Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The John Layman Dream Girl Experiment, Mark I

Troopin' the Storm



Steve is wize in the ways of the force.

Not that it's a sign...

Ah, Starbucks in the summertime. As I waited for the sweet, caffeinated nectar that is a caramel mocha, I chatted up the lovely lass ahead of me in line. Her words were friendly and playful, but mostly drowned out by lurid thoughts involving my hands entwined in her jet black hair. A black so dark the stars themselves yearn for its enveloping embrace, a void of motion within countless strands and highlights sharp as ice despite the dim-lit coffehouse.

The barrista called my order and snapped me back to my surroundings. "Is that you?" Jet Black motioned. "Oh, yes, I'm sorry," I replied, thinking how silly it was for me to miss an opportunity to introduce myself, "My name is Eric."

She gave a wary smile and said, "It's just that your coffee looks like it says 'evil'."

"Tip of the iceberg," was the response that teased out a laugh before heading our separate ways.

Monday, May 30, 2005

For the Record

I sense I am being set up for a fall.

Poor Muppets



I caught the tail end of "Muppets' Wizard of Oz" completely by accident. It was bad. It wasn't the Muppets we all know and love, but you could tell they were trying. This opinion is shared over at Jim Hill media, and there's some great ideas how to save the Muppets.

ps, Jennifer Garner I love you.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Out of this World

Existentialist, eh? This is the second time I gleamed a blogapp from Information Overload, thanks Kim P!
---

You scored as Existentialist. Existentialism emphasizes human capability. There is no greater power interfering with life and thus it is up to us to make things happen. Sometimes considered a negative and depressing world view, your optimism towards human accomplishment is immense. Mankind is condemned to be free and must accept the responsibility.


Existentialist

88%

Cultural Creative

81%

Modernist

69%

Postmodernist

63%

Materialist

56%

Idealist

31%

Romanticist

25%

Fundamentalist

19%

What is Your World View? (corrected...again)
created with QuizFarm.com

New Comics Day

Last week was slow:

Livewires
Justice League Confidential

This week was huge!

JLA
Omac
Day of Vengeance
Green Lantern #1
Power Pack
Ultimate Iron man
Ultimates 2
City of Tomorrow

Livewires continues to blow my mind. I've always been a fan of artist Rick Mays, he has an uberslick style that stood out on his Kabuki run (the only reason I would even go near that book) and the near-invisible Arsenal miniseries for DC. His previous collaboration with writer/artist Adam Warren closed out Gen13 for WildStorm, something I have a bit of affinity for. On Livewires, Mays has begun to directly channel more of Warren's distinctive features fervor, if fact Warren is listed as providing layouts in the current ish which does not surprise me considering his intense hands-on involvement with his books.

I had to buy the new Green Lantern because, well I had to. I hope it turns around quick and digs itself out of the Hal Jordan circle jerk that was Green Lantern: Rebirth. Nothing against series writer Johns, but he tends to fawn over his characters more often than not. Hal Jordan is cool, I get that,most of us got that the first time around, make with the greenie-green already.

Road to Fame and Fortune


Hey everybody! "Manga" is really popular!

Hell, even an idiot can do it!

For a small investment of 20 American dollars, the secrets to the craze that's sweeping the nation can be yours!

I promise to remember you all when I am very rich and famous!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Neal Pozner is Dead

Neal J. Pozner, however, is very much alive, and has been for quite some time. Neal's cherubic looks are alarmingly deceitful, as years upon years of drinking only the finest hard liqueurs have sublimated his very blood in to an unnatural alcoholic formaldehyde-- an Aqua Vitae via Tom Collins, if you will. Evidence of Neal's good living can be found in a variety of archival photos, as he's had a lifelong hobby of being photographed with admired icons of the day.

In fact here we see Neal with the nefarious Jack Ruby (and friends), circa November, 1963. Jack had to "step out" for a bit after this photo was taken, tho Neal decided to hang back at the club and vomit repeatedly instead of accompanying him. In retrospect, a wise decision.



