Monthly Archives: April 2009

Technicolor Disinfectant

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Filed under Project, Sketch

Continuing work on this independent project after putting it on the back burner for a little bit:
dcircuit012
Will be searching for a publisher once I complete these few pages and finish writing the prose part of the script. It’s going surprisingly quickly, though – I wanted to do a combination of oil-like, volumetric painting for some of the characters and ink-and-wash work for the rest of them, and I think I’ve really gotten into the zone: While I did that cylinder thing a couple weeks ago, doing the rest of the page only took this one night.

Also did another doodle on one of those Facebook apps, during a quick snack-and-coffee break:
kwasajvdxvf
What happens to that last 1% of the bacteria, anyway? Do they go on to do some kind of microbial version of I am Legend? Or Mad Max? They wander the post-Lysoliptic wasteland alone, searching for other survivors and the lost knowledge from the Before Time that can restore their civilization. That’s my theory, anyway, but I was always more of a physics kid than a biology one.

Three Guys

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Filed under Link, Sketch

Doodled a scene from a nightmare I had a while ago…
monster01

And, uh, something else. Just kinda went with the flow:
qpnlavessad

I know I said in the last post that I didn’t like TV very much, but I also never claimed to not be a hypocrite (though I undoubtedly will later on), but Hulu is now showing all of the “Stella” TV episodes. Those of you who know me might be aware that my sensibilities run a little towards the “meta” end of the spectrum, so I can assure you this is right up my alley. This episode, especially, is fantastic:

To the Sky!

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Filed under Fun, Idea, Link

I just finished a 4-page sample for a possible collaboration on a graphic novel – A drama this time, as opposed to a comedy or a big existential “look how smart I am!” festival. I’ll refrain from posting it because this is just between me and said collaborator, but rest assured, I am not resting on any kind of assured laurels or, heaven forbid, sitting around drinking scotch and drawing goofy cartoons that shall remain unposted for fear of embarrassing loved ones…

In the mean time, however, feast your eyes on this:

This is, and I feel I can say this without hyperbole, the greatest thing to ever be on TV, ever. I don’t even like TV that much – in the ’50’s they told the public that this magic viewing tube would be a window unto knowledge heretofore unseen by the general public….

…That space above is my only reaction – However! This program that I have linked to is one of the very few things I’ve ever seen that actually fulfills that promise of humanism and knowledge. Here is not only a view of the entire universe on an emotional, meaningful level, but a manifesto for human cooperation rarely seen in any medium. I defy you to watch this episode and remain dry-eyed. For those in a hurry, the 37-minute mark starts off The Greatest Story Ever Told.

Some good ol’ Sci-Fi

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Filed under Content, Gallery, Link

Just finished a little digital painting for the guy who made me this website you’re looking at.  He’s writing a science fiction novel, and this is a scene from it.  Check it out in the “Digital” section.  And check out his website, too.

Drawn in Circles

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Filed under Link, News

First, a little publicity:
If you’re in or around Madison, be sure to check out some of my drawings at the State Street Gallery show.

Here’s an interview with the editor emeritus of Nature, who passed away recently.  Fascinating ideas about probing into the human brain using notions of fear, as well as all the other questions science has been probing lately.

