May 24 2015

The Imitation Game

14 million. That’s the estimated number of lives that were saved by the breaking of the Enigma code. In honor of Veterans’ Day and the passage of gay marriage in the conservative Catholic country of Ireland (right next door to Britain), I watched The Imitation Game. This is an incredibly powerful, wonderfully acted, and often hysterically funny film about the group of codebreakers in England that were tasked to break the unbreakable Nazi code during World War II. And to think, today, in this land of freedom, there are still issues of homosexuals in the military, and the right of gay marriage. I fear others will look back upon this country and this time in history, and we will be judged harshly. imitation game

May 17 2015

B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth: New World – Mike Mignola & John Arcudi

I’m not really sure what’s going on here. There seems to have been a bunch of other stuff that happened prior to this that I probably need to know, but don’t. Anyway, populations of entire towns are going missing and it is up to the fish-man Abe to figure out what is happening. Oh, he might also be the anti-christ. Oh, and monsters and other horrible things are happening all the time so it might be the end of the world. I didn’t really care for this, which sounds strange after that description. While there was action and some character development, I just didn’t really care much and maybe this has to do with the fact that I don’t really like Guy Davis’s art. Sorry. 

May 14 2015

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – movie review take two

Since I’m (re)watching most of the movies I wanted to have a post for this title since declaring my intention, but I had done a review of the film before and, since little has changed, I am simply linking you to my updated post here. Enjoy.

May 10 2015

Fury – Garth Ennis

I really feel like I’m done with Ennis. This was just horrible. Typical Ennis complete with a dude with a messed up face, rape, tons of bloody murder, everyone being incompetent but our hero, and then a half hearted “I’m doing this because I really wish to help people.” I want to break this down and explain piece by piece why this story about Nick Fury, the hard core head of a spy agency, who has to take charge to stop an international incident, apparently by being a total jerk; however, it simply is a bad piece of writing and I don’t have time for it. 

May 10 2015

Apple: a criminal organization

I’ve literally been robbed by Apple, literally, they just took money from my account over a dispute that they lost saying they may consider giving me the service but probably not.

May 05 2015

She Hulks: Hunt for the Intelligencia

The She-Hulks are tracking down superintelligent villains. The child from the future who travels back to our time has been done, if not to death, then to maim, but the story of Lyra the hulk from the future and her cousin Jen (also a hulk, but not a future one) could actually be really interesting. Brawn verse brains and Lyra trying to be a “normal” teen-age girl could have lots of great fights and poignent moments. Instead, it rushes through the plot and only gives us a couple of funny lines. 

Apr 29 2015

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Continuing with my HP movie watching, the series continues with its darker turn: with murder in the intro and a fun event turning into a horror show within the first few minutes. The story deals with an international contest of champions that our boy wizard gets sucked into and quickly results in danger. Of course there is still school to deal with and we are given (as always) another Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and plenty of the typical teenage dynamics to contend with that are painfully hilarious. An enjoyable film with a fittingly frightening ending. 

Apr 27 2015

Interstellar

I was really looking forward to a science fiction movie, that incorporated interesting real science ideas, had some adventure, good special effects, and maybe even some romance. Instead, I got this movie. The horrible actor, McConaughy, is a pilot in our world that’s running out of food (PS this last part is actually very true) and it is up to him and some others to go off into space and find humanity a new home before it’s too late. As I stated, there was some action-packed and interesting scenes, but they were very few and far too in between (even I can’t feel a movie is successful just because it has the insanely gorgeous Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain or Michael Caine (who doesn’t age?)). The bottom line was I was rather bored throughout, especially as so much was telegraphed in the plot, that my happiest moment was when the film ended. interstellar

Apr 24 2015

Captain Atom: Armageddon – Will Pfeifer

Let me explain why this comic is a piece of crap. DC comics’ superhero, Captain Atom, sacrifices himself to save the planet (why this was the only option is ignored), but in “dying” he is sent to the Wildstorm comics’ Earth, where all their superheroes are total dicks. For unknown reasons Captain Atom is destined to destroy the universe. Why? How people find this stuff out? Why he’s alive and there and can’t get back to his universe? is ignored (my supercomputer told me). True to form, the Wildstorm guys are dicks to the point that even the good Captain acts like a dick, and the whole thing is for nothing. 

Apr 24 2015

Hey Zeus Fathan!

cthulhu

Apr 23 2015

No Steenkin’ Badges

And as the (basically) final page of the story, a shot of Calimbo’s police badge.

