Thursday, May 29, 2008

Maturing of the Internet

I remember attempting to do some internet digging on Village People lore around 8-10 years ago, and there was precious little there. In the past couple years, I've been gratified to see this void being filled. Here's a nice article by Jeff Pearlman at on the rise of the Village People's YMCA as a mainstream sports anthem. I get all happy inside when I think of Glenn Hughes (didn't know he worked at a camera store post-'People. Thanks, Randy!--ed) and Freddy Mercury rocking arenas full of sports fans.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Soul, Long Dark Night Of

Had an unscheduled bout of insomnia last night which doesn't become me; I prefer to sleep easy.

Look out! Could be a "cavescape" a-brewin'!
God help me.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Reflective n' @#$%

I worked on the web site today putting together the Legends From Camp storyboards and pre-production images. Tedious. A successful artist's blog might read like this: "I worked on my latest commission today. My assistant is putting together the Legends From Camp storyboards and preproduction images." One potential benefit of doing my own dirty work is that I started some honest to god writing about Legends From Camp. Hopefully, I'll come up with something better than these blog blasts.

Goddamnit, that Rudolph Zallinger dinosaur muralat the Yale Peabody Museum is awesome. I'd like to do something a fraction as cool before I keel. Alexis Rockman probably feels the same way. His stuff is good, but there's not a single piece of "fine" art in the past 30 years that holds a candle to Zallinger. The man came, laid down his fierce majesty, and died. You who rocked, we salute you.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Memorial Day Black-out

Steel yourselves. I'm goin' away for the weekend. I leave you with this portion of Rudolph Zallinger's absolutely dominating dinosaur mural. Fast, smart dinosaurs, my ass--this is how you do it. Back on Monday.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Crom and Mitra! Missed two days of posting. Uh, Too bad. Here's the latest iteration of skull dude. Sorry, that's all I've got. Weak.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Thucydides on the brain

Still not sure why Neo Cons claim to be such fans of Thucydides.

Nicias rightly sees that invading distant Sicily under flimsy pretexts will prove the ruin of the Athenian empire. Why? Because Sicily is a big, distant, complicated place that the Athenians do not understand. Invading Sicily will ruin Athens' domestic economy, squander its reputation as a military power and make it vulnerable to attacks from her other enemies.

We should also remember that we are only now enjoying some respite from a great pestilence and from war, to the no small benefit of our estates and persons, and that it is right to employ these at home on our own behalf, instead of using them on behalf of these exiles in whose interest it is to lie as well as they can, who do nothing but talk themselves and leave the danger to others, and who if they succeed will show no proper gratitude, and if they fail will drag down their friends with them. 6.12.1

The Hellenes in Sicily would fear us most if we never went there at all, and next to this, if after displaying our power we went away again as soon as possible. We all know that which is farthest off and the reputation of which can least be tested, is the object of admiration; at the least reverse to us they would at once begin to look down upon us, and would join our enemies here against us. 6.11.4

We must not disguise from ourselves that we go to found a city among strangers and enemies, and that he who undertakes such an enterprise should be prepared to become master of the country the first day he lands, or failing in this to find everything hostile to him. 6.23.2

Such is the list of the peoples, Hellenic and barbarian, inhabiting Sicily, and such the magnitude of the island which the Athenians were now bent upon invading. 6.6.1

Alcibiades argues (after being accused by Nicias of starting the war to bring benefit to himself and his friends) that Athens should invade because Athens is strong enough to conquer Sicily and hold off its other enemies. The Sicilians are also an easy mark. They're a disorganized, weak, lot lacking in any strong identity, ripe for having an alien political system forced upon them from the outside.

Nor should you rescind your resolution to sail to Sicily, on the ground that you would be going to attack a great power. The cities in Sicily are peopled by motley rabbles, and easily change their institutions and adopt new ones in their stead; and consequently the inhabitants, being without any feeling of patriotism, are not provided with arms for their persons, and have not regularly established themselves on the land. . . From a mob like this you need not look for either unanimity in counsel or unity in action; but they will probably one by one come in as they get a fair offer, especially if they are torn by civil strife as we are told. 6.17.2-4

Of course, Athens shouldn't wait around for the Sicilians to cause trouble, but should engage in a preemptive strike.

