Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Greatest Movie Never Made

Ok, no new sketches today. I did start working on my Doctor Doom mask though, so posting a finished version of that before Halloween, or changing my costume to "Guy Dressed as Half-Assed Doctor Doom or Possibly White MF Doom".

But this... I, I need to share this, the world must know. It's... it's beautiful.

A script treatment for a sequel to John Carpenter's The Thing, featuring -among other things- MacReady teaming up with a seven foot tall alien bounty hunter named Gotha. They fight crime together. I am not joking.

"Near the dome, two figures stagger their way toward the front gate. Mac and Gotha, a seemingly drunken pair, approach the guardhouse to give themselves in. With the guards in a state of comfort with their appearance, Mac and Gotha let lose on the guards and take them out quickly."

Read it here. Read it, the world must know.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Episodes Are Best Episodes

Who remembers back when The Simpsons Halloween episode was like, the coolest thing? Back when all shows obeyed a narrative structure, and characters had to actually stay in character? I have a pet theory that classically TV shows had Christmas episodes and Halloween episodes and those were the two opportunities for the writers to go nuts: introduce mystical stuff, kill characters, have Santa Claus, Christmas miracles, It's a Wonderful Life parody episodes, etc. And then it would all go back to normal the next week.

And that's true from The Honeymooners to The Flintstones, Facts of Life, Saved by the Bell, Friends, etc.

And then come Family Guy (which I hate) and South Park (which I love), and the whole game changes. These shows both abandon the artifice of maintaining steady character traits, because it's more fun to see their points of view and intelligence switch episode to episode, and embrace cartoony logic as the rule for their shows' universes, because it expands the parameters of what the shows can tackle. But now every episode turns into a free-for-all. It's telling that The Simpsons get to kill or disfigure a character once a year, and South Park gets to once an episode.

And of course this so popular that it echoes back to other shows, on The Simpsons Homer gets to be a savant when it's comedically convenient, 30 Rock gets to treat humans like cartoons (again, love the show), and Community umm...exists.

Not that this is all bad, in fact it's kind of awesome. We've mastered straight narrative and now demand self-aware programing. But still, makes me remember how cool and new it was to see Bart play a raven to James Earl Jone's narration.

Oh, and the drawing isn't strictly for Halloween. I'm actually attending a Werewolf Bar-Mitzvah tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

May Mads Be With You

So my buddy Andrew Hegele is over at, keeping it real and getting tricked into giving positive blurbs to Resident Evil movies. And Thursday he's interviewing director Nicolas Winding Refn (Valhalla Rising, Bronson, the Pusher movies) and the cast of the movie Drive (slated for release in 2011). Which is a pretty big deal because the guy really is a tremendous director and this is his first American film, he's moving up fast and seems to be retaining integrity too.
Also, Christina Hendricks might be in the room, and she's, like... the perfect human.

So I've sketched a (not great) Mads Mikkelsen to wish him good luck.

May Mads protect you my friend.

UPDATE: Again, need to enlarge it to really see it. Damn, need to start working smaller.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Keith Richards Sketch

Wow, really terrible interview on NPR: Terry Gross and Keith Richards.

I'd watch that buddy cop movie.

As long as Terry Gross is the one who's a loose cannon and out on the edge.

UPDATE: Hmmm... it seems that my Keith sketch is too detailed for thumbnail mode. It's all fuzzy. Oh well..
I suggest you click through and enlarge it, gives a much better picture.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Happy Halloween! It's Like Christmas for Morbid People!

Oh goody, I just can't wait!

So no Dr. Doom mask right now, fiduciary responsibilities to the Sam of tomorrow (who might want a sandwich) preclude me from spending that paper mâché money. So in place is a little doodle: Slutty Zombie. I think we're now running out of professions and objects to 'slutify' for Halloween, so I think the discerning Halloween costume buyer is going to start seeing a lot of companies branching to the non-traditional (Zombies, Deceptacons, etc.).

Can't wait to see 'Slutty Abstract Concepts of Beauty and Truth'.

Friday, October 15, 2010

This Has Been a Lackluster Week Creatively

Blerggggg. Damnit. It's been a crazy week (and a half). So, no new content produced in that time, nor thoughts of note. Nor any human interaction really.


The AV Club has a write up of one of the greatest action comedies of all time: Kung Fu Hustle. Read it.

