Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Garminman! Soowatch!

My friend Dave Lamb had himself a bad day at work, and when he got home he flicked on the tube and THIS is what he saw. This'll make anyone's day better. It worked for me. It turns out that this was a Super Bowl commercial. Frankly, I'm impressed. I stopped caring about Super Bowl commercials when they introduced "The Pepsi Generation." I'm just glad that there are still people out there in the industry (besides myself) that really understand the cultural significance and visual legacy of Japanese Kaiju Eiga. Those folks need to give me a call.
watching: Eraserhead
listening to: Frontline Assembly

Monday, May 28, 2007

You a winner. Ha Ha Ha. You a Winner.

I never win anything. Not that I try all that hard to win things. To me, contests are things that other people benefit from. It's always someone from some town in Iowa that I've never heard of. It's a big country, and any time there's a contest that the entire country can partake in, then I'm guaranteed that one minute of disappointment. Oh, never, ever let yourself get invested in games of chance. It happens every time McDonalds starts up a new round of it's Monopoly game. I find myself with a few good pieces, and begin to plot the next time I can super size some fries just to get two new pieces. Sheesh.
But for some reason, I'm lucky when it comes to Godzilla- well at least marginally lucky. When I went to G-con '93, I was lucky enough to be sitting in one of the "special" seats that won me my photograph of the Godzilla statue in Tokyo, autographed by Hiroshi Kashiwabara (screenwriter of Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla). That's framed on my dresser. So when Monster Zero announced a contest for DVD's of the new footage shot for a Godzilla pachinko machine, I figured, what the hey? You don't see cool contests like that very often.
And what do you know? A few weeks ago I received a DVD in the mail. I won a prize! Now it turns out I wasn't a big winner, more like "second place," which was a promotional DVD of behind-the-scenes footage of the new short films. While it was just a five minute promo, it still whet my appetite for what was coming- new Godzilla battles shot by the Hesei master Kiochi Kawakita. What makes these new films so interesting are the decisions to use monster designs that have never been seen together onscreen. In the scene that I saw filmed, the Millenium Godzilla (Godzilla 2000) goes toe-to-toe with the King Ghidorah from GMK: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. Just beautiful. Other monsters featured on the DVD were the Kiryu (the latest Mechagodzilla), the Final Wars Gigan, and the glorious shoulder spikes of Space Godzilla. How these films will fit into a pachinko machine is a mystery to be solved at a later date, on eBay. Or perhaps they'll show up on Youtube. Either way, enjoys these shots from the DVD I won by mailing in a postcard. It can happen to you........

Watching: Pan's Labyrinth
Listening to: Beastie Boys

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Machines Mocked Me at the Saturns

May 10th was the 33rd Annual Saturn Awards. For those of you only familiar with "televised" awards shows, like the Oscars,the Grammies, the Emmys, the Golden freakin Globes, and the Oh-my-god-could-we-please-have-one-more-award-show People's Choice- The Saturns are for geeks. The good kind. Not the chicken-head biting kind. The kind of geeks who bring you all those wonderful sci-fi, fantasy and horror films and shows. Watch Heroes? It's a geek show. It's a live action comic book.....but don't worry, I won't tell anyone you watch it. So yeah, the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror pays tribute to some really great genre work every year, and throw a pretty good shindig. And I got to go! Monster House was nominated for best animated feature (we didn't win, Cars did. Go figure.), and through Gil Kenan, my most-of-the-time director, I scored tickets. "Totally rad" thanks to Gil and Rebecca for the hook up.
This was my first award show. Nothing too big and fancy, but there were plenty of Hollywood faces for me to point out to friends. I even got to geek out a bit myself at some Battlestar Galactica cast. I tell you, every bit of integrity Edward James Olmos brings to Adama on screen is 100% him. He's too cool. And Katee Sackhoff is just plain adorable. So I got a free meal and even more free drinks and enjoyed watching Hollywood give itself another little pat on the back. Of course I was applauding with all the rest when friends won. A big fat "congrats" to Guillermo del Toro and Mike Dougherty.
Oh yeah, the picture...well a few more drinks and one gigantic bag of geek swag later, my friend Kyle and I made our way to the after-party, which was being held at a bar in the deserted Universal Citywalk. Which, in and of itself, was kind of creepy. If the mall in Dawn of the Dead was lit like Vegas. The After Party was pretty much more free beer, another bag of geektastic swag (where do they get this crap?) and sitting around, because I knew all of five or six people there and mingling was silly. Kyle must have snapped this with his phone while I was busy chickening out of talking to James Gunn and trying to text Mike Dougherty.
Yeah chickening out. Not that big of a deal, but James Gunn IS a director of monster movies (he directed Slither) and I happen to draw pictures for directors of movies (preferably those with monsters). But he looked to be having a good time chumming it up with Nathan Fillion, which was pretty shiny, and I hadn't had enough to drink to be sociable with strangers.
As for texting Mike. I hate texting, but it's the best way for me to get him. In the time it takes me to text "hey what are you doing?", I could have just called whoever and been done with it. What's the damn point of the text message?
Anyway. That was the Saturns. If you ever get a chance, go. You could meet some cool people. I did. Hell, the guy sitting next to me at dinner was sort-of working there, and a huge genre fan, and when I told him I worked on Hellboy his eyes grew wide and he excitedly asked, "'re not the guy? The guy who showed Guillermo his book and got a job?" Yup. That was little ol' me. The guy. I didn't know I had that kind of folk hero status amongst my fan-boy geek brethren. Boosted my ego for bit. Or maybe that was the beer.
Here's a little bit of news to throw out there. This is the cover to a small-format Hellboy comic that'll be shipped out June 12th with a couple hundred thousand copies of the Hellboy Animated: Blood and Iron DVD. Neat, huh? By the way, Theatre of the Dead was the story I provided the art for....feels like a millenia ago. Why it was chosen as the title for this collection? Beats me. So head on over here to check out the DVD and if you want to see some black and white versions of my pages from the comic, go here.
Now this Robot Operator must go kill things in God of War 2.

watching: Ultraman Mebius & the Ultraman Brothers!
listening to: Magnolia Electric Co.