Wednesday, August 29, 2007

HAPPY 90th BIRTHDAY, JACK KIRBY

Arnim Zola and Doughboy salute Jack Kirby on what would've been his 90th Birthday.



Evil? Sure. But they respect a worthy opponent/creator.

Some of the tributes from the day:

Kirby Blog
Kirby Blog 2
Kirby Blog 3
Kirby Blog 4
Mark Evanier

Tom Spurgeon
has lots of images.
Larry Marder
Kevin Church
Comics Comics has Kirby at work, showcasing both his awesome drawing and his crazy style of working. He drew all of one thing before moving on to the rest!
Tom Brevoort on 40 Marvel covers.

Several of the above have more links...

...and I guess the 4th World Omnibus is coming out NEXT week. And the third is scheduled for November 21st. Two days before my birthday!

Labels:

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A RETURN TO CIVILIZED CONVERSATION




Finished up this page listening to the new Aesop Rock, None Shall Pass. It's pretty awesome. I might even like it better than Bazooka Tooth some day. It's actually poppier than anything he's done AND it's got a lot of guitar — which almost seems contradictory in hip hop. Comics-wise, he namechecks Robert Crumb, Love and Rockets and Charlie Brown/Peanuts (all I noticed on first listen), but it's another lyrically megadense carnival with assistance from Cage, El-P, Blockhead and... Rob Sonic! Hey! Rob Sonic! When is the awesomely titled Sabotage Gigante coming out??? It's been three YEARS since Telicatessen, man!

Speaking of the megadense, the second 4th World Omnibus was originally supposed to come out last week. And then it was pushed back to this week, except it's not appearing on the diamond shipping list anymore and it's not listed for next week either. It's not like this wouldn't have been the perfect time to release it or aything.

Monday, August 27, 2007

AN END TO VIOLENCE

KA-POW!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

WORLD WAR JUGS

Biggest of actions!!!



Who the hell knows what page this is anymore.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

DIDN'T WORK

I did some dry-brush on the background here. Didn't think it really worked on the original... REALLY thinking it didn't work on the scan. Oh well. Something for me to do at work, I guess.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

SINGLE PAYER HEALTH



Hello, my sweet bitches!

So, it turns out I wasn't half as drunk as I thought I was last Wednesday, but I was 100% more ill than I would've guessed. That probably explains why Tropical Story Dean was so laugh-out-loud hysterectical. Anyway, fever, massive conjestion and mucal flow. The whole shebop. Then, istead of recovering, I went and did Manuel Lebor. That sent the remaining illness right into my lungs. Fun times! Nothing quite like coughing snot out of your chest! This is how sick I was — I actually helped someone out in a jam. It's nice to have my head returned and my white blood cells back to doing what they do best: fighting off any tenderness of the heart.

Bla-bla-bla, martyr martyr martyr, feeling better.

Discovered that I never scanned in the above page. Done now. Catching back up to the old works. About three quarters done inking the page I had half pencilled the other day. I must get done soon.

Now, though, exhausted. Need to get my ugly sleep in. Lots of catch up to do there as well.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I'M GOING TO BED WITH BEER STOMACHS

but this made me laugh:

AFX News Limited
Tropical story Dean nearing hurricane strength
08.16.07, 1:46 AM ET

MIAMI Thomson Financial - Tropical storm Dean, headed from the Atlantic toward the Caribbean, could become the region's first hurricane of the season Thursday, the US National Hurricane Center said.
______________________________________

Tropical story Dean. I applied for that job. In New Hampshire. And South Carolina. And Oklahoma. And Arizona. And North Dakota. And New Mexico. And California. And Texas. And New York. And South Dakota. And Oregon. And Washington. And Michigan. And Washington, D.C.

What? Too soon?

Monday, August 13, 2007

AND IT WON"T STOP

Till the break of dawn. Instead of moving onto the next scene, I thought I'd spend a little more time with the violence. Never-ending pages!

BE CRANKIN'

We be crankin' over at How Did This Happen?!

Deem you this, The August of Awesomes!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A BIT MORE OF THE ULTRAVIOLENCE

Easily the most fun I've had doing a page. Olde 27, now with fool inks. Exploding heads and human body as sleeve. It's hard to beat. Also, fun with sound effects and word balloons. Comics as only comics can be. I hope I can make the remaining pages as full of awesome, without the violence.


IT'S THE GUY'S EXPLODING JAW, I LOVE

The first two panels of what was supposed to be page 27 of issue 9, in pencil form:

BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!

