Saturday, October 31, 2009

Special Halloween Film Pick...The Return of Dr. X

On the same DVD as Dr. X is the sequel...

This film has a great cast as well as an engaging and rather unique plot. In short, people with a certain blood type are all being bumped off in the same way. Could you find a more ultra-specific premise? OMG! I'm Type A!!!  RUN!!! 

The real treat is the performances. Humphrey Bogart is in a very atypical role as the creepy "assistant" to blood researcher Dr. Flegg, played by John Litel. It's fascinating to see Bogart play this awkward, geeky character. His performance is so understated and completely authentic; you get the sense that this major star was a pretty down-to-earth guy with a deep understanding of all kinds of people.  

I also loved John Litel's Dr. Flegg. At one point in the film, he very methodically demonstrates his signature medical procedure, which is so far-fetched and outlandish, but he pulls it off with such matter-of-fact conviction. It's some darn great acting and it's pretty hilarious. 


Friday, October 30, 2009

Most Likely to Steal Your Heart...

I know, I know, it's HALLOWEEN!! Not Valentine's day. But whenever I catch a glimpse of Wells from the 1932 romantic comedy Dr. X, my heart just melts...

Not only is he a total hunk, he's also super sweet AND talented. And I really think he's at that point where his career is about to explode. I could DEFINITELY see a TV series spin-off, a sitcom, a saturday morning cartoon, maybe a reality show, a breakfast cereal, TONS of merch - lunchboxes, t-shirts, action figures, bedsheets, bathmats. It's only a matter of time.

Catch Dr. X this Halloween and see for yourself!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Today's Artist Showcase is...Brian Butler!!

These are photos of a Brian Butler painting I bought a couple years ago...

When I saw his work at the Modus Lotus POP Euphoria! show, it stopped me in my tracks. It was so bizarre, unique, and wonderful. The subject of this and many of his paintings is the Ice Cream People

The way he depicts this seemingly innocuous and whimsical subject matter just makes me laugh. They look so demented, and his paint strokes give a feeling of frenzied urgency and drama that's so antithetical to the way ice cream people have been depicted in mainstream advertising in the past.  

I had a chance to chat with Brian at the POP Euphoria! show. It was refreshing to meet such a young, talented, and successful artist who's also so approachable, unpretentious, and friendly. :)


Wednesday, October 28, 2009


...but slightly more mannequin-like?

This is a photo I attacked with Photoshop. It's a Halloween costume from a few years back. I thought the plain white mask would be kind of minimalist and art-y with the blue wig. But it ended up looking super creepy. Fitting for the season I suppose.  :) 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Wholesome Halloween Breakfast...

It just isn't complete without some creepy clown goodness... 

This clown was on a box of Carnival drinking straws that I bought back in the '90's. I bought it just for this image. I don't know if they still use this graphic. As creepy as it is, it's still pretty excellent. I love the colors. 


Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Costume Freakout Countdown Part 2

OK. Yesterday's idea was too scary, and not the good kind of scary. So I'm throwing out some other possibilities...

There's this:

But then, where the heck am I supposed to find a skateboard??

I could always go TOTALLY exotic and be this:
But then, I don't know. I don't want to look "cheap".

Of course there's always this...

But EVERYONE'S going to be Jimmy this year. And I don't want to be wearing the same thing everyone else is....

AAARRGGH!! Why is this so difficult!!??

I'm going to keep thinking unless you think one of these is a winner.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Costume Freakout Countdown Part 1

Halloween is less than one week away and I still don't have a costume! So this week I'll be floating out various ideas for your input. Here's one. I could be this:

Too scary? OK. I could modify it a little to make it less so:


Friday, October 23, 2009

Film Pick...12 Angry Men

This film took me by surprise. It's about 12 jurors struggling to reach a verdict in a murder case.  Normally not my cup of tea but I was hooked immediately by the suspense, tension, and performances of this 1957 film. Based on the story by Reginald Rose and directed by Sidney Lumet. Starring Henry Fonda. I especially enjoyed the performance of Joseph Sweeney, who has a great, expressive face. 

The film's theme - the importance of taking a closer examination and questioning beyond the surface facts while maintaining a balanced perspective - is applicable to so many areas of life. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Not even doodles are safe...

Another simple, innocent doodle attacked by Photoshop...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Survey! Who's your favorite Flooby?


It was a tie between Ducky and A.J.!!!


This is your ONE chance to vote for your favorite Flooby! 

Who's it going to be? 
Ducky? Carl? AJ? Beebz? or Fran?!?!?

PLEASE only one vote per person!

This survey is anonymous and confidential. Polling ends at 4:00 a.m. 10/20/09.

Thank you.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Artist's Guide to Laundry...

To help motivate myself do boring housework like laundry, I try to make it as easy and fun as possible. For instance, my least favorite part of laundry is putting the clothes away. So, since I'm the world's worst folder, I hang ALL of my shirts: sweaters, jerseys, t-shirts, tank tops. Eliminating the folding step really saves time. And when I hang them in my closet, I arrange them according to the color spectrum. This makes me happy and it looks pretty... 

But the most important part of doing laundry is the FABRIC SOFTENER...

