(I've added some of interior artist Georges Jeanty's alternate covers underneath the primary Jo Chen Covers for comparison)
Okay, Okay.. I know that those of you who actually know me will not be surprised by my choice of review. As part of the ongoing growth of the blog, I figure I'd make an addition to our reviews and do a bi-weekly to weekly review of the hottest comic book titles and stories out there.
I'm not sure how into the concept of comic books you all are, but personally, I jump up and down in glee at the thought of the approaching Wednesdays (Comic Book release day). Ever since I was a child, I was fascinated with the beautiful mix of art and storytelling. Being an aspiring, mini artist in training, I would often look to these comic books as a way of learning and understanding proportions, character design, and storytelling. So, because of these reasons and a kick of nostalgia obsession, I've continued my comic book collection and read them on a weekly basis.
In it's 8 issue run thus far, the book has managed to do something I would never expect. That unexpected element is seamlessly translating a live action television show that has a very sensitive and critical fan base, and making it work in perfect cannon with the series. Season 8's premiere issue finds our heroine some time after we last saw her in the series finale (For those of you who are not familiar: They lived in Sunnydale, CA, which was also host to the largest demon manifestation sites known, the Hellmouth. In an epic battle, the hellmouth swallowed the entire town, and our group of characters *mostly* made it out alive). Buffy and friends are now in Europe with their slayers in training, fighting and exterminating any threats that may come their way. In the first arc, we find that something survived the destruction in Sunnydale and seeks revenge on Buffy & Co. It may be a little hard to follow, and I'm just going to graze the ideas and just give a general review for times sake.
The first arc was brilliant in it's own right, and really set up the Season 8 concept beautifully. Although not without it's flaws, the first arc really made us see what we loved in the show. The character work was solid, the beats were beautifully written, and the mystery and impending doom was finally back. My only real concern with the first arc was that you could almost see the thought process Joss had to undergo to gain his footing in translating his personal television idea to the panels of a comic book. The only reason this surprised me was due to Joss' perfect, and almost cinematic writing on 'Astonishing X-Men'. None the less, it held it's own and paved the way for the arc that really blew the series thus far out of the water.
The second arc was written by 'Runaways' scribe Brian K. Vaughn. Interestingly enough, the story was borrowed from a killed idea years ago to do a television mini-movie based on the 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' mythos and starring Faith, the rigue slayer introduced and popularized in the show's third season. This arc, although featuring much less of our favorite blonde, found a way to really relay the messaging and feeling of the show. It's no surprise that Vaughn is an amazing writer, and has a knack for witty speech and banter (a Buffy staple). This would be a perfect entry into the series for anyone interested in giving the book a chance.
My only negative on this title would be the artist chosen to do the interior art and variant covers. As Shalimar can attest, I'm very angered by mediocre artists. In Buffy Season 8, Georges Jeantey, finds a way to bring less life into the characters than i ever expected. His cartoon style doesn't seem to pop or compliment the high intensity wit and drama of the book's tone. His likenesses are just grazing the appearance of the actors, and the coloring is just horrendous. In my opinion, I feel as though a book based on a television show with an already massed fan base should find an artist that brings as much realism and tonality to the book as possible. This is the weak point of the book for me, which is unfortunate for such an intense and interesting relaunch. Hopefully they will find a way to really up the anty on the art, which leads to my final point for the book...
Jo Chen is a goddess! The perfectionary cover artist (Best known for her work on 'Runaways') has created all the covers since the season 8 relaunch, and each and every one has gotten better and better. The likenesses are spot on, the compositions are beautiful, the tonality and coloring is brilliant, and overall each one FEELS like the show. Anyone who sees any of them (a few are posted throughout this post) can't deny their beauty. Now if only darkhorse, and the creators of the book can find an interior artist to compliment the covers, the book would be flawless.
So there's my long winded review of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8'. I apologize if I went into tangent-ville. I'll soon find my footing with writing these reviews. So enjoy and chime in if you'd like!
