Thursday, October 21, 2010

[ h a u n t e d ]

Michael Reaves is a terrorist.

when i was three years old, i had the singular experience of witnessing Reaves' masterpiece contribution to The Real Ghostbusters, the episode "The Bogeyman Cometh." this is the kind of stuff that is never, under any circumstances, aired to children anymore. the character design is horrifying, the Bogeyman was virtually omnipotent in his appalling, Escherian domain with doors to children's closets the world over, and he wasn't a ghost. that was the kicker - he tormented Egon as a child and the guys couldn't do a damned thing about it. the wheezing, rotten voice dragging across his fangs did not help. nor did his clicking, cloven hooves.

see this, at about 3:45.

you can imagine that i was profoundly traumatized. indeed, for years and years i dreamt of Bogeymen in various incarnations erupting from my closet (one memorable iteration combined him, a Deinonychus and a werewolf). now that the episodes are available on DVD and more or less on Youtube, it's easy to revisit these memories - for better or worse.

last night, i consumed an unfortunate amount of sugar before going to sleep. i dream vividly almost every night, and just as commonly about pleasant or at the worst mundane subjects.

not last night.

last night, i woke up screaming for the first time in memory; two muffled, fettered cries of abject terror. i'd dreamt of you-know-whom, and in my dream hoarsely wheezed, "HE'S REAL. OH GOD HE'S REAL." oh. and then i had a waking hallucination. that was awesome.

anyway. this has been a long time coming.

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i wish they still made cartoons like this.

/.n [while listening to Crossbreed]

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

[ t h e _ e n d _ o f _ D r e a m ]

only one piece for this year's Halloween offering, since the PARIAH arc has closed at last and i am trying to defend and raise up out of Tallahassee.

i was finally convinced to read Gaiman's "The Sandman" series this year by a friend of some taste. i've long been a fan of Gaiman's works in prose, but at 76 issues plus specials, "Sandman" has a high barrier to entry. having completed it, i can do no less than agree with those who suggest it is one of the greatest products of the English language in the latter part of the century.

no, seriously. a comic book series.

my painting will be esoteric to anyone who has not read the books (read: most of humanity), but resonates with me at a deeply profound level. it's one of my favorite scenes from the climax of the story arc. Gaiman was once asked to summarize his story in 25 words or less, and responded: "The Lord of Dreams learns that one must change or die, and makes his decision."

this is the decision.

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incidentally, the helm was crafted from the skull and vertebral column of a god who once crossed him. nice.

below is the cartoon sketched before the final rendered work. you can see the differences... the action is more dynamic, and strangely enough the anatomy looks better even if it's physically impossible and only the painting is based (virtual trace) on an actual model. i'm still trying to get a grip on the translation between sketching and rendering, and it doesn't help that i paint figures about once a year. a good friend of some repute in the comic book biz offered a helpful analogy on the same, but it is delightfully dirty and not appropriate for the blog (still looking for a real job... any takers?).

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"Sandman" has, more than any other work of fiction in many years, done the most to change my ever-calcifying worldview. i'm not a big fan of the art style of most of the books; it vacillates between archaic/weird and overly simplistic ("reductive"), which is why i tried to put a personal touch on this vital element of the tale.



enjoy every minute of this, the finest and richest of months.
/.n [while listening to Doktor Dream and the Malpractice]

Thursday, July 15, 2010

[ r a d i o _ s i l e n c e _ L I V E ]

this came in the mail today. slight mods since i posted the original art back in [looks] jeez, june.

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Phil did me a solid and sent me disc #2. a good man, that one.

/.n [while listening to David Bowie]

Monday, June 7, 2010

[ r a d i o _ s i l e n c e ]

in the midst of my absence, high misadventure was afoot. i promise.

the latest product of my continued collaboration with the absurdly talented Phil Rossi is the cover and disc art for his new EP, Radio Silence. Phil and i hung out at Balticon last month, which is as sure a venue for observing weird human phenotypes as one is likely to find outside of the Mos Eisley cantina or a particularly seedy stock car race. met some great people, including authors behind excellent, creative New Media books. Nathan Lowell (Trader's Tale series) and Bill DeSmedt (Singularity) were particular highlights, both being erudite and worldly gents. i attended several of the real science panels and was compelled to drop the biobomb a few times, "mixing it up" and half-ruining the Fringe Science and Cyptozoology panels. maybe i'll host one next year.

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Phil's new band, Phil Rossi and the Awakening, played an epic show one night at the con. you can listen to tracks off the EP at his blip page, or hit the presale page here. i highly recommend "I Like Your Grave" - seeing the ridiculously charged exchange between Phil and Jen live was something else. we half-joked that her husband Keith was going to leap his drumkit and attack Phil.

finally: RIP Richard Dunn. :(
/.n [while listening to Phil Rossi and the Awakening]

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

[ f f t a ] - from the vault

hello. it has been a while. i've missed you.

last week the .com turned six whole years old, although the twisted, thorny sinews of my sundry and oft-interrupted ventures into the blog-thing extend back very nearly eight. wow. i am getting old.

so, to commemorate this inauspicious occasion i've finally dragged these pieces out of the vault. cave-dwelling animals, they blink their disused eyes at you and, for the first time, feel the warm light of morning on their cold frog skin. they bristle.


the top piece was the capstone on the period of my "career" spanning mid-high school through college, in which my favorite practice was taking manga-style art depicting video game characters and rendering it in a more realistic fashion. there are a number of examples in the /art gallery, from sources like Dragon Warrior II, Skies of Arcadia, Pokemon, and so forth. this last drawing honored my clan from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, an impossibly fearsome Krewe of pipe-hitting juggernauts that helped me maintain some semblance of sanity across a particularly troubled stretch of my life. i worked on it extremely intermittently across a year and change. please look at it, wonder why the scan quality is crap, and then read below for the tragedy.

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i never properly scanned the original art, instead settling for a quick photo. and then. and then. i moved to Florida and realized that this precious parcel - the art, tucked into the game book - had not made the journey with me. before i could return home to claim it, my mother threw it out: the art, the book, even the bloody game itself, in loathsome fulfillment of the inevitable fate of any dork's possessions.

at this point, i was done. i've not drawn anything similar since, and it was my crowning achievement with pencil and paper. i switched to a wacom.

this was also the only piece for which i drew a detailed cartoon beforehand, working out composition, poses and gear.

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back to work. there is more art on the horizon, between commissions for Phil and the first, almost imperceptible, black light tongues of Hallows Fire licking at the periphery of my soul.

it comes.