I don't care what the Bible says about everyone actually knowing God is real. Psh. When I invoke God, the casual blasphemy is only made sweeter by my utter lack of belief in anything remotely like a deity. Silly ass nonsense.
In speaking of Phonogram (which is excellent, self indulgent work, by the way), I mentioned how weird it was to realize 12 years had passed since I discovered Britpop, and to think on just how good and dead the scene was now. Whereas it had once been vibrant, canny, and full of promises, it seems mostly dated and silly in retrospect. I loved that stuff once, you know. Some of it still hits me.
Well, I had one of those moments this morning before heading off for work. Different material, though. For some reason, I was thinking about late '90s J-rock. It's been about five years since I was avidly following Japanese pop culture in the form of manga, anime, and music. Anyway, I decided to check up on a few bands I remembered from back then. Luna Sea, Siam Shade, the Yellow Monkey. Broken up, years ago. All gone. No more.
About the closest I've ever become to being part of a 'scene' was my time from '97 to '01 as an otaku, anime fanboy, or whatever you want to cal…
I remember in high-school, I was digging on the Velvet Goldminesoundtrack. Now, Roxy only contributed maybe a song or two to that disc, but their influence was all over it, what with a couple covers, a track from Bryan Ferry, and another from Brian Eno. My brother, Devin, came down the stairs with a couple of stoner friends, declaring, "You listen to some gay music," or so.
Heh. Like I care. Roxy Music is the awesome. Anyone who hates on them doesn't like their rock creative.
I think probably told him I'd kick his ass if he liked, regardless. Course, he ducked that fight.
Gotta get back into drawing comics, and not just a page here or there, unconnected to anything else. First thing is to get a few more pages of 3 Guys, 1 Gun--at least finish their first adventure. Then I gotta have Pointless Man actually kill the Backstreet Boys. He's been waiting almost a year to do that.
Once I get those done, I want to start work on a more realistic project of short stories. I'm thinking of relating some of the tales I have from my folks about some of their Chicago pals back when they were still in college. Figure I might call it 'Chicago Badass'. I need to buy myself a recorder so I can get some of their tales down right.
If I do a few of these in black and white, I can probably self publish some of them outside of the net at relatively low cost, and without having to figure out a good answer to all my troubles with scanning in hand coloured art.
When off to bed, I would listen to Yo Yo Ma, Mark O'Connor, and Edgar Meyer's brilliant Appalachia Waltz. I would play it very softly, putting the disc on repeat. One of the most soothing things to wake up to, and an excellent sleep aid. Not bad at all for regular listening, either.
I have very fond memories of my time spent falling asleep and rising up to this music.
Picked up several comics the other day at my local shop, Arcane Comics.
-The new DH Conan is serviceable. What hooked me into picking up, actually, were a 3 issue arc written by Mike Mignola (of Hellboy fame) and a current miniseries where Tim Truman provided the art. I like those two creators a lot, and their material reminded me of just how much I enjoyed the worlds created by Robert E. Howard. So, when I went on another $100 splurge at the shop, I decided to gice the Busiek and Nord books a shot. I have issues with the art not having been inked, and I'm in no way awed by Busiek's writing (as some seem to be), but the first volume was enjoyable enough.
-Fantagraphics' quarterly anthology MOME continues to be a mild disappointment, and I continue to buy it. Figure I just pick it up because it's the only place I know of to catch some of the artists featured in its pages. I also figure I'm a dupe for laying down $15 bucks every three months on this haphazard collectio…
So the size I'm looking for pumps the cost up somewhere around 2 or 3 grand for scanners. Shoot. I might be able to find one for just over a grand or so with a similarly sized scanning bed. But is the quality as good? I don't know.
No review seems to care about reproducing original, hand coloured material. I don't give a fuck how good a machine is at digitizing a shiny photograph, a glossy magazine page, or a transparency from someone's lecture. None of that matters to me. They might as well tell me just how useful the box it comes in is when a kid's trying to make a fort in his parents' living room. God damn it. I just want to know how it handles regular fucking paper. How good is it for that? No reviewer seems to know or care. Why would anyone use a scanner on regular paper. Artists wouldn't have a use for that would they?
