Sunday, December 4, 2011

Panels Of The Week

I read a bunch of comics today, a few weeks worth. This is just a few of the highlights.

 This is why I like Planet of the Apes.

Panels taken from Boom Comics new series, issue 7, drawn by Carlos Mungo. That's awesome comics, right there. Ape with a machine-gun.

This one is from Orchid #2, the new comic from Tom Morello, drawn by Scott Hepburn. I like this one because of all the beasties in it. That place looks dangerous. Looks like the future isn't a nice place to be. Also it's pretty nice lighting. And I like the way the foreground elements come in from outside the panel, gives it a nice sense of depth.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Best Cover: Archie Meets Kiss #1

By Francesco Francavilla, this is an alternate cover for a new 4 part story starting this week. I've asked my comic shop if they can track it down for me, but I think I'll have to be pretty lucky.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Trailer For "The Raid" (Let's See If This Works)

So "The Raid" (the new film from Indonesian martial arts star Iko Uwais and filmmaker Gareth Evans, the guys behind Merantau) is going to get some kind of theatrical release. Hopefully that includes Australia. Anyway, it's a good excuse to try embed another trailer from Twitch. If it doesn't work, I'll just post the link again.

<object width="650" height="366"><param name="movie" value="^player.swf"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"></param><embed src="^player.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="650" height="366"></embed></object>

Nope, not working. I guess just try this then.

Trailer For "The Kick"

<object width="650" height="366"><param name="movie" value="^player.swf"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"></param><embed src="^player.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="650" height="366"></embed></object>

A couple things about this have me somewhat excited to see it. Firstly, obviously the kicking and punching and general martial arts goodness on display. Secondly, the dancing/fighting martial arts technique looks like it might be used a little better here than in that other film, which was just insane. And thirdly, and maybe most importantly, Jija Yanin's hair looks really good in this.

OK, apparently, I can't embed from Twitch here anymore, so to see the trailer, just follow this link over to Twitch.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Panel Of The Week: Tintin-Explorers On The Moon

It was difficult to choose a panel from this book. There were quite a few very impressive panels of the rocket on the moon. Large panels that took up two thirds of the page, which is unusual, but striking in their size. There's also a sequence in some caves which I was tempted to use, because I liked the lighting in them.

But I chose this one, I think mainly because I liked the composition. The lines of the cliffs seem to focus our attention on the tank, which is quite small in the panel, giving us a sense of scale. Something about the colours. It all works nicely to create a small piece of art in the middle of the story.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

First Poster Expendables 2?

So over at Bleeding Cool, they ran a poster from JoBlo, an exclusive for them, so I guess it would nice if you visited their website to take a look.

That works for me, even though the guy at Bleeding Cool doesn't like it. I'm sure he has a point, but when the selling point of your film is those names and faces, of course you're going to put them up there, and it's working on me. It makes me kind of giddy to see all those people on the same poster, and know it's a reality, not just some action movie fan's photoshop wet dream.

Cover to Northlanders #46

I should be going to bed, but I couldn't resist posting this image. The first one is a detail from the cover by Massimo Carnevale, the second image is the whole picture. Enjoy.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Panel Of The Week: Tintin-Flight 714

This is one of my favourite Tintin comics, I probably read this one the most in my youth, and it's easy to see why. A mysterious island, giant lizards, aliens abductions, and Tintin with a machine gun. It's kind of surprising considering today's standards for appropriate content for kids, but Tintin seems to get a gun in nearly every adventure he gets involved with. I'm starting to see where some of my influences started.
It was hard to settle on a panel from this comic, but I think this sums up a lot of the appeal Tintin has for me.

More Eating At The Carolina Kitchen And Espresso

I went back to Carolina Kitchen, this time with Gav, and this time I wanted to get the large ribs to see how big the serve was. Well we saw someone else's serve of larger ribs, and I started thinking that might be too much, so we decided to split a large serve of ribs and get some chicken wings as well. I've already spoken about the ribs, so won't say much, but can basically sum it up by saying I prefer my sauce, but the ribs are cooked pretty nicely, with the meat falling of the bone. So it's ok if you haven't got the time to do it yourself, or if you're too lazy.