C101-badge

Calimbo’s badge is meant as a contrast to Montressor’s family crest/coat of arms. If M’s motto (no one attacks me with impunity) drives his actions, then C’s motto drives his actions (no one escapes the law).

I originally thought to make it “no one escapes me” but decided at the end that C should be an officer of the law first, not a actor on his own. (And maybe the motto should be in English, but that takes the fun out of it for me….)

And who doesn’t love the EAPD (Edgar Allen Police Department)!

 

Apr 22 2015

Studio Time 4-19-15

I’ve been thinking for months about how C’s badge should look. I drew it up in Adobe illustrator in order to get the proportions right.image

I decided on a slightly simpler approach when it came time to draw it. Here are the initial penwork.
image Then the brushwork.image ———————————————————–

A freehand mockup of the cover done in Photoshop.
image

A thumbnail with some slight changes.
image A study for the cover in pencil.image Another pencil study.image

Apr 20 2015

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Do you love it when mediocre writers think they can improve upon literary masters? If so, then you’ll love this series. The finale of The Hobbit Trilogy is rather long, rather dull, and rather confusing for those who thought it might be true to the book. The original Hobbit is really a children’s story filled with action, adventure, and humor, written beautifully and filled with wonder; this film is an attempt to cash in and get people to watch the director’s cut of The Lord of The Rings. Truly disappointing. Hobbit

Apr 19 2015

He’s Such a Tease

I’m still not sure whether I need this page (but it works better with the overall layout of the book). Here, C once again plays the fool as he lures M into his trap. “For the love of God” is yet another callback to Cask.

C94-street

 

Apr 18 2015

Wall-Eye

The (probably) penultimate page! Montressor has been caught, and he recites the opening lines from Cask.

This page is meant to suggest that M’s own “principles” (i.e., hubris) have gotten him caught. His Motto is his undoing. The eyes in the field of bricks are similar to those the peered out of the cell M walled Fortunato into.

C104-theboot

Apr 17 2015

Nailed Ya (or Walled Ya…)

Here’s the closing scene of Calimbo or The Case of Amontillado.

C is completely outside of the the panel: he takes up the entire page; while M is trapped in a little box, looking like the motley fool that Fortunato was.

C105-nailedya

 

This page is meant to be somewhat reminiscent of this page from the beginning of the story:

C2

Apr 16 2015

Studio Time 4-12-15

Mark! dragged me away last weekend, so it took me a little while to get back into the rhythm. (Seriously, not blaming Mark!, but man it’s amazing how even missing one week can throw me off my game!)

Initial thumbnails / thoughts for this page:

image

 

Led to this mockup:

image

pencils:

image

 

initial inks:

image

brushwork:

image

Apr 16 2015

The Furies – Mike Carey

It is an interesting idea based on Greek mythology: The Titan, Cronus, had been hunted by the Furies–forces of vengeance against those that kill their kin–since around the beginning of time, and comes up with a plan to get rid of them once and for all. Unfortunately, the story is directly tied to The Sandman universe and makes enjoyment of the comic impossible for those disconnected from the title (that had ended long (enough) before). I also wasn’t thrilled with John Bolton’s art. It seems like all the characters where drawn from friends modeling the person/pose and it gives that awkward feeling of pictures that look too close to people but not close enough that is discussed in the art/animation/CGI world. 

Apr 09 2015

Puss in Boots

While this might not have received the best reviews, I strongly believe that it is the best movie that either Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, or Amy Sedaris have ever been in. Ok, maybe that doesn’t say much. It is the story of the outlaw cat with his equally notorious boots and how he became a hero. Teaming up with his childhood friend, Humpty Dumpty, and another cat burglar, the trio take on the wicked Jack and Jill in order to get the legendary goose that lays golden eggs. The film was well animated and both exciting and cute enough for kids with little, dirty (maybe a little too dirty) comments to keep the adults entertained.

Apr 02 2015

The Punisher (vol 10): Valley Forge, Valley Forge – Garth Ennis

I liked this collection, probably because it didn’t have Ennis’s  typical Punisher tropes (see here). Instead it is a story that has been building involving a group of generals that have been deep in very shady actions who decide to deal with their vigilante problem by sending Delta force after The Punisher. The tale deals with concepts of honor and loyalty and the decline in American values (and I’m not talking BS like letting gays in the military, although there are a lot more long haired guys in Ennis’s special forces than I would figure). It was a solid tale of deceit and revenge. See what happens, Ennis, when you give up on cliches?

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