I could, I suppose, turn to other artists already working in the digital realm, but most of them are just so intent on using Pho…
Have drawn a couple single page comics of late but can't share them online for lack of scanning equipment. Also need to get a new keyboard for my Mac mini. Might do that today. Keyboards are cheep, but a good scanner that works with a Mac and has the space I need (at least 17.5 inches by 11) might not even exist, and definitely wouldn't be inexpensive. Shoot.
The Crow, recently back in print, is at once great and terrible. It is the comicbook equivalent of a John Cartpenter movie if Carpenter were a goth art-school grad from Detroit. It reeks of the '80s and silly, but serious goth-drama. It has a scene where the lead character cuts his arms in mock suicide, bandages them up like a martial artist, and then performs a page or two of dance (in front of his cat), presumably all out of sadness. It is gleefully violent. It doesn't really bother explaining itself, but tosses in poems and acute musical references at whim. It finishes up with a 'coda' from someone uninvolved in the making of the book, which stands as one of the silliest pieces of pan-religious paganism I've ever read.
To top it off, the author seems oblivious to the campiness of his work. If Wikipedia can be trusted, he has said of it, "There is pure anger on each page." Regardless of that quote's authenticity or context, The Crow seems unaware of…
After a week of training a useless middle aged woman with no experience in coffee, customer service, casheiring, or food prep; after 10 days of work, including a 60 hour workweek; after dropping $75 to get my own computer back up on the net, I find my keyboard is broken, and I need a new one. The relacement must be a USB board, and must have a USB hub unless I want to buy one of those, too. So there goes a fair amount of that money I made doing loathesome amounts of work. I don't see the point.
For example this is the story of an English-Arab who went to the UN Durban conference on racism and found himself allied with anti-Zionist hardcore practicing Jews, who (like him) considered Zionism to be racist. I don't think the guy ever mentions that his efforts to get the UN to once more declare Zionism to be racist (as had been done in 1979, and then repealed in 1991) failed. Nevetheless, his tale is a little entertaining and of some interest.
It is a shame for fans of westerns, great film, or Nick Cave that The Proposition has not been given a wider release. It is awesome, and deserves greater attention than it has been afforded. The score, acting, cinematography, sound editing, and direction are all masterful. The script's not bad, either. If you have the chance to see and don't, you will be doing yourself great disservice.
What happened to Nightcrawler? There's no Nightcrawler in this one, and no one says why. You've got hundreds of mutants in this flick, but one of the most important characters in the second movie doesn't once get so much as mentioned? This is the sort of thing you can almost expect X3 to do to itself, and there are moments, at least, where it does just that.
The terrible writing and lackluster direction make this not quite worth seeing in the theatre, while it is too special effects driven to be viewed on the small screen. There are some disappointing moments even in that area, where certain characters are given digital skins, and it looks like something from 1999. Outside of that, the movie has the makings of a great camp adventure. Oh, and if you have young children and want to talk to them about issues like racism, homophobia (I wish there were a better, recognizable word for that), self determination, and various other ethical issues, this might not be a poor basis for …
Last night, there was an electrical overload resulting in a blown out fuse, and a flaming outlet in my brother Devin's bedroom. He used a fire extinguisher and called the Seattle Fire Department. A truck showed up, they went inside, took out much of one of the walls, and decided everything was cool. So we all went back inside, and tried to get some sleep. Two hours later, I find I'm unable to sleep because Devin's roaring explatives downstairs. When I finally can't take anymore, I open my door only to be accosted by smoke, once again. Great.
This second flare up was aroung 2 AM.
So we call the FD, and they show up this time with five trucks, 3 command cars, two medic units, and some sort of back-up team in case anybody has been exposed to smoke. And the fire is serious, bursting out of my brother's basement room to lick the sides of our house. But it doesn't require all these guys. They're just there because their buddies fucked up.
ThisPenny Arcade strip has a much repeated stylistic error in comics layout. Notice the two panels at the left of the bottom row. They actually comprise a single picture of one point in time, without motion or change of perspective between panels. These should be a single panel. There is little reason for the split. The artist may realize this, but wish to keep the integrity of his unimaginative 2x3 panel layout--and that is the mistake. Bad artist. Bad.
