Thursday, November 17, 2011

DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshakes: Aquaman

So I loved the first issue of the new Aquaman comic and I'm not at all ashamed to admit it. I used to be one of those people who thought Aquaman was the stupidest and most useless super hero there ever was and would make jokes at his expense but this comic has shown me the errors of my ways. I think what made this first issue so great was that it spent a good portion of it addressing all of Aquaman's haters and how he felt about it, which was really funny, so far this series has been one of my favorites of the reboots. Despite all of Aquaman's awesomeness though he still can't drink a chocolate milkshake under water.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

San Francisco and the Presidio Trust

So San Francisco has been absolutely wonderful. With the exception of a few rainy days the weather has been a much welcomed change of pace for me (usually this time of year I;m usually fearing for the coming snow if it hasn't already fallen yet.) Last weekend I was outside in a t-shirt and I forgot it was the middle of November, perfect space vest weather. Coming to SF I decided to take up the challenge of no shave november to be green (also I forgot to pack my razor and shaving cream.) and let me tell you, not shaving sucks. I always have a little scruff but never the creeper mustache and the shaggy neck beard thing I've got going for me right now, it looks pretty awful and totally uncomfortable, I'm pretty stoked for December 1st. I would also like to mention that before leaving Sacremento we had another Baseline physical fitness assessment and I managed to shave about 4 minutes off my previous run time putting me at 11 minutes and something something seconds. I also found out that the timed run in Vinton was only a mile while in Sacramento it's a mile and a half so I'm actually doing a lot better than I thought I was. I've also been continuing to try to be more adventurous in the kitchen with my team lately. I was successful in making my Mother's beloved cheesecake recipe and I was less successful in trying to make her potato pancake recipe after starting a small fire with the vegetable oil. I was however able to put it out very quickly by smothering it with flour, though not quickly enough to prevent the smoke detector from going off and having a visit from the fire department. I did however learn from the fireman that you do not want to use flour to smother a fire because apparently when the powder is in the air it is quite combustable, luckily this was not the case this time and I now know where the fire extinguisher is located. It hasn't been all fun and kitchen fires though, not to say I haven't been enjoying our work with the Presidio Trust. The Presidio is a formal military post turned national park located right on the bay, (the Golden Gate Bridge is literally in our backyard.) We have many assignments within the Presidio during our time here, during our first full week here we created raised bed garden boxes for a new community Garden for one of the neighborhoods within the Presidio. All this week we're working with the forestry crew installing a new irrigation pipeline within one of the areas in the park.
Before Blue One
After Blue One.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

CTI Wrap Up and Catch Up Part Four: Induction and Away We Go

November 3rd 2011 was a pretty magical day for me. Aside from it being my 21st birthday it was also the day we got officially inducted into NCCC as Corps members (again, for me.) The fact it was also my 21st birthday was actually a bit of a pisser because it's an NCCC policy that CMs and TLs are not allowed to drink within 24 hours of leaving and arriving to Spike and that's exactly what we did right after induction was over. Alcohol was nothing new to me though so I wasn't too bummed out, I mean I did work in a bar for almost 6 months (not that I ever got drinks from there) and my family pretty much shoves beer down my throat so I wasn't missing any life changing experiences here. What was however awesome was that during the ceremony the region director led the corps in singing happy birthday to me, how he found out I do not know but it's still pretty sweet to have 200 something people sing happy birthday to you. I just felt bad for the one girl who also had a birthday that day but did not get a song. After the ceremony I also finally worked up the courage to do something that I never do, and was successful in doing so, incredibly awkward, but successful. (I'm also being really vague on purpose so don't bother asking me to elaborate.) So after all was said and done CTI was over and Blue One was ready to hit the road in our over stuffed 15 passenger van and go on their first assignment, which is where I am now. Working with the Presidio Trust in San Francisco California. I've been loving it so far and you'll be hearing all the details in up coming posts.

CTI Wrap Up and Catch Up Part Three: Halloween

Halloween happened to be towards the end of CTI so naturally Class 18 had to throw a costume party. It's the first Halloween I actually dressed up for since high school, (Not some lame maturity high ground thing, I just hadn't really had the opportunity to until this year.) and I went as Ash from Pokemon. (cause if you don't already know from my numerous Pokemon related posts on this blog I really enjoy Pokemon.) By a bizarre and awesome happenstance there was also a girl in the corps who dressed up as Misty from Pokemon and together we won the costume contest. (Note the first time I've won a costume contest and it's also the first year that I did not make my costume myself.)

