Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mad Scientist #25

The 25th issue of Martin Arlt's excellent magazine, Mad Scientist is now available. The latest issue contains one of my cut paper collage monster portraits as well as plenty of other great stuff. It's also only $5.00. To see the rest of the contents and to order your copy, visit the Mad Scientist website.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Back From Vacation

I've just returned from a week in Washington D.C.. The heat was overwhelming during my stay averaging around 100ยบ F each day which made walking between institutions along the Mall an unpleasant ordeal. Otherwise the visit was great. My brain was over stimulated as were my eyes.

I'm sure I'll post on some of the things which caught my fancy in particular, but right now I've got to dive into getting my piece completed for the upcoming Crazy 4 Cult show at Gallery 1988 (see previous post).

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Crazy 4 Cult NYC

I'm currently working on my piece for this show.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mars Attacks!

Michael Jones asked me:  "What's your favourite "Mars Attacks" card?"

This is a question for which I already had an answer which I didn't need to think about. 

For those of you who don't know, Mars Attacks! was a set of trading cards released by Topps in 1962 which depicted the invasion of Earth by Martians. The set was disturbingly gruesome for its time which made it popular with kids and horrified their parents. The trading cards inspired the Tim Burton movie which came out in 1996. 

Here's the whole story in a nutshell:

The cards really succeeded in depicting on overwhelming onslaught in which humanity had no chance of winning. The Martians, and their weapons, were particularly nasty. Sadly, once the giant bugs are brought in the disturbing depiction of impending doom falters and the sense of being right on the front lines of the invasion is replaced by a feeling of distanced voyeurism, much like what you have in the lesser Godzilla movies where the monsters fight it out in what appear to be empty cities where there is no human collateral damage. By the time the humans reach Mars for some payback on that planet's women and children you kind of see why the Martians came here to eradicate us in the first place.  

I own a set of the cards from its reissue in the 1980s. The images featured here are from the original release and I don't remember where I found them online. 

Anyway, on to my favorite cards. 

Card #10 - This card does what no Hollywood movie at the time could do. Not only does this image have great composition, but depicts the destructive fury of the Martian fleet is before even one Martian touches Earth soil. 

Card #36 - No, I don't have anything against dogs. Remember, this is a trading card series aimed at kids. Imagine the reaction that a six year old might have had to seeing this card. This image is emblematic of the graphic horror of the entire series as well as its crossing the boundaries of good taste. Not only is the actual destruction of the dog horrible and agonizing for the dog, but look at the face of the dog's boy master at witnessing this first hand. the dog was probably even trying to protect him. The boy's distraught rage against the Martian will no doubt be ineffectual and lead the boy to a similar end as his pet. 

Card #35 - Above, I complained about how the cards lost their edge once the giant bugs entered the storyline. My opinion has not changed, yet two of my favorite images from this series come from the giant bug section. The card above has great compostion and use of color and lighting. Even though the soldiers seem to be winning and their body language suggests confidence, those bugs don't appear to be backing down, or feeling much effect from those flame throwers. they've even managed to take down one of the soldiers. 

Card #41 - My other favorite bug card is my second favorite Mars Attacks card. The catepillar is posed in such a way that our very low eye level rises up its back and around as it curves around the Eiffel tower. This would look amazing on my wall as a 6 foot tall print. 

My absolute favorite Mars Attacks card: 

Card #19 - This card encapsulates the entire series in one single glorious image. Unlike the fuzzy, painless seeming disintegrations of the original Star Trek television series, disintegration by Martians seems like a horrible way to die. What's even worse than the man in the forground witnessing his flesh being burned away from his still living body is the corpse of the other victim. This poor guy has been reduced to a skeleton except for his face. The Martians seem to be completely unaffected one way or another by what they are doing. 

Monday, July 02, 2012

Ask Me Anything #22

It's the first Monday of the month which means it's time for "Ask Me Anything," the monthly feature in which you get to do just that. So, if you have questions about my work, my influences, movies I may have seen, books I may have read, food I may have eaten, or anything else that I might possibly have an answer for, go ahead and ask and I'll do my best to answer.

Head down to the comment section and post your question. I'll either post my answer in the comment section as well, or answer it in a special post all its own sometime later in the month.

Please take the time to view the previous questions so that we don't wind up with a lot of repetition. I've been asked a lot of good, thought provoking questions in the past as well as some really banal ones, all of which I tried to answer. You can see the previous questions by visiting Ask Me Anything  #1#2 ,  #3#4#5#6 , #7 , #8#9,  #10,  #11,  #12 , #13#14,  #15 , #16#17 , #18 , #19,  #20 and #21.  Answers not found following the questions can be found in the archives section for each associated month under Ask Me Anything.

Now ask away.