Wednesday, May 23, 2007

BALLARDS AND SAGAS

Man, Lost went all Ballard on us. After it went all Las Vegas. After it went all Star Trek II. And after it was the best episode of 24. That was nerdtacular television.

Now, it's good-bye tv until 2008, pretty much.
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I haven't blogged in couple days, been keeping the puter at work for digitals. And at home I've been doing the one thing no one thought I'd ever do — cleaning. Seriously, this is the cleanest the apartment's been in nearly a year. Good-bye, filth.

Now, I've got more EMAW to do. And more cleaning. And I'm up for How Did This Happen? panel 13. Hopefully, I'll talk more comics this weekend, as I've read some and went on my most mainstream of purchases this week.

Also, it seems that something went wacky in the mails and I never got something I was supposed to get and I didn't realize that it was time for me to get it and now I've ruined another friendship. I'm just no good at this.

Monday, May 21, 2007

GOOGLE GIVES ME NEW NAME!

Just some of the things people are looking for on google when they find this blog:


marcus blassingame
— this one comes up frequently...

matt weigle — nice

blablazo super — YES!

piss fetish — DOUBLE YES! It worked!

t — who does this? what are they looking for? How high up the google list am I for 't'?

squirrel flute — Kelso! Except... well... hmmm...


hypatia lee the masseuse
— payin' my bills

3A — Really?

paping comic — nice

3A — who can't get enough of my wonderful 3A stories? They keep looking and keep finding me. Going on and on and on about 3A. It's my favorite topic.


mantoys sex
— Sex Mantoys is my new name. Forget all those other colorful nicknames you've given me. From now on, I respond only to Sex Mantoys. Sex Mantoys: He does what the package says. Wait. Wait a second. Sex Mantoys: Agent Provocateur. His boss is The Package, and he does what he says. I think I've just reinvented the gay spy thriller and gave it a flanged base.

earth quicks — I think this is a DC Universe planet where everyone except Barry Allen, Jay Garrick, Bart Allen, Professor Zoom and Wally West has access to the speed force. (I can't believe I know all those names. I don't think I've ever actually read a Flash comic in my life — although I reallyreallyreally want to get that Showcase book that just came out.)

Bettie Ballhaus dancing — the bills pile up, and she knocks 'em down

el blablazo game show — more puppet game show goodness, although not the Super celebrity version

Earth quicks — even with a capital E, I still think you're spelling 'quakes' wrong. Two time!

dj kaled we takin' over — I just listened to this again today. Still enjoyable. I love T.I. too much.


beutiful women vampires comics
— from the people who brought you 'earth quicks'? I really should do more comics about beautiful women vampires. Or, at least, do more beautiful women vampires. Earth quicks, indeed. That's the planet I'd be living on if I was. Sex Mantoys' 3A squirrel flute would be reduced to looking like the Cup and Ball game.

I need to go to bed before that last sentence makes sense.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

MOST AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL OF PANELS

In an effort to secure a book deal, I present my most autobiographical of panels:

NEVER



Never let it be said that I only give you stereotypical comic book women.

Also, let it never be said that I won't use noodly detail to get myself out of a half-assed composition.
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So, it appears we have a real winner with Communic's Waves of Visual Decay. Prog metal reminiscent at times of ...and Justice For All Metallica, Sap Alice in Chains, Tool, King Diamond, Queensryche — often in the same song. It's never as awesome or as ambitious as anything it references, but it's solid all the way through.

Deicide's Legion is a bit one note in the growly, repetitions. Definitely a random mix filler than a full listens every time.

QUICK AND THE 8

It's always fun to do a quick little incidental panel with no backgrounds. Lou's 6B pencil, fat #8 brush for everything but the borders and lettering. Speedy delivery.

FIRST/LAST: LAST

The last panel in the first/last series:



I guess it all turns out okay. Next!

Labels:

LATER

I still haven't gotten my desktop puter fixed, and the music on my ipod was starting to wear a little thin. Let me tell you, after a couple weeks, 15 gigs of music gets old, especially when most of that music has been in my collection for 5-10 years. I needed to spice things up a bit, but didn't want to download the same stuff I already had. What to do...what to do...

