Saturday 8 March 2008

My old friend Mia Wolff blogs regularly and has a huge inventory of slides of her work to keep her going. Some real surprises are popping up of late, such as this striking painting from twenty years ago:

After linking to Frozen in Grand Central Station (or 'Terminal' as Bob Morales points out) last Sunday, I have discovered (via Kelly Kilmer) that it originated with Improv Everywhere ('we cause scenes'), a bunch of people dedicated to playing these kinds of pranks as often as they can think them up. I almost called them an 'organisation', but that would be the wrong word. Anyway, they started in 2001. A lot of fun is the annual No Pants event. This year's outing was on Jan 12th. 900 people went into the NY subway in the middle of winter (and other numbers in other subways internationally) minus their trousers, and the highlights are recorded on video.

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Friday 7 March 2008

the stygian leech

He just turned up on Youtube.
Here's a screengrab for a teaser:

He told his story in the second volume of Bacchus:

"If I could talk," he said, "my story would probably go something like this...," and we proceed to imagine that he is telling us how he found his way out of the river Styx attached to the leg of an oarsman...

In short measure, he turns up in the restaurant that has been commandeered by the evil Telchines for the purpose of ambushing the Eyeball kid.

Here is Chryson disguised as a waiter, about to perform the wicked deed:

Success! They have leeched the power of the thunderbolt from the Eyeball Kid, who had previously nicked it from Zeus the king of the Gods.

Except that the Leech having it doesn't mean they have it themselves, and the Leech being a leech is never going to do anything with it, just wait around for the next bit of leeching that comes his way.

I'm sure I figured my way out of this impasse in a future volume, but right now I can't recall the details. It was twenty years ago and the only version to hand is the Italian translation, and I can't understand a word of it.

(finished art by Ed Hillyer)

While looking for jpeg of the old Harrier issue at left, in which the Leech got cover space, I also came across Bill Cucinotta's site. I had completely forgotten 'twas he who redesigned the logo when I went with Dark Horse.

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Thursday 6 March 2008

St Patrick's Day is coming up week after next.

NYC Pub Owner Bans `Danny Boy' in month of March-

NEW YORK (AP) - It's depressing, it's not usually sung in Ireland for St. Patrick's Day, and its lyrics were written by an Englishman who never set foot on Irish soil.
Those are only some of the reasons why a Manhattan pub owner is banning the song "Danny Boy" for the entire month of March.
"It's overplayed, it's been ranked among the 25 most depressing songs of all time and it's more appropriate for a funeral than for a St. Patrick's Day celebration," said Shaun Clancy, who owns Foley's Pub and Restaurant, across the street from the Empire State Building.
I've linked to the following once before but it hasn't become any less funny in the interim. Let's try something new here at Campbell blogspot and see if I can embed the video.

(AP link thanks to Bob Morales)
Wee hayley campbell, sent this one:
Actor's manhood is airbrushed out
The Royal Opera House has said it will stop using a promotional poster after an actor complained it had airbrushed out his manhood. Juan Pablo Di Pace, 28, was cast in the crowd scenes of Verdi's mid-19th Century opera Rigoletto in 2001. His naked image was used on posters to advertise later Rigoletto productions - even though he was not in them. The Royal Opera House said it will stop using the image after the actor "expressed his discontent".
What most amused the wee lass is the older story linked in the sidebar: "Opera saved by member of audience."

this one too:
An anonymous blogger is posting each day's Garfield with the titular animal removed from all panels.
garfield minus garfield
"Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolor (sic) disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against lonliness (sic) in a quiet American suburb."

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Wednesday 5 March 2008

Some more thoughts on the grotesque carvings on Romanesque churches. It was one of these that inspired the Batman book I drew a while back. Specifically a photo of a corbel decoration which looked like the following (from Irnham in Lincolnshire, England), allowing for the fact I enlarged the ears ever so slightly and changed the lighting somewhat to put DC off the track that I was basing it on somebody else's photo (they go into a terrible panic if they find out that you've referenced something from the real world.) But I swear that the original looked like Batman.

