Thinkbook 1 | Art Can Make Your Day

#ruckology #artjunkie First in a series of weekly brainjuice leakages, an upload from my cerebral mainframe to yours.

Art. Man, it really can make your day. Be it visual, audio, audio-visual, practical or virtual. Art just has that uncanny ability to touch the soul, spark the imagination and be a general catalyst to positive things in our lives. I’m a sucker for the stuff and spend an inordinate amount of time mentally immersed in it on a daily basis, whether it’s my own or that of others. Over a decade ago I used to go by the handle artjunkie online. In fact that was the name of my first ever blog (on Livejournal) some eons ago. I am certainly an art junkie for life, no doubt.

We’re certainly in some dark times these days, socially and politically. Do yourself a favor and try to make time to consume your favorite kind or art, better yet, discover some new art.

Btw, hello and g’day, my friends. I am going to attempt to do this on a weekly basis.

♦ ♦

Artist: Kathleen Marie Kralowec

++ So I spent part of my morning immersed in the wonderful artwork of an artisan New Yorker (transplant of California) by the name of Kathleen Kralowec, whose artwork is the featured image of this post. She’s ridiculously talented in a variety of mediums, employing a diverse array of styles. Although I’m just now discovering her, she’s been in the art game for the better part of a decade now, creating visuals for games, animations, comics and sculptures and dolls as well. She’s a graduate of Scripps College (art, philosophy) and U of C, Santa Cruz (digital art, new media). A shot in the dark, but I reached out to her to let her know that she’s a phenomenal artist and that I’d be honored to create a project with her. You should check her out using the linkage below.

Websites — ++ http://cargocollective.com/kkralowec  ++ http://cargocollective.com/KMKralowec  ++ https://www.behance.net/kkralowec

Social Networks — ++ Facebook  ++ Twitter  ++ Tumblr

Buy — ++ Amazon  ++ ComiXology  ++ DriveThruComics

♦ ♦

Project: CrimeTime

++ Speaking of collaborating with an artist, last weekend I met with my best friend, musical and artistic partner Joshua S. Hooten at a Mexican restaurant to enjoy some yummy food (that carne asada was the bomb!) and discuss our crime comic project.

The skinny is this — We will essentially be putting together a one-shot issue of this first project (which has a title, but is classified for now). I liken it to a demo recording by a band just starting out and trying to appeal to club promoters for opportunities to play shows. So the story will be self-contained but will act as a great tease for more to come with the batch of featured characters we have. Joshua will be handling all art duties digitally, including colors (using his MacBook Pro, Cintiq tablet and various software by Manga Studio, Adobe and Affinity). I will be providing the story and most likely the lettering as well. This will possibly be a self-publishing endeavor and will serve as a promo tool us two aspiring comic creators as we look to co-create several more comics projects for what we hope will be a long career creating together.

Here’s some test images (not final) from Joshua for a couple of characters we’ve been working on.

*Note: you can expect more art images from Joshua here in the future as we further develop our project.

♦ ♦

Movie of the Week

++ Saw THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS last Sunday with the fam. It was immensely entertaining and anyone with pets (we have three), particularly dogs and cats, should find all the humor bits to ring true.

♦ ♦

TV Show of the Week

++ After the excellent and humorous 6th episode “Sundowner” from a couple of weeks back, PREACHER and I have finally reached an accord with each other, I suppose. I’m starting to judge it less in comparison to its comic book/graphic novel source material, finally. Last week’s episode, “He Gone” was fairly good. Still, I have issues with Cassidy and Tulip hooking up so early in the overall scheme of things. And while Tulip’s TV portrayal has been a tour-de-force by Ruth Negga, her likability compared to comic book Tulip has been compromised, thus far, IMHO. Yet, overall, I’m still entertained and intrigued at this point, so I’m in for the long haul.

♦ ♦

Reads of the Week

++ Chapters 15 – 19 of DRIFTER, a novel by Nicholas Petrie.

++ Finished up “Coward” the first volume of CRIMINAL, a recurring comic series by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips now from Image Comics. I’ve just started reading the second volume, “Lawless”.

++ Issues #3 & 4 of THE FIX, a comic series by Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber from Image Comics.

++ Issue #3 of JACKPOT!, a comic series by Ray Fawkes and Marco Failla from AfterShock Comics.

* Recurring genre here is naturally that of crime and suspense.

♦ ♦

Sounds of the Week

++ I usually listen to a variety of music, podcasts and audiobooks on my iPod daily at work and in my car. This week I mostly rocked a shuffle of tunes. One full album I do recall listening to was FOR ALL KINGS by Anthrax.

♦ ♦

That’s all I’ve got for this week. I’ll be back next week with even more brainjuice. Maybe next time the spotlight will be on writing and storytelling.

-BLR

Images are copyright © Kathleen Kralowec and Joshua S. Hooten, respectively.

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Album Cover Art: Mastodon’s "The Hunter"

Album cover artwork for Mastodon‘s forthcoming album The Hunter has been revealed. Mastodon is a band well known for featuring great album art, perhaps most spectacularly on their 2009 magnum opus, Crack the Skye.

The Hunter is due out September 27th.

Crack the Skye (2009)
Oblivion [single] (2009)
Divinations [single] (2009)
Blood Mountain (2006)
Leviathan (2004)
Remission (2003)

Artist: Travis Charest – One of the Most Unique

Travis Charest [shuh-ray] is one of the greatest, most unique illustrators and draftsmen of the modern comics era. It’s a damn shame that he is not turning out regular work today. In fact, he’s been virtually ‘inactive’ for the better part of a decade. Although recently he has returned in a limited capacity doing covers, but very few interior pages.



Poster: The Fictioneers – Praeclarus Intus Scriptum!

Just received this from The Fictioneers newsletter today. Heh.


Per founder/chairman Michael Hansen: The attached poster (which is being printed out at roughly the size of a standard movie theater lobby poster) will be displayed next to the food table at the Fictioneers Launch Party, Saturday Night on Memorial Day Weekend, at BALTICON, in Baltimore, MD. The poster was designed by graphic artist Helen Harrison of YaYe Design.


Praeclarus Intus Scriptum!”

Artist: Jack S. Rogers

Known for his stunning images on such web & print zines as Liquid Imagination and Aurora Wolf, graphic artist Jack S. Rogers is a self-taught digital art guru who improves with each piece. And to make him even more dangerous with an image, dude’s decided to go to art school to add to his arsenal of visual artistry.

To wit, his latest piece for that art class:


big ears1
Aptly titled “WTF????”

And this is one of my all-time faves of his:


His covers for Aurora Wolf print anthologies:



Heck, he’s even covered a book in which my writing was featured:


This unpublished original version is my favorite
The Final Printed Version

You can check out more of Jack’s art and follow him over at his Beforedawn blog.

Artist: Joshua Hooten (Happy Birthday, Bro)

Josh and I have been friends since somewhere around 1985. That makes him one of, if not the oldest friend I have. In late 2006 we finally became metal guitar buddies, an event that was at least 17 years in the making. We wrote two or three dozen songs (with at least another dozen left unfinished) from then until about 2009 with a lot of downtime inbetween.

The Brothers Bald

That project was known as Dichotomous. I recorded demos for about seven of those songs. But after many starts and stops, we’ve had to put our pet projct into an early grave.

But long before he was ever a musician, dude was an artist, and still is, if a bit of a frustrated one (but aren’t we all?). I wanted to celebrate my buddy’s birthday by displaying some of the art he’s got posted up on his Facebook page to honor his special day.

 

Happy Birthday, brotha from anotha motha!