Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Hiatus Week likes your new haircut!
I love drawing these, because I am a geek and because I love Lil' Batman. Look at that spunky little fella, running around! He's so cute! I don't think I'm supposed to feel that way about Batman, but so be it.
Monday, May 29, 2006
Off Topic: Medal of Honor Recipients
CMH Online has a complete list of all the Medal of Honor recipients and the circumstances in which they received their award. If you want to read about acts of heroism that don't involve heat vision or adamantium claws, go take a look. Here are some excerpts:
SALOMON, BEN L.
Captain Ben L. Salomon was serving at Saipan, in the Marianas Islands on July 7, 1944, as the Surgeon for the 2d Battalion, 105th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division. The Regiment's 1st and 2d Battalions were attacked by an overwhelming force estimated between 3,000 and 5,000 Japanese soldiers. It was one of the largest attacks attempted in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Although both units fought furiously, the enemy soon penetrated the Battalions' combined perimeter and inflicted overwhelming casualties. In the first minutes of the attack, approximately 30 wounded soldiers walked, crawled, or were carried into Captain Salomon's aid station, and the small tent soon filled with wounded men. As the perimeter began to be overrun, it became increasingly difficult for Captain Salomon to work on the wounded. He then saw a Japanese soldier bayoneting one of the wounded soldiers lying near the tent. Firing from a squatting position, Captain Salomon quickly killed the enemy soldier. Then, as he turned his attention back to the wounded, two more Japanese soldiers appeared in the front entrance of the tent. As these enemy soldiers were killed, four more crawled under the tent walls. Rushing them, Captain Salomon kicked the knife out of the hand of one, shot another, and bayoneted a third. Captain Salomon butted the fourth enemy soldier in the stomach and a wounded comrade then shot and killed the enemy soldier. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Captain Salomon ordered the wounded to make their way as best they could back to the regimental aid station, while he attempted to hold off the enemy until they were clear. Captain Salomon then grabbed a rifle from one of the wounded and rushed out of the tent. After four men were killed while manning a machine gun, Captain Salomon took control of it. When his body was later found, 98 dead enemy soldiers were piled in front of his position. Captain Salomon's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
NASH, DAVID P.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 2d Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Place and date: Giao Duc District, Dinh Tuong Province, Republic of Vietnam, 29 December 1968.
Pfc. Nash distinguished himself while serving as a grenadier with Company B, in Giao Duc District. When an ambush patrol of which he was a member suddenly came under intense attack before reaching its destination, he was the first to return the enemy fire. Taking an exposed location, Pfc. Nash suppressed the hostile fusillade with a rapid series of rounds from his grenade launcher, enabling artillery fire to be adjusted on the enemy. After the foe had been routed, his small element continued to the ambush site where he established a position with 3 fellow soldiers on a narrow dike. Shortly past midnight, while Pfc. Nash and a comrade kept watch and the 2 other men took their turn sleeping, an enemy grenade wounded 2 soldiers in the adjacent position. Seconds later, Pfc. Nash saw another grenade land only a few feet from his own position. Although he could have escaped harm by rolling down the other side of the dike, he shouted a warning to his comrades and leaped upon the lethal explosive. Absorbing the blast with his body, he saved the lives of the 3 men in the area at the sacrifice of his life. By his gallantry at the cost of his life are in the highest traditions of the military service, Pfc. Nash has reflected great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
LITEKY, ANGELO J.
Rank and organization: Chaplain (Capt.), U.S. Army, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 199th Infantry Brigade. place and date: Near Phuoc-Lac, Bien Hoa province, Republic of Vietnam, 6 December 1967 .
