Archive for May, 2012

Art! Not mine! Let’s look at it!

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

First of all, Tom Gauld (who I’ve talked about here before) just started a Tumblr of his Guardian newspaper cartoons and I am delighted. I think his work is charming. I especially like the Tom Waits one.

And, in keeping with the recent Alien theme, there is an artist I came across in my travels who I think is super-swell and who’s work is in that same Geiger-eque vein. There’s a bunch of artists who have started working in Photoshop almost exclusively and often their work looks like oil paintings, all rich and smooth and vibrant. Mark Facey is one of them. The second I saw his stuff I was entranced. He has an understanding of different textures that I can only dream of. His work is reminiscent of Brian Froud’s to me, and if you go to Mark’s Tumblr you can see he also names all his creatures and gives them a bit of a backstory. Here’s a few examples of his unbridled awesomeness.

It appears that he first makes a complicated and thorough pencil drawing, then scans that in and works from that. Here’s one of his pencil sketches.

And here’s where you can buy his prints:

More Alien movie. Oh, you thought I was done? You was WRONG.

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Sorry for not blogging in a while, a bunch of stuff has been going down which impeded my ability to share the daily detritus of my life. Did everyone have a nice Memorial Day Weekend? I did not go to a beach. I at no point attempted to tan. I did, however, work on my Burning Man costume and I will have pictures of cool elements shortly. First, here’s a festive bit of spam I received recently. I don’t get much spam nowadays since I installed a filter-thingie, but dribs and drabs get through. This one caught my eye.

It’s the usual collection of words that are unrelated but it ends with the sale of tinfoil hats. Where are they selling them? It seems like such an odd thing to reference. Perhaps the Russian computer dork in the dark basement concocting this spam had recently watched the Mel Gibson classic Signs, which features tinfoil hats rather prominently, who knows? One can only guess.

Back to Alien(s)(3)(Resurrection). Snorth came over on Monday to hang out and we went to Barnes and Noble, where she purchased Aliens (that’s the second one) and Alien Resurrection (that’s the fourth one, they didn’t have the third one in stock). And we watched them. And now I have seen them. I grow weary of the dark, Geiger-inspired hoohah that I have now seen for five hours. I have a couple of thoughts:

  • ENOUGH ALREADY WITH THE DRIPPING AND THE WETNESS AND THE DROOLING. What the hell is the alien related to, a bull mastiff? I developed a moisture-related rash while watching.
  • I had the same problem with 1 and 2 that I had with Dark Knight, specifically it is very dark and when there is conflict and the camera is zipping all over I cannot tell who is fighting whom or what.
  • I don’t know if this is sacrilege or not, but I liked Resurrection best. It was directed by the same guy who directed Delicatessen which is one of my top four movies of all time, and his style was clearly present throughout this film. That made me happy. Also, it was a substantially brighter film, so I could see everything that happened, which was nice. Let me be clear, though. I thought it was good up until the humany-alien ripped its way out of the queen’s womb and then the movie got ├╝ber-stupid. I did like the humany-alien’s death a bunch. Ripley breaks a window in space and y’all know how nature abhors a vacuum so the humany-alien sticks back-first to the window hole where he receives the most violent hickey of all time, courtesy of outer space. He looks like a sex doll deflating. The most revolting sex doll ever.
  • The aliens have yellow glorpy acid blood and sometimes when they get shot with high-caliber bullets or grenades they explode like fruit. Now, Publicis (the company I work for) made a series of web commercials for Pepto Bismol celebrating Cinco de Mayo which I will link to here, and I totally thought that the aliens going boom looked nearly identical to the pinatas filled with nacho cheese, which kind of ruined the magic a wee bit. It also made me want nachos.
  • Ugh, I really hate Bill Paxton. He’s that guy in high school that I would like to not be near ever. I rejoiced in his death by alien.
  • You know how the alien has the second mouth inside of its main mouth? That always reminds me of those fish that keep their babies safe in their mouth. It definitely softens the scariness. As do the silver teeth, which make me think of rapper’s grills, which makes me think of Lil Jon, which makes me think of Dave Chappelle’s impression of Lil Jon, which makes me lose my focus and then someone is killed by the alien and I don’t know who and then I’m frustrated. Here’s the impression I’m referencing:

Alien. A movie. With Aliens. There ya go.

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Because Prometheus is coming out shortly and it is based on the movie Alien, Snorth informed me that I must see Alien. I was like, okay, I really should, but I forgot my “classic movie” rule, which is if you see either an older movie or a movie that came out when you were a kid, chances are you are going to (incorrectly) think it sucks because you are old and jaded and a million movies just like it have come out in the time since the original came out. It is not a bad, lame movie. You just didn’t see it when you were supposed to see it. In the case of Alien, I was supposed to see it in the early 1980s. Instead, I saw it in 2012, and I thought it was kinda slow. There was no deeper plot elements to sink your teeth into – it was literally:

Oh well, we gotta do this outer space job. Hey, what’s that signal? Something’s stuck on this dude’s face! Oh, now it’s not. Let’s have dinner. Punch through sternum. Scuttle across floor. Ruin mealtime. Everyone mills around looking mad nervous for what feels like a million years. Here kitty kitty kitty – HOLY CRAP! Who’s left? Now let’s mill around with a flame thrower for another million years. He dies. She dies. Everybody except Sigourney dies. Sigourney catches the stupid cat, they get on the pod (did anyone notice that a goodly portion of this film involves stuffing that cat into one or another tiny cage-like space? If I was that cat I would not volunteer for any more space missions) and AHHHHH Drooly Soggy Lizard Creature is napping over the console! Sigourney gets kinda nekkid. Then she puts on a space suit making THE MOST POSSIBLE NOISE EVER yet the alien is totally cool with this. She sucks him out the side of the escape pod, he snags a grappling hook and she revs up the engines and sautees him. The end.

