Thursday, October 29, 2009

Charleston Daily Mail writeup

One of the local papers has written an article about ArtMares, the Halloween show in Charleston that I'm participating in. I'm glad to see it's getting some press! And the opening night sounds like it was a great success. I will going to the reception on Saturday and I'll be sure to post photos afterward. The show is going on every night this week so if you are in the Charleston, WV area please stop by!

You can read the article here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


A fall drawing just for fun. The pose and theme were in my head for a while, and I ultimately decided to use my original character Oly. I also drew inspiration from some hippie girls I saw at an environmental rally earlier this week.

Also thanks to Randall for the kind words on the Autumn Society Blog about this piece.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Back to Pac

My newest shirt design, up for voting now!

It's a simple idea that I personally have never seen done before. I think I may have finally come up with something that will make other shirt designers say "why didn't I think of that?" Which is nice, since I'm usually the one saying that.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Monster Cereal Blog

The Monster Cereal Blog that I mentioned in yesterday's post was nice enough to feature my monster cereal piece! Check out the blog for lots of other great art and all the spooky cereal info you could ever need.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Part of a Balanced Breakfast

This is the second piece I created for the ArtMares show in Charleston, WV. I've wanted to draw the cereal monsters for a while, but they seemed like a pretty common subject among pop culture artists lately. To differentiate my piece from most I've seen I wanted to draw them doing something rather than just rendering them in my style and leaving it at that. I kept with a theme I use quite a bit, which is to take something outlandish and ask "what if that really happened?" In this case, what if monsters actually wanted you to eat a healthy breakfast?

For inspiration I started following the Monsters Cereal Blog, which has a ton of great original art based on the characters.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dig Those Stripes

I submitted a new shirt design last week, you can vote on it here!
It's based on the video game Dig Dug, one of my personal favorites. Some older arcade games are fun to play for a little while just because of the nostalgia factor, but for me Dig Dig is one of those games that actually holds up as a solid and fun experience.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Lightsaber shirt & Change Chomp sticker

Two new items up for sale over at Splitreason, the Lightsaber Glove Holster shirt and the Change Chomp sticker. Click the images to buy!

I don't think I've explained the Change Chomp idea yet on my blog, so allow me to do that now. There is a famous photo, seen below, of president Obama with a "Pac-man" sticker on his laptop. Geeks and nerds everywhere took this as evidence that not only was Obama a pretty cool guy, he was a nerd too! The thing is, I took one look at the photo and said "That's not looks more like a chain chomp from the Mario Bros Series." I was surprised that nerds as a whole were calling the sticker a Pac-man, since we're usually pretty quick to call out any inaccurate obseravtions that non-nerds may make about our geeky obsessions. They are even selling replicas on a website devoted entirely to the sticker,

famous photo


Chain Chomp

So why hadn't anyone said anything yet, especially nerds? I managed to find a few instances online of random blog commenters pointing it out here and there, so I knew at least a few people were on my side, but it was still quite perplexing to me. So I decided to do a more accurate, if somewhat embellished sticker. A friend then asked the question, if Obama has a Chain Chomp sticker shouldn't it be called a "Change Chomp?" So I combined the design of the Mario enemy with Obama's official "O" logo that resembles a sun rising over a field. Please buy the sticker and slap it on your own computer to show that you are a true nerd and patriot who knows your video game characters!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Trick or Treat

This is a piece I created for a Halloween themed exhibition being put on in Charleston, WV by East End Main Street at the end of this month. My idea for this was to pay tribute to those old smock costumes we used to wear as kids; the ones that inexplicably featured the name and picture of the character you were supposed to be right on the chest.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Some games I'm looking forward to

If you know me or have looked through my site at all you'll likely know I'm a video game nut, especially classic games. I go though phases, though, where I either have no interest in actually sitting and playing a game or I'll be dying to play something new. Here are a few games I'm looking forward to:

This game is a remake/sequel of an NES game that holds special childhood memories for me. The original was a screen-by-screen game like the 2D Legend of Zelda games (only from a side view) which allowed me and my dad to actually draw a huge grid and map out the entire game world together. The gimmick of the game is very cool, as you have a blob that follows you around and can change into different objects to help you out. The game design of the original left something to be desired, though, because if you knew what you were doing you could bypass some 80% of the game and just head straight to the last level, which was very odd. But it looks like they've taken this clever concept and remade it into a more solid game, not to mention with hand drawn animation.

