Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bandido

Here you have a quick picture I drew a few days ago. I had this idea to draw a fat bandit, and I started working on the picture immediately. The initial pencil sketch was quick and not fully realized, since I wanted to move in with the pen as soon as possible. The finished piece didn't take any time at all, and I had a lot of fun drawing it, so I hope you like it!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Assassin's Creed

Check out this Assassin's Creed-themed picture I drew the other day. I like how Ezio turned out, and the face of the soon-to-be-dead guard is pretty cool as well, I think. The funny thing about this picture is that the assassin is, as I said, Ezio, who is the main character in the second game, but his target is a guard from Damascus, a location featured in the first one. This means that this particular guard was alive about 300 years before Ezio was born, so I goofed big time. Maybe I'll fix this time paradox in my next picture. At any rate, I hope you like it!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cuentos que fascinan

Acabo de terminar de leerme Mientras ellas duermen, una colección de cuentos e historias cortas de Javier Marías, uno de mis escritores favoritos. Excepto por El espejo del mártir, todos los relatos me han encantado, lo que suele ser normal cuando se trata de prosa salida de la máquina de escribir del escritor madrileño. En esta colección se mezcla lo fantástico, lo sobrenatural, lo mundano, lo inesperado, lo peor de la naturaleza humana, el humor, el sarcasmo, lo sorprendente, la burla, la emoción, y una docena más de temas y categorías que tanta facilidad parece tener Marías no sólo para tratar, sino para hacerlo de forma apasionante y cautivadora. Así que, si no habéis leído todavía nada por él escrito, no sabéis lo que os estáis perdiendo.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Beware of the Puker

Remember Dead Space, the fun survival horror I bought, enjoyed, and wrote about last year? Well, there's a sequel in the works, and G4TV got to interview one of the creators at this year's E3, and they showed a hands-on demo of Dead Space 2. I don't know about you, but I think it looks awesome, and I can't wait for it to come out in January, so check it out (there's some more footage here) and let us know what you think!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ghosts in Love

I bought Chris Gonsalves’s Haunted Love thinking it was a collection of short stories about ghosts, and while this is true, I didn’t realize that all the stories in this entertaining book are supposed to be true. The author has compiled seventeen compelling stories in which love is always the reason the different ghosts haunt whatever places they appear in. The author doesn’t claim the stories are true, but he says the people who believe in them believe them to be true, an interesting caveat that I guess exonerates him even though I think it’s fairly obvious he does believe in these tales. True or not, it doesn’t really matter, because Haunted Love is choke-full of good stories, and I can’t but recommend it to everyone in the mood for some tragically romantic ghost stories.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Todos para uno

No os perdáis el trailer de Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, el tercer juego de la serie, que saldrá a la venta en noviembre. La segunda entrega de esta excelentísima saga salió en noviembre del año pasado, y aún no me he pasado ni la mitad del juego, todo por falta de tiempo que no de ganas ni interés. Al ritmo que llevo (y que lleva Ubisoft), parece que se me va a amontonar la faena. Esperemos que este tercer capítulo, secuela directa, al parecer, de ACII, sea tan bueno como su predecesor. De momento, aquí tenéis algo de gameplay. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Misanthropy

My girlfriend bought and quickly read People Are Unappealing, and urged me to follow suit. She said it was hilarious, and after reading it, I can only agree.

Sara Barron’s memoir is a very entertaining read, and it certainly shows how unappealing people can be. As a misanthrope myself, I found it easy to relate to her stories, to feel for her, and to laugh with her.

