Andy's Art and Whatever

Monday, November 24, 2008

Holiday Wish List

I don’t expect to get any of this stuff, but I thought it would be fun to make a wish list of what I either really, really, want or desperately need. Here goes:

-A George Forman Grill
Specifically the kind that the grill comes out and is dishwasher safe, making cleaning a breeze. I have a George Forman grill, but it’s 6 years old and it’s crusty and gross and you can’t use soap to clean it. I like cooking meat, but the frying pan sets off the smoke alarms and in the oven takes forever.

-Rock Band 2 for Wii
I was thinking of Guitar Hero World Tour, but I think Rock Band has a much wider selection of music to choose from.

-Wii Games
—Wario Land: Shake It (cuz I love 2-D)
—Bully: Scholarship Edition
—Trauma Center: Under the Knife
—De Blob
—$50 Wii Points card for WiiWare and VC downloads

-A new External Hard Drive. Mine is only 30gigs, and of that 30 I have 2 left to use, and I need 1 to run my computer. So more memory is always welcome. Plus I don’t want my old hard drive to crash like my LAST External Hard Drive did... Damn Death Star...

-New “Indiana Jones” like hat. I wear a hat a lot and it’s how many people identify me. Last week my hat finally broke it’s rim and I almost lost my P-chan pin. I need a new hat.

-More Blue-Line Comic Paper. It’s expensive stuff... $24 for 24 sheets? Wow. But if I wanna make comics, I gotta work on the pro stuff.

-Renewal to Nintendo Power. Ok so I don’t really NEED this... but I like to feel secure that my subscription isn’t going to run out...

-A Tablet PC. Yeah I know I’m not gonna get THIS for a while. Costing well over $2,000 this is by far my most fantastical dream. Owning a Tablet PC would just be AWESOME... being able to draw RIGHT ON THE SCREEN would just make doing artwork so SO much easier. Especially if I wanted to do paintings.

-A Widescreen HD-TV. Again, don’t need, but would be nice to have eventually... especially as everything is going HD anyway.

-A Widescreen monitor for my computer. I had one, but as we all know, it died about 2 weeks ago just a few days past it’s warranty. I have a replacement, but it’s not widescreen and it’s a tube, so the quality is a little lacking. I miss having my wide screen monitor.

-A Printer. I have a scanner/printer combo that I’ve had since 2000. It’s worked fine till about a year ago. Then the printer started crinkling up the paper as it took it in. Now it doesn’t print at all. For someone who’s always making new artwork on the computer, not being able to print it out and have a version I can take around to conventions and stuff is quite the handicap.

-A LARGE scanner. I know there are scanners larger than 8x11. I need one that can scan in one of my blue-line comic pages. Something large enough to scan in 15x20. That would be ideal. Because right now I have to scan my blue-line artwork in parts and stitch them together.

-Some Comics
— The rest of Ranma ½. I’d really like to get this before they go out of print.
— Some Batman or Superman or something. I don’t know really, so that’s kinda hit or miss.

So there are a few things I wish I could get this Christmas. It ain’t gonna happen, but it’s nice to have a list I can refer back to when I have some extra money. Sigh....

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bolt Review

MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I saw the trailer for this movie during Wall-E and have wanted to see it for a long time. I don’t watch TV, so I never saw any previews for it and always thought it was the next Pixar movie. Turns out I was wrong. It’s a Disney movie (kinda like Chicken Little) which kinda turned me down as their movies have kinda stunk lately. But it IS produced by John Lassetter of Pixar fame, so that made me curious again. Today we finally go to see it. In 3-D no less.

I have to say that the 3-D really made this movie a bit more special than if it were just 2-D. The first 5 minutes of crazy action really brought you into the movie with the depth the 3-D gave, but it was the emotional journey of the characters which made you completely forget it was 3-D and just enjoy it for what it was, a really good movie.

At times it kinda felt like a hodgepodge of various sources. The main female protagonist named “Penny” who has a special dog and fights an evil corporation who have evil cats? Hmm... kinda sounds like Inspector Gadget.

