Friday, 30 October 2009

No No Zero in The Nobody!

Jeff Lemire - who you may recall did the wonderful artwork for No No Zero's Rough Stuff album - recently released his first comic for DC/Vertigo, The Nobody. Here we have a couple of early work-in-progress pages from that same title.

The artwork features a poster of none other than No No Zero (!!) adorning the door of a young lady's bedroom (for some reason, featuring the rose from the cover of Depeche Mode's Violator album?!?). We also see that she has a poster for Catl on her wall, and still another for C'Mon taking pride of place above her headboard.

What are we to make of this? Are we to believe this girl has a thing for Toronto-based bands getting a bit long in the tooth? Has such a person ever existed? Is this no less fanciful than the idea of an invisible man, walking around doing things no one sees?

Regardless, it's very flattering if you're one of these bands and I knew I had to mention it here. When Jeff first sent it to Johnny LaRue, The Nobody had yet to come out, so I was asked not to post about it. This is also why the lettering has yet to be done in the speech bubbles.

Now Mr. Lemire is on to his next title, a series called Sweet Tooth about a boy with antlers on his head!

What will this guy think of next?

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Canadian Design!

I may be that rarest of Canadians, someone happier with the hockey game off - but even I love the 70s-era goalie masks of Greg Harrison (my fave is probably his 78/79 Atlanta Flames mask for Yves Belanger).

It was while looking into these masterpieces that I happened upon The Canadian Design Resource. If you like Canadiana and/or design, it's a no-brainer. More than 453.592 kg of pictures to please the eye!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Oliver Reed Was Wasted!

Last night I found this nice tribute post on actor Oliver Reed -- a longtime personal favourite onscreen, someone you just can't take your eyes off of -- and spent several hours watching Youtube videos, interviews and appearances with the South London legend: After Dark, David Letterman, and so on.

To be fair, these clips highlight only one dimension of Oliver Reed, that of the vaguely threatening, clearly soused, hard guy with a quick wit and soggy lips. The threat of something violent happening in some of these clips is positively electric, like old GG Allin live show bootlegs, where every second has to be watched carefully because, at any second, anything could happen.

"Oliver Reed was a terrifying presence. Extremely dangerous man. He could be very sweet, but if he turned on you, he could make life terrible for you." - Richard Chamberlain

That's not so much fun if you're sitting across from (or next to) him, of course. Watching violence onscreen, the closest most of us come to fear is a sort of sympathetic embarrassment or outrage; absent the fear, absent a fight-or-flight response, violence viewed in this way can become thrilling, funny, addictive - that popping thrill of sudden physicality, flashing.

I was laughing at Reed's antics and stories, sure, but I found myself debating the pros and cons of what I was seeing, the enigma, if you will, of Reed's personality.

Oliver Reed, it seems to me, was something of an end point in terms of masculinity; being male utterly rules him, he is in masculinity's thrall. He seems helpless, almost doomed at times, to an all-consuming and relentless pursuit of establishing alpha-male status, and to quenching his twin thirsts for women and alcohol.

Like the head lion among the pride, he demands your attention - always the questions: what does he want? What is he going to do next? It's difficult to look away. A lot of guys eat this stuff up with a spoon, and it's not hard to see why - Reed was funny, had class, looked impressive, told great stories. He was loving being a man, it seemed, and was being very cool doing it - and this inspires men watching to feel some pride and kinship.

It's amazing to consider how different things might be now had Reed played the role of James Bond. But I digress.

I actually wanted to post a clip here concerning rock'n'roll. Here we see Oliver Reed in 1992 ("still in the pavilion"), holding forth on the subject of "real rock'n'roll", and his appraisal of the people doing the business in post-war Britain.

He mentions The Who and The Troggs as his all-time faves, and alludes to his own frustrated ambitions in that department, and his then-new 'Wild Thing' 7" single (with snooker ace Alex Higgins).

One shocker for me was the revelation that Reed had been approached to play in Toronto's production of the Tommy musical - go watch him in Ken Russell's crazy-ass film of the same name, and see if you think that was a very good idea.

When asked whether he is aware of his reputation as a difficult and dangerous TV chatshow guest, Reed here replies -

"to be sexy is unconscious... I mean, have you ever been to a bird, in love or in bed with a bird, and she didn't know she was sexy, and yet she was. That's what a real rock star's about".

And finally we see Ollie somewhat reluctantly getting his freak on:

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Monday, 12 October 2009

Arthur De Pins!

My brain still feels like jello after the other night, so I'll make this short and sweet and note that Arthur De Pins' cartoons are not only sexy as hell, but they're contemporary -- two qualities that often seem at odds with each other. He's even making these sexy cartoons with computers!

Unlike so many artists working in a sexual milieu, De Pins features all kinds of bodies in his work (with an emphasis on wide-hipped women I can't help but enjoy) and there's an unusual concern with the body within it: people check other people out, for instance, and we see that knowledge of the other is not always positive.

Indeed, De Pins' 2000 animated debut short Geraldine is about a man waking up to find his body is now that of a woman; these bodily changes, and the resulting change in how Gerald/ine is treated, inform the humour of the piece.

If bodies can sometimes be trouble in De Pins' world, sex at least is always fun. Even kinky scenes are imbued with a sunny, almost childlike, wonder.

Be sure to check out the Advertising > Animations section of his website, which has lots of fun little Flash bits to check out.