BLAM! It's never too late for a summer blockbuster. I took what was supposed to be page 27 of issue 9 (now, probably page...40?) and transformed it from 2 panels to 4.

These are my pencils for the last two panels of the page:



In the future, shell casings will eject outwards from the hand holding the pistol. SCIENCE!

"DIE YOU PIECE OF DIE DIE" may be the best line I've written to date.

Part of me is considering giving Stanley another human-body shield...

Monday, August 06, 2007

CHASING THE SHIT: SALVIA DIVINORUM

Drugs. I like drugs. Drugs are fun. I barely ever do them, but I usually have a great time when I do. Why don't I do them more often?

Well, first of all, too many of them get in the way of doing work. Secondly, drugs be expensive. Thirdly, you can only get them through drug people. And that's annoying and inconvenient. That means calling up some dude to find out if he's got shit in stock. Then you have to go over there. Then you have to spend time. And I hate spending time.

When I needed toilet paper on Saturday, I walked down to the corner store and bought some mtoilet paper. The guys who work there always have it in stock. They are open all the hours that I'm awake. And they never make me spend time. I pick out what I want, give them money and leave. But if I want drugs, I've got to go to some dude's house, watch tv with him, go on a drive around town, go clubbing, eat his girlfriend's cooking, discuss Fox News, look at his art, listen to him practice his turntable skillz, listen to the Rolling Stones, do bong hits, stare at his plumber crack, look at a new mole and pretend to like him. So much crap.

When I go to buy toilet paper, I don't have to eat those guy's girlfriend's cooking. I don't have to compliment them on their mastery of a Dave Mathews' song on their guitars. We don't go dancing. And they don't make me split a roll with them.

If buying drugs was more like buying toilet paper, I'd be all over that shit. Except when I don't have money or need to do work.

So, when I found out that there was a psychedelic you could buy online — legally — I jumped all over it. The psychedelic in question is Salvia Divinorum, a Mexican sage. You can buy seeds, leaves and concentrated tincture.

I decided to go for the tincture. Faster than seeds, less stinky than smoked leaves, not as gross as chewing and concentrated for potency. SOLD!

I got my bottle quite a while ago, but was waiting for the perfect time to use it. Last night seemed like it qualified, according to my arbitrary rationales.

There are a lot of warnings associated with the tincture. First, you should have someone with you to make sure you don't hurt yourself. That sounded a bit extreme. If this shit was that good, I didn't want anyone watching me go off my nob. Also, it sounded overly precautious. Like bicycle helmets. Another warning is that the grain alcohol content in the tinture isn't enough to get you drunk, but is enough to burn your mouth. They reccomend diluting with hot water to avoid that. I figured I would do that for the first time and lessen the water for subsequent doses as i saw fit. They also tell you to stay away from shit because you will lose muscle control. So, I figured I'd do it in my room.

So, lights out. Sounds off. Tincture in a shot glass and hot water ready to be added. Everything was set so a mind-blowing experience.

I added the water, swallowed my excess saliva and tossed the mix in my mouth.

HOLY SHIT!!! My mouth went up in flames! You know when you're a kid and you can't wait to drink the hot chocolate so you start drinking it even though your mom told you to wait until it cooled down a bit? I fucking burned like that! OUCH!

The next step is swirling this napalm in your mouth a bit and then letting it settle under your tongue. I went with a stronger dosage, so that's about half a shot I'm trying to hold under my tongue for 15 MINUTES. 15 minutes is a long-ass time to not swallow and hold something under your tongue. Especially when it is removing layers of your gum line. Even without the psychoactive effects, it's as close as a person should get to experiencing what it must be like to be Ditko's Eternity.

The salvia started taking affect about ten minutes in. It was pretty localized to my lower jaw and resembled an economy-sized dosage of novacaine. Stretchy jaw, expandy jaw, numb lips.

After 15 minutes, I finally swallowed and settled in for what I was sure was going to be my brain exploding.

It's all supposed to start going nuts 4-8 minutes after the initial dose is ingested. Then it gets stronger for 5-10 minutes, then it plateaus for 20-30 minutes and finally tapers off for the next 90-120 minutes. Or, so it says in the literature.

After lying in bed for ten minutes, I started getting bored. Then I started getting som closed-eye visuals and movement. But it was all peripheral. I had to really push any sort of sensation with my brain really hard and it all stayed just around the edges of perception.

My mind did not explode. There were no fifth-dimensional machine elves. I didn't communicate with the dead. No time travel was experienced. Push-Paw and Frank didn't lead me into the realm of the frog king. I could just barely push red cubes down a tunnel along the skull Embarcadero. And it wasn't even that cool.