If you know me at all this one is a no-brainer. As much as I should probably not want to mention this to the general public outside of my friends, this one will require a midnight launch day purchase. Classic Mario Bros gameplay including a comeback from Yoshi and the Koopa kids who haven't been seen since '91? Count me in.

And finally a game called Epic Mickey which is still in the development stages. Details about this game were just released earlier this week and already have the game community abuzz. The premise of the game is that Mickey Mouse has been taken to a world inhabited by all the lesser-known Disney characters who have fallen by the wayside over the years, and they're none to happy about being written into obscurity forever while characters like Mickey get all the glory. This is an amazing idea to me and greatly appeals to my love of obscure characters. To be fair I think it would have made a great movie too, but a video game works. The games main villain in Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who was actually the first prominent cartoon character created by Walt Disney. Ownership issues led Disney to disassociate himself from Oswald cartoons, so he created Mickey Mouse instead. You can see then how his roll in the game is quite genius.

You can read more about Oswald here.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Star Wars: Uncut

I came across this site the other day and was sort of blown away by how cool the idea is. Basically this site has taken the original Star Wars film and cut it into fifteen second clips, then asked people to claim a particular clip and remake it. Once all the clips have been remade the movie will be cut back together to form a giant collaborative fan tribute.

The beauty of this project is that there are no limits on how you want to interpret your clip. For example, you could do a really nice job with perfect lighting and costumes, or you could just use lego figures in stop motion or traditional hand drawn animation. One clip has a person crudely using their own car in place of a spaceship, and another has characters made from paper bags being pushed around on boards.

The interface of the site is set up brilliantly as well, with a grid displaying all the separate clips. If a clip is simply "taken" you can click on it to watch the original footage from the movie, but if it has already been completed and uploaded you can enjoy the fan-made version.

Check it out here:

Friday, October 9, 2009

Wild Things

The Autumn Society Blog challenged its members to create a Where the Wild Things Are illustration, so I created and posted the piece above.

I'll say here basically what I said over on the AS Blog:

I wanted to play with scale in this piece to emphasize the fact that Max, this little kid, is playing with full blown monsters. I wanted the monster to look hulking and scary but at the same time friendly. Basically, if you know nothing of the book you'd assume that the big guy is in for a quick snack, save maybe for the characters' expressions.

Luckily Kyle gave me the The Art of Maurice Sendak a few years ago as a gift, which served as a great source. It's an enormous book with startlingly little pages dedicated to the wild things.

There is also a blog called Terrible Yellow Eyes that solely features Where the Wild Things Are tribure art, though I didn't check it out until after I drew the above piece. I'm sort of glad for that as all the pieces featured there are amazing and may have discouraged me from actually attempting this, haha.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pin-up girl merchandise for sale!

Prints and girly Tees of my pinup girl design are now available at Splitreason. Click the images to buy them!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

West Virginia Filmmakers Festival

I was able to attend the West Virginia Filmmakers Festival last weekend In Sutton, WV with fellow Brainwrap crew and friends Mike and Seth. We entered two movies: our two minute horror movie Morning Blood (click to watch) and Seth Martin and Friends which was basically a repackaging of my Gremlin short film only as a segment on a children's show parody that we're working on.

I'm happy to say that Morning Blood won in its category! Gremlin seems to have been shafted again, though it was apparently the only movie in its category to get any laughs, so go figure.

Last year was my first time attending the festival and I knew I had to go back this time around. I could have sworn I made a post about it, but a quick look back through the blog archives says otherwise. I think I may have just told the story photographically on Facebook.

Especially now that I've been getting more visitors to the site and becoming part of online art communities I've been trying to keep personal blog posts to a minimum, saving that stuff for Facebook and using this as more of a place for info about my art. Visiting Sutton, however, is always a story I can't help but tell.

