Saturday, 24 November 2007

I watched Mel Gibson's Apocalypto and enjoyed it. I watched it again the next night. I daresay it has got no more resemblance to historical fact than did his Braveheart, in which the famous Battle of Stirling Bridge was restaged in the middle of a field. But I like that movie too. To argue that they are not true to their sources is to operate on the presumption that they ought to be. It's like expecting te circus to be true to facts. Indeed it would make more sense to say that facts were not faithful to the movie that would eventually be made.


Friday, 23 November 2007

Joe Bowler

Leif Peng writes about great 50s/60s magazine illustrator Joe Bowler and links to a current exhibition of the artist's work at the Red Piano Gallery all through December. I take some pleasure in knowing that Bowler, 79 is still in demand as a portrait painter. For example, his painting of John Jakes is shown at the head of the writer's site

Bowler has a website too. There's a little 'interview' with him there from which I have extracted this nugget:

Tell us about your use of color.
"In theory, it's about as simple as you can get. It has to do with solid knowledge of the color wheel and complementary colors, plus the use of temperature changes from cools to warms to create volume, life, and light in a painting. A painter should know the color wheel like a guitarist knows the strings. By using this color theory I obtain vibrations of color that excite the eye."

It reminded me of a passage from Illustration magazine, #15 winter 2005, a special issue given over to honoring the great Bernie Fuchs (an admirer of Bowler when he was getting started in Detroit car ads), with text by David Apatoff, to whose blog I have occasionally linked.
Bernie leaned to paint cars but he mostly focused on figures and backgrounds. he watched the car painters closely and developed a deep respect for their craft. He appreciated the aesthetic qulity in their precision and skill. Even today, he speaks of their technical painting in almost lyrical terms. Bill Teodecki, who painted both cars and backgrounds, was "fantastic... a great observer of light and color." Al Wilson, another car painter, was "one of the greatest... he was terrific at painting values using payne's gray. he was able to create sunsets reflected in the side of a car, or a sky reflected on the hood."
I like this simple practical talk so much more than the blather that takes place in my own field, in which guys have a limitless capacity for arguing about things that don't matter, or worse, things that don't exist.

Back to Bowler. These are thumbnails only. Go to the artist's site for larger views.
Young artist Scott Bakal writes about Bowler and shows a bunch of photos taken during a visit with of the great artist earlier this year, showing him at work, mixing up some of those colour harmonies.

(again, thumbnails only)

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Thursday, 22 November 2007

I have to go to the dentist in a half hour. Don't feel like doing any work. To kill some time I dickered around and removed all references to myself in the wikipedia entries for both comics and graphic novel. I really don't know where they get all that crap. Later I'll go and plant some mischievous bogus information, like everybody else seems to be doing.


Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Three more images from The Playwright:

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Tuesday, 20 November 2007

the playwright

I'm busy completing The Playwright in a colour edition perhaps for release in 2009. That's the story written by Daren White of which four chapters have already appeared in DeeVee. It will finish at double that length. I'm reformatting it into a small narrow book of single tier strips. I'm enjoying making something special of the colours, since I can apply all my attention to them as all matters of formal construction have already been dealt with. Here are a couple of details:

Joe McCulloch reviews Betsy and Me- This can be a sad, sad book, if you want it to be.
This was a beautiful happy little strip from 1958 whose author, the great Jack Cole, shot himself two months into it.

The Guardian- Interview -
Crime of passion
- Sunday November 18- As Britain's bestselling crime writer lays Inspector Rebus to rest after 20 years, the Scottish grocer's son talks about sex, death and binge-drinking, and tells how his son's condition spurred him on to literary stardom. (The last sentence below amused me.):

Anyway, he is not planning to write any more crime fiction for a couple of years because he has other things to do - first, the publicity tour for Exit Music. He is currently doing Australia and New Zealand, followed by Austria and Germany in December. Then he is writing a libretto for Scottish Opera - 'It starts with a bloodbath and ends with a bloodbath, very traditional' - and also a graphic novel, for DC Comics in America. After that, he has promised to expand a serial he wrote for the New York Times about an art heist into a full-length novel, which he reckons will take him well into next year.
He does drink, then? I was worried that maybe, like the smoking, it was exclusive to Rebus. 'Oh, I like a drink! You can see from here,' he says, pointing to a bookshelf entirely given over to bottles of malt whisky, including one his agent gave him dating from the year of his birth. Does he drink every day? 'No. I probably do what is now called binge drinking, which used to be called drinking.

Moore, Clowes, Spiegelmaus on Simpsons. Catch it before they remove it. thanks, mr j.

"Maus is in the House!!"

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Monday, 19 November 2007

parenthood, oh joy!

I'm waiting for the call to go and get Wee Cal from the hospital. He has been in there since he broke his arm (third time) three days ago. At least he's in better shape than the laddie in the next bed, who took a notion to jump off the roof into the swimming pool but slipped.

That's me and Wee Cal as drawn by Holbein in the Praise of Folly. We are depicted at precisely the moment when the lad asked me to buy him his first skateboard. Note the artist's masterful stroke in showing the son standing firm, with legs apart while the father is caught somewhat off-balance with his feet misaligned. Notice also how Holbein depicts the father's hand going instinctively to protect his wallet.

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Sunday, 18 November 2007

A few more of the Holbein images from In Praise of Folly. The third one is on the subject of drunkenness. Someone, presumably not Holbein himself, has inscribed the artist's name above the drunken lout.


Bavarian-born restaurant manager Reinhard Wurtz, who recently became an Australian citizen, broke the record for carrying one-litre steins of beer, when he carried 20 for 40 metres last night. (with photo)
(Thanks, Marcus Moore)

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