Thursday, November 29, 2007

New Comics Delay

A hot week for Image. Huh-wha-- Image??

Green Arrow/Black Canary
Archibald Saves Christmas

Popgun vol. 1 is a weighty, pricey tome, but damned if a leaf through doesn't make it look worth every penny. The list of contributors is grand and inviting, and I must commend parties involved in funneling its release for the gift-giving season. Like Flight, this is one of those massive crossover reads, for people who don't follow comics but like pretty pictures and tasty, compact yarns. If you've friends or relatives you find worthy of the $30 tag, they will thank you for it, tho you can save a few bucks through Amazon.

Archibald Saves Christmas is neet. Without Brad Pitt, even. And if you get that reference you'll probably think it's neet, too.

We all have to get on with our lives. But hey, you know where to find me.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Comics Recap

Holiday delays + working in dog-like capacity = no new comics. But here's a few books I went through recently.

Wonder Woman #14
I was cautious of Simone taking over the book but it ain't half bad. I do enjoy the inclusion of super-smart gorillas, tho what it boils down to are the Diana Prince/Wonder Woman shenanigans, a male love interest, and Nazis plotting to take over the world. I wonder where that formula came from...? There is always that lucious Dodson art. I'll give it the three-issue trial run.

World of Warcraft #1
"WoW" indeed. How is it possible to fuck up a comic for one of the most popular and fascinating videogames of the day? Give it to WildStorm. It's not Warcraft, so if you're a fan, don't bother.

Green Arrow/Black Canary #1
It's an okay story if you're following the whole "Is Ollie dead" storyline (he isnt'). Judd Winick takes some cues from the Geoff Johns school of pathos. But the real draw here is art by Cliff Chiang. Man is it nice! It's got a bold but clean style, it looks simple but there is alot going on. His faces use the least amount of detail possible but come off with alot of "read." I see some Allred, some Cooke, don't know if it's influence or just similarity, but wherever it springs from I like it! Some smart mood colors by Trish Mulvihill make it all the nicer.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Edco at Large (Medium, Small)

Via work done at Cup Doodle, looks like a piece of mine made way to the SARMY merch store. All proceeds to charity, bonus points to those lovely ladies who consider some Edco flair for their cotton delicates ;-P

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Burnet Storage

I've found a cornucopia of vintage signage along one of my area's main thoroughfares: Burnet Road. Here's a sweet one featuring itself.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

No Comics Day

No books for me this week. I almost bought a couple, but passed. I may still pick up Gary Frank's Superman, the next time there are a few books to buy.

Luckily I got an Amazon order today with some holiday weekend reading! I seriously gotta catch up on my Gunsmith Cats.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Top Notch

The burger was great, but it's the fuckin' signage that's top notch.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

New Label Alert: Tropicana

Tropicana, I'm impressed! Gone is the "ribbon and dropshadow" that has been used to death by food branding in particular, altho it was rather appropriate for orange juice. But now we have a wonderfully clean and downright pragmatic approach to letting people know what sort of juice they are after. Look at that Futura typeface!!

Personally I like my juice super-pulpy which would be Tropicana's "Grovestand" offering, but I couldn't pass up this mid-pulp "Homestyle" version with the bright green callout-- color is used for each type of juice, with orange for no-pulp "Original," tan for high pulp "Grovestand", blue for "Calcium," and purple for "High Fiber." I just liked the green. I'm usually a regular Simply Orange drinker, I love the carafe container, lovely script logo and high-pulp content. But it just goes to show how design really does influence our buying decisions! (well, okay, my buying decisions)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

HEB Lables

One of the things that always takes getting used to in new towns is the local grocery chains. Where you buy food eventually embeds some need for familiarity, and of course the various layouts and general quality of product come into play. Outside of the excellent Austin HQ'd Whole Foods, choices for grocery include the predominant HEB and Safeway-owned Randall's Market.

