Pop culture and other perspectives with an artistic P.O.V. By Mike Pascale.
All contents ©2012 Mike Pascale. Visual content ©2012 their respective owner(s).
Random stuff after a crazy week of hectic holiday prep, domestic diversions and commission craziness. First, some disturbing facts:
–Every day, 24 children in the USA die of accidental deaths. And five more die of cancer. You won’t see, hear or read anything about the individuals on the ubiquitous TV, Web or radio news, nor on the front pages of newspapers or the cover of magazines; nor will a bunch of Facebook pages post about them; nor will there be a flurry of “special editions” of news shows, magazines and other exploitations designed to increase viewership and enhance advertising revenue; nor will the President ever interrupt a national NFL game to talk about them.
But they’re still there, and their families are still scarred and devastated. Every single day.
I do have trepidations however. (And it’s not about Tim from THE OFFICE playing the central role; I only saw the first season many years ago so I easily “buy” him as Bilbo.) I don’t know if any of my theaters are showing the higher-speed version and from what I’ve read about it, I hope they’re not; yet I’m still curious to see what the difference is. The other concern is that because this is being stretched into three flicks like LORD OF THE RINGS was, that it will end the same way—with NOT ending. The first LOTR film had a perfect cut-off point, but for some ungodly reason, Peter Jackson or whoever decided to add a scene with Frodo and Sam about to storm the castle, and abruptly cut it off there!
Cliffhangers are fine for daily or weekly serials—NOT for movies that show several months or a few years apart! I’ll never forget how upset I was—my wife thought I was going to kick the seat in front of me right off its hinges! That is such a crappy thing to do to an audience. If THE HOBBIT ends on a similarly stupid mid-scene, I won’t kick anything, but I will refuse to see the next two until they’re out on video or OnDemand.
I’ve never read LOTR but I was forced to read THE HOBBIT in junior high school. I don’t remember anything other than being bored stiff. At that age, I was in my Golden Age of classic Marvel/DC comics and Warren magazines—no prose novel could even come close to Stan & Jack, Gene Colan, Joe Kubert, Bernie Wrightson, Neal Adams and so forth. So I’m probably one of the few people who will like the movie better than the book regardless.
Speaking of novels, I’m contributing to the second volume of STEAMPUNK ORIGINALS, a graphic anthology published by the fine-but-not-generous folks at Aracana. The projects are the brainchild of creative iconoclast, Mike Schneider of NeoFlux Productions; Mike was the brilliant mind behind NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: REANIMATED and a ground-breaking 100-plus drawings-in-three-seconds sequence in the Bill Plympton-inspired/sanctioned GUARD DOG GLOBAL JAM animation, which you can find on YouTube. Mine is the muscle-bound girl with the pink background—good luck spotting it! I’ve posted it here to save you the trouble.
I had only one page of art in the first Steampunk anthology (a splash page for a one-page tale by Scotty Moore), but for volume 2 I’ll have at least a four-page script. (I also have what I think is a hilarious idea for another piece but I have to run it by the editor.) I’ll let you know more as it progresses. Volume 2 is set to be published next spring. The 104-page Volume 1 just had its first online review, which you can read here.
I can’t review it objectively for obvious reasons but you should be able to find examples of it online or by searching Facebook for “Steampunk Originals.” (You can read more of the book here. If you’d like to order one, I can sell you a signed and remarqued one for $19.95 postpaid. Just ask Craig!)
Recently completed two commissions and currently working on the Christmas strips for John Lustig’s LAST KISS, all of which you’ll see this week. (Thanks to those who took advantage of last month’s 20 percent-off commission sale! Just a reminder that you can at least get FREE US SHIPPING till the end of the year. See below.)
That’s about all for now but I’ll see you next time with a review of the you-know-what movie.
P.S.: It’s not too late to squeeze in a commission for you! As mentioned, I’ll throw in FREE SHIPPING till December 31s.. I can only fit in one or two more before then so get your order in now–just ask Craig here!