Friday, October 31, 2008

This is Halloween, this is Halloween...

Obviously, HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I hope everyone has a safe and super fun Halloween holiday today/tonight! Eat candy until you can't move or can capably run up a wall!

Lots of stuff today, so a quick run through will probably be best. I'll start with this awesome info-graphic for the correlation between hard times and the number of zombie movies produced during that time. As you can see, the Iraq War has led to probably the biggest spike in zombie movies ever!

EA Games cannot escape from the Wall Street bloodbath, regardless that the company is making what seems to me to be an astronomical amount of money, they're laying off roughly 500 poor souls from the top down. When a company has 9,000 people, a drop in share values is bound to put the hurt on everyone. It's tough to believe that company that releases Madden and all the other games has to make a move like this, but then again, they have been buying up every other company under the sun like a corporate blob.

There's an editorial on, and I hope it's not the last of its kind. David Braben basically describes how used games are defrauding game developer's large and small of sales (since companies like Gamestop obviously earn the profits from their used game sales). I want to get into this some more because over time I've realized this as well, that Gamestop is a giant corporate entity who DOES NOT NEED YOUR BUSINESS.

There's a new book coming out from Dark Horse called "The Cleaners" and it looks exciting, it reminds me of a manga I read while living in Japan (until they stopped putting furigana on the pages and I couldn't get through a page without resorting to my encyclopedia all the time). The manga which roughly translated to "Corpse Delivery Service" was part CSI, part Raines, and part Dexter and it ruled pretty hard. The Cleaners, however, looks like it will be great, more can be read on the CBR report here.

Watch a scary movie for me.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pre-reviews of Fallout 3 are dicey at best, the new Glassjaw album will get groovey, and New York City grafiti artists strike with style!

Two posts within about four days of each other, I know it's crazy. I also will update a review of Fable 2 at some point this week when my mind has had long enough to quantify exactly what the hell I did in that game. Speaking of reviews, Wired's Earnest Cavalli wrote a not so great review of Fallout 3's hands on back in July, although it is hard to figure out exactly how he felt since he is cool enough to not define himself with a number or letter ranking system. It is the first really negative report on the game I've seen.

Instead, Cavalli critiques the game after playing for only thirty minutes, which I don't think is a fair amount of time to try and review anything. Would you watch a half hour of a movie and say that it sucks? How about read a quarter of a book and then rain crap all over it? Probably not, but you're certainly inviting yourself to be in turn critiqued by others if that's the way you work, and I don't feel the "seen enough" statement is ever really a fair way to judge things.

Does that mean Fallout 3, is actually an awful game devoid of anything that made fanboys love the old one? I'm getting my super high-fiving edition Thursday/Friday. Cavalli could afterall be telling the truth, or he could just be on that end of the spectrum, where so many reviewers are scared to speak their mind, he just doesn't care. Which is better than the XOM review I read, giving Fallout 3 a 10/10.

Mr. Brainwash hit up various spots around New York City recently, his style is reminscent of Andy Warhol (which is obvious) but I'm not sure if it's out of respect or the other way around. There's also some Banksy-esque social commentary that is prevalent in Mr. Brainwash's work as well. His website is here, and you are greeted by a kind elderly person on the splash page.

Also Glassjaw is releasing a new record soon! That sounds greeaaaattttt! Worship and Tribute rocked pretty hard, and I'm looking forward to hearing what is being described as a groovey, Massive Attack influenced Glassjaw album as being described by one of Daryl Palumbo's (GJ's singer) close friends.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Almost Halloween and a few more things that prove I don't keep my ear to the ground...

Not to say I'm out of touch, I subscribe to lots of magazines and read lots of blogs (I am being facetious, however). Sometimes though I think it takes a bit for this information to process, percolate in my brain before it clicks. Other times I miss stuff that exists in the first place.

Along the lines with what I was talking about last week with Joe Kelly's upcoming release of "House of They", there is another all ages release coming from Image called "The New Brighton Archeological Society" by Mark Andrew Smith and Matt Weldon. It looks like a fun adventure story, and has a certain charm to it. The samples I've seen don't include any dialogue which to me always seems more ambitious when trying to tell a story. The story focuses on four youths as they try to find/rescue their missing parents. In the process they search for magical artifacts and find their way as young adventurers. It will definitely be worth picking up, part of me was excited by the creators saying they wanted to try and call back on classic comics and artists, such as "Calvin and Hobbes" creator Bill Waterson and Normal Rockwell. Full interview is on CBR.

An example of me not knowing something exists, I'd like to demonstrate that by linking the "Inspired by Neil" Flickr group. A collection of artwork and photography inspired by the collective works of Neil Gaiman. There's everything from drawings of The Sandman to imaginative drawings of the button-eyed parents from "Coraline". The Flickr group exists here.

