Sunday, October 18, 2015

Andy Fairhurst (artist)

I love the combination of kid-size figures with the iconography of classic heroes. Andy Fairhurst, an artist from North Wales, has many more of these pieces on his deviant art page that you can check out here. He also has a set of "geek kids" that is pretty cool, too.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Animated Comic Covers

There are two talents I wish I had: (1) the capacity to carry a tune and (2) the ability to draw. I don't wish I had these talents in order to earn money at them or become famous by them. I just like to sing (though my brother likens my singing to a cow mooing), and I liked to draw simple cartoons as a kid. (I liked coloring them the best, though. I am a huge fan of coloring.) An example of my work:
A Coffee-Stained Example of a Drawing from My High School Days: Captain Chemistry
An Aged & Coffee-Stained Example of a Drawing From
My High School Days: "Captain Chemistry"
A Cleaned Up Version of Captain Chemistry that took Entirely Too Long to Tidy Up
A Cleaned Up Version of "Captain Chemistry"
(That Took Entirely Too Long to Tidy Up in Adobe FireWorks)

Not only am I a complete dork for drawing about a Captain of Chemistry, I still chuckle at my efforts to infuse the word "chemistry" with a Bunsen burner, a measuring glass, and a carbon ring. Like The Doctor, I thought I was clever.

I also came up with a name for my comic strip (the one that I have yet to actually create): "The short End." (<-- The "short" is deliberately un-capitalized to emphasize its shortness, and it comes from the adage: "The short end of the stick.")

While I lack both the talent and physical capacity to be the cartoonist I once imagined being, I still look for ways to be "artistic." I tend towards synthesis rather than creation. It just seems to be the way my brain works. While I cannot craft something out of the ether, I do aspire to combine and animate art already created by others.

One set of animated gifs by Kerry Callen (of classic comic book covers put in motion) illustrates the kind of craft I would like to learn how to do.

Animated Classic Superman Cover
Classic Superman Animated Cover

Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #4 Animated Cover
Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #4 Animated Cover

The Amazing Spider-Man #33 Animated Cover
The Amazing Spider-Man #33 Animated Cover

Batman #15 Animated Cover
Batman #15 Animated Cover

Daredevil, The Man Without Fear #7 Animated Cover
Daredevil, The Man Without Fear #7 Animated Cover

Fantastic Four #51 Animated Cover
Fantastic Four #51 Animated Cover

Iron Man #128 Animated Cover
Iron Man #128 Animated Cover

Lois Lane, Superman's Girlfriend #29 Animated Cover
Lois Lane, Superman's Girlfriend #29 Animated Cover

Batman Incorporated (v.2) #13 Animated Cover
Batman Incorporated (v.2) #13 Animated Cover

Batman, The Dark Knight Returns Animated Cover
Batman, The Dark Knight Returns Animated Cover

Justice League of America #6 Animated Cover
Justice League of America #6 Animated Cover

All discovered on tumblr, of course. I'll leave you with one of his best: Calvin & Hobbes.

Calvin and Hobbes: The Days are Just Packed Animated Cover
Calvin and Hobbes: The Days are Just Packed Animated Cover

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


Sense8 Netflix Promo Image
Sense8 Netflix Promo Image
I am only four episodes in and I am already in love.

In fact, I find I cannot binge-watch Sense8 because each episode requires my full attention. Each draws me in and leaves me wanting to linger in the sensations and thoughts it has provoked in me.

I felt this way about the Wachowskis' Cloud Atlas as well.

I find myself haunted and intrigued. I feel as if they are tapping into something profound, some piece of humanity's shared experience right out of the Jungian collective unconscious.

And, as a result, these stories touch me in the same inarticulate-able way that music can stir the heart.

And J. Michael Straczinski -- writer of plays, films, TV, and comics as well as a director and executive producer of one of my favorite Sci-Fi shows in 1990s television: Babylon 5 --  is their co-writer and co-creator! What a combination of idealists and dreamers.

There is something deeply rooted in the human experience that is noble/heroic, despite the harm and selfishness and idiocy we subject ourselves and each other to. These creators write normal humans who are extraordinary within their normality.

