(from Erik Larsen’s Savage Dragon)

Powerhouse is a villain from the comic series Savage Dragon. He was a character that Savage Dragon creator Erik Larsen came up with as a kid (hence his ridiculous look). Despite this, he’s a serious threat in the book, and a fan favorite. I love him, and I originally drew this pic when I was in high school. I finished coloring it this week.

Don’t Look Up: why this great movie agitates

I just finished watching Don’t Look up: the film beautifully captures everything that frustrates me about social media.

The first principle of social media: people will follow people because they’re attractive or because they’ve found an echo chamber. Or both. The second principle: they’ll take the word of the people they follow over established expert professionals. In my “real world” job, I am an expert professional. And I find myself constantly at odds, trying to explain to lay people why the armchair experts they found on Tik Tok are incorrect, and that real science doesn’t support anything they’re saying. What the Tik Tok “experts” do say is what their followers are looking to hear. Even when it’s at their own detriment.

Social media loves to downplay the establishment, and traditional accepted expertise. Who do we blame for that? My guess is that when the news media was bought by major corporations, the agenda became a financial bottom line, and not truth and representation of the people. When the media stopped digging for real stories, and favored political agendas, people recognized it’s impotence on some level. So they sought out deeper truths on the Internet. But because there are no standards on the Internet, people seek out the things that the human mind has always sought: confirmation and affirmation. Confirmation Bias is a real, scientific principle, and it will keep people listening to the people who say what they want to hear, and who look like they want to look. Don’t Look Up portrays this beautifully. Great film, just expect to be angered and agitated by the (excellently acted) characters.

Wait really?

They sell this brand at Hispanic supermarkets. This is the equivalent of naming your brand of bread Tee-tee’s. To me it just sounds like subliminal advertising done wrong.

When I attended University, I used to sell knives for this shady pyramid-ish company called Vector. One of the features of their carving knives was the the patented “Double-D blade”. They told us that the blade was intentionally named that way because ‘LoL iT mAkEs YoU tHiNk BoObS sEx SeLLz”. It didn’t help sales. It made selling harder. I made my sales pitch almost exclusively to either women or women and their partners, and naming the blade was awkward at best, and body shaming, sexual aggression at worst.

Subliminal messaging, when done correctly, leave the person thinking about a thing without them knowing why they’re thinking about it. Or at the very least, it leaves them feeling responsible for interpreting something to be sexually when to them it wasn’t intended to be. Like when movie theaters used to splice a single frame advertisement into their movie reels. Using a name that’s also a sex thing is overt: there’s no mistaking that the person intended a double entendre. Frankly, neither is a particularly savory practice. The most honest way to use sex for sales is to just blatantly sell sex.

When selling knives, I stopped naming the blade by name. It made my job more comfortable, and when I felt better about what I was doing, I was a better salesman. It took a little bit longer for me to stop working for the company altogether. As you can imagine, “sLy” product naming wasn’t their only sketch practice.

I went to Brown, so things like this get me excited.

Brown University

I’m not sure what year this was taken, but it’s clearly early last century. The fact that the campus looks the exact same, minus the styles dudes are wearing, it pretty damn amazing. To me.

Not gonna lie, though: I might rock a hat like that were I to ever find one. My partner might not be too happy. :p #brownuniversity

A quick project to stay fresh

It’s been an incredibly busy past couple of months, but I was able to do some quick deck box decorations. I used markers this time instead of water colors.

I use this one for transporting decks to the shop or wherever I am going to play.
This one is for storing my Standard cards that haven’t yet found their way into a deck. And honestly, I’ve already run out of room in the box (I was heavy into Kaldheim and Zendikar- really loved those sets.)

One thing that was different this time around in doing art on a box: I drew on older boxes that have already been beat up. I had less investment in the finished product, since it was already something old and well used. As a result, with less emotional investment, I was able to work faster and not worry so much about mistakes. You wouldn’t think so, but markers ended up being faster this time around than watercolors. And I’m not sure if that’s because of the medium, or the emotional investment. With the markers, there was also one fewer steps, as I didn’t bother to seal the boxes using contact paper (moisture doesn’t ruin ink like it it does watercolor). Anyway, I expect more of these to be done, given the speed with which I was able to work.

Drawing full-sized pages

Page 6 of Monster Chompster #1

It’s my first issue of Monster Chompster!!! I created Chompie years ago when I was in college as the main character of a comic strip. I think I drew maybe 20 three-panel strips, and IIRC, like 4 of them were actually printed in the University newspaper (I have a few copies of the papers somewhere). Most of the time that I spent “creating” the character was devoted to building my website, writing up character bios, drawing desktop wallpapers, etc. I talked more about what I planned to do instead of actually doing it.

This time around, I’m doing things differently. So far, I have 5 pages penciled, and the rest of the issue is plotted and more or less scripted. Being that I’m going with a full-on cartoon style, the actual drawing is very fast. The much larger barrier is the emotional resistance that I have. For some reason, I have to push myself to draw each panel. I suspect that maybe it’s because I’ve wanted to see this project done for so long, that I’m terrified of seeing it realized, and that the final product will be less than what I was hoping for. Or that people won’t enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed it in my own head. I don’t know.

The important thing though, is that I’m doing it. Even if it’s slowly progress, at some point I’m expecting to break through the psychological barrier, and will be able to throw down pencils speedily. I’ve got three stories written so far, and my pencils are the biggest barrier to sharing them.

X-Factor’s Gambit!

I drew this years ago; colored it tonight. People may not remember when Gambit was a member of X-Factor, but it was one of my favorite books Marvel’s published. I’m sad that we may never see the Quicksilver/Remy friendship again, but at least I can still draw from that era (pun intended). #x-factor #allnewxfactor #x-factor

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