Nothing was happening involunarily. When I stopped working really hard, shit just turned into me lying in bed in the dark. So, I tried conjuring images. This was interesting, mainly because i couldn't figure out how to do it. The drug had actually performed a complete shutdown of my already limited imagination. I had nothing.

I decided to take another, smaller dose. 15 more minutes of BURN. Then ten more minutes of nothing.

So, I got pretty bored and walked out of my bedroom and hoped some external stimulous might help. A little Joy Division, maybe? A little Disintigration?

Okay. I got a little out of that. Gothy dance music is always good for drugs. I got a little of the herky jerk you get in the early stages of shrooms. Then nothing. I was getting little bursts, but nothing that lasted longer than a chorus.

After a little longer with nothing, I decided to screw this and sit down to draw. This got kinda cool, and pretty soon I was drawing with my whole body on the table and my face pressed up above the board. When I couldn't even hold the pencil anymore, I went to sit on the couch. Surely, THIS was the begining of something fun.

Then it went away. Maybe writing/drawing helped activate it. I grabbed a pen and a legal pad and decided to write until I could feel it again. I got about one sentence in before I was trying to write behind my back. YES! Here it comes!

Then it passed. So, I went to draw something else, but I got bored. Then I grabbed the Comics Journal Special featuring Jim Woodring. But I got bored. I tried to dance a bit. But I got bored. I just sat for a bit, but that got boring. I tried to write again, but I got bored. I was getting really and truly physically bored with everything. This was more like depression than a wild mind fuck.

Then, after 20 minutes, I got really bored and watched that Threshold dvd. Then I almost shot myself in the head.

For the remaining hours and most of the day today, I was a bit more uncoordinated than usual. Like a hangover without the headache. And my eyes were really dry.

Overall, this could only be classified as a major disapointment. I've tripped in the past, and while I never had that 'I'm an orange that must be peeled' moment they told us about in that movie in Junior High, I usually have a great time and get some nice surreal experiences. This just made me bored and aware of what it would be like to have your body be exhausted while your brain just hangs out waiting for Godot.

There's a staggered approach to taking the tincture I might try in the future. Not holding the shit in my mouth for 15 minutes is appealing. And it supposedly increases the duration of the experience. And I'll probably up the dosage to the reccomended maximum (or a bit higher). I don't know. I'll wait until my mouth heals.

THE SHIT

Damn. I wrote the last post at work and emailed it to myself for posting. I apologize if it reads like something you'd find on livejournal...

THE OTHER KIND OF SHIT — THRESHOLD

2005. CBS. Sci-fi. Carla Gugino, Charles Dutton, Brent Spiner and PETER DINKLAGE! in a show based on Warren Ellis 'ideas' (unofficially, but obviously).

Cue rock music. Nothing familiar. And nothing that rocks too hard. But if you're on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic, then you know the night air is filled with the nondescript rock. It's why radios on boats are only needed for sending out distress calls. Or for calling islands on ABC sci-fi shows.

Before getting killed by Charlie, Ethan teleported into the future to lead a group of Others on a fake Naval operation where no one needs a uniform. Unfortunately for them, this is a ship of HORROR. There's a terrible cockroach infestation, an awful rat problem and... the paint on the cabin ceiling is peeling! Also, the ocean is picking up a John Zorn song that is interfering with the rock. Even though the sound is barely audible to our ears, the sound is deafening to the dog-like hearing of the Others. Even the guy welding for fun and profit has to stop and listen.

What's causing some of these problems? The snowflake from Planetary! The snowflake even causes fish to swim in a fractal pattern! How? Presumably with infinitely smaller fish swimming about them. But don't get caught up in the actual implications of the science, this is Ellis science. It's science used to explain fantasy in a way that is only convincing to people that don't understand science (because if actual science could explain science fiction, then we would all have fifth-dimensional super powers and fish could swim in fractal patterns all the time). It's okay though, the show is on the network for old people who don't believe in evolution and who think that CSI: Miami is good.

Cut to some lecture hall.

Carla Gugino is an Irish-American Worst-Case Scenario Threat Assesment guess-maker person. Later episodes would reveal that Threshold takes place in the same world as Touch of Evil. But that's not important right now. What IS important is that Gugino is able to deliver a lecture on pandemic response initiatives with all the excitement and charisma of a non-fractal-swimming fish. She's so dull that even jump cuts in the middle of her sentences can't make it sound interesting.