CTI Wrap Up and Catch Up Part Two: Camp Mendocino

As part of Corps Training Institute (more commonly referred to as CTI by Amerifolk) All of the units went on a camping trip at Camp Mendocino. Camp Mendocino is a camping facility used and run by the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco and allows NCCC to do trainings there in exchange for some service work on the grounds. All the cabins and bathrooms were open air which, in addition to being up in the mountains and in the woods, showers were the coldest and miserable experience you could imagine. Some people went the entire 4 days without showering once, I was not one of those people cause I know I stink after day one. Sleeping would have sucked butt too if not for our NCCC issued sleeping bags that can withstand 40 below. The big challenge at camp was the High ropes course. At first I was really excited, it was something I had never done before, it was adventurous and there was a zip line at the end. I had joked with my teammates that this was going to be my Batman training... then I actually got up there and was terrified. I was completely safe the whole time but it was still quite possibly the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Luckily my team was very supportive and cheered me on the whole way as well as the others. I did however handle the zip line like a pro though, as terribly uncomfortable as it was down there. I was so proud of my team that day, there were people who before getting on the high ropes course were scared of it but every single one of my teammates tried it and succeeded with flying colors.

Friday, November 4, 2011

CTI Wrap Up and Catch Up Part One: Meet Blue One

So I've been with my team for a little while now and they're going to be the focus of many of my future entries so I might as well introduce you to them. Starting from the top right hand corner you've got Kameke from Texas, she's a sweet girl and a lot of fun, she often tries to stop herself from saying "ya'll" but when it slips out and she catches herself it's pretty funny. bellow her to the left is Terrin from Illinois, she also graduated high school as part of the class of 09 and like me hasn't started college yet. To the left of her is Chalynn from California, and she is quite possibly the funniest member of our team. She does all these little voices and characters at the most random of times and it always cracks me up. She's the one behind what has pretty much become our team chant, where she goes "Blue Whaaaat!?!" and we all reply "Blue One!!!" To the left of Chalynn is my roommate Aaron from Washington state. He's fresh out of high school but old at heart (so he tells people) He's super cool, he also reads comics so while we were in Sacramento we would walk to the local comic shop together. (a six mile walk total but it's okay cause we're beasts.) Below Kameke and Terrin is Whitney also from Washington, she's a pretty chill girl and also someone who appreciates Bowie. We always seem to loose her though, we could be going somewhere and turn around and she'll be missing. Below Whitney is Cody from Missouri, Cody's pretty cool he always wears these green sunglasses, I don't think I've ever seen him without them. Underneath him is Katelyn from Delaware. She has the most infectious laugh that reminds me of Marge Simpson and Guinea pigs (but in a good way.) To the left of Cody is Becky, my fellow Ohioan. Becky and I have pretty similar personalities which makes me wonder if it's an Ohio thing. And finally our Fearless Leader, Travis from upstate New York. Travis was a Corps member last year at the Pacific Region campus (where we're serving now.) he's kinda awkward, but that's okay because so's our whole team it's kinda our team word.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshakes: The New Teen Titans

And now for another exciting installment of DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshakes. Today the spotlight is shining on a new favorite of mine, The New Teen Titans. Many things drew me to this motley crew of heroic youth, my love of junior super heroes, being a fan of the cartoon during my preteen days (watching it today I find I enjoy it less) and this specific series has been recommended to me by several friends as a good place to start with DC. I started at public library where I was able to locate a TPB copy of the story, The Terror of Trigon, I really enjoyed it, it reminded me a lot of 80's X-men, both the story and art were solid. I then found out that in the 80's Marvel and DC did did a crossover comic featuring both the Titans and the X-men (the X-men being my favorite comic book franchise of all time) and I immediately hunted down a copy of it on the internet. From there on I was hooked, (I even own a Teen Titans Pint glass now) before I left for Americorps I bought the New Titans Omnibus Vol.1 from my local comic book store and have been reading it ever since. (it's a massive 660 something pages so it's been taking a little while.) Titans not pictured here are Robin and Starfire (both of whom have appeared in my previous DCCM entries) For the most part I find Changeling to be fairly annoying, which is part of the reason Donna Troy is quickly becoming my favorite character for her refusal to take any crap from him. (Though I wish she wasn't dating that Terri Long guy, there's something about him I find just down right creepy. I'm also very intrigued by Raven's character, she has both a very interesting origin story and power set. It's a shame that most of the characters from this series will not be featured in any of the new 52 titles at this time.

