Friday, April 30, 2010

Enanos matadores

Éstas son tres de mis últimas creaciones para mi nuevo ejercito de enanos. Hacía tiempo que tenía ganas de empezar a coleccionar enanos, y no precisamente porque sea un ejército bueno para el juego, ya que son lentos y su estrategia principal es quedarse esperando a que el enemigo les cargue y mientras inflarlo a disparos, cosa que no va con mi forma de combatir, que es más ¡¡¡A la carga!!! Sin embargo, es uno de los ejercitos más bonitos para pintar. Los matadores son unos enanos un tanto suicidas que entran al combate sin armadura, nunca retroceden, y matan o mueren. Como característica principal, destacaré que están cuadrados y que son pelirrojos.
En la foto de ahí arriba tenéis los tres primeros enanos del ejército. Como podéis comprobar, hay uno moreno, pero ése es Logan, ya que el parecido con nuestro viejo amigo de los X-Men es más que notable. Será en mayo cuando le ponga tres garras en el puño izquierdo.
¡Espero que os gusten!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Uncanny X-Men #518

This issue is a complete change of pace, and I enjoyed it a lot more than last month's. Matt Fraction takes us inside Emma Frost's mind, where Cyclops has gone to try and help her get rid of the piece of the Void she has been carrying with her. The story was cool (and I know I recently said I don't particularly enjoy tales about characters getting in somebody else's mind), and the artwork by Terry Dodson was phenomenal. I think I've said it before, but I like Dodson a lot more than Land, and I've realized I enjoy his issues much more than Land's. Plus, his experimental page layouts are really cool. I can't wait for next month's issue!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I'm Kick-Ass

Here you have a quick sketch of Kick-Ass, the main character from the awesome movie I saw a couple of weekends ago. I drew him from memory, without looking up photo references, so if the costume looks a bit off, that's why. I drew it in ink directly as a way to practice my curvy line, and I think it turned out kind of cute. I hope you guys like it!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tour the City With Us!

Some of you might have already seen some of these pictures, but just in case you haven't, let me provide you with a few links to some of the amazing photographs my girlfriend took on our recent trip to Spain. She used a Nikon D-50 camera combined with her great skills as a photographer. The results speak for themselves:

Lonja de la seda
Cathedral of Valencia
Torres de Serranos
Bioparc
City of Arts and Sciences/Aquarium
Mercado central
Gardens (Viveros and Jardines de Monforte)
Around Valencia (Featuring six pictures taken by our very own Nash!)

I hope you like them!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Stupid, Stupid Humans

It's hard not to hate people when you are surrounded by morons. Point in case. Last Saturday, my girlfriend and I went to the movies to see Kick-Ass, the film based on the comic book by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. When we got to the box office, my girlfriend pointed out the name showing on the screen wasn't Kick-Ass, but Kick A**. The guy selling the tickets overheard us, shook his head, and said "Yeah. Somebody complained because he was offended by the word and we had to change it." Welcome to the United States, where people will seek to ban what they don't agree with, disapprove of, or simply dislike. The same people, I guarantee, that will sing that "land of the free" line in the national anthem and will feel so good about themselves. Ah, hypocrisy --thy name is America.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

She's Collecting What?

The second entry in our Inappropriate Carvings series stars a woman who, for some reason, decided to collect whatever is about to come out of these guys' sphincters. To that effect, she went and got a couple of bowls to catch the bowels' excretions. It makes you wonder what the guy who carved this scene was thinking about!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Communicating 03

Here you have the third page of Cultura de comunicaciones, the story my sister and I submitted to a comic book contest last January. I really like the old monk's face in the first panel --he looks mean and unforgiving, and he is one of my favorite characters in the whole story. The guy in the second panel is Jean-Antoine Nollet, whose early experiments regarding transmitting electricity with a Leyden jar made me laugh so much I had to include him in my comic book. Finally, the guy in the third panel is Samuel Morse, even though my depiction of the famous inventor doesn't resemble the actual Morse all that much. (For some reason, his face looks like he should be in a bill or something.) At any rate, I hope you guys like this page!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Uncanny X-Men #517

Unfortunately, my predictions turned out to be correct. Issue 517 was pretty much a big fight, and that's the kind of issue that bores me to death. I thought Rogue was cool, but I really couldn't care less about super powered beings beating the crap out of each other, even if in this case it was monsters instead of villains. Still, Greg Land's artwork was easy on the eyes, so there was that. Hopefully, next issue will be better!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Kick Some Ass

This movie was so good I don't even know where to begin, so I should probably just command you to go to the nearest theater to see the movie --it was that good.