I decided that I should go on another Metal spree. There hasn't much indie rock, oldie rock, hip-hop or R&B to come out in the past few weeks and I run pretty deep on that shit on the busted puter. But metal? There's always crazy weird corners of metal to discover.

I went online, looking for lists. LISTS! Best Of 2006 lists, I figured would be plentiful and full of loopy names I'd never heard of. Well, the lists I found certainly were full of loopy names, but the lists themselves were not plentiful. Maybe I used the wrong keywords. Oh well.

I did find some stuff, though. Even if too many lists leaned toward classic/glam/prog metal for my tastes. It's a shame, because the sonics on a lot of those albums were pretty great, but I can't stand the sort of vocalists those sort of bands attract. I can't get my fist punch goin' strong or keep my head bang serious when those guys are oooohing and ahhhhhing all operatic like. I know metal owed a great dept to pioneers like Sabbath, Maiden and Queen; but debt paid, y'know? Move on! Also, an a cappella metal act is a funny novelty — not an innovative next step! Barbershop metal sounds awesome only when it goes no further than sounding exactly like the words 'barbershop metal'. In practice, it sounds like something that should've stayed a running joke whenever you're high. Also, excluding freaking MASTODON from your lists is shameful.Their Blood Mountain was all neckedy neck with T.I.'s King for best album of the year, in my book. Of ALL albums. And I miss it.

nayway, check out some of these loopy names:

Amon Amarth — With Odin On Our Side
Bal-Sagoth — The Chthonic Chronicles
Behemoth — Demigod
Behemoth — Thelema.6
Celtic Frost — Into the Pandemonium
Celtic Frost — Monotheist
Communic — Waves of Visual Decay
Deicide — Legion
Demiricous — One (Hellbound)
Eyes of Fire — Prisons
I — Between Two Worlds
Isis — In Abscence of Truth
Isis — Oceanic
Isis — Panopticon
Legion of the Damned — Malevolent Rapture
Sepultura — Arise
Sepultura — Beneath the Remains
Sepultura — Chaos A.D.
Vader — The Beast

Okay, the best names went to bands that didn't sound that great. Also, I knew Sepultura, but I think I've either only heard their very old stuff or their more recent stuff. These are supposed to be their best albums, and what I've heard so far sounds sweet.

Amon Amarth is awesome. I was a little nervous about all the Viking stuff at first, but they insist it's not a racist thing but a 'Vikings!' thing. Really, racists have ruined Vikings for too long. TOO LONG! Anyway, it's great death metal, pretty thrashy stuff with songs about Vikings! that don't sound stupid and Lord of the Ringsy. Also, there's a song about going to war with the Irish. Which is like ending your album with a teddy bear.

Bal-Sagoth is possibly the most ridiculous band ever. These guys heard the Call of Cthulu and went nutz. There's crazy narration, grind-core rapping, death metal speed crizzy and transitions, and swirly symphonic keyboards. It shouldn't work, and I shouldn't listen too closely to the lyrics, but the sound is epic.

Celtic Frost is also crazy. Almost a punk sound to the vocals (with some dreaded melody crap) except when the French woman show up and it sounds like French lounge. The music is mostly an 80sish metal sound with Sabathy sludge — except when they get all industrial or go nearly Melvins. And they do a cover of Mexican Radio!!!!

The rest, I've yet to full listen, but I'm looking the forwards.

LATE

Well, it's about 2:30 in the AM. I decided not to start scanning for the neighbors' sake. At this time of night, it seems a lot louder to me. I don't know why I'm concerned. This afternoon I had to listen to the dad begging his kid to stop crying or tell him why he always is. Clearly, he hasn't yet learned the "I'll give you something to cry about" technique. Adults, these days.
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Been watching MI:5, which was Spooks in the U.K. I think they had to re-title it because David Kelly had a very short-lived Spooks show on the same time in the U.S. Of course, they may have retitled it because Spooks is an awfulawfulawful name. It sounds like a 90-00s Leslie Neilsen movie parody.