Citation: Chaplain Liteky distinguished himself by exceptional heroism while serving with Company A, 4th Battalion, 12th Infantry, 199th Light Infantry Brigade. He was participating in a search and destroy operation when Company A came under intense fire from a battalion size enemy force. Momentarily stunned from the immediate encounter that ensued, the men hugged the ground for cover. Observing 2 wounded men, Chaplain Liteky moved to within 15 meters of an enemy machine gun position to reach them, placing himself between the enemy and the wounded men. When there was a brief respite in the fighting, he managed to drag them to the relative safety of the landing zone. Inspired by his courageous actions, the company rallied and began placing a heavy volume of fire upon the enemy's positions. In a magnificent display of courage and leadership, Chaplain Liteky began moving upright through the enemy fire, administering last rites to the dying and evacuating the wounded. Noticing another trapped and seriously wounded man, Chaplain Liteky crawled to his aid. Realizing that the wounded man was too heavy to carry, he rolled on his back, placed the man on his chest and through sheer determination and fortitude crawled back to the landing zone using his elbows and heels to push himself along. pausing for breath momentarily, he returned to the action and came upon a man entangled in the dense, thorny underbrush. Once more intense enemy fire was directed at him, but Chaplain Liteky stood his ground and calmly broke the vines and carried the man to the landing zone for evacuation. On several occasions when the landing zone was under small arms and rocket fire, Chaplain Liteky stood up in the face of hostile fire and personally directed the medivac helicopters into and out of the area. With the wounded safely evacuated, Chaplain Liteky returned to the perimeter, constantly encouraging and inspiring the men. Upon the unit's relief on the morning of 7 December 1967, it was discovered that despite painful wounds in the neck and foot, Chaplain Liteky had personally carried over 20 men to the landing zone for evacuation during the savage fighting. Through his indomitable inspiration and heroic actions, Chaplain Liteky saved the lives of a number of his comrades and enabled the company to repulse the enemy. Chaplain Liteky's actions reflect great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.
That's the real shit right there.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Hiatus Week found your cell phone
I drew a picture of the Hulk in an outhouse this morning in my check-in meeting, and I thought I would share it with you. Because I care.
Sorry about the poor image quality; our work scanner sucks it. You hear that, Facilities/Tech? Get down here and swap out this scanner so I can post stuff on my blog, damn it!*
*In the interest of self-preservation, I should say that the above paragraphs are untrue - I did not, nor will I ever use company resources for personal use. Thank you.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Hiatus Week will strike you in the groin!
Monday, May 22, 2006
Hiatus Week Drags On Still
I was digging through some old folders of notes and sketches and crap in Dave's Long Box World Headquarters and found this stuff. I love Halloween, and always decorate my house to some degree. My ambition has been growing over the past few years, and this Halloween I'm going to do a kick-ass owl theme, with owl pumpkins and spooky stuffed owls with glowing eyes and owl calls on the soundtrack and all kinds of crazy shit. Unless I change my mind; I am a fickle S.O.B..
Some time in 2004 I drew a bunch of designs for my "yard haunt," none of which came to fruition. I think I may have been overly ambitious with some of these ideas...
Friday, May 19, 2006
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Hiatus Week has a splinter! Oww!
Hiatus Week is still going
Still on hiatus, so not a lot of posts this week (that joke is quickly growing old, isn't it?).
I drew this yesterday in my work group's daily check-in meeting. I loves me the Mad Harriet.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
My Hiatus Continues
Since this is a sketch, Northstar has been reduced to a couple of scratchy lines and Sunfire looks goofy as hell. That's supposed to be his hand on fire there - trust me on this. And what's up with Sunfire's goggles? Shouldn't they be reflecting the light from his poorly drawn flaming hand? Yes.
Man, who doesn't dig Doc Samson? Kids love him. Putting Doc in an X-Men book is like printing money. Why can nobody see this?
Monday, May 15, 2006
Still on hiatus; still not posting regularly.
I try to make a "to do list" every day at work to stress myself out even further. There's nothing like starting the morning by enumerating all the shit I won't be able to get to that day. To make the bitter pill go down easier, I often sketch or embellish my "to do list." Giant monsters are often involved. There are few things in life that can not be improved with the addition of a giant monster.
