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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pin-up/Cover Illustration Commission




Going back quite a few weeks ago, I posted up some concept sketches and the pencils for a Pin-up/Cover Illustration I'm doing for a friend of mine. Well, I've brought the whole thing to a finish, inked it and colored it, I'm waiting on revisions for the colors but as far as I'm concerned it's done. So, here's a look at the three major stages of the piece: Colors, Inks, and Pencils. Let me know what yall think!

Monday, July 28, 2008

An Adventure in the Big City, NYC to be exact.






Friday came, a day I could care less about, for most it signals the weekend, a time of relaxation and joy, for me it's really just another day. I might not be lettering, but I might be working on something for the Apparatus, or a personal piece, or a freelance gig or just something. But this Friday was different, my wife met me in the city, something she never does, NEVER, but I guess she felt it was time. So we got some dinner at Faces and Names and then headed over to the MOMA, where we spent most of our time, fighting to get a good look at any of the many brilliant Salvador Dali pieces on display on the upper most floor. After that, we took a stroll through Central Park and walked along Broadway, making our way to Penn Station, where we ended our night. I took many pictures along the way and here are a few of the ones I really dug, among them, a huge billboard ad for The Dark Knight and a cool ad for The Spirit.

Dead Moon Rising: Movie Review, Kinda?


Ok, so I'm not really going to review this movie, Dead Moon Rising, because I just couldn't make it all the way through. I've read some really good reviews on this flick and I just don't get it--am I missing something? It's a low to no-budget movie with bad acting, which I'm fine with, but it just seemed so boring. I'll give it a shot one day, just to try to make it to the end, maybe the movie turned out amazing, I don't know, but from what I've seen you won't miss much if you pass this up.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Zombie Dating Service

I found a date through zombie harmony - one of the best free dating sites for zombies
Created by Mingle2.com (Dating for non-zombies)

For all you zombie nuts, here's a cool website to check out, you might just find your one true love.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fear Itself: Eater: Episode Review


Directed by Stuart Gordon. With Elisabeth Moss, Russell Hornsby, and Stephen Lee. This is the second episode that I've watched, one that I managed to catch on NBC's website. I enjoyed this one much more than the New Year's Day episode. Again, the story wasn't anything to write home about but it was solid, the acting was pretty good, although the characters themselves were a tad too stereotypical but they worked nonetheless. The camera work relied on creative shots instead of pointless effects which earns kudos in my book. I really enjoyed the colors and sound design in Eater, they really added a lot to the entire mood of the episode, the ending was a little weak but worked. If this episode is indicative of the rest of the series, you can count me in. Definitely check this out, either by tuning in our checking out the website.

Damn Nation (collected): Comic Book Review


I recently picked up the collected edition of Damn Nation, written by Andrew Cosby with stunning artwork by J. Alexander. This book delivers! It's very short and to the point, the characters are well fleshed out in a matter of minutes, the mood is set immediately by Alexander's art, and the story takes off from page one. I put this right up there alongside the movie The Descent, but slightly more optimistic. It's a quick read that leaves you wanting more. Definitely pick this up!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Fear Itself: New Year's Day: Episode Review


The latest, and only, episode of Fear Itself I've managed to catch was New Year's Day. Created by Mick Garris with story penned by Steve Niles of horror comics fame. Basically this is a zombie story that takes place on New Year's Day. There's no explanation as to what caused it and really only serves as the backdrop to a love triangle that ends in blood. It wasn't bad, it wasn't good, I'd certainly watch more of the episodes. The story and acting were adequate, but the director used a lot of flashy effects to make the film seem creepier, which only irritated and bothered me. If you haven't caught the episode you can check it out at: http://www.nbc.com/Fear_Itself/video/episodes.shtml?_source=ggl|fear+itself|Specific_Brand|NBC_Rewind_FearItSelf&sky=ggl|fear+itself|Specific_Brand|NBC_Rewind_FearItSelf as well as a few other episodes I plan on watching myself.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Zombie Movie: A Short FIlm