If it was just this once that they made this amateurish layout mistake, or if it weren't a widespread problem, I wouldn't make an issue out of it. But the ideas that panels must be consistent and must be so in this very patterned manner is something I see far too often. Sequential art is a visual medium, and an important part of that is composition of art and words within panels, of panels as they relate to one another, and of each page (be it on the web or in print) as a whole. These factors are what make comics unique, and t…
Law and morality are separate, though obviously related, concerns. There are books recording stupid and silly laws held by American localities at one time or another. These books suggest that said laws were not something one could take seriously in a moral or intellectual sense. There are also many administrative laws without apparent moral intent or character. And then there are the laws most people have no problem ignoring when convenient.
There is arguably nothing wrong with me taping a Mariners' game for personal use (or even for showing at large parties at my house) without checking with anybody if I can. There are variously more controversial issues when it comes to 'intellectual property', but it is obvious that many don't feel that a law proscribing something is enough to make it morally wrong or otherwise distasteful.
People jay walk all the time. This is against the law. Does anybody really think this is something one shouldn't do when there are no cars or …
I have suggested before that someone should make a medieval zombie flick in technicolour, and set it in Spain to acheive a look similar to Sergio Leone's westerns or Eastwood's Joe Kidd. Let me now add, the zombies shouldn't go about creating more living dead. Instead, they should just devour things, right down to the bone. And they shouldn't just focus on people. Why let other animals have a free pass? What kind of hungry beast passes up a docile cow to go chasing after armed humans?
A friend has expressed some concern that the movie would be in the vernacular or accents of the time. Let me reassure you, we would not take this route. Perhaps the movie would be in a foreign language, and I suppose we'd have to have a priest shouting out Latin somewhere in there, but I don't see any reason to go too far out of the way for realism when you're dealing with the supernatural.
As to tone, I'd want something old school; something in tune with The Seventh Seal,…
Life, morality, and all that are most likely to be seen as pointless, meaningless, or absurd when one tries to look at it from a detached and 'objective' point of view where, in fact, nothing is valued. This view is abstract and not actually held by, say, the universe.
I attribute this in part to prior societal or personal beliefs in all seeing or all encompassing entities such as the God, Odin, or Brahmin. A person who finds himself raised in a culture steeped in such religious or spiritual ideas, even if they are no longer explicit or prevalent, may find himself naturally open to the idea of seeing things from an objective, universal, and perhaps detached viewpoint. He may even think this standard is more important, realistic, or rational than the abstract stance of societies or the actual stances of individuals.
This belief is buyoued by the classical, popular, and perhaps standard view that values (be they physical, moral, aesthetic, or perhaps even economic) are neither sub…
The other day, I was riding in the back seat of a friend's car as we drove out to Fry's with a couple other people. Almost as soon as we picked up the last person, everybody shut up. I found myself fixing my attention upon the ceiling and the top of the rain spattered rear window. This inevitably lead to my falling asleep, though the position did little to encourage steady rest.
During my intermittent napping, I began to dream. I imagined I was sitting in the same car, in the same position, under very similar circumstances. I happened to have a packet of gum in my pocket. I glimpsed at the sky, then at the hand of the girl next to me. It sat upon her knee, sporadically making very quick, autonomous movements to and from its resting place; darting to the space in between us, to smooth out her jacket, or to at tap her thigh. I took one stick from my pack of Wrigley's Extra, unwrapped it, and proceeded to chew it laconically, once more exploring the worn felt of the car's …
Apparently, my favorite living cartoonist has a band. That's cool. But it's even cooler that they don't suck. In fact, they're pretty good. Kind of remind me of a mix between Pere Ubu and Mission of Burma, which somehow ended up being a little more accessible. The site which hipped me to them mentioned the influence of Joy Division there. You can judge for yourself by listening to some of their live post-punk here, or download MP3s at their website, linked in the title of this post.
Well, I read a bit until I felt suitably tired. Didn't get all the way through, but the point is it's been a while since I read a book of prose. It had also been quite some time since I'd taken a crack at this particular novel, which I set down in order to take up school work instead back in 1995. I guess I was using a stub from what was a recent a bank deposit as a bookmarker, so I know I stopped reading the thing around April 28, way back.
