Sunday, March 20, 2011

Diary of the Black Widow or Spaghetti Strand Murder... on stage perhaps?

It was a passing thought while I was making breakfast this morning. Which actually happened to be the first time I attempted to make pancakes from scratch. The difference with these is I add grits to the mix. Sydney liked them so it was a success!!

If you haven't tried adding grits to your 'cakes, I highly recommend you do. It adds a really nice flavor to them.

Well, while I was cooking I had a passing thought. Well, something that has been on my mind since my last couple of visits to the Hanover Theatre. How would my work translate as a stage place. In particular Diary of the Black Widow and the Spaghetti Strand Murder. Both of which started their lives as stage places. Black Widow I had written as a 45 Minute performance piece back in 2004 and Spaghetti Strand from two seperate sources. One from another performance piece I started to write by never finished with the same name.

And both graphic novels I borrowed bits and bobs from a full play I had written around 2000/2001 called Romance with a Croquet Mallet. Which I'm planning on using the rest in follow up to Spaghetti Strand Murder. Which will bear the name of the play I wrote nearly ten or eleven years ago. How time flies.

I know how I would go about staging both. I'd probably go with my original idea that I did with the Black Widow Murders stage play where I would have the set design done in my pen and ink style with the costumes and the make up done in blacks and grays if I were to adapt either graphic novels.

However, I suppose my biggest thought is how I would go about it. And what I would change to make it fit the confines of a stage play better. Spaghetti Strand would probably be able to adapt. It's Black Widow that might be a bit of a haul because I have a huge amount of backstory before we get into the meat of the story which was taken right from the performance piece. One thing I had considered was having the Black Widow narrate the beginning with small performances done in mime.

But it was a passing thought. Whether it becomes fully realized I'm not sure. But I think it might be fun.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Teen Intensive Thursday Animation Class projects

Over the Winter I taught my very first Thursday night Teen Intensive Animation class at the Worcester Art Museum. I had planned on doing an animation class in the Fall but it ended up not running because of low enrollment.

Even though two out of the four students who enrolled ended up showing in the Winter class, the class still went on. Which I was happy because the two that stuck with it the eight weeks did a great job and turned out a couple of really nice traditional drawn animations.

I thought I would share them on the blog:

Animated by Caleb Sacra

Animated by Marybeth D'Aquila

What they did was draw their animations the old fashioned way and then photograph them with a web cam which they would then upload the images onto flash to animate them.

To be honest, even though a couple of the frames got blurry (the webcam had a tendency to lose focus) I still thought the quality of the animations turned out really nice. The look of the animations really reminded me a lot of animations that I did with the Super 8 cameras we used in the film animation classes I used to take with Mark Lynch. That was probably sometime between 1988 and 1993.

But I really enjoyed myself (as well as the free pizza) doing this animation class and I really look forward to doing another very soon. Hopefully in the Fall!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Upcoming events in the month of May!!

I'm really looking forward to the month of May. I've always liked it to begin with. Both my Dad and my niece's Birthdays fall on the month of May. Spring is in full swing. So you no longer have the chill of early Spring but you don't have the heat and humidity of Summer just yet.

May is pretty much the cool aunt, uncle or college friend who you're always happy to see when they're in town.

First stop Boston Comic Con on May 1st (which happens to be my Dad's Birthday). I haven't done Comic Con in about a year and I'm looking forward to doing it this year.

Then it's Indie Art Market at Beatnik's. If you haven't checked it out yet, I highly recommend you come out. It's held every first Tuesday of the month.

Next stop is Free Comic Book Day. More info on that as I get it.

Then it's the Sci-Fi Fantasty Show at Dark World Gallery with an open reception on May 7th. I completed and submitted a piece inspired by Worcester's own Turtle Boy. My twist was I made the Turtle Boy and Turtle look like something out of either the Dark Crystal or The Never-Ending Story.

This will be followed by stART on the Street: Spring Edition which is taking place May 22nd. Once again the Spring show will be taking place along North Main Street in Worcester MA!! Like all my past stART shows, copies of my books, prints and original artwork will be available for purchase.

And finally, I'm wrapping up the month of May by getting married on the 28th!! So, I'll have a week off down in Newport Rhode Island to enjoy a honeymoon with Sydney checking out the Breakers and the Dark Shadows house.

I've already got my vacation hats dusted off and the camera ready. So be ready for lots of vacation pictures.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Alice Faulkner reviewed on Comic Should Be Good

Greg Burgas wrote a good review for Sherlock Holmes: The Painful Predicament of Alice Faulkner. Even though his remarks weren't entirely glowing about the book, I still found his review to be very fair and very unbiased. As much as he talked about what he didn't like about the book he also spent a great deal of time talking about what he really enjoyed about that.

I understand as a fan of Sherlock Holmes, we all have our idea of how the character should, look, act and feel. I do it all the time. So, I can't hate on Greg for doing something I'm completely guilty of.

Greg Burgas seemed to like (or be intrigued by) my style even though one critic in the comment section seemed to feel:
"The art looks freakish, all right, and not in a good way. The story would have to be great to overcome my aversion to this style."

However, on Greg Burgas's end I found it to be a great review and while I don't agree with everything he says (I can't help it) we can both agree that Benedict Cumberbatch is a great Sherlock Holmes.

