Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Ever wish you could have the cool profile pic on the social networking block? Well wish no longer as your problems are now solved with the arrival of the new service provided by toonsmith and future comic strip legend, Mike Spicer.
Mike is someone you should know...someone your Grandma should know. He has been rockin' the cartoon thing for years. My favorite creation from Mike is the well-known "Celebrity Clerks". Taking well know or contemporary public figures and placing them in the job of waiting on the same overall wearing fellow, left with the fate of forever buying from these wildly perverse versions of cartoon reality. I've always wondered if this guy ever goes home....
This however is not the only thing Mike has done in the world of cartoon art. Even though you may not know him like you know Gary Trudeau, Scott Adams or Jim Davis...you soon will.
And now for a modest fee this son of Canada will take a photo and do a magnificent cartoon style portrait to be placed by you on the networking site of your choice...or just print the thing out and carry it in your wallet or purse...well what your do with it is actually your business. Now go out into the virtual world, hit Mike's email or catch him on FaceBook to "Spicer-up" that pic! :D
Friday, April 16, 2010
“ “Never adapt to the ways of evil, or you will become no better than the evil you sought to destroy.” The words of his teacher, Makoto Tanaka, kept on repeating in the
cycle of his thought. He took the life of a human being so another one may
live. However, the haunting memory will blacken his soul for a time to come. “
A passage from Randal J. Belaire’s new novel “The Resurgence: Chronicles of the Shadow Chaser”.
The story follows the rather tragic tale of Kevin Wolf at the beginning of his career and the seeming declining professional life of Arthur Brown. Arthur, being my personal favourite character of the story, is your first guide on your virgin experience into the Shadow Chaser world. The first thing you experience when starting the book is a drop right in the middle of a kidnapping with a hero swinging in to hopefully save the day….now, I am not about to ruin the experience and give away the facts on the kidnapping, or the rest of the happening short of basic description….wanna know detailed facts and cannot wait? Buy the book.
Arthur, if you must know more, is the first Shadow Chaser. The circumstances of the aforementioned kidnapping caper leave him unemployed in the ways of super heroes. Nothing shows the proper impact of this like Chapter Five;
“Arthur Brown sat like a hermit on a barstool in a local pub, alone
with his thoughts, and ignored by the patrons surrounding him. Clouded by
the aroma of whisky, and reeking with the stench of regret, Brown held the
glass in his right hand and gripped his cane with his left. On the tenth
anniversary of his final battle as the Shadow Chaser, Brown cradled his glass,
nursing the relationship with his best friend of the last five years. The battle
that ended his career also ended his capacity to walk with a normal gait. A man
who at one time required a mask to facilitate his need for vengeance and
justice; now found himself needing to consume a bottle of hard liquor to help
him forget about the unfulfilled promise he once made to his wife Claire.
Arthur Brown had aged ten years, but the alcohol abuse made him look twenty
years older. The punishment he received from the bottle was far worse than
any physical impairment he received as the Shadow Chaser. Brown no longer
cared about anybody or himself.”
The chapter goes on to show Arthur struggling with personal combat in the worlds inside and outside his head.
Enter Kevin Wolf, each great hero be it Batman or Huck Finn has a personal tragedy that drives them. Kevin is no different. His loss is one that really cannot be given away in review description so much as read.
But he has guides to lift him in his assent; Master Tanaka, martial arts mentor, Arthur Brown and….well more would yet again be telling. And his world has villans to slam him down. The quite evil Antonio Stavros and the equally dark Group of 13.
This novel begs to be a comic book.
Final verdict, Check out the sample chapters provided by Randy here to get an idea if you dig his own pulp/noir alley.
You can find Randy and the Shadow Chaser at The Shadow Chaser site
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
1960's Murray Tee Bird Pedal Car. Completely redone...no decals. Tried to redo the pinstriping of the 60's pedal cars with a pearl blue instead of the original flat powder blue. :) Pedal Cars seem to be yet another artistic outlet that sorta sneaked up on me. I now have so many ideas on things to do with these things...soon these personal "art expressions" will be for sale...right after I crank em' out...the next one will be possibly a UT themed car...not that I'm a fan really, I don't think I actually have a favorite current sports team...anyway it will be immediately for sale...so if you dig UT put in a request to buy now as this will be one of a kind. :)
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Earlier in the week in the midst of the whole Disney/Marvel buyout thing I had seen a post on FaceBook about the idea that it might be a good thing for Disney to buy Marvel because it might mean there would be more all-ages comics. This is most assuredly true, however is this a completely good thing? I think this is more of a “yes and no” thing myself.
Why? Well you have two sides on this. On one side you have the truth that there defiantly are not enough all-ages comics. Now I do a ton of all-ages things. My concept of all-ages is not necessarily just for children so much as safe for children to read yet not make an adult feel embarrassed or bored to take on, hence all-ages…from five to fifty.
