Colsmi's excellent blog when he suggested that no comic is totally without worth or merit and I countered with a recommendation for Marville and Batman: City of Crime) and I am reassured to find that the graphic novel 'Highlander: Way of the Sword' is for some reason in my home so I'm likely off to a good start in my stockpile of crapola. I have a good bad feeling about this one, written as it is by JT Krul, who wrote Rise Of Arsenal, the only comic I've seen in my life that wrote the demise of an infant with the same attention to the details of her violent death as is usually reserved for fan fiction encounters between male characters from extant canon and thus RoA can literally be described as a child snuff porn comic book, and is one of a small number of such articles that make me wonder about the mental well-being of those responsible for its creation. Highlander: Way of the Sword has a particularly ebullient quote from a review on its back cover: "(the art) has everything: pencils, inks, full colors. Every Thing." - insanely high praise, I'm sure we can all agree! "How can I not want to read this now?" is the sarcastic comment I should sign off with, but seriously: why is this in my home?

As a footnote to my quest to watch the 100 worst films of all time, I must say that these lists are a bit top-heavy with recent movies or movies that I can say I enjoyed on some level. Batman and Robin, for instance, is easily the best of the Burton-produced flicks for its sheer outrageous energy, pantomime performances and dedication to spectacle over logic, while Battlefield Earth is a deeply watchable car crash. The Postman is often derided for some reason, but I can't say that I particularly hated it much, though it has been many years since I saw it. I have some memory of it being a bit 'grey' visually, but that's about it.

She has mournful tits - they're like two suicide notes stuffed in a glitter bra

Tuesday 12 October 2010

I apologize for oversleeping, the sidewalk was more comfortable than it looked

I was planning an all-nighter to finish up the current strip, but there's no booze or energy drinks in the house, rendering such a prospect unappetising. In a way, it's a blessing that a professional standard of work eludes me as I have no idea what I'd do chasing deadlines - it's entirely possible that people would die.

Sunday 10 October 2010

it's funny because he is an underclass

Need. Finish. Comic.

Watching: You Have Been Watching, Vampire Diaries, The Gates, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, Venture Brothers

Friday 8 October 2010

Fuck you - gimme a dollar!

It ain't a godly hour to be posting, but in my defence I'm only getting some scribbling done now because I have a daily post to make. Dentist+anesthetic= not a great day to have right in the middle of me sorting out my waking hours to something approaching normality. have sort of fallen behind my panel a day norm thanks to this, so I'll have to play catchup tomorrow.

Wednesday 6 October 2010

"Following the rules" doesn't always lead to justice - when that happens, Eddie, I CHANGE the rules

Haha posting at a reasonably sensible time. What am I like?

Watching: Outlaw - Jimmy Smits' latest vehicle, a courtroom drama that views so much like a Simpsons parody of a courtroom drama that it simply has to be deliberate. There is just so much cliche and wild coincidence in amongst the corny dialogue and scant characters that I think the makers are pioneering some sort of reverse-iconoclasm, taking things that normally work out of context as a commentary on the limitations of the originating medium and transplanting them back into the originating medium in a functional context that allows those elements to be a part of the whole while still drawing attention to the form and method employed in its construction.
Yeah, that'll be it.
The Glades - a pleasant enough 'murder of the week' series with a dick main character. It's probably not a great sign that 13 episodes in I can't remember the name of a single character.
Raising Hope - the new show from the guys behind My Name Is Earl, set in the same fictional universe if one particular in-joke is anything to go by.

It's more of the same "white trash are scum and funny" stuff as was going on in Earl, but unlike the BBC's addiction to making sitcoms featuring cheeky, shifty, uneducated working class types that I find increasingly infuriating the nearer I draw to the grave, it's Americans being made fun of, so I can feel a bit superior rather than a horrible elitist bigot for enjoying it as much as I did.

Tuesday 5 October 2010

You think you're hot shit in a champagne glass but you're really just cold diarrhea in a dixie cup

So much for posting at a godly hour.

