Monday, June 30, 2008

On a steel horse I ride.

Got on my bike for the first time in 5yrs today and after pumping up the tyres and giving it a good once over and a wash it was surprisingly still in good working order and ready for my fat ass to be plonked on the saddle. My son got a bike for his birthday so I decided to do the father, son thing and spend some quality time with him and what better way than to ride our steel horses together across the plains of Canada (actually we went to his school playground and rode in circles around the basketball court...)We ended up pretending to be Judges on our Law-masters, he was Judge Joyce and of course I was Judge Dredd. We ended up arresting some old lady and a snot-nosed kid in a pram for noise disturbance and then proceeded to blow stuff up with our bike-canons just for the hell of it!

Going to dinner tonight here:www.vancouverdine.com/sgrill/home.html
I came across this place through one of my nature treks along the seawall as mentioned in a previous post. It is in an amazing spot, the view is just incredible! Hopefully the food will be something special also...

Update: Food was below average, service was horrendous and it was all a bit crap really. Guess you really are just paying for the view after all.

The Stolen Earth



Funny review of the first episode finale of Doctor Who.

io9.com/5020606/doctor-whos-russell-t-davies-is-the-gay-michael-bay

Sunday, June 29, 2008

...

I did a really bad thing today.

I hope you won't think any less of me when I impart to you that I watched The Happening.

I mean it was a free viewing and I always find it hard to say no to a freebie (Apart from the one time a drugged up homeless guy offered to blow me because he thought I was Mr Ed...) but lets be honest that's a poor excuse. Let's just say I was interested in seeing what type of trite pap M Night Shyamalan could commit to the screen this time.

In fairness Shyamalan is not without talent: He does have an artistic eye, his composition and staging and his use of space are at times breathtaking (not dissimilar to the once great J Carpenter) some of his editing techniques,use of sound and cinematic choices, although derivative do help push the story along rather well. He would in fact make a great art director, or DP as proven when you look at The Village, Signs or Unbreakable. Even Lady in the Water(although atrocious) had some really interesting visuals. In fact even the worst of Shyamalan's movies had...something.

The Happening however has nothing worth recommending, it is just a really,really bad movie! The dialogue was laughable, everything about it including the delivery was completely unreal, contrived to the point of absurdity. There were moments when Walberg(the main protagonist) was talking to his love interest played by Zooey Deschanel that actually had me laughing out loud, but of course this wasn't being played for laughs, this was apparently real drama! The cast wandered through this movie after having witnessed some truly horrific events talking and interacting as if they were on some kind of school nature ramble seemingly unaffected by the growing pandemic that surrounded them.

There was a scene whereby a group of the survivors are huddled around a cell phone watching some news footage of a zoo attack which again was Shymalan trying to hammer home the shock, senseless,desperate nature of the unspecified threat, but it came across more like a scene from America's Funniest home Videos.

If Shymalan was attempting to give us a some kind of poetical treatise on the barbarity of human nature or a lecture on intelligent design as others are speculating it was sorely lost in a mired, puerile movie that really makes me wonder how he could ever get anything green-lit again...

Then I heard he had signed on to direct Nicolodeon's three movie deal of Avatar. I just pray he is not involved in the script stage.

I thought I would share this, it was posted by a reviewer on IMDB.

This film is simple. It has flawed and awkward characters who don't always say the smoothest thing. Everyone is imperfect and they don't handle the situations in the best "hollywood" type manner. Shyamalan did this on purpose. This movie is not paced for the "entertain me entertain me entertain me entertain me" type audiences we have mostly become. You are given the elements, but it's up to you to be able to slow down and feel the emotions in order to appreciate the film. The parable and meaning are so much deeper and innocent than what is popularized in media today. It will challenge you. It will make you think.

God did that make me laugh...

Rent The Outpost starring Ray(Rome, Punisher)Stevenson, as at least it has Zombie Nazis in it.




Friday, June 27, 2008

IG-88: The Dancing Robot.

Cool little movie by Anton Bogaty.
I found myself tapping my foot to the Kraftwerk sounding tune...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Persepolis



One word: Brilliant!

Sadly I missed this one at the cinema and I am really sorry that I did because every frame is quite literally a work of art, absolutely stunning.

Don't miss it...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Irish car bomb.


I never knew there was such a drink until last night...

Fill a mug with 2/3 Guinness and a shot glass with the liqueurs. Drop the shot glass into the mug and chug it down. Try not to let the shot glass hit your teeth.


Surprising very tasty drink,but that's probably the Baileys Cream helping it along.

Not much else to say today until my headache passes...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Added a music player to the blog,it's a pretty cool little gadget so I couldn't resist it especially as there is quite a decent collection of artists to choose from when you go to the site. The good thing is that you actually have to click on the play button for it to start. I don`t know about you but for me there is nothing worse when you navigate to a site and some bloody music just starts playing, I always felt that was a little obnoxious. MYSPACE I'm looking at you!!!!

