crazy colored glasses

Monday, March 31, 2008


So I posted recently about some sketched I was working on for work to be used as guides for a shoot. This is something typically done in ad agencies, and something one of my comic art heroes (Alex Ross) would do constantly for agencies until he got his start in comic work.

Here was my sketch...

Here was the actual shoot...

I was pretty happy with the way these turned out. I had a pretty exact vision on how I wanted the shoot to go and I was thrilled when I got the selects from the photographer. The second skecth I put together for work was a little rushed and didnt turn out as well as this one. The look and feel of the shoot were the same as the sketch, but I was less than thrilled with a rush piece. I really hope to jump back in the saddle and get to drawing some comic art in the next few weeks.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Opening Day 2008!

I set the alarm clock for 6am this morning to sit down and watch the RedSox play the Oakland A's in Japan for MLB's Opening Day while having a big bowl of Apple Jacks. The alarm goes off and as I roll over to shut it off and get to the couch, my beautiful wife rolls over while still sleeping and puts her left arm over me. I instantly realize I would much rather lie in bed then get to the couch and watch the hated Boston Red Sox. So I hit snooze (for about an hour) then wake up at my normal hour and start getting ready for work.

I take a shower, get dressed (all pretty quickly) and realize I still have a half hour before I have to leave... which leaves me plenty of time to have a giant bowl of Apple Jacks and watch the mid to late innings of the Sox/A's game. I flick on Tiny (our gigantic 50" Samsung TV) and DirecTV while I settle in on the couch. As I flip to ESPN2 I'm met with a big DirecTV message saying they are having trouble with this channel, but also that I should not call them, they know there's a problem. So, lucky me, I didn't wake up early to watch a game I wouldn't have been able to see anyway.

It still got me heavily thinking about the upcoming baseball season, and realized I shouldn't miss the boat on making my predictions.

A.L. East-Boston RedSox... simply the most complete team in the A.L.
A.L. Central-Detroit Tigers... the potential to be scary good if the new additions gel
A.L. West-Seattle Mariners... just a hunch I'm having. I think they are young, play good defense and could go on a run
Wild Card-New York Yankees... as long as the kids come through on the mound they should be good.

N.L. East-New York Mets... the most complete team in the N.L.
N.L. Central-Chicago Cubs... this could be the year (plus my wife is a Cubs fan)
N.L. West-L.A. Dodgers... Torre + Veteran squad = playoffs
Wild Card-Arizona Diamondbacks... with strong contention from the Braves and Phillies

I think the RedSox (as much as it pains a Yankee fan to say) will beat the Cubs in the World Series.

A.L. MVP-Manny Ramirez... contract year + stacked lineup = motivated, protected Manny = huge year
N.L. MVP-David Wright... young star turns into superstar and is begun to be mentioned on the short list of best players in the game.
A.L. Cy Young-Justin Verlander... The offense and that park, as well as his great stuff should lend itself to a huge 20+ win year.
N.L. Cy Young-Cole Hamels... Another youngster I think makes a huge leap into super stardom.
A.L. R.O.Y.-Joba Chamberlain... Electric stuff over a full season. I expect big things from him, both in the pen and in the rotation.
N.L. R.O.Y.-Clayton Kershaw... Has looked great for the Dodgers this Spring. The only problem will be in how they deploy him.

Thats all I have for now... except for my preview on the Yanks. I'm expecting another really good 90-95 win season from the Yanks. I think Giambi will hit 30+ homers here in his contract year. Cano, Jeter, Rodriguez and Posada will all have All-Star seasons. With Cano and Jeter battling for the batting title. Jeter will continue his rise among the all-time hits list. After this season I think only Honus Wagner will have more all-time hits for a shortstop (it pisses me off when people say he's overrated... he's one of the most complete players in the game). Abreu and Matsui will have their typical 100 RBI steady seasons. I expect big things from Melky Cabrera. This will be his second full season as a starter. Time to turn it up. Not sure what to expect from Johnny Damon. At times he looked great last year... others he looked over the hill. The bench is solid as well. Duncan, Betamit, Ensberg and Molina give the Yanks more depth then they've had in years. I almost forgot ARod... he's still the best player in the A.L.

On the mound they have the makings a very imposing pitching staff... of course if the kids come through. Wang, Pettite, Hughes, Kennedy, Mussina (who I think may be done, luckily Chamberlain is waiting in the wings) give the Yanks a very impressive staff. Which unlike a lot of the league is 4/5ths home grown... completely homegrown when Chamberlain joins the staff. The bullpen also contains a series of lively arms and youth. Mariano Rivera, Kyle Farnsworth, Latroy Hawkins are the veterans in the backup of the bullpen, while youngsters Bruney, Edwar Ramirez, Kaarstens, Rasner, Henn and Chamberlain all will round out the rest of the pen.