The book was a quick read, and I recommend it to everyone who wonders if they are alone in their dislike of their fellow humans. A great summer read!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Death to the Grinagogs

I just finished a book called Reading the OED, and I had a blast. For those of you who don't know, OED stands for Oxford English Dictionary, the biggest, longest, and most thorough lexicographic enterprise ever. The author, Ammon Shea, loves to read dictionaries, and he decided to read the OED. He proceeded to read all of its over 21,000 pages in the course of a year, and then he wrote a book about his experience reading the multiple volumes of the most famous dictionary of the English language.
Shea's writing is witty and humorous, and the collection of words he presents for us (so that we don't have to read the OED) is truly priceless. Since I love words, I found the book fascinating, but by now it should be pretty obvious that, unless you are into words and linguistics and meanings and semantics, this book might just not be for you. If you are, though, make sure you get a copy of Reading the OED, because I guarantee you will enjoy it tremendously.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Panta rei

Aquí tenéis un bocetillo rápido que hice el otro día. Me costó unos diez minutos y, como podéis apreciar, lo hice directamente a bolígrafo. El boceto es de una fuente que hay en Valencia, aunque debo admitir que al natural es menos caricaturesca de lo que mi dibujo la hace parecer. Creo que el tipo en cuestión es el río Turia personificado, y las jovencitas a su alrededor son las diferentes acequias o afluentes o algo por el estilo. Creo que hacía siglos que no dibujaba una estatua, y creo que nunca había dibujado una fuente, así que resultó ser un ejercicio interesante. Enjoy!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Literate Fun

Bill Bryson is one of my favorite writers, so when I saw his book on Shakespeare at Barnes & Noble, I had to buy it. Shakespeare: The World as Stage, is a biography of the master playwright, and I have to say that I learned a lot about the British Bard. Among other things, I learned that there's not much to learn about him because we barely know anything about him!
As usual, Bryson's prose is clear, informative, and very entertaining, and you can definitely see he's done his homework and knows what he is talking about. STWAS is packed with information (whatever little we do possess), and it offers insightful remarks and a great overview of England in the time of Shakespeare. Therefore, if you are a fan of Bryson, Shakespeare, or (even better) both, rush to the nearest B&N and get this book. You will not regret it!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Penny for Your Thoughts

Come visit India, the renowned Psychic Horse! She will answer yes or no to your every question. As for the accuracy of said responses, well, the twenty-five bucks she charges make me think she is a professional and knows exactly what she's talking about. Or nodding about. Or shaking her head about.

This picture is based on an actual mare named India my girlfriend owns. Among other tricks, she can actually answer "yes" to questions, so my girlfriend joked about taking her to a fair or something like that, put a turban on her head, and charge for predictions. As soon as she said that, this picture formed in my head, and I thought it'd be a shame not to draw it for everyone to see. I hope you like it!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Arachnophobia

Here you have a sketch I drew in a meeting a couple of weeks ago. A few days before said meeting, I had an idea for a comic book series that would be called Ruled by Spiders. As you can imagine, this would pretty much be Planet of the Apes with arachnids instead of monkeys. Doesn't it sound like fun?


The concept sketch you can see accompanying these lines depicts Fel and Shard, the two heroes in the story, hiding from their eight-legged overlords, and I think it turned out kind of cute. I drew it with a black pen without sketching it in pencil first. I could see the picture in my mind very clearly, and therefore I decided to skip the pencil stage and work in ink directly. The result, as all my pen sketches and meeting sketches tend to be, is a bit rough around the edges, but I think it's a fun picture, and I hope you like it!

Friday, June 18, 2010

El clan del oso cavernario.

Estamos delante de uno de esos libros que yo llamo "éxito de mujeres". Es un libro escrito por una mujer, con una protagonista femenina que se enfrenta a un montón de problemas de todo tipo y más o menos consigue salir airosa, tiene una gran fuerza de voluntad y suele tener un enemigo masculino al que vence. Este tipo de libros siempre tiene ventas expectaculares y un montón de ediciones aunque en realidad sólo sean libros dignos, sin nada especial. En este apartado tenemos El ocho, El último Catón e incluso metería la saga Millennium, aunque la escriba un hombre.
El clan de oso cavernario nos cuenta como Ayla, una niña Cro-magnon, es aceptada por un clan de neandertales tras perder a toda su familia. Lo mejor es la descripción de cómo vivía el clan, cómo cazaban y se organizaban. Sin embargo, se hace muy pesado que la niña, con lo lista que es y lo rápido que aprende todo, siempre termine fastidiándolo porque es incapaz de adaptarse a las tradiciones del clan, que son muy machistas, como si los Cro-magnon no lo fuesen, y ella no entiende por qué las mujeres se tienen que someter a los hombres ya que no los considera mejores. Está claro que esa mentalidad no la tiene una niña, ni en esta época ni mucho menos en la prehistoria, pero queda de puta madre para vender libros.

