IMAGE OF THE DAY: Bastich VS. The Mess

This is the kind of thing that seems funny at 1am, but probably won’t seem funny after I’ve had some sleep. I spent the majority of this weekend trying to clean my room and reading James Kochalka comics. Plus a bunch of other stuff like meeting up with Kathleen to catch a Midnight Madness showing of Harold and Maude, watching the Critereon DVD of The Seven Samurai twice (the second time was for the awesome commentary), and picking up Capcom vs. SNK for the GameCube and getting beaten down by my roommate. The mess has been reduced, but it still looms. Overall, a good weekend.

IMAGE OF THE DAY: SIDNEY

All right, I confess, I am a cat person!

I felt like cheating tonight by tracing a photograph on the Wacom. It’s not as easy or precise as I thought it would be, but eh… not bad for a half hour’s work I say!

I miss Sidney. He’s still alive and well (I assume) living with a friend who can provide a much better home than I was able to. She calls him “Sid” rather than the fully-expanded “Sidney,” as if he weren’t a big pansey. (No offense to all you Sidneys out there!)

I had to give Sidney up (along with his neurotic buddy Waldo) when my life went haywire last year, and I think they’re both better off because of it.

I brought Sidney home shortly after my first cat, Illyana, died in late 1997. Check out the online memorial I made for her at the time if you’re so inclined. It’s very sappy, but it did help me out to write it at the time, and I hear other people who stumble across it have found some comfort there.

Some day I want to have cats again, but it will have to wait until I have my life a little more together… like in ten years or so.

IMAGE VAULT: SPIDEY VS. HULK

ONE DAY WHILE SAVING THE WORLD..! (184k)

For some reason, I really like this one. It’s another one of my images from Neefer’s collection, drawn some time in 1991. During that time, Peter David’s “Incredible Hulk” run was in full swing, starring the merged Hulk (later dubbed the “Professor” persona during Paul Jenkin’s run, but really he was just a giant bully with the intellect to match). Spidey’s summary of the Hulk’s volatile backstory was cobbled together from my OHOTMU TPBs and then-recent issues. And it only scratches the surface of how messed up the Hulk was at the time.

Of course, the thing that sets the Hulk apart from most characters in comics is that his status quo is constantly in flux, and has to stay that way for the concept to work. Thanks to the pop-psychological nature of the Hulk as a violent manifestation of Banner’s multiple personality disorder, each new creative team can make up new rules and shift to any persona for the character they feel will suit the stories they want to tell. If the book starts to flounder, they can dump it all and start from scratch without pretending the past never happened… an option a lot of comics don’t have today, with 40+ years of backstory to keep track of and no convenient MPD to make everybody forget.

Bruce Jones is currently writing the character very close to the TV series incarnation, with an emphasis on the horror and suspense that comes along with a guy who can’t help toppling a few buildings when you piss him off. It’s probably the most popular the title has been since 1991 when Dale Keown and Peter David were on a roll. This current phase will pass eventually like all the others and the Hulk will be interpreted another way, and so it will be as long as the property is going.

As for the art… I would like to think I’ve at least gained a better grasp of how to draw thighs…

IMAGE OF THE DAY: SCALES THE DRAGON

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Awwww…. Isn’t that just adorable?

Yeah, I know… *RETCH*!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any “new” art here, so here’s one that I’ve had on the backburner for a while.

This dragon started out as a napkin scribble during last week’s Pub Trivia night. I used the tracing slide on the Wacom for the first time to bring the scribble into the digital world and finished it off there. Pretty nifty feature, since one of my biggest problems with the tablet is that the shapes always come out more flat than I would like.

This one is kind of rushed, but I like how it turned out. My goal was to be in bed by midnight… well it’s 12:02 so better luck next time!

IMAGE VAULT: SOCIETY OF SPIRIT LEADERS

Boy, it’s been a big time for nostalgia. I had my high school reunion a few weeks ago, and now Neefer has surprised me by scanning in all of the artwork she stole from me while we were “an item” back in the early 90′s… I haven’t seen most of this stuff in over ten years! It’s a happy-sad discovery, since I see some areas where my “art” has improved and other areas where I’ve lost something over the years.

I want to post more of this batch, but for tonight I’ll just share this ditty:


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Society of Spirit Leaders

The first entry is called Society Of Spirit Leaders. This is a very early comic strip effort from (probably) November ’91. It’s an embarassingly heavy-handed diatribe on peer pressure in High School, drawn to kill time during a family Thanksgiving trip. It definitely reads like the work of a teenage geekazoid struggling to make a “statement”, which it was. There are plenty of moments where I have no idea what the hell I was thinking! Lame as it is now, this turned out to be my first step away from wannabe sci-fi/fantasy art and closer to the wannabe cartoon style that eventually led to The Bastich.

I kind of regret the portrayal of the Spirit Leader. By this time I was so completely alientated from the “average” student body that I had no point of reference to base her on, so she just comes off as an insulting caricature. Oh well, this is all good therapy!

The three punk kids who appear on page 2 are based on some friends of mine… or at least for a while some of them were. The guy with the spikey hair was my best friend for about a year, and then he hit his Freshman year and hooked up with the elite non-conformist clique, ditching me almost completely without a moment’s hesitation. What a fucknar. Yes, I’m still a bit bitter about that. The NC’s had their secret handshakes, and trenchcoats, and in-jokes and the whole deal, and no matter what I did, I was never cool enough to get into their inner circle. Of course, as an adult, I would know to tell these guys to spin on it, but at the time is was like being a loser squared — even the dorks were too cool for me!