And, as with their other works, in Sense8Straczinski and the Wachowskis proffer a deeply personal interconnectedness, one in which all humanity shares as hopeful, conflicted, inspired, and wounded beings--- one that we all could embrace by letting compassion and empathy be our guides.

If I were to be said to have a mystical belief system, this Netflix show depicts that spiritualism made manifest. We are better for our link to one another, a link that must be believed in and embraced and protected.

Sense8 cast pics with character names and actors' names under each pic

Monday, June 1, 2015

Making art with art: "Panels that become Creepy"

On tunblr today, I ran across these amazing gifs fashioned out of classic pieces of art. Unfortunately, my efforts to locate the creator of these little masterpieces was hindered by my lack of Italian language skills. The most common "attribution" I found was: QUADRI CHE DIVENTANO TERRIFICANTI, which Google translate tells me basically means "Panels that become Creepy." Oh so very true.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Helen Slater as Supergirl in a promo shot for the 1984 film.
Helen Slater as Supergirl
I'm old enough that my live-action Supergirl was Helen Slater in the 1984 film Supergirl.

She went on to guest star as Kal-El's mom, Lara, in the WB's (later the  CW's)  Smallville.

Screen capture of Helen Slater, as Lara, and Julian Sands, as Jor-El, from the TV show "Smallville"
Julian Sands (Kal-El) and Helen Slater (Lara) on Smallville
(I confess I had a little crush on Ms Slater back in the '80s and found her Lara preferable to Laura Vandervoort's supergirl in Smallville, but that's neither here nor there.)

Melissa Benoist as Supergirl in promo shoot for CBS's 2015 Fall TV show
Melissa Benoist as Supergirl

Now Andrew Kreisberg and CBS plan to re-introduce the character to TV in the Fall of 2015 with Melissa Benoist as the titular heroine.

Having become a daily tumblr-user, I have also become better acquainted with the construct called "fandom."

I am a bona fide geek-girl from youth having been raised on nightly readings of J.R.R. Tolkein's Lord of the Rings and the long lines and action figures for Star Wars IV (the original release). I am most assuredly a fan.

However, I have never before experienced the equivalent of the modern fandom found online: people who claim to love all things nerd-ish but have an amazing capacity to dissect and critique those artforms before they have even had a chance to be fully born.

I ask you, who among us could survive unscathed the brutal onslaught of critique modern artists must wade through to bring their creations to life (to print, the stage, or the screen)?

There has to be a better way to show our love for someone else's creation when we engage in conversation about how and why we love it.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Wonder Woman on The Mary Sue

Screen capture of the top of an article from Doctor Bifrost titled "Wonder woman and the Paternal Narrative: The Rise of Wonder Woman, the Fall of Women" from the 14 of May, 2015 found on The Mary Sue
Click the pic to go to the article.
Now here's a lengthy article I am most happy to link to on The Mary Sue: "Wonder Woman and the Paternal Narrative: the Rise of Wonder Woman, the Fall of Women" by Doctor Bifrost.

According to the credit at the end of the article, Doctor Bifrost is not, in fact, from Asgard:
Doctor Bifrost is a software engineer, writer, reader, activist, and big-time nerd. He was brought up on The Lord of the Rings, The Left Hand of Darkness, Greek & Norse mythology, and comic books, which he’s been reading since he was four. He’s still running a D&D game he started in 1982. Doctor Bifrost enjoys well-thought-out world-building and nice merlot. He can be reached at
Cover A of Wonder Woman #1 from the New 52 (2011) featuring the art of Cliff Chiang
Cover A of Wonder Woman #1
from the New 52 (2011) featuring
the art of Cliff Chiang
The article is a good read and addresses a dramatic shift in Wonder Woman's origin story with DC's New 52 reboot of their story-lines in 2011. I am quite a fan of Cliff Chiang's art work for the series, but I have to agree with Doctor Bifrost's complaint that transforming Diana's back-story into the archetypal "paternal narrative" version of the hero journey has robbed the series of its vital spark. 

