Monday, March 30, 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Heroes and Villains art show

Heroes and Villains art show

I will be part of a group show at Rock Paper Scissors Collective in Oakland. It's organized buy Teppei Ando and includes work by Arnell Ando, Teppei Ando, Graham Annable, David Ball, Mary Cook, Alika Cooper, Matt Hart, Matt Hewitt, Obi Kaufman, An Nguyen, Jonah Olson, Deth P. Sun, Mark Todd, and Derek Wood. I'll be showing 5 original pages from Monster Parade and that Whale Painting.

Friday April 3rd, 6-9 pm
2278 Telegraph ave., Oakland, CA 94612

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Shaw Brothers look

Normally when we think of old Kung Fu movies from around the 70's we think of really low budget affairs with bad dubbing. This is partially because the biggest Hong Kong studio from that era, Shaw Brothers, did not until very recently believe in the home video market. One of the Shaw brothers, Run Run Shaw, is still alive at about the age of 102 which might be part of why they were so stubbornly old fashion. This resulted in Shaw movies being only available in worn out bootlegs. They finally came around several years ago and from about 2003 - 2006 they released about 500 digitally restored DVDs of from the Shaw Brothers catalog. These all came out in China with a region 3 encoding but luckily for us they all came with english subtitles and region free DVD players are easy to come by. Plus they are slowly leaking out in the US market via Image Entertainment and Dragon Dynasty.

During most of 2005 I had taken a temporary job with nonstop overtime in LA where I only had a few friends who lived far away. This year in my life of almost no social life coincided with my discovery of a (now defunct) website called Nicheflix, which was like a netflix specializing in foreign DVDs. So as a result I plowed through a ridiculous amount of Shaw brothers movies. It started with my interest in old school kung fu battles but it was also the Shaw Brothers look that made it addicting. Shaw Brothers seriously beefed up their studio when it was standard practice to shoot everything indoors and because of this they continued that old fashioned indoor studio look well into the early eighties. At times it looks like angry shirtless Chinese dudes beating each other to a bloody pulp on the set of The Wizard of Oz. I love the weird unearthly feeling of fake indoor sets, opera stages, and miniatures so combining this with pulpy bloody kung fu is like cinema crack to me.

Visually, one of my favorite Shaw movies is The Imperial Swordsman(1972). It has almost no story and the average quality of the fight choreography has to be made up for in quantities of spurting blood and dead bodies. But it is a beaut to look at. Lots of eerie fake indoor sets and miniatures and for some reason shot almost entirely in deep dark expressive noirish lighting. Here are some pics and a clip to show you what I'm talking about.
In the future I will occasionally post some more samples of some of my favorite looking Shaw movies

-click on the images for a larger picture-









Watch the high quality youtube clip here

The Wizard's Apprentice (1930)


Thanks to Dylan for sending me the link

Monday, March 23, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

Orchid

Here's an unused image for the Orchid anthology that I edited with Dylan Williams a few years back. I think it was an idea for a sticker.

sticker

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Photoshopping with Friends

A few years ago Jeff Levine hosted a message board for a lot of my cartoonist friends. On one thread we started out trading Photoshop tips and it evolved into us making horrible pictures of each other. These were my contributions

Dan Zettwoch
DZA

Mario Bava
, Dylan Williams, Dan Zettwoch
aah_3
(Note: Originally those black boxes weren't there. You're welcome)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Doodle

doodle014

Another Bad Apple commercial

I have spent hundreds of seconds making another commercial for The Bad Apple store using cutting edge technology

Sunday, March 8, 2009

327 year old book

A couple of years ago Dylan Williams' grandfather died. He had been a medieval literature scholar and left behind a lot of interesting old books. Dylan was allowed to go through the collection and pick out anything that interested him before the rest was donated to a library. Among the books he picked out were 2 copies of the book pictured here. Dylan kept one copy and was generous enough to give me the other. As far as we can tell, this book really is from 1682. Dylan's grandfather even left magazine clippings in the back of my copy describing the book and it's value and rarity. I think Dylan's copy is in better condition and mine seems to have been the the one for writing notes in. I did a quick search on the internet and didn't find any sign of reprints. The pictures below tell the rest of the story. There is an illustration on every left-hand page so I've posted some of my favorites. Click the images to go to it's page and then click the "All Sizes" button for a larger version.

book_01

book_02 book_03

book_04

book_05 book_06

book_07

book_08 book_09 book_10 book_11 book_12 book_13 book_14 book_15 book_16 book_17 book_18

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Bad Apple commercial

My friend Dylan Williams runs a store with the help of Tim Goodyear called The Bad Apple. I have just poured my heart and soul into making an advertisement for them using some hoopty internet thingy

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Mother Tree

Here's another Shintoho horror movie for you. The Mother Tree aka Kaidan Chibusa Enoki. A Samurai lusts after a woman and murders her artist husband, wet nurse, and family servant in order to try to force her to be with him. But the ghosts of his victims come back to drive him mad. The ghosts also show the woman a tree leaking milk or something that her baby can suckle since she can't breast feed him herself. I particularly like the part where the dying bleeding husband falls into a creek full of snakes. I'm not sure if that gave his ghost extra haunting power but aside from ghost cat ladies, I've noticed another theme of ghosts rising from ponds.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Doodle

doodle011

Chris Ware paper miniatures

A few days ago I did a search on my computer for anything containing ".jpg" and I stumbled across a bunch of interesting old photos I'd nearly forgotten about. Here's one from around '01 or '02 when I had actually taken the time to build some of Chris Ware's paper miniatures. I used my computer and printer to copy the cut-outs so no comics were harmed in the making of these. The stove and phonograph were novelty pencil sharpeners and the shelf was found at a knick-knack store in chinatown. I've forgotten where the coffee cup came from. The paper models have long since withered and fallen apart.

AcmeMinis