Wednesday, December 29, 2010

True Grit

True Grit [PG-13]

2010, Paramount

Grade: B

(adjustment for Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld): +1;
Jeff Bridges (as U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn): +1;
Pacing and somber ending: par (for the Coen Borthers’ directing and screen writing);
Horseback showdown: par;
Makes me want to read the original novel by Charles Portis: +1)

Final Grade: A

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 1

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 1 [PG-13]

2010, Warner Brothers

Grade: C

(adjustment for serial installment, if you’ve only seen the previous six films and have not read the books: -1;
Bad guys being bad: -1;
Good guys on the run: par;
The MacGuffins (a.k.a. the Horcruxes, a.k.a. the things everyone is looking for): par;
Screen time for all your favorite characters not named Harry, Hermione or Ron: -1)

Final Grade: D


Unstoppable [PG-13]

2010, 20th Century Fox

Grade: B.

(Adjustment for building tension: par;
How much do I care about these characters, Frank and Will (Denzel Washington and Chris Pine): -2;
Competent workers (Connie played by Rosario Dawson): +1;
Incompetent workers and callous executives: -1;
Things crash and get smashed: par)

Final Grade: C+

Friday, December 17, 2010

Galactic Empire State of Mind

“He’s got 99 problems but a Jedi ain’t one.”

Funny music video mashes up Star Wars and Jay Z
at College Humor:

Smart Objects - Photoshop tricks

You too can enjoy the powerful CONVERT TO SMART OBJECT option in the LAYERS pane in Photoshop®...

Three good reasons:

(1) You can convert a layer (or even better, a folder of layers) into a smart object, and then apply filters (like sharpen) on the result -- this allows you to apply filters/effects to an entire folder of layers... yet you can still double click the smart object and it is still a completely editable folder!

(2) You can convert type to a smart object and therefore the file doesn’t need the font. Double clicking the smart object opens it up as live type (in another window -- and yes... for THAT new window you will need the font to do any editing).

(3) Saving the best for last. You can work completely in RGB (as we know there’s a lot more options and control over color/effects in RGB. When you are happy with the file, put all the layers into a topmost folder (or alternatively just SELECT all the layers), and convert the folder (or the highlighted layers) into a smart object.

“But, Uncle Belt, we need to send it to print in CMYK!"”

Aha! You can then change mode to CMYK. Sadly all the colors will muddy up as typical with CMYK.... (but I’ve come up with a snazzy color profiles trick to “pop” the colors to almost as bright as in the RGB...).

OK, so you’re file is in CMYK for the printer.... but if you double-click the smart object, it will open a new window in RGB! Save it, and it saves the revised back into the main CMYK file...!

Warning: Converting things to smart objects WILL NOT make the file any smaller...

...also handy is RIGHT CLICKING on the smart object layer and doing a NEW SMART OBJECT VIA COPY... very different from simply DUPLICATING the smart object layer.

Tron: Legacy

Disney (2010)

Tron: Legacy [PG]

Grade: B

(Adjustment for Serialization: +1;
Jeff Bridges [Kevin Flynn, CLU]: +1;
Sam Flynn [played by Garrett Hedlund]: -1;
Story pace: -1;
Visual effects: par)
Final Grade: B

(3D: par) - Final 3D Grade: B

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Only Exception

The Only Exception
Songwriters: Josh Farro, Hayley Williams
Performed by Paramore
From “Brand New Eyes,” 2009

(verse 1)
When I was younger, I saw my daddy cry
And curse at the wind.
He broke his own heart and I watched
As he tried to reassemble it.

And my momma swore that
She would never let herself forget.
And that was the day that I promised
I’d never sing of love if it does not exist.

But darling,

You are the only exception.
You are the only exception.
You are the only exception.
You are the only exception.

(verse 2)
Maybe I know, somewhere deep in my soul
That love never lasts.
And we’ve got to find other ways to make it alone
Or keep a straight face.

And I’ve always lived like this
Keeping a comfortable distance.
And up until now I had sworn to myself that
I’m content with loneliness.
Because none of it was ever worth the risk.


you are the only exception.
You are the only exception.
You are the only exception.
You are the only exception.

I’ve got a tight grip on reality
But I can’t let go of what's in front of me here.
I know you’re leaving in the morning when you wake up
Leave me with some kind of proof, it’s not a dream.

oh, oh, oh...