Here's a short film I came across called "Zombie Movie", not the best title in the world but it is certainly an entertaining little bit of zombie goodness. The whole thing takes place in a car with three fellows in the middle of a zombie outbreak. It's definitely worth taking a few minutes and checking out.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The House by the Cemetery: Movie Review


I viewed this movie a while back, and have been meaning to give a review on it and just haven’t gotten around to it. Let me start of by saying Lucio Fulci is way too overrated. This movie is all over the place; it’s confusing and misleading and borders on not making any sense whatsoever. The acting for the most part is okay, the filming is decent, the movie does a good job with atmosphere, and for you gore hounds—the gore is good, but that’s just not enough for me. Sorry to say, that I just didn’t like this movie, at all, it had potential and I love the title but Fulci fucked me on this one. If you haven’t seen it, you can skip it.

The Ruins: Movie Review


One of the few mainstream horror movies to carry the “R” rating, at first the movie comes across fairly generic and typical, but quickly the movie takes on a life of its own. The characters are shown to have a bit more depth than your run of the mill cannon fodder, and their demise plays out differently than I had expected, in some ways positive, but ultimately--not so much. I didn’t really have any qualms about the movie, but I also just didn’t end up caring about the movie, I didn’t care for the ending either mainly cause the person who sort of survives was the only one I couldn’t wait to see die. The ruins themselves were pretty cool, and the concept was really neat, the gore was effective and I did squirm a few times. The middle of the movie (or the second act if you want to call it that) was the most enjoyable and was done really well with a lot tension and atmosphere. It’s good for a one-time watch and worth checking out as a rental, and hey, it’s not a remake.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Dark Knight: A Movie Review


Today I was paid to see The Dark Knight, the newest Batman film, along with all the other DC employees. We got to see it in IMAX, which was wicked cool especially since it was my first IMAX experience. I felt like a giddy little kid all over again. This movie blew me away, I had a feeling it was going to be good, but never did I think it would be THIS good. This could very well be the best film inspired by a comic and outright just a great movie on it's own accord. I won't give any spoilers, firstly I don't want to get myself in trouble, and secondly I wouldn't want to ruin anyone's enjoyment of this fine fine flickaroo. Heath Ledger may very well win some sort of award, he was brilliant, Gary Oldman was perfect, Christian Bale--awesome, although I could do without his "Batman voice". We also got a sneak peak of Watchmen, by means of the trailer, which looks awesome. But back to Batman--to put it simply, this movie was the tits. Go see it, go see it in IMAX, then go see it in a regular theater and then go back and see it again in IMAX.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army: A Movie Review


Directed by Guillermo del Toro. With Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, and Doug Jones reprising their roles from the first Hellboy film. This flick starts off on a very shaky note, with Young Child Hellboy being told a bedtime story, the story serves to enlighten the audience on The Golden Army, and is told rather interestingly, but the image of Hellboy as a young child is very silly. Aside from that and a few other tiny bumps in the road, this movie kicks arse. It is a visual treat with lots of great character moments, all out action, a great story, and tons of laughs, one bit in particular where Hellboy and Abe have a drunken duet. Yeah, exactly, the scene was made even more amusing with my good friend and wife telling me that I sound like Drunken Hellboy. The creatures in the film are just wild, some really creative and well-designed characters, reminiscent of Pan's Labyrinth but not as dark. And as with the first film the blend of CGI and practical effects is top notch, everything feels like it belongs and works. As for the Golden Army, they didn’t play as large a role as I thought. All in all, I loved this movie, I highly recommend going to see it right now! Anyone who doesn’t enjoy this movie just doesn’t enjoy having fun.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hellboy Character Sketch of Liz


Being very excited to see the new Hellboy film, I decided to do a sketch of Liz from the film and the comics. Although this looks nothing like the actual character, I did more of classic pin-up look for her, the only tie to her as Liz is that her hand is on fire, regardless that was the inspiration and here's the image, ink on cardboard with some white and pink highlights from color pencils.

