Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What a crazy random happenstance!

So I finally checked out Joss Whedon's dramedy "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" starring Nathan Fillion (Mal!) and Neil Patrick Harris (NPH! Barney! Doogie Howser!) and Felicia Day (Vi!) Is it perfect? Heavens no, but it IS entertaining. And it looks like it cost $15 to make. And I totally want a pair of Horrible goggles now.

Check it.

Thank you, interwebs.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

PRSA Winner

Tonight my coworkers and I attended the 50th Annual PRSA awards. For those who don't know, each chapter of Public Relations Society of America hosts a nice banquet every year for the Gold Pick Awards, which honors excellence in PR. We won two Silver Picks and a Gold Pick this year for our member magazine and for press releases related to our Spring Impressionism exhibition, respectively.

The dinner was more low key than I expected but chilling with my cohorts outside of the office is always fun and really, you can't say no to free food (baked chicken - YUM). And it's nice to be honored for doing a great job.

So kudos to us. Hoo-rah!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Yo peeps.

So this is the third week of my drawing class over at the Art Students League of Denver. I am enjoying the course immensely. Our teacher is using some techniques from the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards to teach us how to see. Drawing is all about seeing, being able to know in your mind the relationships between lines and shapes that make up objects. If you can see those relationships, you will produce more accurate drawings.

I know this from personal experience, as I have been drawing this way since I was a child. Until now though, I didn't realize you could write a whole book on the process, nor did it occur to me that some people don't know to do this. So all this time I've been ahead of the curve (sweet!) But now everyone can learn how to be better artists, which is way cool. Viva la drawing!

Here are some of the projects I have completed thus far:

I went to Civic Center Park and did a contour drawing of this flower (which was surrounded by a whole mess 'o bees!)

Here's my left hand.

And here's a funky outlining project that ate up two markers. It was fun though.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

John August's Scene Challenge

One of the most prolific bloggers and successful screenwriters online is launching his latest scene challenge tomorrow. Here are the deets.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Brad Meltzer Book Signing

Thursday I had the pleasure of attending a book signing featuring #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Brad Meltzer at Tattered Cover Highland Ranch.

And let me tell you, Brad is no wallflower. A whitty guy to be sure, he entertained the crowds with ancedotes about his life, previous books, comic book writing career and even the outfit he wore, starting off the evening by saying that only a loser would wear the same outfit as the photo in the book jacket of his current novel, The Book of Lies.

I purchased a copy of his graphic novel, Identity Crisis, and he even signed it "For Angela, My Hero." How cool is that? Pretty cool. If he's ever in your town buy a book and say hi, you won't regret it.

He also promoted an awesome charity to save the house where Superman was created -Ordinary People Change the World. Check it out and donate to save a great piece of Americana.

Cool Things I Found On The Net This Week

Word Balloon Podcast
Radio veteran John Siuntres speaks with comic writers and artists, animators, and film creators from all over the United States. Hilariously entertaining and often spireling into wacky out-of-control tangents, the podcast has featured such notable luminaries like Mike Mignola, Dwanye McDuffie, Brian Michael Bendis, Andrea Romano, Joe Quesada, and Brad Meltzer, to name but a few. This is one program that is worth your time - you'll learn about the creative process and be inspired at the same time. Shiny!

The Dreamer

Created by Lora Innes, The Dreamer tells the story of Bea, a high school senior with a penchant for theater who every night dreams of being involved in the revolutionary war between the Americans and the Brits. Lora is a history pro, having researched the time period extensively, and even uses real people from the time in her comic. Of all the web comics I've read, this is by far the most professionally created comic I've seen. And not only that, but every page COMES OUT ON TIME, which is almost unheard of on the Internet. Her comic is now available in print form from IDW Publishing and you can order it from your local comic book shop by using order code SEPT084131E.

Fey Winds
This week I found yet another excellent comic through Tomgeeks that is definitely worth your time. The story of Fey Winds, created by Nicole Chartrand, centers around the misadventures of Kit, not a fox, yet not a human, x xx and xxx as they try to find the special objects that will lift their various curses. It has your standard fantasy fair but with a sense of humor that is often lacking in these types of stories - OK, that is never there to begin with - and art that is fabulous. And if you really want to be impressed, check out Chartrand's 1 minute animated short she completed for her last year of college. Absolutely stunning.

This Week in Movie Awesome

This week I had the pleasure of seeing TWO films at the dollar cinema, the only way to watch a movie as far as I'm concerned, especially blockbuster summer spectacles that looked iffy in the previews. If you can get passed the sticky floors and not so great projector quality, you'll have a mighty fine time.

First film: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

I saw Indiana Jones KOTCS on Tuesday, officially making me one of the last humans in America to see the most current enstallment of the renergized franchise. And...well, it's no Raiders of the Lost Ark. Not by a looonnnggg shot. That did not diminish my enjoyment of the movie, but like Matt Fraction stated in his June Word Balloon interview, the more time passes after you watch this film, the less you like it.

