Thursday, December 24, 2009



The blog has quite clearly been neglected, so much so in fact that if it never spoke to me I would understand completely. Many marvelous and astonishing happenings did occur in the interim between the then and now. I would relate them to you here, but must decline to do so, that is, the act of shoehorning them all into one post would serve only to diminish them, a fate entirely undeserved. As to the reason/explaination/excuse I offer for my absence, it's like this, there are so many mysterious and enigmatic happenstances involved that I must describe them in the abstract. Were I to choose one word to ascribe to my derelict duty, that word would have to be... Ninjas.

I will however indulge in applying a few choice words to the 2009 San Diego Comic Con. Those words would be blissful carnage, or chaos gerbil, or even flesh torrent. Suffice it to say, it was an utter blast, I both greedily cherish and respectfully fear my time at the Con, and I look forward to next year's with baited, frothy, breath.

I wish I'd seen more movies, there may be a new years resolution there, that is if I didn't liken making resolutions to repeatedly punching myself in the taint. I will endeavor to see more movies, I love them so and I need to show it.

Consider more specifics to be eminent, more posts to be forthcoming. Not a promise so much as a threat, and a dire one at that. You see that naked lady sketch above? That is an indication, a thrown down gauntlet if you will, illustrating how "I mean business".


Thursday, March 19, 2009


  • So, I was watching the Watchmen movie 2 weeks ago, (I took the day off, I know, nerd-boy) and I was wondering what it was that was bothering me about it. I had read the comics during their original run, in fact, I cite Alan Moore's Watchmen, along with Frank Miller's Dark Knight, and Miller's underrated Elektra Assassin as the comics that brought me back to the fold after my "too cool for comics" faze. I eagerly anticipated the adaption of the nigh "unfilmable" text, trying my gosh darnedest not to get my hopes too high while still remaining confident about director Zack Snyder's abilities. After all, did he not, already, film the nigh unfilmable 300 movie? From the inspired opening credit sequence, I found my confidence was not entirely misplaced. However, as the movie continued, despite the slick action, sometimes brilliant casting, startling visuals, and slavish adherence to the source material, I started to become, um... dissatisfied a bit? I'll refrain from illustrating my thoughts on Snyder's altered ending, along with my other artistic and technical quibbles, to maintain focus on point. That being that something permeating the film bugged me.

    A friend of mine called into question the directors, um, sexual proclivities? An unfair, if not unarguable, observation (accusation?) that I am disinclined to entertain here. I had to disagree, and as I marshaled my mental bullet points in anticipation of defending my viewpoint it hit me. Zack Snyder is a fetishist. After googling the actual definition of the word, I find "fixation" more appropriate, but I'll continue to use "fetish" as it is more encompassing. What I'm getting at is that Snyder fetishizes aspects of his movies, the violence, the fight scenes, the costumes, the shots taken directly off the comic page, the porno-ish sex, the slo-mos and zoom-ins, all to serve his fixation on the material. He focuses, with near unhealthy preoccupation, on the cosmetic and salacious portions of his films. The fights scenes are tightly choreographed exhibitions of sensationalized violence punctuated by lingering shots of broken tibias and smashed faces. The sex is glamorous and athletic, the scenes are rich in hue and grime and fire and light and all the other sparkly things he can cram in. This is not to say that he's unable to pull out a standout performance from some of his actors, or that Carla Gugino isn't luscious kitted out in her attire. Nor am I saying the obsessive directing style is, particularly, a bad thing. But maybe it's a bad thing in this instance, or at least an inappropriate one. I think Snyder's take saps a great deal of the weight and power from Alan Moore's brilliant prose, and he's unable to translate Dave Gibbon's skillful use of panel and pacing into a complementary cinematic form.

    I read some of the reviews of the film, the ones that didn't arbitrarily laud or dismiss the film had alot of interesting observations, many of which I have varying degrees of agreement with. I went to Snyder's panel at the comic con last year and, in reference to Alan Moore's legendary disdain of having his comics filmed, he said something to the effect of, I hope that on some dark, stormy night, if Alan somehow comes into a copy of the film and watches it, that he doesn't completely hate it. In that respect I think he failed, however, he did make an ambitious, entertaining film which in the end, I have to say, was pretty decent.

    It's late, I'm battling illness, so that's all you get... oh wait, the pic is a sketch of some random image from the fffound blog, I been strapped for drawing time lately, a bit sucky really, the being strapped for time not the drawing, I'm not that self deprecating... Geesh.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Forest for the Trees

You ever ask yourself why you watched a certain movie? Why you watch the TV shows you watch, books that you read, music you hear? Yeah, me neither, but I sometimes ask myself why others do. I'm not really talking about why you like the things you do, I mean what brought you there in the first place? Presumably, every item of entertainment must have some type of advertisement attached, otherwise, how would you find it? But advertising is massive. If you think about it, the amount of requests for our attention we are bombarded with every day is mind boggling. An unsettling amount of our economy is actually tied up in the practice of informing the consumer group of things to spend your money on, and since entertainment is, often times, big money so is the advertising of said entertainment "big business". A quick simplification of the method of advertising gives us 2 major components. 1, the presenting of the product in question in the most appealing and attractive light and 2, the distributing of said presentation to the largest amount of prospective consumers.

