Aug 31, 2009

MechaProgress I...

Still trying to decide exactly how I want to treat the Godzilla in the foreground. I want his lines and colors to be heavy to keep him into the foreground. I might reverse the bones out, maybe make the X-Ray effect more subtle. Not sure yet...I know I want the colors to be blazing by the time I'm done.

I've also been taking screengrabs every 15 min, so that should be fun. Cheers. d

Mr Smartass* has been going on for a whole year

Holy Cow.
Thanks to everyone who has been coming from the start. And welcome to everyone who has just started coming and OMG, filling up that room. Wednesday nights are tough sell, but you guys are cool. It's getting good and this week we've got the specialest of treats...

*The Mr. Smartass Theater Show is a live homage (aka total ripoff) to the classic television program Mystery Science Theater 3000. Three of Worcester's most notorious smart alecs give each film a new soundtrack laced with puns, dirty jokes, sound effects, factoids and pop culture references.

**Every show is unique, every show starts at 9:30, and it's ALWAYS FREE to get in. The Lucky Dog Music Hall is at 89 Green Street in beautiful Worcester MA.

***It's especially free if you are wearing a tube top.

Aug 30, 2009

Starting Up Mechagodzilla

Working a new image for my buddy Andy's book, Man Made Monsters. Not sure if I'll be able to use this particular image, since it's a copyrighted character. If so, I'll make something else. Here's my thumbnail and my pencils for it. Still lots of decisions to make with it and I'm not sure when I'm going to have a good block of time to work on it. Busy week coming up.

Aug 25, 2009

D-9 Update II

This might be done. Spent some more time on it tonight. Happy with how the shantytown came out. It's important to make sure that detailed bits of background look right so they don't wreck the whole piece.

As I was finishing up, Nick told me that Ted Kennedy had died, around midnight tonight. I know his last effort was to push through a proper universal health care system so that we could join the rest of the modern, shoe-wearing world. It's despicable that so many went to so much trouble to destroy a dying man's efforts, and hurt the rest of us in the process, just in the name of greed. Many of those people will be on the TV tomorrow, weeping and reciting fake sentiment.

Rest in peace, you will be missed.

Ancient stuff

Digging through the backroom pile of crap that qualifies as my 'archive,' I came across some ancient history. From probably 1995 or so. I was prepping to graduate college and find a new job so I had put together some demo sheets of my skills.

Batman and the Maxx, who was for whatever reason, the biggest thing in comics at the time. That character is pretty much lost to history at this point. Note the versions of Illustrator. These were all pre-transparency and I had yet to discover the wonders of creating my own brushes.

Aug 21, 2009

D-9 Update

I decided to make an actual piece from that sketch. Here it is midway...

Aug 20, 2009

Final Roller Derby Poster

My oh my, so many nice new things up's the final version of this.

Thoughts about District-9

There are District-9 spoilers in this post. But seriously, go see this movie. These comments won't make much sense till you do.

So the film is about racism, tribalism, ghettoism, and the Other. Racism among humans seems to have dissipated once the prawn were known to exist. But that's how human tribes are. If the prawn left for good, humans would go back to segregating and killing one another (the word 'prawn' should be capitalized if it's used for a race, but I'll explain later why I don't think that's necessary).

I thought the film was overly intense, but no one else seemed to. Maybe they did and they didn't want to be called a sissy, but whatever, I'm more interested in figuring out what affected me. What I've come up with is that I'm really bothered by the idea of being pulled out of a shitty house, and put on your knees by people with guns. Whether you're a human, a prawn or Donald frigging Duck, it bothers me. Then shooting them in the head while they're on their knees? Yeah, that's too much.

It's not a video game movie, nor is it a sci-fi action flick, even D-9's most kickass fight scenes are too awkward for that. Even to the point that the commando bad guy who harasses Wikus, isn't killed by Wikus, but by a horde of prawn defending Wikus. Rather than a kickass moment, it's almost melancholy, a realization that he's past the tipping point, more prawn than human.

