Friday, November 28, 2008
In this week's episode, A man is murdered by what we think are killer butterflies, (no really) at Massive Dynamic and Peter, Walter and Olivia discover a bizarre cause of death. Olivia gets an email from a dead man which leads her to big tubs full of frogs. This cracks the case, since they discover the toads secrete a psycho-active compound, and that the venom they produce in the skin is the compound found in Mark's brain. It's a powerful hallucinogen and targets the fear center in the brain. The man was literally scared to death!
Olivia thinks she's wrapped her head around this: that Mark hallucinated the cuts and then his body made them happen. Later, Olivia admits to Walter that John Scott lead her to the toads. He says his memories are still trapped in her mind. She wants to know how long these "visits" will keep happening, because she wants to get rid of him and fast. So, what does Walter suggest? Another trip to the dunk tank!
You can watch full episodes here -- every episode so far! http://www.fox.com/fod/play.php?sh=fringe
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
This comic came out in 1983, the year I graduated from high school. I wasn't buying comics at that time, and probably wouldn't have bought this one anyway. The story is as confusing as the cover. It takes place during WWII on DC's Earth 2. According to Wikipedia,
Earth Two was created to explain how Golden Age versions of characters such as The Flash could appear in stories with their Silver Age counterparts. Its continuity includes DC Golden Age heroes, including the Justice Society of America, whose careers began at the dawn of World War II, concurrently with their first appearances in comics.Confused? So am I! In the first 3 pages we are introduced to 17 characters, most of whom I've never heard of. As you continue, more and more costumed characters climb aboard as if it were a Pre-Crisis Noah's Ark. The Ultra-Humanite has gathered bad guys from her own day, some from the future '80s, and some from a place called Limbo. This is one of those comics that is so bad it's good, giving us hilariously absurd characters like the Monocle -- who can shoot blasts from his spectacle.
I like the idea of "comics improv". You might also call them word association comics. We've all seen "Who's Line is it Anyway" when someone yells out a word and the comedians do the best they can with it, on the spot. I like drawing comic strips that way, responding to challenges, giving myself a time limit, and doing the best I can with it.
One of the challenges floating around now is called 100 Themes. The challenge is to draw one panel or illustration for each. Part 1 (above) I did back in May. Six monthes later, I've got another page done.!
Here is the complete list of themes.
5. Seeking Solace
6. Break Away
10. Breathe Again
22. Mother Nature
24. No Time
25. Trouble Lurking
30. Under the Rain
35. Hold My Hand
36. Precious Treasure
42. Standing Still
44. Two Roads
50. Breaking the Rules
52. Deep in Thought
53. Keeping a Secret
56. Danger Ahead
58. Kick in the Head
59. No Way Out
61. Fairy Tale
63. Do Not Disturb
67. Playing the Melody
72. Mischief Managed
73. I Can't
74. Are You Challenging Me?
|76. Broken Pieces|
81. Pen and Paper
82. Can You Hear Me?
84. Out Cold
86. Seeing Red
89. Through the Fire
92. All That I Have
93. Give Up
94. Last Hope
96. In the Storm
97. Safety First
Robin Brennar got us started with a presentation called What are Comics? We learned that comics are a format, not a genre. She shared how comics can help with literacy skills -- especially the 21st century set of skills for information in today's very image-oriented information age. She knew about of slew of new really great books I hadn't heard of. Now I have a long list of new things to look for.
Then it was my turn. I like the photo below, because even though it's a little blurry, it looks like I know what I'm talking about. My presentation evolves slightly every time I present. I now include what I call Comic Book Readers Theatre, Cartoon Drawing Building Blocks, and how comics can be used to teach the writing of dialogue and the literary devices of onomatopoia, alliteration, and hyperbole.
After sitting for five of six hours, and looking forward to a five hour drive, I decided to stretch my legs a little before driving home. I visitted the Outer Limits comic shop in Waltham. This place was wall-to-wall comics -- new stuff, old stuff, hardcovers, everything. In addition, I've never seen so much vintage retro stuff. If one was so inclined, you could buy one of the toys I had as a kid and threw out for, oh, $300 or so. I'm not about to do that, but it was a great walk down memory lane.
The only bad thing that happened this weekend was that I forgot my camera, so the photo essay you see below is compiled by photos swiped from various sources on the internet!
The school is a really neat place. The main building is an old department store downtown, that they have refurbished into a school. I think it's neat that they've maintained some of the characteristics from days of yore in the building, like the Colody's sign they discovered when cleaning the place and restored. Below is the lobby, which had an exhibit of original comics art pages. This in itself was worth the trip to me. By seeing the original art page it's possible to analyze the artist's process in a way you can't when you see the work in print.
In the basement is every kind of imaginable printing equipment from electronic to silkscreen.
In a separate building is the Charles Shulz library. There the students have access to a huge collection of cartoon and comic reference books and anthologies.
Alec Longstreth was my guide. Unfortunately he wasn't teaching that day, but it was cool to meet him. He is unbelievably tall, while still being down to earth.
In my next post, I'll write a little about the actual workshop.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Below is the new cover for the package of notes I give to participants.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
And the Watcher, below, counters the heresies of the frantic Sue Storm (Invisible Girl).
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Nathan loves his Batman costume. He has been wearing the mask for days.
He was really good about saying "Trick or Treat" and "Tank yoo!"
We got an unbelievable amount of candy there. It was fun to see all the neat costumes the other kids (and some of the grown-ups wore).