Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - Thomas Grey

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5
Jocasta's Reading Room / Free Comic Book Day
« on: June 25, 2004, 11:47 PM »
I have been invited to have a table at a local comic shop and do some demo art work and provide an example of local 'talent' on Free Comic Book Day. I'm pretty excited about doing it and a free comic or 2 will be nice as well.

As a collector, I am a bit distressed that this event is geared towards the specialty shops. I think if they opened it to larger retail venues, it would reach more people. Comics have left out the large audience that is comprised of children and many do not even know these shops exist and finding comics in any retail store is rare. The comic industry would serve itself well if they broadened the scope of where they make the free comics available. But, who am I to question an industry that still has not fully recovered from being near or at bankrupt a few short years ago.

I am a proponent of Free Comic Book Day, but the audience that will actually know about it is much smaller than it ultimately could be. They should have small spots during the preview segments prior to Spiderman 2. Anyway, I know about it and will be as involved as I can. I just hope the same can be said for others...

Fan Art / Chewie?
« on: June 21, 2004, 10:19 PM »
I'm posting 2 new pieces I've been working on lately for a small portfolio/ashcan to give-away at a local convention of sorts...

The first is the cover and while I would like to say it is Chewbacca, it's actually supposed to be Bigfoot/Sasquatch, i. e. the 'Unexplained' title... The second is based on a character that was in a dream I had once. I was driving a bus and he was in my way and yelling at me with all these distorting and disturbing faces. I am trying to make more dream inspired drawings as I have had some doozies (Brad, can you relate?)

I have been struggling with ink & brush now for about 7 months and these are break-through pieces for me. Sasquatch took about 10 - 15 hours and it's all brush and the original is 7' x 9'. It looks prretty good here because I can manipulate the value levels. I am finding it to be quite difficult to find or try and create an ink concoction that will give opaque black the first time and stay after erasing. No lead means less opacity. I have tried the Raphael Kolinsky sable brushes and they just did not do it for me. I have tried many lately (at $20+ a piece, I'm getting sick of testing) and the Windsor & Newton series 7 is by far the best and most consistent. I buy them in bulk from Dick Blick, check through them (about 1 in every 5 is prime) and send back the others. I am using a base of Black Magic ink, Black Cat (Blick) and whatever else is around when I need to fill. I let the Black Magic sit out for a day or so to thicken it up and then add some Black Cat to top it off and mix and start brushing. I just finished the cover to my comic and I spent at least 40 hours redoing areas or correcting mistakes. Through that trial, I learn so much and improved my ability and speed. The key is always staying patient and not getting ahead and keeping that brush loaded. Some might think detail should be done with a Cro-Quill or something, but brush can get you 1 hair lines if you practice. The only thing that it's not good for is straight lines and I use a Rapido-Graph for that.

The type is hand lettered (traced it after creating it in Adobe Illustrator and then gave it that rough texture with brush. I saw a similar font in an old Spectre comic book recently and borrowed it. Anyway, I am still in the experimental stage with style (been reading too much Charles Burnes and '50's comics lately), but I like the direction and I am finally becoming confident and proud of my drawings again (haven't felt like this for at least 10+ years).  I do it whenever I can and I guess that is a good reason why I have improved (in my mind) so much in these last few months. Hope you all like 'em!

Replaced the former with a better scan 8/8/04.

Watto's Junk Yard / The Official Bad Movie Thread
« on: May 27, 2004, 01:16 PM »
This is an alphabetical list that was started about 6 years or so ago. The keeper of this list is a buddy of mine in San Francisco named Tony. He has toiled long and hard (over many nights under the influence of illicit substances) with many friends to compile this list.

Now the nomination and election process is a bit more complex then one may think. So I’ll go over the basic rules for a movie to be deemed ‘bad’.
1. No sequels allowed! It is very rare that any sequel is actually ‘good’.
2. No ‘b’, cult, horror or spoof movies allowed. These are so bad they are actually good.
3. A made for television or cable movie is pushing it. A movie that goes straight to video has got to be bad, so those are pushing it too.
4. You must consider that these are movies that you would be paying money to see in a theater.
5. There are movies that are bad that can have enough redeeming qualities they won’t make the cut. Examples are: Judge Dredd (Stallone) or The Punisher (Dolph Lundgren). These are comicbook movies and for the fans that know the medium, they are pretty good. Early Schwarzenegger and Stallone Action flicks have enough one-liners and action that they have entertainment value.

