Skulls


I’m kinda proud of the atmosphere created by my review of Mountain Man’s new album. While Splice loves it when I curse and get angry, I tried to evoke a different kind of mood here. Obviously.

Mountain Man- Made the Harbor

On CQ, I reviewed ‘The Dungeon Masters, which is a documentary which captures everything that documentaries should.

The Dungeon Masters

… and there’s a lot of other writing I’ve been doing, but it’s still sealed under non-disclosure agreements. More weird underseas adventures, spies and treason on short form. It’s a bit exciting, but very brain-intensive. Still fighting for more work, and waiting patiently to hear back from a potentially huge, life-changing job – but I’m not banking on it. But I’d like to bank on it.

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Had very strange dreams about living skeletons and doorways, and the skeletons gleefully earning the right to die. Despite how this might sound, it was weirdly uplifting. I have a feeling that this was precipitated by the recent death of Ryan August, who curated and printed the I Want Your Skull art zine. I’d purchased the first 7 issues from him last year, he was a really nice guy, and his ability to recontextualize the cliche of the human skull was intellectually amazing. It started my own collection of skull toys, and I even wrote about the zine back in January of this year, and he even wrote me an e-mail to thank me for the article.

RIP, Ryan August. You’re still giving me weird dreams. I only hope that they mean you’re feeling okay.

Re : The iPad

I suggest, once again, that we all reserve harsh criticisms, as well as unmitigated praise, for products that are not even out yet. While the iPad does not seem to be what we expected, we need to remember just that : it will perform outside of our expectations in ways that we cannot anticipate, just like much of technology and discovery does. The internet is becoming replete with Amazon-type review fury over things that do not technically exist yet. Be a little smarter by understanding all the things that you do not yet know.

That is all.

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I feel like I’ve had a very off life with a few really incredible hours mixed in every so often. None of those hours came yesterday.


I spent most of yesterday watching the end of Farscape and toiling over many sheets of graph paper, attempting to plot out a skull box in actual size. It’s a lot more complicated than simply assembling a cube, but once all of the details were measured out, it was very easy to transfer the exact shape to Illustrator to export to a file suitable for laser cutting. Plotting out the general details on a wooden cube was also helpful, but I always feel a little headachey when I spend too much time gently nudging lines on the computer for hours, and I could not seem to remain awake.

Now, I’m in that slightly anxious phase between submitting the files to the cutter and when the initial prototype arrives two weeks later and I find that I’ve made some kind of horrible mutant mistake.

I should really draw something again, but with the influx of family, there’s little room left to do much of anything.

I spent the better part of this afternoon unloading boxes from a moving truck – this gargantuan beast that I found in my parking spot when I arrived home today with a giant yellow spider emblazoned across the side, peeking in through the garage windows like some amazing B-movie every time I stepped outside. The garage is a precarious labyrinth of cardboard boxes that are buckling in every direction, and I anticipate the sound of a crash at any moment as things topple under the unrelenting, indifferent fist of physics. They’re not mine. I just hope that they don’t hit anything of mine on the way down. Two hours of carefully picking out footsteps across an icy walkway while carrying an excess of televisions and more clothing than I have owned in a lifetime, and I am exhausted.

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I’ve always wanted to have a piece in The Dirty Show. I’m not sure why, because it has so many pieces that I’d never be noticed, and I don’t think there’s any criteria to prevent the unskilled masses from slapping whatever boobs they felt like onto the gallery wall, and I’m generally disgusted by the whole gallery scene anyhow – but I started messing with ideas for the show today during lunch.

Two words : erotic marquetry. Laser-cut, stained in various shades, with particular areas of the anatomy painted in intense detail in acrylic to make it stand out from the basic shapes surrounding it. Going to experiment with the techniques before I get too into anything, but I like where the idea is going.

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I bought this. The combination of skull / translucence completely won me over. I’ve usually just seen this artist’s work as a cheap misappropriation of The Misfits’ logo (unless these are being produced by the original artist – I couldn’t discern, despite my best efforts), which itself was ‘borrowed’ from an old horror movie poster.

