Saturday, December 12, 2009

update for the heck of it

I've got a bunch of art-things going on. Three people responded to my free commission offer, I'm working on a collaboration with Sweet Enemy and I'm doing a piece of fan-art for a Rahne Sinclair/Wolfsbane fan blog that has a call for fan art (it's not a big deal and probably no exposure, but it's an excuse to do a piece of my favoritest New Mutant). I'll post a link and some scans when I've got some stuff done.

I've also finished up a 1/48 Sopwith Camel model for my dad (for xmas) and man, it was hard! I'll do a post on my model blog as soon as I have some photos.

In non-art news, Sweet Enemy and I watched "Hancock" last night. It was at our local library's DVD section and I thought that free was a pretty good price for a movie I had misgivings about. We went into it full of trepidation.

Well, with the exception of the epilogue (which was trite and bothersome on a number of levels), I thought it was a pretty darn good movie. It was a tight, cohesive film that had some pretty good plot twists. Sure, there were some plot holes (where does he get his money? What is his L.A. Backstory? Did he start off as a true hero and fade into a drunk?), but I found these to be forgivable and besides, what superhero films don't have plot holes?

So, in the end, I have to say I recommend it if you haven't seen it.

Listening to while posting: "2112" By Rush

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Update and a challenge


Last week, even though between Thanksgiving, nursing the ill Sweet Enemy and then nursing myself from what I caught nursing Sweet Enemy, I found time to pencil the next two pages of Death of a Friend. Tonight, between 8pm and 1am EST I inked, colored and posted the update.

Hope you like it. This update to Death of a Friend is dedicated to Snabulus' Ladybug who was in the hospital a little while back with a potentially life-threatening condition. As far as I know, she's home now and I hope she's doing fine.

Now, the challenge. It's to me actually. I need to stretch myself a bit, artistically and I wonder if a way to do that is to take commissions. Now, I don't think I'm good enough to ask for money, so the first five people to email me will get a FREE black and white ink drawing. The subject can be nearly anything you want that can fit into a 6" x 6" space (anything but: scat, gore, vore, nasty stuff in general. I reserve the right to refuse an idea and ask for another. What do you want? It's free.). I don't know if I'll get five people. Heck, I'll take one person. Five just seemed like a good number

In order to keep a bit of anonymity, and give you a challenge, you have to go to my portfolio to get my email address.

listening to while posting: "Upside-down from Here" by Atom and his Package

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Music! Science! Music about science!

Since one of their songs popped up on, I've been a fan of the band Artichoke.

Their masterpiece is a two-volume CD set called "Twenty-Six Scientists (Anning - Zeno"). It's a collection of musical biographies of scientists both famous and obscure. Each song is different and each song is great. I just got volume two in the mail last week and I'm still listening to it. If you, or someone you know is a scientist or just likes science, you really need this.

To introduce you to the band, and in honor of the upcoming Carl Sagan Day, here's a biography of one of the most famous astronomers of all time

Galileo Galilei

It is the only bad thing about the albums: no Carl Sagan song. Ah well. They've also got a fabulous "kids" album called "26 Animals". Scientifically accurate and damned catchy, it's an album that you wouldn't mind your kids playing over and over.

Listening to while posting: "vulture" by Artichoke

Monday, November 2, 2009

Post Halloween

The Horror Movie Mini-Fest was a moderate success. Booze and conversation flowed freely and much food and candy were consumed.

KickEnemyMen came up from Maine and stopped in Burlington to visit his childhood friend YogaGirl. He knew we'd want her to come (but would forget to ask her), so he brought her along. Step-Brother-in-Law came with his two puppies (well, young dogs) Kermit and Thumper. We love them, but the cat was... unimpressed. Cranky J, his wife R and little daughter Starbuck (hee!) made a surprise visit and Cranky was happy that he got to see me tipsy.

AndreZero and ScienceGirl came, too. It was going to be a bit of fun because ScienceGirl hates the portrayal of scientists in film and one of the films I got was the fabulous "I'll show them all!"-type scientist film "X- the Man with the X-Ray Eyes".

Also to be had were "THEM!" (still a pretty good film despite the effects. The girl whose family was the fist to die by THEM! was still extraordinarily creepy) and "The Incredible Shrinking Man" (not bad either. The effects are not astounding, but you can still feel that they were astounding in the day. The only bad thing was the soliloquy tacked onto the end; but the continuity of the light of the moon shining on the shrinking man was nicely done).

Cranky J, R and Starbuck left just after THEM! as did AndreZero and ScienceGirl (who had to be in the lab the next day). X went in next, but the disc started randomly pausing, so in went TISM. Overall, lots of basic enjoyment of the movie with some ROTFL MST3k moments.

SBiL introduced us all to a drink that is, in a way, like disc golf: it sounds stupid in description, but in reality is a kind of awesome. The drink is a bottle of Guinness in a glass with a shot of butterscotch schnapps. No, really! It is a kind of awesome and a truly great winter drink.

We all stayed up late sobering up. YogaGirl headed home around midnight and then we all hit the rack (SE, the cat and I in our bed, KickEnemyMen on the library futon and SBiL and the puppies on our living room futon). In the morning, all four of us walked down to the local breakfast place, The Flour Shop for the kind of breakfast that keeps you going until about two in the afternoon.

After that, SE had to do some art errands, so KEM and I met YogaGirl in Burlington and we walked around for to or three hours. KEM is a geocacher and we tried to do some finding, but we were 0 for six; who puts urban caches without hints? Sheesh! YG and KEM said goodbye, then back to our house to pack KEM up.

KEM's visits were always short, but I got to give him a cool birthday present: A big bottle of VERY good stout and a VERY tasty bleu cheese (a combo I tried at a beer and cheese pairing at our local natural food store ).

Whew! So a great weekend.

To finish off the party post, here's a shot of SBiL not quite enjoying X with Thumper. She is the cutest Lab mix ever:

Also, last night I posted an update to Death of a Friend!

Listening to while posting: "Zeno of Elea (490bc - 430bc)" by Artichoke

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Here's a song for Halloween brought to you by Arkonbey (with a little help from Dame Agatha Christie, David Suchet and Apple's Garage Band ™)

Under The Sun (31 Oct 2009 0031 EST)

listening to while posting: "Under The Sun" by Arkonbey

Sunday, October 25, 2009

a drawing!

I've mentioned before about Jake Parker's "Inktober" and how much it has been both inspiring and daunting me. So, I grabbed a brush pen and tried to do a finished work (which is something I haven't actually done in a long time, what with Obscure Tales and all). I also wanted to try to use lots of black. I'm afraid of black, it seems and Jake's lack of fear of black has forced me to address this deficit.

