Saturday, September 17, 2011

Few more sketches for the road... or Street... whichever you prefer...

I am still trying to get a few more sketches done before tomorrow but here are a few more that I have done in the past day or so. The last one in particular was actually inspired by fellow Worcester artist Derek Ring for a promo he created for Mr. Smartass's showing of Attack of the 50ft Woman.

Since I was feeling in a somewhat cheeky mood yesterday and wanted to do an image I've never created before, I did a decidedly jazzy and somewhat Steampunk version of the movie...

...with a Worcester touch to it, of course.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My Yearly stART on the Street Blog

I'm pretty gobsmacked (I think that's probably the best way I can put it) that stART on the Street is nearly upon us once again. It just seemed like this whole year has really gone into hyperdrive or someone hit the Improbability Drive because here we are in September with stART less than FIVE DAYS AWAY!!

Then again, I suppose I've had enough going on this year that made the whole thing fly by.

But here we are. Another year and another stART!! It the show I look forward to most every year as far as the art shows and festivals go in Worcester. And there are quite a few really great shows either taking place or starting up in the area that people should take part in.

But I still have a soft spot for stART. I've been doing the Fall show since they started hosting it on Park Ave in 2006. I think it was 2006 at least. And it seems like every year the people involved in putting stART together always go far beyond what they do the previous year. And every year the show just seems to get better not only with making the show a great deal of fun for the general public.

But also how user friendly and helpful they have been to all the vendors (including myself) who take part in the show every year. If something doesn't work with arrival procedures and set up the year before, they go out of their way to make it as organized and pain-free as possible the following year.

If you're a young artist who is really looking to get his work out to a larger audience I highly encourage you to take part in as many local shows like stART or Indie Art Market at Beatnik's as possible.

I mean, even if it's a Craft Fair at your local Church don't look down your nose at that. It's exposure for your work that as a young artist you can use to your advantage.

Don't get me wrong. Personal websites, Facebook, Twitter and web blogs are all fine and dandy with getting your work out there. It's a marketing tool so use it for all it's worth.

However, the only way you will ever get people to really care and interested in your work they need to get to know the face behind the art. And these shows are your best bet at doing so.

The only way you are going to build a fanbase (at the loss of a better word) is to get out there and become your own advocate. As much as you are an artist you must also consider yourself a small business as well. This way you show there is a pulse behind the art. You are selling both your art and yourself to the people.

And don't sell yourself short. The worst thing you do is give people the impression that you think your work is not that great. At the same time, I suppose don't get an over-inflated ego over your work.

But you can give the impression that you enjoy what you do. Just because a few people may not like your work doesn't mean everyone hates it. The best advice I was ever given as a young artist was by a fellow local artist Don Cadoret who told me "There's an audience for everyone".

And doing a show like stART on the Street is a good way of finding that audience and getting people to know you a bit better. From there you can not only build a fanbase but also build a list of clients who might take an interest in regularly buying your work and maybe contacting you for commissions.

You'll never know until you take a chance.

And as I say every year, if you have one or two bad shows don't write the event off as a waste of time. If you make back on what you spent for the table that's a good... um... stART.

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

Keep trying and don't give up. The only way you're going to be able to make a name for yourself is getting out there and promoting yourself through these events. Many of my fellow artists who happen to work in comics and illustrations like Derek Ring, Alison Cowell, Veronica Fish, Brian Nelson and Bob Noberini have done these shows in the past and have had some very successful shows.

So, if you're new to the event and happen to walk by my table, stop by and chat. I hope to see you all there.

More New Sketches

I'm going to try and finish up a few more sketches before Sunday but here are the latest batch of pen and ink sketches completed for this year's stART on the Street festival. I always try to include a good number of artwork pertaining to local places and establishments in Worcester.

Although, I do throw in a few of my favorite things as well ;-)

Friday, September 9, 2011

New Sketches

stART on the Street takes place near the end of the month. Which means I must officially shift into overdrive creating new pen and ink sketches for the show.

These are both reworks of my previous Willy Wonka and Turtleboy sketches since they both sold at Indie Art:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Indie Art Market at Beatnik's TONIGHT!!

I just finished several new illustrations for both stART on the Street happening later in the month and Indie Art Market which is happening TONIGHT from 6PM till 9PM and a hep and happenin' little place on Park Ave. in the Woo called Beatnik's.