Speaking of Flickr, an artist I saw on Juxtapoz has a wonderful page representing their current exhibition named Booka B. The work reminds me of one of my favorite qualities in art being one person's interpretation in illustrating another person. I enjoy seeing more than a photo realistic version of someone, a slightly skewed version. Seeing art like this definitely makes me wish I kept up with drawing and that perhaps I should get back into it again by taking a drawing class. Regardless, these are some very imaginative portraits, and I do not know whether or not these were drawn free-hand or while observing a photo or whatever, but I love them. If you happen to find yourself in St. Paul, Minnesota at Nicademus Art & Framing, you can view some fantastic art in person.

There are also some classy looking shoes/and a parka designed by Aaron Rose, who has helped curate the Beautiful Losers touring art exhibit (which featured Barry McGee!). Although I'm not 100% sure if it's the same Aaron Rose (I'm like 95% sure), his shoes are only being sold in six shops, but are apparently inspired by the Mod aesthetic of the 60's. The shoe is a desert boot look a like, the gum sole has a tear drop pattern and since it's produced by a skateboard/snowboard company, it's probably comfortable as anything could be.

I hope that the programming you happen to catch on every channel is a scary movie, AMC usually starts running non-stop horror movies from now until Halloween. And of course Sci-Fi Channel has had the "31 Days of Halloween" programming, although I'm not too sure if they've been doing anything particularly different than the norm.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Free marketing for everything I talk about...

Four day weeks are great, entirely thanks to Columbus Day. Do I realize that Columbus was an awful bastard that more or less began the eradication of native peoples in the Americas? Of course, how can you not? But am I thankful that for some reason we get a day in Massachusetts because of that raping, pillaging, disease carrying pariah of an explorer? I think most people are, I know I am.

A trailer recently popped up on GameVideos for Bioshock 2. It's definitely not recorded in any kind of fancy FRAPs way, but it gets the job done. There's nothing really all that exciting about the trailer/teaser/whatever, but considering that Bioshock was one of my favorite games in the last couple of years, it'll still be interesting to see how the story continues. The endings you got pretty much wrapped up the story, but I'm thinking that they'll maybe expand on the "evil" ending for this sequel, but it does have the subtitle, "Sea of Dreams", how mysterious. No known release date as of yet.

There's an awesome R2D2 backpack for sale at It's $65, and anyone who wants to declare how much they have no interest in ever talking with a member of the opposite sex again or just wants to look really cool at the next convention, this is definitely for you. Do I still want one, yeah a small part of me does, so I'm going to strangle that small part with a pillow in its sleep tonight.

One of my new favorite comics series, "Proof" by Alex Grecian (Writer) and Riley Rossmo (Artist) has reached it's first year in publication and doesn't seem to be stopping any time soon. The idea of Cryptids hunting other Cryptids to help protect or defened against them has been popping up a lot lately, such with the Perhapanauts and Sci-Fi's Canadian based Sanctuary television show, but Proof I think is still doing it best so far. The main character, a sophisticated, polite bigfoot who has always been that way and wasn't made sophisticated or polite through any kind of magical laser ray named John "Proof" Prufrock partners up with a former FBI agent named Ginger Brown to protect humanity and some of the strangest endangered creatures around. The full article can be read here.

Until next week, keep it clean, take it deep.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Banksy does no wrong, Wayne Coyne's house is amazing, and Joe Kelly's work eludes me again...

So it is another friday, so that means it is time for an update on things that have caught my eye(beams) from this week. This week will be a few interesting updates in art, music (relatively speaking), and some comics!

Banksy has opened an official "store", if one could really call it that. Banky's "Village Pet Store & Charcoal Grill", re pleat with food products behaving like real animals thanks to animatronics is bound to amaze anyone who happens to walk past the rather unassuming front. The store itself can only hold about 20 people at one time, and there's no advanced knowledge about how long it will be open for, but for the time it will be there, it is certainly worth checking out one of the world's most popular artists.

There's a fantastic article on the New York Times website about the home of singer/songwriter/director Wayne Coyne's Oklahoma City compound. I would love to see this house on Cribs, a show popularized by the superfluous spending of disgusting-rich level rap artists and athletes, where Coyne has spent money on upping the aesthetic of his house(s). He owns a lot of land, which features a main house, two guest houses, and a house for storage. I always dream of a house I want to one day own, thinking of Philip Johnson's Glass House (although not all glass). I love when people do something different than the norm with the places they choose to live. Coyne is certainly seems to be doing that with his bit of real estate.

So, everywhere I went in attempt to find Four Eyes, Joe Kelly's newest venture, ended up with it being sold out. Now I know not picking something up the day it releases usually ends this way, but I went the very next day in certain locales and found all the copies had already been sold out. Joe Kelly seems to have a common theme through much of his creator-owned series, a theme that can be seen in many Hiyao Miyazaki films, as well as the Harry Potter series, a coming of age story of a protagonist against all odds. With Kelly's comics like IKillGiants, Four Eyes, and upcoming graphic novel release of Douglas Fredericks and the House of They, and being part of the creative team behind the animated series Ben 10, Kelly is developing some of the most creative concepts for stories that I have seen in awhile. If only I could a hold of some of his damn work! There's a great preview of House of They on CBR.