Saturday, November 29, 2008

um, do I need to say anymore. Nerd bikers rejoice our day is nearly here!


So I had to do the unthinkable today; look at my old pages and see if any were salvageable. Sadly, most were not. There was a character that is not longer left in the storyline, or has gone through a rewrite, so they all had to be scrapped.

Those pages without a character that need to be cut, or some strange story flaw (unused locations etc.) still where drawn in a style that I feel I have moved on from. I am looking for a cleaner, darker look for this story. (the art I have down on these pages does not represent that ideal.)

Setting all of this aside I feel confident I will be able to work better and faster as this time I am going to plot the pages and more importantly, I am making Model sheets. (Model sheets give examples of the characters in costume, head shots in different positions, as well as different expressions, and details like tools or gear.) Model sheets are how Disney, Marvel, DC, Darkhorse, etc have always had consistency between issues movies and scenes in their characters. Below are some examples of Model sheets by the great Alex Toth*

*Alex Toth (June 25, 1928–May 27, 2006), pronounced with a long "o," was an acclaimed professional cartoonist active from the 1940s through the 1980s. Toth's work began in the American comic book industry, but is best known for his animation designs for Hanna-Barbera throughout the 1960s and 1970s. His work included Super Friends, Space Ghost, The Herculoids, and Birdman. Toth’s work has been resurrected in the late-night, adult-themed spinoffs on Cartoon Network: Space Ghost: Coast to Coast and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Comic update

I have finalized all of the powers for my characters and have begun final scripting for the graphic novel. I have been toying with different titles and when I decide I will post that here.

Once I have new pages done Ill post some roughs here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

tone it down batman

Is It Time For Batman to Tone It Down? - More amazing videos are a click away

Daily links

So, more than a few people have remarked on my ability to find strange links and whatnot online. In the interest in making this blog more fun for those of you not interested in my graphic novel and it's progress- I am going to add some of these found links each week. For those of you that have already seen some of this no worries- I will be adding lots of new stuff for you jaded people too.

so we will try those for now. Feel free to request stuff, I will try to find nearly anything.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Prick thy fingers
If just to tear away
one reality-
only to reveal another;
just under the surface
nearly unperceivable
like a whisper, a dream
a word upon the tip of your tongue
a turn of phrase
or a rhyme.
No, something far more sinister-
and unkind
a blackened shadow in a dark hall
a wound from a fall forgotten
something out of reach
menacing still
a veil, a hummed song
out of tune,
your being watched by you
from beyond this screen
unable to tear yourself awake
only looking
for the sake of waiting.
A scream unheard but seen
A clawing grimace pulled
And this masque isn't
One you lift off,
It is pulled over you
one blanket too much
and too warm for these
-these hot summer nights

I have decided that I am sick of the so called extreme sports... this should be the definition of Extreme sports:
-- when you play "normal" sports like soccer while covered in poisonous snakes... or basket ball against tigers- OR soccer against tigers holding big poisonous snakes.


Reposted for truth 1

Oh my god, I just realized something
Current mood: midget animals?

I just realized out of the blue something about Gilligan's Island, that until now had never dawned on me- what I realized is this:

( I have heard many many comedians ask) Why the professor was unable to get the castaways off of the island? (obviously he did in the series finale, only to end up on it again.)

Today I figured it out, randomly just walking down the street. He was biding his time. Hear me out- Sooner or later (in all likely-hood) one of the girls, Ginger or Maryanne are going to seek the company of a man on the island. (I know that there is a possiblity of them seeking each other out as well, this would also be acceptable in my version of the professor's plan) He planned to be the one. I mean really what are they going to do go for the funny but awkward quasi-"teen" Gilligan? All clumsy and gawky? No.

Or the Skipper? Hell the guy looked like he smelled of cheap sour mash. He is responsible for crashing them on the island in the first place.

And what about Thurston Howell III? Um gross. And he already had "Lovey" (aka Mrs. Howell).

So there you have it. That only leaves the slightly older, smooth well educated guy. He knew it. It was only a matter of time. If only that show was filmed now.

Damn he was even smarter than I thought

Ps. Also has anyone ever seen a midget animal? I don't mean a runt I mean a midget?

I love this. I wonder what "totmacher" by Wumpscut would do to me.
Simon Pegg on Fast Zombies

The dead and the quick Everyone knows the undead don't run - so how come they were sprinting about in Charlie Brooker's recent TV drama? Simon Pegg argues for a return to traditional zombie values

