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Archive for January 2010

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Delbert McClinton Sketches & Video

More of Delbert: a singing pose, with blue overall for the blues man; also presented in straight and stark black & white.

This video of one of his early hits, Givin' it Up For Your Love is a good place to start, and maybe a best of album. But it's hard to go wrong with his more recent Acquired Taste, Room to Breathe and Nothing Personal. This man's been doing it for decades, and it shows.

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Blues Man: Delbert

Sketching Delbert McClinton while listening to him. More tomorrow.

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Tough Chuck

Quick sketch of the title character (played by Zachary Levi) from the series Chuck, now in its third season. My daughter and I are catching up with the show on DVD, now around the beginning of season 2, enjoying it very much much. It's funny, smart, action-packed, geeky and sexy - like Alias meets The Office. If you haven't seen it, give it shot. In this sketch, everyman Chuck is trying to look tough. Good luck, Chuck! I used the Copic Multiliner, drybrushing and spotting blacks with the Pentel Pocket Brush. I threw a color gradation on it and rough up the edges with a "chalk" brush in Photoshop.

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Jenna Fischer Sketches

She plays a Plain Jane on NBC's The Office, but Jenna Fischer's a doll, with superb comedic timing and subtle acting chops, both on the show and in the movies she'd done. I did a straight ink sketch with a thin Copic Multiliner, then finished in roughly with the Pentel Pocket Brush. For fun, I also played with some flat color over it.

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Fractured Fables Preview

Here's a color frame (sans dialogue) from a Fractured Fables seven-page comic we're finishing this week. Image Comics/Silverline Books recently announced there will be a 32-page preview comic available for Free Comic Book Day, a primer for the larger anthology book due this Summer. I collaborated on the story with ol' pal, Len Strazewski, and am tag-teaming on the coloring with my wife, Mary, who's carrying most of the load in that regard. Our story won't appear in the free comic, but a sampling of the handful of other fine contributions that will can be viewed at this Fractured Fables article. I posted pencils to another panel from the comic on this blog previously. Now, I betcha can't guess which fairy tale we're retooling?

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Ryan Bingham: The Real Deal

Glad to see Ryan Bingham get some recognition when he won a Golden Globe the other night for his songwriting and performance of The Weary Kind, the title tune from the Crazy Heart soundtrack. It's a fine, understated song and vocal performance, with a subtle and slowly-building arrangement. If you listen to this and his songs (some more rocking) from either of his two albums, it's easy to tell Bingham has lived it. There's no artifice in him and he's no poseur. Though from this photo after his award victory, standing beside producer T-Bone Burnett, he cleans up pretty well.

His stuff is raw and on the country side, but I like it, especially Bread and Water, Sunshine, Dollar a Day, from his first album, Mescalito; and from his latest, Roadhouse Sun, Bluebird, Day Is Done, Endless Ways and Hey Hey Hurray are winners.

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The Beatniks - Stairway to Heaven

A spot on parody merging two great British bands - The Beatles and Led Zeppelin - by Beatles cover band, The Beatniks. Not only is the merging of the tune, Stairway to Heaven and early Beatles style right on target and very funny, but the presentation is great, too, from the distressed look of the vid to "George's" shuffle. Perfect!

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Charles Foster Wade Barkely Kane

Some seem skeptical of my recent twitter/Facebook observation that Charles Barkley now resembles an elderly Charles Foster Kane. For those I submit the following comparison:

Convinced...or am I alone here?

BTW, I gotta watch KANE again soon, and Barkley was absolutely awful on SNL this past weekend. Why can't they choose decent guest hosts? As a default, they should just have Timberlake, Baldwin and/or Jon Hamm on rotation.

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A Year in the Blink of an Eye

Man, Earl & Mooch are right - 2009 did fly by! This seems more and more true as we get older. When I was a kid in kindergarten, I couldn't wait to grow up, to be able to do the stuff 4th-graders and 8th-graders got to do. Time seemed to move by slow as molasses, certainly not fast enough for me. Of course, now as an adult, which each passing year, time flies by. Our daughters were just babies and now, seemingly in an instant their growing into young ladies. For us aging parents, with so much to do, so many responsibilities in a face-paced world, time is here and gone. The perception of the passage of time is so subjective depending on attitudes, situations and age. The comic strip above rings especially true to our family this past year, given my snowmobile accident in March and anxiety/panic issues from May through the present. Events and trips had to be canceled, and I spent much of the Summer in a daze, trying to be positive, let the meds work their magic, get back to sleep, feel more normal and to being more productive. And due to my health issues, the whole year passed quickly and effected the whole family. It was a blur, in so many ways. So, we're hoping 2010 progresses at a more leisurely clip, that we're able to stop and take it in and enjoy it all and each other. We hope for more balance, and wish the same for you.

One more note: when I as having the most trouble sleeping, even with sleep aids, as I laid me down to sleep my mind raced with negative and frightful thoughts. Though I was encouraged by professionals to try meditative recordings to get myself ready for sleep, I couldn't break the life-long habit of reading before bed. But it became clear quickly nearly everything I was reading would trigger some anxiety. Even Peanuts was too existential for me! For many weeks, the one thing I could read before bed was Mutts. The strip is so simple, sweet, poetic and comforting, it was just what I needed, and I made my way from book one again to the latest collection. It's one of the greatest comic strips of all time, a throwback to strips of old, and it looks like McDonnell will not flame out after a decade, but continue for years to come. If you haven't read it before, or for a while, pick up one of the books, check it out in the paper, or via the Mutts site, subscribe and get it delivered to you via email every morning.

I strongly recommend it. It's good for the heart and soul.

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The Man Who Was Thursday

Sketch of a Chesterton fan. So am I.