If you have yet to get down to Beatnik's I highly recommend you make the trip. Come on down, get yourself a fresh Wormtown Ale on tap and say hello.

If any of the illustrations happen to sell tonight, I will probably get to work creating new ones just in time for stART!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

My Great Big Delusional Doctor Who Blog...

Although most of the time I try to restrict my blog posts, to upcoming projects, new artwork, what I might be doing or cooking (or having cooked) for dinner or the occasional ranting about someone who had been nasty to me in traffic or at the register in a store.
Once in a while I like to aid and abet my own personal delusions.

And this is one of those blogs. And you can complain and ridicule me all you like for doing so. But it comes down to one thing. It's my blog and I can write whatever I like. If you don't like it. Don't read it.

Nobody has forced you to read this so go be miserable somewhere else.

Okay! Now that I have done that bit of house cleaning lets get back to my blog.

The people who know me know about my love for a little show called Doctor Who. I don't take the show seriously. I just enjoy it. It's a lot more fun to watch than to argue about on messageboards.

It's one of those shows that can keep evolving with every new actor and every new producer as evident from the 1970's how the tone of the show changed with each of the producers that came onboard from Barry Lett's to Philip Hinchcliffe to Graham Williams.

And you can see what happened when one person ran the show throught the 1980's with John Nathan Turner how it sort of eventually burned itself out. But to be fair to JNT he wanted to leave several times during the 1980's but wasn't allowed.

I think we may see that return to the 1970's where the tone of Doctor Who will change with every producer who takes the helm. We can already see that with the transition of Russell T. Davies to Steven Moffat. And I think it will happen again when Moffat finally decides to leave.

So, that got me thinking quite a bit of how I would run the series. Which would start first with the redesign of the logo. As you can see at the top of this blog.

I've always really liked the logo they used for the BBC Webisode Death Comes to Time and I would love to utilize that design.

It seems as though the RTD series used something similar to the fisheye design but I always loved the diamond logo created for the end of Jon Pertwee's time and thoughout most of Tom Baker's time as the Doctor. So I would love to create something similar to that.

Next up comes who would be the Doctor.

I like Matt Smith and have enjoyed his portrayal. For the most part of this blog I will go on the assumption that he's still playing the Doctor. However, here's my choice of people I would cast if he bowed out before or during the yearly Christmas Special.

Samuel West would be on the top of the list for me.

Ewen Bremner is another one after seeing Death at a Funeral.

And Ian Hart because we really haven't had a Doctor under 5'9" since Paul McGann and I really liked how he played angry in an almost William Hartnell way in the first Harry Potter movie.

Most of the people I've chosen are all over 40 and I wouldn't mind seeing an older actor as the Doctor again. It's really weird to know I am officially older than the Doctor... in an Earth sense ;-)

I envision the Doctor's costume being based on Sir Alec Guiness's character from The Man in the White Suit. The other accessory to the costume would be a Roll-Up Panama hat.

The idea is the Doctor always looks like he's on Holiday because in fact the Doctor is the ultimate tourist. Always traveling.

Up next: redesigning the TARDIS control room and console.

I would actually love to have the control room Mike Tucker proposed for what would have been Season 27 of the show if it had not been cancelled in 1989. I liked this version of the Console which was not being supported by a pillar.

But I would expand upon it adding the look and elements from the original design of the control room. Only much bigger than the series could have ever realized that design from 1963 until 1989.

Next up the new companion. I'm not sure who I would cast but I would have it be an earth girl. Probably early 20's who the Doctor either meets in the Christmas special. If the Doctor happens to regenerate, then it would be in the last episode of the previous series.

Since the Doctor regenerating alone has been done with David Tennant, it would be nice to have the Doctor regenerate in front of a complete stranger. Someone who you really don't realize WILL become the companion until they actually enter the TARDIS.

Either in a regeneration story or not, I'd love there to be an element where the audience THINKS another man or woman will become the new companion the entire episode but it ends up being the person you least expect. However, if the Doctor doesn't meet the companion until the Christmas story, then I'd still go that same route.

As for the feel of the series, I would much rather have the feel of the self-contained stories like in the classic series with perhaps a few small arc's. I haven't really been a fan of the series long arc's they've been doing in the series since 2005. But with that said I have still enjoyed the current series and will keep watching it.