So here's the real braintease, as I see it. There are a load of unanswered questions (and talk of a sequel), but among that series of questions there are clues hiding.

D-9 left me wondering if the prawn species originally looked like the prawn form, or if it were a manifestation of the fluid. As if they were actually some third humanoid form, who had been exposed to the juice. What other purpose would there be for that fluid to exist?

Why would that prawn-fluid exist? Why would we humans create a fluid that turned another species, let's say dogs, into humans? To create an easily controlled sub-human, slave species, either warrior-slaves, or miner-slaves. That would explain why the tools and weapons are only activated by the species, or why other, larger equipment would run on the same prawn-fluid-fuel. The fluid is a DNA or virus and also a fuel, not a security measure, as we (or MNU) would perceive it to be. And the more fluid, the bigger equipment it can power, like the small ship. These different stages of the same fluid is addressed by CJ's 'chemistry set'.

Also, if they were slaves on a mining job, that would explain why they went to Africa. I think this is an obvious subtext, no need to get into it.

Bottom line, I think Christopher Johnson doesn't really look like that. I think he was exposed to the fluid, got sick with prawnism, and wasn't able to feed and care for his slaves. There are two levels of prawn: the workers, with no sense of direction, no ideas, no brains; and there are the three that we know of that have their minds intact, Christopher Johnson, CJ's child, and Wikus. Wikus was intelligent enough to build things, sneak out of D-10 and back in, all while remaining anonymous. This seems to point to the idea that prawn-form is an unnatural state. If a smart human becomes a prawn, he still thinks like a smart human (albeit a smart human trying to figure out how to survive in this form), but if a dog becomes a prawn, it behaves like a dog.

Which made me wonder why the slaves wouldn't rise up with the weapons, revolt against the owners? I don't think the slave-level prawn would revolt in their normal situation, they would just fill their purpose, in the same fashion as worker ants/bees/etc.

The 'unnatural state theory' would also explain why he has a technology to reverse the process. Just in case one of the higher-ups like himself were infected with prawnism.

That's my 2¢. Enjoy this sketch of Wikus van der Merwe.

Aug 19, 2009

Inking, Coloring Day 2 Roller Derby.

I have lots more to do on this, but it was a busy morning and this is my pencils-down deadline for today. Needed to get them something presentables for this afternoonses. Enjoys...

And a little bit of context for this afternoon. iTunes Genius is a riot, esp when pushed to the 100 limit. So much funny info in this image:

Aug 18, 2009

Roller Derby Progress

Here's what I got for today.

Aug 17, 2009

What is this?

What is this nice box that has arrived on my porch this morning?

Looks nice.

Smooth borders, no clumsy edges on the art.

Got my trucks ready to screw in. Found these on a busted board down by Vincent's one night.

Thanks, litterpunk!

EDIT: This surface is really beautiful, but the closer you get, you do see that there is some inkjetting at work here, not quite museum/gallery quality, but still pretty awesome. Definitely worth it. Anyone interested in one of their own can click here*.

Or here.

Or here.

Or even here.

You get the idea.

Thanks, everybubby!

*Also, I just saw $5 off for orders over $45, use code SUMMER5OFF45. All boards are usually $59, sans trucks.

Aug 15, 2009

Flyer for CMRD

Yeah, you better make some noise for Central Mass Roller Derby.
This here's just my sketch for a new flyer. I'll be finishing it up this week. Final will be full-color.

Aug 13, 2009

Recommended List

Here is a list of things that are amazing:

Havana Nocturne, by T.J. English
The Mighty, from DC Comics
The Rapture, from Dark Horse Comics
Steamboy, (DVD)
Wednesday Comics, from DC Comics
•My 81 Honda 400, (and its sweet new mirrors)
Iron skillet cooking
Central MA Roller Derby
Dead Space for the PS3
Widoff's pumpernickel bread
Beastie Boys remixes
Kings of Leon
•NIN's Ghosts I-IV
Michael and Michael Have Issues
Clarke and Dawe
The Hangover (ok maybe not amazing, but still fun)
Airsoft guns
•Those giant new sound-enhanced greeting cards at CVS

This is just a list of things. People who are amazing...well, you know who you are. And you really bug me, you know that?