All in all this is a pretty impressive team. Any season that didnt involve this years RedSox, I'd pencil them in as World Series favorites. I'll be happy with a 90-95 win team that makes the playoffs (for the 13th consecutive year) and hopefully makes it to the ALCS to face the Sox. That to me would be a great season.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Ric Flair

One of my favorite wrestling figures (and wrestlers) of all-time is this Classic Superstars release of the Nature Boy Ric Flair. This figure perfectly captures the look and feel (as well as the flair) of the Nature Boy. From the persed lips which you can just imagine are saying WHOOOOOOOOOOO, to the great recreation of the old school WCW belt, to the highly stylized entrance robe... all are spot on.

The sculpting is great if not a little too buff for Ric. The color scheme is also right on. From the platinum blonde locks to the red tights, boots and robe, this figure is almost perfect. Easily one of the best ever figure from one of the best ever lines.

On a separate note, I'm saddened that Jakks has lost the WWE license to Mattel. Mattel has to realize that Jakks has redefined the world of wrestling figures. You can no longer cut any corners, the bar has definitely been raised. I look forward to seeing what Mattel has to offer.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More Work Art!

So... I haven't drawn anything comic related or for myself in quite a while... in fact, it's been too long. I'll need to address that soon. I have though been drawing more concept type things for work. The piece that I drew and posted recently was shot in LA a few weeks ago and looks amazingly similar to my sketch. I was really thrilled with it. I will post the sketch and the in-book layout next week after the magazine comes out.

The latest sketch is a similar concept, with more of a backstage feel. This piece took me less than an hour to do. It was very rushed, anot not indicative of the pieces I normally do. The photoshoot for this concept happens on Friday here in NYC. I'm hoping this photo looks as close to my sketch as the last one did.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My Choice for NCAA Player of the Year

In a season where the NCAA coverage has totally been dominated by freshmen (Kevin Love, Eric Gordon, O.J. Mayo and Kevin Beasley) I think the NCAA should make the right choice for Player of the Year. They should go with UNC Junior forward Tyler Hansbrough. He's not the best pro prospect (all the freshmen listed above should have a bigger impact on the next level), what he is simply put is the best player in college basketball.

When Ty Lawson was injured and the UNC season could have gone south, how did Tyler respond, he put the team on his back and averaged over 29 points per game. I also think Tyler should be rewarded for still being in the college game. With so many players being one and done (Oden, Durant to name a few) you have a player that could have been a lottery pick after his freshman season, who decided to stay in school and not only learn the game, but try and win a national title. While I dont think UNC will win the national title (I still think UCLA will be cutting down the nets come tourney time) I think Tyler should be rewarded for his season and career.

In fact I wouldn't be surprised to Tyler come back as a senior next year. He has a chance to become the all-time leading Tar Heel scorer. I think that and the fact that he so badly wants a national title will bring him back next year. If there is any justice in college basketball, Hansbrough's name will be called out as Player of the Year.

As a final note, I'm a self admitted Duke freak, but the play of this Tar Heel should be rewarded. He is completely tireless, selfless and easily the hardest worker on the floor. I have seen him dominate Duke since he was a freshman (ruining senior night for Redick and Shelden) and although I'm sure I've cursed his name, I fully respect him and what he brings to the wonderful game of college basketball.


Friday, March 07, 2008

Project Runway Finally Get's It Right...

As someone who has been involved in the fashion industry for years (although, you'd think I'd dress better for someone who worked at a fashion magazine for 10+ years) I was happy to see that Bravo and Project Runway (a show I was involved with since it's infancy through the above-mentioned fashion mag.) finally got it right. After years of misfiring on their winners, I think they truly have selected a true future fashion superstar in Christian Siriano.

Now I'm not trying to knock the show, because I love it, and it easily is one of my favorite shows on television, but the simple fact is that they have yet to produce a fashion star. Jay McCarroll, while a inspired first winner has had a series of false starts in trying to get his business off the ground. It took him a full two years before actually ever showing a collection again. Jay even turned down the $100,000 winnings and the apprenticeship at Banana Republic. In fact Kara Saun (who already had her own business going in) and Austin Scarlett (who immediately got a job designing for Vera Wang and then his own collections) have been much more successful.