The subject you may recognize as the model I scratchbuilt from a giant Easter egg.

I drew it how I wanted to build it: in a diorama with an open front hatch, a fairing over the leg hinges and a figure with binoculars. But, the terrible plastic of the egg and the lack of winter-clad 1/48 scale figures shot this down.

The drawing itself was drawn with red lead (straight, with no graphite pencilling; I'm inordinately proud of this) and inked with a Pigma brush pen and done rather large. I didn't do anything in Photoshop other than blowing out the pencils and resizing.

I know, I should be working on Death of a Friend. I am, I just had to do this.

I do wonder if Jake would be creeped out or flattered that effect his Inktober drawings are having on me. I'd also wonder how he'd do a pair of daytime moons with just a brush pen. I could not figure that out...

Listening to while posting: "They Got Lost" by They Might Be Giants

Sunday, October 18, 2009

DoaF update!

I said Sunday posting, and I deliver! That's just the kind of guy I am.

Death of a Friend

Bought a Pigma brush pen. Jake Parker's "Inktober" has inspired me to get one. That and Jake mentioned that my rabbit girl and guy drawings had more life than any other stuff I've posted yet. That was with another brush pen that I found harder to control; the Pigma may be easier. Though, I wonder if I should use the hard to control one and relinquish some control...

Listening to while posting: Selected Shorts on Vermont Public Radio

Thursday, October 15, 2009


The next installment of Death of a Friend is pencilled and one of two pages are inked. I'm shooting for a Sunday posting.

In other news, I won an award.

Listening to while posting: harpsichord music blasting on Vermont Public Radio blasting from upstairs

Friday, October 9, 2009

Quickie Post

Inspired by Jake Parker's "Inktober" (a whole month of ink drawings, with pen, brush and brush-pen), I grabbed the Pentel brush-pen that Sweet Enemy got for me last year. I remember not liking it, which is why it sat in my caddy since then.

I find that still really don't like it; I don't hate it, but it won't be my weapon of choice. It is temperamental, dispensing heavy ink or ink so light the lines look like the printing on the faux-distressed shirts from A & F. The point also doesn't behave. It is VERY pointy, but holds little ink. While the belly is very thick and only gives up ink to the point grudgingly.

Ah, well. I'm still looking for the magical tool, I suppose.

Here's the offering. Sort of based on a light-hearted, rather romantic comic I drew for SE years ago and may revisit (especially after the grim Ghost of Delilah Gray:

Listening to while posting: The sound of the lentil/vegetable stew I made last night bubbling in the kitchen.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

24 Hour Comic Day: Part Three


My comic for 09 is posted and I'd like to talk about it for a bit.

The artwork: with 24 Hour Comic Day I didn't expect to create an artistic masterpiece, but this time... You know when a kid draws something, a fire truck or an X-wing? They really think they're drawing what they want to draw, but little do they know how far off they were. That's what this year's comic was like, only less endearing. I look at it now and recognize what I meant to do, but missed the mark on. Ah well. (Sweet Enemy just told me that last year I did half-letter and this year I did full-letter size. Hmm.)

The story: This year's story is pretty good. But, it's bleak and dark. Probably the darkest thing I've written and I don't know why. I don't feel dark and bleak. I blame The Decemberists. Sweet Enemy and I saw them live the week before last (awesome show) and they write the bleakest, yet catchiest songs. I mean between Leslie Ann Levine, Yankee Bayonette and Eli the Barrow Boy is it any wonder I made a bleak science fiction tale called The Ghost of Delilah Gray?

I did un-bleak the ending just a bit by changing three words. SE thought it diminished it, but I felt that I'd let my character down a bit. Like Londo Mollari1, my character deserved better. I'm a softie.

The process: I came in cold, even if not thinking of a story the week before is like not thinking of a pink elephant. Some folks came in with an idea or even with character turn-arounds, but I feel that is against the spirit of the thing. So, I rummaged around a House of Ideas (or bowl filled with pieces of paper with story seeds on them) I'd made for everyone at the event and came up with The Ghost of Delilah Gray. Then I went through my stock photo catalogs2 and found this image and HAD to do something with it:

Then about a half-hour of brain storming. I went through three ideas before I hit on the one I used. Then an hour of thumbnailing and a half hour of "production design". Then, for the next ten hours, I pencilled. I worked in red and blue as an experiment; erasing twenty-four pages is a pain. I finished pencilling all twenty-four pages by midnight and started inking. A forty-five minute nap around three a.m. then back to the paper. By the end my hand was cramping. Badly.

The Aftermath:The good part was that, with the exception of my Saturday morning coffee (a usual) I took no stimulants the entire time, just food, water and o.j. That meant an easier come-down.

What I'll do different next year. First, I'll do a happier story dammit! Last year's wasn't super-bleak, but it wasn't a laugh riot either. Secondly, I'll work with bigger lines, maybe use that brush pen that Sweet Enemy got for me last year. Thirdly, I'll ease up on the words this time. Lettering is painful. Painful to do and painful for others to have to read my printing.

Due to space issues, I had to post on my flickr account. I also put up last year's 24HCD entry and a MiddleMan contest entry from 2007

The Ghost of Delilah Gray (24 Hour Comic Day 2009)

Redemption (24 Hour Comic Day 2008)

MiddleMan and Wendy (Viper Comics contest 2007)

listening to while posting: "Poor Little Rich Boy" by Regina Spektor

1 I think that Londo regretted his actions and tried hard to redeem himself. He didn't deserve reward, but he certainly didn't deserve to be tortured for the rest of his life with a mind-controlling parasite stuck on his neck
2 Anybody out there looking for inspiration for a face or a body or a story could do worse than to order a catalog from Veer. They have some gorgeous stock photography that really makes me wish I was not an in-house designer and some call to use it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

24 Hour Comic Day: Part two

Just an informational post. After working on an Obscure Tales Annex website, I found that I don't have enough space on (mostly due to Obscure Tales). With no more room, I had to put it on my Flickr photostream along with my 24 Hr. Comic Day 2008 entry.

Too tired to do a post about it (it's me, I have to talk about it first), so you'll just have to wait until tomorrow.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

24 Hour Comics Day

Is over

I took many self-portraits during the night. This is the one just after I finished my 24th page at 8:45 am on Sunday Oct 4th (22.75 hrs in).

Will post the comic soon.

