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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Run for Illustration Friday 

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For this topic I had a few appropriate sketches and a couple of other ideas, but nothing that fitted better than this, from a recent story I did for an upcoming comic. More about these guys sometime soon...

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Alan Parsons Project remasters/reunion 

The Avenue - Alan Parsons news: "In 2007, Sony BMG will re-release the original Arista-era albums (I Robot 1977 through Gaudi 1987)," personally remastered by Alan Parsons in digital stereo."


Apparently, the remasters will be released in three batches, featuring an album from each of the APP periods - the first batch, due for release in January 2007 will be I Robot, Eye in the Sky and Vulture Culture. The Project recorded some of the most intricately layered studio-rock ever made, featuring brilliant songwriting (courtesy of Eric Woolfson) and musicianship. No-one combines rock band and orchestra like these guys - I can't wait to hear the remasters! Also, these new editions will include complete booklets with all album artwork, plus additional pictures and information.

"And of course, people have also been wanting rarities and bonus tracks for years. Both Alan and Eric Woolfson have been going through their personal archives looking for lost material and the results of that search will be revealed on these new discs."

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThese new tracks include a number of Eric Woolfson's piano/vocal original versions of the songs, some alternative versions, some Alan Parsons musical demos (including an extended "Sirius" alternative version) and even some unheard songs, such as the Eric Woolfson fronted There are No Answers Only Questions, featuring distinctive Ian Bairnson fretwork.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingBut wait, there's more!...

Details on the next part are still a little hazy :). However, in January 2007, to coincide with the launch there will be an Alan Parsons Project reunion, featuring Woolfson, Parsons, Bairnson, Stuart Elliott, David Paton, and...? The nature of this apparent live show is still unclear, but amazing news (to me, at least as amazing as the Pink Floyd Live 8 reunion last year, albeit with a lot less previous animosity :)).

(AP and EW pics from the videoclip for Don't Answer Me)

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Match for Illustration Friday 

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingOkay, I apologise for going all "found object" and Sophie Calle for Illustration Friday this week, but for the theme, this is what occurred to me. I have real reservations about posting this - sorry about personal content (something I pretty much avoid on the Blog).

When I was young I travelled on this ship, the (original) Oriana. That trip was probably the last gasp of my father being in reasonable health, and my sister and I being young enough to actually go on a trip with our parents. In any case, it was a formative time in a lot of ways.

I met a girl on the ship, and we got along really well, so we wrote messages for each other in matchbooks (you know, to burn and remember) when it came time to go home. She was from Sydney and I was from Melbourne, and I think I really fell in love for the first time.

Anyway, this girl and I became long-term correspondents and soon I made the trip up to Sydney to see her. In spite of how well we got along, our worlds couldn't have been more different! I think for the first time I realized that there was a real financial class divide in Australia, and I was, uh, quite a long way down it. No blame on her, or her family, who were lovely people, but I was struck with there being no way for us to ever make the distance. We do still write to each other occasionally - both now long married and living the kinds of wildly divergent lives I'd always imagined we would. Maybe I'll do a comic about this some day :).

And the Oriana? She managed to avoid immediately becoming razor-blades and was for a long time refitted as a floating leisure centre in Japan, but sadly now, following storm damage in 2004, she has finally met her end in a scrapyard.

(If I've done it right, the above picture should give the uneasy illusion of tilting while you read my post)

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Play for Illustration Friday 

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For the Illustration Friday theme of "Play" music sprang to mind. These are a couple of pictures from my mini-epic trilogy, Riffin' to Oblivion, which appeared in the music comic anthology, The Ink. There were a lot of panels from this series that would have been appropriate but these two sum up a couple of major aspects - the creative and the commercial.

The style is rough and sketchy (the whole series was drawn pretty fast). I thought I'd better post something a bit like a proper illustration first, so from the sublime to the ridiculous...

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Note: The Song, Howzat, by Australian band, Sherbert, may not be known outside Australia and the U.K.

