Sunday, October 31, 2010

Indie Art Market at Beatniks

I will be doing Indie Art Market at Beatnik's Bar again this coming Tuesday from 6pm till 9pm!!

If you missed the previous two, I highly recommend you check it out. Beatnik's a great little place down on Park Avenue in the Woo right diagonal from the fire station and the Kentucky Fried Chicken/Taco Bell. I will be selling copies of the Black Widow, Peculiar Boy, Spaghetti Strand Murder and Polly and Handgraves as well as signed prints and original art.

I've been doing a series of small illustrations called Places Around Worcester... Historically Speaking. Which I've taken either historic places around Worcester like Bancroft Tower and The Worcester State Hospital. I've also taken some contemporary places like Beatnik's and Armsby Abbey and put them in a historic settings.

I hope to see you all there!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Normal Life by John Shaver

My old chum John Shaver is doing a really great job creating a graphic memoir of his early years called THE NORMAL LIFE. What I like about it is that he's giving the impression that his early years are being colored with crayons.

And I really like the look it gives the piece. i also really like the fact that he's drawn... out the speech balloons but lettered the words out. It definitely gives it that look of being taken from a child's notebook!!

This installment of deals with something I'm sure most of us have had to deal with in our lives. Bullies.

Please check it out by clicking on the link below:
Frog Hunting Page One

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Star Wars Re-imagined...


The Original Star Wars Trilogy (MY trilogy) is something I don't think anyone can ever remake and have it ever be successful. Even the negative reaction to how George Lucas and company have added the new CGI effects to the films just tells you how much the original trilogy means to people.

No other actor can replace the performances of Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher are Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia to millions of people. It would be a disaster. People did not connect with the characters of the prequels in that same way. And Ewan McGreagor, Samuel L. Jackson and Christopher Lee are all great actors.

However, looking at the Ralph McQuarrie Star Wars concept figures made me think. Even I don't think anyone would ever accept a complete remake or reboot of the Star Wars universe. I certainly wouldn't.

But what if they were to re-imagine the Star Wars inverse using Ralph McQuarrie's concept art in the same way they did with the last Star Trek movie.

Personally, I think J.J. Abrams did a clever thing with that film by creating the whole paralleled universe concept. That way die-hard fans of the classic series do not think he's trying to erase nearly 44 years of Star Trek history. It gives fans a choice of what they want to follow and believe to be "the one true Trek" without diminishing either. A good way of not having fans serve your backside on a platter.

And I think that concept could easily work with Star Wars. I think fans would be more willing to accept a different view rather than a blatant remake. And I think McQuarrie's original concepts are so fascinating that they would look really great as their own parallel universe Star Wars movie.

It's more along the lines of a cross between Issac Asimov (as I mentioned in yesterday's blog post), Flash Gordon and Lord of the Rings. There's just something I find very inviting about the science-fiction of the 1930's and 1940's as well as many of the Ray Harryhausen films. In the age of CGI effect and this push for things to get increasingly more realistic, I miss the stop-motion monsters from those movies. Watching one of Harryhausen's Sinbad movies, I was so taken by the artistic care with the details and moment of those creatures. Sure you can tell they're animated and they look somewhat silly. But the expressions in the face and the mind-numbing amount of time it took to make those creatures move impressed me a lot more than any computer generated monster ever could.

Another thing that intrigues me is his vision for Darth Vader. It's more along the lines of a swashbuckling villain rather than the scarred Sith Lord we have come to know. And the fact that his helmet was merely to breath in space rather than a constant life support.

AND the fact that he flew around in space from ship to ship. I would love to see all that realized.

It would be great if they perhaps found some of the original version of the scripts Lucas wrote for The Star Wars (original working title) and expanded upon them creating a whole new world for these re-imagining of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Chewbacca and a female character merely known as Starkiller. Which I believe was also Luke's original last name before Lucas changed it to Skywalker.

Like I said, as much as I could never replace those original trilogies and the actors who gave those characters life in our imaginations, I would watch the Ralph McQuarrie version of Star Wars if it were presented as a re-imagining than a remake.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ralph McQuarrie Star Wars Concept Figures set


I really like Ralph McQuarrie's original concept art for the Star Wars characters. Some of which I really wish they kept for the movie. Especially his design for Darth Vader.

