Sunday, May 03, 2009


Free Comic Book Day, an annual, national event for the promotion of comic books, was yesterday. Local and phenonmenal store Heroes Aren't Hard to Find always puts on a great party that includes reginal artists doing free sketches also. It really is incredible seeing all these talented people willing to put in their time and not charge for sometimes near-finished pieces. The amount of work and detail some of these individuals put in is incredible. And the Heroes owner, Shelton Drum, and his staff are always fantastic, even on such a crazy day for them .

I have a sketchbook that has the theme of "monsters." I just ask artists to draw a monster of their choosing (or sometimes if I have a specific monster in mind, of my choosing). Here are the cool sketches I got this year plus two from last year that I haven't had the opportunity to post. The other sketches in my book are posted in this entry my now-defunct blog The Silent Accomplice.

2009 Sketches

Jason Latour (The Expatriate, Loose Ends) was doing color pieces and did this great Gene Colan-esque version of Hammer Studios Dracula. He knew "it couldn't be Bela Legosi." So, you get a white-haired Christopher Lee-type version of the Count. There's so many things I love about this piece from the hand outreaching in a cool 3-D effect to the way the mouth gapes open to his use of colors, especially the blue shading.

Here's a neat comparison shot I found on the web later of Christopher Lee in Horror of Dracula. Just to reiterate, Jason didn't have any comparison shot when he drew the sketch (he was something of an Encylopedia Brown, as dubbed by Chris Brummer), so it's uncanny how well he captures the feel of this version.

Nat Jones is known for his horror comics work with Steve Niles, on Spawn, and Frank Franzetta's Death Dealer, so it was a no-brainer to ask for a sketch of a monster from him, which resulted in this muck-encrusted mockery of man. Pretty dern creepy and a great add.

Chris Brummer (Gotham Central, Loose Ends) struggled for a moment to think of a suitable monster before coming up with this wonderful rendition of Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 movie
(Gary Oldman) Dracula. Clicking on the image will make it larger where you can see the wonderful detail in the chalice and the face of Dracula. What you won't be able to see, unfortunately, is the slight color of silver color in his eyes, giving the actual drawing another depth of eerieness. I think the serpentine depiction of the shadow does a great job of both evoking the scene in the movie as well as freshly and somewhat differently representing the predatory and evil nature of this seemingly harmless old man.
2008 FCBD Sketches

Tony Shasteen did this wonderfully detailed werewolf. My favorite part of this drawing is the eyes, which contain some wonderful fine details that make the picture almost seem alive.

Brian Stelfreeze surprised me somewhat coming up with this great Bride of Frankenstine. He began sketching and I had no idea what he was doing - I thought maybe Medusa or a harpie but when he got to that famous shock of hair I knew he had taken inspiration from the previous page's Frankenstein's monster to create this beauty that you can also hear screaming.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Amazon Rank

Amazon claims that the delisting of gay books on its book ranking list because they were tagged as "adult" was a glitch, but it's been happening since February and a customer service representative wrote that it was a policy. "Glitch" seems far too convenient an excuse, especially since it's been happening since February while truly adult, however heterosexual, literature has never been removed.

So, in the spirit of redefining santorum, I present to you Amazon Rank

Happy Easter

Today, on the perhaps the most meaningful day of the Christian faith, the day representing the hope and salvation of ALL people, I'd like to point to what is certainly to be a rising surge of fundamentalist Christian lies and misinformation about and hate towards gays and lesbians. With the decision in Iowa, the passing of marriage in Vermont for same-sex couples, and DC's recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states, rabidly anti-gay sentiment has already started and will undoubtably increase towards an unbearable cacaphony of venomous noise.

It's already started with NOM's (National Organization for Marriage) much and rightly ridiculed new, fear-mongering ad of lies

Here is a brief but good response to the ad

Here is a slightly longer, better response to the ad

Mark Morford's scathing (and right on) review of the ad: Fear the Rainbow (SF Gate article)

Thom Hartmann takes on Brian Brian of NOM (video)

And a funny take on the dumb ad

Perhaps one of my favorite questions for fear-mongering fundies is this: Which type of traditional marriage are you supporting?
The Eight Types of Marriages / Families Found in the Bible
Bible Passages Against Marriage

By the way, the Bible doesn't address same-sex marriage. Not saying something about a topic isn't the same as condemning it. Go enroll in a basic logic course.
The Bible and Same-Sex Marriage

And while we're on it, let's see what the Bible says about the Gays in general. Love Mel White's point at the end that, hey, America isn't a theocracy....yet. So religious arguments against civil marriages need to just go away.
What the Bible Does and Doesn't Say About Homosexuality

When will so many Conservative Christians understand that God isn't as small and fearful as they are?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Who President Obama is to me

Joe My God reports on the updating of the official White House websitewith a list of commitments to LGBT rights. I think this is huge.
Even if they are not fulfilled, to have this on our nation's website is a proud step forward.

A CNN poll shows that 2/3 of African-Americans believe that Dr. King's dream of race relations has been fulfilled. I think this is incredibly optimistic and a bit naive.
Martin Luther King III said it best when he stated that an aspect of the dream has been fulfilled, but that as long as there is poverty and inequity, there is work to be done on the dream.

Many people seem to view President Obama as some type of savior or the living embodiment of Dr. King's vision. I don't see him as either.

I am exceptionally glad to have Barack Obama as my president. I supported him from the start. I absolutely think he is the right person for the job and who our country needs as a leader right now. That said, he's not a savior he's human and he'll make mistakes. He'll make decisions I and others won't agree with. I still believe that he's not just the best choice he's the right choice for our country. He's never been completely where I'd want him to be on LGBT rights. I don't think we will see much and certain not quick advances in civil rights legislation on the federal level during his term(s). I hope I'm wrong, but there are at least more pressing concerns.

I'm proud of my country and I'm proud of this moment and for what President Obama represents. THis represents a milestone in our country's history and attitudes. This election represents the hope and almost mythical promise that anyone can be president. This election represents the hope that we'll have a woman president and one day even a gay or lesbian president (and corresponding first man or lady). The symbol and significance of the choice of Obama greatly outstrips whatever the man's performance will be. This presidency represents a change in the American conciousness.

Without a doubt, he'll make choices I don't like, he'll make mistakes, he probably won't advocate for LGBT rights like I would like him to, he may prove to be more of a politician than I'd like. He already has; he's also made choices that I'm very pleased with. His inauguration celebration has included one notably regretable choice, but has also incorporated our community in a way that it never has previously and in some very significant and powerful ways. I couldn't be happier and prouder as an American at this point.