Wednesday, October 28, 2009

From The Crypt Halloween, 4: The Other Monster Squad

10/6/89. At least this one was started around Halloween time.

Not much to say about this one- my favorite monsters, in color! My sister had gotten me colored pencils for Christmas past, so I was trying to put them to use. Not much to say about this one, other than I don't know why the Mummy appears to be floating, and for whatever reason I always remember drawing Dracula like that- Bela's outfit, but completely different face. There's a reason I drew that face, but I can't remember what it is. So there you go.

I'm tired.

See you tomorrow.

Music: "Monster Mash" - Bobby 'Boris' Pickett

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

From The Crypt Halloween, 3: Horror's Hero


Not quite a horror monster, Darkman was nonetheless a horror fan's dream. Imagine a superhero movie done by Evil Dead's Sam Raimi... oh wait, that was Spider-Man. Well, go back twelve years or so and you'll see Raimi's first superhero movie. Coming out a year after Tim Burton took the 'comic' out of 'comic books' and redefined the superhero movie, Darkman was an early successor to that grim and gritty, super-stylized movie, channeled through the mind of Sam Raimi. Starring a pre-Qui-Gon Liam Neeson, it failed to make much of an impact at the box office- but made quite the impact on little film and movie geeks everywhere. I remember loving the bombast and insanity of it all- one of the bad guys had a machine gun built into his prosthetic leg!- as well as the drama and pathos of the poor, disfigured scientist who can no longer feel anything but rage... plus he's got a face that melts every 99 minutes! I haven't seen it since the early 90's, so I have no idea how it holds up. I would hope it's another good example of Prime Sam. I found a few pictures of Darkman- I might post another one for your viewing amusement later this week.

Oh- although it didn't do well at the box office, the filmmakers knew just how to hit up the geek market: They made two follow up films that were direct-to-video, starring Arnold Vosloo (that guy from The Mummy)- probably because he was cheap and bald, which makes for less money on bald caps. I never saw them, so I can't speak for their filmic value. Might be worth watching, yes?

Music: "Theme from Darkman" - Danny Elfman

Monday, October 26, 2009

From The Crypt Halloween, 2: First Cuts

12/20/89. Cause, you know, nothing says 'Christmas' like Freddy Krueger. Nightmare Before Christmas, indeed.

Looking back at these old pictures, I've come across a number of Freddy Krueger drawings. Now, before you decide I need medical attention (or reaffirm your initial opinion), let's take a look at another thought in play here. Essentially, Freddy Krueger, star of some hard-R movies, had by this time become a superhero. Okay, supervillain, to be precise, but hardly a horror movie monster. Sure, he killed kids in their sleep and terrorized a generation of teens, but let's take a closer look. Horribly damaged as a young man? Check. Virtually impossible to kill? Check. Long metal claws? Check.

He's not a monster.

He's Wolverine.

Alright, a bit of a stretch there. But, hopefully you take my meaning. By this point, the late 80's, the horror of Freddy (not even sleep is safe) had been replaced by a joking, nearly cartoon image of the original- the later episodes were practically action movies with more blood and makeup effects. Where had all the horror icons gone?

Looking at this pic, evidently Freddy took them out. I forget where I'd first heard the mention of a team-up between Freddy and Jason (one of those fanboy dreams that never, EVER live up to the hype), but this was a little idea that I put down on paper. I never did see the movie. I'm betting whatever I was thinking here was probably better than what made it to film.

Music: "One, Two Freddy's Coming For You"

Sunday, October 25, 2009

From The Crypt Halloween, 1: We Still Belong Dead


At my Mom's this past weekend, I came across a huge collection of my old drawings. Instead of shuffling them to the bottom of whatever box they came out of like usual, I decided to bring them with me and look through them again, just to see if I've made any progress since then. I thought if nothing else, I could maybe find some choice ones and post them, just to show how bad I used to be way back in the day. Funnily enough, I ended up coming across a bunch of Halloween-themed (or genre-related, at least) pics and thought, since I didn't have anything new to post for Halloween, and I've been running old pics already, I could combine those two and post these REALLY old pics. Not even from the crypt so much as the old burial mound... But, there will be, with luck, a post for each night this week. Rejoice!

So this first one, I hope you can see, is Frankenstein's Monster and his Bride. This pic looks like it was influenced by an old photo or scene from the movie (the poses feel familiar) but I don't think it was a direct drawing of a photo. As you can see, I was a fan of the Universal Monsters going back quite a ways. Not much to say about this picture, though looking at the green ink, it reminds me of the time I spent drawing, then using the different color ink pens to ink the drawings instead of just plain coloring them. And, if you look at the Bride and squint really hard, she kind of looks like Madeline Kahn.

More tomorrow.

Music: "Tubular Bells" - Halloween Soundtrack

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

From the Crypt v.2, Item 7: Hell's Highway

June 7, 2009.

This one is pretty easy to describe. Much like my long-ago posting of 'breed', this one is directly inspired by a song. In this case, Ministry's "Hero". I was a huge fan of Ministry and Nine Inch Nails back in the day- nothing like some industrial music to get the outrage flowing. I'm not as much into it now- I guess my tastes have just changed a lot (go ahead, say it- I've gotten old :)- but my tastes have always changed. It's still fun to listen to every now and again, or better yet, catch on the radio.

But, this is just what came to my head when I would listen to the song. Also, it's inspired in large part by a story from 'Heavy Metal' called... "Friday", I think? About a clone trooper who doesn't think just like all his fellow clones. Wish I could remember the exact name.

And there you go.

Probably not going to post anything for this Friday, but you never know.

Music: "Hero" - Ministry (what, did you expect something else?)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

From the Crypt v.2, Item 6: Snickity Swipe

May 1, 1993.