Listening to while posting: "Istanbul not Constantinople" by TMBG; playing in my head.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


It's Twenty-Four Hour Comics Day time again and time for a new poster. Sweet Enemy and I let this creep up on us, so this one was a bit rushed. It was decided that this was B/W only. Ah well, It's not too bad. Typography by me, illustrations by Sweet Enemy:

It's also time for our third annual Horror Movie Mini-Fest. When we were house hunting in July '07, I decided, for some reason, that we should have our house before that Halloween and then we'd have a Halloween horror movie party. You know what? We did!

The first year was nearly a disaster with a broken DVD player (luckily, my buddy Kick Enemy Men had just that morning bought a new powerbook, so we fired it up and all sat on the floor watching the computer. The second year was a bit better with a pretty good crowd, including a 1.5 year old girl who sat on the coffee table facing us with The Evil Dead 2 playing behind her.

Here's this year's poster. Let me know if you're coming over.

Listening to while posting: "The Big Fight" by Stars

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Other People's Art

Lee, on the others side of the world at Quit Your Day Job has been cranking out some really nice super hero and comic-based artwork for a while now. I think he only got back into it fairly recently, but his work is really nice and seems to be getting better with each post.

A while back he did a three-part series called Coffee and Capes featuring home-made super heroes and their coffee drinks of choice. One of them caught my imagination and I asked Lee if I could draw my own vision of it (this is what I'm good at. If I see a good idea, I like to try to go off on it. Not so much stealing as... hunting and gathering).

He gave me permission and I went for it. I emailed it to him to see what he thought and ask permission to post it (it was his idea, after all). He liked it, so here it is:

So, go check out Lee's words and pictures.

Listening to while posting: Car Talk (every Saturday at 10am on Vermont Public Radio

Friday, September 18, 2009

short post

If anyone cares, I've updated my scale modeling blog with a large-ish post about a scratchbuilt sci-fi thing I'm working on.

That is all.

Listening to while posting: "Mile High" by Morphine

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Obscure Tales Update

Obscure Tales 06: Death of a Friend has updated !


These pages were a sort of pain. A decent amount of work went into them but while they felt like the pencilled well and inked well, when I finally scanned and colored them, they disappointed me. Mostly because Missile Mouse was going through my head while I drew them and when I was done I was rather shocked to see it looked nothing like Missle Mouse.To be sure, I planned on this comic using flat colors, but something is missing. I wanted to scrap the whole thing and do it again.

However, I made a promise to myself to look back and learn, but to never re-work a page to death. So... Until I get to a place where I'm happy, the show goes on and I can only hope to improve as I go. The main thing is I think I'm rushing. I'll try to remedy that.

DoaF is really fun to do, though. I'm learning a great deal, especially about the interactions of different characters in space and wordless storytelling (curse you and your story experiments, AndreZero!).

To lighten the mood, I'll share a little known fact about Arkonbey. When he is slightly frustrated (for instance, if he gets everything out to the car in the morning, but then realizes he's forgotten his car key in the house and has to go back in), he will say the phrase: "Ah, Bugf--ker!". Try it yourself! It's a rather satisfying expletive for light to moderate use.

Listening to while posting: "I Know What Boys Like" by The Waitresses

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sweet Enemy Rules!

Here's another example of why my wife is awesome. It's also an example of why I 'hate' her. You see her creativity knows very few bounds while mine... does know bounds. My birthday was recent and she made me this card.



Sure, you might say, it's a nice card, but what's so darn special about it? You can't see in in the previous image, but check it out: it's a dang pop-up card! Woot!

On the evening of my birthday, SE had gone to bed just before me. A little while later, I walked into our bedroom to find these two:

Awww. Both completely asleep. I got three shots and neither of them moved.

She's also got an Etsy store. I hasn't got anything in it yet, but keep looking!

Listening to while posting: "Man on the Flying Trapeeze" by Spike Jones and his City Slickers ("Noodles, did you leave home? Sure, I left home. Did you put the cat out? I didn't know he was on fire!")

Monday, August 24, 2009

Death of a Friend Update!

I've added two more pages to DoaT. I'd like to promise regularity, but... let's just say there's a reason I don't have one of those PayPal whoosits on the site.

I recommend starting one page earlier on page five. I added a single sound balloon to the last panel. It doesn't seem like much, but the first panel of page six won't make much sense without it.

Enjoy, please!

Listening to while posting: Some song by Goldfrapp. It sounds like it should be about sex like every other Goldfrapp song

Friday, August 14, 2009

Why am I doing this again?

Not sure why I'm doing this blogging thing. I'll probably still post updates for Obscure Tales, but other than that, who cares?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Meep Meep

Let's set the scene. We live in a house, on a hill, in the woods, on a dirt road in a semi-rural area. There are houses around within sight, but separated by trees; its a quiet, relaxed place to live. Last night about one a.m. Sweet Enemy and I were awakened by the blaring of a horn. At first we thought it might be a car alarm, but it didn't have that insistent feel. This was different. The blasts were rhythmic, but not perfectly even with long blasts and equally long pauses between them.

Now, where we live is almost silent, especially in the summer when the trees are leafed, so this was odd as well as annoying. After about five minutes I decided to investigate. I threw on some clothes, grabbed my maglite and went outside. I determined that it was coming from the next house down the hill, a house about 50m away that's owned by a deaf guy. Well, that would explain it, I thought.

I trudged down the hill in the moonlight wondering what I was actually going to do when I got to the house (I was also wondering why his neighbor hadn't come over yet. The horn must have been maddening at that distance). I could only hope that the guy had one of those doorbells with a flashing light, otherwise we were going to be treated to a car horn contata until the battery ran down. As I got up to the cars in the driveway, I found the source of the horn, a minivan with Georgia plates and it's lights on. I had a feeling I should look in the car to see if there was anybody in there.

And there was!

Ok. Here we go, I thought. I walked up to the blaring minivan and, against all reason, pounded on the window. I paused for a moment to reflect on my stupidity, then looked in. Slumped against the steering wheel, with his face on the horn was an adult male. I took a breath, opened the door and touched the guy on his shoulder. He awakened instantly and sat up; the horn blessedly stopped. He was confused, but not overly so and there was no smell of alcohol at all. I mouthed "are you okay" to him. He smiled and nodded. I asked again, he replied in the affirmative, then we traded thumbs-ups and I walked back to our house.

It had been the movement of his head while breathing in sleep that had caused the rhythmic horn blasts. SE and I speculated for a while as to why he was sleeping in his car, but in the long run, it doesn't matter.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


I took a pile of film to get processed the other day. A bunch of stuff from Old Rhinebeck, but not much different than my dad's really, but here are a few.