You are the only exception.
You are the only exception.
You are the only exception.
You are the only exception.

You are the only exception
You are the only exception
You are the only exception
You are the only exception

And I’m on my way to believing.
Oh, and I’m on my way to believing.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kevin Tong / Mondo: The Blog

Poster by Kevin Tong. 24″x 36″ screen print w/ glow in the dark inks. 
Hand numbered. Edition of 400. 
Printed by D&L Screen Printing.

If you like interesting poster illustrations (like Kevin Tong’s above), check out Mondo: The Blog:

Don Morris

See the Illustrator's work at Alexander Pollard, inc. site:π=10000&s=15&p=8&a=0&at=0

Though of You

Thought of You from Ryan J Woodward on Vimeo.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Caroline Attia

See the artist/designer’s site:

Mid-Century Design Reference

A place to post *anything* illustrated, from the period spanning 1945-1965.

Dumpster Tales by Elwood H. Smith

In Elwood’s new animation, DUMPSTER TALES, he tells the poignant story of a mouse, a ball, and their veggie pals. It’s a little dark, characteristically offbeat, and darned funny. Elwood created the music, too. Take a look. I think you'll enjoy it.

Matthew Albanese

Willow Study 1

First in a series of studies using a handmade willow tree. The tree is made from sewing thread, sticks, wood and hand dyed ostrich plumes. Construction took two months. The grass is made from a mix of preserved and faux potting moss and dip dyed cotton batting.

“My work involves the construction of small-scale meticulously detailed models using various materials and objects to create emotive landscapes. Every aspect from the construction to the lighting of the final model is painstakingly pre-planned using methods which force the viewers perspective when photographed from a specific angle. Using a mixture of photographic techniques such as scale, depth of field, white balance and lighting I am able to drastically alter the appearance of my materials.”

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Garison Weiland

Check out the artist/illustrator’s site:

Shawn Nielsen

Día de los Muertos

Adventures in Potty Training, Parenting Magazine

Zoomily, Denver Zoo

Check out the artist/ illustrator’s site:

Punch n Cuddle

Punch‘n’Cuddle is what you get when you cross a beanbag with a cuddly toy & a punch bag.

Saul Bass

Legendary designer, Saul Bass, talks about art and commerce in this documentary

"I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares."

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pomplamoose - Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)

Pomplamoose perform Beyonce’s "Single Ladies”.

Pomplamoose - Beat It

Pomplamoose performs Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”.

Pomplamoose appear in recent Hyundai holiday television commercial ads.

Finally, a Mobile Phone for Senoirs

At Last, a Mobile Phone for Seniors!

You REALLY have to be OLD to appreciate THIS joke.

40 Years of Marriage

A married couple in their early 60s was celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary in a quiet, romantic little restaurant.

Suddenly, a tiny yet beautiful fairy appeared on their table.
She said, “For being such an exemplary married couple and for being loving to each other for all this time, I will grant you each a wish.”

The wife answered, “Oh, I want to travel around the world with my darling husband.”

The fairy waved her magic wand and - poof! - two tickets for the Queen Mary II appeared in her hands.

The husband thought for a moment: “Well, this is all very romantic, but an opportunity like this will never come again. I’m sorry my love, but my wish is to have a wife 30 years younger than me.”

The wife, and the fairy, were deeply disappointed, but a wish is a wish. So the fairy waved her magic wand and poof!...the husband became 92 years old.

The moral of this story: Men who are ungrateful bastards should remember fairies are female.....

Saturday, November 27, 2010


You have two cows.
Your neighbor has none.
You feel guilty for being successful. 

You push for higher taxes so the government can provide cows for everyone.

You have two cows.

Your neighbor has none.

You have two cows.

The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.
You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.

You have two cows.

The government seizes both and provides you with milk. 

You wait in line for hours to get only 2 Qts.
 It is expensive and sour.

You have two cows.
 You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.

You have two cows.

Under the new farm program the government pays you to shoot one, milk the other, and then pours the milk down the drain.

You have two cows.

You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the 2nd one.
You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows.
You are surprised when one cow drops dead.
You spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have downsized and are reducing expenses.

Your stock goes up.

You have two cows.

You go on strike because you want three cows.
You go to lunch and drink wine and then have sex.
Life is good.

You have two cows.

You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.  

They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains.

Most are at the top of their class at cow school.

You have two cows. 

You engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour.
Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.