But I came across a couple sets of figures they were selling based on the Ralph McQuarrie design. And they're really great!! I found myself really liking his original designs for R2D2 and C-3PO. They had a very Isaac Asimov look to them.

I don't know. As much as I liked all the characters from the Star Wars trilogy (the REAL trilogy and NOT the prequels) I actually would have loved to have seen the trilogy produced with these designs.

Perhaps a rather ambitious fan film production out there might take up that challenge and bring these versions of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Starkiller to life. I would watch it!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Upcoming Shows and Apperances...


I have a couple shows in November and one in December so far. I will keep you all posted if there are any other shows and appearances happening in the next two months. But here's the current list:

Beatnik's Indie Art Market in Worcester, MA on November 2, 2010 from 6pm till 9pm
The Local Author's Extravaganza at Borders Books in Shrewsbury, MA on November 26, 2010 from 12noon till 5pm
stART at the Station taking place at Union Station in Worcester, MA on December 5, 2010 from 11am til 5pm

Hope to see you all there!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Animation Teen Intensive at WAM this Winter!!


I am scheduled to teach my second ANIMATION class which will also be my very first Teen Intensive Thursday class in the Winter.

I've been really looking forward to teaching a Teen Intensive Class since they started doing them last year but scheduling just didn't seem to make it possible. However, not only do I get to teach my very first one, I also get to teach a subject I really love.

And that is Animation!!

What makes the Teen Intensives so different from the regular art classes is that the classes are longer than the normal art class at WAM. They run from 5pm till 8pm at night with a little break in between for some pizza and a group critique.

That's right! WAM takes care of their budding little artists.

I'll keep you all posted when my classes for both Winter and Spring become available in both the brochure and on the website!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sherlock Holmes: The Painful Predicament of Alice Faulkner


Alice Faulkner is going into a THIRD PRINT RUN in December with a BRAND NEW COVER designed by Peter Simeti and myself!! This time it's going to be a NATIONAL RELEASE through Diamond Distribution!!

If you would like your comic shop to carry it, click on the link below to order copies today:

Monday, October 11, 2010

I got engaged!!

Yesterday was actually a busy day for weddings and engagements apparently. Actually, this whole year has has been pretty busy in at least the engagement department in my family alone.

Let's back this up to August. My cousin Jessica's boyfriend Keith proposed to her at a family gathering we had. About maybe a week or so later, my cousin Jared proposed to his girlfriend Alicia on the beach in Cape Cod. Yesterday my good friends Veronica and Andy tied the knot in a beach ceremony and I believe are heading to Japan as we speak. Also yesterday my parent's friend's son Jimmy proposed to his girlfriend on a hilltop.

And last night SO DID I!

Yes. I'm wearing a Tom Servo t-shirt with the words "I'm Huge!" on it in that picture ;-)

Last night after a great breakfast at Julien's, a book signing at Double Midnight Comics and a really nice dinner at a cute little Indian Restaurant followed by a long (and at times harrowing) trip back from Manchester New Hampshire I asked Sydney to marry me.

And the best part is she said YES!!

It was pretty eerily similar to when my folks got engaged. Nothing fancy. And I don't think it has to be. But I'm not dissing anyone who has gotten down on one knee or proposed to someone in a place that has significant meaning to you.

There is nothing wrong with that.

But my feeling is this. What makes the moment special is you're with the person that you love. And as cliche and corny as this sounds, she's more than I could have ever asked for. She is the kindest, funniest most sympathetic person I have ever met. And we have so much fun when we're together.

On a side note to anyone planning my bachelor party. There will be NO bachelor party. I hate bachelor parties and think they are stupid. I don't see the need for "One last fling". I feel like that's insensitive to the person you're going to marry. I'm going to marry the most wonderful woman in the world. I don't NEED a "One last fling".

A night out for dinner and drinks with friends is fine. Take me out to a favorite restaurant in Northampton for the night for some food and laughs as well as chatting about old times. But that's it! I DON'T want a bachelor party.

It was funny to come home later and find that someone else I knew (Jimmy as mentioned above) proposed to their girlfriend. Already knowing that two good friends of mine (Veronica and Andy Fish) had just tied the not six or seven hours earlier.