Old Rhinebeck's founder, James Henry “Cole” Palen's first full-scale replica plane he built a Fokker Dr.I Dreidecker . Since nearly all WW 1 aircraft on all sides were painted in the pilot's individual colors, Palen decided to do the same (open image in new window for larger version):

Sweet Enemy asked the reason for this image and I thought it was a mixture of two things. Palen was probably told he'd get the replica finished when pigs fly and so he was painting a flying pig and telling the doubters to kiss his a$$ at the same time.

I took some artsy photos of aircraft parts. Here's a rotary engine close up:

And here's a picture I really like, if I do say so myself. It's my dad in one of the Old Rhinebeck Museum hangers:

There were, of course, a bunch of non-Rhinebeck images. Here are two from the wooded park down the street from our house.

And here's a girl I saw in downtown Burlington. I just HAD to take her picture. I cropped it to a square as that is how I plan to mat it if I print it.

Well, we're pooped. We just got back from a fantastic weekend at Sweet Enemy's family-in-law's "camp" (that's what Upstate New Yorkers call a "cabin/summer house on the lake". It's a great place. Truly cozy and full of wonderful people. It was the old arts and crafts building from a Catholic summer camp that was active in the 1930's. It's been in the family-in-law's family for decades and SE and I really appreciate their hospitality. There may be some pics of this trip in the future (I would post a link to Google Maps, but the resolution is pretty awful)

listening to while posting: nothing. Don't want to disturb SE. She's in bed and I'm going to sleep, too.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Four day weekend!

Lots of pictures in this one, so you can skip the words if you want. All photos by Spike (my dad).

I took Friday off and drove to Massachusetts to hang with my dad. I spent Friday with a mountain bike ride and then a fun time hanging out with my two-year-old niece. She's very vocal with a strangely large vocabulary.

Our main purpose was to visit the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome about 125 miles west in NY state and we left on Saturday Morning. The drive was okay, being mostly highway; as we were just driving and not motorcycling, we opted against a weekend with a longer, more scenic drive on back roads.

I can't really do the ORA justice. It's a perfect mixture of the cool and the cheesy. It's part museum, part airshow and part performance art. They have hangers full of planes and fly many of them. They also stage funny skits such as a 'convict', complete with striped suit, is chased by Keystone Kops to the end of the runway where he (or a dummy in the same suit) hitches a ride on a waiting plane. However, he falls off on take off plummeting to the ground. When the Kops arrive, and park near the body, it turns out he's okay and still struggling to escape. He's carted away, crying that he'll be back. The best part of the skits is that they are performed by high school and college age kids all of whom seemed to be having an absolute blast running around in period costume driving 80-year-old cars and trucks.

Anyway, we arrived early and spent a lot of time looking at the displayed aircfraft and wandering the museum hangers. This place has been around for nearly fifty years and they have more aircraft and cars than they can afford to refurbish. But, what they have is astounding. Not just the famous aircraft, but every kind of aircraft. Trainers, warplanes, civil, and mail planes. All from before WW2.

I'll just start with the highlight of the show, the Bleriot XI. This plane is only one of two original aircraft still in flyable condition. Just look at it and imagine flying this across 350 miles of ocean across the English Channel:

Did I mention that it's still flyable? A few feet of height and a few dozen meters of distance man not seem like much, but this is an original aircraft that was built in 1909!

Also on hand was a replica built in 1975 from original plans. It looks like something that Steampunk Batman would fly:

It also flew, but only to the height that the Bleriot did. But just look at how exposed the pilot is! How much would you want to fly a 90-year old design with only wing warping for control and a 30 hp engine for power?

Also on display (and flying Sundays) was an Albatros D.III. A warplane that looks as good as a piece of fine furniture.

The museum hangers held many wonderful things including a home-made ice boat thing made from a horse-drawn sleigh and an aircraft engine:

and, hanging from the curved ceiling/walls, over a dozen huge (at least five feet tall) paintings that were dated from 1969. There were very well done, but some were getting a bit eaten (see the left bottom):

and, in one glass case with some models, was the most awesome pulp magazine cover EVER.

A man-faced tiger leaping from one aircraft to another? How could that not be awesome. I wish I could read it.

We left six hours later, happy but hungry. Had to avoid trying to find a restaurant in the nearby town due to an immanent parade and drive for another hour before we found a place that was not sketch (the one we found was remarkably good, with a big menu of good food that was very well presented for a middle-of-nowwhere family restaurant).

Then at home, my dad and I drank Guinnes and watched Flesh for Frankenstein a singularly bad/good film that truly must be seen be believed. If Sam Rami didn't see this film as a youth, I'd be surprised.

A long, nice drive home on Sunday. Brought Sweet Enemy some sweet corn and some pizza.

Monday, not much of anything. Hung out. Read in the sun. Went trail running shoe shopping, scored some old Matchbox cars from a free box in downtown Burlington then hit the bookstore to grab sweet enemy her own copies of her new favorite series.


That is all!

Arkonbey out

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Well. That was a long time, wasn't it. I've been relatively busy. Work was hectic, had a week of 9+ hour days including one 11 hr day; we had a big demo and lots of presentations to get ready to show a client. What's nice is my boss and everyone in marketing I did stuff for was very appreciative and weren't shy about tell me. Embarrassing, but good.

On the home front, I've been working on Death of a Friend. I've posted five pages. Had to get some momentum going before I let you all know it was moving. I've done some code cleaning to the website, but nothing you'd notice, really (except now the pages don't jump when you re-size the browser window).

I've also been trying to do some fan art for P.S. 238. Actually, I'm doing it for two reasons. First as a thank-you for Aaron Williams making such a great comic. Secondly, to ease the blow when I write him to tell him that he's used 'dampen' and 'dampener' when he meant 'damp' and 'damper'. For a guy who often makes blog typos, I'm a stickler for grammar.

I'm also working on models and as soon as I find the long-missing digital camera, I'll post some photos.

Outside, it's wet, but our garden is doing okay. Most of the beans have survived the Slug Onslaught, though the squash were decimated. The radishes are coming up, and we have some tomatoes. Our peas were planted late and are only about two feet high now. Ah, well.

And, the big news is that, after many many times of missing or failing at Becca's movie quizes, I actually won with a tie! Yee! The funniest part? It was for quotes from the Harry Potter films, and since I've only seen one and three, I went with what I remembered from the books. I won't be getting the Movie Master anytime soon, but here's my award:

Well. I've got plans for updates. A movie review for the best indie movie you've never heard of, Arkonbey's Rule of Three for sports enthusiasts, and a description of the Adventure of the 4th of July Plans Gone Awry, but Working Out Great Just the Same.