But I do have a little bit of a long game planned. But more on that later and who is involved.

Okay now very importantly: THE WRITERS!!

I would really love to go with writers who have not written for the current series and writers I really love. So here's my list and the baddies I would have return for the new series. Explanation will follow after list.

CHRISTMAS EPISODE: Written by Paul Magrs (which would feature some sort of Christmas baddie, especially since Paul wrote a particularly nasty one for his Brenda and Effie series, the Zygons, Iris Wildthyme and Panda.)

The first real story arc would be adapting the Cat's Cradle books(which were originally intended for the original series) into episodes. Ever since I saw the adaptation of Human Nature for television I've been itching for more of these books to be made into episodes.

Shortly after the Doctor and companion leave Earth at the end of the Christmas episode he finds that the TARDIS console had been damaged. We only realize that because as the Doctor begins to walk away from the console to show his new friend around the TARDIS we zoom in on the pull-down screen which reads some sort of critical warning blinking. But nothing happens until the next episode. Which is somewhat a nod to the original Dalek series where Susan reads that the radiation levels are normal but once they've walked away we see they are anything but normal.

EPISODE ONE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible by Marc Platt
EPISODE TWO: Cat's Cradle: Warhead by Andrew Cartmel
EPISODE THREE: Cat's Cradle: Witchmark (in this episode the new TARDIS Control Room would be introduced. Although it is still repairing itself from the events that have taken place in the Cat's Cradle Arc.
EPISODE FOUR: Paradise in Chains by Rupert Booth and Lee Paterson
If you are unfamilar with the story, a lovely little independent company called Timebase did a series of Doctor Who video's starring a rather nice chap named Rupert Booth as the Doctor. Despite the scathing reviews of Doctor Who Magazine I thought the productions were really well done and I really enjoyed this episode in particular. And I think it would be a nice lead out episode from the Cat's Cradle Arc with the Doctor and his companion finding the still weakened TARDIS has dragged them into another strange little parallel world. And to be honest, I think the companion introduced in this episode would be either good as a one off character or someone who continues her journey's with the Doctor and his other new companion. Watch the original below. I think it's a very clever episode.

EPISODE FIVE: Written by Terrance Dicks. He's someone I have wanted to see return to the series for some time. I've enjoyed his books like Timewyrm Exodus and the Players. Perhaps something with the Ice Warriors or the Players.
EPISODE SIX: Written by Kate Orman and Jon Blum. Either Vampire Science or Time Rift. Or something new by them.
EPISODE SEVEN: Which would be All-Consuming Fire by Andy Lane. The Doctor finally meets Sherlock Holmes. It would be a nice little twist to have a Victorian era Holmes and Watson played by Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.
EPISODE EIGHT: Written by Bert Coules.
EPISODE NINE: Written by David A. McIntee
EPISODE TEN: I would love to adapt Christopher Bulis's novel Imperial Moon. I would fit in with the ongoing indea throughout the series of the parallel worlds slowly reopening due to what happened to the TARDIS in the Cat's Cradle arc.
EPISODE ELEVEN: Which would be Killing Grounds by Steve Lyons. A small arc of sorts since this features the Cybermen on a planet in the far far far future. I would love to have more elements from David Banks book about the history of the Cybermen used. I also like the Bronze Knights introduced in the story as well as adding this whole element of perhaps a Cyberman civil war which all the factions (including the ones from the parallel world) are fighting.

I would somehow love to use the concepts of both Lance Parkin's story The Infinity Doctor and Marc Platt's Doctor Who Unbound Story Auld Mortality with my own twist to make it fit the current series. It might run like this.
EPISODE TWELVE: The Auld Mortality story by Marc Platt as Part One.
EPISODE THIRTEEN: The Infinity Doctor story by Lance Parkin as Part Two.

And this would be my long game of sorts. Everything that has happened over the course of the series leads to now. But I didn't want to do it in a Bad Wolf/Cracks in Time sort of way. I don't want people to realize this until part two of the story arc because I want people to be able to drop in on a story after Cat's Cradle and be able to enjoy it without having to feel like they had to see the previous one.

Even though the Doctor is beaten and weakened in the events of Killing Grounds, we are given every indication that he's okay and nothing's wrong at the end and reassures his companion of this they just talk like they're going off on another adventure.

