Tuesday, 30 November 2010

This is happening. You have to be strong.

Because KILLED BY DEATH is never far from my playlist...

Watching: Skyline - about which I can only concur with the guy ahead of me in the queue while we were leaving the theater who said "I can't remember the last time I went to the cinema and saw anything that bad." I suspect that Roland Emmerich funded this picture under an assumed name just to make Independence Day look like a great alien invasion movie - if so, it was money well spent. I did not like it.

You can't kick me out of Coon and Friends - I'm the fucking Coon!

Apologies for the clumsy shopping, but today there is

Sunday, 28 November 2010

I don't want to go to jail Mr Ross - they have robbers and rapists and rapists who rape robbers

Watching: Roots: The Next Generation 1-3 - not quite as essential as the first few episodes of the original series before the happy ending kicked in (where it turned into a Looney Tunes-style chase where the heroes got one over on dumb ol' whitey), but still soberingly blunt in places as occasionally such material needs to be to remind us that we've still got a way to go no matter how many teen dramas skirt with the idea of interracial romance. I'm not really a big fan of those fictions that amount to little more than a holiday in the misery of others so I feel no real need to watch the Hostels and the Saws and the Eastenders, but for some reason I made time for this and I'm not entirely sure what I make of it, possibly because it's a grim reminder best summed up not by the scene transition that moves from a politician dropping names such as Plato and Cicero whom he has studied to help create the perfect oration for his would-be constituency which cuts directly to a man bellowing the word "niggers" at the camera, but by the sight of a weary black man with faith in fairness attempting to vote only to be stymied by clever tricks perpetuated by angry morons who hiss that "things are changing" and it reminds me that rather than the ever forward momentum we assume social progress to be, we can be dragged backwards at any time by anyone small and angry enough to not notice or care about the world they now live in.
Nikita 1.01/1.02 - a little confused by this initially, as it seemed to be a remake of the film/tv series up until the flashbacks were revealed to be happening in the present day and weren't the experiences of the young Nikita but a junkie she's groomed to be her replacement/mole in the agency that created her as she plays a long game in simultaneously deconstructing it from without and within. It's quite glossy with the older Nikita in scenes where she's supposed to be cocky instead coming off as obnoxious, but the worrying subtext of women existing primarily as sex objects remains from the 1990s series, with the younger female protagonist having to be rescued from two separate rape attempts in the space of ten minutes arguably changing the subtext to plain text rather quickly. It is all a bit unconvincing in a bad way as opposed to unconvincing in a good way like The Defenders, which is not a great show but wears its thoughts on its sleeve and thus can't really disappoint you because you are watching a guy running around with his dick all but hanging from his trousers trying to have sex with a Las Vegas stripper and you know more or less everything you need to in order to judge if you'll continue watching and whatever you decide you will be correct because curve balls are not part of the show's gameplan. Nikita, on the other hand, has a heroic lead who we're supposed to cheer for because she sets someone up to be murdered and another person to be gang raped just to further her own agenda. Possibly it's going somewhere with it all and there's a moralistic message to be found at the end, but I'd at least hope there's some sort of examination of the grooming/abusive relationship between Nikita and her young protege in the pipeline.
Superman 3 - which is nowhere near as awesome as this scene might make you think it is.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

If you leave the house looking for someone to stick their finger up your arse, then whatever it is you're doing you're doing it wrong

You think, uh, maybe I could get my dick back?

Around these parts when you go to see your GP on a busy day, you get whoever has the free time now that there are a lot of Portugese financial migrants knocking about. I'm not complaining about this because they usually have a squad of kids in tow and it makes sense to come here and use our health service with a reasonable track record where negligent homocide is concerned, and Portugal is a shithole - by getting those members of its population smart enough to leave we 're improving our stock while also hopefully hastening the micro-apocalypse that will swallow that backwater so we can send the troops in to mop up and then open a Disneyland.
Anyway, I'm rambling in what is essentially a very short story: when I went to see a doctor about The Toilet Blood Problem, instead of my regular GP I got Doctor Brown. Haha - do you see? I had to get someone to stick their finger up my arse and his name was Doctor Brown.