These things are from jaround nine hundred years ago, but they occasionally have a cartoon sensiblity that looks remarkably recent.

The above is from Wikipedia and taken by Simon Garbutt with a much better ability and camera than mine at the exquisite Romanesque church of Saint Mary and Saint David in Kilpeck, Herefordshire."It shows one of the well-preserved carved corbels supporting the roof, depicting a hound and a hare, in a delightful style of cartoon-like simplicity. Carved during the mid 12th century AD (late Norman period) by an unknown sculptor of the 'Herefordshire School'". (and a salute to Mr Garbutt for allowing his photos to be shown as I'm doing here in the interests of sharing this kind of knowledge.) The Wikipedia entry for Kilpeck Church has another of his photos, of a hag displaying her vulva, known in studies of the subject as a Sheela-na-gig.
Peter Evans has made a more thorough study of the site with sixteen photos of other corbels.

also of interest

Satan in the groin, a slide show with over a hundred images of lust and folly on old churches.

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Tuesday 4 March 2008

I've only been to Angouleme the once, in 2005, and my favourite part was the medieval cathedral.

My particular interest is the subject of the grotesques around the edges of the roof, which I photographed to the best of my ordinary camera's ability, knowing I could zoom and try to clarify later in photoshop.

In the Romanesque period the corbels, those jutting stone blocks whose purpose was to 'support a superincumbent weight' would be decorated with images of lust and folly. They are not to be confused with the more elaborate gargoyles, or water spout decorations, of the later Gothic period.

There is often an appealingly simple and direct humorous quality to this class of carvings, and they are not at all well documented. For instance, the books on this cathedral don't say anything about them otherwise I wouldn't have had to walk around the building in the rain. If I found myself in Europe more often I would go on journeys just to photograph this kind of sculpture. And I'd buy a more suitable camera

It's not clear in my photo but it can be verified by comparison with the type from other locations that this little chap is gripping his thighs tightly in order to show us his anus.

And I'm not sure what is going on here, though the configuration suggests a fornicating couple, as seen elsewhere.

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Monday 3 March 2008

My pal mr j sent me to check out this blog, which appears to be new,The Bad Cartoonist, in which the anonymous blogger rubbishes editorial cartoons. Here he goes to some trouble to show that Ken Catalino just copies Obama's face in photoshop over several days. I'm not sure why he thought it was a good idea to go to a lot of trouble just to show that the cartoonist didn't.

Alan Gardner interviews the anonymous blogger

A: Naturally, many cartoonists are going to be angry or resentful at your site or purpose. What do you say to them?
BC: I don’t know that too many will be that upset. They get worse in their inboxes everyday. If they do get upset then they might be in the wrong profession. It might be telling to see who gets upset about the things I say. You know your hitting the right spots when someone gets angry.
A: Why the anonymity?
BC: I wish I had a really good answer for this but, I don’t. It all boils down to the fact that there are things I want to say that piss people off and I would rather be able to say them without people knowing who I am. Political cartoonists are generally a kind lot - except for Paul Conrad, he’s a bona fide prick - and many of them are my friends. I’d like it to stay that way- except for the Conrad thing. We’ve all been waiting years for him to keel over.


Sunday 2 March 2008

My pal Christopher Moonlight has linked me to Maniac World, which has this video:
Frozen in Grand Central Station

This is a prank on a "grand" scale. Over 200 people gathered at Grand Central Station in New York to pull off a 'frozen in place' act. The onlooking travelers who weren't part of the act were mystified as to what was going on.
I can't see a date on the above, but the Frozen at Trafalgar Square is a new attempt at the same effect in London. Some great other stuff here too including Huge tree vs. Little truck, Bird vs. Cat's tail, and Black wasp vs. Aphid