So onto the chicken wings. You can order 6, 12 or 24, in a mild, medium or hot with a yoghourt blue cheese dipping sauce. We ordered the 12 with a medium heat.  As a meal for two guys, it was pretty good serving sizes, large ribs and 12 wings. The wings were delicious, spicy without overpowering taste. They're coated in a nice kind of breadcrumb mixture, but I'm sure it's not, maybe some kind of dry rub kind of thing, I'm not sure. I wasn't expecting to like the dipping sauce, because I'm not a fan of blue cheese, but I forgot what it was made of so just tried it, and it complimented the wings quite nicely. It was fairly subtle, not strong like a blue cheese can be, though once I was reminded what was in it, you can definitely taste it there. Quite enjoyable.
I finished of the night with a Snickers attempt at Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. I found it disappointing and wished I'd chosen the Reeses product they had on sale.

Anyway, a nice night out, good meal with a buddy. I think I'll try a burger next time I go, maybe with some fries and a small serve of wings.

BIFF Overview

OK, so I saw about 10 film this festival, and they were mostly pretty solid, but nothing that really jumped up and screamed "Love Me!", by which I mean I gave mostly 4 star reviews, a couple of 3 stars and no 5 stars on the festival ballots. I had planned on seeing more, but cheapness won out. So anyway, here's what I saw and what I thought of what I saw.

A new film from Chow Yun-Fat is going to get me excited, but a Chinese comedy s going to make me wary. I liked it though. The basic plot is a robber steals the identity of a governor coming to a new town to rule and make money the easy way, but things get complicated when the the "boss" of the town doesn't want to give up his control. Stuff happens, there's gunplay and explosions and fighting, and it was all pretty well shot. Chow gets to play his double, and reprise his role as Chocolate from "God of Gamblers", not literally, but they're basically the same kind of dim-witted character is what I'm saying. The comedy wasn't too broad, the characters likeable and the actors I thought did a good job, so it wasn't as painful as it could've been. I can't remember if it was lacking something or if there was something bad which stopped me from giving it 5 stars, but from memory I gave it 4.

 Next was a Mystery Movie, and now I can't remember what the name of it was. Ok, I looked it up, it was called "The Boxer's Omen". It was a HK film about a guy who gets on the wrong side of a black magic practicing Thai guy, had an appearance by Bolo Leung as a Thai boxer, had a lot to do with Budhist monks. That's a rather simplified version of the film. It's not a strong recommend from me, though I did enjoy it, but it's too much of that spiritual kung-fu to be truly engrossing. Plenty of weird stuff in it, but didn't thrall me enough.

 Next up was Trailerpalooza + 50 Best Kills, two compilation films made up of trailers for exploitation movies and one mans opinion of roughly 50 of the best kills in cinema. Both were entertaining, but if I had to do it over again, I'm not sure I would. There definitely some films from the trailer one I thought would be interesting to see, but I felt like I'd seen a lot of the best kills ones before. It was maybe less than 50% in the end, but I'm not sure now. Anyway, it was a bit of fun, but not really fulfilling.

 Next up was "Revenge: A Love Story", which I thought was a Japanese film, but I quickly realised it was Chinese. This was maybe the best film I saw at the festival, and the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because it's just so grim. It's beautifully shot, really strong performances, but just downbeat. I want to be entertained, and there's just no way I'm leaving the cinema feeling good after watching this. The story is about a couple of simplistic young people who fall in love, and due to some unfortunate circumstances, end up being raped by the cops and one of them going to jail for something he didn't do. When he gets out, he gets revenge. But there's no happy endings for anyone in this film, which is I guess one way to do it, and maybe more realistic, but it's pretty depressing. But like I said, a really good film.

 Then I saw "Cronos", an early film by Guillermo Del Torro. It was ok, but didn't wow me. I can see why it would've made a splash when it came out, but seeing it now, I liked it, but didn't love it. An old due finds a clockwork mechanism which gives immortality to the owner, but makes them need blood to live, so basically a new take on the vampire story. I should've written notes down sooner, because I can't recall why this didn't connect with me so much now. I just think that "Blade 2" is his best work, I guess.

 "Letters From The Big Man" is a bigfoot or sasquatch film. It's told in this new low budget, magic realism aesthetic that seems to be a trend now with genre material. I mean, it's a bigfoot movie with a CIA conspiracy subplot, but it's not shot like you'd expect a bigfoot/CIA conspiracy movie to be shot. I liked it, and was happy to go along with the ride, but mainly because I just get so much pleasure from seeing a guy in a big old sasquatch costume on screen. The cast and script and stuff were fine, but really, for me, the appeal is the creatures, and even if it slow paced, environmental hippie message film, I still liked it.