I don't know if there's anything historically significant about October 10th as far as weddings and proposals are concerned. But the day is pretty darn special for me now.

Then again, I think 2010 alone is pretty darn special for me now :-)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Road trip!!


Well, I'm sitting here in my jim jams at 6:35am getting ready to head on out to Manchester New Hampshire for a day out at Double Midnight Comics with Alterna Comics.

Sydney and I have planned on hitting the road around 8am and getting some breakfast when we get up there and we've been scoping out some restaurants for after the show. We're thinking about hitting up an Indian Restaurant while we're up there.

The show itself is running from 12noon till 4pm this afternoon. So, if you happen to be in the area of Manchestester New Hampshire this afternoon, stop on by Double Midnight Comics and say "Hello".

Friday, October 8, 2010

Double Midnight Comics in Manchester, NH this Sunday!!


I'm going to be doing a show up at Double Midnight Comics alongside Alterna head honcho Peter Simeti this coming Sunday October 10th from Noon till 4pm!! I have all my books packed and five brand new illustrations ready for Sunday's!!

One of which is a new idea for me. A 1920's style Wonder Woman.

So, if you have nothing to do on Sunday, stop on by and say "Hello!" to Sydney and me at the show :-)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Superman Reboot


I can't admit to being a fan of the Man of Steel. If Batman's the cool uncle that buy's you beer then Superman is definitely the lame uncle that promises to buy you beer but buys O'Douls...

...or a bag of Brussels sprouts.

And the last attempt to bring Supes to the big screen was terrible. Kevin Spacey was a great Lex Luthor. But why couldn't they take a cue from Christopher Nolan and just reboot the series rather than doing a continuation of the Christopher Reeves series.

I just didn't understand that. I think more than enough time had passed to create an entirely new Superman movie. More time had past between Superman: Quest For Peace and Superman Returns than Batman and Robin and Batman Begins.

They could have used the title "Superman Returns" ironically other than it was a new Superman movie. Unfortunately, they tried to convince the audience that this was the Christopher Reeves series. And fell flat on their collective faces.

I think if they want the series to be a success, they need a new take on the character and a fresh new start.

I'm not so sure people have been clamoring for a new Superman movie over the years. But I think they might have enjoyed it a lot more if they were doing something new rather than just trying to rehash something.

Enter Christopher Nolan. Who has been tapped in hopes to revitalize the Superman series in the same way he did for the Batman series. To make things more interesting, apparently he's enlisted 300 and Watchmen director Zack Snyder. I didn't see 300 but I enjoyed the Watchmen. I didn't think it was the greatest comic book movie of all time. But it was one of those movies I didn't feel completely disappointed when I left the theater.

What's nice about Zack Snyder is the Watchmen was a bit on the dark side. Which I hope he does for a Superman film.

Superman was actually kind of a bad ass in his first appearance. Scaring the crap out of criminals by dropping them off buildings and catching them at the last minute. Holding them by their ankles as he flies through the air with that big cheesy grin the whole time.

Yeah, he was kind of a sadistic bastard. Which is a long way from the red and blue boyscout we have come to know him as. I wouldn't mind seeing him as a criminal dangling jerk.

And hopefully this means a whole new cast (apart from Kevin Spacey who I wouldn't mind see return) for a new movie.

Might I suggest because I'm sure Christopher Nolan, Zack Snyder, Warner Brother and DC Comics read my blog religiously (yeah right!) Patrick Warburton as Superman!!

Yeah, that's right! Mr. Putty from Seinfeld, the Tick and Joe Swanson from Family Guy Patrick Warburton as Superman!! I think he's a natural for the role. He's a big guy and he's got that square jaw look that actors have been lacking in the role since the days of George Reeves.

That and he's got that great voice that I think was just born to play the Man of Steel. I think they could definitely play it cheesy with that bad ass angle from the earlier Superman comics.

The new team is already doing the right thing by sending Brandon Routh and his tights home packing. Now if they want the next Superman movie to be a success, they need to enlist Patrick Warburton!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Painful Predicament of Alice Faulkner in Diamond!!


