Thursday, March 22, 2012

Movie Review: The Artist

Let's talk silent. I took in The Artist today. I wanted to see it before it left the local theater. I had to see why this thing won Best Picture on both sides of the pond. Surprisingly enough, this B&W non-Talkie kept my interest for the 100 minute run time. It was a bit foreign at first to view a movie that relied more on visual nuance and gesture than the glut of sensory effects we've become accustomed to as a society. I really believe the film triumphed internationally because it drew a sharp contrast to the usual fare. Was it clever enough to garner Best Picture nods? I'm not sure of that. But I will say it was worth the matinée ticket price. And it was refreshing to see a simple story "eloquently" delivered. "B+"

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Yarns Progress

Okay, I'm bringing up the rear as we close in on our final deliverable for YARNS. Here's a sample of my “pencils” (actually they're a mix of ink and a motley patchwork of tracing paper and scotch tape). I love the hands-on feel of “Frankensteining” the composition in analog. Right now I’m moving into the inking phase. That actually goes fast for me. I scan these sample pages in, convert them to light bluelines, output them on Clearprint vellum, then ink directly on them. Then I'll rescan them RGB and blast out the bluelines in Pshop (Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation: Activate the blue and cyan channels and crank the Lightness slider to 100) and I'm ready to flat and paint. Colorizing will happen in bulk (and earnest) this week. I'm pretty excited about the story, though. It ended up being 18 pages. Phew!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Movie Review: John Carter

I caught the matinée of John Carter today. I found it reminiscent to Stars Wars in its epic-ness and humor; the story was interesting, the characters entertaining. My only critique concerns the actor who played the main character. Taylor Kitsch, though effective in his action segments as John Carter, needed more screen presence. Kitsch assumes the role of reluctant hero in the story, but comes off a little too unassertive and timid in his delivery. Ironically, though Mar's low gravity gives the Earthling Carter super strength and Hulk-like jumping ability, it seems to also rob him of the gravitas needed to pull off the job as male lead. (Marc Wahlberg in Planet of the Apes comes to mind). My advice to Kitsch: Rent Dirty Harry and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and take notes from Sensei Clint. Beyond that, an entertaining film. "B+"

Saturday, March 3, 2012

And I'm Back

After a 3-year hiatus from my personal blog, I've returned. Partly because I'd like a central hub outside of Facebook for design and illustration topics. And partly because I just want a place to park my arcane thoughts now and then. For those who are unfamiliar with my activities, I'm working on three different things right now:

YARNS: The Yowling Anthology of Random & Neato Stories
This is a compilation of short graphic stories written and created by six other friends and myself. It's due to come out this spring and there will be a show/reception at the CSUS University Union Gallery in late April. I'll post dates up in the next month. Check out work in progress here.

Peck, The Man Without Neck
Our one-armed hero, Dent, is a young man with a mysterious and sketchy past. He's a dumpy Sactown garbage man by day and a freakish, fledgling crime fighter by night. Mentored by Cornelius Bacon, the resident landfill recluse, and his teddy bear confidant, Billy Trudare, Dent learns the ancient discipline of Gar Bag Do. Together this unlikely trio attempt to take back a tattered city held hostage by greed, corruption and villainy. Keep up with the action here.

This is my weekly web comic panel that chronicles the awkward intersections of the inanely bizarre and occasionally true. Check it out here.
The majority of the activity will be on Yarns in the near term. Stay tuned.