Dancing Bear, Ring Master, Apparition, Husband, Faithful Hound
Joy Zipper – 1
Single taken from their 2005 album The Heartlight Set. Discovered this song off a Cigna commercial of all things. I’m thinking about making a summer party mix and this might find a spot on it.
Lyrics and song-meaning here
Lyrics under the cut
The other day, this incredible illustration/print showed up on my Tumblr dash and I thought I’d put it to use. I printed out 12 copies of the illustration and threw 5 darts at each. Each epic tale had to incorporate all 5 of the randomly picked characters in order and fit into one page.
This one included: The King, The Broken Man, The Giant, The Magic Cow, The Sniper and The Hairy Beast (I had 6 for this story but decided 6 was too many).
A nice montage of video game characters (platform mostly, and 8-bit also mostly) doing what they do best… running to the right. Well edited and with a slight nostalgic emotional twinge.
Original Key Frame Computer Animation
This is a digital dub of a 7 minute, 45 second 16 mm film produced in 1971 by the National Research Council of Canada, in Ottawa. It demonstrates not only one of the first ineractve computer systems for animation, one used for production, it was also an outstanding example of early user-centred design. the music for this is awesome!
Octodad Skinning glitches
Speaking of computer animation, we still haven’t worked out all the bugs. Here’s a batch of process glitches from some game called Octodad. I love watching computers freak out like this and the glitch rock sound track makes me swoon.
Belbury Poly – Summer Round
Speaking again of weird sountracks and glitchy computer graphics, this may all be intentional on this one, but it’s still beautiful. This is an excerpt form Julian House’s film New Summer Wavelengths. The track Summer Round is taken from the album The Belbury Tales available from www.ghostbox.co.uk
How Big is an Atom
A well explained look at the relative scale of atoms and the parts therein. Everything is empty space OMG!!! (or duh!) Whichever!
Part 4: Scanning and tweaking
After I erase all my blue lines I scan in the sketches and put them on the page in InDesign.
Then I adjust the text to fit the illustrations and add the word balloons.
Oh how I long for the days when CGI was cost-prohibitive and was only used for things that couldn’t be recreated in the physical world (if at all). There’s nothing less exciting to me than “over-the-top” action that just looks like a video game cut scene. I have no interest in Michael Bay style explosion effects where a computer generated car part comes flying out at me. If real cars aren’t actually smashing into each other I’m not interested.
Here are my top three (five, sir!) top FIVE car chases from movies I’ve actually seen. If you have good ones to suggest, please share!
Blues Brothers – Dixie Mall
Here Jake and Elwood outrun the police by ducking through a mall. It was filmed in the real, albeit abandoned, Dixie Square Mall in Harvey, Illinois. While the final car chase, with its legion of destroyed cop cars, is a classic, for my money nothing beats seeing someone doing donuts in front of an Orange Julius and smashing through a Sunglasses Hut.
Gone in 60 Seconds – Eleanor
This car chase it pretty bad ass and was filmed in a time before Nic Cage was a total joke. It gets a little ridiculous at the end with the Dukes of Hazzard jump on the bridge, but when the wrecking ball knocks the car through the wall, that shit is funny!
Ronin – Jean Reno in a Mercedes
I picked this car chase over the longer one from this movie because it goes through so many different locations: twisty mountain roads, dirt roads, narrow European city streets. The sound editing alone in this is brilliant and is one of the most realistic looking car chases I’ve seen. We even get a smashed up fish cart!
Runner up: Matrix 2 – Highway chase
Ok, so this one is chock full of CGI, but you know what, it’s set in a completely CGI world so I’ll give it a pass. The parts with the motorcycle cutting through wrong way traffic still make my hands sweat even if not a single scrap of the combat is at all believable.
Runner up 2: Terminator 2 – Truck v. mini bike
Embedding was disabled, but it’s still worth a watch. Here again is an example of CGI being used when it’s needed (the T-1000), but not where it isn’t (giant truck jumping off an overpass!). I don’t think the mini bike would survive being rear ended by a truck that size, but ol’ Ah-nold is pretty Ah-some with his one-handed shotgun flips.
Part 3: The Drawing
After I’ve sketched things out on my printed out pages (and in this case torn apart and rewritten page 5 with my lovely and talented editor), I get to the drawing part. I draw my panels loose in my sketchbook, first in blue pencil and then ink. I hemmed and hawed about what medium to use, but finally decided on my Copic brush pens because they give me great line quality and shrink down nicely. I number each panel starting with 0101 (page 1, panel 1) so I don’t get confused when I’m scanning them in later.
Part 2 Layouts:
My next step is to take my scratchy notes and translate them onto the page in InDesign. This helps me get a sense of the flow and pacing for the book and allows me to get an edit or two in before I start the artwork. I also get a spell check in there.
I’m a lazy artist, so if I see that a panel is going to be all covered up with word balloons, I know not to put a lot of detail into that panel. This also helps me know what size and shape I should draw my stuff. I’ve always had a hard time staying in my panel borders and this is my convoluted work-around.
After I have it laid out to my liking, I print out the pages and make some rough sketches and notes for important visual gags, etc.
Editor’s note: This is part of my submission for the upcoming Digestate Anthology by Birdcage Bottom Books
R.E.M. – Bandwagon
It was a very Dead Letter Office sort of day in the Parkhill offices a few days ago. Here’s one of my favorites off that album.
Lyrics under the cut
Part 1: Scripting:
I’m working on a piece for a food-themed anthology being put together by my good pal JT over at Birdcage Bottom Books. Instead of giving it all away here, I thought I’d take the opportunity to go through some of my process. Here is how most of my comics start out (that is, if I’m not winging it straight to the page). I scrawl barely legible notes/scripts in my sketchbook, usually while in the bath. I write faster than I type, and it allows me to get a first edit in when I translate my chicken scratch to the actual page.
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