It's decent. Sort of like Sandbaggers but ER-Nikita-24ed up for slightly sexy slightly sci-fi action. And the first series has that feeling that it all takes place in the same week, with a new terrorist threat every day. Whew! None of the actors are superb, and the insider politicking is a little light. But it's okay, and they get some guest stars that make my nerd squeal like piggy: Chris 'Finchy' Finch, Giles, House... I half expect to turn on the next episode to see that other British guy who is funny. You know the one.
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One thing I did watch that was pretty funny was Joe Rogan: Live. Like Street Fight, this is some sort of Netflix co-production. I am an unrepentant fan of Newsradio, but didn't know Rogan was a standup until sometime after it went off the air. Good friend Josh Marcus was staying over the High St. place one night and wanted to play this tape he had of some standup. Turned out, it was Rogan. He did this one bit about weight-lifters trying to get their asses as tight as possible that still has me rolling on the floor thinking about it. Unfortunately, that bit wasn't on this live set, as it features more recent material. It's pretty great material, nonetheless, and definitely represents his stage dive into weed and psychedelics. It's pretty familiar stuff, but he his blistering take on traditional comic fodder is worth seeing.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

BREAKIN' ALL THE RULES

Occupying 4 slots of the six-panel grid on page 4:



The strange thing about this one is that I actually had to draw it smaller than the panels that take up one slot. I'm drawing them at a scale as large as my scanner can take, and the different proportions of this panel wound up meaning that it had to be done smaller, even though it will be printed bigger. Should make for some interesting "Wha???s" once I start printing.
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Panel 10 (should it be Panel -10?) of How Did This Happen is up. It's a tribute to the Barron Storey school of comic illustration (the commercial art guys like Bill Sienkiewicz, Dave McKean, David Mack, that Christian dude who just won a Xeric). I even included the little triangles! And the hand-drawn seriffy typography! I almost want to make a t-shirt out of it.

Friday, May 18, 2007

EMAW 9, PAGE 1

AND HERE'S A PROPER POST

Panel 6 of page 2:

FIRST/LAST

Last week, over deepest dish, Marcos, Kenny and I talked about doing a web jam comic. I got very excited by the idea and immediately drew up an initial panel to start us off with. Then, the next day, we discussed our plans a bit more and the methods of the jam became different than I expected them to be. Considering my initial sketch, I decided that it wouldn't properly fit the parameters of what would become How Did This Happen?.

But, I still had this image, and the image kept calling out to me. So, I've decided to start up yet another side project, one I'll keep on this blog. Just a little something to do when I get distracted from the main book.

I'm calling it FIRST/LAST, for shorts. What I'm going to do is post the first panel of a comic tonight. Then, the next panel that I post is going to be the very last panel. The one after that will be the second panel. And then the next to last panel. Sew on, Soforth. Squeezing until I get to the golden spike at the center of it all. I have no clue what's in store or how point A is going to get to point B, but I'll be finding out — one panel at a time.

The idea is to work differently than I normally do. Give me an offbeat enough approach to make it feel like I'm fooling around while I might actually be getting something done.

Anyway, here's the first panel:

Labels:

Thursday, May 17, 2007

OH, LET'S MAKE IT A THREESOME

ANOTHER QUICKY

QUICKS

Monday, May 14, 2007

THIS IS JUST A TEST



Now, I can go to bed, laughing my ass off.

CATHING UP WITH SCANNING

I didn't really know how far behind I was in scanning until I sat in front of my computer and went at it today. OY!

Have some fight comics:


Saturday, May 12, 2007

JUST FOR QUICK, SILLY FUN

Color for your eyes:

TO BE CRAZIER

This is actually going to be just a part of a panel. Once thr two images are combined, it should be EVEN CRAZIER:



Actually started out as me doing a Kirby riff, turned into me doing Kirby through Art Adams and then turned into me doing Kirby through Art Adams through Charles Burns.

Friday, May 11, 2007

LAID PLANS

Wonderful. My plan of doing side projects has resulted in my busiest day in a while. Busy doin' straight main project. Take that, brain!

I also updated a bunch of my laptop's software, stared up the iTunes, got the rest of the latest Modest Mouse disc...

