Saturday, March 03, 2007

52 thoughts, part 1

We are entering the home stretch of 52. It's been a great ride so far, but I can't help but to think that the real action hasn't even begun yet.

World War III is coming, and Black Adam is riding at the front of that storm. The Four Horsemen are wrecking havoc across Kahndaq, and with the latest developments with his family we have to think that Teth-Adam may be just a wee bit on the majorly pissed off side.

52 has been an interesting experiment which has altered the way that the big two companies are looking at their comics. The Weekly format has been very successful for DC, and it was done without showcasing any of the "major" characters of the DC Universe. Now we'll continue the weekly format once 52 is complete with Countdown, this one with a lot more character oomph involved.

Of course, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. For now let's look back on 52 as we enter the home stretch.

1. Ralph Dibny's story appears to be complete. Despite all of the complaining about this character's actions during 52, this has been great Ralph Dibny goodness. His story ended with a bang bigger than anyone could have expected for the funny, stretchy detective.

2. Rene Montoya has earned a fan in me. Her journey throughout this title has been the emotional backbone of the series. I am looking forward to her pursuit of the Questions in life.

3. Steel has emerged from this a great hero, despite starting off the series very, very slow.

4. Batwoman is still a waste of space.

5. I still fear for Starfire in this series. I really hope that she makes it out OK.

6. There are no bad characters, only bad execution. With the right writers any character can be interesting. Case in point - Egg Fu. I am impressed that this writing crew managed to take one of the silliest comics creations ever and re-invented him as a truly frightening, creepy villain. Chang Tzu has entered the 21st Century!

7. Super Chief...we hardly knew ye! You shall be missed.

more later

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Black Canary / Green Arrow

Black Canary and Green Arrow.

Why is it that I get so worked up over the two of them getting back together in the comics?

Well, let's just get it out of the way that they are comic book characters, and I shouldn't get bent out of shape over something so silly, but I enjoy it, so frak off! :p

Black Canary is my favorite female character in comics. Not just DC comics, but comics overall. She's one of my favorite fictional characters ever. She is present throughout the history of the DCU like few others, having her Mother be in the JSA, to grow up around them and then to break out on her own in the JLA. She's the ultimate legacy character in that she's touched several generations. I still wish that she would not have been yanked out of the JSA to become a supporting character in Green Arrow, and that is part of the reason why I do not like the rumored coupling of these characters again.

Green Arrow is a smarmy bastard. I'm not saying that I don't like the character, but he's not a good man. I don't think that he deserves Black Canary, and it would be foolish of her to go back to him. That's my visceral reaction.

Now...from all indications, Green Arrow has grown as a character over recent years. There is no secret that the secret cabal running the DC universe (G. Johns, D. Didio, M. Waid, G. Morrison, V. Rogers, etc) favor taking characters back to their roots. Back to what made them great to begin with...and let's face it - Green Arrow and Black Canary are one hell of a couple when they're on.

But at some point the grimness that perpetuated comics for so long destroyed that. In order to make Green Arrow more "interesting" he became a philandering jerk, sleeping with any woman in distance of his bow. People (even fictional ones) make mistakes, but the bigger mistake with Green Arrow was that this horndog nature became a defining characteristic for him. There's no way that the character of Black Canary could stay with him and still be a strong character in her own right.

So, how do they fix that? Do they ignore it? Does Zatanna make Ollie change his cheating ways?

No and no. Ollie grows up. That's the only solution, and I think that DC is doing that. I think that DC is making Ollie want to be a better man to deserve Black Canary again - the spark is still there between them, as most recently seen in 52, and where there's a spark, a fire can be rekindled.

Both characters are great on their own, and honestly, I'd like to see them stay that way...but I can be convinced otherwise.

Three requests for DC that would sway me in that direction:

1) keep the progression between the two of them natural, and don't use them getting back together as an "event."

2) rename the Green Arrow title to be "Green Arrow/Black Canary"

3) If you're determined to keep Winnick on the title, please give him a co-writer. Better yet, turn the whole project over to Marc Andreyko or Sean McKeever.


I'm back!

JMPTX: Welcome to 2007, James! Where have you been? Why are you interviewing yourself in the third person?

James: Hi there, me! On the advise of my attorneys I cannot answer those questions at this time.

JMPTX: Fair enough. So, now that you're back are you going to keep posting some paintings and complain about things in the world?