Men do not rest content with parrying the attacks of a superior, but often strike the first blow to prevent the attack being made. Moreover, we cannot fix the exact point at which our empire shall stop; we have reached a position in which we must not be content with retaining what we have but must scheme to extend it for, if we cease to rule others, we shall be in danger of being ruled ourselves. Nor can you look at inaction from the same point of veiw as others, unless you are prepared to change your habits and make them resemble theirs. 6.18.2-3

Finally, Athens should invade Sicily because to not do so would be to "go soft." If you've got it, flaunt it.

. . . by sinking into inaction, the city, like everything else, will wear itself out, and its skill in everything decay; while each fresh struggle will give it fresh experience, and make it more used to defend itself not in word but in deed. 6.18.6

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sweltering Saturday

At some point I'll get my car fixed and I'll look like this. It's hot outside.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Too F**ing Much Perspective

OMFG, as people say. I came across this article by in the Atlantic Monthly written by an anonymous adjunct professor who teaches introductory writing courses at a community college. Read it and weep, I suppose. On a good day, I'd say about 65% of the students at my college are capable of doing actual college-level work-- on a bad day, I'd say it's closer to 10%. More on this later, as teaching is starting to gnaw at my soul a little bit.
(He'p me, Yahweh! He'p me! )
Anyhow, here's an excerpt from the Atlantic article.

Class time passes in a flash—for me, anyway, if not always for my students. I love trying to convey to a class my passion for literature, or the immense satisfaction a writer can feel when he or she nails a point. When I am at my best, and the students are in an attentive mood—generally, early in the semester—the room crackles with positive energy. Even the cops-to-be feel driven to succeed in the class, to read and love the great books, to explore potent themes, to write well.

The bursting of our collective bubble comes quickly. A few weeks into the semester, the students must start actually writing papers, and I must start grading them. Despite my enthusiasm, despite their thoughtful nods of agreement and what I have interpreted as moments of clarity, it turns out that in many cases it has all come to naught.

Remarkably few of my students can do well in these classes. Students routinely fail; some fail multiple times, and some will never pass, because they cannot write a coherent sentence.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ooh, double post

More hacking.
Things I'm unusually bad at:
1) drawing ellipses.
2) weapons.
I'm going to overcome those handicaps and be handicapable.

City By The Bay

I love Pelican Bay. I really do. The friendships I've forged here will last a lifetime. The only question is how long will that lifetime last?! I was beaten and left for dead in the showers last night, but I seem to have "been saved" by an all-knowing triune god. "Only in prison," as my cell-mate used to say before the T.B. took him.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Quantity, not Quality

That's me, today. Showed Satyricon to my USEM students. "Kids, don't steal Hermaphrodites."
Three process drawings of skull guy. This is driving me nuts, putting these up because a) they need a $%@% of a lot more work and b) they still suck. That being said, I'm putting them up because a) Daily drawing b) they remind me that you can't half-ass this stuff. It takes time, focus, and concentration. Since those three things are in precious short supply, I'm hoping the humiliation of putting up half-assed stuff will drive me to increase time, focus and concentration. That sounds bleak.

Oh, and I look and feel HAGGARD today, but not to worry, I dressed "dumpily" to help offset that impression.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Some things about today for posterity

1) It was beautiful.
2) I ate at Subway.
3) I played Grand Theft Auto 4 in 3D animation class in the name of research. Thanks, Kyle.
4) Went to Fred Meyer and got some Pokemon cards with Sam.
5) Worked more on skull alien. Oops, don't have him at home, so here's an old rough concept for some warriors that lived around Crater Lake and developed an armor system powered by human blood.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Two on Monday

Didn't write no blog this weekend. But did keep up the daily drawing regimen continuing the alien concept. Applause. The lighter one is actually a later version. As I post these images, I realize they look almost exactly the same. I've failed to follow the cardinal rule of working general to the specific. I've just been tickling this thing. Duh. It drives me crazy when my students do that. It's so much easier to tell people to do stuff than to do it myself. Speaking of which, time to go teach. @#$%, I need to get some work done.

80's music on in the Beanery. Some of it good. Much of it bad. I still hate Duran Duran as much as I did as a teenager.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Busy (as a morning sunrise)

Been working away this morn getting Legends From Camp to stream on the web. Not sure if this is ultimately a good thing. Watching video on the web really does suck. On the other hand, never getting to see something sucks as well. I want Legends to go out and have a life in the world, but I seem constitutionally incapable of distributing copies of it myself. This way, at least, it can be seen now and then by actual flesh and blood people. Imagine. Prattle. More when I upload it.