Flash Fact: Drinking a chocolate milk shake with super speed will give you a major brain freeze, poor Kid Flash.

Shopping for and Feeding 20 People

I recently did some grocery shopping and meal planning with my team members and leader. I was a little more involved this time with the whole meal planning process than with my last team. (basically anytime I had to cook, I made my homemade Mac and Cheese, which mind you, is good, but got old after a while.) This time it was up to me and fellow Ohioan and teammate Becky to shop for all the ingredients for the multiple dinners. This was no easy task, we had to stick to a strict budget (something I should do more often) and we had to figure out what was the best deal for our dollar. I've come to the conclusion that grocery shopping, especially for large groups of people is very frustrating, but also very rewarding. (Aside from getting food out of it there was a rather wonderful feeling of satisfaction when we managed to get all of our needed groceries while staying under budget.) Becky and I bought ourselves a massive tub of ice cream in celebration of our superior budget shopping (on our own dime).
The real trial, however, came monday when myself and two of my other teammates were challenged with the task of cooking one of the dinners for the two teams. (our own and Green 4) With our powers combined the we made three Lasagnas and they were tasty. This was a bit of a milestone for me, Aside from my mac and cheese I have never really made a successful meal for people before. (successful being that it actually tastes good and people don't complain about it.) I had tried to make Lasagna before for my last team but it did not go well... at all. This time however (with help) I have concord the staple of Italian cuisine that had once evaded me and my efforts were recognized, WITH PRAISE! (I enjoy praise :3)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

NCCC Physical Training (PT)

Yesterday morning (the very early morning) we had our first day of the intense workout known as PT (Physical Training) to NCCCers. Our first PT was our baselines, tests of endurance that would help us determine our current level of physical fitness, where we need to improve, and help put us in groups of people who are in about the same shape as ourselves. The tests in our baselines included Push ups, sit ups, a sit and reach, and a mile and a half run. Having done all of these tests (with the exception of the sit and reach) during my previous Americorps term I'm afraid to say that I have since regressed in physical endurance. I'm going to blame it on the fact that since my last corps year, I haven't really kept up on the PT. I will say this however, the step back has really motivated me to take a huge step forward and really take exercising a lot more seriously this time around, I'm making it a personal goal of mine to not only beat my current record, but also the one that I finished with last time. So that means that before the end of this year I'm going to have to run a mile and a half in under 9 minutes ( I'm currently at 15 minutes and was at 9) and I have to be able to do at least 35 of both push ups and sit ups. I'm going to make this happen, DETERMINATION!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Meetings Doodles

As every NCCC member knows very well, the first several weeks of the term consists of nothing but trainings and meetings. In an effort to to stay awake to through these meetings my team often doodles (while paying attention) during these meetings. We even have a doodle board in the dorms where we hang our creations. drew the following pictures during yesterday's meetings. I'm not quite sure how the punk rock angel chick ended up naked but it kinda just happened I kinda just drew these on the spot, not much thought put into either. I defenently tend to draw more women than men, I find them easier and over all more fun to draw.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Arriving In California, First Photoshop drawing

Yesterday I safely arrived in Sunny Sacramento California to begin me second AmeriCorps NCCC Corps year. The count down was pretty sucktastic, sorry, I had a cold for most of the days leading up to my departure and not in any condition to blog about it. So This image here, is a bit of a milestone for me, it's the first digitally colored art of mine that I've done without paint and with Photoshop! I'm for the most part self teaching myself how to use this program, with plenty of helpful tips from friends and family, and I'm sure I've done some of this stuff wrong, but I'll learn more as I go. The inspiration for this picture comes from the video for this song that a friend of mine put on facebook that I had stuck in my head for the longest time. (the video has a bunch of rollerskating girls.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshakes: The Controversy of Starfire

As I mentioned in my last post I was going to be spending some time talking about Red Hood and the Outlaws this time around, because there's a lot that needs to be said about it (a lot of which that has already been said by the fine people at Comics Alliance and various other places of the internet but they're not me so I'm going to give you my two cents.) During the third week of the DC reboots Red Hood and the Outlaws and Catwoman both got some pretty big backlash from the fans after the very sexualized depictions of the female characters Catwoman and Starfire. Now, I didn't read Catwoman, frankly the character has always danced on a fine line that teetered on S&M (even before Halley Berry) but I did however have the displeasure of reading Red Hood and the Outlaws and I was just appalled by it.