With this in mind, there is a process that a movie must go through to make the list.
1. 2 or more people must agree the movie is really bad.
2. If someone is against it being added, they must make a valid case for keeping it off.

Movies that are on the list can be removed but only if you are undeniably correct and have reasons that are hard to argue. The panel of Stoners and Drunks and dudes that made the list are professional movie viewers and have placed these beauties on here for a reason. The effort to break out something like, “Cop and a Half” during a round table discussion was the motivator to take the list to this level.

If you have a suggestion, a nomination, disagreement, then let’s hear it! I will try and revise the list as often as possible. I will have final say (after Tony’s blessing) on movies that make it or not. I know a lot of modern and contemporary stuff is missing. It has not been ‘officially’ revised for about 2 years. Again, I will consult Tony for additions and add them soon. I just thought that this list was good for a laugh at least and I hope people dig it and get into trying to come up with the doozie that echoes laughter throughout the site and beyond.

Air Force 1
American Anthem
Angels in the Outfield
Any Which Way But Loose
(The) Apple Dumplin’ Gang
(The) Bachelor
(The) Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
Big Bully
Big Business
Big Daddy
Bio Dome
Bird on a Wire
Blue Chips
Bright Lights Big City
Capt ’n’ Jack
(The) Cell
Child’s Play
Cliff Hanger
Cool World
Cop and a Half
Cops & Robbersons
Corvette Summer
Curly Sue
Dark Man
Deep Impact
Demolition Man
Desperately Seeking Susan
Doc Hollywood
Dream a Little Dream
Dream Lover
Dunston Checks In
Encino Man
Exit to Eden
Fair Game
Father of the Bride
Father’s Day
Final Destination
First Knight
Fist of Fear
Free Willy
Fresh Horses
From Dusk to Dawn
Ghost Dad
Ghost in the Darkness
Gleaming the Cube
Goin’ Ape
Gone in 60 Seconds
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man
Harry and the Harrisons
Haunted Honeymoon
Her Alibi
Honey I Shrunk the Kids
Hope Floats
(The) Hurricane
Ice Castles
If Looks Could Kill
(The) Island of Dr. Moreau
It's Pat
Jingle All the Way
King Ralph
Lady Bugs
Lake Placid
(The) Last Action Hero
L A Story
Leonard VI (not a sequel)
(The) Light of Day
Like Father Like Son
Look Who’s Talking
(The) Mario Brothers
Men at Work
(The) Mighty Ducks
(The) Money Pit
Mister Saturday Night
(The) Mummy
MVP (Most Valuable Primate)
(The) Net
Nurse Betty
Over the Top
Poison Ivy
(The) Postman
Problem Child
(The) Quick and the Dead
Razors Edge
Return of the Disco Godfather
Rhinestone Cowboy
Shang-Hi Surprise
She’s Outta Control
Short Circuit
Side Kicks
Silver Bullet
Stone Cold
Stop or My Mom Will Shoot
Tango and Cash
Turner and Hooch
Two if By Sea
Vice Versa
Walk Like a Man
Way to Go
Weekend at Bernies
Wild Orchid
Young Einstein
You’ve Got Mail

The Prequel Trilogy / R2-D2 speak...
« on: April 4, 2004, 11:37 PM »
I just noticed that Anakin talks to R2-D2 in Ep.1 when he's trapped in the cockpit and ultimately takes off...

This is something I always overlooked, but Luke talks to R2-D2 as well in ANH.

How do they understand R2-D2 speak (or droid...)? Is there a translator control readout on the dash or are they just so well versed with droids (Luke worked with and repaired a few and Anakin built C-3PO and worked in Watto's salvage shop) that it is something the audience should take for granted. I just never thought about this and wondered if anyone had any idea.