That's my new motto, right there.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Hiatus Week Rolls On!
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Still on Hiatus
Here's a sketch I did in a boring meeting about well, POS generated send checks, apparently. If memory serves there weren't enough chairs so I got to sit in the corner and draw. I'm a tactile learner, okay? I was engaged and listening the entire time.
I guess I was going to write something in that empty box, but I can't recall. Something terribly witty, I'll bet!
Friday, May 12, 2006
More Hiatus Week
And Holy Mother, what is with Superman's arm? It's growing straight out of his chest. Nice anatomy, Campbell.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Hiatus Week Continues!
Here is a cross-section drawing of Alpha Flight attacking The Master's subterranean lair that I did during a gruelling all-day career seminar. I was paying attention the whole time, I swear. Look at the tiny little Alpha Flight guys, aren't they cute?
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Hiatus Week Begins!
As X-Men Week staggers gasping across the finish line, it's time for a little break from blogging. I've been hella busy recently and posting has suddenly changed from Fun to Work and that Sucks. I don't want the quality of the posts to slip below the current subterranean level, and who wants to read joyless hackery? Plus, I have a project I need to work on that could kick ass, but only if I give it some time and some Dave Love.
So I'll be taking a break for a week or so, but fear not! I'll be posting sketches that I've done in my notebooks during boring meetings at work (see below), so that may be amusing. That's what passes for content these days...
See you soon!
Monday, May 08, 2006
Why Gambit Sucks
Bitching about X-Men comics is a cherished tradition among X-Men comics. Each fan has a unique and deeply held notion of their ideal X-Men comic, even if they can only articulate it by defining what they don’t like, which is easy and fun. I am no exception.
Here, then, is my Least Favorite X-Man, or rather, The X-Man That Sucks The Most. I had to limit my choice to one X-Man, so I didn’t pick Maggot, Bishop, Marrow, Revanche, Stacy X, or Banshee. You heard me: Banshee sucks, although not hard enough to be included on my list.
Who, then, is the X-Man That Sucks The Most?
O God, how Gambit sucks ass.*
I should just leave it at that. What else is there to say? Everybody agrees with me. It’s gone beyond common knowledge, past conventional wisdom, and has become a cosmic law: Gambit sucks ass.
Gambit was originally created by writer Chris Claremont as a dashing mutant master thief during one of the less memorable eras of Uncanny X-Men history, and has evolved over the years into a complex, nuanced three-dimensional douche bag.
Look at him. Look at him! I wish Gambit were real so I could punch him in the throat. Aside from Miss Piggy, Pee Wee Herman, Lucy from Peanuts, Luxwana Troi, E.T., and Mister Furley from Three’s Company, there is no fictional character that inspires as much hatred in me. Carrot Top doesn’t count, he’s all too real.
Gambit, like the other X-Men That Suck The Most, has stupid powers, a hideous character design, and is Uncool on a deep, genetic level.
Look at him. Gambit wears purple body armor, an overcoat, and a partial head condom. He butches up his look with fingerless gloves and a permanent five o’clock shadow, but he still looks like a ballet dancer trying to act hard. The one thing they got right about Gambit’s costume: knee pads.
Plus, his powers! The guy can “charge up” objects, turning them into energy bombs. Gambit carries packs of cards which he charges up and throws at people. That’s right: he throws playing cards made of glowing purple energy.
That is stupid.
How far can he throw those explosive cards, anyway? I mean, I can flick a card about ten or fifteen feet, tops – if I were Gambit, I would have blown myself up a long time ago. Me, I’d pick something more suited for throwing than cards, like tennis balls or marbles or something, but I guess that wouldn’t look as cool.
The other really annoying thing about Gambit is his thick Cajun accent. To convey his accent, writer Chris Claremont wrote all Gambit’s dialogue phonetically, much like he does with the Southern X-Man Rogue. The effect is just as annoying on Gambit – moreso, actually, because I like to imagine Rogue saying, “Sugah, you’re just gonna have ta spank my naughty bottom!” which is a mitigating factor.