En resumen, que si no te lees el libro tampoco pasa nada, y que las millones de ediciones que se han impreso es porque las mujeres compraron a saco ese libro.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fel vs. the Volcano

This is another one of those pictures inspired by a conversation with my girlfriend. We were talking about my then still-in-the-future trip to Spain in June, and she asked me what I would do if the volcano cloud prevented me from coming back to the US when I was supposed to. Without missing a beat, I replied that the only thing that would make sense would be for me to grab a bellows, go up there on a hand glider, and blow the cloud out of the way so that the plane could take off. She seemed to be satisfied with this answer, and I sure was satisfied with the silly picture that formed in my head. As usual, the story behind the illustration is probably more interesting than the picture itself, but I hope you like it!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Traveling Monkeys

I bought No Touch Monkey! because it looked like an entertaining book in which the author, Ayun Halliday, talked about her trips around the world. While I was bit disappointed with it, it was still quite entertaining, and I am glad I read it, but I wish it had been funnier. I thought I would be laughing out loud, but the truth is that the stories are not that outrageous, or at least I didn't find them as wildly hilarious as Stephen Colbert apparently did. Instead of teaching the reader "other travel lessons learned too late", as the subtitle of the book claims to do, NTM is a memoir in which Halliday recounts her trips on a shoestring budget, as she calls them, but there aren't many lessons to be learned except for, perhaps, not traveling on a shoestring budget. (There's a shocker.) Still, NTM kept me entertained on a couple of flights, so I can't say it was a complete waste of money.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Keeper of the Crypt

Yesterday I showed you my first attempt at drawing the Crypt Keeper, one of the best creatures ever designed, in my opinion. Since I wasn't all that satisfied with the results, I wanted to try again, but this time in a completely different style. The finished piece is, as you can see, remarkably different from the original drawing, and I think it captures the spirit of the Keeper much better than my first try. I had a lot of fun drawing both, but I don't think I'll take a third crack at it. Some things are better left alone --in the darkness of a damp crypt.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hellcome

As far as I remember, this is the first time I've ever tried to draw the Crypt Keeper, the beloved host of Tales From the Crypt. I was going for a detailed, realistic approach, and while I like the picture, I don't think he looks like the Crypt Keeper all that much. Maybe I'll give it another try, because I really like this character. What do you guys think?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Goatilicious

It's the Weregoat, the monster everyone fears! Fortunately for us humans, the Weregoat only eats cheese, but make sure you don't stand in his way when he smells some delicious cheese, or you might end up getting hurt. In this particular scene, the fearsome Weregoat has found a giant Mini Babybel cheese, and he will get it by any means necessary. When the cheese smells, the Weregoat rises, and you'd better not forget that!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Más de mil

Desde que releí El club Dumas el verano pasado, me he visto con ganas de hincarle el diente a cualquier cosa relacionada con Los tres mosqueteros. Después de comprar el libro (que aún no me he leído, por cierto), me hice con la versión cinematográfica (la de 1993, qué pasa) y con The Man in the Iron Mask, películas ambas que recuerdo haber visto en el cine en su día. No contento con eso, me dio por buscar este vídeo en Youtube, y, tras encontrarlo con facilidad, lo vi un par de veces y me asaltaron los recuerdos. No sé vosotros, pero yo me acordaba de la letra de la canción enterita, y hay que ver la de buenos ratos que me hizo pasar la serie. Seguro que, de verla ahora, me parecería bastante casposa, así que jamás veré la serie de nuevo. Por aquello de no olvidarla, vamos.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Creepy Girl in Nightie

This is one of those pictures I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out. I just wanted to draw something creepy, and I wanted it to be a girl. I wanted her to be some kind of ghoulish creature, and that's all I needed to get started. I began drawing, and this is what came out. My girlfriend thought it was really cool (and creepy), and I agree it turned out deliciously creepy. At any rate, I hope you like it!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Uncanny X-Men #522