Vintage Kenner / Mailers
« on: March 11, 2004, 02:45 PM »
I think Kellerman's book detailed the mailers from the vintage era well. Just curious if anyone has any of these in the original white box or mailer bags...

There's just something about these that I like even though they are figures available on cards. I love the idea of sending away for a Sears promo and receiving 10 figures to add to my collection. Reading the names that came in these boxes is enough to make me cry. And I like that they are rare and exclusive in their own right. It's great to see such detailed information (what came in the box, the item #'s and vendor). I see these from time to time on ebay and just cringe. Stinks to be someone with so much financial responsibility that I can't indulge in what I am most passionate about...

Vintage Kenner / A Banner Day.
« on: March 5, 2004, 11:25 PM »
Christmas 1978? Found this and cried and wallowed in the sweet memory of the days when we didn't care and just enjoyed the toys. The resolution and quality blows, but I'm sure you can make out what I'm tearing into here...

Watto's Junk Yard / Comic Book Thread
« on: March 5, 2004, 12:41 PM »
I have a few things I'd like to rant about if people will entertain my thoughts...

1. Who is buying/reading/collecting comics besides me? What titles do you like right now? I would like to recommend a few titles I find to be extremely well written and drawn (outside of the Dark Horse SW comics, which vary). They are te following: The Losers (Wildstorm), Black Hole (Indy), Conan (DH), Batman: City of Light (DC/The Pander Brothers!), The Escapist (DH), The Moth (DH), Plastic Man (DC)... Notice please the lack of Marvel (other than 1602, I have no interest in Marvel).

2. The Slow Death and Immense Decay of Comics as we have come to know them...
Brief History: Comics come into being in book form from collected dailies. Sequencial art and storytelling becomes a lucrative business with unlimited possibilities. Heroes are born, heroes go to war while America is at war and they are popular and distributed everywhere. Comics have a tough time tring to recover from the end of the war. Horror and True Crime comics are the focus and they are eventually censored. Then we see ridiculous monster comics and then back to super heroes. The writing becomes very good and Stan Lee humanizes the hero. Comics become popular and are widely distributed. The 1980s. comics boom and start selling millions of copies per issues having to do several printings to sate the demand. They are at convenience stores, super markets, retail, drug stores. They are out there!!! They are advertising by being a fixture. Specialty shops are for the serious collector, but remain fairly covert.

Then Marvel has a great idea. Let's focus on the collector and forget the kids. Marvel decides that all they need is several thousand people to buy 3-10 copies of 'collectible' issues and they will do just fine. These select people invest as planned, but soon realize that there isn't a market for their 'collectibles' because anyone else interested has them or is trying to get rid of them. They stop buying comics. Marvel prints the few million or so comics expecting to have the continued effect and no one buys them. The market is flooded and there is no more demand. This makes Marvel  focus exclusively on specialty shops that order and pay up front and the distribution is taken from the public eye. Marvel goes bankrupt and almost kills the industry because the other companies followed Marvels lead. Indies fold, go under and suffer. Comic books are on life support.

They slowly creep back but stay limited to the specialty shops. Advertising by putting them in every retail store is gone. People don't buy comics unless they hunt them down in specialty shops. Graphic novels become the focus and the monthly books cut corners, artists and writers are hired for their speed and ability for meeting deadlines. The quality drops. Comics go from selling up to 2 million per issue in the 1980s and 1990s to considering good sales on a book being 15,000.

The movies come out and out and out and nothing is done to publicize the comic book industry. Comics are kept in a private world. 250+ million are viewing these movies and no one is buying comics because they can't get them. They are not there...

Rumors ripple through the industry that Marvel wants to focus solely on graphic novels and continue to focus on large corp. bookstore chains buying up front. The idea to stop printing monthly 22-24 page books is considered and could possibly come to be from Marvel.

DC stays true to form and doesn't want to shake things up. They are as concerned with quality as they are with profit. They sign the industtries best creators to contracts and recruit a house of legends by 2004.  Dark Horse also stays with the comic as an art form concept nad continues to put out quality books. Image is about the art and not the writing. But the art is worth the cover price.

Comics are hanging by a thin thread.