HEB reportedly stands for "Here Everything's Better," and in the case of its self-branded labeling this may be the case. Art is slowly fading out of everyday life and must be sought with an open eye. To still find classic illustration on packaging always brings a smile to this curmudgeonly artist. Perhaps it's stock illustration in use by several nationwide chains, or in my dreams of a better scociety a savvy individual in HEB's branding dept. has commissioned original art to associate a certain level of warming quality to its mass-packaged foods. Either way I like to see it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New Comics Day

OMG, nice week!

Scott Pilgrim (!!!!!!!!!!!!)
All Star Superman (!!!)
World War Hulk
Wonder Woman
World of Warcraft

Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together. If you are not reading these books, you might want to get it together yourself.

All Star Superman? Yes, please.

World War Hulk concludes... will it be worth it? I did take a peek and noticed a clue to the identity of the forthcoming Red Hulk. And an interesting teaser on the last page, yea? I'm guessing that's the real conclusion, and the beginning of things to come.

Aw crap, why did I have to go and pick up Wonder Woman? Well maybe writer Gail Simone can bring up some niceties after the past couple years. But after watching her butcher Gen13 I'm not holding my breath. But the Dodsons are back on art so there's that.

I really, really, really did not want to buy World of Warcraft. No one needs to question my admiration of Walter Simonson, but in an early marketing promo he states he doesn't play the game. As some one who does play (or more accurately stated with current activities, has played. Alot.), like all WoW players I have a high interest in all related things. So to hear the writer, pedigree aside, is aware of the game but has not really lived it? I find this a laughable situation. COme on people, you know I'm right. You have to have lived WoW to get WoW. Add to this the ridiculously high production standards of property owner Blizzard, somehow the addition of Joe Mad derivative art over the typical low quality American comics production standards is not helping the case. Excuse me? What's that you say? It's published by WildStorm? Oh. That explains everything. I will give it the first issue once over, but my prediction is that it will suck.

Black Dossier shipped today as well, tho I ordered mine in advance online and haven't received it yet.

Hey, did you notice a correlation between how much I wrote about a book and my expectations of its quality?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Look what I gots!!!

WOOT! Nintendo loves me and I love Nintendo. Check out this nifty feather stylus Ninty sent my way-- it was a reward for filling out a survey after registering the latest Zelda game...

I've been steadily working my way through Phantom Hourglass, which I think is one of the best games I've played in years. As a Zelda game it ranks pretty high, too, and it is an amazing demonstration of how great adventure gameplay can be rooted to the Nintendo DS.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Candy Apple

Is it weird I like to hang out at the Apple Store? Austin has not one, but two locations to meander through. Recently I was oogling the 24" iMac and running through the basics of OS X 10.5, or "Leopard," I hear some people refer to... It's a groovy upgrade as those who wish to know probably already do, tho the box gives me a headache.

While I wasn't quite ready to throw down for that steel plated dream machine, I found myself picking up an iPod Shuffle. This thing is just too damn cool. I marvel at it. The iPod proper is a wonderful piece of technology, but the Shuffle in its latest clip incarnation is just one of those "the future is now" kind of things. At 80 walrus pelts, it is indeed "Apple priced" but not out of reach. With even the iPod Nano at noticeable $200, the convenience of the Shuffle outweighs the fear of its potential loss or damage. I love my iPod and its got some life yet, but it's showing its age (still with the b+w display!)-- tho I don't see the need for a few hundred dollars upgrade as cool as the new models are. The Shuffle is a nifty little in-betweener.

Oh and it's so very Apple. From the packaging to the device design, it's a slick little toy. And I love how iTunes shows up with the actual color I got, nice touch. I opted for Red since I felt it was the least obnoxious color. I'm actually not too keen on the new pastel themes, I preferred the primary colors of the last round. While I do try to maintain some level of social consciousness, in this particular instance the purchase of a Product (RED) contributor was based sheepishly on aesthetics.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

It's Official

I've lived in more cities than I may have imagined I would, and in some cases even wanted. But not once did I imagine I'd be a resident of the Lone Star State. That is, I imagined it, and decided against it. A few opportunities have come up in the past and my initial reaction was "no way."

