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Name: Garth Cameron Graham
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Archive for July, 2010

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Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Page 16 will be up later this week before I leave for Otakon. Some personal things came up and mucked with my production schedule. But enough of that, I have an awesome tidbit of awesomeness regarding this weekend.

This weekend, as any of you who give two hoots about conventions, is Otakon, that monstrosity of a convention that likes to eat everything like some ravenous bug bladder beast from Trall. I will be at said convention, doing my best to not lose what little sanity I have left. I will be occupying table J08 down in the alley like the last bastion against the mad tide thusly:
The Map!
The reason I mention this now is because I’m doing something new this year. The local frame shop, Fast Frames has been featuring my work for the last month or so in their gallery in Stafford. And we’ve partnered up to run a raffle at Otakon this year. Whats the prize? Well, the winner of said raffle will take home a custom, professionally framed, signed copy of my Steam Beast print. That’s right, something like $400 worth of framed artwork will go home with some lucky fan this weekend. Do I really need to say that lucky fan could be you?

Just thought those attending the massiveness that is Otakon might want to know where to find me in the chaos. I hope to see you guys there!

Why Did No One Tell Me?

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Ok, the title is a slight misnomer. I have actually been informed of the existence of the following awesome webcomics, I just wish I had known about them sooner. So, without further ado and in no particular order I give you awesome reads:

Hanna is Not a Boy’s Name
While having the most obvious, and most non sequitur, title ever, “Hanna is Not a Boys Name” is an utter delight. What’s it about? A hopped up supernatural investigator that makes most little brothers look calm and reserved, an exceedingly tall zombie who doesn’t remember much about his former life but is otherwise pretty chill, the world’s worst vampire, and the the most squish-able adorable werewolf I’ve ever seen, among other exceedingly eccentric beings of questionable mortality and their bizarre adventures. The colors are deliciously vibrant, the style is so incredibly full of life, and the characters are truly characters of the first water. I wish my art had half as much energy.

Oh Perilous World
I’ve actually known about “Oh Perilous World” for some time now. Nick Borkowicz of Dead of Summer and Super Art Fight fame has been plotting this comic for more than a few years. I’ve had the honor of having heard tidbits of what it is all about during its development, and I am truly excited to see it finally put to paper as it were. What’s it about? Heh, well, half the fun is finding that out. But I will tell you that it’s about monsters and demons and a world that is not what it once was. Is that vague? Maybe, but I’d hate to spoil the adventure. If you’re a fan of the dark, twisted, and disturbing, you’ll enjoy “Oh Perilous World.”

The Less than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal
“The Less than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal” really defies description. If you were to tell me that it’s about two guys driving across country, stopping at gas stations, being caught in traffic, and having heart felt discussions, well, I just wouldn’t be that interested. And it IS about two guys driving across the country. And it is possibly the most touching comic I’ve ever encountered. The artist/author really shows us what comics can do, as she conveys just as much, if not more, information about the characters and story with just the art than she does with words. The art is simply beautiful and the story, while no more epic than your last road trip, artfully shows the human condition in ways that I seldom see. Imagine Normal Rockwell creating a Manga and you have some idea of what to expect out of “The Less than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal.”

Yellow Peril
“Yellow Peril” is done by another friend of mine, Jamie Noguchi the original artist for Erf World. I suspect that “Yellow Peril” is more fun for me than some because I look at it and say to myself “so this is what Jamie’s day job is like.” Which makes sense as Jamie is a graphic designer for Nasa, and the comic is about a nerdy, irreverent, hilarious, over the top, kung-fu kicking, boogie nights in-house graphic designer. It’s not strictly auto-biographical, but it definitely draws from the real-life experiences of a creative type working for the Man. It’s like Dilbert but, you know, funny.

From Connecticut to Asgard

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Connecticon this year was a blast as always, full of merriment, good friends, phenomenal fans, and delicious beers! I can hardly wait for next year, but I must first focus on the upcoming behemoth that is Otakon. There is a legit segue in here, btw. One of our traditions at CTcon is the great gathering together and taking over of one of the local breweries every night and consuming vast quantities of delicious beer. It’s much like Valhalla I think, long tables full of good company and all you can drink for all eternity. Good times.

Which leads me to the latest image releases from the upcoming Thor film:

Now I’m not going to bother discussing the news that Thor and the First Avenger movies will be in 3D, I’m sure I’ve made my feeling clear on how little I like 3D movies. Rather, I’m going to talk a bit about the costume designs here.

One should bear in mind that I’ve never read Thor. I have never had any real interest in him as a superhero. He always struck me as basically Superman with an even funnier costume: i.e. the boyscout who doesn’t really have much of a personality to speak of and is just there to kick ass, chew bubblegum and be a good guy to thwart the villains. And that’s just not the Thor I know and love. See, I’m a huge fan of the Norse Mythos, and being predominantly norse in descent this is not terribly surprising. I’ve always loved the fact that of all the various religions that have sprouted up over the centuries, the Norse Gods are the only ones that I can think of that are pre-destined to loose the great battle at the end of all things. There no happy ending for anyone. The best you get is to die in combat, chill in Valhalla for a time (there’s my segue again) and then fight alongside the gods in a battle they are are destined to lose and the world all ends in entropy and darkness. And then starts over. This really says something to me about the Norse culture, and about humans in general. I like that struggle against odds you can’t beat, know you can’t, and in the end don’t, but you do it anyway because trying and losing is a hell of a lot better than never trying at all.

Anyway, I never read Thor because he and the rest of the Marvel AEsir just weren’t interesting. They were all flash and no substance. I mean, look at Loki’s horns and tell me that man’s wallet says “bad ass mother fucker” on it.
look at my hat!  it means I'm eeeeeeeevil!
“But Garth,” you might say, “the original Norse stories weren’t all that… you know… deep to begin with.” To which I would counter with, they are perhaps basic in their delivery, but they have a gravitas to them that I just never saw from Marvel’s Thor. Anywho, so the point is that I’m quite vested in anything that deals with the Norse myths, and here we have yet another adaptation this time on the big screen!

So what do we think of the still? Well, it’s hard to say. I REALLY like the concept of Anthony Hopkins playing Odin (a man so bad ass he hung himself from a tree for three days just for kicks). My first thought is “it’s too bright.” Which is strange as most of the colors in this shot are dark grey. I kinda like the armor designs, very Too Human in their design, which I kinda dug. I wish they weren’t so plastic-y. However, Ironman managed to make the plastic suit look like metal so maybe in post-production these’ll look good too. I’m glad they ditched Loki’s ridiculous horns. And I’m not sure what’s up with Odin’s eyepatch. It doesn’t appear to be the same gold color as the accents in his armor, and so it really stands out, obnoxiously so. I do like that there is a slight raven shape in it, but I could be imagining awesome where there isn’t any. I’d also have liked to see some runes carved into that shit. Seriously, there is nothing that says “viking” more than runes everywhere. Well, runes, and horned fur-lined helmets.

Asgard (i.e. the background) looks cool, but a little too clean cut. All around it says to me “ancient alien tech” more than it does “viking hall.” And perhaps they’re running with that. Maybe the AEsir really are crazy powerful super alien beings who came to earth to wage great wars and fight off terrible monstrosities to protect the hapless primitive native life. Stargate did it, why not Marvel?

So, in summary? Is it awesome? Hell yes. Sure, I’d like to see the AEsir be less polished and grittier. I’d like to see more drinking contests that end in the consumption of the local ocean. But! As long as Thor throws Mjolinir with such force that he is physically hauled off his feet, sent flying through the air after the less-than-perfectly forged thunderbolt, I will be one very happy citizen of Midgard.