 "Guilty of Romance" is the Japanese film I got confused with earlier. This tells the story of a woman who marries an uptight novelsist, who runs a strict household and obviously withholds his marital duties from his wife (I'm talking about sex, in case it wasn't obvious). She gets spotted by a model recruiter one day for a photoshoot, and thus begins her downward spiral, but in the end it seems like it was all planned, or at least partially planned, by some prostitute who feels slighted by the lady's husband. I think it stretched things a bit far there, and it's not really the kind of story I prefer to spend my time on, but there was stuff I liked, so it wasn't a waste of time, but not a strong recommend for this one either, mainly for adult content, I guess.

And then these last 3 I saw in one day.
First up, I don't know the title for this one, and I'm not going to look it up, but it was basically a light doco about San Diego Comic-Con. Not much of interest here unless you're part of that crowd already, I suspect. Otherwise, I find it kind of insulting, a little bit, "Ooh, look at these weird people". Well, that's the vibe I got from the audience I saw it with. I enjoyed it, and got caught up in the people's stories, but it was still kind of a shallow experience I think.

 "Troll Hunter" was pretty good. Maybe my favourite of the festival, but only because "Revenge..." was so depressing. This is a fake doco film, popularised by "Blair With Project". We follow a college film crew tracking down a suspected poacher, but discovering far more than they expected. If the title doesn't give it away, I suspect you can't read, so pointing it out in this sentence will be a waste of time, but it's trolls. The effects were good, the cast was solid, with the main troll hunter guy being a real standout. It kind of falls into that faux doco trap of having faux drama amongst the film crew, though it's not over the top, but it does feel like a cliche, but apart from that, I can't really think of any other issues I had with the film. I think endings are hard to do with this kind of film, but it wasn't too bad. Overall, I really liked it. Not sure if I'll bother buying it, but it is coming out on Video, so check it out. 

And lastly, "The Yellow Sea", a Korean film. My main problem with this film was it was way too long. They could've easily lost half an hour from this, and it still would've been alright. Basic story is a Chinese or North Korean (I'm not really sure) guy gets smuggled into South Korea to perform a hit, and while he's there, try find his wife who smuggled in earlier to make money and has stopped communicating with him. And then there's the other Korean gang which complicates things, and the guy who sent him trying to cover his tracks and tie up loose ends, and the cops as well, so everybody is ganging for him and each other and it all becomes a long drawn out mess. I don't want to say the film is a mess, but the situation f=definitely gets messy, as in bloody. Very bloody. BUt the film does get drawn out. I couldn't believe my watch when I finally got out of the cinema nearly two and half hours later. So it was good, but would've been great if it wasn't so damned long.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Panel Of The Week: Tintin-The Calculus Affair

With all this Tintin talk in the air, I thought I'd revisit the beauty of Herge's work in his Tintin comics. Just having a quick flick through a couple, there's a lot that changed in modern comics, but the beauty of his work still shines through. There's a lot of talking heads and large word balloons in the work, but when he does give himself the space, his work really shines through, such a beautiful line and use of flat colour. Well worth a look.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Return Of The Jedi: Panel Of The Week

Well this is the final panel in this series, I hope you've enjoyed it. It's kind of appropriate considering the day and the background colour (i.e. pink=breast cancer awareness)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ribs At The Carolina Cafe

In my ever-continuing search for Ribs perfection, I decided to check out the competition. Dave had told me about an American style cafe around the corner from him. It sounded pretty good to me, so we went there for some dinner tonight. Naturally I ordered the ribs, which come with their potato salad. I ordered the regular size, but I think I'll need to upgrade to the large, I don't have that sickly bloated feeling after this meal that I associate with ribs.
But apart from that, they were pretty good. I think I prefer mine still, but I don't know if I could point out the differences. Theirs was suitably sweet, that delicious meat confectionary that BBQ Ribs are. The meat fell quite easily off the bone, though Dave's didn't seem to as easily as mine, but like I said, mine did. One thing though, their's was "drowned" in the sauce, whereas I don't pour the remainder of my sauce over it. Due to their cooking production, I don't think it has the same amount of basting and grilling as when I make it myself, so they need to pour the sauce over theirs to give it the flavour, but it makes for a much messier eating experience. You're a bit loathe to pick up the ribs with your hands since they're swimming in the sauce. Perhaps I over exaggerate, but I'm just saying there is more sauce on theirs than mine.
Anyway, I was pretty happy with them, and I recommend it as a quick fix if you've got the ribs craving and not the 3-4 hours up your sleeve to make your own, or I haven't invited you round for mine.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Untitled Work In Progress

