Archive for August, 2009

PS22- “Joga” by Bjork

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This Is Why I Love Basketball

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Words fail:

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russ01I was trying out my new Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen the other night (Righteous, BTW), and drew and inked a study of Russ Nicholson’s fantastic front illustration to the original Fiend Folio (seen here, pencil marks and all). You know, the one with the great black and white illustrations, rather than the full color, super-hero-y bullshit that TSR started putting out after the First Editions.

Man, I’m old school about my monster drawings. I loved Russ Nicholson- he was part Gahan Wilson, part Gerald Scarfe, part Shel Silverstein. His creatures always had a comic menace to them, as if they would crack wise whilst slitting your throat. His ink work is so organic, and although there’s so much mark-making, it never feels busy to me.

I also loved Dave Trampier, Erol Otus, Jeff Dee, Jim Roslof (at times), and Bill Willingham (also at times). Trampier’s Wormy was amazing, and Otus’ stuff was weird to me as a kid, but I find it stuck with me in an odd way. I’d love to see a collection of this stuff, besides the horrible scans from old, dying websites.

So Russ, if you’re out there, you should really put up an official website. I’d love to see either an online collection of your work, or a book (which I’d most definitely buy). And Erol, you’re website has been promising to come into view “in the near future” for far too long. Come ON, man!

(If anyone has any leads where I can find any of these collections, I’d appreciate it.)

UPDATE: By the way, I do commissions. If anyone wants me to either draw and ink them an illustration, let me know. We’ll work out the price.

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Damn you and your cinematic wizardry, you whimsical creative vagabond.

Alright, I must concede this looks beautiful. I’m still not sure what the point is of making a 48 page piece-of-genius book into a hour and a half film (I’m assuming), but it looks just gorgeous. I was really on the Howard Berger side of “horrible idea,” but I might be coming around. Although, I’m pretty sure you could throw Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” behind some footage of a decaying roadside bullhead (that’s Minnesotan for “catfish”) and I would be moved.

If the film is 1/4 as interesting as the trailer, I’ll consider it a huge success. And I think Spike Jonze moves the bar up for fantasy films with his combination of animatronics, CGI, and handheld. There are ways to make fantasy believable, when CGI is used with restraint, as a spice. You can’t enjoy a meal that’s made of salt. Don’t believe me? Gentlemen, I give you… The Star Wars Prequels.

(I love James Gandolfini. What a complete actor. May he continue to get interesting roles offered to him. His “Inside the Actors Studio” is one of the best out there, along with Chappelle’s.)

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George Tooker. Gilliamesque? Kafkaesque? Brilliant.tooker_image

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Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl – James McNeill Whistler


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