A scene was deleted after the speech. In it, some dude asks Gugino out on a date. And is rejected. I don't know why the scene was rejected, but it could be that no one would believe that anyone would still be attracted to Gugino after her bore-athon. It couldn't be because her rejection was so rote, because the writers filmed it. Her rejection is, "Sure, we go out for coffee and then we chat and flirt and see each other more times and then it's intimate and things get serious and then we realize our schedules conflict and we have no time to spend together and then we break up and we're both sad." Ugh. Seriously? That made it past the first draft?

Then we follow Gugino home. And her house is teeming with character props. She never unpacked some boxes! She talks to her dog like it's people! She eats alone! Her food is pre-made and labeled! I can't remember if she drinks a glass of wine or not. She must.

Then she takes the dog for a walk when black helicopters arrive and a personality-free soldier guy tells her she's on the Global Frequency! I mean the Threshold!

Then it's the opening title card.

Time is of the essence, so the dog comes to Threshold building! Until Charles Dutton shows up and tells her that's stupid. Thanks, Roc! Of course, the building was built because of her graduate thesis on alien attack. Called Threshold? Why is a paper about alien invasion called Threshold? Because the sequels are called ankle hold and throat hold. I don't know what that means either.

Anyway, her plan involves calling on scientists who are so genious they each have slightly different personality quirks. Data is a former 60s radical! PETER DINKLAGE is a boozer and womanizer! The other guy is nervous!

So, the three quircky scientists, Carla O'Linguine, and Personality-Free soldier are on the Global Frequency and have to investigate the Planetary snowflake that has entered their dimension, off the coast of Washington DC. So, the Global Frequency must rush out there and investigate before the North Koreans find it! Off the coast of Washington, DC!

At first, they suspect that the snowflake might be a fourth-dimensional object, but later surmise that it might be a fifth-dimensional object. The quircky scientists kinda forgot that THEY were fourth-dimensional objects (although, to be fair, any of them should have been surprised to find even a three-dimensional object on the set — ba-dum-bum).

The snowflake also transforms double helix dna into triple helix dna! What does that mean? Nothing! Or, they must be bio-forming (like terra-forming) us to invade. For some reason, they want us stronger and homicidal when they come since the bio-forming invasion makes Ethan super strong, stealthy, muddy and homicidal. Thanks for giving away season four of Lost, fuckers. Why would an extra dna helix allow us to defy physics? SCIENCE!

The show comes SO close to actually working, though. Half-baked Warren Ellis ideas are great fun, because some one should do something with them (he never does!). 5 out of the six main characters have actors playing the roles, two of whom are Charles
Dutton and PETER DINKLAGE, one of whom has great tits, one is some nervous dude and one is Data! Then there's a guy who sucks ass. He's the love-interest/spy/soldier. He's really terrible, and not in a Brent Spiner, fun way. But 5 out of 6, come on! Show should still work, right?

Well... it's on CBS. So, something has to go wrong. The show was apparently created by some guy who's only previous credits were working on Average Joe (the more-fake reality show), Bragi F. Shut (no, really). But, the idea still seemed sound (even to CBS), so they brought in experienced people to make this the next Lost. Who did they bring in?

Brannon Braga (all later Star Treks except DS9... seemed like a good writer when teamed with Ronald Moore, turned out to be shit without him)

David Goyer (Batman Begins! Ghost Rider! Blade! The Crow: City of Angels! Nick Fury! Kick Boxer II!)

Peter Hyams (2010, Time Cop!)

Oh my. Actually, Goyer brought Hyams on. He wasn't doing anything and was free to direct the second half of the pilot. I shit you not.

The writing is so horrible. Awful, awful stuff.

"I need a gun because my father has been missing for years."

"I will read first Corinthians on my PDA because I'm in a helicopter over the ocean."

"What are you doing because I am not a Christian."

"I am afraid because I like to drink."

"I am in love with you for no reason except I can't tell you who I am but I will give you hints so we can be in love but my past is dark."

"I'm Charles Dutton and I made some bad real estate deals."

"I need a new computer because I am a former 60s radical."

"Made up science, made up science, made up science, my father gave me a watch because it is meaningful."

"I brought a dog to the office because I don't have a husband."

"I label my dinner because I don't have a husband."

"I haven't unpacked these boxes because I don't have a husband."

"I am staying up late to save the world because I don't have a husband."

"It is sad that you don't have a husband because you are the woman on the show."