Tomorrow or Sunday I'm going to show you how to build a Dr. Doom mask for Holloween using only unicorn tears and household spices.

Also papier mâché.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Zack Snyder: Not Done Fucking Up Comics

Zack Snyder, the visionary director who ruined Watchmen and made 2,500 year old history into good ol' American patriotism with 300 is now helming the newest Superman movie, set to come out holidays 2012! Hooray!

I'm 100% behind this, and in fact thought I could help Zack out with some possible tag lines for the movie, see below (It helps to imagine them read in as gruff a baritone as possible).

Faster than a speeding bullet. Then really slow. Then fast again.

Because there weren't tits in the Bryan Singer version.

Ever wonder what Lex Luthor's kidneys would look like? This shit's gonna be violent.

Red and Blue. Coming 2012: Sepia and Black.

The Man of Steel. Not in a gay way. Ok, it's gay.

Truth, Justice, and the American Way, as interpreted by a violent, hyperactive 15 year old.

Zack Snyder's Superman: People are actually going to pay to see this.

Holidays 2012: It could be worse, at least Frank Miller's not doing it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Luc Tuymans's: A Funny Sound To Make

The MCA currently showing a body of Luc Tuyman's work entitled: Luc Tuymans. So, uh, pretty basic title there.
You can read Ben Stoler's excellent Chicagoist review here, but first you should read this, because Chicagoist already has plenty of readers.

The first thing is that this show is striking. Just... wow. I would hesitate to say that a lot of exhibitions I've seen at MCA are... less than stellar in their focus, but... well, there it is. This, however, is smashingly assembled, quietly powerful with almost no fat or filler (incidentally, the show was co-organized by the San Fransisco Museum for Modern Art and the Wexner Center for the Arts). It's amazing how commanding the work is, considering how muted. My first reaction was that I was reading Moby Dick in size 2 type. If you've ever wondered what the missing link is between the dynamism of Gerhard Richter and the blank-faced bankruptness of Alex Katz and Elizabeth Peyton, here you are.

The show is a perfect, compact introduction to both his body of work and his method. After gallery after gallery of subtle, riveting work we're granted a look into his material inspirations: photographs, magazines, film and film stills, postcards, recognizable personalities and iconography. Too often ephemera like this feels like a put-on, an invitation to get a little closer to the "cool artist" persona; "Oh neat, polaroids of beautiful people in studios". Here it offers an amazing insight into the exact way Tuymans absorbs media. There's little collage, little corection or sketches, just images you can see distorted in his corpus. The recontextualizing he does in the previous rooms is mapped here out for the viewer, and the work we've just studied comes to life again behind us, creeping with renewed menace.

It would be wrong of course to discuss the show without making a note of the actual paint. It's infrequent that the MCA has work as "traditional" as this, gallery after gallery of oil on canvas, actually though the painting itself is a pretty radical departure from oil tradition. Thin, matte, and dry, with little reworking or correction, the paint here is about as far from the effects oil conventionally strives for as one can imagine. A debt to Richter (and, I think, to Balthus) aside, it's difficult to think of a precursor to the style and confidence of these paintings. The virtuosity of the painting is only excelled by how bare bones it is.

One of the most interesting pieces featured is, suprisingly, a short loop of film by Tuymans, mostly just half hidden faces, which reveals how specific and all encompassing his vision is. That he's managed to transform film into the tonal aesthetic of his paintings is a small miracle, it looks like a silver nitrate print or photoetching in motion, and illustrates how practiced is the ambiguity of the rest of his work.

Of course, inseparable from his working method is the content of his paintings. Holocaust imagery, toppled African states, privilege, scattered religious imagery, these could be the concerns of any European artist coming to grips with any European country's role in the 20th century. But in Tuyman's hands there's little judgement, little condemnation, simply bloodless reflection. I don't mean this disparagingly, he doesn't condone the colonialism, racism, and violence he's reflecting on, simply that the tone of the work is so sparing as to almost leave judgement up to the viewer. A crop here, a face in shadow there, his denunciations are, like the paintings themselves, faint but effective. Among the most shocking is a small painting of Himmler, a dark silhouette against a wall and without a face. Here Tuymans needs to do no more than set the possibility of a mood; the viewer's knowledge of one of the last century's great monsters provides the unease.

The exhibition runs through January 9th of next year.

MCA's exhibition page here.

Tuymans has a weird site, better off using Saatchi's page/bio if you're interested.