Sunday, September 30, 2007

Nova, The Human Rocket

Ok, since I already posted what I would do for Flash Gordon if I were designing an animated version, here is another. Nova! The Human Rocket! If you are old enough to remember the mid-70's, you might remember an un-remarkable comic produced by Marvel of the same name. I loved it! It only lasted 25 issues and Marvel has tried to re-introduce him several times since but they all met with cancellation as well. There is a current one out now that I don't see lasting too long. I think they changed the character way to much. When he started out, he was like Peter Parker without his brains. Making him even more of a loser who suddenly gets super-powers from a dying alien while having a soda in an ice-cream shop!! Sound corny?? Yeah, but I recently read an interview with his creator (Marv Wolfman, who also co-created the New Teen Titans for DC comics and had THAT adapted to a cartoon series.) and he stated that Nova was created for kids. For the same type of reader that loved Spider-Man at the same age. Then it really hit me how cool he would be for a cartoon! I stared drawing. I found myself doodling him alot and the design naturally stared to evolve. I am still drawing him and I probably will for a bit when I have the time. I am really enjoying it at the moment. I may have to break out my sculpy and try my hand at making a maquette again. Who knows. Anyway, here is my version of Nova.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Flash Gordon

I love Flash Gordon. Alex Raymond was a real genius and the work still holds up today. I even love those old Flash Gordon movie serials from the 1930's starring Buster Crabbe. I still laugh at the sheer camp of the Sam Jones 1980 romp. What I really dislike, however, is the new series on the Sci-Fi Channel. I tried to watch it. I really have and it never got any better. If any of you saw the one where Flash's friend got bit by a Mongo bug and had to be depressed at his brother's wedding in order to live can attest. Does that even remotely SOUND like a Flash Gordon plot??? If that is what they mean by re-imagined for today, I will gladly take yesterday.

So, here it is. My first piece of artwork on my blog. Since I am on this topic I found this to be relevant. I will fess up to the fact that I started this work way back in 1998. Now, that does not mean that I have been working non-stop since then. Hardly. I wish I had more time to finish it actually since it is in the final stages of completion. What I am showing you is really just a "detail" of part of it. The real work is actually very involved and looks more like a movie poster with lots of characters, space ships and what have you. Take a look.

What I also love to do and secretly desire ( well, not so secret now! ) to do for a living is develop cartoons. I love taking properties and attempt to make them work in animated form. I don't really make up my own characters so much as use what is out there. I like to "play with other people's toys", to quote John Byrne. So several years ago I got the notion in me to develop, you guessed it, Flash Gordon. Now I know that there have been several animated takes on him already but I ignored those when working on mine. I thought that the sleek, deco style that Bruce Timm was using for Batman (and Superman, etc., etc. ) would be perfect for Flash if he was taken from the 30's. I actually found my original drawings and the final colored art as well. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Atlanta, Crowded House and a rib

So being the major geek that I am, I convinced the wife to let me travel to Atlanta to see the re-united Crowded House in concert. They were not heading as far south as Florida so I had to choose another local on the tour. I figured Los Angeles or Atlanta. Both would give me the opportunity to see some Ringling friends and the Crowdies for the first time since 1991. Did I mention that Crowded House is the greatest band ever?? Remind me later and I will post that. The trip was made even better since another old friend, Ryan, said he would tag along. I waited all summer for the event and the day finally arrived. I was giddy. The only downside was that I was still recovering from a really bad cold and had some lingering coughing and congestion. Not to worry. I loaded up on over the counter medications.

The journey there was fine and uneventful. It was a night flight and Alberto met us at the airport and brought us to the hotel. We got some sleep and then in the morning we headed out for some breakfast and then to CNN to meet up with Alberto to take us to lunch with the rest of the Ringling contingent. Was all good. After lunch we got a special tour of CNN and I was amazed at how much had changed since Jay and I went for our interviews just after graduation. I even got to lay down on Nancy Grace's desk. Afterwards we waited in the lobby for Alberto to finish his day. He met us and we began walking to his car parked across the street. I asked if we could swing past the hotel so I could take some cough medicine. As we crossed the street, I coughed pretty hard and felt a "pop" in my back. I felt like someone stabbed me. I made it across and was then bent over with my hands on my knees in pain. Alberto thought I was interested in the underground train that must have been visible and kept pointing it out to me. It wasn't until the police officer asked if I was alright did anyone get the hint that I was in pain. To make matters worse, Alberto began to rub my back as I was still bent over and Ryan stood by with his permanent grin on his face. This had to be the gayest looking public embarrassment I have been involved in. But really. What was I to do?? I managed to suck it up and took a tour with Jay over at Cartoon Network and then we all had a really good dinner before heading to the show. Everyone figured I must have pinched a nerve and that it would be ok in the morning. Did I mention we all went to art school and not medical school??

Crowded House. CROWDED HOUSE!!! They were just amazing!!! I stayed closer to the back of the auditorium in fear of people hitting me in the back and it was closer to the bar. The guys were gracious enough to keep me medicated on beer for the show. I waited 16 years to see them again and they did not disappoint. It was a great show. Even with a busted rib!!

Sometimes to get to meet your heroes. Sometimes you have to rely on PhotoShop!

...and here I am.

Sometimes you learn things the hard way. I guess that is so you never make that mistake again. What is that they say? Fool me once...... . Well, my computer had some issues after I came home from a trip to Atlanta and had to be overhauled (quick shout-out to Doug!) and in the process I had forgotten to back up my files for the current version of my website. The website is still up but in order to update it, I must first re-create all the content. Faced with that and the news that a good friend of mine has also started a blog made me re-think this whole blogging deal. I know I read them on an almost daily basis. Or at least check out the artwork posted on them. Yeah, most of what I read are blogs by other artists. I always wish I was as good as ( insert name here. ).

So what will I write?? How often will I post?? Will anyone really care??? I don't have any answers right now. I think that I will post periodically and show some work that I may not have already on my website or work that is in progress for feedback. Or I will just enjoy the stream of conscious style of writing that seems good for the soul. Enjoy!