Most of my adult life has been spent studying various forms of visual story-telling (film, comic books, animation, theater, etc.) and eating samples at grocery stores, and I can tell you without a moment's hesitation that I am an excellent judge of a good movie AND a good apple brie square. Pretty proud of myself.
Yesterday I was flipping channels and without knowing what I was watching, stumbled upon a young Alan Arkin in a grey, dirty hospital bed talking to people who aren't his parents.
Instantly the dialogue and camera work hooked me.
It wasn't until the abrupt and much unwanted commercial break cut in that the television informed me I was watching "Catch-22" (1970)
I hadn't read that novel in high school even though it was on our list of summer reading books. Instead I chose Fahrenheit 451, although I feel no regret since I am in a much better place now to read a WWII novel.
I had to know who was responsible for this masterpiece and it is the work of 4 principle men: Mike Nichols (oh of course, how could I not know this) Buck Henry (Get Smart and Saturday Night Live) David Watkin the cinematographer and Joseph Heller who wrote the original classic.
I will never understand why trash like Birdman gets showered with awards, and films like this go largely under appreciated. (The director for that film telling Mike Nichol's himself at a dinner party that he didn't need his advice on directing, as well as claiming publicly that "Hitchcock is overrated." So he is a moron.)
If you've seen Catch-22 and can appreciate the camerawork involved, you'll know how deft and masterful the cinematography really is. This is back in a time when there was no quick digital editing or the ability to do massive CGI touch ups in post-production. The film cost serious, serious money to develop and each take was important.
Maybe it was a bad time for the film to be released, having to compete with the much more successful M.A.S.H. and Patton released in the same year. I do love the film Patton and despite my reticence that Robert Altman is also a genius, don't particularly care for M.A.S.H - TV or movie. Maybe it was war-movie overload for audiences already tired and angry over Vietnam.
In the end, if I'm the only one who thinks this film is truly exceptional then that's cool. It's not the kind of thing I can watch often, but will continue to be a source of artistic inspiration.
The only con appearance for me in 2015 was HeroesCon and man, it was a good one.
Not only does the con staff treat everybody really well, but the tables are flush with artists I'm personally a big fan of, so as usually I spent all my free time running around the floor like a crazy person soaking in as much visual stimulation as possible.
Meeting Jonathan and Mark; new source for all my husband's Xmas + birthday gifts, as well as being incredibly fun people --- Matt Chapman is incredibly rad and even sketched a gift for my little sister! I'm also pretty sure he is part wizard.
Meeting the inimitable Andy Suriano, who is sincerely one of the greatest people on earth (makes the Dos Equis guy look like a pile of dirty laundry) as well as picking up his knock-out art book.
Breakfast with Matt Wilson and Chip --- Zdarsky (who is already one of my favorite people) kindly tweeted about my Twin Peaks painting he bought as did Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt (who I also wanted an excuse to talk to) and it quickly sold out! Thank you guys so much for the support!
Having a conversation about difficult women + why they are awesome as well as why Twitter is evil with Matt Fraction --- Meeting Evan Dorkin and his lovely wife Sarah Dyer and talking Japanese horror comics and why it's OK not to know anybody at these cons.
Getting a killer mini print from Jake Wyatt and discussing ice cream truck menus --- running into Nathan Fox whose career, unbeknownst to him I have followed since our SVA days, and looking at his wild 3D Japanese silkscreen with Alexis Ziritt --- and making Fabian Rangel Jr. deal with my pretentious JLPT2 BS.
We were so glad super cool Devin Smith stopped by our table - he was our neighbor last year, and all around stellar guy! Finally got to talk to Kate Breezy, Lauren Moran, Denver Zach, Caleb Goellner, and so many others that until then had just been digital data on my phone.
See you next year! (but hopefully before)
Artwork I did:
For the charity art event
If you meet the Out of Step Arts people, check out this sick 3D Nate Fox print:
Welp, yesterday I felt I should hurry up and accomplish something else before June 12th hit but now it's here and I am no different than yesterday.
I can't complain about my 20s at all, they were a wonderful decade and it's amazing to think about the person I was in 2005 - whoa! That courdaroy jacket needed to be retired. But I'd still like to know where it ended up.
This song was a hit when I was in high school, and while I hoped my own commencement would have a speech similar to this. It would not be, but that's a lofty bar to beset on a regular guy from Auburn, MA.
This song is taken from a Chicago Tribune essay by Mary Schmich, and resonates no matter what age you are.
On June 12th
1838 - Iowa Territory forms (where my grandparents live)
1880 - John Lee Richmond pitches first perfect game in Worcester (where I live)
1923 - Harry Houdini frees himself from straightjacket suspended over NYC
1942 - As a birthday present, Anne Frank receives a diary
1967 - US Supreme Court unanimously ends laws against interracial marriages
1981 - "Raiders of the Lost Ark" premiers
Sharing a birthday with:
David Rockefeller, Irwin Allen, Samuel Z. Arkoff, George W. Bush, Anne Frank, Jim Nabors, Chick Corea, Hideki Matsui
Hero Complex Gallery has another year exclusivity on the original RED BATMOBILE prints - you can find them at the above link as well! **** EDIT ****
My husband pointed out to me (because he knows all Batman-related things) that neither Batmobile was available in Japan at the time. Which is kind of a pain because everything else was so meticulously researched, but oh well, its done now.