Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Jesus Needs Help on Twitter





That's what I said.  If you want to read that comic at no cost at all, then definitely follow me on Twitter or just follow the hashtag: #JesusNeedsHelp

Have fun, everybody.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Another happy birthday to Tex Avery


At any point in Tex's life had he drank some type of perpetual rejuvenation potion that would allow him to live forever, he would be celebrating his 106th birthday today.  One wonders what he'd be creating in today's animation industry with all it's faster computers, CGI animation, and tons of corporate interference.  We can only speculate on that point so there's no dire need to discuss that at any length.
Today I would like to talk about one aspect of Tex's work that I admire.  Any political references in his cartoons seem to be non-partisan.  Many great, if not all great satirists are like that.  It makes it easier for them to see the big picture and thus have a more nuanced point of view.  You know they're not pushing and agenda and when discussing a topic constantly pulling things out of their asses and shaping it to fit their agenda.  There's too many of the later kind of agenda-pushing "satirists" around these days.  In America, most of them end up on either Fox News or its polar opposite (yet comrade in blind myopia) MSNBC.  In Canada we have The Sun.  Other countries have their own versions of these channels of course.  All that cacoaphonic bickering just sounds like bratty kids demanding to have that toy and the other kid to have nothing.

Tonight on the O'Reilly Factor....

If Tex was here today he wouldn't putting up with any of this nonsense.  He certainly didn't in his own lifetime either as evidenced by the screen shots I've provided:


Here's a gag from a cartoon he did at Warner Bros. called Holiday Highlights (c. 1940).  At the time there was a debate about whether Thanksgiving should be moved a week earlier.  Republicans were saying 'yes' and Democrats were saying 'no'.  A global conflict was gaining serious momentum in Europe and the South Pacific region yet this is the issue that congress was debating over.  Whatever.  Regardless, it's obvious that Tex took no political sides with this issue.  The gag here is essentially a ridiculous compromise that condescends to both sides.  It's a similar gag in the next shot too.


This is a gag from Aviation Vacation (c. 1941) also at Warner Bros.  (click on it to enlarge if you have to) This time he's adding two more faces to Mount Rushmore: Wendel Wilkie for the Republicans and Franklyn Roosevelt for the Democrats.  Of course, to coincide with the most recent election, he would have put Barrack Obama and Mitt Romney up there in their place.  Again, Tex is offering an outrageous compromise to over-sized ill-behaved children.


And here's something from one of his MGM cartoons Jerky Turkey (c. 1945).  The cartoon begins with the Pilgrims coming to this new land to create Amreica.  It seems the first order of business when establishing a settlement is to divide "Ye Democrats" and "Ye Republicans", making the statement that America was pretty much founded on this silly conflict.

There are some good non-partisan satirists around today though.  The two most famous and most obvious are of course Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.  Their target seems to be the incredibly biased reporting done by the networks who push the extreme political ideologies thus tainting all of their news.  But then starting in the early 2000's, when George W. Bush's administration was doing some reprehensible things, then their targets began to include politicians themselves.  I know alot of people see them as "in it for the left" but that's not at all true.  They attack the right wing politicians and pundits for their displays of bat-shit insanity while they attack the left wing politicians and pundits for their inability to cope with the bat-shit insanity of their opponents.

HEY!!  Don't lump us in with all those creeps and weirdoes!!
Oh, sorry!  You're right.  Comparing America's right wing fringe with bat shit is indeed an insult to bat shit.  I apologize.

Well, we do know one political agenda that Tex Avery had, he certainly hated Adolf Hitler (just like anyone with a conscience should).  And so, he quickly joined Charlie Chaplain, The Three Stooges, Spike Jones and several others among the ranks of Hollywood's artists who made films attacking the Third Reich.  So I will end this post with Tex Avery's Oscar Nominated masterpiece The Blitz Wolf.


Tex Avery - Blitz Wolf  ( 1942 ) by Eeden_

Enjoy the show.  And thank you Tex for everything.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Recent life drawing

Here are some life drawings I've done.


For this one I had to take a picture with my camera because it was too big for my scanner.
 Life drawing is great fun.  It certainly wasn't my strongest subject back at animation school, but nonetheless is fun to practice.  Recently I've been going to this life drawing session held at Plan B 2180 Gottigen St. in downtown Halifax.  It starts at 7:00 pm and goes until about 9.  If you live in the Halifax area and have an interest in drawing then coming here at that time with art supplies ready is a good idea.




Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lizzie Borden Took An Ax


That's what this magnum opus is being called.  It makes its debut on the Lifetime Network next Saturday on January 25 at 8pm/7pm Central Time.  If you're not in either of those time zones, you'll have to do that math and find out the time for yourself.  The poster and the trailer is making it look like a campy slasher movie for some odd reason.  After being on that set for more than a few scenes, I can tell you that it is not like that at all.  "What is it then?" you ask.  You'll have to tune in and see for yourself, smart guy.
Last summer, I made a post on this very blog about me being a background extra in it.  Here are some of the costumes I got to wear:

This is what I wore for all of the court room scenes.  I had to do alot of listening kind of actions.  But, every once in a while, I had also had to do some type of gasping and other reflex reactions to the various activities in that courtroom.  Most of the time I was just a face in the crowd.  But I do remember two times where the camera was looking almost right at me.  Once was when Lizzie (Christina Ricci) was conferring with her lawyer and broke down crying at the thought of either going to jail or because I was staring at her back in my efforts to not look directly into the camera lense.  Whatever the motivation, she performed a good cry, even after doing it the 30th time.
The other time the camera was on me, I was behind two ladies commenting on how small and frail Lizzie was.  I know for certain that I was on camera because director Nick Gomez scolded me and the guy beside me and told us to tone down our hammy performances.  For the record, I knew my performance was too much as I was doing it.  But, since the cameras were already rolling, there was nothing I could do but play it out and wait for the director to inevitably call for Take 2 which he did.  So it was all good.
Oh yeah, I also remember that stupid collar digging into my neck.  I think I got a rash from it too.