James: Well, I'm not posting many paintings now, not while I have some things in the works. I will say that I'm happier with what I've been doing lately, and I feel that I've gotten out of the re-introduction mode of painting that you've seen so far. I've been working on several commissions, and I will post those (with the new owner's approval) once the sales are final. As for the complaining: not so much. I just don't have as much use for it.

JMPTX: Interesting - so why the hell are we here?

James: Well, I'm going to focus on the things that I like, such as the goings-on in the DC Universe of Comics, as well as other Comic topics.

JMPTX: What's on your mind these days?

James: Well, the big thing, of course, is that 52 is winding down...and then DC is counting down. Looking forward to that!

JMPTX: But not all is peachy, eh?

James: "Eh?" What are you, Canadian?

JMPTX: Shut up, hoser!

James: Great, now you'll be saying things like "aboot," won't you.

JMPTX: ....dude, I'm you. Why are you arguing with you?

James: Self-loathing.

JMPTX: That's acceptible. So, when are you starting on the new Comics thoughts?

James: Right after this interview is over.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"Bloom" and Katrina OYL

Something I did really quickly last night. I like the colors.

Well, it is One Year Later in terms of Hurricane Katrina, and by reading some accounts on the internet and seeing them on TV you'd think that the entire nation forgot about this event up until now. Oh boy, and is all of the self-righteous fury flowing freely. For those of us who live in areas that were affected by this and Rita to this day, these johnny-reminded-lately morons full of indignant rage thowing around simplistic blame are amongst the most nauseating humans on the planet.

Yahoo has this article on their front page:

Old news to us, but I'm glad that someone else is talking about it. What so many of the morons don't realize is that Katrina did not just affect "New Orleans," so anytime I hear or read a comment that leads off like that I pretty much dismiss that person's opinion as being ignorant.

So many things need to change after what happened last year, and not much has happened. Here in Texas and in the Houston area we are moving ahead with concrete plans, but we're encountering resistance from Austin and other Texas cities such as Dallas. Of course, we have strong leaders like Mayor Bill White and Judge Robert Eckles here, while the others...well - the less said the better.

There won't even be a blip on the radar on the anniversary of Rita, I'm sure. And you can forget about Wilma (if you hadn't already!).

Monday, August 21, 2006

Busy day

Here's another one for today -

Back to my dark colors! Much better! Not my favorite silhouette, but I like the coloring to this one. I may try a larger version with these colors and that pose. This background is the one I did the other night which I posted a few days ago if you'll recall.

Well, I made my first fantasy football transaction today. I dropped TJ Duckett (who didn't go to the Jets) and picked up the Texans' Vernand Morency, whom I think will have a great year. I'm hoping for a couple good games out of him until Portis is healthy, and on a non-fantasy front, I'm thrilled with his first showing this season for the Texans! He really does have good breakaway speed and he has great field vision. Of course, we're looking at a RB-by-committee situation here in Houston, but I think that Morency will get the bulk of the carries.

Holy Frijole! Where are the dark colors?

Where are the Dark Colors?!?!?!?!?!?

I made a challenge to myself a couple days ago to paint something that was not in the earth tones and dark colors I am comfortable with...and this was the result. Very basic, nothing special to look at, but hey - I am not a bright color person!

I did like the combo of those colors and I'm going to have to do something that blends them more than what you see here. I'm not the biggest fan of exact boundaries when it comes to painting, which is why you will usually see my stuff a mess of blending. The only real exception is silhouettes, and I am currently working on a few of those.

It's kind of funny - I am such a comic art fan, but I have absolutely no aptitude for comic art. Much like everyone who has ever read comics, I tried my hand at drawing some when I was a kid. I had such titles as the Surrealists, the Bunny Assassins and the the incredible adventures of Otto Tuck, Paranormal Plastic Surgeon.

Hmm...perhaps it was best for comics that I wasn't a good comic artist!

Speaking of actual "good" comics - we are only two days away from learning at least part of the new JLA lineup. I'm hoping for some, and hoping against others. I don't think that we'll see Nightwing make the League on this go-around, but I'm pretty sure that we will see a Titan or two in the lineup. I'm guessing either Roy Harper or Cyborg.

Obviously, I want Black Canary in there, but not Green Arrow. I want Hawkman, but not Hawkgirl. I want John Stewart as the GL, not Hal Jordan. I want Zatanna and I don't want a magician who is not Zatanna. We'll see what happens, I'm sure.

As for 52 - if you haven't read it by now then don't read past this....