Anyway, Gambit’s dialogue is written in such a way that it makes everything he says sound stupid. It doesn’t help that he’s always talkin’ bout gumbo and crawdads and moonshine and de big swamp gator named Ol’ Man Larou dat bit his pappy’s leg clean off, chere, like you rip a wing from de T’anksgivin’ turkey, n’cest pas? See? Don’t you want to punch Gambit, now?
The main reason why I am one of millions of people on this planet who don’t like Gambit is something I call The Richard Gere Factor. I like labeling things.
Put simply, the Richard Gere Factor is a form of typecasting and brand identity that prevents men from identifying/liking a male performer or character. In Gambit’s case, he has allowed his brand to erode from dashing rogue to kissing Rogue – he has become a romantic foil instead of a sneaky ne’er-do-well. He’s more Tom Jones than Indiana Jones.
The Richard Gere factor is named after the man himself. It all started with American Gigiolo** and kept rolling from there. After decades of roles as the love interest in – forgive me – chick flicks, Gere is now more of a lady’s man than a man’s man, and the same thing has happened to Gambit. The male reader or viewer subconsciously perceive Gere and Gambit as rivals, as a threat, and as a result, we hate them for it.
It’s too late for them.
We will never see Richard Gere as one of The Guys, no matter how many movies like First Knight or The Jackal he makes. No guy is going to go see a movie just because Richard Gere is in it. You will never hear this conversation:
Man #1: “Hey, I hear there’s a new movie about ballroom dancing out this weekend. We should check that shit out.”
Man #2: “No fucking way, dude.”
Man #1: “Richard Gere is in it.”
Man #2: “What time is it playing?”
Incidentally, The Richard Gere Factor is the polar opposite of The Kurt Russell Factor. Guys love Kurt Russell; it’s why they keep putting him in movies. Observe:
Man #1: “Dude, we should catch that movie Dreamer, the one about the little girl and the horse that taught a family to love again.”
Man #2: “Fuck no we shouldn’t.”
Man #1: “It’s got Kurt Russell and Kris Kristoferson.”
Man #2: “Let us do this thing!!!”
With Gambit, the Richard Gere Factor is in full effect. The number of panels featuring him enjoying a candlelight dinner or snuggling with Rogue now outweighs the panels in which he kicks somebody’s ass or does something cool. He’s lost it. We just see him as Rogue’s boyfriend, and that’s not a good thing, because they both talk funny and make no damn sense:
Man, I want to reach into that panel and slap those two kids dizzy.
I think I’ve made my point: Gambit sucks ass.
* I'm sorry if Gambit is your favorite character. Don't take it personally, I don't think you suck ass. Come here, give me a big hug.
**The exception to The Richard Gere Factor is An Officer and a Gentleman, a movie that rules on all levels.
Friday, May 05, 2006
How can Wolverine swim?
The dude has strips of metal grafted to the major bones of his body; that's got to add some weight. The adamantium grafted on to Wolverine's skeleton is often described as "unbreakable," but I've never seen it described as "incredibly light." Wolverine's strong - anyone would be if they had to lug all that extra metal around. Mr. T, for instance. But is Wolverine strong enough to actually... swim?
Nay! He'd sink like a stone.
If I were on the Hellfire Club or something, the next time Wolverine attacked our mansion I would just throw a few donuts and a six-pack of Labatt's into the deep end of the Olympic-size pool in the basement and call it good.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
NEW X-MEN "E IS FOR EXTINCTION" Marvel Comics, 2002
Grant Morrison's comic books freak me out.
I'm a huge fan of his work, but I only picked up a few single issues of Morrison's legendary run on New X-Men. The ghostly voice of Yoda said to me, "Wait for the trades you must, hmn? Better value, it is. Satisfying more, eh?" I've learned it's best to always listen to the spooky disembodied voice of Frank Oz, which has never steered me wrong (the possible exception being an attempted dine-and-dash in a Moses Lake, WA diner. Bad call, Yoda.)