Every time I think they can't completely circumvent my expectations, they find the vent of circum. I never know what to make of they're crazy shenanigans anymore. They brought in Johnny Marr and what did Johnny Marr bring? The Edge, apparently. Whu-huh? Also, I think they've been listening to some Gypsy Kings and some new wave. It will take many listens to get it all figured out. But the Brock brings the wordplay, grounding it all in the familiar weirdness.

I also bought the new Bjork, which previews pretty sweet. I'll give full listens this weekend. I was interested in the new NIN, but that didn't preview so sweet.

And my co-worker's husband provided me with the cd single of R. Kelly's "I'm a Flirt" w/ T.I. and T-Pain. It's pretty good, but I want more Trapped in the Closet! Kells! Get on it!

And I checked out the itune's video previews onetime, looking at the hits. Fabulous has a new single that was pretty underwhelming. I'll look deeper into this DJ Kaled though. "We Takin' Over" sounds pretty hot. And one of the top videos is... Bone, Thugs-n-Harmony? When the hell did they come back??? And most people buying singles these days appear to be 12-year olds shipped in from 1988, judging by some of the other hits.

Man, I been gone too long.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

FASTER THAN INTERNETS

I'm actually wi=orking faster than posting, which is kind of good. But it means I may not post every panel I finish. Here's page 12, panel 4:



Despite an hour of Lost, an hour on the phone with the mom, setting up a new blog and producing a bit of content for it, I actually got more done yesterday than I did in the two days prior — combined.

I think being busy with hands in different pots actually helps me be productive. Without a doubt, the biggest drain on my work is the desire to be doing something else. So, if I make that/those something else(s) more 'comics', I can do just enough of that on the side to keep my wandering mind wandering along the right path.

That's the theory, anyway. So, in addition to How Did This Happen?, I'm toying with the idea of giving myself even MORE to do, in the hope that I'll get the main work done faster. Oh yeah? I'd like to see YOU out-think my crazy brain!

More on the other side bit later. Hopefully, it won't go down the same drain so many other ideas I've had in the past have gone down.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

Marcos, Kenny and I are going to try an online jam comic for shits in the iggles.

It's going to be presented in reverse narrative order, which will hopefully provide for an interesting challenge and maybe even lots of fun. Or we will all wind up hating each other even more.

It is CLIFF FACE: HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

The rules, and the first panel are up now. Take a gander or, at least, a goose.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

DRONK

Ben A Whiles was over and we had some beers. I don't think I've had a drink of anything in a couple weeks, so those beers hit me like Thom O'Briques, the famous French-Irish fisticuffer.

I'm just sobering up now. Sheesh!

As I get better, I'll get back to works.

Kenny! I tried to make Garage Band make noise, but it wouldn't. I plugged in the keyboard and nothing happened. I tried making sound with the onscreen keyboard, and it made dashes in the timeline, but no sound. The pre-programmed loops work and the metronome works, but nothing I can find online says how to do the thing I want it to do — make the sounds. What Am I maybe not doing?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

THAT'S NOT WHAT I MEANT!

When I said I was going to start working backwards, I didn't mean it talent-wise. Spent most of the day ruining a few drawings. The thing is, it seems to take a lot more time to ruin a drawing than it does to do it upgoods.

One panel needs to be completely re-done. This one, page 8 panel 5, I scanned just to see it from a different perspective. I couldn't even see what was going wrong or right:



Actually, It doesn't look too terrible. Maybe I'll run the eraser over it and get a proper scan.

BACKWWARDS AND THEN SOME

I still had page 10, panel five on the table, so I decided to ink that next. I think there were three points when I got a little too careless with the pen and wound up splooging all over the page. There's the fucked word balloon and then there's the dialog where I tried to write 'sugges twe'.



As a single image, I wish I had a little more going on in the midground, some more guns or something. I left it empty because the same basic image is used a few times with stuff that does happen in the midground. Do I sacrifice the individual composition for comics? Or will the comic only be better with full solids? I kinda want to stick a big WWII machine gun in there...

Saturday, May 05, 2007

PAGE 12, PANEL 5

I think I can live with this. Although, I'm not sure what hill the agents are on...