Finally, speaking of fear and bizzare ideas, yesterday I read a horror comic called “Uzumaki” (“Spiral”) by Junji Ito.  It’s wormed its way into my mind and laid eggs, so I’m going to talk them out of my brain and get on with my business.  It’s a story about a town that is cursed by, well, spiral shapes, which act like a kind of contagion, slowly destroying the town and its inhabitants. On the surface this sounds irredeemably silly, but Ito has a knack for atmospherics that makes you believe these shapes have the supernatural power to make people go mad, or mutate into grotesque monsters, or kill each other and themselves in a variety of creatively gruesome ways.  The story follows a high school couple, and we see the events through their eyes as people are warped or killed by a kind of invisible, Lovecraftian personification of “spiral-ness” itself – as the story goes on, the pattern loses all its ordinary connotations and becomes a kind of character as well,  which appears in and corrupts everything it can.  Even the blades of grass begin to curl.  I’m not normally that interested in horror, but this has a kind of surreal, apocalyptic feel that propels it above the normal gore and scares.  Ito  draws beautifully, too, if sometimes a little clumsily, in a subtle, noir-ish way that augments the strangeness of the story. In the end, not to give too much away, the town is obliterated, but it seems like the fate of the villagers isn’t too terrible considering the events up to that point; they at least seem to end up in a kind of off-brand Nirvana, which is rendered exquisitely across a two-page spread.  Nothing about the curse or its origin is explained, beyond a basic “spirals exist to mesmerize, and so want desperately to be looked at.” – For mere humans, in this case, there is no answer.  Definitely recommended.

“I am the astonishment…”

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Filed under Link, Sketch

I can’t believe I had never heard of this man before.  I had heard of Ridley Walker.  I had heard of Turtle Diary.  I had not, however, put two and two together and determined that they were written by the same man – A man who has a certain flair for the uncanny that I find inspiring.

More animal fact sketches, just because:
roach
cosmopug
…OK, I think I’m done with these now.

The Spice of Life must Flow

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Filed under Link

I would love to sit down and comment on this essay, but my powers of expression, enough to light a candle, would be drowned out by the solar furnace of Zadie Smith’s writing and insight.  I suggest reading it now.

“The first stage in the evolution is contingent and cannot be contrived. In this first stage, the voice, by no fault of its own, finds itself trapped between two poles, two competing belief systems. And so this first stage necessitates the second: the voice learns to be flexible between these two fixed points, even to the point of equivocation. Then the third stage: this native flexibility leads to a sense of being able to “see a thing from both sides.” And then the final stage, which I think of as the mark of a certain kind of genius: the voice relinquishes ownership of itself, develops a creative sense of disassociation in which the claims that are particular to it seem no stronger than anyone else’s. There it is, my little theory—I’d rather call it a story. It is a story about a wonderful voice, occasionally used by citizens, rarely by men of power. Amidst the din of the 2008 culture wars it proved especially hard to hear.”

At the very least it provides vindication for anyone who feels unfocused or too experimental in their work.

Hole in the Head

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Filed under Idea, Link, Sketch

Some researchers made a video of the way space would warp one’s view if you were falling into a black hole. The universe is weird, man!

Apparently the grid is just to show the way space-time is warping. The color of it indicates red shifts or blue shifts… I love to be reminded of the strange things that can happen outside human experience.

…It makes me feel like this (Got this program called EZ-Toon I’ve been playing with…):
headexplode

“You can take applause to bed”

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Filed under Link, News, Sketch

Now that I’ve had a chance to sleep on it, I’ve realized the preceding post had far too many puns in it; someone may get the mistaken impression that I am a math teacher, or your bachelor uncle you only see once a year. This sketch should get the taste out of your mouth:
nawdappya

The reason this little guy is incredulous is because this site finally has its regular domain name again – Now I can actually go about advertising it. Awesome. And major thanks to Kris Truitt of Kookies and Kreme for the amazing web design.
…..
I know it’s half a decade old, but “Ten” by cLOUDDEAD is possibly the best album I have heard in years.

Drat-sody in Blue

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Filed under Link, News, Project, Sketch

Just got an email saying that while I was a finalist for the Gershwin Hotel Artist-in-Residence Program, they decided to go with someone else. Poo. I’ll have to shop around my idea some more to see if I can get a grant to build it. And I’ll try again in October; I’m not exactly low on gallery-style ideas right now.

In the meme-time, here are three puns about bees:
BumbleBeam
bumblebeam
MoBee
mobee
Limit Bee, the bee who occupies all available space:
tothelimit