Now, please realize I went about this all wrong. I’m old, this movie is old, I’ve seen a ton of movies that ripped this movie off therefore nothing in it is unique. All these things are errors on me. I like to think of this as the Elvis Situation. Elvis was the first of his kind to make his music and I think that’s great, but I don’t love his stuff. I respect how he was the first honky singing blues. And that’s how I feel about Alien. I respect its original awesomeness and all the doors it broke down, but it didn’t change my life in any integral way.

I’m psyched to see Prometheus, though.

Burning Man Costume, Part I don’t know about this.

Monday, May 21st, 2012

You all know how hard I’ve been working on this costume, but between work constraints (I made a fifty-page book in two days last week!) and personal stuff going on (I’m not going to get into that!), it is a real possibility that I may not get done by the time Labor Day weekend rolls around. I’m super-disappointed because I’ve been working on this since November, but life happens and, eh, what are you going to do. I’m going to keep plodding along on it whenever I find the time, but I make no promises. I feel good about it being done for Halloween, though. That there is a definite maybe.

In the meantime, charts.


Burning Man Costume, Part 6.

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

Nudibranches! Nudibranches, as I’ve mentioned before, are amazing vibrantly-colored underwater slugs. They are gorgeous and insanely varied. Here’s a cover of a book on them.

I made an artistic interpretation of a nudibranch and put a pinback on it so I can attach it somewhere on my costume. I don’t know if anyone will know what it is, but I don’t care because yay nudibranches!

It’s got sequins and rocaille bugle beads that reflect a bit of light, so it’s quite jazzy. And right now I’m adding the festive hoohah to the hem of my skirt. Ugh, what a pain. Here’s the thing: When I was pimping out the edges of the jacket, like the sleeves and the back, it was no biggie because it wasn’t much material. The hem of my skirt is about ten feet around, so hand-tacking and hand-beading is taking forever and a day, but it’s super-important to me that the jacket and the skirt match as much as possible, so I’m going to buckle down and deal with it because that’s what adults do (I think). I think I look like a Dickensian character, hand-beading m’lady’s gown until the wee hours of the morning so I can afford to buy my bowl of pig-finger-and-carrot-stew or whatever. Here’s two pics of the sequined strip with dangly plastic beads (I sewed all those sequins by hand, so at least those ten feet are done) as well as the top bit that I’m tacking down right now. When you see little blue or orange dots in the top part, those are the pins holding it on until I finish stitching it down.

And I’m making a big ole crab to put on my hip. I’m kind of depending on the three seastars and the giant crab to help to quickly identify what I am (ocean floor). The barnacles, tube worms, nudibranches, kelp and sea anemones are a bit more cryptic, so I’m hoping the crab and sea stars will do the job. I made the base of the crab’s carapace out of the most mundane of objects. It’s made of a couple of bent hangers, which I then covered with newspaper dipped in a flour and water mix. I didn’t want the shell to be rubbery and I was too lazy to research which factory-made glues resemble the glue used on casts for broken arms, so I just made my own like a pioneer woman. I then painted the undercoat white and put yellow on top of that. I don’t have any yellow in my costume yet and I’m trying to have all the colors, so this will be a yellow crab. Here’s a pic.

I was reticent to tackle the claws because I truly had no idea what I was going to do. I found some blue foam which I used all the time in college prop class and carved me up some claws that I covered with papier-mache as well. And then I realized I hated them. I didn’t like how all the corners were round and soft. And bonus, my apartment was now covered with a thin, itchy layer of powdered crunchy foam. It’s in bed with me now.

Eh. I hate working really hard on something and then chucking it in the trash, but sometimes you gotta do it. I cut a new claw shape out of illustration board and then carved new foam bits to give it dimension, then covered those with three layers of papier-mache and goshdarnit if they don’t look more crisp and claw-like.

Now I’m papier-mache-ing the six legs I also cut out of illustration board. Once those are done and painted, I’m going to assemble all the bits on the base piece and hopefully it will all come together like magic.


Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

I haven’t blogged anything in a week because nothing of interest has happened, but I got a lot of cool stuff lined up for this weekend that I’m sure will be interesting to you so that’s a-comin’. In the meantime, feel free to look at THE WORST PHOTO I HAVE EVER SEEN EVER. Seriously, it’s like the boiled-down essence of that creepitude M. Night Shyamalan is (was) famous for. Gyuh.

I met a famous person and made him uncomfortable with my love! Also, charts.

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Michael Waltrip came to the office to talk to us about various sponsorships and whatnot. It’s okay if you don’t know who he is, I had no idea myself. He is a NASCAR driver who has won the Daytona 500 twice.

Michael was a delightful man – Southern, charming, tan, tall. I became smitten. So afterwards he stuck around and was signing all kinds of things and I got in line. When I got to the front of the line he reached out to sign something and I said, “No no, we’re gonna hug now,” and I did. Michael was okay with it. Kind of.

I love to hug people, but I know many people hate it, so in order to make it less traumatizing I usually announce it. It doesn’t seem to help. Saying, “I’M GOING TO HUG YOU NOW,” and then wrapping your arms around people doesn’t put them at ease for some reason. Are you familiar with the comic strip Get Fuzzy? There’s a character that I identify with greatly.

I have accrued a plethora of charts that I must share with you. And please try to imagine me hugging you while you look at these.