This issue packed a big surprise: Whilce Portacio drew it. I used to love his old X-Men and X-Factor issues, and I followed his creator-owned Wetworks for as long as he drew it. Then, a couple of years ago, I bought his relaunch of the series, and I remain a fan of the Filipino artist. This issue, however, didn't feel a lot like Portacio, and I wonder if it was because of the inks. Portacio is known for using lots of black masses and shadows, but these pages were more linework than blacks, and it just didn't feel right. Still, I really liked his Nightcrawler, and his artwork was a breath of fresh air after a couple of Land-drawn issues. As for the story, suffice it to say that unexpected events are unfolding, and I'm curious to see what happens next. And, needless to say, if whatever happens is illustrated by Terry Dodson, all the better!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Communicating 09

Here you have the last page of Cultura de comunicaciones, the story my sister and I submitted to a comic book contest last January. Once can't think about telepathy without mentioning telekinesis, and since I had ended page 8 with a guy sending a telepathic message, page 9 had to begin with some sort of telekinetic activity going on. Since I had already mentioned painting on the first page, I thought having a telekinetic artist on the last page would be a nice way to go full circle. Also, can you imagine how popular live painting would become? It occurred to me that people love to see artists drawing and painting, and the thought of having them do it telekinetically in front of an audience would surely become a tremendously popular form of entertainment.

After cracking myself up with the French-looking artist (who is one of my favorite characters in the story), I came up with an equally ludicrous teleporting chamber that shouldn't look as much like a boob as it does. The "nipple" was supposed to be a light, but my sister colored it like metal and I didn't want to ask her to change it, so I just went with it. I also like the guy (who may or may not be based on an actual person) coming out of the device, and the two cities he mentions are certainly not chosen randomly.

Finally, I love the monkey experimenting on the other monkey, and I thought it was a nice tongue-in-cheek way to wrap up my silly story, which now looks like a prequel to Planet of the Apes. Movie references aside, I do like this last page, and it probably is my favorite one along with pages 1 and 7. I had a lot of fun drawing this comic book, even though I rushed through the pages so much to have them finished on time. Needless to say, we did not win the contest, but I never expected to, so it doesn't really matter. What matters is that I had a good time, and that I have some sequentials to add to my portfolio. I hope you enjoyed our journey through the history of communication!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Vegetarian Dinner?

Here you have a picture that formed in my mind a few weeks ago. I was driving down from Chattanooga to Tunnel Hill while listening to the latest episode of 11 O'Clock Comics, and VinceB (one of the hosts) said something about letting your imagination run wild, or trying to come up with the weirdest thing possible, or something along those lines. I wondered what I would come up with if I tried to come up with something weird, and what I came up with was funnier and less weird than I would have thought. The funny thing is that the picture appeared in my head with the title and everything, a neat package missing only a ribbon. It simmered in my head for about three weeks until I had time to draw it, and I have to say I really like how it turned out. It's weird, creepy, funny, and cute, all at the same time, and it looks pretty much like the mental image I had in my head. However, now I wonder what it would look like in color --not that I think that will happen. Enjoy your meal!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Boils and Ghouls

It took me forever, but I finally finished watching the second season of Tales From the Crypt. Season 2 is a lot longer that the first one (18 episodes, as opposed to 6), but I think that, overall, the episodes are weaker than they were in the first season. Still, I enjoyed most of them, especially Korman's Kalamity, Four-Sided Triangle, 'Til Death, My Brother's Keeper, Three's a Crowd, and The Switch, but there were a couple of really bad ones, Cutting Cards probably being the worst offender. As usual, the Crypt Keeper was funny and alliterative, and his intros and afterwords to the different tales were always a hoot. All in all, it was a season worth watching, especially if you don't mind making fun of the acting, the clothes, and the hairstyles. Totally dated, but a fun show!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Green Knight