"If music be the food of love, then play on..." (Shakespeare - Twelfth Night)

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Cafepress shop 

You might have noticed in the Links that, a while ago, I set up a small Cafe Press shop. Mostly, I wanted to experiment with putting some designs onto various goods, to see how the process worked and how they came out. Earlier this week, I received a box of stuff that I'd ordered, and the results are good!

A good example is the Eastern Quoll mug at left. This design came out perfectly on the large mug - in fact, so well, I've put it onto the small mug as well and will be ordering some more as presents (the large mug is pretty heavy though, so I think the small may turn out to be preferable). I think the trick is combining the right picture with the right printable product.

However, there is a bit of learning curve to getting this right, particularly with some products. The black and white Zebra T-shirt required cutting away all the black areas, so these aren't printed and the black fabric shows through. The result looks great, though I had left a tiny white line framing the right hand picture in my first run (which I've now removed), and I've also made the T-shirt size smaller. J was really happy with this one, as she says this is a favourite picture of hers.

All the pictures here are of what I actually ordered (and received). This Moth & Tanuki baseball jersey came out beautifully - the printing of the front looks better than it does on paper!

What Didn't Quite Work

Well, a couple of things didn't come out as I'd hoped, due to no fault of Cafepress (they've been removed and replaced with other items). The Ink #3 graphic just looked too cramped on a small mug, and some of the colours had consequently been muted and bled a little.

The Quoll Tote Bag didn't work because the delicate picture faded away into the colour and texture of the bag (the opposite to the mug, where the same picture worked brilliantly).

I'll be adding some other items soon, and quite a few friends also have CafePress stores, such as Tonia Walden's Art Puppets Shop.


Saturday, August 05, 2006

Meus Officium Est Abyssus - Wot? 

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This piece is an extract from a longer satirical piece that came about quickly. I drew it at the time this story came up and offered it to a humour magazine (who liked the character, but were unwilling to publish a long comic piece).

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI'd also originally envisaged it as related (if indirectly) to Tonia's "Angels & Demons" anthology, Meus Officium Est Abyssus. This nicely presented, hand-bound anthology - which features many of Tonia's witty, well drawn and observed strips about the home-life of Maxwell the Demon - now has a second issue out. A black-and-white version of the Wot Collection one pager is in there. It may have dated a little, but I think the premise still works.

Meus sold well at Doujicon last weekend - in fact, #2 sold out! It should be available at Phase Two Comics soon. For an idea of what it's like, check out the online version of Meus #1.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

RNRFs 13 

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingHere's a couple of panels from Episode 13 (August, 2006) of Dillon Naylor's Rock 'N' Roll Fairies, which I've been drawing for the past year in Total Girl magazine.

Yesterday, we were over having a cuppa at the house of one of J's friends, after dropping her home from school. J's friend asked me about drawing Manga, so I looked at her sketches (pretty good) and drew a few pictures for her. Then I mentioned the Rock 'N' Roll Fairies and sketched Summa, Winter and Monty. She went off and found an issue that I'd drawn, which really impressed her (J. and L. are a bit over it, as I'm always sitting around drawing :)).

I've very much enjoyed drawing the Fairies, but all good things must come to an end, and this will be my final continuous episode of the RNRFs - 27 pages done over 13 episodes - though I may guest on this strip again at some future time. Dillon's back drawing the Fairies from next month, and not a beat has been missed!

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingIt's been a great experience and learning curve, working in a slightly different style and with someone else's characters. It probably helped that I came to this series already with a familiarity for the strip, and a love for the characters. Again, thanks, Dillon for the opportunity to work with these guys for a whole year! Now, I'd kind of like a crack at drawing an Uncle Scrooge adventure... :)

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Clean for Illustration Friday 

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Another Moth & Tanuki frame, from the same (as yet unpublished episode) as my Illustration Friday entries for Flavour and Tea. This grey-shaded version won't see print, as I've decided to stick with a pure black-and-white screentoned version. Something I notice about these three frames is that they're all fairly jokey, when the story itself is fairly dark (for these characters, at least :)).

As I spent most of the day working on the second part of this 16 page story, Moth & Tanuki were kind of on my mind anyway.

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