I'm someone who believes sex has it's place in comics, (I happen to quite fond of Emma Frost after all) but this new depiction of Starfire as this wears next to nothing will have meaningless sex with anybody is a total 180 from the previously established fan favorite of The New Teen Titans. Mind you, Starfire has always been a bit promiscuous, wearing skimpy costumes and quick to get Dick (Grayson) in bed but what made it different then, what makes all sex in comics different, was that it wasn't void of all emotion or reason. The old Starfire (from my understanding of the New Teen Titans comics that I read pre reboot) was a character who's actions are driven mainly by her emotions but here she's just a cold hard sexbot looking for dick (not Grayson)
And here's the thing DC, it doesn't even have to be emotional Sex, it just has to have a reason. Take Daken: Dark Wolverine for example; Daken, the son of Wolverine (long story) with pheromone manipulation being one of his powers will on a regular basis will have sex with Woman and Men for personal gain, gathering information, getting closer to the enemy, whatever it takes to reach his target and achieve his goals. Is it without emotions, sure but is it with reason, you bet it is, where as this thing with Starfire just feels completely unnatural and put in there solely for the purpose of having edgy sex in a comic.

With this reboot DC is trying to bring in new readers into comics but they fail to realize just how damaging this is to achieve that. Take people my age, there is a whole generation of people in my age group who grew up while the Teen Titans animated TV show was on and have fond memories of it, and surprise, that show had a very emotionally driven Starfire. Now imagine one of those kids, now in their late teens to early 20's picking up that first issue of Red Hood because of their fond memories of that show. This isn't the character they grew up with that they love!

I'm not going to get into what's wrong with the art for this issue with Starfire because that's not a new issue, but this single comic has gotten a lot of attention on the internet for various reasons, so much so that DC has made a statement on their official Twitter account saying;

"We've heard what's being said about Starfire today and we appreciate the dialogue on this topic. We encourage people to pay attention to the ratings when picking out any books to read themselves or for their children."

Now this response of theirs is more than likely referring to the blog post by a mother about the reaction of her 7 year old daughter to the new Starfire (which you can read here ) But DC has addressed the problem without actually addressing the problem. These are grown men and women who have a problem with how this character is now being depicted! Just because I comic has the potential to have racier material doesn't mean people are going to like it when it's done in the most absurd way possible. And for the record, the rating that DC gave for Red Hood and the Outlaws is "T" as in Teens, that can range anywhere between 13 to 19, not terribly appropriate if you ask me, cause that's what America's youth needs, to know just how cool and bad ass it is to have meaningless sex with women who can't remember their past. Though to be fair it appears that it's not just Women that DC are objectifying with this comic just look at this portion of the cover of Red Hood #2.

As funny and awkward looking as that is I give this comic less than a year before cancellation.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Count Down to NCCC Class 18: 2 Days: DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshakes

(Note: Chocolate Milkshakes and DC Comics is the name of a song by the band Art Brut, which has served as the inspiration for this coming series of illustrations.)

So all my life of reading comics I have been primarily a marvel man with the X-Men being my main go to family of comics. As I got older I branched out a little more, read more manga, (though I had been doing that for a while too.) read some indie stuff, but for the longest time, with the exception of some Vertigo Titles, most of which were not part of main DC continuity I had refused to even touch a DC comic. Why? most of the reasons very stupid, especially since most of the comics that I got from my dad's collection when I was little were old DC books and a lot of the comics I got at the time were also DC (Young Justice, Green Lantern, ect.) and on top of that I loved the 90's Batman cartoon, but aside from brand loyalty to Marvel (like I said stupid reasons) my main reason for avoiding DC all the way up into adult(ish)hood was that for new readers DC continuity seemed almost impossible to figure out. Between all of the Crises, reboots to previous continuity, Superboy Prime literally the foundations of reality (one of my co-workers had to explain to me what the #$%* a Superboy Prime was and now that I get it it's actually pretty funny) no point just seemed like a good jumping in point, and I sure that people who read DC their whole lives could say the same thing about Marvel.

