Thursday, May 29, 2008

wee pt 4, the final chapter

So I ended up drawing a new version of the wee lad, one that I'm sticking with this time.

One quirk/defect/whatever about my drawings of kids is that they inevitably will look a couple years older than the age they are supposed to be. I think the key is in the shape of the face more than anything, and I seem determined to always screw that up. Anyways, it ends up okay in the end, because the lad will end up looking like the drawing in two years time, and from that point on no one will remember how old he was actually supposed to be in the original drawing!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dax Recommends: Three Days of the Condor

Every once and awhile I'll toss a movie, book, or album on here that I would recommend to others (i.e. you).

Higgins: "It'd have to be somebody in the community."
Turner: "Community?"
Higgins: "Intelligence field."
Turner: "Community! Jesus, you guys are kind to yourselves. Community."

In many ways a direct precursor to the Bourne films of the 2000's, Three Days of the Condor (1976) is about a government agent trying to figure out who is trying to have him killed, and more importantly, why. Robert Redford's agent character is deliberately not a killer--his job for the CIA simply involves reading things--so he barely keeps ahead of his antagonists using his wits, with some clever tricks that would slide in well in a Bourne movie. In fact, I'm surprised there hasn't been talk of a remake considering that, with only minimal changes, the story could very easily work in the present day.

There's a fantastic performance by Max Von Sydow as Joubert, the man hired to eliminate Redford's character, and nice parts with other great actors like Cliff Robertson and John Houseman, but the one aspect of the film that most intrigues me, and in some way single-handedly elevates the whole thing for me, is the truly bizarre relationship between Redford and the character played by Faye Dunaway.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

wee 3

I decided I was conflicted enough about my previous drawing to try and draw another of the same wee lad, but using a looser, more "me" kind of style, just to see how it'd go.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

wee, pt 2

Painted the drawing I did Monday morning. I don't usually try to paint with an eye towards "realism", but I decided to aim for it a little bit here. Not sure how successful I was...right now feelings are usually takes me a few days before I can judge something I've done with a relatively balanced critical eye.

FYI: It took me a little over the length of Three's "The End Is Begun" album to paint this.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Raiders of the Lost Ark has been on my brain lately.

The original idea behind the character of Major Toht in the film was to have him be part mechanical, in the tradition of pulp science-villains:

However, it sure is hard to top this:

Monday, May 19, 2008


Drawing of a wee lad done in the wee hours of Monday morning. Potentially a present for my wife when painted and finished (lucky she doesn't read this blog!)

FYI: I penciled and inked this in the exact length of time it takes to listen to all of Slough Feg's Atavism album. So now you know.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

book nostalgia

R is for Rocket--My first book of Ray Bradbury stories. Includes the classics "A Sound of Thunder", "The Long Rain", and "The Golden Apples of the Sun". I vividly remember reading "The Long Rain" and suddenly understanding metaphor.

Our Universe--One of the more popular geek books in my elementary school library (probably tied with the Gnomes book and a book on the Rankin and Bass Hobbit cartoon), and one of the heaviest as well. Some of the information in this book is now out-dated, but I loved the paintings of Greco-Roman gods heading each planet chapter, as well as conceptual paintings about how life might exist on other planets in the solar system. Thanks to this book I still remember the names of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter. And what a fantastic cover (by the late great sci-fi artist John Berkey).

Superman and Spider-Man--One of the first comics I owned, this over-sized special teamed up Superman and Spider-Man against Doctor Doom and the Parasite (the Hulk and Wonder Woman appear, as well). This comic is the reason it took me years to figure out that Superman and Spider-Man don't actually exist in the same continuity. It was also my first exposure to John Buscema's particular brand of anatomical dynamism.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

dots for eyes

A couple of sketches from when I was trying to decide whether or not the main character in The Big Black was going to have dots for eyes (from a proud comics heritage dating back to...oh, at least The Yellow Kid near the turn of the 20th century--I'm sure it appeared earlier).

I ended up going for a kind of "German expressionist omelet eyes" thing, however.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Art of Barry Moser

I first came across Barry Moser's work in a copy of Dante's Inferno that my high school English class was reading at the time, and was extremely impressed with the confidence behind his sparse ink-wash drawings. It wasn't until years later that I discovered Moser was just as accomplished at engraving. Wonderful stuff...

Thursday, May 1, 2008