Kick-Ass is based on the comic book by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. I have never read it, so I don't know how good of an adaptation this film is, but it does kick major ass. The dialogue is good, with spot-on acting and inspired casting. The story is supremely entertaining, poignant, hilarious, violent, ludicrous, and touching, all at the same time. Matthew Vaughn, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors (his previous movie was the amazing Stardust), regales the audience with several surprises and bold decisions, and does a great job with pacing and scene-setting. Plus, the music is fun and goes perfectly with the action.

Kick-Ass was much more serious, darker, and violent than the previews made it look, and it was terrific fun to watch. My girlfriend loved it as much as I did (especially Hit Girl, played by Chloe Moretz), and we both agreed we could have just sat through it again immediately as soon as it was over. So, if you want to have a great time at the movies, do yourself a favor and go see Kick-Ass! You will not regret it!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Gears Are Back

Or will be back very soon. As Cliff Bleszinski says in this interview with Jimmy Fallon, the worst-kept secret in the videogame industry has finally been revealed. Gears of War 3 will come out in April 2011, and now you can watch the first trailer for the sure-to-be-awesome game. Things seem pretty bleak, but given how the second chapter of the saga ended, I can't say I am surprised. At any rate, the countdown has begun!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Early Contender

For worst movie of the year, that is. I mean, this movie was so bad I don't understand how it could have possibly been made. After reading the harsh reviews (like Nash's) and the poor word of mouth, I still thought I might enjoy the film, seeing as I would step into the theater with really low expectations. And it was still horrible.

There is nothing in this movie that's any good. Actually, I take that back. The creature design is cool. I liked the witches, the Kraken, the strange guys with glowing blue eyes, and the flying creatures Hades sends against the humans. However, and rather surprisingly, the effects were kind of bad, especially Medusa, who was all rubbery and super fake.

The story ("kill the Kraken") was horrendous, and the script was embarrassing. The movie opens with some heavy exposition that is narrated to us while we get to see some irrelevant images. Then it proceeds to gracelessly set the stage for Perseus to be all grown up with a handful of scenes cobbled together, only to have his origin revisited halfway through the movie, when another big chunk of bad exposition is inflicted upon the audience. Why not start the film with Perseus being ready to start his quest (get to the scene as late as possible, as William Goldman advices in his great book Which Lie Did I Tell?), and then work in the relevant parts of his past through dialogue and characters? I guess that would have required an effort on the part of the writers, and why do that when you can just phone it in?

The acting was okay, but with unfunny oneliners and bad dialogue there wasn't much the actors could do to hold the audience's interest or to be interesting themselves. Let me give you a particularly good (read "bad") example. Perseus and another guy are talking while crossing the river Styx on a boat, and the guy says something like "Perseus, keep leading us on," to which Perseus replies with a determined nod. What is the point of this exchange? Does he think Perseus is going to turn the boat around and go back the way they came? Of course he's going to keep leading them on!

Let's see, then. Bad story? Check. Laughable script? Check. Pointless dialogue? Check. Unremarkable characters? Check. Crappy special effects? Check. Should you skip this movie? Check to the Nth power.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cute Birdie

Welcome to the first entry (of four) in our Inappropriate Carvings series! As some of you know, I spent a week in Valencia, Spain, visiting with friends and family. I also toured the city with my girlfriend and went to see many buildings and other attractions, where we were surprised and delighted by a million different details. Some of those great discoveries were the carvings in La Lonja de la seda, aka the Silk Palace, a place where the silk traders used to gather to conduct their business back in the fifteenth and the sixteenth centuries. The building is impressive, and it is decorated with carvings everywhere. Said carvings tend to be of the floral type, with leaves, flowers, vegetation, and that kind of thing. However, every now and then, you can see humans, animals, gargoyles, dragons, and monsters. Plus, if you pay close attention, you can find unexpected gems like the one that accompanies these lines. I mean, look at it and tell me that's not wrong! The funny thing is that, as I was pointing it out to my girlfriend and "drawing" the lines in the air so that she could make it out, some other tourists saw me doing it and started laughing and taking pictures of the carving. And it is worth photographing, that's for sure!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Complicated Indeed