And I totally get why.

See if you're like me - a child of the 80s - then you've no doubt seen Raiders a minimum of 15 times. MINIMUM. When we lived in California it came on KCAL 9 no less than once every 3 months, and I always caught it at the exact same spot (when Indy is in the desert, digging for the awesome built to scale city map). I remember watching the spirits ascend from the ark and liquify people behind the safety of the living room couch (the best place to watch any and all things scary). The music from the film is permanently embedded in my brain, right next to my collection of cartoon theme songs.

And yet, we are drawn to this film like a moth to a flame. Why? Because Indy is an icon, right up there with Bond, hotdogs and every other cliched American thing we can think of.

But friends, this is no Star Wars or Raiders. It's not even Temple of Doom, which is saying a lot, considering how exceedingly annoying the screaming woman was (really, is there anyone else who was sad that she didn't burn up in molten lava? I know I was.)

This, my friends, was an Indy movie that morphed into a weird hybrid of poor dialog, bland characterization, and National Treasure rip-off discovery with a bit of X-Files conspiracy thrown in for good measure. A funny film, but in a "Wow this is pretty ludicrous," sort of way, not unlike the poor fodder thrown to the robots of MST3K.

The sad thing is that there was absolutely no reason for it to be this bad. Harrison Ford, Shia LeBoef and Cate Blanchett are fine actors stuck in a badly written film with CGI monkeys. CGI monkeys. Really? Is that even necessary? And why is it that Cate's Russian spy sounded like Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle? I kept waiting for her to bust out with "Must capture moose and squirrel!"

Team Lucas/Spielberg didn't fare so well with this one. Which by no means will influence whether I see any more of their movies. Because I will. Because that's how myself and every other person in the 18-49 demographic roll. Darn you, Star Wars and Raiders, we shall never be free from your death grip of awesome.

Film two: Hellboy II: The Golden Army

On the complete opposite side of the spectrum was last night's film, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, which I also had near zero expectations of and was greatly impressed by the story as well as the creatures. Seriously, Guillermo del Toro makes Jim Henson's creature shop look like child's play.

Del Toro and Mike Mignola are cut from the same cloth. And you can definitely see how the director's work in Pan's Labyrinth plays out in this film.

The best character by far was the Angel of Death, a beautifully creepy creation. I would like nothing better than to meet Guillermo and see the innerworkings of his mind when he creatues such fantastic monsters. Never have I seen an angel look like this.

And not just the angel, but all of the creatures were fantastic, from the lovely yet strange Elves to the reinvisioning of Tooth Fairies as sadistic little buggers.

The best part of all of these creations is that they are not only scary, but beautiful in an odd way. They are more than monsters, each with their own motivations and feelings for why they do what they do, not unlike Frankenstein's monster.

The supporting cast of creepies nearly overshadow everyone else, but all of them pull their weight nicely, particularly Ron Perlman as the cigar chomping Hellboy and Abe Sapien, who is given a little romance this time around.

The flaw of the film though is that the theme is not given enough screen time.
Prince Neuda makes an interesting argument to Hellboy, why fight against your own for those who will hate you when you can join those who will view you as a god? It's a rather compelling argument, given Hellboy's appearance (he's not named Hellboy for nothing you know), the fact that his best friend is a fish hybrid and his girl is pyrokentic which a propensity for blowing up buildings. It's also a theme that
deserved more screen time, as it is mentioned only briefly after the Elemental fight scene and then becomes no more than an afterthought. Considering that this was truly the heart of the film, I am surprised that Del Toro did not give it the consideration it deserved.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Lots and Lots Going On

Oh geez and it never stops, you know?

August 2008 will officially be known henceforth as the month that went CRAZYTOWN.

So many things going on - most important is that I will be hunting for another job soon, which makes me sad but it was a great run and I look forward to the next assignment.

And I am now taking another drawing class! Very excited about this. My teacher is fab. I've learned a great deal and I've only been to one class so far.

As for screenwriting, after taking a month hiatus I'm now back in the saddle rewriting "Quest for the Soul Stone." I'm diving into writing better dialog and developing deeper relationships between the characters. I must say it is exciting and hard work and I am looking forward to entering it in contests this fall.

I would like to thank Joss Whedon and the cast of "Firefly" for showing me what awesome writing truly looks like. What a great show.

I remember that by the time I learned that the show had come out and that I should take a looksee that Fox cancelled it.

I'm sure they're still kicking themselves over that one. I must say that Zoe, Wash, and Mal are my favorites, they all tie for first place. Truly excellent characters indeed.

If you haven't seen the show yet, go buy it.

And if you're interested in seeing the awesome that is the writing team of this show, check out the Firefly Wiki where you can read actual scripts.