Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Weapon She

Well, I think I have a design for the chick villain now, though it came out of nowhere and wasn't quite what I was going for. She's the combination of two people, quite literally, since Weapon D/Mixmaster fused her together during a drunken rampage. As a result, she has mouths in weird places and can stretch her body to double her normal reach to make up for the added mass. It's very scientific, you know. Kinda looks like a blonde Freddy from A Different World, save for the stretchiness. Watch those hands fellas....they're not for show.

Monday, February 26, 2007

No Studio 60 Makes Jack a Dull Boy

What does one do when a favorite show isn't on? Well, one draws. Or dances. Maybe even prances. I started out drawing a nemesis for the Fearsome Force, but ended up making a zombie chick when I realized I didn't have a clue what the nemesis should look like outside of her powers. Fortunately, I have a better grasp now but this effort isn't bad for off the book and in a half an hour, for me at any rate. What do you think of my zombie chippie?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

NYCC 2007 Part 2

My legs still hurt from walking around and I'm being a big whiner baby to my wife about it and she's been stellar dealing with it and calling me on my weakness. Note to self: Cross train before next comic con.

Somewhere Between Darwyn and Manga

In honor of comic con, I've done a new drawing on the Wacom tablet. I mean, after all, I did see the company at the show and rave to them about their product. Even though they didn't give me anything free, I was productive anyway. This is a drawing of the newest member of the Fearsome Force, inspired partly by Power Girl (guess where). To be honest, I did base it off a picture of Power Girl I have on the machine, though that drawing is much better than mine. Trying to learn poses and geometry and all that, and it's working out well. Maybe soon I'll have a whole scene, in a Darwyn Cooke and manga sort of way. Don't expect too much detail, since I'm still learning.

NYCC 2007

Well, it's that time of year again, even though it's only the second time that this time of year has had the occasion to be this time of year. That's right, it's New York Comic Con time. I know a lot of you are saying "What?". Well, let me reiterate. New York Comic Con. What it is would be the largest convention on this coast, by my reckoning, not that I have much to gauge by. What started out last year as an overpacked but fun debacle has blossomed to at least three times the previous size, utilizing the main floor of the Javits Center, plus the Galleria. Frankly, they might need to rent out the whole convention center by next year, it's gotten that big. And is it worth it? Why, yes, yes it is.

It started out serenely enough, what with the two hour train ride I take to get in, give or take a few minutes. I don't mind that much. It gives me much needed nap and gameboy time. The walk there is always easy too. Just follow the crowds. Wait, what crowds? That didn't happen this year. Well, it did this time around, lucky me. While last year I could walk right in (albeit dodging the line for event tickets by being sneaky) at the time I arrived, this year I had to walk down several blocks as the line snaked around the building and down the street and then it started to curve again. On the bright side, it had started to warm up a bit and also the line moved quickly. Whereas last year it seemed like the con had no idea what they were doing, this time they were ready and able to rock the house.

Once in, I was in amazement. I had only seen a show this big during toyfair. I was confounded too, as I did my first pass on everything, looking to see where everything was and getting turned around in the process. I saw many exhibitors and dealers, but I couldn't find any artists. Turns out, after reading the handy guide I got upon entering, that the artists had their own damn floor! Now that is great. The booths were large and in charge, staffed by many beautiful women and probably some dudes, but lots of women. The crowd in attendance ranged from little kids and normal guys like myself to hot chicks and geeks and cosplayers. Fortunately, most of the people could actually work the costume. Nothing like seeing a fat Spider-man to ruin your day.

The first order of business, after getting my bearings, was to locate the dollar bins. Finding a good one, I managed to find 21 issues of Starman that I needed, all in good condition. Then it was on to the trades. Here, I was disappointed. I couldn't find as many dealers with good trades or even more dollar bins than I would have liked. There were some, but I think Wizard World had the edge in cheap TPBs. There were more dealers than last year though, and that was nice. I even saw import game dealers and was sorely tempted by Jump Ultimate Superstars but I wanted to spend the money on something else.

Everyone was really nice and helpful and the only complaint I had while browsing would be the people with kids stopping right in the middle of the aisle to chat when there were plenty of places that they could chill out off to the side. You find that anywhere, though, not just cons. Think of the mall during xmas. Movement-wise, it was easy to get around and traffic flowed well, so that was great.

Vendors I checked out included DC, Marvel, Classic Media (no fucking Godzilla Unleashed demo until 7pm, unfortunately), Viz Media, Wacom (awesome 19inch tablet PC), Zapp Comics, Fox and more. I'll have to go get the book to enumerate them all. Safe to say that there was plenty to do.

After hitting up the vendors, I decided to try my luck on Artist's Alley. On the way up, I saw the show store, so I picked up my exclusive Ghost Rider pint glass. That thing is awesome, by the way. great color and weight. The only down side is that they must have shipped them in a case, and they give them to you loose with nothing but a plastic bag to protect it. Luckily, I had some stuff to put around it by this point (god bless handouts) so I kept it intact. Some might not have been so lucky.

Artist's Alley could have been done better, but it was amazing. Three aisles were packed with people ready to pimp their art and take commissions and have you sign things. I got Arthur Suydam and Sanford Greene to sign some stuff for me. I completely spaced on Amanda Connor, Greg Horn and Tony Harris though so I was pretty pissed when I remembered them on the train ride back. There were other artists that I wish I had the time to check out as well. I'm gonna have enough prints soon to open a comic art gallery. Now that would be awesome, but I digress.