Chloe, the Season 2 winner decided to stay in Houston in her very successful boutique (that she already had before the show) as opposed to trying to make a larger name on a bigger stage. While Season 3 winner Jeffrey was already a well-established designer with a wide array of celebrity clientele. So alhough all the winners have had varying degrees of success they had yet to produce a fashion superstar... that is until this year when they selected the rising star and fashion design prodigy Christian Siriano. It's hard to believe that he is just 21 years old, but this kid delivers the goods. He has a very impressive overseas pedigree, having worked with some of the finest couture houses in the world. Now he clearly didn't deliver the most wearable (Jillians pieces could easily be on sale at Banana Republic) or the most classic (Rami's collection was impressive because he finally broke out of his draping mold) collections, what he did deliver was the most inspiring and fashion forward collection. Christian's collection was everything that is right in fashion. It delivered on every level. From the first piece that made it down the runway it was apparent that we were looking at the work of a true star.

Congrats to both Christian and Project Runway on a great season.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Play Ball!

Last friday night, I arrived to pick Scrappy up from school a bit early. I figured I could hit the video game store and see if they had anything new. I was planning on buying MLB08: The Show, but that wasn't due out until 3/5/08. So I walked in, looked around and was going to turn around and head out when I decided what the hell, let me ask if she has the game in store yet.

"Excuse me, do you have the new 08 baseball games for the PS2" I say. The women behind the counter looks at me, shoos me to the end of the counter (away from all the kids playing online games on laptops in the front of the store) and cups her mouth and says "2K8 or the Show". I reply "The Show", not telling her that playing The Show last year was one of the best baseball video game experiences I ever had (probably only eclipsed by the old school Genesis RBI baseball). The game play and realism were awesome. The counter women kneels down behind the counter, fiddles around a little, and pops back up showing me the new game with the powerful Ryan Howard on the cover. I give her an agreeing nod and she then takes the game puts it in a black plastic bag and slides it on the counter to me. "How you pay" she says. I don't have any cash on me, so I pay with my debit card. "I have to charge you tax, because you no pay cash"... no problem, that works for me. So I was able to get the game almost a week early, but the whole experience was a bit bizarre.

Now of course, I simply can't put the game in and play like a normal person. Similar to last year I wanted to put together a team of backups. Without my Sports Illustrated baseball preview, I had to rely on the ESPN Depth Charts. There were some surprising names listed as backups (Jacoby Ellsbury, Nick Johnson, Gary Matthews Jr.), but I held steadfast to my rules. Only position players listed as backups, only number 5 starters (Mark Prior, Ian Kennedy, Nate Robertson), and only backend relievers (no closers or real setup men... hello Joba Chamberlain). I spent a few hours on the computer (yes I'm a freak) compiling a list of names before I actually built my team. Overall I'm pretty happy with the squad. A little worried about power coming from the lefthand side of the plate, but for Team Streaky, I'm sure we'll live.

Just like last year, I will provide updates as to what is going on with the squad (as if anyone will care besides me).

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Sunday Breakfast

With the wife having taken up most if not all of the cooking duties (not that i'm complaining, she's a much better cook) I've taken to making the occassional Sunday breakfast. I don't particularly love to cook, but there is something special about breaking open some eggs, slicing up some apples, frying some bacon and sitting down as a family to enjoy breakfast on a Sunday morning. Very few things in life are better.

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Jeff Van Gundy

I've always thought he was a great basketball coach. Then last season after the Rockets were bounced from the playoffs, he became a analyst for ABC's NBA coverage.

Now I know most people remember Jeff Van Gundy for comically latching onto Alonzo Mourning's leg (ala Father Al in the very funny Semi-Pro) during one of the numerous Miami Heat/New York Knicks fracas. What people don't realize was that he was a tremendous basketball coach. He took teams with little skill deep into the playoffs multiple times. The Knicks front office did him no favors by signing Allan Houston to a long term deal when his knees were falling apart, or trading for the team cancer known as Latrell Sprewell. All I'm trying to say is he did a lot with a little.

When he went out West to coach the Rockets he took over a team with some holes and got them playing at a very high level. Yao Ming was very green, Tracy McGrady still too selfish, but again he got them into the playoffs. After he was dumped last year he jumped into his second career. That of color man on the NBA on ABC.

You will not find a more knowledgable analyst on any channel covering a game. This past weekend he talked about how he didn't like the matchup of Dirk Nowitzki trying to box out Kobe Bryant on a free throw attempt. He spoke about how athletic Kobe was and how much of great offensive rebounder Kobe is. Then Gasol misses the free throw, and what happens... Kobe outrebounds Dirk for the ball and ends up going back to the line himself. Very nice analysis of the situation. Anyone who has been paying attention to his gamecalling will tell you that his work is full of that. Great breakdowns of both offense and defense and a very surprisingly funny side. Who would have ever thought that the sad sap former coach of the Knicks would be what makes me tune in to ABC's coverage of the NBA.