I hadn't done a sketch during a meeting in a while, so I thought it was about time to put pen to paper and doodle a little. The result, this merry-looking warrior, is kind of cool, and I am happy with how it turned out. His costume is more than a little bit influenced by Altair and Ezio from the Assassin's Creed series, but it doesn't really look like either one of them. As for the color, it's green because that's the only pen I had brought to the meeting, so there's no need to look for any strange symbolism or hidden messages. At any rate, I hope you like it!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Uncanny X-Men #521

Another Land-drawn issue, UXM #521 was a fun read even though the bad guy's exposition was really clunky and stained an otherwise well-crafted tale. The artwork was better in this issue than it was in last month's, yet I'd rather have Terry Dodson draw the book every single month. Well, I can always hope it'll be his turn again soon.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Never Adopt Kids

That's pretty much the moral of The Orphan: never adopt kids, especially if they are older and from another country. Things would have turned out pretty different for the protagonist couple if they had left Esther well alone in the orphanage. Also, said couple could have used some therapy when it came to trusting each other and believing what the other one says. Things would have also been very different had the husband supported his wife. It wouldn't have made for such an entertaining movie, though, because, as it happens, The Orphan was a lot of fun to watch. It was intriguing and suspenseful, but there were also several examples of "why would she do that?" that could have probably been avoided. At any rate, I had a great time watching it at home with my girlfriend, who bought the DVD for the occasion. A fun, scary time!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Of Princes and Daggers

We have talked about expectations several times, but allow me to bring that up one more time. After seeing the Prince of Persia trailer several times, my girlfriend and I thought it was going to be an awesome movie. Then we read the reviews before going to see it, and she said she was going to bring a book so that she could read when the movie bored her out of her mind. I remained optimistic, hoping the film would be fantastic. Well, as I'm sure you have already gathered, our impressions fall somewhere in the middle of those extremes: she thought it was better than she was expecting, and I wished it had been better.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was entertaining and little else. There were good things, such as Jake Gyllenhaal's performance, the occasional somewhat witty banter between the Prince and Tamina (Gemma Arterton), and Alfred Molina's comic turn as Sheik Amar, but there were also plenty of bad things, such as clunky exposition and pandering to the audience. Also, director Mike Newell overuses slow-mo and fast-forward montages to, I guess, infuse the movie with some kind of style, or to make it more epic or dramatic. In any case, it doesn't work, and the end result is, in my opinion, pointless and pathetic.

A criticism about the movie I read several times was that PoP had no plot, but I disagree. It's true that it wasn't the cleverest, most convoluted or complex story ever told, but it did have a plot that worked for the most part. Was it predictable and full of not-so-surprising turns of events? Definitely, but the story was there.

To sum it up, Prince of Persia was entertaining, but I doubt I'll ever want to watch it again, let alone buy it on DVD. As for any potential sequels, we'll see how much money this one makes. Apparently, it placed third on its opening weekend, grossing only $30 million, which I'm sure the studios must have found disappointing after a reported $200 million budget. Unless the international box office compensates for its dismal opening numbers, I think the Sands of Time will be the first and last adventure of Prince Dastan on the big screen. Come to think of it, I don't think that would make me sad at all.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Curvy Lady

This is a super quick sketch I drew using as few lines as possible. Also, I wanted to communicate as much with each line as possible, so I tried to make them count. I don't know about you, but I think the results are sort of interesting. (At least, my girlfriend liked it.) Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Communicating 08

Here you have the eighth page of Cultura de comunicaciones, the story my sister and I submitted to a comic book contest last January. As a throwback to what I did on page six, I decided to have a Facebook page as the first panel, and I think it turned out kind of cute. However, my favorite panel is the third one, with the old guy sending a telepathic message to the redhead. At this point, and after having covered as many inventions as I could think of, my sister and I thought it would be funny to come up with some predictions for the future, and I remembered this survey I read about how people would feel regarding having their credit card chips installed in their hips so that they wouldn't need to carry any plastic cards at all. I thought it would be crazy to do the same with cell phone chips, and that telepathy was pretty much just that. Next thing you know, the picture for this panel had popped in my mind. I hope you like it!