It wasn't all that long ago when DC announced what they dubbed "The New 52" their wide line reboot of their entire universe making it more friendly to new readers and old fans alike. I thought, "Hey now's the perfect chance okay DC you have caught my interest." My co-workers, all of whom that read comics, were pretty loyal DC fans had some mix feelings about this reboot, I didn't want to go into it not knowing what it's replacing so I got some recondmendations from them for some good DC reads. So I read a lot of Geoff Johns' Green Lantern, The New Teen Titans, Gail Simone's Wonder Woman and her Birds of Prey, as well as the most recent incarnation of Batgirl pre reboot, and I got to say I liked all of it quite a bit. I felt more then confident going into this reboot.

So now that all 52 of the first issues are out what's the verdict? Well, it's a bit of a toss up. Out of the 15 or so of the 52 comics that I bought I liked most of them, and that was me buying more than I had originally intended to buy. Some comics that were surprise hits for me were Superboy and Supergirl, I'm not really a huge fan of the Super-family especially The Man of Steel himself but the way that these two characters have been characterized in their respected series as of this first issue have made them their own distinct characters separate from the one they share their name and S insignia with. Comics I was really expecting greatness from and had my expectations (with the exception of a few which I'll get to in a little bit) met, were in the Batman family, in particular Batwoman, Batman and Robin, and just plain old Batman. Other titles that I really enjoyed were Aquaman, The Flash, and some books that show great promise include Green Lantern New Guardians, Teen Titans, and Birds of Prey.

Now some of the other were disappointing and one that I read was just plain awful. Justice League, the first of the 52 to be released on midnight of August 31st was, although very pretty and had some interesting set up didn't get much accomplished as far as plot goes and was a super quick read, (in all fairness so was Supergirl, but that one left me less unsatisfied) and only introduced four of the eight characters who are going to be a part of the team, all of whom appear on the cover which bugs me when you have characters on the cover that aren't in the comic. Green Lantern number one was also very new reader unfriendly, I had no idea what was going on and I had read all the way up to Blackest Night in pre reboot cannon. As for Batgirl, well that was a bit of a disappointment. A lot of my problems with that one are very nit picky and have to do with the art and some of the dialog I'll get more into that with a more Batgirl focused post, but for now I'm willing to give Gail Simone another issue with this one because I trust her and I know this is a character she cares about.

And then there's Red Hood and the Outlaws, oh man this one, I can't even start here, it's going to have to be it's own post. It has been getting some huge amount of internet press lately for the huge sexist mess that it is and I'll be going more into it with my next post.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Count Down to NCCC Class 18: 11 days; The Evolution from Amateur to Free Lance Artist...

It's been a while since I last posted... again. This tends to happen a lot with me, but seeing as I'm going back into Americorps in less than two weeks I need to get back into the habit of updating regularly. So with 11 days to go I present to you the story of how I have entered the paid artists club. I recently received the pay check for the t-shirt design I did for Great Lakes a while back. I was paid with a 100 dollar gift card to Great Lakes and a 100 dollar check of real money (both things I enjoy.) The shirts aren't in print yet the graphic designer that GLBC hired, Amira, has been doing wonderful things with it, she's redrawn the whole thing from my design and it looks spectacular, (I like it far more than anything I was drawing.) It's still my concept but with her art. I wish I had a file of the current version to share otherwise I would but sadly I don't, hopefully sometime in the future though.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Great Lakes Brewery T-Shirt Design: Take Three

This is a variation of the second design, Kami and Saul had said that they wanted the image to be greener and had suggested that I remove the logo from the foreground and replace it with more free space. I thought that the front of the shirt really needed the logo for it to work so in an attempt to make the image greener without having to sacrifice the logo in the foreground I incorporated plants into the skyline's buildings which led to the next step my hop and rye wheel! I wanted to create some sort of pattern that I could place within the negative space of the design created by the sky and the foreground, I wanted whatever pattern I used to be not only plant based but also very much GLBC related so I took the hops and the rye featured in the GLBC logo and created this wheel thing which I then multiplied and created a pattern of it which I then place first in just the foreground and then in both the foreground and in the sky. Although Saul and Kami didn't dislike it they both felt that this design among it's variations was too busy (understandably) and that all of the lines made it hard to see what the actual image was. They also felt that all the flowers didn't play well to their demographics (males between their 20s-40s I believe is what they said.) They said that they wanted to keep things a little more simple than this. Going in with this one I figured it could have gone either way where they would have loved it or hated it and I totally understand where they're coming from with their criticism.