Aye, essentially what this story tells you is that I am still 8 years old.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

we've just been informed the Dark Lord Cthulu has shat on the runway of the New Orleans airport and we'll be delayed at least another hour

Taking a break today from drawing thanks to poor time management and the ever-welcome sight of lots and lots of toilet blood, but I do still have television shows to watch and that means time spent at the pc where, like the fool I am, I once again attempt to use art apps I shouldn't be let anywhere near. Yes, while watching television shows, and no, I never did find out why my attention span is so bad.
Today it was Sketchup, a handy (in that it is free) 3d programme that like many others of it's ilk I cannot for the life of me get to grips with, particularly making convex/concave surfaces, how to lock the app into 'drawing' along a particular axis rather than choosing one arbitrarily, moving through the model without 'jamming' the camera on something that isn't there so I'm rolling the mouse button for ages trying to zoom in or out - and it doesn't help when talented fuckers like Kev Levell make it look not just easy to use but eminently desireable if it means being able to make your own cities and whatnot. Just check out that Mopad he did. Bastard.
I've had troubles with Sketchup in the past that drove me off it after being initially sold - mainly the updated toolbar and icons since Sketchup 5 - but like Manga Studio being a lot better once I sat down and gave it a bit of time, Sketchup seems to be a lot more user friendly than I originally credited it as being and my first attempt at making a Judge Dredd MK1 Lawgiver is at least fit for perspective reference purposes (the odd shape is a bugger to get right panel after panel), though it took the better part of two hours and much gnashing of teeth and I still can't figure out how to get the model into Photoshop or Manga Studio - though I'll wager that it's piss-easy and it's my fault through ignorance I can't do it.

There are still a lot of edges I need to figure out how to round off, but I've tried to keep it reasonably close to the comics version so it's come out a little slim-looking, although I gather that this aesthetic of the MK1 was why Dredd creator John Wagner asked that the weapon be redesigned to be more bulky. I was also torn between the triangular muzzle favored by Ron Smith and the barrel-shape favored by Carlos Ezquerra, but in the end, the thought of doing those thick jagged lines bordering the rounded muzzle of a gun bursting out of a panel while shooting someone seemed like the epitome of mid-80s Dredd.

He knew you needed to catch the fish and I needed to throw them back

Sad news that Ingrid Pitt has passed away today at the pretty decent innings of 73 years. Probably best known for her turn in cinematic classic the Wicker Man, a film so good even the remake turned out pretty great*, she also had the odd turn in Hammer vehicles and is probably best remembered for carrying the entire film as nympho nutter Countess Bathory in Hammer's Countess Dracula, which I rewatched this evening after hearing of her passing.

* This is a lie.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Squeeze my lizard!

Ah, the tedious process of building pages...

Watching: Superman IV, which is not as bad as I remember, it is worse. He has Great Wall Repairing Vision now? Superman telekinesis? Humans can speak, hear and breathe in space, too - mind you, that was established as far back as Superman II, or at least the Richard Donner version, which established that people could speak in space at great an unnecessary length that even a young me found a bit illogical. Also He Man and She-Ra: the Secret of the Sword, which is the gayest thing I have ever seen, and I speak as someone who has watched gay men have sex(1). "put him in a cell - an uncomfortable one! BWAH-HA-HA-HA!" And there's this team of evil dudes with names like Hordak, Grizzlor, Shadow Witch, Leech, and Princess Adorable and we're supposed to wonder which one is going to defect to the good guys? Weak sauce, 1980s.

(1) to rule it out as an option. Never confused.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

"Communication in this team has gone from four bars to no signal."

Watching Blue Bloods 1.09 and it's sneering comic book rapist/murderer, I realised what I'd like to see on telly: a show about cops dealing with supervillains. No superheroes or anything, just a cop show about regular, grounded cops and their life dramas who just happen to have a day job tracking down guys that use robot monkeys, earthquake guns, or laser satellites to commit crimes. I hear good things about Gotham Central, a comic book along just these lines about the world's most singularly incompetent police force as they stumble around waiting for a violent transvestite to solve all their problems for them. Should probably check that out sometime.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Enjoy eating fibre and watching the Mentalist

540-odd posts on the blog and it feels like forever since I started it with the intention of posting my attempt at a webcomic that has actually never materialized - though in my defence, I am very lazy and didn't bother doing it. Well, I never got the perquisite amount of finished pages "in the bank" so I can do a semi-regular publishing schedule but fuck that idea anyway: it'll appear when it appears, and a visually-inconsistent bastard it shall be, believe me.

Stinking hangover today that I brandished like a badge of honor, because Thursday is my Saturday and that's how I roll, son. Downhill.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

You want everyone to listen but YOU WON'T TALK TO ME

How odd: this SyFy movie The Lost Future is not completely terrible so far. Clearly there is something wrong with this copy - perhaps it's a preair edit?

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

We gotta find 'em before the streets do or it's gonna be WAR

No Vista crash today as I barely got any work done, but I was forced to practice rule #1 for Having A Beard: once it enters your peripheral vision, it is time to shit or get off the pot and you either shave that mofo or give it a french plait so you like Techno Viking or a Klingon cosplayer.