This photo from 1978 shows Neal with actor Greg Evigan and Sam the chimpanzee from his time as a gaffer for television's "BJ and the Bear." Rumor has it that Sam's handlers asked Neal to be fired after he was found slipping the wiley chimp small airplane bottles of Jack Daniels. Neal was immediately hired back as producers determined a direct correlation between Neal's presence on set and the chimp's performance.



With so many conflicting photos in circulation, it's next to impossible to determine Mr. Pozner's actual age. And I'm sure that's how he likes it.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Edco AT LARGE

This is at once both exhilirating and crushingly depressive. With all the Star Wars hullabaloo, you may have noticed there was a cell phone game available. You may have also noticed some "low key" promotional tie-ins.

If you go to Burger King and get a drink, there's a picture of the cell phone game printed on the cup. You can barely make it out, but on the phone is art from the game. The thing is, see, I drew that.



I fear this type of exposure, idiosyncratic as it may be, may never be matched nor eclipsed, and thus my conflicting emotions.

Huzzah!

Props, yo.



I'm not a big sports guy, but I have to admit what my company pulled off for E3 was pretty amazing. Madden 06-- for cell phones, the LG VX7000 specifically, and no other game on the market is even close to how ours looks, runs, and plays.

See some screenshots and a preview over at Gamespot.

E3 Decompression

E3 was -insane-. I really don't dig on it at all because it almost represents everything I hate about the game industry. All flash, no bang. There was some cool stuff to be sure, but 90% was so humdrum and rehash I wonder why people play games at all.

And then I entered the Capcom booth.

THANK GOD for Capcom. I don't know why, but all the products they were showing made me excited for games again. That groovy feeling where you just can't wait to run to the store to see if the latest offering is out. Capcom had alot of standards, some impressive next-gen offerings, and were one of the very few major companies that handed out a printed catalog. A catalog, imagine that.

They also debuted a game so bizzare, so unlikely, so freaking Japanese, that I was completely entranced. This is why I present Super Edco's E3 Game of Show to:

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney



"Objection!"

Thursday, May 19, 2005

E3 Pics!



Here's quick link to my E3 pics, I'll post more info on the show soon!

SEE THE PICS HERE. Lots of Booth Babes!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Kapow!

I was watching Robot Chicken and was inspired to try a quick little animation with one of my CyGirls. I think I'll try another one with an actual lighting rig, because it was easy and fun!

Monday, May 16, 2005

How to Draw John Layman

Step 1.


Keep your lines light and sketchy. Draw a basic circle and divide it into quarters, give the dividers a little curve to enhance the roundness. Don't draw a perfect circle, aim more for a sort of cantaloupe-like shape, like one that has been dropped on the floor a few times.

Step 2.

Draw some gentle curves to fill out the cheek and neck area-- give it that nice doughy shape we all know and love. Use the cross-hair of the circle to place the guides for the eyes, there should be one eye's width between them. Place a rough shape for the ear where the circle and neck meet.

Step 3.

Add the nose, it starts thin at the top just over the eye and extends into a bulbous honker at the bottom of the circle. Detail the ear by envisioning how a small, mutated eggplant would appear attached to someone's head.

Step 4.

Draw in Layman's droopy eyelids and things really start to come together. Add some eyebrows. Don't forget the bags under the eyes to signify years of late night drinking and general personal abuse. Bring the cheek down from the nose, and then give him a wide smile. Try to imagine what Layman might look like while stoned on a special occasion. And by special occasion I mean any given hour of the day.

Step 5.

One thing that I have to admit is Layman always had good hair. Not as good as mine, of course, I mean a man can dream and all, but really. Give that mop a big swooshy shape he'll be proud of. In reality Layman has a freakishly large forehead, but it's best not to call attention to it. People will just think you are a bad drawer since they will assume no human could possibly have such a freakishly large forehead. Draw in his beady little eyes and make them extra glossy by including a large highlight. Sketch in a wide V shape to finish off his neck and suggest the outline of a t-shirt, which is probably for some lame rock band no one has ever heard of but Layman will insist is the Second Coming of Christ.