Click on the link below to read the article:

Art opening at Jak's Pub in Worcester MA Friday March 11th!!

I confess I never went to the Red Baron when it was opened. According to Rob, who just reopened it under the name Jak's Pub, the last guy who owned it basically ran the place into the ground. It was dirty and there were people doing drugs and in the bathroom.

Apart from the drug use, his story seemed pretty similar to what Niki Brouillette went through opening up Beatnik's and cleaning up the mess the previous dive Blenders left. And they did an amazing job cleaning it up and making it for my money one of the best places to hang out with friends and chill in Worcester.

Rob is hoping to do the same thing with Jak's. Like I said, I've never been in the Red Baron. But what I've seen of Jak's so far it's a really nice place. What impressed me when I first walked through the door was 1.) How friendly Rob, Mat and the entire staff are at welcoming new guest and 2.) Rob likes to play the blues on the CD Player.

I was actually contacted by Matt who works the bar and does a great deal of the online promoting at Jak's to display my artwork on their walls. I had been recommended to them by my buddy Andy Fish. I promised to go down and check them out the following Tuesday when I got the message.

Of course three or four weeks after I was supposed to meet with them I realized I had completely forgot.

But luckily Sydney was working a show for Borders at the Hanover Theatre right across from Jak's that night and I thought it would be a great opportunity to check it out, introduce myself and apologize for making such a bone-headed mistake.

They were all really nice about it and Rob and I worked out a plan to get my work in there. We decided this section of wall that has a wooden finish would be the perfect backdrop for my art. So, I went down yesterday and hung up several of my pieces. And as we thought, it looked great against the wooden wall.

So, now that it's all hung up (all I have to do is hang price cards) I'm having a bit of an impromptu opening for my work this coming Friday night starting at 6pm. Some of it is to give my work exposure. And the other half is to get my friends and everyone else to check out all the hard work Rob and company have done fixing up the place and making Jak's a really great little place. And giving people another place in Worcester to hang out and have a drink.

Even though they don't serve food, you can order a meal and have it sent to you from the Theatre Cafe right across the street. I had a BLT from there last Saturday and it was great!!

But Jak's is located on 536 Main Street in Worcester, MA. Diagonal of the Hanover Theater which I think has done a great job making that area a more enjoyable place to be. And now patrons of the Hanover have a nice cozy pub to enjoy a drink before or after the show.

Even if you're unable to make my event Friday (although I hope you do) I highly recommend you all check Jak's out and give your support to a really great place!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Never too early to promote

Even though it's still early March, I thought I would unveil my flyer for April's Indie Art Market at Beatnik's Bar in Worcester!! If you happened to miss it last night, hopefully I will see you at the next on happening April 5th!!

Please feel free to repost this flyer on your website or blog!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Be like A-Town!!

I've always admired my friend and former roomie Aaron "A-Town" Krolikowski for his ability to get things done. My first recollection of him was an ongoing strip called If James Oglethorpe Went To SCAD which apparently the college wasn't terribly crazy about a parody of the founder of the colony of Georgia. But he had the guts to do it despite the college's disapproval. And you have to respect that.

(Aaron's being held by editor Alex Fox. I can be seen standing in the back at the far right mugging for the camera.)

Personally, I had a great time working with him on the student newspaper in college. We came up with some fun ideas as well. One of which was to have a meteor from his comic The Hounds of Hyperspace accidentally fall onto one of the characters from my comic at the time.

There was also our ongoing war in which we parodied each other in our strips. I even appeared in a Hounds of Hyperspace end of the school year strip as an actor who shows a kid around how The Hounds of Hyperspace is produced. Several of our friends also appeared in the strip.

For me, taking part in the school newspaper was a personal high point in my SCAD career. I had a great time and got to work with great people.

My favorite memory is pulling an all nighter to get the comic issue out. One of the crown jewel's of that issue is an interview Aaron did with JRR Tolkien. The person running the school newspaper at the time really didn't have the imagination to enjoy the whole idea of satire and insisted we print a disclaimer that this was not a real interview.
MAD Magazine doesn't have to print disclaimers every time it prints a movie satire or a parody of a famous commercial on the back. I mean it was already stated this was a comic issue of the paper!! But the great thing about Aaron as far as art-related projects were concerned was that he wouldn't just sit around thinking of an idea. He would get it done!! And I think a lot of that has to do with the fact he doesn't see himself as just a cartoonist but an artist. And I admire the fact that he's unafraid to try something.

Aaron had an idea for doing a night of Monty Python sketches. So he got a group of fellow students together and not only was the performance a hit, the group eventually became the Grand Deacon's of Erin Delaney who performed original plays like Stanley Can't Fly about superheroes. Aaron wanted to do music so he took many of the same people from the Deacon's and started Cho Young and the Davenports who recorded music and performed live.

I personally have to admit that one of my biggest regrets was not being able to take part in his Monty Python night. But that was my own fault.

Aaron's continues to put himself and his work out there in the Philadelphia area. from his ongoing series of short comics called Scribbles, his work with the Sketchbook Reporter to many performances pieces, gallery shows and offering his time to work with kids at Camp Can Do. He also takes part in a themed Halloween event he and his fellow Deacons put on every year out in Portland Oregon. The themes range from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure to WWE Wrestling.

Check out Aaron's work at Interview Press by clicking on the link below: