Your antidote for the GOP “debate”

Right about now, a lot of people are probably so inebriated from playing GOP “debate” drinking games that they’ve said “screw the bathroom…screw getting up outta this chair…I’m gonna pee riiiiiiiiiiight here”. Those who aren’t are either the fucking assholes who vote conservative (I have a few middle fingers around here for them), or those few brave souls like Ed Brayton who live-blogged the 2015 clownfest so that others wouldn’t have to. If you’re one of those brave souls and you need something to purge your mind of all the hate, bigotry, and sheer inanity, I have the cure!

Continue reading “Your antidote for the GOP “debate””

Your antidote for the GOP “debate”
{advertisement}

Your antidote for the GOP "debate"

Right about now, a lot of people are probably so inebriated from playing GOP “debate” drinking games that they’ve said “screw the bathroom…screw getting up outta this chair…I’m gonna pee riiiiiiiiiiight here”. Those who aren’t are either the fucking assholes who vote conservative (I have a few middle fingers around here for them), or those few brave souls like Ed Brayton who live-blogged the 2015 clownfest so that others wouldn’t have to. If you’re one of those brave souls and you need something to purge your mind of all the hate, bigotry, and sheer inanity, I have the cure!

Continue reading “Your antidote for the GOP "debate"”

Your antidote for the GOP "debate"

The Fabulous Art of: Kris Anka

Kris Anka is a wonderfully talented comic book artist (his blog is here).

Robot 6 reports that he is selling prints of this fantabulous (a portmanteau of ‘fabulous’ and ‘fantastic’ for those inquiring minds who want to know) piece:

Marvel’s X-Men titles have by far the highest number of iconic female characters in all of comics — whether it be the superhero genre or elsewhere. It’s thanks in no small part to the work of writer Chris Claremont and artists like John Byrne and Paul Smith, but man others followed, and added to the ensemble, including Joss Whedon and John Cassaday, who created Abigail Brand. And now artist Kris Anka is paying tribute to these X-Men in an expansive, limited-edition print called “Ladies of X 2.”
The title isn’t a nod to the second X-Men film, but rather a reference to a less-populated version of this piece created last summer. Both pieces were inspired by Adam Hughes’ “Women of DC” from 2008, but Anka takes the cake in this new illustration by featuring 19 women affiliated with the X-Men titles, all wearing haute-couture fashions reflecting their personalities.
Going beyond Anka’s illustration, it’s interesting to try to name all of the characters listed here without googling — but also to note the number of female X-Men not featured here, showing just how large Marvel’s mutant bench is.
Anka produced just 39 prints of “Ladies of X 2,” but says online that if he sells out, he’ll consider making more. See the full image blow, and visit his blog for ordering details.

Here are a few more examples of his wonderful art:

Continue reading “The Fabulous Art of: Kris Anka”

The Fabulous Art of: Kris Anka

The Fabulous Art Of: James Hance

Are you looking to get lost in some amazing art? You ought to check out BehanceMy Modern Metropolis, This Is Colossal, Artstation, or Contemporist. These sites are timesinks in the vein of TV Tropes, where you can gaze in slack-jawed admiration at the skills of so many amazing artists. From woodworkers, sculptors, and metalworkers to graphic designers, traditional pen and paper artists, and photographers, I have come across some talented individuals. One such individual is artist James Hance, whose prints bring together pop culture characters in a series of awesome mashups:

Continue reading “The Fabulous Art Of: James Hance”

The Fabulous Art Of: James Hance

The Fabulous Art Of: Héctor Barros

In their regular series Best Art Ever, Comics Alliance spotlights artwork by working professionals, rising stars, and talented fans. Thanks to this series, I’ve been introduced to the work of many amazing artists. Here are several pieces by one such artist, Héctor Barros. Enjoy!

Head on over to Barros’ Tumblr to check out more of his amazing work.

The Fabulous Art Of: Héctor Barros

Expressing myself

I was being watched.

Not because I was in the midst of performing the mundane task of pouring soft drinks for a table of guests. No-I was being watched by staff members at work because in addition to dispensing a Coke and a sweet tea, I was moving energetically and rhythmically. I was dancing. And I had a captive audience. It was in this moment that I had an epiphany.  “I was wrong all those years ago” I thought.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. This is actually a story that encompasses most of my life and reaches back to my childhood years.

It all began with the creation of my first superhero, the Vacuum-Cleaner Man. Not exactly the most awe-inspiring or fear-inducing name for a superhero, but then, I was only 5 or 6 years old when I created him. Inspired by the amazing Spider-Man, the V-CM was one of my earliest attempts at exploring my artistic side. If I recall correctly (my long-term memory is spotty at times), I designed him with the help of my maternal grandmother (who passed away in the late 90’s; miss you and love you Grandma Greene).

As I got older, I began to collect comic books and became fascinated with copying my favorite characters using tracing paper. Eventually, this led me to try my hand at freehand drawing, though I was hamstrung by my ignorance of anatomy and physiology (leading to some interestingly designed characters). In time, and for reasons I no longer recall, I lost interest in drawing (though I continued to create my own comic book characters and even tried my hand at world-building–the less said about that the better). Since then, I’ve had little interest in returning to the drawing board, so I suspect that was a phase I was going through.

While I no longer had an interest in drawing and thought my days as an artist were over, I did develop an interest in another activity-dancing. Upon turning 21, I became a regular fixture at local gay bars in the small Alabama town of Huntsville, where I could frequently be found on the dance floor. For years, my idea of fun on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night was going to Upscale or the Vieux Carre (or Connections and the Chute in Nashville, TN) and dancing my ass off for hours.I could stay on the dance floor an hour, an hour and half, even two hours straight, pausing only to chug some water or use the restroom. On the dance floor, I felt alive and vibrant, while simultaneously relaxed and at peace. Dancing became an outlet for me-a way to de-stress and temporarily forget any problems or frustrations going on in my life.

When I first started dancing, I danced freestyle. That changed in the early 00s, with the release of the instructional video Darren’s Dance Grooves, by choreographer Darren Henson.

I have fond memories of relocating the living room furniture of my apartment to provide space so that I could practice the moves taught in the video. As I became more skilled, I incorporated moves into my own personal style, which I then brought to the dance floor on weekends. Expanding beyond Henson’s video, I sought out concert videos by artists like N’Sync, 98 Degrees, Madonna, Janet Jackson, and more. The expertly choreographed moves demonstrated by these performers further assisted me in honing my dancing abilities. Don’t get me wrong, though. I was no professional dancer, nor did I ever aspire to be one. For all that I derived much enjoyment from dancing (as well as knowing that I was entertaining others), it was a hobby and nothing more.

Or so I thought.

I no longer think that.

That epiphany I spoke of earlier? The one I had in the wake of my spontaneous dance-fest? For some unknown reason, I had long thought of art as something done by painters, photographers, graphic designers, or sculptors. I never thought of dancing as a form of art (and never bothered to try typing “definition of art” into that newfangled Google thingee). But it is indeed art (performance art, in fact). That moment of clarity made me realize how wrong I was all those years ago:  while I may have lost my desire to draw, I never stopped being an artist.

Expressing myself

Pop Culture Link Round-Up 4.10.15

I have a fondness for Godzilla (thanks dad). A huge fondness (seriously, thanks dad). Toho Pictures’ 1954 film depicts the awakening-via nuclear testing-of a prehistoric creature that subsequently ravages Japan. Gojira (or Godzilla, as he is typically referred to in USAmerica) is a suspenseful film that invokes the horrors of nuclear testing, and serves as an allegory for the deadly forces that might be unleashed when humans tamper with forces beyond their control. Despite the mixed to negative reviews the movie garnered in Japan, the film was financially successful and paved the way for a host of sequels. All told, Godzilla has appeared in 28 Toho Co., Ltd films, as well as several USAmerican ones (including Godzilla 1985 which was a heavily re-edited version of an earlier Japanese Godzilla movie; the 1998 Roland Emmerich-directed abomination of which the less said the better, and last year’s Godzilla movie from Legendary Pictures). In 2004, following the release of Godzilla: Final Wars, Toho Co.,Ltd decided to put the Godzilla franchise on hiatus for 10 years. The box office success of 2014’s Godzilla convinced Toho that it was time to dust off everyone’s favorite King of the Monsters:

“Neon Genesis Evangelion’s” Hideaki Anno and “Attack on Titan’s” Shinji Higuchi will co-direct “Godzilla 2016,” the first Japanese film in the long-running franchise in 12 years.

Anno will also write the film’s script, while Higuchi will oversee special effects. Anime News Network notes the two have been close friends for decades, and previously collaborated on Studio Ghibli’s live-action short “Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo.”

“Ever since Hollywood announced that ‘Godzilla’ was to be resurrected, the expectation for another Japanese Godzilla grew,” Toho said in a statement. “And if we were to newly produce, we looked into Japanese creators who were the most knowledgeable and who had the most passion for Godzilla.”

* * * *

Janusz Grünspek is an artist who uses little more than glue and tiny wooden dowels to create scale replicas of everyday objects such as a laptop, chandelier, or power tools. Hmmm, I wonder if he could construct a scale replica of Godzilla (and how many dowels would that take). Check out more of his work here.

(via Colossal)

* * * *

Over at TV Insider, Oriana Schwindt gives a list of the Top 5 Fight Scenes That Pack A Punch:

#5 Arrow vs Flash:

#4 The Real Housewives of New York City: Aviva vs Everyone

#3 Game of Thrones: The Mountain vs The Viper

I won’t spoil which fight scenes made the top two (you’ll have to click the link to find out) other than to say neither one of them is King Kong vs. Godzilla.