Step 6.

Clean up your drawing by erasing the guidelines and giving more weight to the detail lines, but keep it kind of sloppy to retain that sketchy "off the cuff" feel. Even though it won't hold up to any close scrutiny, it will give the passing illusion that you know what you're doing. Just like Layman's comics.


Step 7.

Share your drawing with friends, like, oh, say, by posting it on your blog that nobody reads. Watch in awe as your comment box is filled with praise of your skill to capture the likeness off such a handsome subject.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

My Name Is Marcus Aurelius

Laymamerican Idol continues but my rank is falling and I am not getting the unquestioning admiration I deserve.

That dog will not hunt, monsignor. That dog will not hunt.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

We're Boned

Just had been doodling and watching the Wall Street Journal Report, all about future industries of America in the new global economy that's evolving. The fastest growing/highest paying American job markets are Chiropractics, Obstatricians, Real Estate, and Interior Design.

Sore backs, more babies, overpriced homes, and faux marble trim. India and China don't got nothin' on us! USA! USA!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

New Comics Day

Somehow I've still got time to go buy comics.

Rann-Thangar War
Adam Strange
Green Lantern Rebirth
Wonder Woman
Star Wars Tales
Astonishing X-Men
Sidekicks Summer Special
Conan and the Jewels of Gwahlur
Action Comics

It's a sci-fi heavy week, with the much anticipated Rann-Thangar War and the next-to-last offerings featuring the DC Bullet. I originally did not plan to pick up Action Comics, but when John Byrne isn't actually writing or inking, he's tolerable! I doubt I'll stick with it, Superman just isn't interesting these days, and all I'm really waiting for is the Morrison/Quitely run.

My buddy came with me today to the store, and after leaving he remarked how he hadn't been to a comic store in such a long time and of our industry's latest offerings, "Wow, comics are completely inaccessible to anyone who doesn't read comics." If comics' plight were a lump of coal, that sentence synthesizes it into diamond clarity. I didn't even try to argue because he's completely right, and it's going to take more than a fancy new logo to convince people otherwise.

I'm sure there's a large segment of comics readership that is perfectly okay with the status quo, and don't see the need to convince anyone of anything. There is a small bit of virtue left there, but without launching into "how to save comics," this jist of it is that our beloved industry is stagnant, and the still water of comics is deep.

Intermission

I continue to simmer my thoughts on blogging about what I can do in this space, and it still needs some time on the stove. I do like reading blogs that specialize, when the author(s) are already legitimate authorities, or become ones by proxy. Bloggers that stick to what they themselves enjoy are actually sharing their enjoyment. If past posts are any indication, it would appear my circle of interest is roughly limited to comic books, dank pool halls, and all things lascivious, which is basically true if not unfortunate. My skills and hobbies do extend beyond that circle, it's just I like writing about some things more than others. To the degree that these subjects be offered into a public forum, well, I feel that if I will be devoting any time to it, it should be with at least some enthusiasm.

Average blog entry:

Today I saw the hottest chick at Staples!

Edco blog entry:

Lost between the isles of printer paper and writing utensils, I scanned the colorful rows of pens and markers looking for that perfect Sharpie. From the corner of my eye I spied the hottest chick I'd seen in at least an hour, her tight, grey tee straining to contain an ample paradise underneath. Low cut jeans and a pair of fuck-me sneakers made the package complete, shoulder-length hair tussled about to reveal no particular shade of brown. Briefly I fantasized about making her acquaintance, begrudgingly followed by thoughts of a possible jail sentence, as is all too often the case.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Color Zero

At work, I am the only artist in a room full of programmers. Any arguments from my perspective are fruitless, as the analytical mind works on levels unavailable to me. A simple discussion on the definition of translucency vs. transparency can bring said room to the verge of fisticuffs. I does not matter the ernest of my pleas when describing the room's curtains as translucent, for the makeup of the curtains includes factors that clearly define them as transparent. The space, you see, between the threads in the cloth. Transparent. In fact the very glass of the window itself is not transparent either, so I'm told, because of a near imperceptible refraction of light. And damn it all, not even the air that surrounds us met the standards of transparency. The only satisfying answer came down to a) the space in a vacuum, and b) where software engineering can define "true transparency" as given by a layered indexed color than can be negated, thus transparent to what lies beneath. I'm no stranger to this concept, as just about every piece of art I create must contain the infallible Color Zero, in the end I had no choice but to acquiesce. So the words are left to help themselves to more adventurous usage, such as "my attempt to mask how attractive I found her was transparent," whereas "her perception of how much money I was willing to fork over to prove it was translucent."