I got to watch It's Complicated on the plane on my way back from Spain, and even though I didn't quite agree with the glowing reviews I had read, I still liked it. I thought Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin (hilarious), and Steve Martin all did a great job portraying their characters, but the film was perhaps a little bit too much of a chick flick for me to fully enjoy. Still, it was cute and it helped pass the time on the plane, and I'm sure I could have done much worse, so there you go.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Communicating 02

Here you have the second page of Cultura de comunicaciones, the story my sister and I submitted to a comic book contest last January. I like this page, and I think the Greek runner is my favorite panel on this page. I kept thinking of the runner in Las doce pruebas de Astérix, and I tried to reproduce his look from my memories of the character, so he should be considered an homage to that classic of my childhood. I hope you guys like it!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Máscaras de Muerte

Sin duda éste es el mejor libro de la saga hasta el momento. Otra vez al pobre Harry le llueven los problemas, lucha contra demonios, los vampiros de la corte roja le desafian a duelos, le encargarn encontrar un sudario... De todo y un poco más.

Como es habitual en esta saga, nos encontramos ante un libro trepidante, lleno de acción, donde ni el que lo lee ni el pobre Harry tienen tiempo para descansar un minuto. Y encima, el autor nos regala con muchas frases ingeniosas. ¿Quién podría pedir más?

Los personajes secundarios empiezan a tener forma y fondo y, tengo que discrepar con Finn, pero me encanta el personje de Michael... Bueno, él y su familia.

El único problema que tiene el libro es que he estado esperando más de un año para leérmelo, y me lo he terminado en una semana. En fin...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Delivers as Promised

When you go to see a movie titled Hot Tub Time Machine you pretty much know exactly what you're getting into. I had seen the previews for this John Cusack movie a couple of times, and I had a feeling it was going to be a silly comedy that would make me laugh while questioning the coherence of the plot or the holes said plot was sure to have, but that would overall be a fun time at the movies. Well, I must say HTTM is exactly that, no more, no less. I did laugh a lot, and I enjoyed all those 80's references and common places (the hair! The clothes! The huge cell phone! The music!), but the plot wasn't exactly airtight and I can't say the predictability of several plotlines came as much of a shock. Still, I enjoyed HTTM, but it might be a rental instead of worthy of the big screen. You'll laugh and have a good time, but there are far better comedies out there. You watch it at your peril!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Uncanny X-Men #516

Issue 516 picked up right after last issue's cliffhanger, and it was also an entertaining read. Once again, Fraction and Land delivered a book that was solid if not outstanding. Maybe things will improve next month, even though I think I see a big fight coming, and you know I'm not exactly a big fan of those. I'll try to keep an open mind, though...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lie to Me

I got to watch The Invention of Lying on the plane on my way to Spain, and while it wasn't great, it was at least entertaining. When I saw the preview for the first time, I thought the movie looked like a one-trick pony, which turned out to be pretty accurate.

In a world where nobody lies and the concepts of fiction and lying simply don't exist, Mark Bellison (Ricky Gervais) discovers he can say things which are not true and everyone will believe them without questioning them. Therefore, he spends the whole movie lying to everyone to get what he wants --except for the girl he likes, Anna (Jennifer Garner), who he refuses to lie to hoping she will like him for who he is, and not for what he tells her to believe. But I bet you already knew that's what was going to happen.

The part about Mark creating religion was pretty funny, and the fact that Gervais is a know atheist made it even funnier for me and more insulting to a lot of people in this country, but overall the whole movie was just okay. I didn't find Gervais a particularly likeable leading man, and the movie made me chuckle more than it made me laugh out loud. Still, you could certainly do worse than watching it, but you could also do much better.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Communicating 01

As you probably know by now, my sister and I entered a comic book contest back in January, hoping we would win a grand prize of 6,000 euros. Actually, I didn't think we'd win, but she was very excited about the idea, so I agreed to participate. The arrangement, as it tends to be the case, was that I would write it and draw it, and she would color it on the computer. The topic they gave us was how technology has impacted the way we communicate, and I had an idea we could draw a story about the history of communication: what the different media and inventions have been, what they brought to the table, and what their limitations were. Actually, the first thing that occurred to me was that it would be funny to have a Native American on top of a mountain sending smoke signals, and that it would also be sort of funny to have a couple of guys using those glasses connected with a cord talking to each other. After that, it was only a matter of coming up with other devices to fill up the minimum number of pages required by the contest administrators (a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 12 pages).