I found a use for those speedballs that were too fat for lettering: the bricks on the left were done with them. The lettering and balloons are done with a #2 brush, the figures with a #4 and the rest of the backgrounds with a #659 japanese nib.

ONE SHEET

Oops. I only have one sheet of paper left to draw on. Looks like I'm going to spend the rest of the weekend inking. I'll be working backwards, starting with the panel that's on the table right now. This way, I can see what works now (that the drawing is getting better) and I can maybe transplant that onto the earlier pages.

The panel I'm starting with is 12-5. I posted 12-4 on Thursday, but I didn't get much done yesterday, and I wound up going back into 12-4 and backgrounding the fuck out of it. I think it's going to look much better now.

To the inks!

Friday, May 04, 2007

THREE FORE!

The pencils for the third and fourth panels of page 12 (must fix crizzy nostril):


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

EVERYBODY LOVE CRACK

Pencils for page 11, panel 4:

NO ONE'S MORE SURPRISED

Took a day off to play a little catchup. Pencils for page 10, panel 5:



Things are really coming together now. I'm having even more fun drawing than I've had in a while. I can't believe where those rifles came from. I can't draw guns for my life, normally, and I have no interest in heavily researching them. But, as the figures are starting to feel fuller and more solid, I'm better able to visualize where a gun would fit in the hand. And if you can approximate where a 3D gun would sit in a 3D hand, the gun itself comes together nicely because guns are some of the most ergonomically designed objects on earth.

Now, I don't expect these guns to survive any serious scrutiny, these aren't Utopiate guns or anything gun-porny like that. But they do look gunny instead of like handblobs.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

BUY 8, GET 2 FREE

The gang at Stella's just gave me two free slices on top of my pie for good costumership. AWESOME.

BEER GOOGLES

Most search engine hits to this blog come from people googling Hypatia Lee or Esther Baxter. This always kind of surprises me. Yes, there is a post each featuring these ladies, but still...

So, I googled them myself. It appears that I'm #10 on the google page for Hypatia Lee (not for Hyapatia Lee, her more common stage name). Wow. Unfortunately, my post comes right after one saying she was a racist for not wanting to perform with black actors. That's sad and disappointing, if true. Oh well, pornstars not living up to certain standards probably shouldn't be too much of a shocker.

I don't show up until page 5 in an Esther Baxter search, but I'm number one with bullets in an Esther Baxter Honey search. Awwwww, snap.

I went through 40 google pages and still couldn't find me in a Batgirl Raped search, so I have no idea where that semi-weekly hit comes from. Someone really tenacious, I guess. Maybe it's for a term paper.
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Saw this at Neilalien's site.

It' in to Corey Lewis, Becky Cloonan and Becky Cloonan (again) thinking out loud about the viability of OGN work, and coming out more or less against it. Heidi MacDonald gets a few more voices into the mix. He also links to blog@newsarama's link post on the subject. DO NOT FOLLOW THAT LAST LINK UNLESS YOU ARE DOING RESEARCH INTO THE MASOCHISM OF BRIAN WOOD OR HATE BRIAN WOOD WITH AN UNDILUTED PASSION. He does his best to explain why and wherefores of Lewis and Cloonan's positions to newsarama posters. It's a kingdom of the blind trying to assassinate the two-eyed king.

Anyway, the pamphlet vs. ogn debate is much more interesting in this context, because these are creators with experience in both modes talking about what is best for them. This isn't marketing enthusiasts or crazy fans or even inexperienced minicomic/webcomickers. In a lot of ways, the fact that there are so many options available at the moment is a good thing. I tend to think the comics world would start to suck if there were fewer avenues to pursue. When everyone starting heading to the web, declaring it the 'answer', I got a little nervous. When everyone started heading toward graphic novels and the bookstores, I got hella nervous. Imagining a world with no market determination (the web) or twenty feet of look-a-like shelf space (bookstores, with attendant comic shop closures) is like imagining an apocalyptic future where comics fully transform into something resembling the poetry market.

Now THAT'S terrifying.

Now, back to work on my serialized minicomic...
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