Images and concepts are the property of Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Explaining to Nick Toich What A Double Entendre Is...

Last week I was talking to my good friend Nick Toich on facebook and something came up in which I asked him if that was a double entendre. Having no idea what I was talking about Nick Toich was confused which then led me to trying to explain to Nick Toich what exactly a double entendre was. I first tried just explaining it to him with just the definition, which, did not work. I then tried using examples from within the context of our conversation. I think by the end of it all he understood what I meant and it was later established that what I had been questioning before was in fact not a double entendre which was just fine with me, it did however lead to this amusing picture. Also in case you were wondering I do always refer to Nick Toich by whole name, just because.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Uncanny X-Men: Making Me Ride an Emotional Roller Coaster Since 1998

There has been a lot of news with the X-Men lately and being the uber X-nerd that I am I have been all over it like unnecessary pockets on a Rob Liefield character. (teehee comic book humor.) Starting with the release of the movie X-Men: First Class I went in not entirely knowing what to expect. I was really didn't like X-Men 3 or Wolverine but this movie was directed by the same guy who did Kick-Ass (which I greatly enjoyed) and didn't have Wolverine as a member of the main cast so you knew it wasn't going to be all about him (though he does make a brief cameo which was both humorous and in good taste.) In the end X-Men: First Class was amazing, one of my favorite X-Men movies thus far. ( I haven't decided yet if I liked it more or as much as the second one yet, it's hard to say, I'll have to rewatch the second one.) My only criticism is that I'm a little confused as to where the movie stands with the others in the series. It has been advertised as a prequel to the previous series of films but there were several key things within this movie that clearly contradict the continuity of the previous films. (Examples; who invented Cerebro (it was Beast in this movie who invented it prior to even meeting Xavier, where as in the previous films it was always said that Xavier and Magneto built it together), the crippling of Xavier (Patrick Stewarts as Xavier is seen walking in both X-Men 3 during a flashback and Wolverine), Xavier and Magneto's break up and when it had occurred (in the begining flashback of X-Men 3 both Xavier and Magneto are seen recruiting Jean Grey together both played by their full grown conterparts), Moria McTaggert's relationship to Xavier, her occupation, and her ethnicity (again X-Men 3, like the comic she is a scottish geneticist where as in First Class she is an American CIA agent) , the age of William Stryker (the main villain of both X2 and Wolverine who appears significantly older in First Class than he does in either of his previous appearances which is weird considering this movie takes place in the 60's before either movie.) So if anything First Class is more like a prequel to a reboot (a preboot?) which at this point I really don't mind because X-Men 3 and Wolverine were just that bad to me, so this movie had me giddy with X-Men joy that I hadn't felt in a while until Schism happened. though the big X-event of the summer hasn't actually started yet it's certainly been making some headlines in the Comic book related press because in this event Cyclops and Wolverine are getting divorced and they're taking joint custody of the X-Men. Right now Schism is being described as the Civil War of X-Men and something that happens in this mini series is going to drive Wolverine and Cyclops apart which means Marvel is doing something uber stupid; They're canceling Uncanny X-Men in October with issue 544 and then in November they're coming out with a new series also titled Uncanny X-Men with the exact same creative team starting at an all new #1 issue.

What. The. @#$%.

It's the exact same series! Why are you restarting the numbering!?! hate it when comic book companies do this, Marvel did it to the Avengers twice in the last ten years, they did it to the Fantastic Four just recently, and they're doing something very similar to Captain America now. And do not even get me started on DC with this whole Flashpoint business. A comic books number is like it's Legacy, it's a testament to how long the series has gone on and how things have changed over the years, and these days the comic book industry just doesn't seem to get it. It's not about being a number one issue it's about being the start of something much bigger, (and I can prove it with my 6 copies of 1991's X-Men number 1 via the 25 cents bin at North Coast Nostalgia in Lyndhurst Ohio.) I wish marvel understood that I'd rather have issue 545 than issue number 1.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Great Lakes Brewery T-Shirt Design: Take Two