Listening to while posting: Blue Monday by New Order (Eighties Goodness!)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Strangers in a Strange Land

Sweet Enemy and I went to a friend's wedding on Long Island this weekend. JT is an good friend we don't see as often as we'd like to, so when we got the invite, we had to drive down and attend. The drive was about six and a half hours long and wasn't too bad until we hit the junction of I91 ad I95 in NY. Then it was alternating between "NASCAR" and "Crawl". Very strange.

JT mentioned on Facebook that Long Island was surreal, and he was right. Here we were, in sight of NYC and the place looks like Ann Arbor, MI; trees and small houses. Trees. Weird. The most surreal thing to me was the little things that reminded us that we weren't in Ann Arbor. The Aston Martin dealer was one and the fact that there didn't seem to be any stores that weren't high-end retail, even in strip malls was another. The one that cracked us up was that the smallest amount of money you could withdraw from an ATM was $40. Up here in VT, it's $20.

We stayed at a small motel that was lower end, but very clean with a remarkably comfortable bed. We couldn't afford the $185 'discount' rate at the upper end hotel where the wedding was held. We arrived about three hours before zero hour and lay on the bed, chilling and watching NCIS (our tv won't get CBS since the digital switch, so for me it was a treat).

The wedding was interesting. We arrived at what we thought was the dinner. We assumed this because of the rather vast amount of food present. It was all hors d'oeuvre -y food, but the amount was truly vast. The only thing that weirded us out was the fact that we were supposed to be at table seven but none of the tables had numbers. JT arrived later and explained that this was 'cocktails' and then came 'dinner', then the ceremony, then the partying. He also forced us (well, me) to mingle by introducing us around to his and his fiance's (now wife) friends.

They were, of course, cool and interesting as was JT's dad. He was the second funnies dancer on the floor.

<>The coolness of the people led to a revelation of sorts. I don't like meeting strangers much anymore and I wondered why. I believe now it is because they might turn out to be cool and I'll never see them again. Lately, I've been feeling that stuff is too fleeting and I want to hold onto it. Whether it's cool people at a wedding, or the nice folks at that small library book sale I randomly stopped at on a road trip last weekend, or that really nice diner SE and I ate at today, I want to have my cake and eat it too and to have things and people I enjoy sort of be available for enjoyment forever.. Feeling mortal much, Arkonbey?<>

The ceremony was sweet. The betrothed were already legally married, but they stood and the bride's best friend gave a heartfelt speech about how well JT and wife got along. Then a rabbi did a blessing and cutting of a loaf of bread. It was rather funny. He gave the blessing in Hebrew, cut the bread, put down the knife, paused and said "well, that's it for that". Then the bride's dad gave what was the funniest father-of-the-bride speech I'd ever heard. Then the eating (good food! much food!) and a jazz band (good music. LOUD music) and yelling at each other across the table. Then the couples with kids with sitters began to filter out and things died down. I brought out my Yashica TLR (much to the joy and distraction of the photo-nerd pro photographer; he gave me some great advice) to try to get one or two shots of the happy couple; we'll see how that works out. Then the band closed down and after lots of hugging and the realization that, now teaching at Emery, I won't see JT for a very long time we left.

We got back to the motel at 1233 am and watched ST:TOS until 1:30 (have I mentioned how lucky I am to have a nerdy, but cute wife?). The bed, as mentioned, was remarkably comfortable and we slept pretty well. Up at 7:30 and leaving at 8:30 to beat the traffic, we took some wrong turns and ended up near this interesting-looking museum that unfortunately didn't open until 11 (dammit!).

Eventually, we found our way out of LI and on the road. Stopped at the diner in MA for some tasty, hearty, not expensive food served by harried, but very friendly people. SE took a short nap while I read Heinlein; she wanted to be rested for her turn at driving. I took the opportunity to sleep for an entire hour on the way up. My USCG experience gave me the ability to sleep anywhere at any time.

So, back home. Made a cherry soda/vanilla ice cream float, mowed the lawn, then we sat around the living room with all the doors and windows open reading and listening to the birds yelling at each other around the forest.

So. That was our weekend, how was yours?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

my plan is underway

My plan to eventually turn my little niece into a mountain biker! Muahahahaha!

I half-joke. I bought her a Strider running bike back in October and now she's finally using it. She's as cute as a two-year-old usually is.

Riding my bike from Jessica Flanders on Vimeo.

In all seriousness, even if she were my daughter, I wouldn't push her. It'd be fun, though. It'd give her an excuse to visit.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Now he tells me?

In his comments to the previous post, Dean Wormer said that books and magazines were okay, but that comics don't belong in the bathroom.


I literally just checked and removed from the 'littlest room' the following items:

Flight volumes 3,4, and 5; Flight Explorer, PS238 #18 and #38, and Asterix the Legionary

Thanks, Dean! We averted a disaster there.

listening to while posting: "Cyborg Control" by Man, or Astroman?

Monday, May 4, 2009

small story

Got back from a good ride and asked Sweet Enemy if there was any mail for me. She mentioned the Discover bill and the bill for hosting Obscurius. When I grumbled at the not-goodness of the mail, she went "oh! There's this!" and handed me this month's Bike Magazine (which, believe it or not, she reads even though I can't get her to ride with me).

As I headed downstairs to change, she handed me the magazine.

"Don't forget to put this in the bathroom, for perusal later."

I gave her a mock-incredulous look.

"Well, you know that's where it goes!" she replied as she turned away

listening to while posting: "Bagman's Dilemma" by the Decemberists

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Obscure Tales addendum

Here are the first character sheets I sent to AndreZero. The character on the cover first appears here. AZ had done a sorta story way back, but two weekends ago we were at dinner and I told him I needed a story. He thought that the robo-medic story could be resurrected. I agreed and drew up a character sheet so that it might help inspire him.

They show as much of the robo-medics mechanisms as I could think of. I'm no Jake Parker, but it's not bad for me.

And, if any of you out there who know my real name care to know, I'm now on Facebook. I'm not sure why. I've got my own URL, a blog. I tweet and now Facebook. What is wrong with me?

Listening to while posting: listening for the sound of Sweet Enemy's car. She's gone to visit a friend who's feeling very down. Have I mentioned what an awesome person she is?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Obscure Tales Rides Again

AndreZero just sent me a new script for Obscure Tales issue six: "Death of a Friend".

I'm also testing out a new logo. Let me know what you think, please.

listening to while posting: "Walking for Two Hours" by The Twilight Sad

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Post with No Name

First: Hey, Star Trek nerds! You know who you are! Go here and listen to this. It will prove to be cool later, trust me.

