Saturday, December 13, 2008

R.I.P. Bettie Page

Here's part of her obituary from the L.A. Times:
Bettie Page, the brunet pinup queen with a shoulder-length pageboy hairdo and kitschy bangs whose saucy photos helped usher in the sexual revolution of the 1960s, has died. She was 85.

Page, whose later life was marked by depression, violent mood swings and several years in a state mental institution, died Thursday night at Kindred Hospital in Los Angeles, where she had been on life support since suffering a heart attack Dec. 2, according to her agent, Mark Roesler.

A cult figure, Page was most famous for the estimated 20,000 4-by-5-inch black-and-white glossy photographs taken by amateur shutterbugs from 1949 to 1957. The photos showed her in high heels and bikinis or negligees, bondage apparel -- or nothing at all.

Decades later, those images inspired biographies, comic books, fan clubs, websites, commercial products -- Bettie Page playing cards, dress-up magnet sets, action figures, Zippo lighters, shot glasses -- and, in 2005, a film about her life and times, "The Notorious Bettie Page."

According to her agents at CMG Worldwide, Page's official website,, has received about 600 million hits over the last five years.

A religious woman in her later life, Page was mystified by her influence on modern popular culture. "I have no idea why I'm the only model who has had so much fame so long after quitting work," she said in an interview with The Times in 2006.

She had one request for that interview: that her face not be photographed.

"I want to be remembered," she said, "as I was when I was young and in my golden times. . . . I want to be remembered as the woman who changed people's perspectives concerning nudity in its natural form."

Saturday, December 06, 2008

RIP, Forrest J Ackerman

Forrest J Ackerman died on Thursday at age 92. Any kid who grew up in the 60's and loved monster movies would save their allowance to pick up the latest copy of Famous Monsters of Filmland, and I was no exception. Reading that magazine and drawing crude pictures from the photos therein propelled me deeper into exploring monster movies I had never seen, and inspired me to expand my interest into moviemaking in general.
Marveling at the pictures of Ackerman's astonishing collection of movie memorabilia also made clear the craft of moviemaking, from the close up photos of the stop-motion armatures from King Kong to the wonderfully lurid and endearingly cheesy posters from 50's sci-fi movies. His mansion and collection was a treasure trove of inspiration and imagination, and it satisfied (vicariously) my own urge to collect.
He was a pop culture historian, and by virtue of that became a pop culture icon in his own right.
Here's the obit from BoingBoing:
Forrest J Ackerman, the pioneering science fiction fan, editor and writer who coined the term "sci-fi," founded Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, 4e left the party on December 4, at 92, after a long illness. of heart failure at home at the legendary Ackermansion in Los Feliz in Los Angeles.
Among those who grew up reading Famous Monsters of Filmland was author Stephen King. Other childhood readers included movie directors Joe Dante, John Landis and Steven Spielberg, who once autographed a poster of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" for Ackerman, saying, "A generation of fantasy lovers thank you for raising us so well.

Ackerman was a celebrity in his own right, once signing 10,000 autographs during a three-day monster-movie convention in New York City.
This, after all, was the man who created and wrote the comic book characters Vampirella and Jeanie of Questar and was the ultimate fan's fan: a man who actually had known Lugosi and Karloff and whose priceless collection of science-fiction, horror and fantasy artifacts ran to some 300,000 items.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Barack Obama Mighty Mugg says: "Seven Days Until 'The End of an Error'!"

My wee Obama Mighty Mugg encourages you all to cast your vote next Tuesday! (if you haven't already via absentee ballot or early voting)
The most important thing, regardless of who you support, is that you get out and make your vote count - although - the most intelligent, creative, evolved, articulate, caring and forward-thinking of us cool people are going to be voting for Obama & Biden, just in case for some reason you were still undecided.
If you're interested in building our economy and putting people back to work; if you're interested in exploring (and actually funding) new and innovative energy technologies that once and for all stops the stranglehold the oil industry has on us; if you're interested in providing quality affordable health care for every American; if you're interested in equality - that is, equal rights for same sex couples and pay for women in the workforce; if you're interested in rebuilding (and actually funding) an education system that not only educates but inspires kids; if you're interested in really taking care of the men and women who serve our country (both as soldiers and as veterans); if you're interested in if you're interested in halting the greed-fueled and illegal expansionist doctrine the Neo-Cons have been pursuing for the past eight years; if you're interested in beginning the process of rebuilding the U.S. into the better version of itself that we know it can be - if all that sounds like a better direction to you, Vote Obama/Biden.
The other party, led by Grampy McSame and Caribou Barbie (surely the weakest Republican't ticket since Harding/Coolidge in 1920) has certainly shown itself to be the party of More: eight More years of More fear, More help for the very wealthy and the corporate behemoths, More hypocrisy, More ignorance, More erosion of civil liberties, More religious intolerance . . . basically Bush II, only replacing Dick Vader with a beauty pageant runner-up.
You and I can make all the difference in the world by making a choice next week.
Mighty Mugg Obama sez: "DON'T FORGET TO VOTE!"

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Marvel Janken

Holy Crap! Two posts in the same month! Will wonders never cease?
This is a piece I did for my pal Mike, for his Hitote project on DeviantArt.
Mike is a phenomenally talented concept artist and all around CoolGuy, constantly enveloped in a cloud of swirling awesomeness. Check out his main DeviantArt page and tell me I'm not right:
My contribution is what a game of "Rock/Paper/Scissors" might look like in the Marvel Universe. After doing lots of Googley research on Kanji, I am hoping against hope that I got that part right. Boy would my face be red if I had mistakenly used the symbols for something close but no cigar like "Rocket, Pay-Per-View & Scissor Sisters" or something totally random like "Dandelion, Lipstick & Mickey Mantle" or "Bacon Lettuce & Tomato" or ""Moe Larry & Curly". I worry, you know.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Captain Tomorrow!

Captain Tomorrow was a character I created back in the late 80's for a project called Radio Shorts, along with my good friends Wes and Kyle. It was a half hour comedy/satire pastiche that was broadcast on San Francisco's KUSF for a while. Captain Tomorrow was a satire of a 1940's radio show featuring a time traveling adventurer from the "far flung future year of 1974!" Captain Tomorrow would journey back in time to help his little chums Tommy and Sally Miller battle Axis spies, all thanks to the magic of "Vacuum Tube Technology!"
At any rate, soon you can once again thrill to the adventures of Captain Tomorrow as well as a host of other wonderfully funny and subversive bits from Radio Shorts by virtue of the soon-to-be-completed Radio Shorts site, address soon to follow.
This is a logo illustration I did for Wes to help gussy up the website.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Not the same old jazz

My buddy Shawn poked and nudged and cajoled, and now that my Fall class is done I have a bit more time to mess about again - AND SO - here's some new-ish sketchbook/Photoshop messing about. I think that's Hoagy Carmichael tickling the ivories, but I don't remember who the songbird is. Thanks for the elbow, Shawn!