Aug 11, 2009

I went

It's no secret and I don't care who knows it, I support full-strength health care reform. Regardless of that, I've been hearing about these town hall protesters who show up, throw the words 'Nazi', 'concentration camp' and 'death panel' etc etc around. They yell and scream so no one else gets a word in, especially the congressfolks who they just screamed questions at. So I went to Rep. Niki Tsongas' town hall out in Hudson, MA. For the most part the crowd seemed 50/50, supportive vs unsupportive. No one was too much of a shouter.

Tsongas handled it all well, even if her answers were a little more complicated than folks had the appetite for. Also, she was caught in the middle. When I say 50/50, I mean half wanted single-payer, and half just wanted to yell 'fuck you'. Tsongas' position is for the public option, which sits somewhere in between those two sentiments.

The meeting overall was a snooze. The answers were complex and the crowd would start to squirm about 30 seconds into each answer. My take is that the shouters have self-defeated. TV has shown them in action, and the silent majority seems to have finally shown up. Once they don't feel like they can bully the whole place, they don't. References were made to the Chelmsford meeting being a real mess and that Rep Tsongas was pretty brave for showing up to this one. Maybe the bullies had a chance to go home and think about their behavior. Tsongas was brave, and the bullies as usual, were not.

Something odd that I did notice, two of the loudest guys in the room were behind me. They were kinda loud, kinda stupid, more like juveniles trying to make each other laugh in church. They weren't paying attention, as the even wore on, they'd clap at the wrong times, yell in support of the wrong issues. Whatever. The thing I noticed happening was that when they were hollering, an aide went over and stood by them, she was young, nice, and was engaging them in conversation, answering questions in an informative, non-confrontational way. The tone was as if she were giving street directions to a lost driver. This defused them quite a bit. Interesting, I can't tell if it was intentional or not.

I went just to take photos and clap and collect propaganda, just to observe, after all, I am not a voter in this district. I refused to engage in any conversation...Though I did yell out a Nelson Muntz 'Ha-Ha' when one of the questioners had to invent his own 'real' number of the nation's uninsured. He was adamant that that 46 million number was hogwash. Someone pressed him what he thought it was, and he replied " ...5 to 10 million." Maybe I should have yelled "Only".

Regardless, here's my spoils. We did have a bunch of these.

Strangely enough, most of the guys handing the Nazi propaganda out were black. I'm not sure I get that. The area is very white.

I was quite alarmed when they gave me this!

I didn't know those two palled around!

Oh wait, it's fake, and now that I think of it, I have Photoshop too!

And oh, my goodness!

I really could go all day.

Then there was this guy. I do appreciate the street-theatre make-ya-think protesters.

He handed me this:

And just to be fair with the Photoshop:

Wow, you can do ANYTHING with this program! Look at my busted battery from my earlier blogpost!

All in all though, it was a civil event. I'm glad I went.

Aug 7, 2009

So guess what happened

I got my MacBook Pro in late 2007. Bought a spare battery with it, because I often travel, having the extra 3-4 hours of battery life is definitely worth it. Well, I haven't actually needed it that much, and one of my batteries seemed to get hot all the time. This made me nervous, so I set it aside, put it in my drawer where I haven't touched it in more than 6 months, maybe a year. I opened the drawer today and voilá! Four of the six flat, spooled battery cells have decided to become cylindrical-shaped spooled battery cells, and in the process have popped open the casing for the overall unit. Not sure if they are toxic, acidic or whatever, all I know is they are delicious. Little marinara, some capers, fresh ground pepper and fresh grated parmesan. Don't bother with that pre-grated parmesan cheese, go for the real stuff. And take small bites, don't let your tongue touch + and - at the same time. Bon frigging appétit.