Ironically, in the second issue of the series, the comic itself presents the traditional story of Diana's birth: being shaped from the clay by her mother Hippolyta...
Images from Wonder Woman #2 (2011) by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang depicting the traditional story of Diana's birth from clay with the textual narrative: "According to legend, Hippolyta -- the queen -- her womb was barren. Yet she desperately wanted a child... So, on a moonless night, she fashioned a child out of clay... and prayed to the gods for a miracle."

Images from Wonder Woman #2 (2011) by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang depicting the traditional story of Diana's birth with a textual narrative: "When she was done, she fell exhausted...into deep slumber....And with the sun above, Hippolyta was awakened by her child. Wonder Woman is the perfect amazon -- no male seed created her."

...only to dismiss this original version of the story as legend used to cover up the nature of Diana's true birth. Hippolyta finally confesses: "There was a man. No, there was more than a man. There was a God. The God. There was Zeus."

Images from Wonder Woman #2 (2011) by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang depicting Zeus and Hippolyta in combat with Hippolyta's textual dialogue: "There was a man. No, there was more than a man. There was a God. The God. There was Zeus."
Image from Wonder Woman #2 (2011) by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang with textual dialogue between DIana and Hippolyta: D: "I wasn't made of Clay." H: "I had to protect you from Hera! She's--"
Brian Azzarello, the writer, utilizes the familiar trope of Hera's dangerous jealousy of Zeus' paramours and hatred of his bastard children from Greek myth as Hippolyta's rationale for lying to Diana about the true nature of Diana's birth. 

To add to the heartbreak Diana feels over her mother's lies, Azzarello depicts her as feeling ashamed of her "new" birth, so much so that she must exile herself from her sisters, her mother, and Paradise Island forever. 

Image from Wonder Woman #2 (2011) by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang with text over image of Wonder Woman/Diana: "the Only Shame on this Island is MINE and I will Take it from you all...never to return."

Before this revelation, Diana's identity well into adulthood was of a woman born as a "perfect Amazon" -- someone so wanted that her mother's prayers created her, a miracle. Talk about taking the agency out of a female narrative. 

And by replacing it with the paternal narrative, Azzarello and the editors at DC have also replaced pride with shame as one of Wonder Woman's defining experiences.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mash-Ups: GoT & Disney

Text "Mash Up" in letters from various fonts on a lined backgroundWhen I was teaching, one of my favorite projects to assign was the video mash-up. The creativity of my students was boundless: they would stitch together some of the weirdest genre combinations (clips from Mary Poppins with a horror trailer soundtrack, for example) into something completely awesome and entertaining.

On tumblr, I came across some hilarious images mashing up Game of Thrones characters with a Disney animation style. After some research (in order to be able to attribute this fine work to the actual creators of said images), I ended up at and an article by Lauren Le Vine.

There I learned that illustrators Anderson Mahanski and Fernando Mendonça created the images which can be found on their website: Combo Estúdio.
GoT/Disney Mash-Up of John Snow and Ghost

John Snow & Ghost

GoT/Disney Mash-Up of a White Walker

White Walker/Other

GoT/Disney Mash-Up of Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion Lannister

GoT/Disney Mash-Up of Cersei Lannister

Cersei Lannister

GoT/Disney Mash-Up of Daenerys Targaryen with Drogon

Daenerys Targaryen with Drogon

GoT/Disney Mash-Up of Brandon Stark and Hodor

Brandon Stark and Hodor

GoT/Disney Mash-Up of Arya Stark and Sandor Clegane (The Hound)

Arya Stark and Sandor Clegane (The Hound)

GoT/Disney Mash-Up of Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth

Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth

GoT/Disney Mash-Up of Lord Varys

Lord Varys

GoT/Disney Mash-Up of Oberyn Martell (The Red Viper of Dorne) and Gregor Clegane (The Mountain)

Oberyn Martell (The Red Viper of Dorne) and Gregor Clegane (The Mountain)

GoT/Disney Mash-Up of Melisandre (The Red Woman)

Melisandre (The Red Woman)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Social Media

Social Media is an amazing and strange thing, especially to this forty-sumthin' non-digital native.
Graphic of the words "Social Media" with a pushpin in the upper left-hand corner

Ironically, my nickname in high school was "Unsociable Nerd." (Luisa G. used to tease me about this almost daily, noting how I never attended parties or went to sporting events after school.) As a true-blue introvert by nature, just being sociable at all takes a whole helluvalot of energy.