So I painted Jared, but it looks like that time when his head swelled up, so that obviously needs a lot of work. I'm thinking of using a stencil to give me the basic shape, and then just colour it in. I'm wondering if the picture of him needs to be bigger, take up all that space on that side of the canvas. I realised his jumper and jeans were blue, so thought I'd have trouble separating them from the background I'd already chosen around the Angel's head, so decided to use yellow, as I had a lot on my palette and didn't want it to got to waste. Same with the red. I think it turned out pretty well. The problem with this painting is that it has no focus.

I didn't do any work on "B I R D K I L L E R", so here's a bonus picture of a chicken.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Birdkiller And Untitled Work In Progress

So I haven't done too much on this, but I added the white square which I'll paint the bird skull in, and I've painted the two birds hanging from a rope at his waist, which i don't think is obvious from looking at it, but you'll know because I just told you. Also, I slightly ruined the hand, but I'm not too worried, I can fix that up easily enough.

Not much happening in this one, just added more blue to define the limits of the Angel, painted over my face some, and that's about it. I don't think I'll be sticking with that face, as I'm not sure what picture I was using, and it looks kind of stupid. I'll either find another photo to reference, or maybe do like a 3/4 body shot, some kind of dramatic pose. The plan is still to paint the photo of Jared playing guitar, so something that seems to match that, though doesn't have any direct link, is what I'm thinking.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Orchid #1

 It’s been a while since I wrote up any comic reviews, mainly because I was swamped with comics, but I thought I should put something up about this one, mainly because it’s written by Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave fame. That might be of interest.
So the first thing you notice is the quite striking cover, who one might assume is the titular character, Orchid. You would be right in that assumption, though she actually doesn’t appear till the last quarter of the book, and by then I’d kind of forgotten I was reading a comic about a girl called Orchid.
The book is set in a world where the oceans have risen, society has fallen, and genetic monsters roam the wild eating those too poor to live on higher ground. All that is essentially told to us on the opening/credit page. But then it tells us again as we actually start reading the comic, spread out over the next few pages, the exact same wording. Which would have been fine if I hadn’t just read it on the previous page. I guess it’s a kind of set-up piece that could be at the start of every comic, but if it’s going to be at the start of this first issue actually within text boxes in the comic, then I think that was a mistake to have it as a paragraph on your credit page. Anyway, that’s really my only real complaint. As the text within the comic, it seemed a bit clunky, and I was a bit worried about Tom Morello’s chops at writing a comic, but once we get past that, it’s all ok.

So instead of meeting Orchid at the start, we meet up with a bunch of rebels, who have stolen a mask of a famous rebel leader, which is supposed to have some kind of power, but at the very least is a rallying point for the revolution, and has symbolic power. These rebels are being chased, but one of them named Simon gets away with the mask, and it is through this verbose young man that we eventually get to meet up with Orchid, a prostitute with an attitude of looking out for number one, but also looks out for her family.
So the world building that’s going on here is pretty solid. Tom has set-up the world pretty well, though there’s nothing strikingly original in the ideas. I don’t mean that as a diss, I’m just saying a kind of post-apocalyptic world is familiar, it’d be hard to come up with something no one has ever seen before. Anyway, they’re doing a good job. Scott Hepburn is doing the drawing, and he’s doing a nice job visually. His characters are clear, and the genetic beasties he’s drawing are freakish. The world they live in is well realised, appropriately overgrown and decaying civilisation. So far I’m enjoying it.
I read in the editorial piece at the back that there’s a free download of an original song that Tom Morello has recorded to enhance the reading experience of the comic. The first one I think anyone can download, but the next ones you’ll need the code from the comic. I wish they had mentioned that at the start of the comic, rather than at the end, so I could have had it playing in the background as I read it. Anyway, it’s not what I was thinking, though it’s a pretty solid song, and I’m looking forward to hearing the rest.
So that was Orchid #1. You can buy it digitally if you want, it only costs a buck, though I assume next issue will be more in line with standard comic prices. I liked it, and I look forward to the next 11 issues.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Comictwart Punisher Love