As PART ONE of the finale begins we don't see the Doctor or hear is voice. We just hear the voice of someone who sounds a lot like the companion urging him to wake-up. As everything comes into focus we come to find the the Doctor is in a room on Gallifrey. And the person who is waking him up isn't the companion but his Granddaughter Susan who is seen in Prydonian gown and funny collar. But we don't see the Doctor. Even though she calls him Grandfather we assume that it's the current Doctor. Until the camera swings itself around and finally reveal the Doctor's face.

But it is not the Doctor. At least not the Doctor we have come to accept in the current series.

It is a version of the First Doctor played by Peter O'Toole.

The Doctor looks outside and reveals he is in the domed cities on Gallifrey.

Gallifrey was never destroyed and the Doctor is still in his first incarnation. Because he never left his home planet. Everything that had happened from 1963 till 2011 was all just a dream. Fantasies written by the Doctor.

Cue intro music.

Throught the episode we see the faces of many Timelords from the Doctor's past make cameo appearance's like Romana, Borusa, The Rani, The Celstrial Toymaker, Cancellor Goth, Hedin, Azmael and the Master. Perhaps once again portrayed by Sir Derek Jacobi but more along the lines of his Professor Yana.

Another thought would be having the Doctor's past selves appear as other Timelords in this version of reality such as Tom Baker as President Borusa, Peter Davison as Hedin, Colin Baker as Azmael and Sylvester McCoy as Chancellor Goth. With his further selves in various Timelords roles. Either Castellans, Cardinals or members of the Cancellory Guard.

Except for his current incarnation. Who appears as only as brief visions to the Doctor.

I want people watching to almost believe this episode to be real for the most part For a great deal of the first episode. Almost right till the middle of it. But as time goes on the Doctor sees flashes of his current incarnation everytime he sees his reflection. But always briefly trying to reach out to him.

The Doctor tries his best to suppress this as nothing more than age and his mind playing tricks on him but the arrival of a young earth girl has complicated everything. The High Council of Timelords is mystified how an human could appear on Gallifrey. They have imprisoned and interrogate her. She demands to see one man.

The Doctor.

When the Doctor sees her he sees brief flashes of their adventures together. He sees a brief glimpse of the two of them in the TARDIS right after their encounter with the Cybermen in Killing Ground. He sees the the shadow of a figure with them. But everything is foggy like a dream.

His companion reveals she somehow was able to escape and find her way here. She says she and the Doctor were heading to Earth when they were attacked. Which the Doctor replies he's never been to Earth. The companion insists that she is trying to save the Doctor. He responds, "You foolish child! Why on earth would I need saving?" which she retorts "Why on earth would you say why on earth since you say you've never been to earth?" It is right at the end that she reveals that this world is not real and he is not really the Doctor.

PART TWO: The "Doctor" is taken aback by this information. She begins to tell him how the Doctor, her Doctor, the REAL Doctor is trapped. Someone is trying to undo his past and has been trapping his previous incarnations one by one. Taking them out of time causing the real Doctor to be unwritten. And somehow this being has created this new version of the First Doctor. Giving the Doctor everything he ever wanted. Gallifrey never destroyed and as the Doctor remembered.

We find out the companion was actually saved by Iris Wildthyme who is in the process of freeing the current Doctor. She somehow found a way to pop the companion into this version of the Doctor's reality in order to somehow get his help.

Since at the moment he is the real Doctor and the real Doctor has been pushed into the depths of his mind. But they must free the Doctor's past selves in order to make the actual Doctor whole again.

A lot of exciting stuff happens when the "Doctor" finally comes face to face with his real self. Even though this "Doctor" is torn because if he helps the companion he will never exist. Gallifrey will be nothing but dust and a memory. But what would be great would be to get the former living Doctors to appear encouring this parallel Doctor by showing him all the wonderful adventures and places he has gone by leaving Gallifrey. That even the destruction of Gallifrey had to happen in order for everything to come to pass.

To add another twist, Gallifrey finds they are being threatened by a race known as the Daleks. Since the Doctor did not travel and did not somehow interfere with the Daleks in various stages of their evolution, the Daleks are more powerful and more cunning than ever. And Gallifrey has no way of defending themselves against this.