The notion that a film company is taking great lengths to keep a character deluded and not aware of the fact it’s all fake? Kinda sounds like The Truman Show.

A character who’s from a hit-TV show who’s totally into his role and doesn’t know that he’s not real? Kinda sounds like Buzz Lightyear.

A bunch of GodFather-like pigeons? The sad stray Alley Cat? Goodfeathers and Rita from Animaniacs.

But aside from the hodgepodges of other sources, this movie is still really enjoyable. It’s not crazy whiz-bang-in-your-face like so many other movies have been (including Disney’s own recent CG movies) and the characters develop nicely and it’s a joy to watch them all interact with each other. Bolt is especially cute to watch and you just feel so much sympathy for him towards the end when he thinks he’s lost the love of Penny.

There are some great character animations throughout the film, including an overzealous uncaring agent, a crazy enthusiastic geeky hamster in a ball, and a bunch of forgetful pigeons. The animation is really spot on, and sometimes you forget that you’re watching a cartoon, which is wonderful. While the story may not be 100% original, it was still very entertaining and enjoyable and definitely worth watching again.

I guess my only real gripe is that I won’t get to see this movie in 3-D on DVD. The glasses were fantastic in the theater, but I doubt they’d be as good at home. On a side note: I think 3-D animated films are going to be the next big thing. It seems like everything is going 3-D now. We saw 4 previews for upcoming animated films, and all of them were in 3-D. It makes me wonder if it might be possible to do a 3-D 2-D animated film without it looking flat... after all, they did it just fine with the “Nightmare before Christmas” and that was never meant to be in 3-D... so why not? Something to ponder I guess....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Back Again

Well I’m back from yet another trip. Sigh... I wonder when I’m going to get some time to work on all these projects which are starting to pile up?

Went to Minneapolis to attend my girlfriend’s nephew’s birthday party. 9 screaming rambunctious kids running around with little to no way of restraining them for 6 hours? Ugh... fun but exhausting.

Tried to rent a Red-Box DVD for the first time ever and I gotta say that I am largely impressed. You’re given till 9pm the next day to return the movie, so if you can watch a movie within 24 hours, Red Box is certainly a cheap alternative to Block-Buster. I was able to rent “Wall-E” and “Forbidden Kingdom” for $2.06! Wow... That would’ve cost me about $10 at Blockbuster since they’re New Releases and they would’ve been only overnight as well. (Also since I don’t think many people use these machines you can find brand-new releases in stock whereas at Blockbuster or Movie Gallery they would be sold out) So yay!

I’ve also gotten some offers from some different places over the weekend too. One place wants to use an image I made in a book, and another ... well I guess I can’t really say too much without knowing for certain yet... so let’s just say... I got some potential art-related offers which might help me in the long run. Lol.

I also don’t think I’m gonna go anywhere to celebrate Thanksgiving. My family is all out in Massachusetts, and with all the traveling I’ve been doing lately, I’m starting to get really sick of going anywhere. Not to mention I’ll be working, probably hard to get the time off, and why bother anyway, as it pays more as a holiday to work. I need the money. Sigh...

Winter depression is starting to set in on me... just gotta keep my chin up and focus on what’s around me rather than what’s unknown ahead of me. Sigh...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Back in Action

Isn’t Craigslist wonderful? Within 24 hours of my other monitor crapping out on me, with the assistance of my girlfriend, I was able to secure a new 17'’ flat screen monitor for a mere $35. Just hooked it up and after a few adjustments to the resolution, I am back in action.

What a crazy week it’s been eh? Comic Con on Sunday, Election on Tuesday, dying computer on Wednesday, and buying new monitor on Friday. The first African-American president along with a severe blow to gay rights activists, coupled with some of the highest percentage of unemployment seen in a century. Wow...