The tv-iness of the whole thing is amazing. It looks so much like a tv show. The way A-Team or Airwolf or Who's the Boss look like tv shows. Some of the special effects are rather nice. But the framing and cutting are so ugly. It's like watching someone who doesn't understand the visual appeal of modern television or film trying to shoot footage. Lost was on the air and the impetous for CBS buying the pilot. The Office was on the air. Battlestar Galactica was on. Desparate Houswives. Arrested Develpoment. Joss Whedon's shows. Any of them could've pointed the way toward a more cinematic vision. Instead, we get a visual language crafted by some guys who made films look like tv shows. Instead of the X-Files, we get Street Hawk.

I listened to some of the commentary with Braga and Goyer. At first, I was amazed at how clueless these two were. Then I was sad. Then my brain started squirting out of my ears.

On it, we learn that the studio was impressed by how much the show looked like a feature film! Goyer and Braga are also impressed by this. Goyer and Braga are blind.

They cut a lot of pointless character exposition because they realized there was too much character exposition after they filmed it. Still, half of each episode is pointless character exposition after they started cutting out pointless character exposition. Goyer and Braga are dumb.

They are so thrilled to have a female protagonist! She is always in danger and saved by Muscles McBaddactor.

They're amazed that women like Peter Dinklage because he is so short! And they are proud that in every scene he is in they don't mention that he is short! They think it's funny that a character so short could be written as a womanizer. It is brilliant that he does in-character acting without the dialog that explains what he is doing!
He is truly talented.

Brent Spiner didn't want to do the show, so they worked on his character for weeks to make him a former 60s radical who is mildly uncomfortable working for the government.

After the pilot, I watched two more episodes. One was set at an insane asylum where, get this, the crazy dude wasn't really crazy! Then, they did an episode set at a military accademy, where they did a story about indoctrination and mind control. Who knows where future episodes might have gone? A hospital? A police station? Death row? An airplane? A small town where all is not what it appears? The sky was the limit!

Sadly, I probably won't watch the remaining discs from the first season. It's sad, really. I'd like to watch them, but I'd have to add them back onto my netflix queue and that just isn't happening. And the show was cancelled before everyone else stopped watching it, so no more will be made.

Maybe Goyer and Braga can give us some last words to remember their art by.

Actual lines from the commentary:

"This is something Hitchcock and M — M. Knight do."

"Who knows why some shows are more successful than others?"

Friday, August 03, 2007

OH SHIT

The greatest news ever.

Oh shit.

With the greatest preview video ever.

Oh shit.

Oh shit.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

69!

69 hours without a cigarette. Because I'm 12.

Homicidal urges are much stronger right now. Even the random appearance of R. Kelly's new-jack "I Like the Crotch On You" isn't making me happy. Also, I'm starving (but I've switched to the higher-protein part of the cupboard, so I'm hoping it's more effective than the carb part). AND I've also got that hangover you get when you haven't had a drink in a week. But, after shifting from a 3000-calorie diet to 500, I don't think I could keep even a beer down. Also, I'd have to interact with people to GET a beer. I'm not sure I could do that without commiting murder.

I made my first trip to the coin exchange at Commerce Bank. I fully endorse it. No fee. The only hassle is everyone working there wants to help you. They really want to help you. It's a crazy place. The other hassle is that $107 in coins is heavy. Really heavy. Tomorrow's load will be much lighter. Tomorrow's load is also the clincher. The one that lets me pay my rent and the phone bill. And buy toilet paper.

Shit, anyone who loads their album up with skits should be forced to listen to them without access to any of their addictions. Fuck you, De La!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

48 HOURS

Okay. About 48 hours in, and things aren't so bad. I even got some work done. Should be interesting to see how that looks when it's done.

36 HOURS

11:24 AM

36 hours without a cigarette. 84 hours without a drink. 60 hours since I ate out.

I'm in this new hyper-reality of incredibly long hours and a sort of ADD zombie focus. It's like I've got an incredibly wide lens affixed to my face and my peripheral vision is over-stimulated. Then my brain shuts off for what seems like a couple hours until it's startled awake and I realize it's only been a minute or two. Also, I woke up at 7 AM and felt normal — that hasn't happened since highschool. Freshman year.

The pain hasn't been too bad. The nausea was pretty brief (and more stress-related, I think). Mostly, I need to stop thinking about it. Where's the Id shut-off valve?

I need to make a few trips to Commerce Bank over the next few days and exchange coin for cashbucks. Apparently, they do it no fee. I need to turn $152.87 of metal into paper, then deposit that into mine own bank just to make rent and phone bill. All remaining coin needs to stretch until the 15th.

Then I'm in the clear. 36.5 hours without a cigarette...
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