Fuck it, I'm here now, and it ain't so bad. I am reassured by many new acquaintances that Austin is the reason for this, as if it is some sort of liberal haven in the center of a vast Texan ideal. I don't discount this but I think most city patrons will tell you as such of their own home. Except maybe Detroit.

Anywhoo... The rigamarole for attaining auto registration and like things has a few extra steps here, and all reek of bureaucratic, bullshit tax collecting. Sure they say part of it is to maintain the roads (which having driven across half the sate I concede are well maintained), but first I have to get my car "inspected," with fee. Then I have to get my car "registered," with fee PLUS an extra "first time resident" fee. Next up is the 'ol DMV for my license, presumably with fee. Because lord knows anyone licensed to drive in one state can't possibly expect for that license to be valid in another state. Driving is so very different across imaginary lines, after all. All of these steps must be in done in order at separate locations with separate fees!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

New Comics Day

Erg... why do I keep buying comics??

World War Hulk
Y the Last Man
Nexus: Greatest Hits

WWH continues its smashariffic bludgeoning of the Marvel hoity-toity. That's what I like about it. Whereas DC stews in its own self-critical juices, WWH takes all the ultra-serious Marvel goings-on and literally beats the shit out of them. It's just barely gratuitous-- Pak's story has the hook and Romita Jr brings it on page after page. Here with only one issue left I wonder what the finale zinger is going to be. We've got all the beat-em-up, comeuppance, and property damage... will the conclusion be as "explosive" as rumored way back when?

Supergirl I picked up to see the new creative team. I've all but given up on this character but there's always this "Wait! We're gonna try this..." approach to the book. Just what is it about Supergirl anyway? Is it because Superman is the ultimate power fantasy, so Supergirl is the one it's okay to sexualize? Not an entirely obscene notion, but no less so than your average psychological probings. That's just a facet of the male perspective, tho, Supergirl's care and tending is of great concern to her female readership. But the character never seems to fully embody the fem-savvy grrrl pwr that some wish it to. I don't know that a gender-neutral approach is even possible, so maybe DC should just pick a side and try and stick with something for more than three months. Too soon to tell with the new team... Gone, however, is the stunning Guedes art of the past three issues, here replaced by Drew Johnson. Johnson always had a decent style, but here he does look to have stepped up his game. Colors by Brad Anderson stand out, as the story features lots o' Green Lanterns, and Supergirl's colors really get some punch amongst the emerald hues. Whether or not writer Kelly Pucket has something to keep more than a passing interest in the character is up in the air. Thing is, there is little draw to this version of the character for me, and hasn't been since her introduction in Superman/Batman. I guess that born of Jeph Loeb and Michael Turner has a hell of an uphill climb. Coupled with DC's generally poor handling of the character since, Puckett has a tough sell.

I don't know where the latest issue of the new Nexus series is, but it will be worth the wait. While this "Greatest Hits" issue is just as it sounds, it's all solid stuff and I'm more than happy to support the Rude Dude in the meantime.

Y the Last Man: Pen-ultimate!!!!!! :-O

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Paul Norris

All life from the sea, from where great schools roam among the ancient waters of the deep. Of things that swim and roam with breath by gill or rorqual grace-- or that of a man who speaks to these creatures great and small. Time on land is brief, but the life aquatic remains eternal.

Reports + More:
The Beat
Comics Reporter
Mark Evanier

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Edco at Large, at LARGE!

Some of my frequent and cherished readers may recall the work I have done for DrewTech's DashDAQ. This past week, the DAQ made its official debut at SEMA 2007, the trade show for high tech auto performance stuff. A friend of mine attended and took some pics of the booth, where the DAQ was in full display, featuring my artwork at trade show banner sizes! This is probably the largest format anything of mine has been presented and I must say it gives me the giggles.

Check out the DAQ link for more pics of the device and some of the different themes and UI designs I created. Drew Technogies is a wonderful group of people whom I very much enjoy working with, and if the SEMA show buzz is anything to go by, the DAQ will be one hot commodity! The device won several show awards and I am thrilled to be a part of this technology's debut!

DashDAQ Custom Gauges

Drew Technologies