Friday, July 11, 2008

World War Z: A Book Review


Max Brooks delivers yet another great zombie read; World War Z. Taken from the serious idea that if a Zombie War/Outbreak did occur, what would the real world repercussions be? Brooks explores these ideas globally in a journalistic viewpoint acting as a journalist/reporter trekking around the world to get information and stories from survivors of the war. He does an amazing job of capturing what an event like this would do across the world and how other nations would deal with the problem. There are so many little stories/accounts of the war that are entertaining as well as thought provoking. There are also a number of very original ideas that have never been explored in the zombie genre at all, like feral children and quislings. This is a must read for any zombie fan. Thanks to Hank for letting me borrow it!

Podcasts of Note

Lately, I've had the time to check out some new podcasts, well, not really new, but new to me.

Dread Media: Dread Media is a podcast that reviews all things horror, movies, comics, sound, well, basically everything. The host, Desmond Reddick, is a seemingly mild mannered fellow who hosts the show by his lonesome, mostly. On occasion he will have a road side guest, or an interview and most recently he had Brother D of the Mail Order Zombie podcast to host a show with him. Overall, I like the show, it has some weak points, one of them being too much music, I'd rather hear him talk about his topics more, also, the audio quality isn't the greatest, but it has gotten better over the course of time. Sometimes the show length can drag on a bit, but I don't mind that too much. The show does have a great variety, and I think he gives some very good reviews, I also like what he has to say about sound design for film scores, his comic reviews are also very well done and his show, much like my tastes, are aimed at more independent endeavors. All in all, I say check this show out, it's a diamond in the rough with tons of great content and thoughtful reviews and insights.

The Midnight Horror Show: A young podcast, with very few shows under their belt. I haven't really formed an opinion on them just yet, but right off the bat I'm not too impressed. It's a show hosted by two funny guys, who are amusing to listen to but are all over the place, I'm going to give them some more time because they are entertaining but I'm not sure if they have the focus that I'm looking for which is a shame because they can pretty darn funny and they have a good dynamic.

Horroretc Podcast: Hands down one of the best podcasts around, usually 2 hosts, Kingstown Ted and Anthony, lately they've had a third wheel whose name I can't recall and they discuss a broad range of subjects related to horror. They give director spotlights, which have been really good, often gearing a whole show to a director's body of work and discussing it. Much of their shows are open discussions about the elements that go into horror movies as well as the state of the horror industry. They break the show up nicely with segments like Shlock Corner and have some very well produced sound bits, and overall the production quality is great. I highly recommend checking this show out.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

It’s all fun and games: a short writing

Forged in the ruin of a dying son
A circus of mayhem and tragedy
Unfold in a story told by shadows
Clowns are taken seriously here
Near the end of what we know
We know the basics and maybe a bit more
The earth is a bouncy ball in a crank machine
For twenty five cents you get it all
A dollar and you’re a god
Nothing is out of the question
Out of change and short on time
A hand in the gutter reaching for the street
World’s collide in the parking lot
We’re left to wonder what happens when a god dies

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Decay: An Abstract Painting


Here's an abstract painting I did not too long ago. It's a mix of watercolor, acrylic, and airbrush on illustration board.

Zombie Hunter: A Short Film

A ways back I came across a short film called Zombie Hunter. I figured I'd let everyone know about this little gem. I love it, it's very amateur effort but nonetheless I found it very entertaining and relatively well done. I'm not going to critique the hell out of it cause by then you could've watched the film and made your own opinion. Check out this link to be whisked away to the movie's site: http://www.zombiehuntermovie.com

