Monday, December 31, 2012

Another Year Over...

As the calendar changes I guess it’s time to take the obligatory look back at 2012 while I greatly anticipate the coming 2013, which I think will be a wonderful year!

I’d like to start by discussing this blog, since that’s the current topic in my mind.  I’ve really enjoyed writing my blog and keeping myself to an at-least-weekly schedule has been helpful in making sure I keep my brain working, as I am always anticipating what will be the next week’s topic.  Granted, I cheat a bit by posting almost-entirely artwork posts at times, but I did start this thing as a place to show my work to the general public, and it seems like people are looking at my stuff according to the blog stats.

Speaking of the blog stats, I am nearing 11,200 views as I type this, my 82nd blog post.  My most viewed post is my review of the Avenger Movie (and comic), which I figure is due to the huge success of the movie.  My next most viewed posts are my review of “Out With PFLAG” and my comments on the Out With Dad character Vanessa.  Then we come to my post of my Avengers statues.  The stats also track search keywords which people use to find my site.  The three most used search keywords all involve the Avengers.  The fourth is “Lindsey Middleton”.  Lindsey is, in case you haven’t read all my posts, the actor who plays Vanessa on Out With Dad.

And that leads in to my quick pop culture review of 2012.  My favorite:

Movie: The Avengers.  They could have done a poor job and made millions on this film.  Instead they produced a great show!  I’m really looking forward to the sequel, including all the crossover movies to come!

Book: The Hunger Games trilogy.  When something is very popular, I’m a bit skeptical if I’ll like it as much as others, but this series blew me away!  The movie isn’t bad, but I recommend everyone read the books!

Television: Psych is the only TV drama series I am currently following regularly.  Excellent writing and acting!  All television should be this good.

Comic: Resident Alien from Dark Horse Comics, which just started a second storyline in the pages of dark Horse Presents.  Resident Alien is interesting and exciting plus it has the best writer/artist team I’ve seen in quite a while.  The words and pictures blend perfectly!

Webseries: Out With Dad, of course!  Which is totally, totally different in tone and content from any of the above.  Which shows you just how well it is done!  It makes me think, and it inspires me creatively.

Well, that does it for this year!  How about I sign off with some pics of sketches I’ve done recently. See you in about a week!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Comic Strip: Out With Dad II

This is the 2nd of my 142 part Out With Dad comic series.  More importantly, I finally overcame my fear of drawing people kissing.  Anyway, I thought this would be nice to post for the Holidays.

On a related note, the Out With Dad creative team recently asked viewers to answer the question: Why is Out With Dad Important to you?  I thought I’d try to answer.  I feel a little strange about answering this question because I know there are many people with much more personal and powerful reasons that Out With Dad is important to them.  I don’t have that type of connection to the show.  I’m not homosexual nor am I a parent of a gay teen.  I just love the show.  I think it’s superbly written and crafted and it makes me think about things, such as society and how we treat people who are homosexual.

I think a tale like Rose’s is important because it helps those of us who haven’t struggled with her problems understand a bit of what it is like to be in her situation.  I would hope that it would encourage us to help others who are not “like us”, because deep down inside we are all the same.  We may think of ourselves as belonging to different subgroups of humanity, but deep down we all have the same dreams and deserve the same treatment.

I think Out With Dad is important because we, humanity, need to change.  The country of Canada is far nicer to homosexuals than most of the world.  Even where I live, which is just across the Lake from Canada, same-sex marriage is banned by our State Constitution.  In other countries, being gay can get you killed.  I think things are changing in a positive direction, but I also don’t think we’re going to see meaningful change if the only people in the “gay pride” parade are gay.  It takes understanding and action from all of us.

I guess that’s the best way I can explain why Out With Dad is important to me.

Monday, December 17, 2012


I’ve never really figured out how to write songs.  Of course, I must now elaborate a little.  My musical skills are rudimentary.  I was in Jr. High band and I play a little guitar.  (No, I don’t mean a ukulele.)  I know what do-re-mi and an octave is, though I don’t understand why music has an octave.  Why not a septave?  A decatave? I can read music somewhat; mostly I read cheat-sheet lyrics & chords so I can play oldies on my guitar.