Monday, May 09, 2005

Oh, Crap.

Nice design, but completely wrong direction.

Weekend Movies

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Pleasantly surprised here... it wasn't all it could be but it was far from the disaster that had been hinted at. I had just done a refresher course on the book, so it was not hard to recognize where the movie goes south, not that such things are always forgivable, but with movies, especially those based on things you enjoy, there's a bit of give and take. The first third of the film is pretty damn faithful, and it kind of unfairly sets you up to start really getting into it. It's the "second act" where things go sour, in an entirely hollywood-fabricated plot twist that is disappointing to say the least. Apparently Hollywood can't make a movie without a potential love interest between two leads, nor can they ever, ever, ever stray from the tired cliche of "let's go rescue the helpless woman, who by the way is good for nothing except being put into situations of distress and being the object of affection." At this stage in my moviegoing, it's slightly insulting. For the last third, the movie generally gets back on track, altho they have to hang on to alot of silly details they introduced along the way. If Arthur and Trillian have to fall in love, so be it, there's plenty of other cool stuff going on.

The movie, even the new material, hangs onto a british sense of humor and it does give things a certain flavor. Most of the movie is just plain weird, as you would expect from a cinematic version of the source material. I have to say the thing that pushed it over the top for me (in the sense of things that made it overall enjoyable vs. disappointing) was Sam Rockwell as Zaphod, that guy has it nailed. It really was like how I imagined him in my many readings over the years. He's got the two-heads-thing going on to a degree, but what was an integral (and intricate) sub-story in the novels is glossed over rather harmlessly. Too bad about that, and some other things, but I think they did a fine job with what they had and if anything I'll be humming the tune of "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish" for a while.

The Chronicles of Riddick. Caught this on cable. Meant to see this a while ago, I wanted it to be good, but... It's best described as an over-art directed showcase for how non-appealing it is to watch Vin Deisel. How am I supposed to care at all for his character? Pitch Black was good enough for him, but now he's the end-all be-all of a intergalactic threat? These types of movies shoot themselves in the foot, by announcing what a big deal they are. If this Riddick dude is going to be around for Deisel's new "franchise," it's pretty obvious he's gonna stick around for a while. Therefore I have no investment in his actions. The entire movie was poorly written, barely acted, and had an awkward pace. It tried to be Dune but fell very short. The only thing I liked about it was the ending, which I have to admit was pretty good, even if it was lifted from Conan.

As a side note, that same night I caught the tail end of Return of the Jedi on UPN of all places, and damn if I wasn't riveted to the set. That shit still holds up. There may be alot of Star Wars fever going around, but watching Jedi I could sense a tangible realness that was completely absent from Riddick.

Garfield. Another cable offering. Now the lengths I've gone to support Jennifer Love Hewett rival her brazzire, but we all have to draw the line somewhere. Twenty minutes was about all I could handle before my brain started threatening to seize of it's own volition just so it would not have to be subjected to another minute of CG animal hyjinks. I tried, Love, I tried.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Couldn't Resist

What Is Your Battle Cry?

Hark! Who is that, running through the freeway! It is Edco, hands clutching two hardened pitas! And with a bloodthirsty howl, his voice cometh:

"I'm going to fuck you until you scream like a banshee!"

Find out!
Enter username:
Are you a girl, or a guy ?

created by beatings : powered by monkeys



Find your own battle cry here.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

I just might believe a man can fly.