Secondly, I've been tagged with a sort of reward by the inestimable Dean Wormer. It means a lot to me, given the company he keeps. I shall treasure it always. Here it is, isn't it a thing of utter beauty?

1.You must brag about the award
2.You must include the name of the blogger who bestowed the award on you and link back to the blogger (done and done)
3.You must choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design
4.Show their names and links and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with Honest Weblog.

Last two are tough. This is the Blog Where Tags Go To Die. The people I get tagged by have more readers and invariably tag all the blogs I read. Hmm. Try these

a. Plaid Stallions (for those who grew up in the 1970s)

b. Polite Dissent (comic reviews with a medical perspective)

c. Jake Parker's blog (best robot drawings. ever)

d. Les McClane's blog (not well designed, but dang! can that guy draw!)

e. Dutchnid (Just a random guy from the Netherlands. Takes good photos, paints minis and posts recipes for really tasty Dutch baked goods).

f. Quit Your Day Job (An Australian comic nerd and artist. Fun stuff!)

g. last, but not least Becca (she has one already, I think, but it's such a good blog...)

5.List at least ten (10) honest things about yourself.Then pass it on with the instructions

Here we go:

1. I have twice accidentally nearly killed my sister. Once with a bicycle and once with bees. Both times I ran away. We've talked about it many times and she's okay with it and is all about letting me be the Cool Uncle™

2. I pretty much never, ever lie. If I have to, to protect someone's feelings, say, I feel weird for a long time afterwards

3. Mountain biking is as good as sex to me. A good ride will dissipate horniness. Also, I could ride with the hottest chick ever and it wouldn't matter; only the ride would matter (Notice how I did not give a preference, sex and riding are separate and equal)

4. The wind roars like a freight train around our house in bad weather and when it does I am close to panic when the trees wave like wheat.

5. I really hate my body. I'm in better shape now than in high school, but I still hate it. Of course, I was a Fat Kid™ then...

6. I am no good with hints. Back in college, Sweet Enemy started our dating process by basically grabbing me and kissing me after ignoring many, many, many hints.

7. I'm blowing off an old friend right now because that they are too needy and won't help themselves.

8. I enjoy being better than people at things. I won't ever rub their faces in it, but I will smile inside.

9. I feel really bad that my friend Mokie didn't come out for our apres wedding party. I haven't seen him in a decade and I think things have faded and that really bugs me

10. After reading this book I'd really like to try pot. In brownies, 'cause I hate smoking.

Thirdly: AndreZero is writing a new Obscure Tales story right now. I'll have a cover teaser up soon.

listening to while posting. Hmm. Nothing.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

minor update: life in Northern New England

The old joke is true. We waited a minute and this is what we woke up to this morning:

This is last week:

This is how Sweet Enemy looks as of 1030 hrs EST. A couch, a woodstove, a blanket, a cat and a new Terry Pratchett Book = Heaven:


Friday, April 3, 2009

Obscure Tales Update!

Hey, there!

Because it was only four pages, I've posted the whole thing at once.

It worked pretty good, if I do say so myself. I've tried an entirely new inking and coloring style. Let me know what you think of it.

It's an expansion of a one-pager I did for Illustration Friday two years ago today. I When I did it I thought it was pretty good, but now that I look at it... 'ewww' is too weak a word. I still like the story, obviously, but the art? Ewww. If you feel like looking at 'ewww', here you go.

Also, Swinebread mentioned that he wasn't sold on the Obscure Tales logo. I do have some concerns myslef, but I'd like to know what you all think. Should I change the OT logo and what, if anything, would you like to see in it?
listening to while posting: "He Lied About death" by Stars

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Obscure Tales: slowly returning

I meant to have the new Obscure Tales story inked and scanned this weekend, but I ran into a not-unexpected snag: I suck.

I attempted to work in a new style for me. I decided to try to emulate the, apparently inimitable Michael Cho and it didn't work. That is actually an understatement. I was using tools in a way I hadn't before and tried to move as quickly as I do with techniques I know. I managed three pages before admitting defeat.

There were some nice moments, though and I did learn a lot. Mostly about using more than one tool for a page. I'm re-inking the comic in a version of my 'style' and just finished the first page using a dip pen, a Pigma Micron 01 and two kolinsky sable brushes. Not bad.

The new comic, I will tell you, is short (four pages plus cover) and is an expanding of a one-page comic I did a few years ago. The cover is up, but if you want the synopsis, you can go to the home page .

Listening to while posting: The End Them to The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai by Neil Norman

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Infrequent Comic Review 3

For his combined b-day/Xmas gifts, I'm ordering AndreZero some comics. One thing he requested, but he basically said surprise me. I hit Heavy Ink and just began clicking. The first bunch came and I left it in the envelope unopened. The newest one, I had to open. You see, I ordered it as sort of a test. It looked pretty cool and I thought I might want one for us, so if it sucked, AndreZero got it, if it was good, he still got it and I ordered our own.

I'm so ordering a copy of this comic. May I present, "We 3"

The basic story is relatively simple. Imagine a 1950's Military Science Gone Wrong film directed by the guy who did Dog Soldiers. Three pets, a dog, a cat and a rabbit have been stolen and subjected to an ethically-challenged USAF experiment. Altered, enhanced and encased in horribly be-weaponed armor, they've been turned into cybernetic killing machines. After a successful mission, the powers that be have decided to shut the project down and the animals 'decommissioned'. One scientist can't bring herself to kill them so she removes their safety interlocks and sets them free..

That's all I'll give you. The story is a page-turner; compelling, sad, horrifying and thought-provoking. It even has a laugh-out-lout bit right after a moment of sadness. The ending is a tad weak, but the ride is so relentless, that a soft landing doesn't feel so bad.

The art? The art is fantastic. I've never heard of Frank Quitely, but I'm going to be looking for his stuff now. Imagine Geoff Darrow ( Hard Boiled ) without too much detail and Richard Corben ( Banner! )with more detail. His figures have a solidity and lack of exaggeration that makes them almost seem traced. Almost, but second glances reveal positions that would be near-impossible to stage for photography.

He also has a unique page layout style. It takes some getting used to, but it is so cinematic in its direction that the uniqueness fades pretty quickly. One notable thing is how Quitley uses digital effects. Every so often there will be a motion blur, a fade, a focus blur, or in one fantastic two page spread, 3d cgi mixed with the traditional ink work. I despise the proliferation of lazy artists not drawing motion lines or 'sweeps' and relying on Photoshop to make up for their lack of ability. this is not how Quitely used it. For him, as for Miyazki, digital effects are a tool to be used as salt is used in food.