Well I can’t stay and chat but at least I’m back up and running. Although I gotta admit that I was spoiled. This new resolution, although technically is still quite large, feels kinda like I’m looking through a tube or something. Sigh... I liked my wide-screen monitor... oh well...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Art theft?

http://www.capsuco.com/product_info.php/cPath/1_24/products_id/427?osCsid=7d100372d067f6d89f9b2d424f0a7b4f

What the F***?

The worse thing is that since Mario is not my own character, there’s probably nothing I can do about it. But even still... holy hell...

The company, as far as I can tell, is based in Malaysia and the person answering the phone kept hanging up on me and spoke very little English.

Thanks to the person online who found this rip-off. I am in the process of trying to get it taken down, but as I already said... I dunno if I’ll be able to...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

History in the Making

It’s not often one gets to witness history being made. Many times the important or significant event does not seem as important or significant at the time, and it’s only later in hindsight that we come to realize how monumental it really was. Other times the important event is over played and publicized far beyond what it should, which dulls down the impact. But then, there are times when a truly significant moment unfolds and you just know that no matter what, it’s going to have a huge impact upon our future generations. Tonight was one of those nights.

Of course unless you’ve been under a rock, you know now that Barack Obama is our new President. I heard the announcement today while I was at work, and I was able to get off just in time to hear McCain’s defeated speech. While walking to the car I could hear horns on the road beeping triumphantly, and I could see crowds of people on the sidewalks jumping, cheering and laughing. Shortly after picking up my girlfriend from her work, we both sat and listened to Obama’s acceptance speech live on the radio.

Today was seriously one of the most surreal days I have ever experienced. From waiting in line in the morning to vote, to the bits and pieces of information that trickled in while I was at work, to the final moment when I heard that Obama had one. It ended almost a good 4 or 5 months of worry, doubt, fear, and dread that I have been experiencing. It was like someone just took a weight off my back.

Now I just wanted to point out a curious thing I noticed while listening to the defeated speech and the acceptance speech. I noticed that Obama mentioned how John McCain had served for America and put up with a lot of stuff and fought valiantly, to which he got cheers and applause. But the moment Obama’s name came up in McCain’s speech, there were loud groups of people booing, hissing, and shouting negative things. That struck me as a little odd and it can really show you the difference in mentality between the republicans and the democrats. One wants to extend an olive branch to the other side, while the other side wants to cuss, point fingers, and blame. That’s a little sad.

I liked the story at the end of Obama’s speech which talked about the 106 year old black lady who has been through so much in such a short amount of time. I think that was a nice touch and it perfectly summed up the achievement of this win.

Of course there’s a lot to be done now. Obama may be our next president but we don’t know if he’s going to be able to live up to his promises, if he’s going to be able to fix our economy, or possibly fend off another potential terrorist attack. Time will tell I guess, if Obama’s got the answers to all those things.

At the most, I would like to see Obama restore the balance of power in the government which has been for so long screwed up thanks to Bush. When 9/11 happened, Bush acted so fast that it was hard to truly understand what he was doing, and soon enough, he has had more influence and power than anyone EVER should have. I would Like to see Obama bring that tip of the scale back to normal so that BOTH parties have equal shares and say, the way it’s suppose to be.

All I can say is...

I’m just happy Palin’s not in a position of power.

Boston Comic Con

Wow. Just... wow. This has to be the best Comic Con that I’ve gone to thus far. All the previous comic cons I have rarely sold anything, and very few people ever came up to say “Hi” or to look through my art and stuff. Most of the times I would get bored sitting there all day long. But not in Boston! It was jam packed with people, and they weren’t shy about coming up and engaging in conversation.

I was able to sell a lot of books, and I even sold a couple prints I made up which I had no intention of selling. Lol. I had made up some art folders for people to look through with the original drawing on one side of the book and the finished colored print of it on the other. But so many of the colored pictures were drawing attention, that I actually sold some of them to people. Which if fine for me, cuz I can always print up more. Lol.

It was a good time had by all. I would go into insane detail but I’m really really tired right now and I gotta go vote for the presidential election. I’ll catch ya all later.