Watching: The Glades, Vampiyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Diaries, Parenthood, Batman: the Brave and the Bold, Blue Bloods, Boardwalk Empire

Monday 4 October 2010

It's a Britney Spears sex riot

What's this? A blog entry not made in the dead of night? Can it be our man is keeping regular hours and attempting to get some scribbling done during daylight?
Well, we'll see how long that lasts. Colouring in today, so not that much work actually done, but another page down is always a good thing, editing process to come later.

Watching: Chase S01E01-02 - a tv show about a blond female marshal chasing America's most dangerous criminals, which as premises go is not a million miles away from the DC Comics series that was also called Chase and featured a blond female protagonist doing much the same thing except in a superhero universe. Whatevers - the show is pretty decent if unspectacular, and any strong female leads in action series that don't end up blubbing because of small child/daddy/mommy/spouse-related trauma by the end of the first episode are to be encouraged.

This is an emergency - I'm Chuck Norris

Another wasted day on Dead Rising 2, which became less fun when the green gas bits started, but still a bit of a laugh. Managed to make a start on drawing in the evening, though, and caught up with Burn Notice, which has for some time now been a show I'm not entirely sure why I watch. Yes, it's got Bruce Campbell in it being Bruce Campbell, but - and this is possibly what I should have taken more notice of - Bruce will play in any old load of shit (a bit like Lance Hendrickson) and his presence is not a guarantee of good times ahead even if he has starred in some stone-cold classics down the years, and there's probably a good argument to be made that he picks stuff knowing full well he'll likely be the best thing about it. So while Burn Notice has Bruce Campbell, it conversely has the main character telling you at least four times an episode about being a spy, usually in a monotone voiceover informing you how being a spy is like being a gay man in Texas or something because no-one believes you when you tell them and then they treat it like a hilarious joke allowing you to slip past their defences and have your underfed fake Oirish on-off girlfriend blow up their car so they think the feds (played by Bruce) are on to them because them thinking this will make everything turn out okay - this is pretty much the plot to every episode so far, even the ones where they get angry at child abuse. Agh.
It is not a good show.
Also watching Rambo: the Force of Freedom, which is quite sublime by dint of association with the source material, but daffy enough on its own terms to bear a watch, like when he just somersaults down some stairs rather than walk, or when bad guys wander through what looks like Iraq while saying "so this is the Bronx". It's just mad and doesn't even seem to be trying, a bit like Chuck Norris and the Karate Kommandos, which is every bit as insane as you think it is, with Chuck fly-kicking a ninja in the face from his mount - a dolphin - which he then commands to "guard the entrance" and it does. At one point a NASA security chief waves away Chuck's security concerns by saying "Not even a fly could penetrate my defences!" and the completely straight-faced payoff to this line is one of the greatest things I have ever seen:

It is probably now one of my all-time favorite tv shows.

Saturday 2 October 2010

Ohgod..! Didyoueatallthisacid?

Ah, Saturdays - usually they're a mad dash looking after nephews or nieces, but today was a bit better. I put Dead Rising 2 on in the back room and lay on the bed playing that for God knows how long and let the weans watch. Not worried about the graphic content of the game too much - oil will run out in their lifetime and Iran will probably nuke me and all the other heathens before too long (although if you're that desperate to be surrounded by hundreds of virgins, lads, NYCC is on next week, where hopefully the GN I'm working on will be officially announced by the publishers), so all the carnage is probably helpful in hardening them for the world they'll inherit from us. I'm thoughtful like that.

No proper drawing today as it was chilli time, but as usual I wander back to Turbo Katie in the vague intention of finishing it off before my slow and horrible death from nuclear radiation, or - more likely - from being beaten with the thighbone of an infant by a spide determined to get the world's last tin of Red Bull out of my feeble hands.

when they catch you, they will kill you - but first they must catch you

Still only on the one panel a day, which inexplicably nudged 45mb as a standalone file. The freezes and crashes and waiting for the screen to update the brush strokes several seconds after I'd made them were a wonderful meditative tool.
I love you, Vista - don't ever change.

Friday 1 October 2010

This money pays for roads - we must all do our bit

Hell yeah, one panel a day is how I roll! Got to wonder why I don't do so great with deadlines, don't you? And why I'm not improving as much as I'd like.

One day soon, I intend to experiment with doing this art lark on a schedule that is not "in the evening sometime, when I've nothing else on."