Also up here were the celebs. These included the usual Star Wars crew like Peter Mayhew and Ray Park but also in the building were the Buffy stars like Nicholas Brendon and Juliet Landau and child star/train lover Gary Coleman and the draw of the show, Hayden Panetierre, better known as Claire Bennett from Heroes. This was who I wanted to see and I did so.

She's a nice cat, very personable and the line moved fast. I paid for the signature because it went to HERO, which is a comic artist foundation. Otherwise, I probably would have just been content to ogle her from afar. The print I bought (and the JSA one as well) were done by Mark Sparacio. This guy is a fucking talent and all around nice guy. He's done some covers for the big two and also done quite a bit for the comics price guide, giving you another reason to pick up the books since they look beautiful. I have a Green Lantern and a Shaun of the Dead by him and I think another one that I need to hang up. Gorgeous stuff. He's gonna sell me a Jade picture and the Wonder Woman/Troia/Wonder Girl pictures as well the next time I see him, this, I command. Buy some of his stuff. You'll love it.

Not long after that, I was pretty damn tired so I went home. I was alone so that may have had something to do with it. Next time I will roll out in force, and maybe go Sunday since it was packed to the gills and sold out on Saturday. Next year, I recommend you all go. It's a fun time and soon it'll rival San Diego for the place to be, or at least give you a closer and more economical option.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Angry at Newsweek

Reading a magazine, especially one that has the word News in the title shouldn't make you angry. The current issue of Newsweek did, though. Not because of any horrid event happening in the world, of which there are many. No, this article was written by some hack named Devin Gordon and it was about the difference between tv and movies. It sounds like a pretty basic thesis and it should have been fairly interesting. What it ended up being was a piece of trash that served only to inform us that the author loves tv. Well, thanks for that, ass.

I started reading it last night and promptly threw the magazine against the wall. Why? Well, it seems that the only people looking forward to Spider-Man 3 and Pirates 3 are 12 year olds. That's a pretty broad and inaccurate statement. There's a reason why the previous movies in each series did so well. People liked them and they were good movies. Movies aren't just there to put out sappy, self-indulgent dramas bucking for Academy noms. They're there to entertain and taste is quite subjective, so deal with it. You may not like the content of the films, but each of those movies represents the best of what movies can achieve in creating a fantasy world for us to get lost in.

Then there's a statement about how Ghost Rider must be trash because no critics were given advance screenings. Sure, lots of bad movies do that, but sometimes a movie just doesn't want to bow to people who aren't going to like it just because it doesn't meet their standards of what they think a film should be. If you need someone to tell you what you should like in a movie before you see it, well, you probably shouldn't be going to see movies at all. You know what? It was an awesome movie, and not just because I liked Ghost Rider. It's because it was fun.

When I picked up the magazine again, I was reading how more film folk are going to tv, like tv was ever the red-headed stepchild. It's a steady paycheck and there's lots of talent involved in each series. The only difference in choosing between whether your work should be a movie or a tv show is the length of the story. Movies have a limited amount of time to tell their tale. It's the nature of the beast. Sure, we could make 8 hour epics but nobody would sit through them in one showing and banking on the marketability of a trilogy to tell one tale might not let you tell the rest. TV is better suited for longer tales and development. It's like the difference between a comic book and a novel, for lack of a better comparison. Novels don't have a set page length but you can only fit so many pages in a book and people probably aren't going to read them all. You can write sequels, but most of the time it's a stand alone story. Comics let you have a continuing arc and character development that spans over issues, if not years. If you have an epic scale story in mind, the serial format will be better. It's the same with movies and tv.

The author doesn't seem to get that point, instead trying to compare the Departed and the Sopranos. Both are pretty well done crime dramas; one, however, had more of a story to tell and needed the extra development. They set out to do different things.

The idea that the cost of making each is vastly different isn't as relevant either. There may be more revenue returned from advertising for tv, but the initial costs aren't that much different. The way they're filming tv these days means the budgets have skyrocketed, and over several episodes, you're going to end up with the cost of the film. Sure, you're getting more, but with cast and crew factored in, you're paying for the same big names that you were before and it's all averaging out in the end.

Briefly: TV and movies are two different animals that do similar things in different ways. And Newsweek sucks.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Wacom Off

Got some free time today so I was trying to draw a little with my Wacom tablet that I got for me birthday. Can't say I'm awfully good at it at 300 dpi, but I seem to do better with 72 dpi, probably because I can see what the hell I'm doing a whole lot better. Here's the little self portrait I made.

Not too bad. Better than I expected. The black and whites look a lot better than my shitty coloring right now, but I'm getting a feel for it. Yee ha.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Ghost Riders in my Eye

Ghost Rider is fantastic. I'm not just talking about the comic book hero or the one appearing in the Marvel Ultimate Alliance game. No, I mean the movie that just came out and from which I have just returned from a viewing. Nicholas Cage does a pretty mean Johnny Blaze and the effects are top notch. Moreover, it's a fun movie that doesn't get bogged down too much in the meaning of it all, rarely taking itself seriously which results in a rollercoaster ride of exhilaration.

The movie, while using mostly the Johnny Blaze incarnation of Flamehead, actually combines quite well the JB and Danny Ketch versions. Indeed, the overall look of GR is based on the 90s iteration, down to the use of chains and the penance stare. Heck, even the moniker of Spirit of Vengeance is used, along with the idea of a Caretaker to teach GR. That said, it's about 2 hours of entertainment that really can't be beat on a winter afternoon, so go check it out.

Also, Eva Mendes is hot.

Now I have to pick up the game, since I hear that is a hoot as well.