Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tuesday--after the weekly Union Square appointment--I went to Forbidden Planet. I'm trying to find more graphic novelist/artist/illustrators that I like, people I can steal ideas from for this latest series of drawing. Preferably artists working in black and white, and wordlessly (although that's less of a concern.) I don't really know dick about graphic artist/comic book guys. I know for certain that I have almost zero interest in contemporary superhero stuff. (Jack Kirby, Alex Toth, Fletcher Hanks--I'm still interested in those guys.) I spent about a 30 minutes randomly picking out and flipping through the non-hero books. Most of them were uniformly bad: poorly executed or juvenile and crude in subject matter, or both, or just dull panel after dull panel of people sitting around a table and chatting, filling word balloons with inane introspection. Obviously, this is just a mere sampling of the hundreds of books on the shelves there . . . but it wasn't encouraging.
I did end up getting a small Jim Woodring book, The Portable Frank. I've known about Woodring since 1998 when he created the El Oso album cover (right) for Soul Coughing. I was actually kind of crazy about his work in 2000-2001 and it had a decent (though, I think, unnoticeable) impact on the Married to the Sea drawings I put together in 2001-2002. But he kind of faded off as I started thinking I should move more in the fine art direction. Now, however, he seems ripe for purloining again. The roaming, dream-like narratives and, man, that fucking line quality! Not so much the quality of the characters but of the things in this world. The clouds, the furniture, the building . . . great stuff. Totally stealable. I'm a little put off to the cartoonish-ness of it but the disturbing nature of the stories strips the sweetness away nicely.
The other artist that struck me (unsurprisingly) is R. Crumb, post-1980 or so, when he'd matured a bit and was creating more autobiographical stuff. (This isn't quite what I'm talking about but it'll do, pig.) I'd like to get started on down that road--really digging into his work--at some point this summer.
I'm digging around on the interboogie, trying to find blogs that combine images/narrative. Not much luck finding anything so far. Of course, I've found countless artist's websites and blog--and that's very inspirational--but nothing specifically that's what I'm looking for. Which is probably why I'm going to have to make it myself. Right?
Other stuff: I watched The Point! Monday night. Never heard of it before. Music by Harry Nilsson (including a song I recognized from a Jellyfish cover), narrated by Ringo Starr, featuring the voice of Mike Lookinland as Oblio (I think), the main character, as well as voice actors whose names I don't know but whose voices I certainly do: they were all over the Schoolhouse Rock shorts. I can still hear one of the voices as some weird animated cowboy-thing, shouting at me about how to make healthy popsicles using orange juice, toothpicks and plastic wrap and sticking the whole thing in the freezer. (Does anyone else know what I'm talking about here? These weren't exactly Schoolhouse Rock things but more like public service announcement that aired near the ends of cartoon, promoting healthy foods, etc. I can't find anything on the internet about this.)
Both before and after yoga, I also managed to slog my way through Tropic Thunder (no link for you, bad movie) which was PROFOUNDLY overhyped. Funny, yes, in parts and Robert Downey, Jr. is great (but he's been pretty great for 20+ years now) but it was barely 10% above your average Ben Stiller movie. I'm not going to waste too much time on this but it was presented as some kind of parody of the explodo-action genre but it wasn't a particularly clever parody, or interesting parody, or smart in it's approach to parody. It was essentially an action movie reframed as a broad comedy with only slightly more mugging at the camera to let the audience know it was parodic. And the Tom Cruise cameos? Honestly, who gives a shit? Man.