I actually had some good friends during High School, but it wasn’t until I got to college that I finally found a sizeable group of people who were both “cool” by my estimation and also not a bunch of asswipes. (Pat and Bapper excepted, of course.)

DOWN WITH DNS!

Bastichlabz is finally moving from WebIntellects to Lunar Pages. It’s in that funky in-between stage where sometimes the lookup goes to the old server and sometimes it goes to the new one.

What’s weird is that here at work, I was getting the new server this morning, but now I’m getting the old one again! Oh, that zany DNS! I guess I’ll just have to sit this out for a few more days until all of the DNS servers agree on the truth.

I’m switching because I’m a cheapskate. WebIntellects is a good company, but I’m paying an extra $10 per month for the privilege of having a MySQL database, which LunarPages provides at no additional cost.

IMAGE OF THE DAY: ICON-BASED – “LOST EPISODE #1″

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This is the first of a series of Icon-Based “Lost Episodes”. Years ago, Pat and Bapper came up with a bunch of ideas for Icon-Based strips that, for whatever reason, I never bothered to draw. They even went as far as to fully script and lay out a few of their ideas, which I still have in my big ol’ Bastich art folder. Now that I’m drawing semi-regularly again, I’m going to blindly implement these old scripts without concern for whether they are dated, unfunny or otherwise detrimental to the health of our great society. You have been warned!

This first strip was actually laid out by me, but I’m pretty sure it came from a collectively drunken night at the Icon-Based HQ. There was a scribbled note in my handwriting next to the final panel saying to change the punchline to something that’s actually funny. Well, sorry buddy – you snooze you lose!

MISC. DEBRIS

Warning: this is a Journal entry… one of those things that nobody should care about except me. But I’m stealing a page from Pat’s book. I want to read this stuff when I’m a decrepit old man and have some idea of what was going on all those weeks ago when I wrote this down.

Anyway, what did I do today?

  • I got caught up on some comics reading, not least of which was a stack of “Ultimate Spider-Man” issues that’s been building up for a while. The issues were USM #22-26 and the Marvel Team-Up Super Special. I was dreading reading this run because I knew something bad was going to happen in #25, and I didn’t want to face up to it. I made an effort to avoid spoilers and finally just started reading the story one page at a time without peeking ahead. I always enjoy things more when I can force myself to do this. They don’t call ‘em “spoilers” for nothing, but usually I can’t resist. However, if you like spoilers, I’ll elaborate on what I’m talking about in the “More…” section.
  • I drove to Golden Gate park and wandered around for a bit. Then I went and had a burrito at Gordo’s, a place on 9th & Lincoln that my roommate showed me a while ago. I also wandered into a small market in search of some fruit… the place was so tiny and packed that I think I incovenienced every other patron there at least once with my clumsy, lanky bumbling. But at least I came away with some very tasty peaches and plums.
  • I went to see “Goldmember” at the Parkway Speakeasy theater, a very cool joint in Oakland where second-run and classic films can be viewed over a slice of pizza and pitcher of beer. Other participants were Pat, Kathleen, Beej, and Adam. Adam courageously decided to stay behind after Goldfinger to watch “Attack of the Clones” without us. I hope he made it out intact.

    It’s always good to see my friends, and I feel I have to appreciate it as much as I can now, because these fun times are getting more and more sparse as time goes on.

    I intend to go again, especially now that I know how to find the place. I’m finding my navigational skills are easily crushed by the streets of San Francisco and Oakland, and only the worst can be anticipated when I’m driving from one to the other. I can’t believe that a place I can see from the hill behind my house in SF would take an hour to reach on the road, but there you have it.

  • I’ve had the song, “The Book I Read” from Talking Heads: 77 stuck in my head all weekend. I’m swimming in a sea of sap! Make it stop!
  • Jeez, I guess that’s it!

Read the rest of this entry »

RIP FARSCAPE

Well, I should have seen this coming. This news is almost 2 weeks old and I just found out. Some friends told me about it, but I didn’t want to believe.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!

I should be used to all of my favorite Sci-Fi shows getting canned, but it still stings.

The Sci-Fi Channel has decided not to pick up Farscape for season 5, even though the series had been optioned for both 4 and 5. The whole thing happened so fast that the moya sets have already been torn down and the show is pretty much kaput.

To be honest, this season has been kind of a disappointment to me, but it was still the best show on the air to my tastes. I’m not so upset that the show is ending; it’s more that it will be ending on such a bad note. They were just wrapping up the last episode when they got the news, so there was no time to try and set up an appropriate ending.

They were clearly building up to some big payoff for season 5 that we’ll never see. Season 4 will end on some huge cliffhanger like every season before it, only this time it will be worse because they thought they had a gurantee that the story could play out in the next season.

I’m still not totally believing this. There’s still a chance that somebody will come to save the day. Some huge outcry from fandom will lead to TNN picking it up or maybe A&E, TLC or BET. Babylon 5 was cancelled at the end of every season, and it still got through to the end, though that last season was painful. Maybe Farscape will find a way to continue, but for now it really seems like the show is dead.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!

Why couldn’t it have been Alias or Buffy or some show that other people watch and not me, dammit!

I need to start watching shows that other people like, apparently.

IMAGE OF THE DAY: BATTLE CHICKEN #2

It’s been a while since I’ve drawn a battle chicken for this blog, and I wanted something quick to do, so here it is. I was trying to reclaim my white trash heritage, but I think I’ve fallen out of the trailer for good. Enjoy!