Thursday, August 09, 2007
It seems like every day these criminal knuckleheads in the White House perpetrate some new appalling assault on the Constitution and our civil liberties.
Not to mention running up a leviathan of a budget deficit.
Not to mention carelessly presiding over these miserable adventures of futility in Iraq and Afghanistan, seemingly quite unperturbed by the daily deaths of scores of young American men and women as well as uncounted Iraqi civilians.
Not to mention continuing to reward the mostest wealthiest in our country with tax cuts while doing everything in their considerable power to demolish the middle class.
And on and on. It makes me almost nostalgic for the halcyon days of my youth when the crooks in the White House were like charming cultured amateurs compared to the current cabal. It makes me pine for the days of Nixon.
In retrospect, the antics of Nixon and his posse were like a Don Knotts/Tim Conway movie compared to the Bush, Vader-Cheney and their stormtroopers, or Morlocks, or Cylons, or (insert your evil minion symbols of choice here).
And when I get nostalgic, I go to both my Big Book of Presidents and my sketchbook and just start drawing the Nixon. It soothes me somehow, makes me think that maybe possibly there'll be some satisfactory end to what the Bush Mob is doing to our formerly great country. Because we did finally bring the power drunk Nixon and his merry crew of Constitution tramplers down, maybe we can do it again.
Who'd a thunk it: Nixon gives me hope.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Two new movies - "Disturbia" and "Civic Duty" - are explorations into paranoia about who our neighbors are and, as Tom Waits sang: "What the hell is he doing in there?" They are of course modern takes on Hitchcock's "Rear Window", and I thought that might be an appropriate subject for the IllFri challenge this week.
For the most part I've always enjoyed watching "Rear Window", but there are so many aspects to it that I've always found so wierd and creepy, even for Hitchcock, that its not my favorite of his. (For what its worth, I'm partial to "North By Northwest", "Shadow Of A Doubt" and "Saboteur")
Wheelchair-bound Jimmy Stewart, with his big phallic telephoto lens, seems too old and entirely too cranky for the luminous, if a bit icy, Grace Kelly. His obsessive spying on his neighbors - a thoroughly recognizable human frailty though it may be - has always felt to me like it crosses a certain line of believability. It certainly makes Stewart's character less appealing, and the relentlessness of it it actually makes one a little sorry for poor, beleagured, lumbering Raymond Burr, as the killer Thorvald. He's loathsome, yes, but I can also understand his desire to just be left alone.
As for slimy character definition, I think the most successful scene in the movie is where Jimmy Stewart's character is watching his girlfriend getting strangled by Thorvald and he seems more worried about being found out as a peeping Tom than he is for her safety. Hitchcock and Stewart got that part creepily pitch perfect. It all makes you wanna close the curtains a bit tighter.
Monday, April 30, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
If global warming continues unabated, I imagine it'll be a much larger inconvenience for our little Happy Footed black and white pals down Antarctica way. What do you mean there isn't actually a big "South" pole there? I know I've seen pictures of it, and I'm pretty sure Bugs and Daffy will coroborate that.
Inspired by the art at such cool sites as http://www.pixeljoint.com/ and http://www.kennethfejer.com/isocity/ and http://www.x-panded.com/pixeldam/indexpixelmoon.html, I thought I'd try my hand at some pixel art. I used to do this back in the early 90's for Super Nintendo games, but haven't thought of it as an art form until seeing the work of artists like EBoy and Ill Fri contributor sosiukwan - http://sosiukwan.blogspot.com/. So here's my own amateurish, humble effort.
BTW: Clicking on the image won't make it all that much bigger, which is good, cuz it's meant to be viewed tiny.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
What sad news that Kurt Vonnegut died this week. He was truly one of the great American writers, often likened to Mark Twain - a brilliant humorist with a dark soul. He was a huge inspiration for me for a number of reasons. His easy-going, conversational style of prose came off as so relaxed, so off-handed, that it made me feel as if I could be a writer as well. Not that I am yet - obviously I’m still working on it - but his work sort of gave me permission to write things the way I felt they should be written.
Reading his novels also helped me make the transition between a steady diet of Science Fiction (almost to the exclusion of all other forms of fiction) into the world of More Serious Literature. I loved Cat’s Cradle for its sci-fi elements, but it also heightened my awareness of the absurdity of religion and the buffoonery of politics. Slapstick only further cemented my awe of his skills as a social satirist and even as a cultural surrealist, with its vivid imagery of a New York City in decay and miniaturized Chinese.
Even though his books had a deep cynicism, even fatalism at their core, they were always leavened with a hilarious absurdity. Breakfast of Champions, a tale of varying levels of failure and madness, was also wonderfully funny – it occurred to me at one point as I was rereading it a few years ago that the audio book would work well if narrated by Eeyore.