So after having a impromptu meeting with Saul and Kami (my P.O.C's on this project) about their expectations for the t-shirt I began work on a new design with guild lines in mind. I started with a thumb nail sketch I drew on the bus on the way to work to give myself, Kami, and Saul an idea for the layout of the image. I generally don't do thumbnail sketches (I probably should, they certainly help and they save you a great deal of erasing in the future.) but for this project I really felt the need because I was even having trouble visualizing it clearly out of my head, hence the rough draft. With the desired image now clear in my mind's eye I began drawing the real deal which turned out rather well. Kami and Saul were quite pleased with it, only having a few minor critiques to offer me. They wanted for the foreground to be a little greener, (which makes sense seeing as the shirt is suppose to display just how green Great Lakes is.) which means that the logo will have to be removed to make way for more plant life. Aside from that the final product should resemble this design somewhat.
Images and concepts are the property of Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Vaginal Avengers Red Vag of Courage Part One: Pages 1-7

So here are the first 7 pages completely completed (as opposed to the incompletely completed that I've become so famous for in some of my more recent posts.) of The Vaginal Avengers: Red Vag of Courage part of the Cliffhangers from the B-Side Dimension collection of shorts. I've got to say this particular comic has become a lot bigger of a project than I had thought it would be before I started. The first Vaginal Avengers story I did back in high school was only 3 pages and I was figuring I was going to be doing about eight at the most for this one and here we are, 7 pages in and we're only at the rising action of the story. I am however enjoying myself with this comic in all of it's absurdity. I remember when Candace, Rosa, and Olivia had first approached me about doing the original story I was very hesitant because I didn't want something like this to define myself in my craft. (everyone in my grade already thought I was drawing anime porn at the time so I didn't want there to be any truth to it.) but once I actually started working on it and just went crazy over the top comedy with it's quickly become one of my favorite stories, and one of my friends' favorite stories of mine. (It was the talk of Midview High school's Drama Club and Choir class for quite some time.)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Great Lakes Brewery T-Shirt Design: Take One

So as I had mentioned before I was approached by my employer, Great Lakes Brewing Company, about using my skills in things that are art to design a t-shirt that embodies the company's green business practices as well as their local and city farming initiatives. This is the first sketch that I approached my P.O.Cs, Saul and Kami, with. This first sketch was done with little instruction, just with the most basic idea as to what the shirt should be about, really this was me showing them what I can do. They liked it and after our first meeting with this sketch in mind we brain stormed and decided on what the shirt should look like, and though in the end this will not be the image used for the shirt and the one that will be will differ from this one greatly, I still like this sketch will always have a special place in my heart as the start of my first paid work as an artist.

Images and concepts are the property of Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

So Freakin' Hot

You can tell it's summer in Cleveland when the locals switch from complaining about how cold and/or wet it is to how unbearably hot it is, myself included. (we really don't get much of a spring here where the weather is just right and this year was especially rainy.) This being my first summer in my new home, I have quickly discovered that a third floor apartment with no AC are not ideal conditions for the summer months, right now in order to combat the heat I have a huge box fan pointed directly at me on full blast in my room. Life has been good other than the heat. Works going pretty good, going to see the new X-Men movie at midnight tomorrow with some of my co-workers, (looking forward to that.) I've gotten some new tunes that I've been listening to, a lot of Apples in Stereo the list is as follows;

The Apples in Stereo: Travellers In Space and Time, Velocity of Sound, The Discovery of a World Inside the Moone, Let's Go! (EP)
Beulah: When Your Heartstrings Break, The Coast is Never Clear, Yoko
Ok Go: Of the Blue Colour of the Sky Extra Nice Edition.

And my comic book reading list has been;

X-Men/ Avengers: Bloodties, House of M, Young Avengers, Uncanny X-men: The Birth of Generation Hope, Goodbye Chunky Rice, Wolverine: Get Mystique, and Wolverine Origins: Dark Reign.
A lot of Avengers and X-men related stories this time around which is cool with all the movies relating to the two series coming out lately. I really enjoyed Young Avengers more than I thought I would.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Immaculate: The Other Sort of Done Part of Cliffhangers

I figured since I posted the unfinished version of The Girl I Can't Forget I might as well do it for Immaculate. I'm going to change a lot of dialog that is written here so don't go reading that and thinking that's what it's going to look like in the end. There's also a few panels I want to redraw as well as the entire first page. With these two comics mostly finished I started counting pages and so far it's looking like the first volume of Cliffhangers from the B-Side Dimension is going to be 60 plus pages (and mind you that's not including the unfinished pages of The Vaginal Avengers.) in full color that's going to be one expensive book to print, let alone multiple copies, any suggestions? (other than going B/W?)