Well, we're back to the old stuff. Which is good, as I don't have any new stuff to post yet. Things have been quite... tiring here. Life is busy. But it'll do that.

This is Wolverine, obviously. Or I hope obviously. Couldn't get enough of the little runt back in the day. Now... eh. Don't get me wrong- I like the character well enough, but it's hard to buy into the character anymore when he's probably as ubiquitous as Spider-Man anymore. For Kirby's sake, he's on a cartoon for little kids! You know, the guy with foot-long metal claws who kills people? Little bit odd, that.

But I digress. This particular picture is known as, in the parlance of the industry, a 'swipe'. A swipe is when one artist uses another artist's work- usually a pose, but can go so far as to copy the actual style or composition. Often done without acknowledging the shoulders upon which they stand. If they do make the proper sounds (usually "-name-, after Kirby" for example), the swipe is known as an homage. Splitting hairs, but then that's what fandom does best. Let's see- using my profound geek memory, as I recall this is a swipe of Liam Sharp's Death's Head II, probably from one of the early issues. But considerably less detailed than Mr. Sharp's work. The original drawing was a character called, surprisingly, Death's Head II. I at least did the work to make it look like someone different.

'Swiping' is a big deal nowadays in the industry, what with the ready availability of photo references online. There's one artist who is almost as well-known for his swiping photo references as he is for his drawing ability. I remember his earliest work- honestly, it was better then than it is now, but I know I'm a minority opinion. He's gotten so bad, in the most recent issue of the book he shares art chores on, he swiped a different artist and 'drew' the exact same character in the exact same way- but the artist he ripped off is an amazingly different style of artist. Shame, shame! Swiping is something many artists do at one time or another, and it's difficult to say where using photo reference ends and swiping begins, and I'm probably not one to make that call. I've done it in the past- especially in terms of posing and so on- but then again, I'm not being paid for it. Oh well, as long as someone is paying for the work, artists will continue doing it.

Okay, off the soapbox.

Enjoy the day!

In other news, I think I figured out what to go as for Halloween. My only problem now is finding all of the things I need. You'd think Gothic stuff would be more in now, but you'd be wrong. Or perhaps over the age of 17 and shopping somewhere other than Hot Topic.

Also, I went to my first Haunted House in well over 20 years. I had a lot of fun, but I came to the realization that I should've been going for at least the past 10 years. I walked in and started figuring out what the gags would be, where the surprises were coming from, how they did the gags, and what music they were using. I enjoyed it, but if I were younger, or less jaded, I wouldn't be so interested in the how of it and just enjoy the spectacle. Still, I'm hoping to go to another one this weekend.

Music: "Terrible Lie" - Nine Inch Nails

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Toes in the Water

Well, another Columbus Day has passed, and so has another trip to Chincoteague Island, VA, with my friends. This house was the biggest yet rented (and probably the biggest house we will ever rent- it's the biggest on the island!) and filled with much happiness and good food. Here are some sights from the trip:

The Chincoteague Lighthouse. We visit the island every year, and this is the first I've been to the lighthouse in... a long time. Didn't go inside, but I'm old now and have trouble with all the steps.

Here's a lovely view from the back of the house. In spite of the weather forecasters' doom and gloom, it was all in all a great weekend.

Yeah, that's right. The house had an ELEVATOR! aka, kids'-attention-getter. Okay, I rode it twice.

That's all for now. I'm feeling a bit under the weather, so there most likely won't be a post Friday, but I'll be back Monday. Oh- extra credit to anyone who has a suggestion for a Halloween costume for me.

Music: "Toes" - Zac Brown Band

Sunday, October 4, 2009

ReVision and Milestone


This marks my 200th post. Since Joey's been telling me to revisit my old work in order to try and jumpstart my mostly stalled creative inclinations, and since I knew this 'milestone' was coming up, I thought I'd combine those two ideas and went back to my first 'retro' post, which is also the one of the oldest pieces of 'modern' art I can find (I have older stuff, but I won't punish you like that; and I have larger art from high school, but it won't scan). In case you've forgotten, that original post was the start of a design for a banner meant to be presented at the Pittsburgh Arts Festival (or whatever it's called). My idea was to do a banner with an angel and demon, as gargoyles/statues, over the Pittsburgh skyline. Really, that was the plan. If you look back to it , it's kind of hard to see any of that. Ah well, I was young and lazy, not to mention I just didn't have the skill to draw it back then.

Cut to 15 years later. Okay, I'm still lazy, and my skills are sometimes questionable, but I've had 15 years of experience figuring out how to draw things (and finding the reference to allow me to draw things)- not to mention the fact that my imagination works differently now. The biggest difference, strangely enough, is the simplest difference: I bought a drafting table. So, I have a dedicated workspace now- no more drawing on the TV tray (well, until there's something good on). But, by buying that table, it gave me a focus and motivation to actually work on drawing again. Damned if it didn't work. I'm hoping it will continue; but if it doesn't, it won't be for lack of trying.

To those of you who've kept coming back post after post, either quickly cruising through or reading every single rambling, over-punctuated sentence, I thank you. This has been a pleasure, a burden, a pressure, and a reward, and I'm glad to have shared it with you. I plan on posting here for as long as I feel like I've got something to post... and even when I don't feel like it, I'll try to keep on going. It'll be back to the old school with the next post (next week; Chinco is this week!), but I plan on following it up with more new work.

The process is not yet finished
But it is going on;
This is not the end,
But it is the road
-Martin Luther


(oh, by the way, the 'hint' from last week referred to the song 'Double Agent' and the line "my angels and my demons at war"- obscure even for me, but it's my blog so there)

Music: "Doomsday" - Murray Gold