I wore this ensemble when we shot in Lunenberg.  Here I played the part of a "church-goer".  That's right, kids, I went to church and got paid for it.
It was here that I did a scene inwhich I almost bumped into Christina Ricci and could possibly have ruined the scene.  My part was to be someone who had just left the church with everyone else and was now standing on the sidewalk somewhat behind the entire Borden family while I talked to two other gentlemen about that day's sermon.  After the director yelled "action" I had to tip my hat goodday to those gentlemen and then walk behind the Borden family as they walk off to the left.  But, on one of those takes, either I turned and walked too soon or the Bordens started walking too late.  Either way, when I turned around almost bumped right into all of them.  If I hadn't been paying attention, that whole scene could have turned into a mosh pit.  That might have been fun but I don't think it quite suited the tone the director was trying to achieve.  Oh well, no harm done.
I do also remember a couple of very horny horses that almost caused some chaos too.  I also don't think horse-porn would have suited the movie's motif as well.

I wore this in a few scenes where I was one of a crowd of people outside the Borden household trying to peek inside.  I was also somebody lined up on the side of the street as the coffins of both Mr. and Mrs. Borden travelled passed as well as a despondent Lizzie and Emma Borden.
I think I'm also wearing this in that one big scene where a race of hatchet-shaped aliens lands on the planet with thoughts of world domination.  Then Mr. and Mrs. Borden alone confront the aliens and fight them off in an effort to save all of humanity.  The aliens do fly away in retreat but not before attacking their skulls at least 40 times.

Oh whoops!  I just gave away the surprise "real truth" ending.  DOH!  I had to sign a paper about
not revealing that to anyone too.  Oh well, I guess Nick Gomez will have to make a last minute change before the big broadcast on Saturday.  I'm sure he can do it.  Then we can all find out what great ending he has for us.  It's too bad.  All the fighting off the alien scenes were amazing, even before all the CGI and AfterEffects were added.  Oh well, maybe that will be a included on special DVD or Blueray release or something.

Remember, that's Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8pm / 7pm Central on the Lifetime Network.  Be there!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

It's not my cup of tea




That is what I was told when I tried to sell my comic Censor Monkeys Have No Class to a comic book store here in town.  The proprietor also told me that "he did not think that the book would not be suitable for his customers".  In order to protect the sanity of everyone involved, I will not reveal the name of that establishment.  All I will say is that I'm of course not at all happy his decision but it was his decision to make.  Like a recent review of my book said, you'll either love it or you'll hate it.  he obviously chose the latter. I have to respect his business practices just as much as he has to respect the design and content of my book.
While I do respect that, I also have to point out that those reasons do still seem rather vague and non-committal.  It's as if there was something he wanted to tell me but either didn't or couldn't.  That does make me a little intrigued as to what the real reasons were.  Maybe the current CEO of Marvel Comics was in the back room pointing a gun at the proprietor's head forcing him to reject my book.  I'm pretty sure that's not the first time Marvel has used that tactic.  I think that's how Spawn went out of business.
He did read it all the way through before rendering his decision.  Maybe after a thorough going over he found many holes in the story and/or the satire.  I doubt that because I made sure the entire narrative was solid, but who knows what he managed to spot.
Or, more despicably, he's one of those people who actually sympathizes with any or all of the Censor Monkeys in the book.  If that's the case, well then TO THE MOON with that guy!!

Ugh!  Why does everyone on Earth want to send all their jerks to me??!!
Oh well.  What's done is done.  There's nothing I can do about it now.  All I can do is make sure my dealings with the next comic book store owner go much smoother.

But I can't help wondering if maybe something could have been done.  Was there a way I could have better persuaded him to accept my comic into his store.  If only I had some sort of time machine or something.

Maybe I can help!
WOW!  Noted and accomplished time travelling physicist Samual Beckett.  You want to help me with this?  Cool!  Go right ahead.

Okay!  Here I go!



[SOUND EFFECTS]
You can't look at this book like the others.  There's a level of satire just below the surface that......
OWF!!!
......consider the subtext...... [moan].......... juvenalian satire............ [grooooooooooooan]........
[ooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwww].................. well, I tried.

Thank you for trying, Sam.  Tell Ziggy that I say hi.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Michael's and Gabriel's creature

My nephews are at it again.


Some time ago, Michael had imagined a creature that he called the Inkermink.  Being the artist that I am, I naturally drew it for him and thus brought his vision to life.  Well, this time his younger brother Gabriel is helping him out.  Together they described a new type of creature.  Here are the exact features they envisioned:

Sharks for hands
Cars for feet
Pants made of eyeballs
Eyes made of hair
Hair made of feet
Fingers made of thumbs (thumbs made of belts)
Ears made of glasses
Face made of a football 
Brain made of TV (pops his brain out to watch tv)


And so, immediately down below is the result:


So there you have it: Michael's and Gabriel's own creation in all it's glory.  Personally I think they're ready to work for Nickelodeon, don't you?  I will now leave you all with the two of them having fun at Christmas time.  Enjoy!