I miss it already in this cold...

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Yu arr nott sendink ME to da coolah, Batman!


But onward, ever onward - that's the the spirit!

Hate to make a post about the weather, but KEE-ryst it is getting colder, or "it's Pearl Harbour outside the night" as it is said round these parts - and no, you don't want that one explained to you. I wouldn't mind so much, except it rarely snows, it just gets colder.

Monday, 15 November 2010

You're the youngest woman detective in the Miami Police Department and I really admire you, like, a lot

Small Press Big Mouth give me and comedy Geordie (as if there's any other kind) Lee Robson's upcoming Com.X graphic novel a mention over on their podcast, along with other ex-Insomnia bods who found new homes for their work after the collapse of the company. It's a pretty decent podcast because it centers more on the small press and indie books from the UK scene and is quite good for picking up on the kind of books you might not even know exist, though I do wonder why Lee and Stacy put on silly accents for it, though obviously I can't go throwing stones about silly accents.
Strange but true: you know Brad Pitt's accent in The Devil's Own? That's a Cookstown accent (he even name-drops the town, though erroneously places it on the shores of Lough Neagh despite that being a half hour drive), and it's often ridiculed by English comedians for being ridiculous and unrealistic - well pardon us for not meeting your high standards of faux-gaelic brogue you middle class university-educated cunts. We can't all sound like your The Edge, or standard-bearer for pretend Irish the world over Shane McGowan.

Friday, 12 November 2010

I'd like to thank the Academy, my agent, and most of all, my operating system, Windows Vista

Vista is back to it's lovable old self:

Sometimes I wonder what I'd do without having to stop after extended periods of time on photoshop while the pc decides if it's going to crash entirely or merely hang for a few minutes, but I do like that Vista basically has a timer of sorts that reminds me periodically to go play a videogame, watch a movie or get something to eat - without it I'd never have racked up 80 hours on my current New Vegas save, and for that I should probably be thankful.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

get the satellite if you wanna see me

Another 2000ad mash up, leaving aside the rush colouring job that's functional and little more, I imagine the overlap in the audience for the original 1978 Mobile Suit Gundam cartoon series and underrated Mark Millar mid-90s Robocop vs aliens riff Maniac 5 is quite small, but I'm fond of both.

Got a lot of details wrong on this, but the main one is that Amuro from Gundam isn't a two-gun kinda hero, he's actually a total whiner.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

breathing fire, pisses in your eye

Just a quick one of Old One Eye meeting Godzilla, not so much because of the 2000ad Mash Up art compo as it is the fact I haven't drawn Godzilla in at least two days and that is no way to run your life.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Sunday, 7 November 2010

He tried to blackmail the city and he got caught by his own weapon - caught cold!

Because it wouldn't be a real day's attempt at work without it:

Got tired of drawing teenage Asians standing around talking so I'd have something for the obligatory daily post, so instead today went for a quick entry for the 2000ad forum's art compo. Haven't drawn Dredd much in the last few years since I've tried to learn the comic craft, in fact I think my only deliberate attempt at a Dredd I gave up on after the first page on account of how horrid it was.
Anyway, Dredd, Shako and a random background dropped in from something else I was drawing (free time: I has not a lot of it) go Bear Cavalry on the Sovs Big Meg style:

And yes, I'm aware he doesn't look very polar bear-ish - what do you want at this time of the morning? If I had the time, there would be disco in this picture, but here we are.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

gimme callot gimme rettuce

Haha - it's almost a tradition now!

I kid, I kid - I loves you, Vista. You are easily the best OS called Vista running on my PC right now. Well, I say 'running'...

Still struggling with drawing anyone non-white in a consistent manner, you will notice.

Watching: Murder She Wrote - I have no idea how my life got to this point, I really don't. I've taken time to ponder it, however, and I suspect it is my fear of risk and change that is to blame.
Playing: Fallout: New Vegas - gonna platinum me dis shizzle fo sho!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Lousisana law gon get you Amos

Blah blah blah Vista

But as usual I has to keep on truckin' and turning it off and on again seems to clear up most problems apart from unsaved work.