It's too bad I didn't finish The Red Badge of Courage at the time. Seems like it's pretty well written, and a single glance at any printing will tell you it's short. I could have gone through it in a day at the time. I'm a bit slower now, being out of practice, but school work or no--and my teachers at the time liked to coordinate assignments so we would be swamped--I'm not sure why I put this thing down 11 years ago and failed to pick it up again.
Normally, the last bus out of Ballard, the 'night owl' 44, is pretty empty, at any given point carrying five passengers at most. Three nights ago, the 44 broke down one block after I boarded as its first rider. When it was finally fixed, the driver made good time. I didn't mind, anyway. I had nowhere to be at 2:30 in the morning. If there was anyone waiting for that particular bus, they had given up before we arrived. The trip was just me, silent and absorbed with rereading an Italian comic, and the driver all the way out to the UW campus. Buses almost always feature a few characters on them, some more pleasant than others. These sorts of riders tend to be emphasized on late night rides, as their voices carry through the empty seats, and their gesticulations can be seen from almost any spot on the bus. It was therefore something of a relief and a disappointment at the same time to find myself nearly alone then.
Not so last night. The night owl felt a bit like a travelling c…
Movies based on books ought to be expected to be as separate from their origins as movies 'based on a true story'. To complain that such a flick is not true to its source is perhaps to assume that it should have to slavishly recreate the original work. A movie can sometimes do well with that sort of approach, (as, say, with Fight Club), but not all films can stand to follow the particulars of a story written more than 20 years ago for an entirely different entertainment medium and audience.
Saying V for Vendetta works on its own as a movie, does a fair job expressing the import of the individual over the government and dealing with difficult issues such as terrorism, is not to say it is superior to the comic it is based upon. Saying one should attempt to appreciate or enjoy it as a piece by itself (as most will, having not read the book), is not to say comparisons between the comic and the film should be avoided altogether. It is possible to have had fun watching V, and still f…
So the NCAA national wrestling championships take place at 4PM today, PST. There are no college basketball games scheduled around that time. You know what is on cable and satellite television? Bowling's Weber Cup, reruns of the 2005 World Series of Poker, Mike Tyson's greatest hits, and ESPN's SportsCenter.
In order to get the national wrestling championships, you have to subscribe to some alternate ESPN channel. Yay. This is why people think wrestling is all about guys in a boxing ring hitting eachother with chairs.
In other areas of ignorance, my 12 year old brother just said the Stone Temple Pilots' Core is "like Nickleback. Nickleback does this."
We should give Texas back to Mexico. Mexico becomes richer. Mexicans gain less of a reason to attempt to gain illegal entrance in the USA. Capital punishment rates drop drastically in the US, giving Europe less reason to call us barbaric and compare us to Iran and (oh no!) China. We never have to deal with another president from Texas, who, the record will show, like spending far too much money and getting us into pointless wars overseas. Everybody but rich, white Texans and Republicans win. Who could disagree with such a lovely plan?
Had to offer a few alternatives to a guy on a board when he went a little far, IMO, in praising Alan Moore, Frank Miller, and Neil Gaiman--all of whom deserve praise and recognition, but not as the best in the biz. If you read this site, you'll probably have seen me mention some of this before. If so, just take it as a friendly reminder that you need to get out there and support these guys. They deserve it.
The following is the result of that discussion.
Paul Hornschemeier -- Paul has a BA in Philosophy, first self published and sold his comics from a porn store in Cleveland, and now resides in Chicago. His material has an incredible range, is quite intelligent, and often tends towards the avant-garde. Writing and composition aside, his art is excellent, managing at once to feel cartoonish and realistic, while straying away from the look of traditional American mainstream comics. He is equally at home working in black and white, duotone, and full colour.
If all you're doing is churning out petty entertainment, that's cool. But, seriously, if you're writing gag strips, and people are paying you for this, even when you're late, even when your material is lousy, even though its supposed to be free, you ought to at least be able to calmly resign yourself to having some unknown dudes putting down their take on webcomics as a whole (including your work in specific). Even when one of those guys spouting off happens to be getting his thoughts published by some small-time press, you ought to be happy just to be paid for doing comedic work. Shoot, you get a sense of humour and maybe a dose of humility while you're at it.