We basically had a month to do the whole thing, so I knew I would have to work as quickly as possible. Since the comic was going to present a humorous approach to the topic at hand, I thought it would be fun to have sort of a Mortadelo and Filemón look to it, which would also allow me to practice my new curvy-line style. (My "Leonardo Da Vinci style", as I think of it.) I also decided to keep the panels and page composition simple to be able to work faster. However, since every single panel in the comic has the same importance, I thought the storytelling wouldn't really suffer, and I still think it didn't. (At least, not because of that decision.) Once all these matters were settled, I started working on the comic book as fast as I could, using the pencil to sketch only the bare minimum and drawing directly with my technical pens for the most part. This, I think, gave the panels a fresher, more dynamic look than what I am usually able to achieve.

Just like the drawing, the writing was done on they fly. I had a list with all the panels I wanted to have in the book, but I did not have a script per se, which means I was writing directly on the page as I was drawing. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to say, and I just articulated it as I went. I think this also gave the book a more dynamic, less static look, but you might think it just looks sloppy.

As it happens, I managed to finish the whole thing in a week and a half, and I didn't even draw every day during that time. If nothing else, creating "Cultura de comunicaciones" was a feat of focus and speed, and I discovered I can work pretty quickly if I have to.

At any rate, I'm happy with how the pages turned out, because this story looks nothing like the sequentials I've done before. (For other sequentials here on the blog, check out Terra Inkognita, With Love, Amor acuático, and Worlds Collide.) Not only does it have its own distinct look, it also looks pretty much like what I envisioned in my mind, and those pictures, like Adam Hughes once said, are the pictures I tend to like the best. But I want to know what you guys think about it, so here you have the first page. I will be posting the whole story through the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned and leave us some feedback!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Soaring

I knew I was going to love How to Train Your Dragon: it had Vikings, it had dragons, and it looked really neat, so how could it not be great? Fortunately, I am glad to say I was absolutely right: HTTYD was a blast and right now is the best movie I've seen this year.

I liked the story and the two main themes of being true to yourself, and defending your own truth against the world. Finding your own way regardless of what others think of you is one of those powerful themes that I always enjoy. In addition to this, cool characters that actually evolve throughout the movie (yes, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, I'm looking at you) populate the film, and the clever, witty dialogue is a treat to both the ear and the brain. As for the incredible visuals, HTTYD boasts inspired character designs and colorful creatures living in a world beautifully rendered, a world I would love to spend more time in.

My only criticism is that the main character's voice sounds too old for somebody his age, but I am willing to oversee this given how amazing everything in this film is. Other than that, I found no blemish in this terrific movie, and I recommend it to everyone who wants to have a good time at the movies.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Uncanny X-Men #515

I think what I liked the most about this issue was Matt Fraction's script and dialogue. The artwork by Greg Land was also cool (I'm not one of those Land haters, thank you very much), but I think his sequential storytelling is starting to feel a bit stale to me. Still, the issue was fun to read, and it ended with an unexpected appearance on the island. Is he friend or foe? I guess I'll have to wait to find out!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Accident Prone

Here you have a quick picture I drew as a thank you note for a friend. She always sends me a birthday card, and so I thought I'd do something for her, especially since people here in the US love thank you notes. It took me three months to actually get around to drawing it, but I think it turned out kind of cute, and I hope you like it!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Reach for the Stars

My girlfriend and I went to the IMAX theater to see Hubble 3D, a 45-minute-long documentary narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio that recorded last May's mission to repair the incredibly amazing Hubble telescope. The documentary combines images of stars, nebulas, and galaxies the Hubble has captured along with footage of the Atlantis crew flying up to the telescope and making the necessary repairs. This is all presented in glorious 3D that puts every other 3D film I've seen to shame, which makes me repeat once again that going to see movies in 3D is a waste of money… unless they're showing at an IMAX theater. If the use of 3D technology in otherwise great movies such as Up or Avatar left much to be desired, the way it makes everything pop out in Hubble 3D is nothing short of amazing.