You have two cows but you don't know where they are, or care.
You break for lunch.
Life is good.

You have two cows.
You have some vodka.

You count them and learn you have five cows.
You have some more vodka.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
The Russian Mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.

You have all the cows in Afghanistan, which are two. 

You don't milk them because you cannot touch any creature's private parts.
You get a $40 million grant from the US government to find alternatives to milk production but use the money to buy weapons.

You have two cows.
They go into hiding.
They send radio tapes of their mooing.

You have two bulls.
Employees are regularly maimed and killed attempting to milk them.

You have one cow.
The cow is schizophrenic.

Sometimes the cow thinks he's French, other times he's Flemish. 

The Flemish cow won't share with the French cow.
The French cow wants control of the Flemish cow's milk.
The cow asks permission to be cut in half.

The cow dies happy.

You have a black cow and a brown cow.
Everyone votes for the best looking one.
Some of the people who actually like the brown one best accidentally vote for the black one.
Some people vote for both.
Some people vote for neither.
Some people can't figure out how to vote at all.
Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state tell you which one you think is the best-looking cow.


1. The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

3. She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still.

4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.

5. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

6. No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.

7. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

8. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

9. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

11. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.

12. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

13. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One that said to the other, “You stay here, I’ll go on a-head.”

14. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

15. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: “Keep off the Grass.”

16. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, “No change yet.”

17. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

19. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium, at large.

20. The man who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is
now a seasoned veteran.

21. A backward poet writes in-verse.

22. In democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.

23. W hen cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

24. Don’t join dangerous cults, practice safe sects!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Tangled [PG]
Disney (2010)

Grade: B
(Adjustment for the balance between modern humor and classic story telling: +1;
The Probable Impossible (cartoon physics): +1;
Songs: par;
Justifiable homicide: +1;
Magic effects of magic: -1)

Final Grade: A-

Adjustment for 3-D: -1
Final 3-D Grade: B+

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Our Valued Customers

SEE who shops at the comic book store and HEAR what they're saying.

This site depicts REAL things said to me (or at least near me) by customers in the comic book shop that I work in. These are real people. This is what they look like and this is something that they actually said.


Skyline [PG-13]
Rogue Pictures (2010)

Grade: C
(Adjustment for story: par;
Alien creature and vehicle design: +1;
Fifteen minutes of character backstory: -1;
Dog fight: par;
RUN!: +1)

Final Grade: C+


Megamind [PG]
Dreamworks (2010)

Grade: B
(Adjustment for actual story compared to that suggested in the commercial ads: +1;
Minion (David Cross): +1;
Dreamworks Animation’s character designs: -1;
Sountdtrack: par;
“Forget Me Stick”: +1)

Final Grade: A-

Sunday, November 14, 2010

James Corbett - sculptor

Auto Parts Art - Clever people everywhere but this is an Australian with an eye for the unusual!

These items below were all fabricated from junked 1950 and 1960 automobile parts by a gentleman in Australia.

Check out all the Spark Plugs!

James Corbett uses remnants of old cars of the 1950s and ’60s.

This is the man that converts scrapped parts of cars into sculptures worth thousands of dollars. The 46-year-old Australian artist James Corbett, creates these sculptures using salvaged old car parts.

One of the pieces, a ram made from spark plugs, sold for a whopping $23,000

His sculptures are made of gears, spark plugs, exhausts, radiators, anything that the artist can salvage.

After spending weeks dedicated to locate suitable pieces, James meticulously cleans every part and welds them together.

He said: “I was working in a warehouse of scrap and a guy I know, that races stock cars, showed me a Trophy winner, ‘Fact with levers of change.’ I looked at it and I thought that I could do a much better job so I started making my own sculptures.”

“After a period of time, people began to become more and more into what I was doing and now what do I with my life, is a dream come to reality.”

“On average, each piece takes a little over two weeks of work, but the larger pieces can take much longer,” he says.

Corbett lives in Ningi, Queensland, Australia with his wife Jodie.

Sculptures using pieces of old cars; the French and British cars are James’ favorites to retrieve.

James says that welding of the parts, and the construction of the sculpture is not what consumes most time of the artist.

“Often the longest part of the process is finding old parts suitable for sculpture.”

The sculptor is exhibiting his work in the Gallery of John Davies in Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, England, until December 19.

“My two favorite pieces that I’ve created for this exhibition are the ram and the wild boar,” he says.