Friday, February 27, 2009

Fantagraphics Books Group Show at MCAD

Check it out! While I'm not listed on the program here, I do have two pieces in this show, and am very happy to be a part of it! Special thanks to Eric Reynolds and Gary Groth for their dedication to the form and for supporting new artists. Sorry the post is hard to read but here's the gist-

March 6-April 19 2009 at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design
Reception March 6 with lecture by Mome editor Eric Reynolds

Talkin' Shop Part 562- Murmur, Mumble, Rumble!

It's quite bizarre. We're this far into the digital age and we are only now beginning to address the numerous failures the compact disc initially offered us. People were considered luddites for clinging to vinyl, their claims of warmth and presence waved off as obnoxious dementia. But now the proof is finally in the pudding. The recent re-issue of R.E.M.'s "Murmur" on cd is the closest thing to the vinyl experience. This is most definately the most superior version on cd yet. The previous import only "IRS Years" issue is incredibly sterile by comparison. Luckily, I'm nerdy enough to have all of these versions at my disposal. Why, I have no goddamn clue, but let's say I may be of help during the whole "Is it right to re-mix old albums" debate.

This isn't like coloring black & white movies, this is more like film restoration, almost. The new re-issue has restored the confidence and energy. In addition, the separation is better and we finally have Michael Stipe brave enough to stand in front. Guitars come out to play, the bass is more apparent. and hell, xylophones and cellos make themselves known.

But, back to the comparison, let's get one thing established, the vinyl issue is a loud, impressive, experience. The bass is unbeatable. It shot forth louder, richer, and still definative to the new re-issue. It's just too damn true, vinyl can handle more low end. But the funny thing is, my vinyl version is mastered way faster. I kinda like that. It makes punky Gang of Four like numbers such as "9-9" and "Moral Kiosk" even punkier. But it is incorrect and therefore a side issue. Can you embrace this new mix over the old cd version? Hell yes. Over the vinyl? Well, that's a whole other article. The addition of a period live show to disk two was quite welcome. This is Peter Buck before the effects pedals that washed "Fables" and the distortion that rained on "Pageant", "Document", & "Green". Simple, clean, & pure. As for the bonus tracks on "The IRS Years" -those are gone. The cassette bonus track/b-side "There She Goes Again" relegated back to the odds & ends "Dead Letter Office" compilation, and the three live tracks (from the Don't Go Back To Rockville 12") now back into the void. Mojo Magazine had presented Peter Buck with the idea that there may be a danger in allowing only one mix to exist citing the Stooges "Raw Power" David Bowie original mix vs. Iggy's current and only available re-mix. The Bowie mix underserved the Stooges and the previous cd issue of R.E.M.'s Murmur was a mistake waiting to be addressed.

One missed opportunity - instead of a cheesy radio promo for a hidden track, they should have offered up the Stephen Hague version of "Catapult". Tucked away to not be offensive, but available for context. Oh well. Maybe they'll post it on their website.

p.s. the vinyl still sounds best.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sketchbook #6

Watercolor Studies

Lately I've been on a drawing streak, and enjoying where it takes me. Right now I'm working on some dream sequences, well prepatory sketches for how each character would see these dreams. This is for the several part Devil Doll storyline that I've been working on with writer Michael Jada for Mome 15-19.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Coffee Cup Stains On The Scanner

Again, it seems like forever ago when I completed the stories for Mome #14, and yet here they are. My third appearance in the anthology is now available directly from Fantagraphics Books

In another couple weeks it will be various bookstores.

The two panels I've presented here are uncropped drawings from the story Transfixation & The Winds of The North. It's a one pager using the coffee and ink stylings previously utilized on The Marriage Tree (Mome #13). I tend to draw large- those
panels are each around 9x8 inches. Other stories I have in Mome #14 utilize watercolor, ink washes and such. Style-wise and subject matter wise, every story is different. Most of them displaying the darker humor aspects of my work with less emphasis on the violent stuff. Here's a rough breakdown of what you're getting-

1. relationship maintenance during a poetry reading, nausea
2. a child and his cheesy parasites
3. a dorky mistaken identity, siblings, comics
4. science fiction failure, pancakes
5. bohemia tales & exaggerated truth
6. Pabst & mustachio'd induced ex-girlfriend wedding disruption (tasteful)
7. mammals, hoop earrings, the bar
8. relationship balance, syd barrett, & pickles

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Pipeline/Kill Time

With a hard deadline staring me right in the face- I have more than a few stories in progress that may or may not be finished in time for inclusion in Mome 16. I've posted several panels from multiple stories on some other entries- I feel bad that some of these won't make it, but if everything goes according to plan, I'll be giving my editors 19 pages for the summer edition. And from that stash I'm not sure what will see publication. This is the breakdown of stories I'm thinking might make it:

The Devil Doll (a WWII supernatural thing ala 70's Weird War/Eerie/Creepy) 17 pages
El Planeta Manzana (a satiracal poke at our language barriers) 1 page (sorry, this story I subsequently decided to shelve)
The First Blush of Hope (the first story utilizing a character named Janet- in this episode dealing with A.A.) 2 pages
These Days I'm Not Sure- ( a humorous poke at relationships/cybernetics/& nachos.)

LOTS TO DO no time to do it. Stay tuned for deadline/latenight boozy drawings of me freaking out.

In the meantime. ..