Davina McCall gets the zombie treatment in Ch4's Dead Set. Photograph: Channel 4 As an avid horror fan, I found the prospect of last week's five-night TV zombie spectacular rather exciting. Admittedly, the trailer for E4's Dead Set made me somewhat uneasy. The sight of newsreader Krishnan Guru-Murthy warning the populace of an impending zombie apocalypse induced a sickening sense of indignation. Only five years previously, Edgar Wright and I had hired Krishnan to do the very same thing in our own zombie opus, Shaun of the Dead. It was a bit like seeing an ex-lover walking down the street pushing a pram. Of course, this was a knee-jerk reaction. It's not as if Edgar and I hadn't already pushed someone else's baby up the cultural high street - but that, to some extent, was the point. In Shaun of the Dead, we lifted the mythology established by George A Romero in his 1968 film Night of the Living Dead and offset it against the conventions of a romantic comedy. Still, I had to acknowledge Dead Set's impressive credentials. The concept was clever in its simplicity: a full-scale zombie outbreak coincides with a Big Brother eviction night, leaving the Big Brother house as the last refuge for the survivors. Scripted by Charlie Brooker, a writer whose scalpel-sharp incisiveness I have long been a fan of, and featuring talented actors such as Jaime Winstone and the outstanding Kevin Eldon, the show heralded the arrival of genuine homegrown horror, scratching at the fringes of network television. My expectations were high, and I sat down to watch a show that proved smart, inventive and enjoyable, but for one key detail: ZOMBIES DON'T RUN! I know it is absurd to debate the rules of a reality that does not exist, but this genuinely irks me. You cannot kill a vampire with an MDF stake; werewolves can't fly; zombies do not run. It's a misconception, a bastardisation that diminishes a classic movie monster. The best phantasmagoria uses reality to render the inconceivable conceivable. The speedy zombie seems implausible to me, even within the fantastic realm it inhabits. A biological agent, I'll buy. Some sort of super-virus? Sure, why not. But death? Death is a disability, not a superpower. It's hard to run with a cold, let alone the most debilitating malady of them all. More significantly, the fast zombie is bereft of poetic subtlety. As monsters from the id, zombies win out over vampires and werewolves when it comes to the title of Most Potent Metaphorical Monster. Where their pointy-toothed cousins are all about sex and bestial savagery, the zombie trumps all by personifying our deepest fear: death. Zombies are our destiny writ large. Slow and steady in their approach, weak, clumsy, often absurd, the zombie relentlessly closes in, unstoppable, intractable. However (and herein lies the sublime artfulness of the slow zombie), their ineptitude actually makes them avoidable, at least for a while. If you're careful, if you keep your wits about you, you can stave them off, even outstrip them - much as we strive to outstrip death. Drink less, cut out red meat, exercise, practice safe sex; these are our shotguns, our cricket bats, our farmhouses, our shopping malls. However, none of these things fully insulates us from the creeping dread that something so witless, so elemental may yet catch us unawares - the drunk driver, the cancer sleeping in the double helix, the legless ghoul dragging itself through the darkness towards our ankles. Another thing: speed simplifies the zombie, clarifying the threat and reducing any response to an emotional reflex. It's the difference between someone shouting "Boo!" and hearing the sound of the floorboards creaking in an upstairs room: a quick thrill at the expense of a more profound sense of dread. The absence of rage or aggression in slow zombies makes them oddly sympathetic, a detail that enabled Romero to project depth on to their blankness, to create tragic anti-heroes; his were figures to be pitied, empathised with, even rooted for. The moment they appear angry or petulant, the second they emit furious velociraptor screeches (as opposed to the correct mournful moans of longing), they cease to possess any ambiguity. They are simply mean. So how did this break with convention come about? The process has unfolded with all the infuriating dramatic irony of an episode of Fawlty Towers. To begin at the beginning, Haitian folklore tells of voodoo shamans, or bokors, who would use digitalis, derived from the foxglove plant, to induce somnambulant trances in individuals who would subsequently appear dead. Weeks later, relatives of the supposedly deceased would witness their lost loved ones in a soporific malaise, working in the fields of wealthy landowners, and assume them to be nzambi (a west African word for "spirit of the dead"). From the combination of nzambi and somnambulist ("sleepwalker") we get the word zombie. The legend was appropriated by the film industry, and for 20 or 30 years a steady flow of voodoo-based cinema emerged from the Hollywood horror factory. Then a young filmmaker from Pittsburgh by the name of George A Romero changed everything. Romero's fascination with Richard Matheson's novel I Am Legend, the story of a lone survivor struggling in a world overrun by vampires, led him to fixate on an aspect of the story leapfrogged by the author: namely, the process by which humanity is subjugated by the aggressive new species. Romero adopted the Haitian zombie and combined it with notions of cannibalism, as well as the viral communicability characterised by the vampire and werewolf myths, and so created the modern zombie. After three films spanning three decades, and much imitation from film-makers such as Lucio Fulci and Dan O'Bannon, the credibility of the zombie was dealt a cruel blow by the king of pop. Michael Jackson's Thriller video, directed by John Landis, was entertaining but made it rather difficult for us to take zombies seriously, having witnessed them body-popping. The blushing dead went quiet for a while, until the Japanese video game company Capcom developed the game Resident Evil, which brilliantly captured the spirit of Romero's shambling antagonists (Romero even directed a trailer for the second installment). Slow and steady, the zombie commenced its stumble back into our collective subconscious. Inspired by the game and a shared love of Romero, Edgar Wright and I decided to create our own black comedy. Meanwhile, Danny Boyle and Alex Garland were developing their own end-of-the-world fable, 28 Days Later, an excellent film misconstrued by the media as a zombie flick. Boyle and Garland never set out to make a zombie film per se. They drew instead on John Wyndham's Day of the Triffids, as well as Matheson and Romero's work, to fashion a new strain of survival horror, featuring a London beset by rabid propagators of a virus known as "rage". The success of the movie, particularly in the US, was undoubtedly a factor in the loose remake of Romero's Dawn of the Dead in 2004. Zack Snyder's effective but pointless reboot parlayed Boyle's "infected" into the upgraded zombie 2.0, likely at the behest of some cigar-chomping, focus-group-happy movie exec desperate to satisfy the MTV generation's demand for quicker everything - quicker food, quicker downloads, quicker dead people. The zombie was ushered on to the mainstream stage, on the proviso that it sprinted up to the mic. The genre was diminished, and I think it's a shame. Despite my purist griping, I liked Dead Set a lot. It had solid performances, imaginative direction, good gore and the kind of inventive writing and verbal playfulness we've come to expect from the always brilliant Brooker. As a satire, it took pleasing chunks out of media bumptiousness and, more significantly, the aggressive collectivism demonstrated by the lost souls who waste their Friday nights standing outside the Big Brother house, baying for the blood of those inside. Like Romero, Brooker simply nudges the metaphor to its literal conclusion, and spatters his point across our screens in blood and brains and bits of skull. If he had only eschewed the zeitgeist and embraced the docile, creeping weirdness that has served to embed the zombie so deeply in our grey matter, Dead Set might have been my favourite piece of television ever. As it was, I had to settle for it merely being bloody good.

