Monday, April 29, 2013

Abandonment & Monsters...

Hey, this Blog has had almost 70,000 page views.  Amazing.

Those of you on my mailing list may know that I have dug up and burned the roots of all my comics and fantasy art stuff.  Trying to go in new directions while constantly returning to draw "sexy" for some extra money was not working at all.  So, it all had to go.  And I'm not sorry in the least.

Some people took it hard, as if I'd abandoned them somehow, or they'd been hustled; other got pretty angry and abusive.  The latter was an especially good reason to get the hell out.

 The newest venue for gross monstrosities, Monster Motel

One thing I did not trash was my Monster U. stuff, in fact I started an Etsy store just for that and have stocked it full of the older items and some new tweaked "remastered" ones.

 The original, unmodified Monster U. album cover art.

Monster movies might be called Horror by some, and therefore "bleed" into the Slasher genre, but to me they have always been about Love, and the Monsters represent our desire for it along with our feelings of ugliness or unworthiness.  Frankenstein & the Bride, Quasimodo, Erik the Phantom--they are all Love stories. 

"Big Frankie", the digitally tweaked version of the first Monster U.'s album cover art. 

 As upset as some people are with me, finally being free of obligations to the Past is real liberation.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Alternate Tomorrows...

I'm on the mailing list for TwoMorrows publishing, whom you may know as the maker of many, many books and mags about Comics.  But they are more than just "about" Comics, they are also creating and propagating certain ideas about the medium, and in a sense writing alternate Histories via a form of criticism masked as celebration.  Let me explain a little.

While there's nothing inferior about Comics as an artform, there is definitely something unhealthy about the Industry today.  First, the somewhat rigidly pedestrian tastes of the readership, because the fans basically want the same experience over and over again, though perhaps with infinitesimally slight variations; second, the pressure from those tastes tend to confine the artists to plough the same territory forever.  They never develop beyond the ghetto, because the audience won't allow it.

TwoMorrows Publishing makes healthy profits from Jack Kirby's work, implying it's somehow a force for positive change in the Industry, or perhaps preservers of heritage, or something.  On one hand, there are lengthy exposes about the poor treatment of Kirby by publishers, but TwoMorrows is also a publisher.  Are they really a kinder and gentler than larger corporation?

New in the emailbox today.

There are basic truths people either don't face or can't perceive about Jack Kirby and the ever-inflating myths about his so-called mistreatment, and that is: he showed up as a victim and co-created any troubles he might have had.  Similarly, Jews and Nazis also co-created a reality together, as distasteful as that may sound.  Kirby was a talented man, but basically, he stepped out in front of a car.

Most Comics readers simply have no idea the level and intensity of work required to draw them.  Today, it's mainly the domain of the young, who have plenty of raw energy and time.  What people generally don't realize while they are ingesting mountains of Kirby is that no one person should ever have done that much work.  But you read a comic in five minutes, and that is the extent of it.

So when it comes to co-creation of awful scenarios of pain and suffering, not only did Kirby volunteer to be abused, but the appetite of the Fans for more and more loaded him down with an inhuman workload.  No wonder he couldn't think of any other options.  If anyone is to blame, it is the audience as much as the companies.

That's just another inherent danger in escaping from reality through Comics or anything else.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hello Sweetheart...

I scour the local Thrift stores for books and things to paint on.  Anything that might inspire me gets bought or at least noted in pencil in my little spiral-bound "Eye Pad".

"The Eagle's Mate" from 1914.

I found an old book that for a moment I thought had a painted cover, but no, it was a tinted photograph of "America's Sweetheart", Mary Pickford.  I looked but did not buy, and later found these images on eBay along with a description:  Two tough mountain dwelling cousins fight over a kidnapped city lady. She is held prisoner in their mountain fortress.

 This edition from eBay has "no offensive odor"; that costs extra.

 My point in all this is that nowadays a book might be so good it gets made into a movie, but back then a movie could be so good it would be made into a book.

Maybe a lot of what passes for "progress" is just being lost.