This brings us to (in a dry, uninteresting, meandering fashion I notice as I reread the above) the gist of my question. With so many medias vying, tooth and nail, for you attention, how do you choose? Right now, we are subjected to such a crushing onslaught of information that there is a whole new field of study dedicated to how our brains are evolving to process it. How in the world does anything get watched, listened to or read over anything else? I'm certain it has as much to do with reflecting an appealing aspect of the individuals makeup in the media being marketed as sheer dumb luck. I, also, am certain that if I could manipulate such a force, then I would have many, many dollars to spend on the frivolous things that strike my fancy.

Anyhoo, the impetuous of the above diatribe was the viewing of the movie Coraline, based on a story by the amazing Neil Gaiman and directed by the real talent behind The Nightmare Before Christmas, Henry Selick. The tried and true premise of the new kid in town adjusting to her unknown surroundings and testing her relationship with her parents becomes a fairy tale in the Grimm sense in the hands of these 2 storytelling maestros. The story is a vehicle for Gaiman to explore the phobia koumpounophobia, (the fear of buttons, in this case buttons sewn into the eyes, yummy) in deliciously inventive, mildly horrifying fashion focused through the lens of Selick's formidable imagination. And it's those two elements, imagination and horror, that are, to me, the defining ingredients to an effective fairy tale.

This is a movie I've been waiting for a long time to see, character design have popped up on the blogs I read and at the comic con for years. The movie wasn't accompanied by an sort of media blitz which may account for it's so so 1st week box office, but in it's 3rd week it comes in second with another 11.4 mil (behind Tyler Perry's Medea Goes to Jail, WTF). For me, this movie delivers on all fronts and is as good as purchased when the DVD becomes available. But, just to revisit my opening thought, how did anyone find this gem? I mean, I know how I found it, but my methods of finding things are unconventional at best. What I wonder about is how such an unusual movie with minimal marketing and zero star power ends up staying in the top 3 for 3 weeks? I guess I should just go ask Mr. Owl.

Also saw Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, yeah, that wasn't so great.

The latest episodes of Battlestar Galatica kicks copious amounts of ass. The new Joss Whedon effort Dollhouse somewhat floundered in the beginning (while I love her to death the star, Eliza Dushku, is the weak link) but after catching the 3rd episode, I can comfortably commit to further viewings. Doesn't matter though, it'll be cancelled in 4 more episodes.

The pic is the effervescent Zooey Deschanel, it came out easy but it's got some balance issues and it feels a bit static, I might need to expose myself to some Paul Pope or something. Crap, I missed 2 postings in one month by 3 hours, fail.

Oh, reading Warren Ellis's Freak Angels web comic, it's both free and awesome, please read it, you'll thank me later


Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Road Less Traveled

I'll admit, sometimes I can be a bit of a hater, ask anyone who's met me. But honestly, if I seem to get overly worked up or overly critical of something there's actually a reason. You see, I genuinely enjoy my interests. Think about it... How do you really feel about the shows you watch, books you read, movies you see, music you listen too? Are they there just to pass the time, to entertain, or to place your mind into a vegetative state? There's so much stuff out there, so many things to occupy your time with, but how many of them are really worth your time?

Every once in awhile, I'll be reading somethng or watching something, and the realization will hit me, "somebody freakin' created this!" Somebody had an idea, then that idea became reality, and now I'm experiencing it. Somebody created something, plucked it straight from the ether, then transferred it to a medium, (book, film, comic, song, etc..) for the expressed intent of someone like me finding it. The whole concept of that amazes me. It's that realization that, I think, connects me to my interests. It's that connection that makes me so involved and, therefore, invested, and its that investment that makes it personal. I take this stuff personally. I've seen some of the astonishing things each medium is capable of, books that have broadened the horizons of my mind, songs that are nearly a religious experience, comics that have transported me to entirely different reality, and movies that are nothing short of pure magic. These things can enlighten, educate, stimulate, but honestly, (and this could, quite possibly be the philosopher's stone right here) they ultimatley have to entertain.

That's the real trick though isn't it? What is entertaining? Foregoing the answer completely, (since I don't have it) Let's look at some indicators shall we? If you watch TV you may surmise that watching people humilate themselves on reality TV shows, look foolish, get stabbed in the back, lied to, tricked, berated, rejected, laughed at, and judged is entertning. (I realize that some of these examples may seem unfair, but I ask your indulgence). If you watch movies you may think that only subject matter that is depressing is worthy of accolade, that only stoners are funny, that the presence of black actors means race is invloved, that animation is for comedy or for kids, or that women only care about relationships and shoes. Music my lead you to believe that the only things worthy of song are sex, drugs, and, uh, sex. Books all have 7th grade reading levels and are generally about helping yourself and teen vampires. Don't even get me started about the impression comics conjure...