I don't have much art work of my own which hasn't been posted elsewhere, but I do have some layouts I just pitched with a friend to this comic anthology put out by Image called "PopGun (vol.2)". Our pitch was approved so hopfully someday in the future the finished product will appear in there...which I haven't started drawing yet.
These are only 2 out of the 4 pages.I know they're impossible to read but just thought I'd share them anyway. Oh! And the story is called Riconcito and is written by Michelle Fiffe.
Speaking of Michelle Fiffe, check out his work, it's bloody excellent: PANORAMA
Richest Woman in FictionLand?
Making my daily rounds on the net in search of something that will rip me from the depths of utter boredom, I came across one of the most random things I believe to have ever read by Forbes. Forbes has chosen (and apparently done for a few years) to make a list of the richest fictional characters in history. The list had some obvious choices (Bruce Wayne, Richie Rich) and some not so obvious (Princess Peach from Mario Bros).
Below is the list and a link to the original article.
My question to all of you though, is whether or not you can think of some more worthy characters in fiction land that out-finance the listed folks below.
1. Scrooge McDuck (Disney's Ducktales)
2. Ming the Merciless (Flash Gordon)
3. Richie Rich
4. Mom (Futurama)
5. Jed Clampett (Beverly Hillbillies)
6. Montgomery Burns (Simpsons)
7. Carter Pewterschmidt (Family Guy)
8. Bruce Wayne (Batman)
9. Thurston Howell III (Gilligan's Island)
10. Tony Stark (Ironman)
11. Fake Steve Jobs (New York Times)
12. Gomez Addams (The Adams Family)
13. Willy Wonka
14. Lucius Malfoy (Harry Potter)
15. Princess Peach (Mario Bros.)
To my surprise, one of the seemingly most rich fictional characters didn't make the list.. although i thought he should have.. Mr. Monopoly!! ... Dude's a genius. He monopolizes real estate which is the most amazing investment ever. Sure beats magic and a land filled with Sewer Tubes, Walking Shell Monsters, and Coin Boxes you have to give yourself a concussion to even make a profit.. WTF...
I ran across this article, where Brady Russell (indie cartoonist and blogger) goes in detail about his "theory on creativity". To paraphrase, his main points are that he can spot an artist's "style" even by looking at their early childhood sketchbooks, and that this style is carried over to adulthood. So no matter how hard you work to improve yourself (he's not arguing that you don't improve yourself), you retain this "style", or rather, the characteristics of your style are visible in your earliest drawings. He also stresses that the most successful artists (or people in their respective fields) are born extremely creative, and "no amount of practice or conditioning can help those who simply aren't 'born with it' ".
I didn't read too many of the comments for this article, but quite a few people don't agree, someone named Von Allen being one. Here is a reply from Brady Russell, addressing Von Allen and several other comments at once.
As for myself, I think that yes, there are people born innately creative and talented. People you want to kick in the stomach because they just rock your mind with how brilliant they are. But, I also think that talent will take you no where fast unless you work hard and get better at it. Sure, I know plenty of talented artists, but they don't apply themselves, are not motivated, and never practice or have the desire to make something of this talent they possess. I think if you are actually born with talent, you should definitely use it. Because it's a fucking shame if you don't.
I was born with the ability to draw. Being artistic and creative runs in my family: that being said, I had to work hard and practice and learn to get where I am today. I drew stick figures with the best of them. As time passed, I developed a better control over my medium and honed in on my artistic skills. It's an on-going process. And I can only go up from here.
What are your thoughts?
The PID Staffers got together recently and discussed the direction
blog will be heading in. Within the next few weeks you will be noticing little things changing here and there. Right now one of the changes you might notice is a new section on the sidebar called "Desktops." We decided that creating freebies for our readers to come by and download – such as desktops and icons – would be a good way to share our work with everyone and bring traffic.