I think it was a mistake to kill of Booster Gold. Talk about having one of the most relevant superheroes in comics right now! In today's NASCAR, Celebrity-Worship, Reality-TV world, a guy like Booster just makes sense. Nevermind that the Anti-JLI vendetta continues - it is dumb to kill of a character just because you may not like them, and that's what I'm reading with the interviews with Didio on the subject. Oh - and I really, really hope that Supernova is not an alternate universe version of Booster, because that would be incredibly lame at this point.

OK - Off to do more painting. I'm taking a break from this bright color stuff tho - just not me, I'm afraid!

Friday, August 18, 2006

A colorful update!

Another Friday Update!

This is the one from a few days ago that I was ready to junk, if not for the fact that someone who's opinion I value greatly saw some potential in it. It's still not a favorite, but I did have fun finishing it off. I stopped short of adding ruby-red lips, thinking that would have been overkill. It's amazing how adding a few different things changes the entire image. Compare this to a few posts back where I had the original. The Gold and Silver changed this image completely, making the colors much more vibrant, in my opinion.

I still need to figure out lighting on these pictures a bit better, because some of this is still lost in the translation. Regardless, this one will move from the WiP file to the finished folder!

Mid-Day update


OK, this is the one I was working on last night that I hadn't planned to revisit until later. Honestly? I didn't know where I was going with it. Then I'm sitting there looking at it, and all of the sudden I thought that it looked like Jesus. I hadn't set out to do a painting of Jesus...but here we are! This was a good lesson for me - don't just throw something away because initially you aren't happy with it.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

"What the hell are you thinking???" or 2 more works in progress...

Two more paintings that I'm working on at the moment. The first is almost complete, and the second one is just at the background stage. I will go back and work on the second one after I finish this entry, and I'll complete the first one tomorrow at some point.

Well, I completed my first fantasy football draft of the year earlier this evening! I am once again in too many leagues for my own good, but not all are pay leagues, so it's just a time waster more than anything. Anyway - in this league I'll be going into battle with:

QB - Eli Manning
RB - Clinton Portis (whom I did not know was injured)
RB - Edgerrin James
WR - Tory Holt
WR - Andre Johnson
WR - Deion Branch
TE - Jeremey Shockey
K - Neil Rackers
DST - Da Bearsss!

My bench consists of:

QB - Michael "Ron Mexico" Vick
RB - TJ "Soon to be a Jet" Duckett
WR - Reggie "TO's replacement" Brown
WR - Ernest "Where's Jimmy?" Wilford
WR - Laverneaus "And Shirley" Coles
WR - Nate "Insert Nickname Here" Burleson
DST - Denver

There's a three RB cap in this league, but I should be able to pick up another if CP is on the injured list to begin the season. I'm thinking Frank "No Relation to Al" Gore will have a good season. draft down, a few more to go! I think my next painting will be entitled "overwhelmed" and it will just consist of paint splatters on all of my war room notes!

I do need to drop one of my many WR's to get a tight end to play in week four when the Giants are off.

Anyway - time to get back to the canvas. I'm really enjoying this and I hope to have the website up and running by November....oh...have I neglected to mention that? Oops! More details on that later!

A quick comics note - RIP to one of my favorite characters growing up. We've seen the end of one Golden age it would seem. I read Didio's comments on that decision and it makes me wonder if they realize what the world is like outside of comics...eesh! Bad call, DC!

Oh, and JLA was delayed, as was Civil War and Wonder Woman....looks like late comics are acceptible for both companies these days.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

"Falling" and a work in progress

This one is called "Falling." It should be apparant why! I love earth tones, and I love silhouettes, so it's only natural that I may combine the two. This actually shows up on a lot of my stuff (and not merely limited to earth tones). The silhouette can be a powerful way of capturing an action without making the picture appear too busy, in my opinion.
Now this one...this one I'm not sure about yet. I'm trying to play around with more colors, but even when I do that I seem to retreat back to my dark tones. This is very much a work in progress at this point. I know what I want to do with it...but I don't think I'm quite ready to pick it up again. I may try another variation of the same image at some point. I'll keep you, my loyal, non-existant readers, up to date as I go.

Actually - there is one person whom I know reads this blog with semi-regularity, and she is actually quite a fan of the above image. I may need to finish this one off just for her!

I am issuing myself a challenge for the weekend - do a painting with no crimson, no beige, no orange and very little black! I don't know if I can do it!

In lighter news...butane prices have dropped.

hehehe...I never get tired of that joke!