As part of the team, I’m contributing a couple of things. The first is this little Procreate illustration of my boss, friend and king (of kings), Johnny Lynch, aka Pictish Trail, causing havoc amongst the Lost Map elves.
I quickly battered this together when I realised that I wasn’t going to finish my planned contribution in time (it’s now pencilled in for the Christmas Eve slot, yaasss). I wish I’d given a little more thought to the elves and their activities but hey, done is better than perfect.
A bonus of working in Procreate is that it automatically generates neat time-lapses. This gives me more CONTENT to SHARE. When you slap a cover of Deck the Halls by the wonderful CathyMay15 on top you’ve got a guaranteed15-liker on your hands.
This December, I’m sharing 31 things that I like. This is number 02.
Jerry Hsu is probably my favourite skateboarder. This October, he had a part in Emerica's Made Chapter Two, his first since 2010 and kinda-sorta his first full part since 2006's Bag of Suck (he's been battling injuries and, as a result, the 2010 clips all favoured his irregular foot). It's good to see him back.
While the actual part is too new to share, these "b-sides" (alternative attempts / different angles / raw footage etc.) are just as good. I slacked off my board pretty badly in 2016 but, come the good weather, I'm up for a schralp.
GQ: Speaking of hockey, why do you wear the number 37 on your jersey?
Kevin Smith: That was the number in Clerks when Veronica, she'd sucked 36 dicks, and then Dante was like, "Thirty-six!" And he's like, "Does that include me?" She goes, "37." And he's like "I'm 37! 37! My girlfriend sucked thirty-seven dicks!" And my friend from high school, Mike Belicose says, "In a row?"
GQ: Was that number chosen randomly?
Kevin Smith: I knew a girl who I was very familiar with who had given twelve blowjobs, and I thought that, at that age, was excessive. So for [Veronica's] number to do something that would kinda shock Dante, I looked for a number that was high, but not ridiculous. And I talked to a lot of my friends that were girls, like, "Hey man, how many fucking blowjobs you think you've given?" And once you get them past the lie, you get to numbers that usually were in the double digits. But the highest one was maybe 28 or something like that. And I was like, "Good god!" So I was like, "I'll go for 37 because that's out there but not too out there." Fifty would just seem like too much. Thirty-seven seemed like a doable fucking number.
And everyone knows how funny Kevin Smith is. He uses 37 everywhere. He even brings up 50 as a counter example for Christ's sake. Get outtahere Kevin Smith, go sit with the Birds of a Feather guys.
For what it's worth, I'm a big fan of 100 but I worry I'm trying too hard in the opposite direction.
Pretty hyped about Gareth Edwards' upcoming Godzilla film. From the brief glimpses we've seen, the creature design is looking awesome.
This animated gif is taken from the new It Can’t Be Stopped TV spot. I brightened up the hero shot of the big fella to get a better look at him. The looping makes it a bit silly, but dang is he prickly.
The bold Elph shared this a few days back and I've watched it a couple of times since. Part 1 and part 2 are on YouTube.
Comic books are not something I'm too clued up on, so I have to confess my ignorance - I had no idea who Paolo Rivera was before watching this video. More fool me. Dang he's an amazing artist. Seems like a good dude too.
As someone who can spend 60+ hours working on a painting, Rivera has shaped his workspace to be super efficient. His pens, pencils and erasers all stick to his drawing board with magnets, he's made a wire doodad for keeping his brushes off the table (totally stealing that one) and his one-handed brush wringer is beautiful. He also shows off a bunch of nifty tools and techniques.
Being mindful of stuff you do over-and-over when you're working, even the stupid stuff, can be useful. It took me months of awkwardly stretching for the just-out-of-reach volume dial on my radio before realising that if it was, like, right beside my computer, I wouldn't give myself a hernia every time I watch a YouTube video (and I watch a lot of YouTube videos). It didn't make me better at drawing, but it made day a little easier.
The 3-part Making of "The Twelve" Cover with Paolo Rivera series by the same folks is worth a nerd out on too. His process is fascinating. There's a surprising amount of tech going into a fairly small gouache painting, but it's all there to help him make the image he wants to make. Rivera's workflow, like his studio, has been refined by doing his job over-and-over again.
With the impending opening of The Smiler at Alton Towers, I've been going on one of my frequent theme park nostalgia-trips via YouTube.
Alongside Shoot for the Moon, CoasterMania, an amazing documentary from 1995 about roller coaster enthusiasts, must rank pretty highly on my most-watched-things-ever list. My mum taped it for me knowing I was a bit of a nerd for this kinda stuff and I'd pour over the VHS in the way that only kids can.
It's brills - tons of weird characters, great footage of top-of-the-line (well, for 1995) roller coasters and plenty of behind-the-scenes information and anacdotes. The 12-year-old me cherished the parts about Blackpool Pleasure Beach. I knew those rides!