Anyway, I don’t understand writing songs.  I can play chords and I can write words, but I don’t get how they fit together.  In fact, I tried my part at being a lyricist back in college when I wrote the lyrics to several songs hoping musically talented friends of mine could add the music. I’m not sure why that didn’t turn out. I mean, who wouldn’t want to finish a song called “The Attack of the Killer Sporks”?  Hey!  It’s hard to come up with something to write about!  I tried silly love songs (“I’ve Got Better Things To Do”), introspection disguised as humor (“Happy Stop Signs”), psychedelic rock (“Psychedelic Elevator”), humor disguised as introspection (“Happy Stop Signs”), and I even began an epic composition called “Acetylsalicylic Nightmare”.  But nothing was really good, no matter what topic I picked.  I always wanted to write something cool about things I love like sports or gaming.  But everything I thought of sounded dorky.  Well…I’m sure everything I managed to write was pretty dorky, too.  (And don’t ask for the lyrics to the songs above, I lost them long ago and remember them not.)
So, what I’m getting to with all the above rambling is how totally impressed I am with the Pretty in Geek theme song “Roll the Dice”.  “Roll the Dice” is an excellent little song about gaming that is cool and not the least bit dorky.  This is just totally amazing to me because I would never be able to write a song about such a topic, even though I love gaming.  I wouldn't know where to start!  And "Roll the Dice" is just an excellent hook! It’s sung by a Toronto group called Nerd with Guitars and….it’s been nominated for an award!  Well, technically the opening sequence of Pretty in Geek got nominated, but the song really carries the sequence.  At least I think so!  So give it a look and listen and be sure to check out the series here.  You can also buy the song from amazon. The award nomination mentioned above is from the folks at the Indie Soap Awards.  And by the way, Out With Dad (which I may have mentioned here a time or two) got a bunch of nominations too!
And Huzzah!!  to Nerds with Guitars!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Review- Superman: The Animated Series

I recently watched the first season of Superman- The Animated Series on DVD.  This series started in 1996 and ran until 200. I have recently stated that I often find the character of Superman too difficult to relate to.  However, I think in this case the character is handled very well.  Allow me to extrapolate.

In the Superman animated series they do a good job establishing Krypton and its importance to Superman, both in his origin and in his adopted parents explaining to Clark why he’s different than his peers.  This creates a little bit of angst for Clark as he’s portrayed as a person torn between his love for his adopted world and his desire to discover more about his birthplace.  In the half-hour cartoon format, there doesn’t need to be more angst than this.  Most of the fun is in watching Superman use his neat powers to solve problems.  The supporting cast is good but a little underused.  Lois is presented as a rival of Clarks in their chosen profession, and the romance angle is downplayed about as much as it should be for a cartoon.  Jimmy and Perry don’t do too much in season one beyond filling their usual roles.  Professor Hamilton does a good job informing both Superman and the viewer of the science fiction elements.  I particularly like Dan Turpin, drawn as an animated Jack Kirby!  It’s a great tribute to the King!

Of the villains, we have the crooked businessman version of Lex Luthor, who controls everything in Metropolis except Superman, and says he built the city.  It looks like he did, since the city looks like it has technology a year or two ahead of our time!  The others I particularly like are the Parasite and Brainiac.

I’d rate the show a “B” overall, which means it is worth getting if it’s not too expensive.  It’s not too amazing but it is a lot of fun!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Seasonal statues (and other stuff)

Today I’ll chat here about of few things at seeming random.  First, I thought I’d post some pictures of some statues I did recently because I’m doing a local holiday-themed show this week.  I guess it also proves I can do “mundane” as well as “geeky” statuary.   By the show, the show is Thursday Dec. 6th at the Sandusky State Theater from 5-8:30, and admission cost is two cans of donated food.  I’m looking forward to it!

Speaking of shows, I thought I’d say a little about the best way to know where and when I’ll be in the future.  I tend to say something about my shows here on this site, so it’s a good idea to check back here regularly for such info as well as my thoughts about comics and pop culture.  In fact, you can “follow” this blog if you have an appropriate account.  I have a couple followers now (Thanks guys!) and certainly don’t mind more.  For even more up-to-date information on when I’m posting and what I’m doing you can friend me on my Facebook page. (There a link on this page.)  My Facebook feed or timeline or whatever they’re calling it now is 90% my art-related stuff, so I’m more than willing to friend anyone who’s interested.  Also, Facebook is a good way to comment and have conversations with me and other geeky types.  And don’t afraid to comment on my blog posts, either, I appreciate every comment I get!

Finally, thanks to everyone for reading and looking at my stuff here!  I’m closing in on 11,000 views total, from people all over the world, and that’s just shows how amazing our modern world is with all this technology that allows us to touch each other in some way all over this globe of ours!  Thanks to those who share my blog with others and especially thanks for reading my stuff* and to those who have purchased my work!!  As an artist, I am thrilled anytime I find someone who wants to own something I’ve created!

*Such as my Mutant Elf webcomic, still going strong every week!  Click here for the latest!!