At the end of all the real Doctor comes back into reality and comes face to face. The alternate Doctor is saddened because he feels he is nothing but a lie. But the Doctor (the real one) tells him that it's not true and that much like his previous selves this version of him actually exists too in his mind. A great concept created by Paul Cornell for both the New Adventures series and used in the Seventh Doctor audio play Shadow of the Scourge. And this Doctor is possibly a future incarnation of himself. Many possibilities exist in his mind what he may look like or what he might look like.

Out of the shadows, other alternate Doctors emerge in the forms of Peter Cushing's Doctor Who, Mark Gatiss, Rowan Atkinson and Richard E. Grant's Doctor's. Maybe lookalikes in their guise. Especially Peter Cushing who is no longer with us.

I also thought fan Doctors crop up like Nicholas Brigg, Tony Garner and Rupert Booth to name a few.

That's when it is revealed another possible future self. The one behind all this. The Valeyard.

We find out that the Valeyard was one of the abominations that was born during the Time War. He had managed to free himself from the Doctor's current Eighth incarnation. But the way he got to the Timelords was subtle and cunning. He was the one who helped corrupt them with this insane idea to destroy all of creation and become beings of pure thought.

When the Doctor finally uses the Moment, he traps the Valeyard in the TARDIS. The Valeyard can only exist as a shade. Doomed to wander the corridors of the TARDIS unable to do any damage.

During the events of the Cat's Cradle arc, the Valeyard is set free. Still in a weakened state he bides his time, blending himself into the Doctor's own shadow. But only able to follow him in the confines of the TARDIS. Hiding in the darkness when the Doctor leaves.

CUTS TO what we didn't see in the TARDIS where the Valeyard disguised as the Doctor's shadow engulfing him and sucking him into the parallel world he created.

He admits that he had already once unsuccessfully tried to take over the Doctor in the form of the Dreamlord. The Doctor admits despite the different appearance he knew the Valeyard was the Dreamlord.

But with the Doctor still in a weakened state after facing the Cybermen he was able to finally strike and trap the Doctor deep within his own mind. In a fantasy world. With the Doctor pushed into the back of his mind the Valeyard would possess the Doctor's current physical form causing a forced regeneration. From there he would take control of the TARDIS and reshape the universe in his own likeness. Which would consist of freeing Gallifrey from the Timelock and flood the universe with all the creatures that were born from the Time War.

The appearance of the Daleks was his final plan, with the Doctor trapped inside his mind he would finally use this form of "mental attack" to finally destroy him. The Valeyard would take over the Doctor's mind completely as well as the Doctor's physical form. The Doctor as we know him would be dead and the Valeyard would become the Doctor.

The Alternate First Doctor has heard enough and tells the Doctor to concentrate in all of his incarnations. With the Valeyard in a weakened state the alternate Doctor gives up the possiblility of ever becoming real by sacrificing himself in order to trap the Valeyard.

Something very Reichenbach Falls with the two falling deep withing the chasms of the Doctor's mind.

The Doctor and his companion awaken in the TARDIS to find Iris and Panda enjoying Martini's with a bottle of booze sitting on the console. Her TARDIS is parked right outside. Eventually he (begrudgingly) thanks both Iris and Panda who leave and embark on their own adventures leaving the Doctor and his companion alone.

The whole series leads up to the parallel worlds being reopened. Which the Doctor doesn't see as a good or bad thing. Just one of those "Wait and see" sort of things. He doesn't know how much damage the Valeyard's tampering has caused by opening the doors to the parallel dimensions.

The companion then asks: "What about Gallifrey and the Time Lords? You mentioned something about a Timelock (which the Doctor might tell her at some point in a prior tale). Is there a chance..?" which the Doctor immediately says: "No. As much as I would love to see the Timelords of old reinstated it just cannot be. If the Timelock were removed, the all is lost".

The Doctor is saddened by the death of this incarnation. But he happens to look up at his reflection. Either in the translucent central column or in a mirror. He sees the other Doctor briefly who smiles at him. The Doctor smiles and he and his companion set off on more adventures.

Some finishing touches

This is the last addition to the studio. Although, I am looking for a small desk which I can do a little drawn animation on.

But this was a wedding gift from some family friends. I was surprised how compact it was. It really fits perfectly into the corner of the studio. So now we I can listen to some of my old Jazz records which I got from my Grandfather as well as A Prairie Home Companion on Saturday night since we get really good radio reception up here.