It must be 15 years at least since I last watched this thing but, dang, I still know the dialogue like it was yesterday. Charles Jaques' slightly unhinged and breathless description of riding his first coaster at 01:25, Rev Nick Bralesford's very polite little anecdote about proposing to his wife at 03:40 and the Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain pretending to ride their bus at 18:40 all curl my toes just as badly as they ever did.
The best part by far, though, is old Bernard & Phyllis Buxton at the 43:30 mark sitting in their car, big flask to hand, watching The Big One being built 'piece by piece' for thousands of hours. His theory that all the wheels must leave the track (around 45:30) on the first hill is lovely.
In 1991, the sci-fi / chiller miniseries Chimera "BBC Chimera, 1991") aired on the BBC while I was spending a week in Center Parcs with my parents. Being the summer, I was allowed to stay up a little later than usual to watch TV. Usually we'd find a film or a sitcom or something that we could all enjoy. I was 8.
One night, one horrible, dark night, however, I picked Chimera. Silly idea. I'd caught a little of the first episode back home and, although nervous (ep.1 featured a stabbing by an unseen aggressor!), I was curious enough to stick it out. Mainly because there'd been talk of... a monster!
Episode 2, for the most part, was fine. Actually, being a fairly serious production, it was low on monsters and kinda talky for an 8 year old. It mostly confused or bored me. Only the scenes that centred around a couple of kids - a brother and sister who had an imaginary friend called "Mr. Scarecrow" - really caught my imagination. As is the way with horror stories, imaginary friends don't often turn out to be all that imaginary and, true-to-form, in the final shot Mr. Scarecrow went and showed his bloody face. As the credits rolled, I knew my life as an innocent, happy, fearless child was over.
Looking back (above at the 5 min mark), it seems Mr. Scarecrow didn't actually show his face, just his stripy jumper. Goddamn it though, that must've been the freakiest stripy jumper in the whole-wide-world because I got scared. Really, really scared. (SCARED!). That night (and each subsequent sleepless night for at least the next 6 months) I was haunted by a face that I'd never even seen. I knew, I just knew that, right outside, the dark of Sherwood Forest was full of Chimeras. One was up on the roof. One was peeking in at me through the window. One was even preparing to slowly open my door and, when he did, I'd see that stripy jumper and I'd be dead.
Chimera, despite showing its age, seems a fairly interesting watch. Someone named SonofChimera has uploaded the whole series as a YouTube playlist. From what I can tell, Mr. Scarecrow (real name Chad) (...honest) is a genetic experiment - a chimera being a combination of different species, in this case, man & monkey - who causes havoc when he escapes from a fertility clinic. He's a tortured fella who's handy with a knife and wears dungarees. Most importantly, you very much do get to see his face.
As soon I get the chance, I'm gonna sit down and confront Chimera, my biggest childhood demon. Maybe if it's rubbish, I won't be scared anymore.
I've recently become a massive fan of John Gruber, author of the Apple-focused technology blog Daring Fireball, through the 5by5 podcasting network (he's on The Talk Show). He has a wonderfully thorough, insightful and level-headed take on, well, most everything. This presentation he gave at the Webstock 2011 conference in New Zealand offers a fascinating overview how Apple has consistently innovated with their graphical user interfaces (GUIs) over the past 27 or so years.
I've been playing with my camcorder a lot recently, more for fun than anything else. Well, that's my excuse for being rubbish anyway. I kinda feel like there is a goal to aim for with this video stuff, but I guess there isn't really. Will I be a director one day? Will I make a documentary or conquer Hollywood? Nah.
Anyway, the above clip is the most recent thing I've mucked about with. A real-life version of my What I Wore Today drawings. The goal was to work out how to get images to show over the top of video and, hey, I managed it. My initial intention was to produce quite an elaborate little movie about what I was wearing but once I started, that went right out the window. If I don't delete this after a week (it's quite a weird, invasive thing to put online), I might have another go. It already makes me cringe but I feel a little better when I remind myself that I'm just a beginner.
Apart from that, in the past wee while I have added a dumb trailer for a skateboard film I'm making with my friends (this is almost exclusively for our own amusement, pretty much nobody else will find it funny or in any way impressive), a stupid clip of us sliding on a wall and a video showing the mess Alex leaves when she makes a birthday cake. If you want to follow my progress in the world of moving pictures you can view and subscribe to my YouTube channel here.
EDIT: I should also mention that the idea for this video and all my What I Wore Today drawings came from this wonderful Flickr group started by Gemma Correll (of doing amazing drawings fame). Also, the song is 'Food and Pussy' by Dan Reeder from his self-titled album. Check out Work Song when the Man is getting you down.