Sutton is a very, very weird place. It's also full of very weird people. Going there is kind of like stepping into an episode of the Twilight Zone, for several reasons. One is that it's so small; basically just one street with very few functioning businesses. Where do these people buy food? Go to school? Get medical services? I have no idea. The buildings that line both sides of Main street are all dilapidated. One side has the Elk Hotel and Elk Theater, both of which are enterable buildings that house operating businesses, to an extent. The other side of the street has several side by side store fronts...but none of them ever seem to be open. There are displays in the windows, but the doors are all padlocked shut. Mike joked that this entire side of the street was just a painted set, which seemed funny until we peeked through a crack in one of the locked doors to see only sky and rubble on the other side! We tried for a while to get behind the buildings to see just how fake they were, but the brush and trees were too thick.

You also see the same people there over and over. From year to year even, it's the same characters hanging out in the same spots. You get the feeling that maybe 40 people live there, tops. Between this and the small set-like nature of the town's geography, it truly is like being in a TV show. The reason I say it's like the Twilight Zone in particular is because all the people seem to have something wrong with them. They all have little ticks that range from being "a little off" to not being able to hold a coherent conversation. I'm very tempted to list specific examples, but I don't think I can do so without making it quite obvious who I'm referring to. I'm not trying to bad-mouth specific people or even the town as a whole really, just trying to describe how strikingly eerie this place is.

There is one person from this years visit, however, who I can't help but mention. After Mike, Seth and I spent the night in the Elk Hotel (which is part of why we go in the first place, as it's this extra creepy dilapidated old hotel with common bathrooms, doors that don't lock, and rooms that look like a horror movie set, as you can see in the photo above) we awoke and decided to attend a pancake breakfast at a local church. I knew that there was a pancake breakfast because I had heard a woman yelling about it in the room next to us the night before as I was trying hopelessly to fall asleep. (She also accused whoever she was yelling at of being "an uptight Jew.") We headed to the church and sat down at a table in the basement. A guy came over and asked to join us. He seemed relatively normal compared to the rest of the folks, and we soon found out it was because he was from out of town. We talked for a while about film making and festivals, and once he felt comfortable enough he started asking if we had, like many other budding filmmakers according to him, ever made a porno. We said no, but he then started to give us tips and pointers for if we ever did decided to make one. His advice suggested that not only had he filmed pornos, but that he had used hidden cameras for that purpose and even stared in them too. At one point he even told us that he had known a guy who died from having sex with a horse. Now keep in mind we've known this guy for all of ten minutes and we're at a church pancake breakfast. Having been to Sutton before, though, we very much expected this level of creepy and crazy and mostly just laughed it off.

After the breakfast we went to a meeting of the Filmmakers guild, where typically not much gets accomplished. They have pretty good ideas sometimes, but always decide to tackle them "later." There was definitely a sense in this meeting that some of the guild members were trying to distance themselves from their elected offices. It was decided that a new president needed to be elected, and the porno guy spoke up. He made a short speech about his experience in running film festivals and whatnot, and did it with a level of enthusiasm and normalcy that is just unheard of to these people. So of course...they elect him president of the guild. They don't know anything about him, have only known him for five minutes tops, and they elect him president. The guy who just an hour ago was telling us about his friend being killed by a horse penis. It reminded me so much of the episode of the Simpsons where the fast-talking salesman rolls into town and tricks all the rubes of Springfield into buying a monorail from him.


There are so many stories I can tell about this place just from the short time I've spent there, and I'm sure there will be plenty more in the future, but this was the main event from this year's festival so I'll stop here for now. Needless to say it was a fun and creepy experience for the Halloween season; more authentic than any set-up haunted house can ever be.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dia De Los Muertos Reception Video

This video of the Dia De Los Muertos opening reception was just posted on The Autumn Society blog and it looks like the show went really well! I was able to catch a glimpse of my piece hanging, so I'm relieved it made the journey okay. Thanks for not letting me down, US postal service. I wish I could have made it to the show, but it was either head to Philly for that or attend numerous other activities in WV and Ohio (either way involved a ton of driving) so I chose the option that let me accomplish more. More about that in my next post.