It's a picture of my favorite brand...


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Today's Artist Showcase is...

Keith Knight!!

Keith Knight is one of my favorite cartoonists. I love so many things about his work. First, his stuff is hilarious, engaging, and utterly entertaining. If you put a book of his cartoons in front of me, I will tune out the entire universe until it's completely devoured (not unlike a bag of Cape Cod potato chips, which I don't allow in my house for that reason).  

Also, I love that he crams his panels full. It works because his style is really crisp, clean, and ALIVE. There's so much vibrant energy and personality in his handwriting and drawings. It seems like nowadays, with computers and all, you don't always get a sense of the energy that comes from the artist's hands.  

I was fortunate to be able to catch an exhibit of Keith's work at the Cartoon Art Museum of San Francisco when I was there last year. It was excellent. They showed a ton of his original work, which was such a treat. And it was there that I learned that he's originally from Massachusetts (although unlike me, he was wicked smahht and left). 

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Wild Card

Some years back, I was browsing in a greeting card store when I spotted a card featuring one of my favorite movies on the front. It was blank on the inside, so I was like, "Awesome! This will work for all occasions!!" And with that, I stocked up.

Here it is with a gift for a baby shower... 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy Blobs!!

These are the Barbapapa cups I recently acquired. What is it about these colorful shapeshifting blobs that makes me love them so? 

The Barbapapas were created as a series of books in the 1970's by Annette Tison and Talus Taylor

Happy blobs! :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Film Pick

This weekend I watched a two-part documentary about Yves Saint Laurent which I highly recommend. Both parts are on the same DVD, YSL His Life and Times and 5 Avenue Marceau 75116 Paris.  
I didn't know much about YSL before this film. I didn't realize that he was such an innovator in the fashion world. He was the first to dress women in trousers and men's suits. He also employed black models at a time when no other fashion house in Europe was doing so. 

Despite his popularity and success, he was a painfully shy introvert and he battled with depression and debilitating self-criticism his entire career. In one particularly interesting interview he describes the highs and lows of his creative process. The second part of the film was a fascinating inside look at the YSL house in the process of creating a collection. Watching the YSL team at work is poetry in motion, quite a contrast to the frenzied pace of the Project Runway designers (one of my favorite shows, btw). 

I love this early photo of YSL with his models. It's from W magazine, which did an excellent article about YSL following his death in June 2008.  

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Punished by the Gods...

This is a model sheet I created in rough pencil for my character, Lyle.

If only I had been smart enough to do the same for a character in a recently created comic, I could have avoided punishment from the Comic Gods. But I guess I had to learn the hard way. I thought the backgrounds were going to be my biggest challenge, so I didn't bother working out the technical details of drawing the character's head from different angles. As a result, I spent more time fixing these issues than on any other aspect of the project.  

Every comic I create seems to have it's own unique surprise curve ball. I can never anticipate what it's going to be until I've waded in past my shoulders. 

So here's the finished Lyle, giving me a "Told-yah-so" lecture on making model sheets.

She's a total gas, can you tell? 

Saturday, October 10, 2009

In the event of an actual emergency...

you should just sit motionless and stare at these lines, slack-jawed and drooling...

Just kidding. This is not a test of the emergency broadcasting system. It's actually the logo for the de Young Art Museum in San Francisco. I'm really inspired by the color combination and the simple design. And I thought you might enjoy staring at these lines until tomorrow's posting of fresh comic goodness, which the elves are busily baking as we speak. 

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Wild Card

Honk if you're dying to wear this on a t-shirt.
To a job interview.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

You may never receive it...

...cuz this is one birthday card I can't part with...
The Cadillac illustration is excellent. I love the colors. And I love that for no apparent reason, there's a nude guy sitting on top of it. What car dealer would allow this nowadays?

And in case you're wondering how he solves this massive dilemma (card opens)...

This is actually one of many greeting cards from the 60's and 70's that I bought in a giant boxed lot of cards at an auction a few years ago. This particular card was published in 1969 by the Barker Greeting Card Co. of Cinn, OH.  

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Face Asymmetry

Faces are one of my favorite subjects to draw. I've always enjoyed looking at pictures of faces. I'm fascinated by the distinct lines and shapes that make a particular face unique. When I draw a portrait, I'm always curious to see what minimum amount of information will make a face recognizable. 

I'm also fascinated by (and very grateful for!) facial asymmetry. I created some of my own examples of this phenomenon with photos of a man and woman. The photo to the far left is the actual person. In the middle and far right images, one side of the face is copied and pasted on the other side to make a completely symmetrical face.  

It's funny how both of the middle faces in these examples look slightly Appalachian and the faces to their right look like the Appalachian's more well-rounded, socially adjusted cousin. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Artist Showcase...

Today's artist is Jean Lecointre

I was unfamiliar with his work until I bought this postcard of his piece, "Les Biches" (The Does). (postcard published by editions vp). 

It's so bizarre and unlike anything I've ever seen. 

You have to check out his website to see more of his work. The short films are wonderfully weird and stunning. I'm speechless. 

He also created, with artist Pierre La Police, the comic book series La Balancoire de Plasma.  I'm blown away by the freakiness of these. You can see more here.