Don't get me wrong. I like people. I like them a lot. My occasional misanthropic tendencies come straight from my idealized notions of what humanity is capable. It is only those of us who see "what a piece of a work is a man" who become jaded when we (humanity) fail to employ our "apprehension... like a god" to IRL problems like poverty and climate change.

So how did this introverted misanthrope get mixed up in all this social media? I now stalk artists -- professional and amateur -- on DeviantArt and post their works on my Tumblr page, which I can then embed here on my blog. And that post, subsequently, I will no doubt share on FB and Twitter to make sure it gets seen.

I'm even propagating myself in social media. SOCIAL media...


And, it hardly takes any energy at all.


The above is Daniel Grzezkiewicz's latest: Mr. J. (Joker from the Batman universe). It is a disturbing take on the latest rendition of the Joker in the Batman comics by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo.
Comic Book cover for Batman (v.2) #17 by Greg Capullo

(I even get all my comics electronically
now through comiXology--
who needs to get out of the house to be social?)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Intellectual Property

Screen capture from the TV show "Smallville" with the text "Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster"
Here is an interesting read from Gerry Conway on his While I love me some free access to great comic book imagery through the interwebs, I still believe credit is due where credit is due.

It may not compensate for the economic equity creators like Siegel and Shuster deserve but did not receive, at least they get their creator credit for Superman. I think Conway and his ilk deserve at least that as well.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Daredevil Horns

I bet you didn't know that the horns on Daredevil's red outfit had a practical purpose. I surely didn't.
Two panels from Daredevil (vol. 1) #8 with Matt Murdock explaining the headgear of his Daredevil guise
Last two panels from page 7 of Daredevil Vol. 1, Issue #8 (June 1965)

Monday, April 20, 2015


Netflix Daredevil Logo

I have been reading the first several issues of the 1964 Daredevil comic after Netflixing/binge-watching the entire first series of the TV show on Netflix. (Yes, I watched all 13 eps within 24 hours of their 10 April 2015 release date -- addix is a part of this blog's title after all).

Since I am a nerd of the highest caliber, I have created a database in which I keep track of all the comics in my collection. This has enabled me to better associate authors and artists with their works. Besides the comics themselves, I use online sources to help me fill in some of the missing details (like release dates if available and variant issues, etc.).

The two primary sites I use to dig up this data are and Sometimes I cross-reference the information between them, but the release dates can get kinda dicey with the older stuff -- month and year, at best.

Nowadays people have access to better, more specific data online. That said, one of the issues I have with these sources, especially in regards to older issues, is that they often do not provide the colorist for the mags.

They will list authors, pencils, inks, letters, editors, practically everyone and the kitchen sink, but they fail to list the colorists. I don't get this as one of my favorite things is the beauty and depth coloring can add to an image. Coloring is like the soundtrack for the story -- it enhances the emotional layers we feel in a way we aren't always cognizant of.
The Joker close-up B&W Drawing by Mike Deodato, Jr.
Mike Deodato, Jr.'s Joker

Fábio Di Castro's 3-D Color Model of Mike Deodato, Jr.'s B&W Drawing of The Joker
Fábio Di Castro's 3-D Model 
of Deodato's Drawing
Here is an example to illustrate my point (pun's impossible to avoid here). Mike Deodato, Jr. is a terrific artist, and I have collected several of his comics and images of his work online. On his blog, he shared this Joker piece along with Fábio Di Castro's 3-D model based on Deodato's original drawing.

The art is top-notch creepy in the black & white ink drawing; there is clear menace and madness in the Joker's eyes. But, then, when you add color--- the Joker simply pops off the page and becomes a whole different kind of creepy. The lighting effects shift subtly, and now there's a sense of room around him, like he actually exists in space with you.

The point is that they are both beautiful and effective, but they are different pieces because of the choices made with the color palette. Those choices are a part of the art of comics, and the colorists should get credit for their good work, even in those books from the early days of publishing when coloring options were more limited.