I will warn you now, this comic is gross, really gross. Even more so than Hard Boiled. However, like Dog Soldiers, the gore is not there to titillate. It is there to truly show the horror of the character's situation and pull you deep into their world. So, it feels specific rather than gratuitous. That being said, if you don't like blood and guts, avoid this.

However, if you don't mind blood and guts if it's part of a compelling, imaginative and rather original comic, this must be in your cubby at the store.

Listening to while posting: "Quiet" by Hard Goodbye

Also, artist Les McClane probably still needs help finding home for his friend's kitties

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

don't let F.A.T.B.O.Y. get them!

Hey, Portland, OR comic fans (you know who you are)! Want to help Les McClane out?

Les is the artist behind the fantastic Middleman comic and the equally fantastic, but not-yet-published Jonny Crossbones. What does he need, other than people to buy the comics? Well, Les lives in Portland, OR and he needs some help finding good homes for the cats of a friend who has to move to a no-cats-allowed apartment.

Need a cat? Les can get it for you. I can't guarantee anything, but you might be able to wrangle a sketch out of him if you prove worthy enough to take the cats. So, hit his site and see if these cats are what you might need in your house. It is winter after all and another warm body can't hurt!

Also, Obscure Tales 5 is in progress. Not the big story from AndreZero, but a smaller story I've had kicking around for a while.

listening to while posting: "more to life than this" by Bjork

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Big Big Update

A few things! First The Suns of Charybdis is complete!


Also, Suns and all the Obscure Tales now have their owns space on There is also an Obscure Tales index page. It looks a great deal better than the original. Man, that was so ugly it had people, including myself, asking me: "you did say you were a graphic designer, didn't you? Are you sure?".

Please let me know what you think. Andre prefers the cover thumbnails to the titles, so, I'd be curious as to anyone else's thoughts.

Today Sweet Enemy and I went for a long walk in the snow around the wooded ridge we live on and found a tent someone had been using as a deer blind. It hadn't been visited in at least four days and I wondered if it was as old as the seven cords of abandoned wood that was left when the farmer sold the pasture back in the seventies. I didn't open it. It was just too creepy. Unfortunately, I didn't bring a camera. So, as a consolation prize here are two photos of deer in our yard yesterday morning.

Listening to while posting: Guy Noir on Prairie Home Companion on Vermont Public Radio

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Emergeny post: Buy this album!

Thanks to, I turned onto a song buy a band called Artichoke. I sent them a check and in the mail today, two day's shy of Darwin's birthday, was said album. Why is Darwin's birthday important to an album?

The album is called:

26 Scientists: Anning to Malthus

And it rules. The link has a sample of the song of Mary Anning, the Englishwoman who was the first woman paleontologist.

I'd really like to post an MP3 of the Darwin song, but I feel weird about piracy. So much, that I bought two, so I could give one as a gift (rather than ripping/burning). Also, Vol. 2 is on the way! Joy!

So, if you like indie music and you like science, get this.

Listening to while posting: Darwin, Charles Robert (1809-1882). For the third time tonight.

A naked American man just stole my baloons

Last night, for the anniversary of our first kiss (when you're together for 9 years before getting married, the wedding anniversary doesn't mean quite so much), Sweet Enemy and I bought a good local pizza and watched An American Werewolf in London. It's both on our top ten list of films, and it's been a favorite of mine since the late eighties.

Re-watching it, I was happy that it held up. Not just the effects (which are still astounding), but the whole film. It really is one of the best overall horror films. It's got just the right amount of comedy to keep it from being relentless (like most modern works); it's got just enough romance to give the character's shape and drive; and it's also still pretty darn gross (while maintaining the comedy, go fig). The ending is also one of the more delicious film endings. SE pointed out that it seemed to be an early film that really used popular (though not contemporary) music effectively within the film.

So, overall, what we have is a good, say orchestration, of a film. No one element stands out to overtake the film and the cast is a real ensemble. This allows it to work on more than one level and creates a subtly complex, yet elegantly simple film. A lot of artspeak for a horror movie, you say? You're probably right. However, so am I.

If you're interested, Amazon is getting rid of their stock of combo HD-DVD/DVDs for $5 each (that's how we got this). It's got a pretty good amount of extras for a 28 year old film, too.

Listening to while posting: The washing machine gurgling

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Suns update

Wow. We're really trucking. Almost done. We're so close that I'm going to hold off updating until all the pages are ready. I think this is becoming SOP.

In other news, I spent a few hours yesterday and today airbrushing the main coat of paint on my current mode. Then I coated it with Future floor polish. This is a standard method of adding a gloss coat to the model so that decals will adhere properly. It's supposed to be self-leveling and dry evenly with no brush marks. This time, that was so not true and the paint job was now sub-par. I debated washing the paint off, but then fate made my decision for me when I accidentally knocked over the big bottle of future on my desk, myself, my floor (and, yes, it was carpet not lino.) and the cowling for the model. So, after a few hours of work, I then spent a half-hour washing the paint off of the plane. Luckily (?) this was sort of easy as it came off with Windex.

Still. It sucked.

This was on top of Saturday when I ran my car pretty low on oil by forgetting a leak that must have gotten worse. Joy. I only checked because the CHECK ENGINE light came on and began flashing and I had pretty massive hesitation when accelerating.

Here's hoping it isn't too bad. I added oil and it didn't seize up when I re-started it. That should be good, right?

Listening to while posting: "Alarm Call" by Bjork (which, according to Bjork, rhymes with 'jerk')
So, how was your weekend.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Suns update and some minor ranting

An an update! We're almost there; eight more pages. AndreZero has already finished the first draft of Obscure Tales 5. He's got big ideas and I hope I can pull it off!


I like words. I'm not all that great at making them dance, but I like them. Just this weekend I suddenly thought of two word... things... I hate.

1) anything -GATE. Oh, man, this really bugs me. Monica-gate. Trooper-Gate. Plame-Gate. For the last time, people, WATERGATE WAS THE NAME OF THE HOTEL! What would we call scandals if Liddy's crew had broken into the Raddison? I wonder if in the 90's if some journalist somewhere almost wrote or said "White Water-gate"? Now, that would have made it almost worth it.

2) anything-aholic. Shop-aholic. Work-aholic. Stop it. You're basing new terms off of an existing word, that's fine. But the word is alcoholic; someone addicted to alcohol, right? Break it down: ALCOHOL-ic. So, technically someone addicted to shopping or work is a shopic or a workic. Sure, it doesn't have the same ring, but any word ending in "aholic" is a hateful, annoying little word anyway.

So. Here I am, well on the way to being a curmudgeony old man. I knew it was coming last year when I went to help a high schooler jumpstart his car and he used a slang word I'd never heard before.