Don't get me wrong, now. Anger over petty nonsense is an understandable response to being a humourist. If everything you do professionally is absurd, why not apply the same approach to the rest of your public life? I can respect it if that's what's driving t…
It is hard to manage, hard to work for, and harder to avoid. Large and medium businesses, and government organizations of almost any size are rife with this sometimes necessary evil. So it is worth asking why a free-market capitalist or a libertarian might think government should be diminished if not demolished, but corporations and their ilk should be allowed free reign and expected to work towards the most efficient and common good.
Ideals are fine, even when wrongheaded, but they need to be tempered by reality; they need to be held by people who can work within reason and be open to compromise. This is not just true of economics, but all political and social policy. Compromise is the way politics works over time. Even members of the US House of Representatives have to work with people who don't agree with them every now and then. This is something the Bush administration is just waking up to.
It is this fact, the very actuality of which often keeps our more dedicated right and le…
I've written somewhat jokingly in other venues of aesthetic evil--a notion put forth in some philosophic circles, in David Bowie's Outside, and in the very notion of a 'clip artist'--something I've been thinking about applying to some extent, albeit in an amoral light, in a story about the disenchantment of a hitman with violence. So the idea that morals and aesthetics can be intertwined in complex ways is nothing new.
It is often the case in fiction that evil, good, and the characters which represent them are, perhaps in melodramatic fashion, simplified and distilled to be viewed through a distorted 'less is more' sort of lens. When this is done poorly, we get the stereotypical, lowest-common-denominator sort of product we expect from summer blockbusters and best selling novels sold by the checkout lines of your local supermarket. But it is not out of necissity that such an aesthetic produces lackluster material. One might argue such an approach has resulte…
I posit, with regard to truth, propositions (which I assume to be synonous with statements, for our purposes) can be assigned the values: -true or false -determinate or inderterminate -undetermined
A statement that is determinate is exclusively true or false. An indeterminate statement is neither true nor false. An undetermined statement may or may not be either true or false. It may also be possible for some or all propositions to be necessarily or accidentally underdetermined, such that they can possess all the aforementioned properties (to speak loosely and without reference to metaphysics), at least when treating the set of all possible (rational?) translations or translation schemes (assuming such a set may be actualized at once).
The questions, then, are as follows. Can you think of any other possible values with respect to truth which may pertain to propositions? Do you agree with my above position? Any general thoughts?
I know a few of you who sometimes peruse this site have an inte…
Fancies himself an MC, and I'm cool with that. Ever since my boy Alexei got too busy with Blue Scholars, it's pretty much just been Devin who's tipped me to serious music within the super-genre of hip-hop.
Now he's going to a Community College, a JC if you will, studying music and electronic production. This has upped his game a bit, and it makes me wish he would update his Soundclick profile a little more often. He plays beats and spits for people who drop by his basement domicile, but he doesn't share too much with the rest of the world. He's exploring music, which is exciting, for me as well as him. I like to watch people go through that creative process where not everything's already settled for them.
Our mom complains that his material is too dark, and I gather she also finds it overly abstract. I guess the feel doesn't sit well with her for reasons beyond aesthetics. Not that there's anything to be done for it. Myself, I think this sort of thing…
The immediacy of the Internet, along with its great mutability, instills a lack of perspective which results in many creative minds focusing on the ephemeral present without heed to longevity or staying power. What actually is right now, what will be shortly, and what has just transpired have the attention of the web, and rightfully so. Yet the fruits of this approach with what is current can leave one unaffected but a short while later.
There is something to be said for the aesthetic of timelessness, the nigh universal, that which stretches beyond the pop-culture moment of who wore what to which award ceremony, what new video game is coming out as an exclusive for some system or other, or even how the President decided to use his State of the Union address last week. There is a way to ballance concern for the newest now with that of the yet to be, but it seems difficult to grasp in most mediums. Indeed, the Internet is really just another area in which this problem arises. 'Dated&…
To the left are the second and third of a three page sequence preceding the 'ninjas' bit I showed you earlier from 'Death to Pretty Boy Groups'.I haven't quite been happy with what I've been able to do with the scans, especially for the third page, but whatever. I'm just happy to have them available to share at at all.