Watching: complete and utter crap, unsurprisingly. Michelle Yeoh vehicle Silver Hawk is a bit fun as she plays an obnoxious globe-trotting masked superhero who speaks - like the rest of the cast - in broken English and within the first five minutes of the movie has jumped the Great Wall of China on a motorcycle, mugged a truck, and then cavorted with a baby panda who she's just rescued from kidnappers. This is a stupid film but that is not to say it isn't entertaining, though obviously the stupidest thing about it is the enduring superhero trope that dictates that no-one will recognize you if you wear a little half-mask, not even when you are a globe-trotting supermodel who is always in the same country and city as a superhero just before they appear.
I seem to remember Blood Beach as being better than it actually is, but it's still okay as shlock movies go. Possibly Caravan of Courage is not as good as I recall, either, but there's only one way to find out...
On the gaming front the title sequence for the new Bond - Bloodstone - is quite terrible and has put me off the game as a consequence, as I think by now anyone in the entertainment business should be aware that even the makers of Superman Returns knew you have to get your title sequence right. I didn't mind the Jack White/Alicia keys movie theme, but I am of the opinion that the Kerli effort was better for the neat touch of blending the trademark Bond riff and his signature eye-shootin' thingy into the title montage alongside an action sequence that managed to go one better on the movie because you can actually tell what the fuck is going on during it, and I have a bit of a soft spot for the 2004 Mya Bond theme that admittedly has more to do with the game being damn good even if the story is ludicrous - I mean, a supervillain plans to weaken the levees around New Orleans so the city will be flooded? Like that could ever happen!
Anyway: Bloodstone - rubbish title sequence.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

I come rough tough like an elephant tusk

Damn your hide I will get this right if it kills me - can you tell where I've subtly used the photoshop line tool?

Watching: Halloween specials - the standout probably being Community, which features a completely in-continuity zombie outbreak rather than making it a dream or something, which is just awesome.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

don't skimp on the chilli peppers I want my farts to hurt

Dang your eyes, Jack Daniels. I hate you but I love you. I hate that I love you.

So much for the pseudo-ligne claire look to the strip - there is also a glaring disparity between the colours on the tablet and the colours on my monitor, and it is not helped by the latter constantly 'auto adjusting' to a shitty colour setup even after I go to the trouble of calibrating the two into synch. Do I blame Dell? Do I blame myself? Do I blame Vista? Fuck it, I'll blame Vista - let's face it, that's always a safe bet.

Watching: Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva. Based on a Nintendo DS game and kind of a sub-Ghibli offering in terms of visuals, but kids would probably get on with it if it was a bit faster-paced or the action was better animated - though god knows what they like these days. Maybe it's perfectly fine as it is, but I thought it was overlong and too slow. Nice visual aesthetic, though.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Children of the night - SHUT UP!

Watching: Convoy, and holy crap Sam Peckinpah directed this.

I suppose it shouldn't be that surprising given some of what goes on - the level of violence in the 'wacky' diner fight, the tension in some of the character interplay, the outlaw mystique of Rubber Duck - but this was one of those movies of my youth that we always seemed to be watching to the point that I can't recall what I made of it during the first viewing as it's just there, much as movies like Escape To Victory, Star Wars, Aliens, Die Hard, Last Boy Scout, or Lethal Weapon 2 were.

Still - Sam 'Wild Bunch' Peckinpah directed it. I did not make that connection, or possibly I did and then forgot it thoroughly.

Nosferatu the Vampyre - creeeeeeeeepy, which is as it should be.

None of your Twilight effeminate poseur nonsense here: this 1979 adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula draws a sad and pitiable picture of vampirism as less a curse or an immortal evil than something akin to a neverending depression tinged with moments of social anxiety when you have to go out for milk (red milk, obviously).

What strikes me is how desolate and alien the cinematography paints the world to help bring home the idea that some sort of creature of this kind might exist somewhere waiting for the modern world to come bumbling along and accommodate it somehow.

we must explore Avery Avenue

Sat up all night watching Carry On Screaming, The Thing, The Fog, Wolfen, In the Mouth of Madness, and Ghosts of Mars (which like Battlefield Earth, the Postman, and Batman and Robin is a film I can easily watch over and over no matter what the critical consensus has to say) and then I played Fallout: New Vegas pretty much all morning and afternoon. When it deigned not to crash on me, anyway.
Nice Halloween, all told, though as ever, the fireworks outside will only just now start to really take off as we get closer to Nov 5th, when all of Northern Ireland celebrates the burning of a catholic who thought socialism was a good idea and oppressive monarchy not so much. What an idiot.

Monday, 1 November 2010

I had an erotic dream about Henry Rollins last night and I'm straight as an arrow

Today, a request from a younger relative:

Take that, Freddy you dumb knacker. That'll teach you to devote most of your Halloween to things other than attending to your blog so you have to come in late and get scribbling! Like you have for the last week, oddly...