IT'S OFFICIAL FOLKS!! Sherlock Holmes: The Painful Predicament of Alice Faulkner is now getting a national release in Diamond's October Previews catalog! This is the 3rd printing of the book and features a brand-new cover! Go down to your local comic shop and order it today with this code: OCT100735

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bowling


I don't confess to being a huge fan of bowling. But at the same time I don't hate it. It's one of those things where if everybody decides they want to go bowling one night, you won't drag me to the alley kicking and screaming.

Candlepin I don't particularly care for. Which I suppose is blasphemy seeing that it originated in my 'burb of Worcester Massachusetts. Last time I went candlepin bowling I wrenched my shoulder but good. I know for a fact I wasn't bowling right. There's a whole the way you grip the ball and release point and everything else.

And I really don't have the patience to study the science of candlepin bowling.

That and I suppose I resented candlepin because it was on when they should have been playing Bugs Bunny cartoons. That's enough for a young kid to hate a sport ;-)

With all that said, I do admit I enjoy ten pin bowling. Maybe it's the whole image of Fred Flintstone going all twinkle-toes down the alley before releasing the ball. Or the fact I don't seem to wrench my arm on ten pin who knows.

Which seems kind of odd since the ten pin ball is a lot larger than the candlepin ball. Oh well.

Sydney, John and Melissa and I decided to make a night of it going out to Red Robin for starters and then off to a bowling alley in close proximity of the Red Robin. And I have to admit, I had a great time. And like I said earlier, I'm not a huge fanatic when it comes to bowling.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Full speed ahead!!

No rest for the wicked!! But the wicked does get a little bit of a breather ;-) I just finished up 19 pages for an upcoming show at Beatniks in Worcester on Tuesday this afternoon. I started working on the illustrations sometime last week. Now that they're all in the can, tonight is a little bit of a calm before the storm. Sydney and I are meeting up with our friends John and Melissa to go out to Red Robin for dinner and then bowling. Not Candlepen, mind you. But good old-fashioned Fred Flinstone on his tippy-toes style Ten Pin Bowling.

Tomorrow is when it all begins!!

As I mentioned in my previous blog I will be indeed taking part in the 24 Hour Comic Book Challenge at the Worcester Art Museum. I have my project chosen and what's nice is it's something I'm already 15 pages into. I had thought about just redoing the whole thing but upon looking at the pages, I don't think they're half bad. They need some touching up, but that's pretty simple.

My goal for the Challenge is to at least have the book halfway finished before the 24 Hours is up.

Did I mention the book is around 60 pages total?

So, it's one of these things if I get reach the halfway mark by 3pm Sunday afternoon I'll be happy and it will give me something to work with. However, if I get the entire thing done by the end of the Challenge then I'll be elated!!

That will mean all I will have to do is scan the pages into the computer and start with the lettering that following week.

So, hopefully that will mean I will have a brand new book on the shelves by sometime next year. But I won't get ahead of myself. First I've got to get the pages done. THEN I can start thinking ahead.

I imagine that it will be a earlier than usual bedtime on Sunday because it's up at 5am again on Monday morning for work at the Ben Franklin School.

Then on Tuesday it's the Indie Artist Market at Beatniks on Park Ave. in Worcester MA!! If you haven't been there just yet, Beatniks is a great little place. If you don't like big crowds, it's definitely got a chill atmosphere if you get there early in the night. But if you're all about the nightlife in the Woo, then Beatniks is great to go see a band at.

However, on Tuesday from 6pm till 9pm it's all about art and artists at Beatniks. It's my first time doing the show but from what they told me at the last show I guess a lot of the artists involved did really great!! So, I'm excited!!

And I think it's really great that they are doing shows like this in the area. So, if you've got nothing to do on Tuesday night, stop by and say "Hi!" to Sydney and me. The food there is a cut above the usual bar food and the beers on tap are excellent!!

And the fun doesn't end there. Next Saturday is the beginning of my classes at the Worcester Art Museum!! There is still plenty of time to sign up for both my morning and afternoon classes. There are links to the classes currently available on the toolbar to the left hand sign of your screen. Simply click on the link to the class you wish to sign up for.

There are several more shows coming up in the Fall!! I will keep you posted on them once I get more information!! But I hope to see you at the Comic Challenge and Beatniks :-)