* * * *

As a kid, the idea of being a superhero greatly appealed to me. Actually, it wasn’t so much being a superhero as having super powers. Being able to walk on walls like Spider-Man seemed like a really cool idea to me. Or being able to create any object I wanted with Green Lantern’s power ring. And being able to run like the Flash or lift one of the Great Pyramids like Superman? Can’t beat those powers. Unlike many kids, I didn’t have much appreciation for Batman growing up. To me, he was just a normal guy. Yeah he was the world’s greatest detective, was mega rich, had lots of cool gadgets, and could fight really well, but at the end of the day, I wanted to be one of those heroes who had cool powers. I do know that many people love Bruce Wayne. This next link is for all the kids and adults who wish they could be the Dark Knight (and for anyone else who simply thinks this is rather cool). A real-life Batman suit has been created:

Made from Kevlar, quarter inch Kydex plating and impact resistant foam, Armatus Designs created a real life version of the Batman suit. It won’t stop bullets or make you Bruce Wayne but it is stab and slash resistant while still being pretty lightweight and flexible. I wouldn’t recommend you putting it on and becoming a vigilante or anything.

I must stress that last part. Don’t become a Batman-like vigilante. Everyone knows the police don’t like vigilantes (and for heaven’s sake, definitely don’t become one if you’re a Person of Color). They don’t like anyone using brutal or excessive force unless they have the sanction of the government.

That suit is pretty nifty though. I bet it wouldn’t offer much protection from Godzilla’s atomic breath (now I want to see a Batman/Godzilla battle).

* * * *

Speaking of Godzilla (oh, wait, I have been already)…have you ever wanted to stay in a King of the Monsters-themed hotel room?  Come April 24, you’ll be able to, provided you live in (or have the money to visit) Tokyo, Japan.

Opening April 24, the 30-story Hotel Gracery, which sits atop the Toho Cinema in Shinjuku, boasts three themed rooms: two Godzilla View Rooms, which overlook the 39-foot head of the King of the Monsters that erupts from the roof of the theater below; and the Godzilla Room, which, as the video shows, boasts its own statue, a gallery of movie posters and an enormous claw that looms over the beds. The hotel of course also offers Godzilla memorabilia and special sweets.

The Godzilla Room costs between $334 to $417, depending on the night, while the Godzilla View Rooms go for a more reasonable $125.

(h/t CBR)

Pop Culture Link Round-Up 4.10.15

Pop Culture Link Round Up 2.12.15

Chris Banner is a fan of Batman. That’s actually an understatement. ‘Obsessed with Batman’ is a better description of him (and I don’t mean this in a bad way; obsessions are not inherently bad, and Banner is harming no one with his).

You could call Chris Banner’s love of Batman a true passion. Well, it’s actually more of an obsession.

“I’ve got a problem,” he confessed. “Everything I have is a bat. All my tractors have bats; my trucks, bats. Socks, underwear, you name it. I’m bat.

From the boots to the bat-cave and a custom-built Batmobile, Banner has made his being Batman his third job. He even patrols his hometown of Valley Center, San Diego, as the Caped Crusader.

His ride, he built from scratch, stripping down a 1947 Ford Galaxy and rearranging its engine and radiator. The work took about a year to complete, and it includes a camera to help him back up, a custom-made dashboard, lights and a smoke machine.

“It’s all made of fiber glass,” Banner told NBC 7 Wednesday. “It’s 22-feet long, and it’s one heck of a machine to drive, especially when you’re Batman.”

The batty fanatic started collecting his favorite superhero’s gear after he got his first Robin costume at age 7. Now, he’s turned his love toward a good cause. He produces live Batman shows about 40 times a year, sometimes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“You know some of these kids only have so much time left, and to put a smile on their face, it makes them happy. It’s worth it to me,” he said. “Makes that whole day better so hopefully I got to a good place.”

Bringing light to the lives of children? That’s a really awesome thing for him to do. I tip my hat to you good sir.

* * * *

By way of This is Colossal, here are some images of some amazingly beautiful hand-made resin bangles infused with bark, leaves, flowers, plants and shells. These bangles and more are available for purchase at Faerie and Etsy.

* * * *

Oooh, a new album from Florence and the Machine will be available on June 2. Here’s a video of the first single, ‘What Kind of Man’ (warning, the video is NSFW):

* * * *

* * * *

You may have been miffed by the palpable lack of a juicy Sophia-based plot in the second season of Orange Is the New Black, but fear not: OITNB is no longer the only TV series on which actress/trans activist Laverne Cox will appear. It’s just been announced that she’ll be co-starring as Cameron Wirth, a transgender attorney, in CBS’ next legal drama, Doubt (no relation to nuns). The role was allegedly written specifically for her. Wirth is described in The Hollywood Reporter as being as “competitive as she is compassionate. She’s fierce, funny and the fact that she’s experienced injustice first hand makes her fight all the harder for her clients.” Cox will appear alongside a yet-unannounced star, who’ll lead the show with her title-influencing doubts: this main character is another attorney who’s romantically involved with a client being charged for an act of brutality. The script will be penned by Grey’s Anatomy writers Tony Phelan and Joan Rater.

* * * *

How the hell did Patrick Bertoletti consume 444 wings in 30 minutes?! Seriously, where did he put all that food? I love wings as much as the next guy, but after about 15 wings, I’m full. Does he have a few extra stomachs?

If your planning on serving wings at your Super Bowl party on Sunday, don’t invite Patrick Bertoletti. We have a feeling he won’t be craving wings anytime soon. The Chicagoan, known by his competitive eating stage name as “Deep Dish” gobbled up 444 chicken wings in 30 minutes this afternoon at the 23rd annual Wing Bowl in Philadelphia. By doing so Bertoletti smashed the previous record of 363 wings set last year and barely edged out his rival (and prior record-holder) Molly Schuyler, who came in with 440 wings.

About 20,000 people gathered at Wells Fargo Arena to watch contestants duke it out in the grand battle to be the one true supreme wing champion. “I have the sweats but I feel a lot better because I know I don’t have to eat any more chicken wings,” Bertoletti exclaimed after his victory. In the last two minutes alone, Bertoletti consumed 50 wings by ripping apart the wings and stuffing the meat into his mouth. Bertoletti was still chewing for two minutes after the contest ended.

For that matter, how did Schulyer consume 440 wings?

Daaaaaaaaaamn!

Pop Culture Link Round Up 2.12.15

The Fabulous Art of: Emma Rios

Emma Rios Maneiro is a comic book artist and illustrator based in Spain. Her first work in the U.S. market was for the BOOM! Studios title Hexed.  Rios has gone on to illustrate several Marvel Comics titles, including Strange (a 2010 miniseries featuring Dr. Strange), which was my introduction to her work. Below is some of her delightful artwork:

A convention sketch for Callum Wilson.

You can check out more of Emma Rios’ work on her Flickr page.

The Fabulous Art of: Emma Rios

Pop Culture Link Round Up 1.14.15

Sylvester Stallone is returning to ‘Rocky’ and ‘Rambo’

Sylvester Stallone has revealed his upcoming slate of projects, beginning with traveling to Philadelphia to begin filming the Rocky spinoff Creed.

The Expendables star tweeted about his plans for Creed, as well as potentially confirmed the rumored title for Rambo 5, aka Last Blood: Rambo (or Rambo: Last Blood, as was reported recently).

* * * *

 May it rest in peace-giant gummi bear slain by one-two punch of liquid nitrogen and shotgun blast (2:16 video)

* * * *

Hi-Def images of ‘Pillars of Creation

In 1995, the Hubble Space Telescope took a photo of columns of celestial dust and gas in the Eagle Nebula. Originating 6,500 light-years from Earth, these columns, known as the ‘Pillars of Creation’, became one of NASA’s most iconic images. The Pillars of Creation said “cheese” once more in 2009, when the Hubble, using a newly installed high-definition camera, took another image. An image recently released by NASA:

Click on the link to see a more detailed image (as well as an infrared one).

* * * *

 The Great White Crib

Staten Island, New York-based Joseph Reginella, a sculptor and toy designer at Toxic Teddies, has created an amazing Jaws-themed crib for his infant nephew that makes it look like the little boy is on a boat and being attacked by a shark. Reginella’s crib design was based off of a drawing by Bob Hough. More photos of the fierce baby bed are available to view on Facebook.

(more images of this killer crib at the link)

* * * *

 Front-loading washing machine converted into fully functional aquarium

Dean Eaton (a.k.a. lava_lump), the owner of an appliance sales, service, and parts business in Rochester, NY, recently took on the challenge of converting a front-loading washing machine into a fully functioning, well-lit aquarium to house several GloFish. Working with a friend, he stripped and cleaned the washer, installed LED lights, and suspended a tank inside the machine. Viewed through the convex surface of the washer door, the magnified interior presents a cool look at an aquarium lit up by color-changing LEDs and fluorescent fish.

Overall, the project took about 50 hours of work and less than $400 to buy all of the supplies and equipment. Not bad for an incredibly unique, one-of-a-kind aquarium! The DIY fish tank now sits in the showroom at Rochester Appliance, where it attracts its fair share of attention and awe from customers and their kids.

To learn more about the building process and the final product, check out Eaton’s posts on Imgur and Rochester Appliance’s blog.

(more images at the link)

Pop Culture Link Round Up 1.14.15