3. I love comics as a creator and a reader and a collector. I hope something is done to promote the industry better and to make comics more accessible to the average Joe.

I saw a kid (15 or 16) in a Borders bookstore reading a comic the other day. He had a mohawk going and looked fairly nerdy (who am I to judge). He was reading a graphic novel (more underground or independent).
I asked him why he was reading that comic and he said he liked the writing. I asked him if he collected or knew of a few titles and he said no. He was just starting to get into it. I asked if he knew where a local specialty shop was and he said... No.

My point is... The fan is out there, but the comics are not. This is going to be the demise if it is not amended. This art form must live on! I do not know if there is really anything we can do as fans. Just thought I'd air that out because it depresses me and makes me quite angry.

Hope the message is clear here. I tend to ramble when I'm all worked up.

Watto's Junk Yard / Soundtrack to the Apocalypse
« on: February 26, 2004, 02:33 PM »
My wife just surprised me with Slayer's 4-disc 'Soundtrack to the Apocalypse' set. It's about a $60 investment and worth every penny!!! Remastered older stuff, unreleased songs, limited release songs, dvd footage dating back to 1983 and just awesome! Garage recordings, interviews and a 50+ page booklet with quotes and killer photos.

I have been really into Lamb of God and "Terror and Hubris" lately, but this is too good and harkens back to a day when it was all new and you could say, "Slayer is the fastest and most evil band ever!"

If you have not gotten it, save up and do. It's chock full o goodies for any Slayer fanatic.

The Wookiee Arcade / Space Opera
« on: February 22, 2004, 07:07 PM »
Did anyone ever play Space Opera back in the day? It was an RPG that tied in all realms of the space genre (Star Trek, Star Wars...). It was released in 1980 by Paladin Press and didn't make it too far despite it being a damn good game.

I was in a really cool used bookstore/collectibles shop recently and found it in the box in mint condition (all books and gaming sheets included). Bought it for $10. The memories are good enough for me. The biggest hurdle of the game was character generation. So many rolls and facets to complete before you could even start up a good game. The math involved could be a bit trying at times too. It was definitely not mainstreamed. Very complex, but once you got to the actual roleplaying, it was a total kick in the butt.

Hope I can find a few old buddies to revive some Space Opera gaming.

I had an Ursoid Battle Starship Commander named Ruse Caliban. I couldn't roll bad with this character. My stat rolls were uncanny and I had a high Psionics to begin. I played a game where Ruse went out in search of an alien species that was threatening innocent planetary settlers. I came upon one and managed to take it out. They had a poisen that fetched a high price, so I decided to find out why. I cut out the poisen sac and chugged it to try and rally some cowardly soldiers.

The GM said in order to survive, I needed to roll a 1, then a 2 & then a 3 in that order on a 10 sided die. I freaking made the saving throws (the odds are pretty insane) and everybody was stunned. Then a buddy playing with me went and did the same and he freaking made the saves! The GM was in shock.

What the poisen did was basically take us into the realm of Superior species. It got to be that we had to retire them due to the extreme nature of their power. Nothing was a challenge. We'd walk in a room and any battle that was to take place was over before it started.

Don't ask why the GM would've made such an elixir or reward, but to make the saving throws we did deserved that kind of payoff.

Anyway, sorry to reminisce so. I just thought I'd share and see if anyone else ever dabbled in it.

Fan Art / Just 1 panel for now...
« on: February 21, 2004, 01:54 AM »
I do not have anything worthy of showing that relates to Star Wars, but thought I'd share a quick sample of a work in progress. This is a rough panel I whipped out to practice inking with a brush. I have had a really frustrating time improving, but it may have had to do with the brush I was using. Finally shelled out the $23 for a Windsor and Newton series 700 #2 brush. Amazing what a consistant and definite point a Kolinsky sable brush will give an inker. All ink work here is done with a brush and this is enlarged about 50% from the original. The background is zipatone (an almost extinct material). It has an adhesive backing and you place it and x-acto it to fit. It's a lost art form and I can rarely find it anywhere other than Japanese wholesale Manga supply sites. This is a panel for a comic in the works. I will post more soon. The last page I was begining to ink is no longer... I was about 65% done with the brushwork and going to move in with a little croquill and zipatone when I dropped the brush. Not sure how or why, but a brush full of ink dropping on a finely inked page (that had about 4 hours of work in it) doesn't help the quality much. Brushing is challenging, but really rewarding when it comes together and one keeps the brush in their hand... This is a much more raw approach than what the look of the actual comic will have. I think that I may delve into it a little for some of the darker and more raw panels. I do much better when I don't think and just do it. I tend to muck it up if I concentrate too hard. Ability vs. intent. When I just do it, it is free and confident. Try too hard and I'm grinding to hold it together and be perfect and I fall apart. Practice, practice...