Well, as you can see, PM is pretty amoral in his quest to eradicate evil. That's his goal here, you see. If I could get a fair scan of the first page, you might follow his reasoning, I suppose. In the meanwhile, you can always try to find out how he started this whole endeavor by going here. It will make you a better person, I swear.
Every now and then, somebody asks me what I'm trying to accomplish with Pointless Man. This is when I know they don't get it. Well, for few of you who might actually be reading this, and more specifically for the hopefully smaller number amongst you struggling with the themes, values, and philosophy of…
This track is kinda long, and doesn't really do much. It's kind of plodding. More than the other three tunes I popped up on here, this really is just me messing around with something. Could probably stand some vocals, too. Anyway, if you're really bored, you can listen here.
There's something lyrical in the sound of wind and rain rushing through trees and brushing the pavement, like a language unto itself, now striking with furor, now gently persistent, falling off into ambient sounds of the city, an orchestra worthy of Brian Eno.
At the same time, it sort of moves past you too fast. I need me some excercise, some activity. Might take a walk. Walks are good. Once I get this lethargy out of my system, maybe I'll finally settle down to getting some more of my sketches up online. We'll see.
--Not that they're reading it, but this goes out to all those digital colouring artists online and in the world of comics publishing.--
MacHall, you cgi-happy fuckers. That is how your damn webcomics and digital sketches should look if you gotta colour them in Photoshop or the like. That is craft, you bastards. And no excuses for your simplistic or garish colouring and lackluster layouts.
If you'd rather emulate Clown Samurai, or maybe just go back to relying largely upon old fashioned hand held tools (like Ashley Wood), I won't stop you.
Me, I'm often of the mind, truth is not beauty, beauty not truth; art as expression, aesthetic experience, entertainment, or decoration is independent of what actually is and any abstract truths pertinent to reality. Absurdism captures the human condition only incidentally, so far as I am concerned. Some of the best work in the genre is not developed unto a theme, but aims only at offering itself to whatever audience there may be. It does not set out to make a grand statement, however many we might find in it. Those discoveries say as much about us as they do about their creators and the art which we delve in to.
But there are many approaches to and understandings of whatever art might be. For expressive work of the highest calibre, complete with something akin to a story, I suggest the above linked material. Illustrating feeling, focusing on what i…
"Her eyes are a little too alive," he said in an overly stealthy voice. I tried to warn him, but it was too late. "You're being too quiet," I told him. "You're drawing attention to yourself." He wouldn't listen. "I'm right, though, aren't I?" he intoned. It was barely above a whisper. He was right--I had to change the subject. "That's not the point," I breathed. "You're too--"
I could hardly hear myself. I had fallen into his beguiling attempt at fading into the woodwork, and now we both stood out more than if we had been shouting. I could feel their eyes on us. No one knew what we had been talking about, they only knew we didn't wish to be heard. Most of all, I could feel her eyes, glistening with something I knew not. 'Too alive.' I knew that.
When the night is gone let us paint it back up with its hanging moon and stars drawing glances toward the darkened sky behind, near to empty ‘til filled up, brimming with brushed on clouds, in grey light dimming, fading not into tomorrow, lingering on. Speechless, thoughtless, moving, they fall down into twin glasses of wine, and shimmer on velvet waves, a dim reflection of yesterday.
Got the next page for Pointless Man's 'Death to Pretty Boy Groups' layed out, then I realized I had set it horizontally on the page instead of vertically. This means I have to rethink the damn layout. Things keep getting in the way of finishing this up. You have no idea how long I've been waiting to get to having PM kick some boy band ass. Still, just a small bump.
Should have the page layed out and penned by week's end. I'll share it with you cats when it gets there. Hopefully will have time to edit down a few other solo pics I've got scanned in before then, so you can look forward to a few drawings this week.
Maybe I'll actually get around to putting all this up at my website, too. Heh.
My winter quarter schedule has changed. No longer do I have class from 9AM to 9PM with two three hour breaks therein. No. Now, I start classes at 2PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with nothing holding me back those other days. For now, anyway. We'll see if I can swing some work with this wide open schedule of mine in between homework from this and last quarter.
Anyway, this means I don't have to be prudent about staying out late or drinking on Sundays. Go me.