Even more amazing is the view of the universe the film presents, though: the vastness of space, time, and distance, and the billions of galaxies out there. How could there not be life somewhere else? As I was watching the movie, I felt more and more passionate about the space program and about keeping the Hubble telescope up and running. The documentary shows politicians trying to shut down the program, which makes me wonder what kind of severe mental retardation afflicts them. (Well, they are politicians, after all.) How could you not want fund the Hubble? Who could be so stupid so as to think this is a waste of time and money? Like my girlfriend said, I wish I had billions and billions of dollars so that I could support the space program single-handedly and I could make sure we keep looking into the furthest reaches of the universe without the stupid interests of stupid politicians getting in the way. What a great, uplifting experience seeing this movie was! Go check it out!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Reading List: March

Better late than never! Here you have everything I read in March:

Platinum Grit
I already shared my disappointment with this comic book here.

The Unearthed Cemetery Blues
A fun read I already reviewed here.

A Sketchy Past
I already told you about how awesome Peter de Sève is here.

The Walking Dead, vol. 11: Fear the Hunters
Robert Kirkman's series keeps getting darker and darker, with new and grim developments you would have never seen coming. How bad can things actually get? I shiver to think what's going to happen next, which is only one of the reasons why this series is so compelling.

Danse Macabre
I already commented on what I thought about this book by Stephen King here.

A Practical Handbook for the Boyfriend
The subtitle of this book, For Every Guy Who Wants to be One/For Every Girl Who Wants to Build One!, gives you an idea of how hilarious this book by felicity Huffman and Patricia Wolff is. Packed with good advice and lots of common sense, this handbook is a riot, and I guarantee you will laugh out loud more often than not.

And that's it for March. I know I didn't get to read a lot, but I was traveling and drawing and working at the farm, so I managed to keep myself busy all the same. Come back in a mere three weeks to find out what I will have read in April!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Furia de Titanes

Hoy tenemos otro remake que no tendría que haberse rodado. Si no tienen intención de mejorar el original, (y cuando me refiero a mejorar no estoy hablando de los efectos especiales; sólo faltaría que en eso lo hiciesen peor), mejor que dejen las cosas como están.
Las escenas de acción son muy impresionantes: escorpiones giagantes, la lucha contra medusa en su templo con lava... Todo eso está muy bien, pero el guión es estúpido. No entiendo por qué meten ciertos personajes, como los hombres de madera, que no hacen absolutamente nada; los rusos cazadores aportan el toque humorístico, pero casi no salen; y del fanático religioso mejor ni hablamos. Los guionistas, en un intento de darle a la película un toque más épico, nos meten con calzador el tema de la lucha de los hombres contra los dioses y cómo estos desatan su ira y quieren que les vuelvan a adorar y el amigo Hades quiere aprovechar esto para sacar tajada.
Sinceramente, se podían haber estado quitecitos, pero eso sí: la chica está muy muy bien, aunque sale mucho mejor en El príncipe de Persia.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Roar

Here's a picture of a lion I drew for one of my girls. I drew it right after the kangaroo and the cow, and by then I was starting to feel it. Still, I think it turned out rather well. Just like I did with the cow, I didn't want to simply repeat what I drew last year when another girl asked me for a lion, so I thought this time the King of the Jungle should be chilling instead of prowling. I kind of like how the more straight lines of the mane combine with the way curvier lines of his body, and I hope you like it too!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Moo Two

One of my girls asked me to draw a cow for her, and I wanted to do something completely different from what I did last year when another girl asked for one. As you can see, I think I succeeded, and I really like how this picture turned out. Also, I like the curvy line, something I keep trying to practice as often as I can. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Witchblade #135

The second installment in the three-part Almost Human story arc, ish #135 was as much fun to read as Witchblade always is. In my previous Witchblade entry I mentioned how old elements of the Top Cow universe were coming into play, and that is clearly on display here. Cyberdata is back, the S.H.O.Cs are back, and Sara finds out who (or what) Aphrodite IV is, what her deal is, and what is going to happen next. And what's going to happen next is lots of trouble for the Bearer of the Balance. I can't wait to read the next issue!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Sunburned Country

Here you have a kangaroo I drew for one of my girls. This was the first picture in a three-drawing marathon, and it turned out rather well. I don't know that I had ever tried to draw a kangaroo, so that was quite exciting. Anyway, I hope you like it!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Kitsunegari

I drew this fox for one of my girls, but I must say that I am not exactly impressed with my rendition of the cunning animal. I kind of like the sketchy look I went for, yet I'm not entirely satisfied. I don't know --maybe I'm weird or overly critical, but I think it could have turned out much better. However, a second attempt is out of the question, since this whole drawing multiple versions of the same animals really needs to stop. Anyway, let me know what you guys think!