Children’s books are something, in my mind and I think in proper definition, are something that just speaks to children where the age of readership cuts off at the tweens or maybe teens and have nothing to do with adults whatsoever. No challenging concepts that only an adult would know of. Nothing heavy in the realm of gore, horror or sex.
Now that being said I think that we could use a batch of comics that speak to all. However when most corporate folk seem to think that all-ages means material for four year olds. Think of the now cancelled “Spidey Super Stories” from Marvel… well from Marvel and The Electric Company. No challenging plot, concept or action. And this is perfectly fine for the kindergarten set, but is sheer death for comics in general.
In America comics has a horrible image problem. We have the dreaded “funny pages syndrome”…. Basically most people think that comics are for kids and not for adults. They think they are not proper literature and if you’re an adult reading them you are a submoron or a socially deficient person. That you’re a comic “geek”…and please don’t get me started on the geek label…another day for that one.
Comics in this country have a terrible time being taken seriously. Now I know there are a few out there that think that comics are just fine on reputation. That all of the people they meet know of and respect comics. “Hey Watchmen was a major motion picture that was taken seriously…and it, thee graphic novel, won praise and awards…. and what about Maus or Persepolis?”
Yes wonderful examples, lovely work…but guess what…not everyone knows them. And those that do who aren’t fans don’t really care. Mainstream America, Joe Blow Everyman has yet to put any comic next to Huckleberry Finn as far as importance or literary level. And a major, "put it on every supermarket shelf", company like Disney making comics that will serve just very young children under the guise of normal comic books will be a large nail in the coffin of comic book's literary reputation. A large league back…. not a step back…a league…
Monday, August 31, 2009
This morning I awoke to the startling news that Disney has acquired Marvel Comics. To say this shot me out of bed with a troubled brow is an understatement. My first knee-jerk reaction was utter horror. I literally saw the heroes of my childhood…well some of them, let’s not leave out DC and God knows how many others…but I digress…where was I…oh yeah…I literally saw, eh…most, heh, of the heroes of my childhood being destroyed in my minds eye and remade in the Disney image.
It put me off my coffee and made me think of canceling breakfast. Then I regained my composure and dwelled upon things after posting my remnant of a brood on FaceBook. After doing so I was slightly surprised at some folk’s complete lack of reaction, some spoke of the better line of toys Marvel would have and others spoke of more all-ages comics. The first of those are easy to answer… toys come and go, hire a sculptor that has some talent…done. But the second gave me another slice of pause in this whole matter to go with the entire full plate of things I had to digest and think about. And one I will touch on another day…in another post.
Ok…first things first… Disney owning Marvel; Let’s start with the cons shall we?
Cons; Marvel may loose it’s edge... now this point could be argued by some as a thing that has already happened. In fact the whole idea of that is an article in itself, so I won’t really touch on that here. But Disney may water down what Marvel is already putting out.
Now in Disney’s defense they have said that they are not going to change Marvel one bit to fit the Disney brand. But come on… would you buy a company and never do anything in the way it’s run to fit your way of doing things? Over time businesses have to update their plan of attack on the market and Marvel is no different. In updating their plan Disney has no choice but to mold Marvel to fit their overall scope of future goals… to do otherwise is not good business. Disney has said they will honor Marvel’s agreements with the movie companies they have made but after that is done they will bring all future films “in house” and make and distribute it themselves… but then again I would if I were them… once more it’s just smart business.
The same was said of Disney acquiring ABC. Unless your completely clueless it’s obvious that they have certainly changed…don’t get me started on those tween “comedies” they churn out…but hey, someone must dig em… so yet again…digressing…
And oh my the crossovers….sigh… or better yet… animated Marvel movies with songs just thrown in there because, “Kids just love music in their movies!” ugh…
Ok, too many things to list at the moment without sounding bitter when I’m really not. I don’t want you to get the idea that my disagreeing with a few Disney methods means I hate the company…I don’t. I actually dig the whole Disney thing in certain respects.
So that brings us to…the Pros: Ok Marvel on TV for one thing. Disney is a freaking giant in multimedia and exposure is the word here. With Disney’s reach they could be in places they never could before. Word has it that upon hearing the news of the deal that everyone from Pixar to Disney proper was excited at the idea of doing things with Marvel properties. To quote them, “Sparks will fly.”
So one must ask themselves, “If all see something will it have the same soul when they see it?”
If Marvel is changed too much from it’s core then the whole world will see nothing but a name and a pair of long johns…my fingers are crossed but with age I tend to flavor my hope with a pinch of cynicism.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
God I wish I had one of those writing sheds like Mark Twain had... I think it was on his Sister-in-Law's property. A lovely little gazebo with a typewriter and writing paper. Far away from folk...when he was done he would come home...period.
Not that I'm not thankful for what I have and all...but JESUS man! Come on.... Everytime I get CLOSE to the "zone" someone come trouncing through. Or my Son pops in saying someone wants to see me...and it amounts to "Look at that..." ...which amounts to NOTHING!!! ARRRGGHHHH!!
At this rate I'l never get done with any freaking thing! .......merde.....