Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Next year, put your money where you live

This was posted on Huff today. Though my pointy-headed liberal leanings are obvious to anyone who's talked to me for more than 5 minutes, I don't talk politics here on Trosper very often.
But this isn't politics as much as it is in common sense.
I'm a huge advocate of shopping locally, supporting American made goods and services, and giving back to one's own community whenever possible. This is just a practical extension of that idea. A smaller bank is more likely to understand its customers' needs, and to reinvest in the community rather than engaging in spurious speculations designed only to maximize short-term profit without regard for the safety of investors and depositors.
So as we close out the year, think on Janus, the two-faced god for whom January is named, simultaneously looking forwards and backwards. And consider this new, old idea.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Original Art Sundays, No. 22: Cold fires, ice burns

To close out the year in Original Art Sundays, some random digital photography and Photoshop playfulness from the last few days.
Burning some scrap in the fireplace, I saw some patterns that fascinated me and grabbed the camera.

The burning shape in the center is a heart cutout.
On the drive back from family Christmas up North, I was amazed by the power of the snow on the trees off Highway 65. I was struck by just how irrelevant we humans are to nature and how oblivious we can be to that fact.

As I drove on after taking this shot, I toyed with the idea of "freezer burn" and the idea of "cold fire". Using  the Match Color command in PS3, I came up with a frozen winter fire of sorts.

I also tried for a fire of burning ice.

I'm not completely satisified with either one, but I think the ice burn is a bit more successful than the frozen tree fire.
I find the idea intriguing and will keep toying with it as time and concentration allow.
Next week (or next month or next year or next decade): fresh comics!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Lest we forget...

Ah, the classics.

Warm holidays to all!

Here we are at Christmas again. Much snow here, very quiet out in the so-called real world. Looking forward to finishing a couple little last-minute things prior to a drive North tomorrow for a slightly belated family holiday. I also plan on spending at least part of the day quietly enjoying a comic book or three. Been re-reading Bone of late, and enjoying it immensely.
Thinking of families and comics brings this image to mind:

This is a lovely prelim sketch of the comic book family of 'Mazing Man, one of my favorite superheroes. Much like The Spirit, 'Maze, as he is affectionately known, is a powerless superhero whose adventures are largely concerned with more mundane, populist matters- helping people change flat tires, watching out for the neighbors, and so it goes.
Unlike the Spirit, 'Maze is sort of nuts. But in a harmless, helpful way, not like the mania of The Badger, a comic that has a more cynical edge.
Therein lies the difference. 'Mazing Man is about hope and joy.
What better metaphor for the best of Christmas?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Original Art Sundays, No. 21: The World in Love, last page!

And so it ends, and so it begins.

After I finished this, I showed it to some people. I had a sense of what I hoped would be the meaning conveyed, that we can change the world if we see our fears for what they are and open ourselves to new possibilities.  I also wanted to invoke what small knowledge I hold of Hindu teachings, by using the third eye as a symbol for awareness.
So I asked my friend and former student Sean Lynch what he thought it was about. He simply said, "love is stronger than fear."
Can't argue with that.
Next week's post might be a bit late due to the holiday.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Original Art Sundays, No. 21: The World in Love, pp. 22 and 23

So close to the end of the story.
The big problem with these pages is that the grays are so soft.

The third eye stuff is a bit of a giveaway as to where I'm coming from on this, but it's more of a loose metaphor for awareness of one's own power.

Also, I know that it's tactless to laugh at your own lines, but the line "Oh, go eat a bug" just cracks me up.
I was a bit embarrassed by the rendering of the Mother figure in last week's pages, but then I was researching something else and was reminded of this Jack Kirby page.

Much as I love The Prisoner and Jack Kirby, looks like the arms get away from him from time to time too!
next week: The end of the beginning.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Original Art Sundays, No. 20: The World in Love, pp. 20 and 21

The perspective and figure drawing skills went right down the tubes at about 3 AM. Still a fan of open panels, but Mom's arm seems to have gone flat on one side. And the shape of the head- yeesh!
Still, I promised no fixing of these. If I ever go to press with this book, I'll rework these pages sometime when I'm awake- not the state in which they were drawn, I assure you!
Even with that, I like the storytelling aspect here. It's a bit Deus Ex Machina that Mom just sort of casually explains the key point, albeit in a cryptic way. Still, it's consistent with the idea behind one of my favorite superheroes, Dr. Strange, that real power comes from wisdom and does not need to be expressed in a loud or gaudy fashion. I feel much the same way about John Wayne's character Tom Donovan in the classic film The Man who Shot Liberty Valance. The character echoes the idea that the most important thing is to see things for what they are, whether it's the way you would have them be or not. The power of true conviction in this character, especially during the direct confrontations with the title character, is unstoppable.
Now this week's pages.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Overture, curtain, lights!

Thanks to my friend, the video and film director Bill Rude for pointing this out.
Seems the Vibro Champs video shot during SES  a couple years ago, pulled from YouTube a few months later, is going to be on their new CD as bonus material. It's now available through Bill's site once again. As this was one of the best shoots I've ever been on and I have a brief cameo in it, I grabbed it for reposting while it was available!