Monday, July 7, 2008

Night of the Living Dead Annual: Comic Book Review


Avatar Press recently put out a Night of the Living Dead Annual, it's the first and sadly only issue and has a slew of variant covers. The story is written by John Russo (yes, that John Russo), and adapted for the comic by Mike Wolfer, the art is by Edison George and Luis Czerniawski and colored by Andrew Dalhouse. The story takes place in 1968, the day following Night of the Living Dead, and follows a young couple making their way to a TV station just outside Willard. I'm usually pretty skeptical about these types of books that are either movie adaptations or related to a movie, for a number of reasons, and despite that I picked it up anyway. I flipped through it, thinking that it didn't look half bad, the cover was cool and John Russo was involved. I must say I wasn't disappointed, I wasn't blown away either but I'll pick up another issue any day. The art and story were both pretty solid, the art isn't really my cup of tea, but it's done well and has good storytelling, the coloring was pretty good but a bit safe, and typical, but again it was done well. The book is just an overall solid zombie tale and could easily stand on it's own two feet, there are tons of things for fans of the original movie to dig but you don't need to have seen it to enjoy this, although you should have seen it anyway. So go check this out, I'm going to see if they have any more.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Big Bad Wolf: A Movie Review


Big Bad Wolf is a big bad piece o’ garbage. From the start of the flick you just know it’s going to suck. It was intended to be a “B” movie and ended up a “C” or worse. It’s barely worth watching, the story is full of holes and cheap plot devices. The acting is terrible, the only strong point was that of Richard Tyson, and he certainly couldn’t carry this movie full of stupid dialogue, and horrendous special effects. The wolf transformation is piss poor, as is the actual look of the creature, and the fact that he has some corny one-liners is just outlandish. This movie has maybe one scene that’s worth anyone’s time, the wolf rape scene, mostly because it’s hysterical. If you can make it to the end, there is at the very least, some fun blood-letting. So, yeah, this movie pretty much blows a whole lotta wolf-cak and therefore I cannot recommend this movie.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Feast: A Movie Review


Grab a beer and some pals and get ready for a fun romp in the blood soaked feature film Feast. Directed by John Gulager. With Balthazar Getty, Henry Rollins, Navi Rawat. Patrons locked inside of a bar are forced to fight monsters. So right away you know this is up my alley: Henry Rollins rocks, I love bars and love monsters even more. Don't forget I love movies were the main characters have to "hold up" and survive. It had laughs, and some scares, though I wouldn't say this was a scary film, it had some gross parts for sure, but this is a fun movie moreso than that of the scary variety. Something I really didn't like was the character info that popped up, and only because the last bit of info was misleading, most of them were funny and neat except for that one thing. Feast surely had quite a bit of cheese, they had a scene that involved monster sex, yeah, exactly, but it was funny. The other thing that bugged me was the character design, I just didn't care for it at all, it didn't hurt the film, only because it's got some humor, but if this were a serious attempt to scare you, sorry, but no way in hell would it work. The cast was excellent, the direction competent, the practical effects were awesome, the ending was good, hell the whole thing was good and good fun too. I'm going to buy this one for sure.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Killing Girl: A Sister's Love/Comic Book Review


So I picked up the collected edition of Killing Girl: A Sister's Love, pretty much because Toby Cypress was involved in it, he did the cover art for the collection as well as some of the original covers for the series and the majority the interiors of the book. This review is going to be a bit biased because I'm already a fan of Toby's work, I think his work is brilliant and refreshing. The writing was somewhat bare bones, Glen Brunswick seems to know his strengths and probably more importantly his weaknesses. He kept the F.B.I. and Mafia information to a minimal, giving just enough for them to serve their purposes all the while not letting the story lose it's focus on Sarah and her journey of revenge. Frank Espinosa, a name I'm not familiar with, does an amazing job on the first part of the story, his work is minimal, but fluid and cannot help but grab you into the story. The colors were inventive and used great palette choices, Rico Renzi knows how to "light" a scene. And Russ Wooton did what any good letterer should, not draw any attention and keep it readable--which he did. I've already gushed about how much I like Toby's work, so, I'm not going to gush any more. To sum up my thoughts on the book, I'd say it was an awesome action packed adventure that was over way too quickly but it had a kick ass sketch gallery in the back to make up for it. I'd pick up a new installment without hesitation and I highly recommend checking this one out.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Eyeballs: A painting.