With that said, those of you interested in making some fun wallpapers or anything of that nature, email them to me and I will put them up for you on the sidebar.
A blog, where it seems that people from all over send in their to-do lists and they get posted on this blog. The blog has released a book with all these to-do lists. Me being a big fan of to-do lists, I found this pretty inspiring.
I've been meaning to post this video on here for a while. I think its a beautiful video and I love the animations and the rappers interaction with them. Its very clean and well put together. I think my two favorite parts are when hes bopping his head and the type is moving along with him, and the part with the fancy rotoscoping. Very fun. I would love to learn how to do something like this.
An illustration that I am working on for work. This is supposedly going to end up being animated some how either in Flash or AE. It was fun to do, because I got experiment with a different style that I wouldn't normally do.
As 2007 draws to a close, it's time to revisit the magical land of film posters. In part one, I'm going to talk about my favorite posters from this past year. Part 2 will focus on the most awful crimes against man.
The following posters are NOT in any order...they simply reflect posters I liked throughout the year.
Paris, Je T'Aime
This poster was on my "so far" list from six months ago. It still holds up as an amazingly strong design. The details and color create such an amazing feeling. I've never been, but this poster seems to really capture the ultra-romanticized vision of Paris perfectly.
It's a vector! There seem to be a lot of these lately. This poster feels, to me, like an action figure package...very fun.
Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
I'm always a sucker for Tim Burton....and this is as Burtonesq as it gets. The monochromatic photo with a hint of red, really drives this design home. However, what sold it for me is the subtle red peeking through the floorboards. The type treatment I can take or leave.
El Camino De Lose Ingleses
Another one that was on my "so far" list (though, in a different version). The shapes, type and photo all combine to create a wonderful mix of classic and modern design. However, could there be MORE logos at the bottom??
30 Days of Night
It's hard to make design look spontaneous and messy without looking lazy and illegible...this poster pulls it off very nicely.
I'm Not There
This and the next poster on this list are unique. It's not uncommon for a movie to explore different visual languages and release several posters in different styles. It IS uncommon to have more than one of those styles be successful. This poster is GOOD, not GREAT....but GOOD. I can see what they're doing with the type, but it's not my taste. What sells it for me is the tag line (which I suppose is more a marketing thing than a design...but whatever).
I'm Not There (2)
I think this poster very elegantly tells you everything you need to know about this movie.
My Kid Could Paint That
A different version of this poster was on my "so far" list... However, I like this one better because the kid is cuter and the art is better in this photo.
King of California
A TAD creepy, but the warmth cannot be denied.
This one is on the list for style...but not actual execution (the same goes for Planet Terror later in this list). I love the classic, dirty feel, but I have a lot of little issues (like, why isn't the logo off-white like the paper? Why that image? etc...).
There's a lot of posters doing this style (even a few one this list), but I find it very charming. Handwriting lends so much character to a potentially staid design.
Typography, sucks. Upside down image of Rosario Dawson naked, awesome (if not a little strange looking).
Good Luck Chuck
As much as it pains me to give this movie any credibility...I really like this alternate poster.
Everything's Gone Green
Connect the dots! Brilliant!
Much like El Orfanato, this poster has some GREAT style elements, and it draws your eye like crazy, but it feels a little dead to me.
Across The Universe
There were actually other posters from this film I liked better...but I think this one is very classy none-the-less. The classic Beatles typeface, and the spaciness of space make it a winner for me.
Black Snake Moan
The movie was very average (despite countless topless instances of Christina Ricci)...but the poster is so cool looking. His head is the O!
The Darjeeling Limited
The photo is very nice, but I LOVE the hand-written text...it's so classic. What I also love, is that the graphic design present in the poster, exists in the film as well (the credits appear to be hand written at the end).
How uncomfortable is THIS? It's so very strange and unsexy in a sexy way.
Year of the Dog
Handwriting (and neon green) prevails once more as we finish up part 1 of my 2007 Movie Poster Review.
See you in part 2.