Power of the Force 2 / Vintage 4-Pack
« on: January 28, 2004, 12:29 AM »
Does anyone have the 4-Pack of rereleased vintage figures they put out during the Power of the Force (II) era? I am just curious about how the figures look and what they did to change them so they would be obviously more modern. I assume the dates are different, but I am interested in other changes people may have noticed and what those who have this set think of it overall.

Other Toy Lines / Vintage/Retro Action Figures
« on: January 27, 2004, 11:17 AM »
I thought that this would be an appropriate addition here.

A lot of us were kids when vintage was new. So, let's share what some of our favorites were, some we'd like to see rereleased and a wish list of old school action figures we'd like to own again.

Tops on my list is Evel Knievel. The wire frame in soft rubber figure was a favorite toy. His patriotic duds and helmet were and still are classic American. Then there's the wind-up momentum ramp that all his cool vehicles would be sent into oblivion from. What happened to the wind-up and release technology. It worked well and there is still no substitute. Wasn't Team America propelled by the same wind-up and release ramp?

I had Evel's regular stunt cycle and the awesome canyon jumping dragster with parachute. I can't tell you how many hours of pure joy I had with these toys. Always thinking of new stunts and trials to put Evel Knievel through. The vehicles were durable as hell too. I didn't give them up because I destroyed them. I think they just kind of disappeared or faded away (mom tossed them!).

Stretch Arm Strong is another great one (in the nostalgia way, the toy was pretty lame in retrospect). I always tried to recreate the commercial with the green monster where the monster is stretched out of the sand cave and then goes back in when let go of. Thought that was so cool! The plastic hardened on all of my Stretch-Arm strong figures and I had friends that performed operations to see what made them tick. The toxic jelly inside the figure was the secret to the stretching ability...

Another great action figure line that I really think they should look into rereleasing is the Six Million Dollar Man figures. So great! The chip in Steve Austin's arm under the rubber sleeve of skin was cutting edge. The bionic eye you could look through was good stuff too. The best was Many Faces. The robot that could take on the identity of all the action figures. Make him Oscar and have him hit Steve when he least expects it. Great accessories with that figure too. The line was cut short of it's possibilities, but is still a favorite childhood toy.

Clone Wars '03-'05 / Clone Wars Animated Cards
« on: January 15, 2004, 01:16 PM »
I prefer figures in the package on mint cards. I have not found a single animated Clone Wars figure without a slight crease running across the middle on the back of the card. I have concluded that this is due to the bubble and how it is applied to the card. I think these figures are pretty cool and would like to collect the sets, but I cannot find cards on these figures that measure up to my stringent expectations (no creases or bends. Card dings and dents are okay to me.

Anyone else seeing the same or is it just my area being affected with this rash of creased cards?

Vintage Kenner / Brian's Toys...
« on: January 6, 2004, 12:45 AM »
Just received the new Lee's Toy Review (#135) and the 2-page spread for has the following advetised as being for sale and in stock...

1. Prototype Boba Fett Rocket Firing L-Slot for $13,999.99

2. Boba Fett (Star Wars Card) AFA 85 for $3,199.99

3. 12-Back Jawa with Vinyl Cape AFA 80 for $3,999.99

4. Vintage 3-Packs - Androids AFA 80 for $2,999.99, Creatures and Droids C-9 for $1,999.99

5. Blue Snaggletooth in sealed Kenner Bag for $799.99

I think I'm going to be ill...

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5