Lotta heroes on screen lately. Maybe you've seen the new togs for the Man of Steel... I ain't saying they're bad, but there are some components I wish could have been thought out a bit more. Then there's the whole deal with BlueTights.net, a fairly enthusiastic web site backed by the Superman production team. I tend to stay away from this stuff, I'm not huge on spoilers, plus at the moment my interest in the new Supes movie could best be represented by a slightly raised eyebrow.

Then they go and post something like this. I am all into movie making tech, and things seen in the most current video journal entry are waking up my other eyebrow. The sheer size of the soundstage they've commandeered for the flight sequences give me that small glimmer of hope. Watching Matrix Revolutions (and chunks of Reloaded) you can see the potential for some Superman stunts to be pretty slick. Sure, that climax in Revolutions was a pat rendition of Dragonball Z, but weren't we all wondering what Neo would look like in some blue tights?

There are some very iffy rumors of story points for the new Superman, and odds are Hollywood will maintain it's long tradition of lobotomizing perfectly good comics foundations. But maybe, just maybe, Superman will turn out allright.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

New Comics Day

Looks like a decent week.

Villains United
Ultimate FF
Felt (Jim Mafood!)
Shanna the She-Devil
Power Pack
Shining Knight
Matador (Brian Stelfreeze!)
Y the Last Man

Holy Buckets, Shanna is still a kick in the pants. It's highly enjoyable as an adult, but I can only imagine how great this book is for it's proper audience-- adolescent boys. It's a boy thing, when dinosaurs are still uncontrollably cool, gross out gore won't cause a blink, and there is a strange/mysterious/fearful/wonderful dawning of profound curiosity for the female body. In these respects, Shanna is off the charts. Frank Cho's art can best be described as "lusciously detailed." Or is that "detailingly luscious?" Wether it's the hard-science extrapolation of the sauropod form, the sickening rendering of human and said sauropod's innards when met by claw, spear, or bullet, or the palm-biting accuracy of Shanna's anatomy with all the weight and gravity than can be depicted by pencil and ink, Cho aims to please on more levels than one. The plot is merely an excuse to tie all of these elements together, though it's done better than one would expect. It ties back to the manly, viceral adventures reminiscent of ER Burroghs while allowing the simplicity of sequential art to be read without burden. I fear that Shanna as a comic may be undeservedly thrown into the category of "superficial babe book," and while it may not be entirely free of that distinction, it offers more to a seasoned reader of comics and fiction than your average issue of Spider-Man.

Stick's Night Out

Escaping the working world to a smoke-filled pool hall has its benefits. Away from the naggings of licensor approvals and schedule wrangling one is free to revel the pastime for what it is. Inside the walls of a selected dive is found a calm seclusion where all that matters is if you're going ratchet up some style points by banking the 8. Even if you don't there's little ado. It's not just the weight of your daily obligations that's lifted when you find that groove, the subtle weight of your cue seems to vanish as you enter the dead zone-- it melts into your stroke, even your walk around the table, taking a brief nap from being an inanimate object to a fleeting dream of being an extension of your very arm. It's a magic time in the game, when shots are easier than they deserve to be and an almost careless bravado takes up residence to remind you how to enjoy your time instead of just spending it.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Oh, really?

It's been suggested that my taste in comics is "abysmal." I thought I'd take a completely random sampling from my collection and open it up for debate.

A few from here...



And some from there...



I wanted to showcase my Puffed set, but eventually nixed the idea of going down to the safety deposit box to remove them from their mylar snugs and expose them to unnecessary light.

Misspent Youth

Based on my current visage, it's not a hard leap to imagine what a good looking kid I was. It was on a family trip to Disneyland where I was spotted by a casting director who set forth to find work for me immediately.

I had many spots in random commercials that featured my natural skill for spilling orange juice. I was also cast as "that kid from school" in numerous 80's sitcoms. My largest role of note was probably for "Puggs Malloy" in the live-action Disney musical Newsies. Unfortunately that's where my Hollywood career ended, as a young but influential Christian Bale had me blacklisted when the second unit director suggested the camera liked me better.



Sad, really... I, too, once had a dream that was Santa Fe.