Below is a drawing of 50 Cent and the boys from a game that never was...


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hulk Smash?

Had a double-bill over the weekend watching Kung Fu Panda and The Hulk.

With Kung Fu Panda,Dreamworks have finally made a good movie! The story,the voice acting,the design,the cinematography,the pacing,the set-up and the resolution-it all worked.

I especially loved ancient Master Oogway voiced by Randall Duk Kim who was so advanced in years his every movement showed a real visible fragility,the character animation on this character was flawless. There is a scene whereupon after being interrupted in his meditation by Master Shifu he sets about slowly extinguishing some candles which is just picture perfect.

The action scenes were spectacular in both staging and execution and had me at times(quite a few times to be honest)actually sitting forward in my seat as I was completely entranced by there sheer inventiveness-Tai Lung's escape and the rope-bridge sequence to name but two were just fantastic.

The Hulk,which to be quite honest I wasn't too keen on seeing was thankfully a pleasant surprise.I guess the oafish big green looking baby that Ang Lee plastered across the screen previously was still fresh in my mind(In fairness I did like certain aspects of the Ang Lee interpretation...just not a lot) This Hulk was how I had always envisioned The Hulk to be: ugly,monstrous and as angry as hell.

The script was a little patchy at times with quite a few flaws but overall I felt it delivered the goods, having taken some plot ideas from the recent Bruce Jones Hulk comic whilst also giving quite a nod in the direction of the old TV show. Norton made a damn good Banner, Liv Tyler was a believable Betty Ross and William Hurt(who I always have a lot of time for)gave a usually very wooden character a little more depth and substance in being cast as General Ross. Tim Roth was also pretty decent as Emil Blonsky/The Abomination.

The fight scene at the end with The Abomination was hardcore,really quite vicious and ugly and of course... I loved it. I mean this is two huge monsters completely going at it,so it should be quite primal and animalistic in tone and I think they achieved just that.

I worked on The Hulk movie cg game tie in, in 2003 so I thought it would be kinda apt to post a few images...



Tittybiscuits

Whatever happened to Vic and Bob? They were probably the best British comedy duo since Morecambe and Wise (albeit on a more surreal level) I'd love to see these guys together again-

Here is Mulligan and O'Hare with Tittybiscuits.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Birthday Boy

It's my son Olin's birthday this weekend, he will be turning ten! So I thought I'd put up some photos of the little man himself in his various guises.

Happy birthday Olin, your the greatest kid!


Gangsta, Gangsta! That's what they're yellin
"It's not about a salary, it's all about reality"

BRAAAAAIIIINSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!


The day the boy stood still...

Mini-me

A Clockwork Olin.

Best Buddies.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I,like y'know whatta mean like...?

In a travel agency today and the rather helpful agent commented on my accent, and how strong it was. This was quite a pleasant surprise as most people will say that I have completely lost it and sound more like a Canadian: not that I have anything against sounding like a Canadian, but in some ways it feels like I am betraying or trying to deny in some bizarre way my beloved homeland by not retaining the traditional Norn Iron dialect. Sniff...

Personally I've never really thought that I had lost the accent myself but the more you hear it the more you start to believe it. I mean I don't sound like Van Morrison (no comments pls about-yeah but your sure starting to look like him-they will be deleted) or Eamonn Holmes(thank god!) I`m sure it has softened over the years but the accent is still there.

Of course the travel agent may just have a more learned ear, as having traveled she may be able pick up the subtle nuances of my accent whereas the casual listener may not.

Or the fact that I was actually inquiring about flights to Belfast may have got her spidey senses tingling somewhat.

I'm speculating.

I do know Irish guys and some Scottish who deliberately over-excentuate their accent in order(or in hope) to impress the ladies...but that's another story.

Storm Hawks

Trying to post something on the blog everyday(yeah, we'll see how long I keep that up!)

Here is a few storyboard panels, taken from the show Storm Hawks.















Thursday, June 19, 2008

Not your average superhero

I just came across this on buncheness.blogspot.com and had to steal the image...

Says it all really...

Clay

After my post yesterday whereupon I talked about needing a little more relaxation in my life I ended up drinking an entire pot of coffee(more coffee beans than actual water) and was completely wired for the remainder of the day so I didn't get much done.

I did happen to pick up the final trade of Y THE LAST MAN, the concluding arc of Whedon and Cassaday's ASTONISHING X-MEN and STUDIO SPACE a book detailing the work habits of twenty of todays top comic book artists, including the likes of Brian Bolland, Mike Mignola, Dave Gibbons, Sean Phillips, Duncan Fegredo, Tim Sale and Bryan Talbot. So I 'll probably waste most of this morning reading through those...

Below is a comic piece I did with a guy called Mike Hovan, we had originally decided some years back that we were going to try and do the 24 hr comic thing. We bandied about ideas most of the morning and then got down to it, I believe I penciled about fourteen or fifteen pages and then after about seven hours in we went for a coffee, started gabbing and lo and behold we never finished it. I went back to it sometime later, inked and re-purposed some of the art for a couple of guys in an animation studio I was working in at the time who were putting together a little in-house anthology title.





Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ramble

I live literally a five minute walk away from the beach and I almost never spend any time there at all, so today after dropping my son Olin off to school I decided to take a morning stroll.

The Area is called English Bay and it is located downtown West Vancouver. Walking along the sea-wall(as it is known) will take you all the way to Stanley Park(a sprawling forest, and another major tourist attraction) passing various other beaches along the way. Of course I didn't walk that far... like I said a morning stroll not a bloody exercise fest! I just went down to remind myself that...well, number 1) I need to get out more and 2) I am at present living in a pretty fantastic spot.

Every time I'm there I do the obligatory slow, drawn out almost stupified exhale of breath, as I immerse myself in the complete awe of my surroundings. I even sometimes momentarily go into my Grizzley Adams mode, imagining myself building a wooden homestead, fighting off dangerous predators and growing my beard with no subsequent trimming -ever again! In fact just embracing the wonderment of nature in all its wide-eyed glory.

So there I am standing like Tom Jones at the end of Mars Attacks with various wildlife gravitating towards me, sparrows settling on my shoulders, tweeting their ageless song of life, ducks waddling up raising their slightly elongated necks to gaze in my direction with a I'm totally getting you soul brother look in their little ducky eyes and a bunch of little squirrels scampering up my trouser legs to feed off some of the good vibes I was obviously sending out.

Bills,work,deadlines: the stress of everyday life was just falling away and everything was good with the world.

"Get the fuck out of my way asshole!"

That quickly brought me out of my reverie as I had apparently stepped into a bike lane and a passing cyclist had swerved to avoid me.

"Take it to the Hague, you bike riding lane infesting fit person you!" I retorted.

Well I didn't actually it was more in the Gareth Hunt or a right James Blunt area of comebacks if you get my drift?

So soon after I regained my Zen state and then headed home to happily find a parcel my dear old mum had posted me containing a 2000AD comic amongst other things. It's always the little things eh?

I'm going to try and make that stroll to English Bay an everyday occurrence as I think I could do with a little more relaxation in my life.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Van Helsing

Here is a couple more images. The first couple of designs are from another creator owned project and the second is a design is a pitch for the Van Helsing game I did some years ago with a gaming company here in Vancouver. At the time the movie was just in early script stage so we did not have much to go on.

When I heard they where making a movie based on the actual character I was ecstatic, I mean what a great vehicle for a movie. I didn't even mind the fact that they were apparently making him younger and having him fight a plethora of various mythical monsters.

I'm a huge horror fan and have a real fondness for the old Hammer stuff: In fact I'm sure my first brush with Dracula would have been the Terence Fisher 1958 movie rather than the Stoker book, so Peter Cushing for me became the very embodiment of the character Van Helsing.

Anyway whatever, I was on board...

Then came the movie.


Everything good about the character(and the monsters he fought for that matter...) was completely whitewashed with the gloss of special effects, blockbuster action and an incredibly bad script. God! That was a painful two hours.


"You wouldn`t like me when I get angry y'know!"

"I don't like you already sir!"


Monday, June 16, 2008

The train has entered the station...


Finally an image.

It's not finished, needs to be touched up quite a bit, coloured too- but it's a start.

This is one of the first sample pages of a new science fiction story that I am working on (this sequence is part of a flashback) I am a little paranoid about putting my work up on the blog due to the whole copyright thing, but in reality this page really doesn't give away any major plot line or main character designs-so I should be alright. It's actually quite a bland first image to post now I look at it.

I am also working on my company website-Alarmclock Productions- which should be up and running in a few months (It`s been a long time coming, believe me...) So a lot of the new comic stuff should be on that.

Cheers.

Update: so bland I took it down.

Monday, June 2, 2008

"If something isn`t saved then what`s it all for?"- Sydney Pollack

I have been meaning to get into this blog lark for quite a while, but could never really think of a good introductionary post: you know something profound that would make the reader sit up and pay attention -god this guy has really something to say- type of thing. Having heard about Sydney Pollack's death a few days ago I remember reading a quote of his somewhere and felt that it would be a rather apt heading to my first entry into this blogging world. I've always believed in the romantic notion of leaving something behind, a creative footprint that others may get something out of long after I've left this mortal coil (Preferably they could enjoy my work while I'm around and I could reap some financial rewards from the fact-but I've just quoted a dead guy so forgive me for staying on this rather sombre tract)Whether that something is a Plan 9 or a 2001 shouldn't really matter it's just the fact of having had a voice and imparted it in some shape or form. I guess that's what blogging is for the most part -a diary of sorts- a record of blab, and god to I do like to blab.

So yeah, hence the Sydney Pollack quote.

I hope to post general thoughts and observations and even the odd bit of art (once I figure out how to do so) on a regular basis so bear with me. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

So anyway -my first blog- there it is.

Cheers.