Yeah, another post about comictwart.
This picture is by Francesco Francavilla, one of my favourite comic twarters. I think the picture resonated as much as it did was because I had Italian crime movies on my brain, as I thought I got one in the mail. Turned out I didn't, but this helps ease the pain.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lora8: Depressed Heroes Art

So I just saw this, thanks to Bleeding Cool, and thought I might share. She has a couple others on her deviantart site, so go have a look.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

YouTube Clip Of The Day: John Daker Sings

I wish there was a shot of him looking straight down the camera at the end, but it's still gold.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Comictwart DC Love

I know I've mentioned these guys before, but I just had to share a couple of this weeks pics, because they are so sweet. With the whole DC relaunch hype in the air, the guys decide to do their own DC tributes.
This first one is by Declan Shelvy, see original post here.

The next one is by Tom Fowler, one of my favourite artists on the blog. Check his original post here.

It's a site worth checking out, so do yourself a favour and head over to ComicTwart.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hungerstrike-Temple Of The Dog

I knew this song from some early Pearl Jam bootlegs, but didn't know where it was from. On the live track you could hear Eddie say, "We played that for Chris, he'll be real proud." Obviously that's Chris Cornell, but I didn't know that at the time. I never got into Soundgarden, so never paid much attention. I knew Temple of the Dog was the precursor to Pearl Jam, but never realised that Eddie Vedder actually sang on the track until I saw the Pearl Jam Twenty film and they featured this film clip in it. I since bought the album, and am quite enjoying it. I never really heard too much Soundgarden that interested me, except for Black Hole Sun, but I'm starting to wonder if maybe I should give them more of a listen. Anyway, I like this song.

Friday, September 23, 2011

"BIRDKILLER" Work In Progress 5

Not too much has changed. I put the white borders in, but my eye was off so now it's at angle. Also, it seems some paint got lifted up or something in the process, so there's a speckling of white in my green now in certain places. I don't want to use tape for that very reason, but it seemed to happen anyway.
One more thing to fix.

I worked mostly on the figure, and I'm pretty happy with it. The shirt in particular. The face is an ongoing battle, trying to work at that size with paint on this surface is a challenge, but I think I'll get what I'm after, though I may have to ask Richard to pose again, but just focus on his face. The next challenge is to paint a couple of birds hanging around his wait, as if strung up to his belt.
Then I need to remember to put the panel with bird skull in it back in. So a little way to go still.

Thanks for the comment Brad, wasn't sure if anyone was paying attention.

Return Of The Jedi: Panel Of The Week

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"BIRDKILLER" Work In Progress 4

So I did what I had to do, and abandoned representation in the background, and I'm much more happy with it now.
I felt I needed something more in the lower section of the painting though, so have gone for the dribble effect, bleeding out from the rocks. The plan is still to have a clearly defined white line separating them and bordering the whole painting, so that brown has probably gone too far down on the left there, but I plan to bring in some blue dribble as well, so I'm hoping to mask that somewhat when I do that.
I would have taken a better photo, but the camera battery ran out so I had to settle for the lighting in this one, and I wanted to try rescue the figure from the background, so didn't want to wait any longer.
Thanks for all your feedback and comments, it's been................................................

Monday, September 19, 2011

"BIRDKILLER" Work In Progress 3

I find the process of painting is a constant process of rescue and restoration. I have something I like, that I'm happy with, but then as the rest of the painting is dragged kicking and screaming to a place I want it to be, the parts i'm happy with invariably get "damaged", they're the collateral damage of the rest of the painting. The central figure is the victim as I struggle with the background, he is covered in paint as I try to get consistency or clarity around him, and he bears the brunt of my frustrations and scorched earth policy in applying paint to the background. But this seems to be my method, I get my figure where I want them, then rescue them from the background as it overtakes them.

I'm happy with my hand, and I'm happy with my figure and composition, the idea of what I'm trying to accomplish. It's just I picked the wrong idea to explore the painting method I want to explore with this painting, so I struggle with the background. I think I may get a larger paintbrish. The clouds seem more like mountain tops, and I think I need to abandon representation.
But it's been fun.
What have you been doing?