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Archive for the ‘illustration’ Category

del Toro discusses his process, trials with Hollywood, The Hobbit, At the Mountains of Madness, monster theory, and squashes his daughter with his gut in Daniel Zalewski’s fantastic New Yorker profile.

“The Hobbit,” he said, “is much less black-and-white. The monsters are not just evil. They’re charming, funny, seductive. Smaug is an incredibly smart guy!” Del Toro later said that he inevitably imposed his sensibility on source material: “It’s like marrying a widow. You try to be respectful of the memory of the dead husband, but come Saturday night . . . bam.

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An 8-Bit Conundrum

This graphic appeared in Wired a few years ago. I was immediately piqued by the fact that I could recognize a few of the characters. Curiosity quickly turned to Obsess Much? as I realized that each figure or ensemble represents a real (presumably) musician. I absolutely love this piece for it’s pixel-pushing meticulousness. When I presented it to a circle of my friends, they attacked it with geeker savagery. We are still stumped by a small handful of them. (Highlighted in blue)

Here are our answers. I’m reasonably confident of them – our dorkus-maximus peer-review process required photo evidence and nearly-unanimous-consensus.

Help fill in the gaps!

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Here’s a fun little trailer for League of Legends Season One:

I don’t play WoW. Apparently, this is a spin-off from it, and the Trailer is marketing for the game. Which is cool.

If one peruses the LoL website, you can check out the multiple characters, and it’s pretty staggering: artistically, it’s like you took comic books, Mortal Combat, pro “wrestling”, steam punk elements, Harry Potter, Frank Frazetta, Pokemon, D&D, pin-up models, cute anime characters, and Capcom into an blender, and this is what you’d get. It’s like a unified theory of role-playing, power-wish-fulfillment, and avatar-powered escapism. And it’s pretty grand.

These MMORPG games are an artistic borg- “What? Superheros? Sure. We’ll take ’em. A He-Man-type comic Orko sprite-thing? Yep. Magic chick in an improbable bustier? Yes, please. Sauron-huge guy with proportionally ridiculous armor? Uh-huh. Werewolves? Well, WHY the f*@k NOT?!?” And I’m not even capping on the sensibility; there’s something amazingly, geeksomely democratic about the whole thing.

Watching the two teams of super-hero archetypes in fantasy-sheep’s clothing Avengers Assemble! into two fighting forces for “the Final Battle” would make Jack Kirby proud. You’ve got your huge bruiser-type, your hot-chick-who-can-best-any-man, your thief/mage, your magician, your small-yet-mighty lil’ guys- it’s the Superfriends vs. the Legion of Doom, WoW-style. When I saw it, I was like, “Of course it was heading in this direction: take the proven super-hero soap-opera, skin it with fantasy elements, add some FIGHTING…” and there you go.

When I saw BioShock a couple of years ago, I was really taken by how it combined Myst-like storytelling, remarkable cinematic design (both character and sets), with Doom and Silent Hill-like scary atmospherics and action. Intense. I think at this point, it’s beyond safe to say that the true visionaries are working in games, not movies.

Taking chances in the box, not worrying whether someone’s nephew (who got the studio job because of staggering nepotism) will greenlight a project if he can get his client/good friend on board. Game production is punk rock, in the box (the computer, rather “artistic box”), with an unlimited budget for effects, costumes, and sets.

What of story? (more…)

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Fortune May 2010

Check this out: Chris Ware was commissioned to do a cover for Fortune. Can you believe they rejected this?

Everyone knows Chris is an artist of some intensity, which for the most part has been directed toward meticulous cartoon dissection of childhood trauma.

Maybe they thought – based on the scenes of Jimmy’s Grandpa – that he really had an instinctual sense for the Depression Era, and that this was a relevant visual cue. I could buy that. Maybe they even imagined he would do something unblinking, and pointed. You know: EDGY. When your mind’s eye floats back over his slavish cross-sections of emotional hurts, can you say you felt any strident political viewpoints leap off the page? After being offered this platform, Ware ripped off his Jimmy Corrigan sad-face mask and revealed: STAB YOU! Turns out that intensity has also been quietly set on Simmer over the economic crisis.

What the art director at Fortune didn’t see in Ware’s work, that maybe he should have, is his comfort with brutal honesty. Painful things don’t incidentally happen in Ware stories: he meditates on them. Maybe the guy who draws an intricate schematic of your heart being ripped into 6,000 pieces isn’t going to pull any punches with the corporate looting of the American economy.

What I love about this: Ware is a smart guy. He knows what Fortune’s niche is. (What’s their name again?) Let’s just say that if Bill Greider ever walked in the lobby they would ask him if he needed directions. Ware KNEW they would never, ever run this piece. But I picture him in his studio, setting the record straight with every futile pen stroke. For the few thousand or so people this would leak to on the internet, anyway.

God Bless you, Mr. Ware.

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Here’s a little animation I’ve been working on for about a month, using the audio from a stand-up performance I did in January at Room 5 in Los Angeles.

I know. Fourteen curse words in 3 minutes 50 seconds (they are bleeped out in case anyone’s worried ’bout work). I’m not proud of it. But I do think the overall piece turned out ok.

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I cannot wait to see this. The scene in the trailer where Banksy scales the wall effortlessly to escape the cops is tre´ Ninja.

This, to me, is the purest example of art needing a valve. When people will risk criminal prosecution to exercise free speech, creativity, and really, hard-ass-work, I think there’s a pretty compelling case for the world always getting its prophets when it needs them.

It’s just a ride.- Bill Hicks

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Finished another page section. It’s getting detail-y-er.

It is almost impossible to describe how difficult it is to sit down and draw these daily, but I’m doing my best. A actor/writer friend suggested Steven Pressfield‘s book, The War of Art (which I cannot suggest enough for everyone), and it describes and names the process of Resistance- basically, that insidious little bastard that keeps you from working on your goals. The book is an invaluable weapon in the daily battle. I’ll write more on it soon, but for now, back to the Lab again.

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