Admittedly, these are narrow minded generalizations, but I can't help feeling, or more accurately "fearing", that the above cited forms are becoming more prevalent. I know not everything has to be a shining representation of it's medium, but neither does mediocraty have to reign. If I sometimes get irritated, well, that's why.

I recently saw The House Bunny, Tropic Thunder, and Wanted. Both comedies struck me the same way, as somewhat missed opportunities. I adore Anna Faris, along with most of the rest of the cast of The House Bunny, it doesn't hurt that Anna is blisteringly hot in the movie, but I can't help but feel that something is just "off" from really funny. It's not the timing so much as it seems the film makers seem to be under the imppression that the premise alone is funny enough that they can softball the jokes. This may go double for Tropic Thunder, in the interest of full disclosure, I am not the biggest fan of half the cast of this movie, (Ben Stiller, Tom Cruise, Matthew McConaughey). Jack Black is plenty capable and RD jr is Freakin' stellar, but it feels a bit like the director, (Stiller again), is coasting along on the premise for laughs without earnest effort toward actual jokes. Wanted, now this could be the new action movie template. Based on a comic book designed specfically with movie property in mind, Wanted transcends the equation "comic+stars+$$$$$$=more $$$$$$$" and writes it's own formula with equal parts secret society-creative physics-mind warping action-deft camera work-sharp performances-clean execution. Sure, the narrative gets a bit muddy, and much belief is being suspended, but if you can buy the bullet bending, then your in for a slick actioner.

The pic is indicative of how my drawing is going. I'm finding a bit more time to draw and a whole lot more pleasure in it. Challenging myself more, having more output, and, most importanly, having more fun doing it. Which should really be the point I guess...


Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I can only assure you that I am, indeed, drawing. That does not, however, excuse my lack of posts. THAT I can only attribute to an accute case of lame.

New year/new president/economy bad... No need to address here what is swiftly becoming dead horse paste.

Most important is that the Chargers are out of the playoffs, thus my sundays are, once again, mine to control.
Movies: First and foremost, WTF is hollywood doing, seriously? Anyone? When is the last time an original property was commited to celluoid? Don't get me wrong, having movie versions of comics like Iron Man, Hulk, Batman, Hellboy, Wanted... dominating the cinematic landscape tickles me to no end, however... the sheer lack of original material is, well, let's break it down. Novels continue to be a staple of source material ( Spiderwick, Narnia, Choke) , and video game adaptions continue to pop up ( Max Payne, Dungeon Seige [shudder]), faring not so well critically/finacially, although I appreciate the effort. Leave us not forget the remakes ( Day the Earth Stood Still, Get Smart, Speed Racer) and sequels ( Indiana Jone, Harold and Kumar, Quantum of Solice). For real, if you look through a list of synopsies (sp?) of this year's movies, I'd guess at least 80% start out with "Based on the... Adapted from the... Ripped off from..." Has it always been like this? I may not even mind if it resulted in some cool movies but it seems to, more often than not, result in a bunch of "meh".
What this does, is it fills me with a fearful dread toward the upcoming crop of movies this year and it shouldn't 'cause movies are a true love of mine. Sure, I'm confident in the new Harry Potter and Watchmen movies (Watchmeny goodness), but there are a plethora of other properties that scare the bugeesums outta me. The Uninvited chief among them as that is a remake of my favorite ghost story of all time Tale of Two Sisters, an exquisite blend of psycological terror, familial discord, mental illness, and loss that this remake has zero chance of doing even a modicum of justice. Lets see, we also have the Chun Li movie (yikes), Avatar the Last Airbender (all white actors playng all asian roles), GI Joe (um, really), Friday the 13 (stop), another Fast and Furious (double stop), Dragonball (dear lord), Wolverine (ambiguously gay), Star Trek (maybe), Terminator (sorry, I really don't like Christian Bale), Land of The lost (god)... Well, you get the jist.
My point, (I did have one didn't I?) is that it really feels like Hollywood is clutching at any and every property with a whif of possible built in fanbase, or "next big thing" quality... grasping desperately, pathetically. And it's what they're doing with them! For God sakes they're thinking of casting Keanu Reeves as Spike Spiegel in the Cowboy Bebop movie, Keanu F'ing Reeves!!! It's just a big bunch of FAIL!
Rant finished. I saw some cool stuff, Forbidden Kingdom was waaaaaay better than I thought it was gonna be. Pretty, clever, exciting, not nearly as offensive as it could have been. The Life Before Her Eyes was one of the best movies I saw this year. Gorgeous, lyrical, poignant, skillfully acted/written/directed/crafted, an unmittigated crime that you've never heard of it. The Substitute, a danish scifi grim fairy tale illustating my point that averyone in the world has imagination except Hollywood.
In all honesty, I can't wait to see the next movie that reafirms my faith in the power movies, it really doesn't matter where it comes from, or who makes it, and they do keep coming, eventually, if not consistantly.
Oh yeah, picture is a sketch of Fiona Apple, absurdly talented girl.