On the daily drawing end of things, here's an early stage of a sci-fi character design from my sketch book. I'm going to paint up the skull dude in 40-shoppe. Stay glued to your set for the updates. Yeah, I know, Mars Attacks. Who says 5th generation design can't be fun? These started as concepts for a 2D flash video game I've been designing with my son.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The 3 Stages of Heroic Man

Last night, as I returned to Pelican Bay, I was thrilled to find that the inmates had put together a collection to commission me to create a great mural for the recreation yard! They were quite clear that the subject of the work was to be "The 3 Stages of Heroic Man," and that I, as the embodiment of their rough and tumble heroic ideal, was to be the model for our Hero. You can imagine my excitement at such a challenge! I feverishly set to my sketchbooks, and after a sleepless night and not a few cigarettes' worth of paper, I posted my proposal in the cafeteria for all to see. The tumult was such that the guards fired several warning shots and were about to institute a "lock-down" until they too were transported by the genius of my design! Oh, the gaiety! If you had only seen the spontaneous bonhommie 'twixt guard and inmate, I have no doubt you would have wept as I did at the precious power of almighty Art to move friend and foe alike. Is there nothing that art (and the artist!) cannot achieve?! We are truly living on the cusp of a great age! What a precious gift it is to be an artist in these daring and heady times!

Oh would that I could stay and talk a very blue streak about the ecstasy of this day, but I must away to this great responsibility, my commission--my vocation!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wednesday, eh?

Doing fine today (thanks for asking), save for a subtly increasing wave of existential dread engulfing my entire physical and emotional consciousness. How do you say it. . . ah yes, "It's all good." Hrmph. Indeed.

Let's see, trying to get in on the streaming video bandwagon so I can get Legends From Camp up on the web. Also got back to the website and am now realizing what a pain in the @@s it is. Oh well, at least I can harangue my students. "@#$*, kids, you just have to work at this &*$# until you get it right! Sob. Cry. Excuse me. . . I just get so emotional because I care so much about art and beauty and such . . . oh. . . hmmm, guess no one's actually here. . . uh, guess I'll go get a slurpee. . ."

And, yes, a bandwagon isn't really something you "get in on," is it?
Yeah, got to "get in on" this bandwagon thing while it's still hot.
Hrmph. Indeed.

And yes, as I'm sure you've already figured out, the above "graphic" isn't one of my daily drawings. It's the design of a tattoo I did for a fellow Pelican Bay inmate. Charles Schulz ain't got nothing on me.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Non-Solipsistic Stuff

Daemon Skull, by Matt Lawrence, 2008

1. SOU alum Steve Hammond's MFA thesis, Negative Capability, has some inspiring insights into the creative process. Well-researched, thought-out, written, and illustrated. An excellent resource for all of us fighting the creative fight. I recommend it as an antidote to writer's/drawer's/animator's/designer's block. Here's a temporary link to it. Steve, let me know when you get it posted on your blog, and I'll link to it there.

2. SOU alum Matt Lawrence has a new blog with some of his goodness. He's been busy animatin' and drawin.' Keep an eye on it. His stuff's been really developing lately. Coolio.

Century Plus 1

Similar theme/comp from a month ago. . .

Century of the Self

Yes. It's my 100th solipsistic post. Ta-rah. Hoot. Woot. Time for coffee.

BTW, Century of the Self is an excellent documentary series by Adam Curtis chronicling the rise of the individual as the dominant social unit and the corresponding blah blah blah.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Quiet. Obstinance.

Solitude disappears slowly and steadily. Civilized life takes a constant toll. Forsake the stupid. Look for the good, the meaningful. . .uh, like in this drawing. . . Oh, and I did miss a day (Sunday) of drawing. So if I tell you I draw EVERY day. I'm a %$%#ing liar.
Also, don't misspell obstinance as "obstinence." Very poor form.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Mouse Monkeys

More mouse drawing. A rough sketch? I could come back to it later. Who cares? Commemorative portrait of myself and friends?

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Dail Dale

Funny. I actively, petulently didn't want to draw today, so, I did this on my home computer with my mouse while waiting to take Sam to Pokemon League. Ha ha. Daily mission accomplished. Barely. Mouse drawing rules. Ugh.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Mission Creep II: Eccentric Hulagu

Time for more drawing and less prattling. These posts is too wordy. Words bad. Pictures good.
And so, I give you, "Miles Inada in the Year 3000," and my incipient return to daily drawing.