It’s a consolation of his passing that the news may spur people who’ve never read any of his great body of work to try one or two. For me, the melancholy is mixed with pleasant memories, causing me to dust off and reread the works of his I love the most, and expand to a few of the works I haven’t yet enjoyed.
Monday, April 09, 2007
As long as I've been semi-aware, "green" has always been slang for money. Now I'm admittedly not always the brighest star in the firmament, so it took me awhile to realize that our currency, our money, our "green", is not really green any more. In an effort to foil nefarious counterfitters, (as well, I suspect, as to make sure those pesky Euros don't outshine us in the money design department) our Treasury Dept. has been tarting up our foldin' money for the past few years. As a public service, and just to help familiarize you with the particulars of the new designs, here's a diagram, with helpful callouts, of the new $10 bill. Note that the government is doing their best to keep costs down by selling ad space on the bills, (not unlike the practice of professional sports team owners selling naming rights to their stadiums) such as the trademark web border design commemorating the upcoming release of Spider Man 3. "Green" no more.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
I'm a big Batman geek. I love the mythology about him and his origin; I love all his gadgets, the more outrageous the better; the brilliance of his scientific and dectective abilities; and the fact that he's a self-made man,(except for the fact that he inherited millions from his industrialist father) in terms of his physical prowess - I've been a fan since I was a kid.
It seems like every other page in my sketchbook has some goofy Batman drawing on it, so I thought I'd share a few of them.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Since the Britney saga seems inescapable no matter where you look or how you try to avert your eyes, I gave in. I kept thinking: Total mess . . . Total train wreck . . . Total meltdown . . . or maybe Total schadenfreude. At any rate, its total something . . . hmmm, perhaps Total cultural bankruptcy . . .?
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Being sick all last week gave me the opportunity to reaquaint myself with a few favorite books, like Celebrated Cases of Dick Tracy; Jon Stewart's America The Book, and the Leslie Cabarga collection of Progressive German Graphics. (I was woozy, and chose completely at random . . ) So I think I had a hankerin' to do a logo for a German coffee seller, set in 2007, either that or this is the long forgotten Dick Tracy villain Spiral Eyed Goatee Face. Twas coffee made me well again!
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Please, when you get a minute, go to http://www.cafepress.com/seered and check out my latest design! If, like me, you're a big time coffee drinker, this may just be the design you need. I suppose I could also call this "Even Robots Get the Jitters" - possibly too much of a good thing. I know whenever I see a robot drinking a big ol' Venti of Electro Jolt Java, I give him a wide berth . . .
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Monday, February 19, 2007
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Friday, February 02, 2007
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Friday, January 19, 2007
I was gonna try and be clever and conceptual, you know - a firefighter, Muhammed Ali, Rosa Parks - any of whom would have been great, but I went the sorta obvious route. This is admittedly what first comes to mind when I think of a superhero. Too many DC comics as a kid to override that set of synapses. And while we're on the subject of good ol' Superman, can I see a show of hands please: Who else out there HATED "Superman Returns"? Okay, perhaps HATED is too strong and judgemental a word . . . who else DESPISED LOATHED DETESTED (were) SICKENED (by) "Superman Returns"? Um, other than me?
Monday, January 15, 2007
Like my old pal Lincoln, Frankenstein's Monster is iconic. And always tons of fun to draw. I can't resist the big lug, as this sampling from various sketchbooks will attest. He just keeps popping into my brain (also admittedly abnormal). My hat will be forever tipped to Daniel Davis over at Steam Crow Press (http://steamcrow.com/) for combining the two icons to create his "Lincolnstein" graphic. Brilliant. Check out his line of fine products.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Friday, January 05, 2007
Thursday, January 04, 2007
After having dipped in and out of SpikeTV's latest "007 Days of Xmas" Bond-fest, and especially after being blown away (out of my seat thank you Jesus blown away) by Daniel Craig and Casino Royale, it's really finally official: Roger Moore was the worst. There's just too much evidence, from listening to him pronounce villain's names like "Scaramanger" and "Katanger", to gaping at him as James Bond wearing a goddam clown costume to seeing his puny head crushed in the gigantic hand of "Jaws" - okay that was actually pretty funny - to his parade of D list leading ladies (Britt Ecklund? Lois Chiles? Tanya Roberts?) oh there's so much more. Even his Bond-trademark through the gun barrel attempt was stiff and unconvincing! I think the most damning piece of evidence was simply the slightly terrified expression that always came over his face whenever he was called upon to perform any action sequence. And that hair . . .