Bold characters, bold story, bold artwork. Intensify and simplify

I have been having dreams of Rorchasch tests for a few days now. Not the entirety of the dreams mind you, but they are appearing frequently, in the background. City street? Here, have a huge stenciled ink blot.Need a tattoo on a girls leg? Pow! Blotter test patterns. Usually they are on something relatively innocuous like a political poster or an ad on the side of a bus, but sometimes it is like they serve a purpose. I may include them in the backgrounds of my new comic, I am starting. (Homage to Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons intended.)
This will be a restart of the graphic novel I intended to finish when I was bedridden. Some of you may remember the original cast of characters but, there has been a shake up and I am purging nearly all of the main characters and using the remainder of the cast to tell the story, with a few major additions.
Synchronicity is my foe, and many of the plot points and details of origins and powers are far too similar to those now found in "Heroes". Frustratedly I am learning a valuable lesson: Procrastination sometimes shows you your ideas are valid, if you had just followed through with them. The main themes had been worked out in a apartment back in '92 during my senior year of High school. I was positive (and I still am) that the artwork would have not been something I would have been pleased with. So in some ways it is good that I have to restart. many of those ideas are now stale and used.
I am looking at this graphic novel in a different manner than I originally had. I am going to try my hand telling a modernized version of a 'Silver/Bronze age'* style story. Heroes with real world troubles. (Like the stories I grew up on The Chris Clairemont X-men of the eighties and early nineties. Before all the normal troubles they had became the secret plots of as of unheard-of-villians) Some of these themes may include but are not limited to: drug abuse/alcoholism, political fanaticism, rage/anger, slacker attitude and at least one of these characters is not only are unsure whether or not to be hero- but is adamant about living a normal life and ignoring these new powers. These are the sorts of characters I could get behind. These are characters I can relate to in some way. These are characters I can tell a story about. Even my first cast I feel was weak now looking back. Too many similar characters, too many plots. Too much in general going on. I am really looking back to Watchmen, as Moore and Gibbons really told an old fashioned story with a twist, bringing it up to date (at the time) and because of this, the sotry is still relavant. Maybe they have little or no powers but gadgets and their wits/ courage are what gets them by. I am also looking to a more pared down graphical style much like this:

* During the Silver Age, the character makeup of superheroes evolved. Science fiction and aliens replaced gods and magic.[4] DC Comics sparked the superhero's revival with its publications from 1955–1960. Marvel Comics then capitalized on the revived interest in superhero storytelling with an innovative and successful naturalism.[5] The legacy of these innovations is a literary form in which character development and personal conflict have been as important as plot mechanics and epic escapism.
The Bronze Age retained many of the conventions of the Silver Age comics, with brightly colored superhero titles remaining the mainstay of the industry. However darker plot elements and more mature storylines featuring real-world issues, such as drug use, began to appear during the period, prefiguring the later Modern Age of Comic Books.

A new beginning, setting a goal

I have toyed with the idea of doing a blog for so very long, and now I am actually going to attempt it. My goal is to put up some links and images right away; then as the weeks go on switch over to 1 or 2 posts a week. The focus of this is to share stories, maybe some artwork; try out some ideas on you readers and well as get some feedback from you about what works and what doesn't work.