Oh, and if anybody cares, I'm documenting the process of a model I'm currently working on. I'm really pushing my skills and the potential for failure is pretty high. It's like a slow, boring reality show: will he succeed or will he have wasted $30? Tune in!

Listening to while posting: "Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf)" by Pixies

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Three sentence movie review: Taken

I'm not good at doing movie reviews without spoilers. Here are three sentences on "Taken", the movie I saw tonight with Sweet Enemy, AndreZero and ScienceGirl.

1. Final fight scene is the second-best one-on-one next to Grosse Point Blank

2. As the credits roll, cover your face to protect your brain from all of the loose ends flapping around

3. I don't really regret seeing it, but I'm glad it was AndreZero's turn to buy the tickets.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

why so serious boring?

Well, last night I finally saw the last of the four comic book films of '08: The Dark Knight.

In a word: Meh.

I can't say I liked it. Actually, I'm pretty close to not liking it the more I think about. It wasn't terrible, but Iron Man and The Hulk were better.

First, it was as wordy as a Sandman comic. It wasn't just that the characters never stopped talking, but they would spout this quasi-Shakespeareian gobbledegook that real people just don't say. The worst was the Joker's swan song. Sure, I really liked the rotation of the upside-down Joker so that both he and Batman would appear right-side up, but that the Joker would appear freaky. After a minute of the 'we're two sides of the same coin' speech, I fast forwarded and it STILL took forever. Don't tell me I missed anything important, because I really can't believe that.

Second, it was stupidly complex. What was the deal with the Hong Kong banker? It really didn't really advance the story. In fact when the Joker kidnapped him, I'd completely forgotten about him (not that the Joker really did anything with him other than burn him).

The conspiracies within the film were way too complex as well. Even within a comic book world, they were unbelievably improbable. The Joker wanted to be captured by Jim Gordon and Batman? He was winning that battle and it was only pure luck that he was captured!

Thirdly, my belief was asked to be suspended too often. Not so much that there were outrageous things happening, I LIKE that, but there were too many contradictions. I'd just barely accepted the Bat Pod as barely feasible when he pulls that cool wall turn. That was pretty neat and I laughed out loud. But, a minute or so later, he has to lay the bike down rather than, oh I don't know, USE THE BRAKES? It just seemed stupid.

The destruction of the hospital was way out of line as well. It must have taken the Joker years to set all of those charges without anyone noticing.

I thought Heath Leger was pretty good. Not Oscar material at all, what with all that scenery he gnawed on. Sure, it was fun for the Joker to tell a different scar story each time, but did they have to be so damned long? He was pretty scary until about halfway through his interrogation by Batman, by then I just didn't care.

Christian Bale. God, he's so wooden he's like David Caruso with muscles anymore. Plus, I didn't like how his fighting skills seemed to have gone downhill. You'd figure after a few years of fighting everyone, his ninja training would have been honed and improved. Nope.

Did I like anything? I liked Senator Patrick Leahy's cameo. He's a huge Batman fan and gave all his acting wages to his hometown library.

I liked Harvey Dent's makeup. A nice mix of prosthetics and cgi.

I also liked the making the hostages look like the henchmen. That was a really nice touch. (But couldn't Batman have gotten things done quicker and less riskier to him by grabbing one of the SWAT guys and telling him about the switch and having him relay by radio?)

What was also kind of funny was watching the Joker laugh while being beaten in the interrogation room. It reminded me of Tyler Durden getting beaten by Lou in the basement of the bar in Fight Club (which I re-watched the night before).

Other than that, it was long, verbose, jumbled, and overall kinda boring. For comic book films this year for me the rankings are:

1) The Incredible Hulk
2) Iron Man
3) Hellboy 2 : The Golden Army
4) The Dark Knight

I'm probably lucky for the low readership of this blog, as my fellow geeks may lay into me. But, I stand by my opinions. This was not a worthy sequel to what was arguably the best comic book movie ever, Batman Begins

Listening to while posting: "As Time Goes By" by Tony Bennet

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Suns of Charybdis has updated!

It would have been done sooner, but as I was inking page 13, I realized that it needed a complete new layout to make sense. At least I think it did. AndreZero saw the original, let's see if he likes this alternate.

In other news, I'm starting a blog for my models. I sort of want to keep this blog for art and real life only. Plus, since I'll be posting in-progress pics, I'm hoping that passing modelers with more skills than I will tell me what I'm doing wrong.

So, what am I reading right now, you ask? Well, I'm reading "Three Men in a Boat (to say nothing of the Dog!) a fantastic book from late 19th century England by Jerome K. Jerome.

It is one of the more subtly funny books I've read in a while. It's basic plot is of three well-to-do friends wh decide to vacation by taking a rowboat trip along an English river. On the surface, it looks like a script for a family-film farces along the lines of "Vacation" or "Are We Done Yet?" where well-meaning boobs get into hijinks. It is the narrative, however, that saves this book from truly being mediocre. The author has a way of writing with a great deal of apparent seriousness and never really makes a joke. The humor just flows through the narrative. To be sure, the language is a bit... flowery, perhaps, but hey, it's the 19th century (and it's not near as bad as Melville)

Anyway, it's hard for someone of my marginal writing skills to explain. Go get it at the library; if, for some reason you don't laugh, you've lost nothing ;)

I will share an excerpt. Here the the narrator makes an observation about something I've experienced myself when backpacking:

"I woke at six the next morning; and found George awake too. we both turned round, and tried to go to sleep again, but we could not. Had there been any particular reason why we shouldnot have gone to sleep again, but have got up and dressed then and there, we should have dropped off while we were looking at our watches , and have slept till ten. As there was no earthly necessity for our gettin up under another two hours at the very least, and keeping with the natural cussedness of rthings in general that we should both feel that lying down would be the death of us"

so, there.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

blast from the past

So, in March 1999, my fellow Graphic Design major (and good friend), Kick Enemy Men (of the Fairness Battalion application fame), and I took on a semester-long project to create a video game in Flash 3. Flash 3. Man. No actionscript to speak of really and we decided, for some reason, to do the graphics in a 3-d program and use GIFs rather than vector. In some ways, it was a coup, but now it's just... old. Rather like watching Crash of the Moons after watching the new BSG. It's also clunky and rather broken code-wise with lots of bugs.

But, making it was soooooo fun. We spent a great deal of time laughing very hard. The best part was that the mother ship (the 'boss') takes five or so hits to destroy it and it has a different way to destroy your homeworld for each hit. Each type of enemy spacecraft has a way of destroying the homeworld as well.

With out further ado, I give you DEFEND!