Anyway, I picked up the trades and I loved them, particularly the issues with Frank Quitely art. I love Frank Quitely, probably more than XXXX does, and I think his art perfectly compliments Morrison's script; it just has the right vibe. And that vibe is freaky as hell.
My favorite storyline is collected in a trade paperback called e is for extinction. The first three issues of Morrison's run introduce a new X-Men villain, who freaks me the hell out: Cassandra Nova.
Cassandra Nova is Charles Xavier's miscarried twin sibling, whom he tried to kill inside his mother's womb. That's right, fetus war. They were brawling in there, throwing little fetus elbows and fetus headbutts. As I understand it, the, um, discarded biological material that would become Cassandra Nova grew in a sewer, fed by powerful mutant psi energy. Now she's a hideous bald freak with godlike telepathic powers who is insanely, dangerously evil. Cassandra is basically Professor X's evil twin, but saying it like that sort of diminishes her freakiness.
In this story, Cassandra Nova causes the death of tens of millions of mutants, makes people bleed from the nose, and puts Cyclops in the Black Bug Room, which is not cool. That's just for starters, baby - in Marvel's trade paperback Imperial she takes genocide to a galactic level. Plus, she looks scary. Look at her! Man, she freaks me the hell out.
Cassandra has found a huge Master Mold factory in the rain forest, and intends to use it. The factory produces robots, but not just any kind of robots. It makes Sentinels, and Sentinels exterminate mutants. No good can come of this.
The leather-clad X-Men Cyclops and Wolverine drop in on Nova's Sentinel hive, and after much violent hikinks, they get the drop on the bald freak. Or have they?
Here's a few poorly scanned panels of the extermination:
Nova gains access to Cerebra, but is stopped by the timely arrival of Emma Frost, the White Queen, who snaps her neck. Nova twitches on the ground...
...and then Professor X takes out a revolver and shoots Cassandra Nova multiple times.
As will later be revealed, Cassandra Nova psychically possessed Xavier, swapping bodies just as her neck was being snapped. Nova, in Xavier's body, shoots Xavier, in Nova's body. Things get worse: The Beast gets beaten with a baseball bat (that should be a Ramones song), Nova gets a hold of a fleet of spaceships and an army of superhuman aliens, lots of people die.
I really dig Cassandra Nova because she seems genuinely frightening and dangerous. She's not scary because she may do bad things, she's scary because she does do bad things. Nova wipes out tens of millions of mutants and the X-Men can't stop her. In most superhero comics, the whole point is for the hero to stop the bad guy from killing tens of millions of people - in Morrison's X-Men, it's done just to establish how evil Cassandra Nova is. I really dug the whole Genoshan genocide thing - that sounds horrible, I know - because there shouldn't be that many mutants in the world. I always though Genosha as a mutant paradise sort of undermined the core concept of the X-Men - you know, hated and feared by the humans they defend?
Grant Morrison's work freaks me out because it shares the qualities that many of my favorite childhood books had, that alchemy of gee-whiz adventure and soul-shriveling cosmic terror that I loved so much. There is a wonder and awe in his work that is only matched by danger and menace, that sense of horrors beyond human ken. Remember the Scissor Men, from Doom Patrol? Freaky as hell.
Morrison's work is like Willy Wonka crossed with H.P. Lovecraft, or H.R. Puffenstuff crossed with Hunter S. Thompson. It's like reading a Roald Dahl book in a hash den while someone watches shrill Japanese cartoons in the other room and the smoke stings your eyes and somebody is arguing in French outside and your head is floating, floating...
It's just like that.
Monday, May 01, 2006
Plus, I got an email from a sick boy in a hospital - a kid by the name of Kevin Church who says he's Gambit's #1 Fan and would love to see me do a post about the ragin' Cajun. I can't let that brave little man down, so X-Men Week must continue! This is for you, Lil' Kevin!