Here's a painting I did around the same time as the color study of Occula. It's acrylic on Illustration board, the subject matter is a zombie hand and some eyeballs. I was basically bored one night and thought "Gee I'd really like to paint some eyeballs" so I did, and then I was like "I should put a zombie hand in it" so I did that too. So this turned out to be an exercise in spontaneous pattern painting and a lesson of how not to approach a painting. But... I kinda like it.

Occula: The Vampire Octopus


Here's a really bad color study for a larger painting I would like to do--we shall see if that ever happens.

Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer: A Movie Review


I've heard many bad reviews on FF2 so maybe that helped lower my expectations, but I doubt it would've had much affect to the end result--which was my enjoyment of this flick. Let me start off by saying that I'm a huge Fantastic Four fan, in fact, I think without my early exposure to the comic I might never have gotten into comics at all, and never pursued creating them and developing a career in the field. Just the thought of the Fantastic Four brings me good memories, it takes me back to when I was a kid and the world was good. This movie did that for me, it brought me back to those days and I thank the film for that. Yes it was corny and cheesy and some parts were down right ludicrous, but isn't that part of the charm of comics? Many folks complain that this is a childish movie with watered down plots and characters, isn't this targeted at a younger audience? And weren't comics for kids just as much as the kids that grew up reading them? I'm jaded and bitter about many things; the Fantastic Four is not one of them. I think this movie improved on the groundwork that was layed down in the first film, especially the dynamics of them as a team and it really reinforced Mr. Fantastic as the leader of that team, something that was very weak in the first film. The effects were improved, and they clearly did an amazing job on the Silver Surfer. The weakest parts of the film to me were the military fill-in characters, all of which were forgettable cardboard cut-outs, but it didn't bother me that much. The silliest thing of all was Dr. Doom riding the surfboard, I'll admit it, it looked so stupid, but I went with and it did make sense in the story. Another thing many people complained about was the treatment of Galactus--did you really want to see a giant purple man trying to eat earth like an m&m? He looked cool and it worked well within the story. So for those who didn't enjoy this movie, yer a turd, what you should've done instead of bitching was to sit down and watch this with your kid, little brother, niece, nephew, whatever and had a good time.

Supernatural Origins: Comic Book Review


I have never seen the Supernatural TV show, nor do I ever plan on it, but the comic prequel makes me second guess myself because it's that damn good. The trade came out a few weeks back and is well worth picking up, again I've never seen the show so I'm not sure what the reaction has been from fans of that, but for horror fans it really doesn't get much better than this. Written by Peter Johnson Art by Matthew Dow Smith, Colored by JD Mettler and Lettered by Greg Thompson. The collected edition cover is done by Tim Sale and Dave Stewart--and it looks great. This is a great "on the run" type of story where the father takes his two sons on the road to hunt some monsters, it has an epic scope but doesn't get bogged down by it. The art is really cool and fits perfectly with the story, Smith has a Mignola vibe going on and Mettler knows how to treat it, although some of his color palettes come across as odd--which is not a bad thing. The lettering is competent, simplistic and tasteful, Thompson does a good job of keeping the book easy to read, and there's a decent little "extra" section in the back. I highly recommend going out and picking this one up. I'm in the middle of reading the new Supernatural installment: Rising Son, which is off to a great start and might prove to be even better than Origins, but I'll let you know how it turns out.

Billy Batson & the Magic of Shazam! #1


I've gotten kinda sick of talking about the books that I work on, and I've been meaning to talk about others, but this week a book came out that I'm so stoked about. Billy Batson & the Magic of Shazam! #1, with art and story by the brilliant Mike Kunkel, that I couldn't resist just a quick post. I'm not going to post any of the lettering because you can check out a cool preview at: http://www.newsarama.com/php/multimedia/album.php?aid=19146

and check out Mike's blog at: http://www.kunkelshazam.blogspot.com/

I highly recommend picking this one up!