This, limited to 66 pieces, also comes with underpants and chocolate.

The most recent cover of Bud’s Art Books features a cover by the amazing, amazing Peter de Seve.

deseve

At first, I noted a few of the small similarities between this and an ink piece I halted work on this summer, which featured a makeshift group of super-bad-guys sorta posing for a yearbook picture. It was delicately titled ‘The League of Fuckin’ Shit Up’, and I hope that it’ll see the light of day as a print before too long. But I digress.

What struck me was the skull-headed spaceman on the far right, half off-panel. I went in search of more information, because it looked familiar. I was even more surprised to find a year-old blog that featured an extremely similar image to deSeve’s. It is all detailed here, including a polite apology from de Seve for accidentally / subconsciously / unknowingly creating a piece so similar to the original.

That’s not why I went hunting. That skull-spaceman bears a remarkable similarity to MonstreHero’s Intergladiator figure.

britesquad

Under those helmets are skulls. The V-shaped suit, the helmet as wide as the body – striking similarities. I have absolutely no doubt that MonstreHero created their figure completely independently of a relatively obscure illustration, but there’s something in the collective creative unconscious that’s all about the skeletal spaceman.

dr_who
Of course, there’s this guy from Dr. Who.

no_way_back

This amazing science fiction book cover.

Our fear and fascination with space is deeply enmeshed with our fear and fascination with death.

- Walmart’s new logo looks alarmingly like a bubble popping, which is strangely apropos given the role of Walmart in the economic collapse that we face. Alternately, were the designers thinking that it looked like an asterisk? Were they implying that Walmart comes with exceptions? There’s something subtly apocalyptic about either connotation. Next time, I suggest that they just use a skull and crossbones. At least that has the connotation of ‘sexy pirates’.

walmartlogo

- My spellcheck wanted me to replace ‘Blu-Ray’ with ‘blurry’. I think that’s a pretty good definition of irony.

- If you kill someone with a drill, you can comfortably say that they were bored to death.

- Scareglow. Scareglow is really neat. I have a strange affection for toys depicting skeletons and skulls – which explains my irrational enjoyment of Ghost Rider, aesthetically.

scareglow

120105-06Yes, this is a Metaluna Mutant with nipples. Photo circa 2005.

Back in 2005, I wrote a little article on All Nerd Review about ‘Resin Rosebuds’ – little resin nipples that were designed to… ahem… augment Japanese Dollfies and stuff for those doll-lovers who were especially overzealous. These were made by my aunt’s boyfriend, a talented artist and sculptor who has since passed away. I’m also positive that they were a commentary on the strangeness of modern culture, doll culture, modern sexuality, and probably, Japan.

It’s always a little strange to see the ghost-website of those who have left us. How long will they hang around? Does the indifferent hand of the registrar hover for a moment over the delete button and drop, or move on?

There’s also another website that’s being maintained by family in memoriam for his works.

I met him once, when I was very young. He came on vacation with us to NJ, and put a quick end to my sister and I play fighting with sticks lest we eviscerate each other. And at the end of that vacation, he didn’t hear me knock on the bathroom door as he was getting out of the shower. My aunt wanted to keep his artificial hip, post-cremation. I’m not sure how that worked out, but only now do I draw parallels between this and the screws that I pulled from the fire after they went through my foot.

The internet reveals interesting things about people, alive and dead. Here’s a quote from 1995, as he was apparently an early user of various current events newsgroups.

“the plague will happen sooner or later

as a result of our over population, exploitation, and

destruction of the natural world, whether we like it or

not. it is time to face the facts and make plans to deal

with the crisis when it arrives. all the soothing talk of professionals is pure denial.”

I have two of his works, somewhere around here. I used this one heavily in my bad high school photography, which was all broken clocks, old keys, things wrapped in twine, dead bugs and incredibly poor contrast. This was at the very down of digital photography being available to non-professionals. I’ve always loved this heavy, bronze thing.

In a very ironic way, this photo is perhaps beautiful.

skull