Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Under the Cover

Woo hoo! I drew the cover for SIMPSONS SUPER SPECTACULAR #15 — on sale June 27th. It features Radioactive Man and Plasmo, and depicts a story drawn by artist Frank Brunner. You can read about the issue on the Bongo Comics website, here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Get Wild

UPDATE: There will be an online auction of all the The Bats for Cats artwork. It will be run by the good folks at the Wildcat Sanctuary, and it will probably be held in a month or so. When I have the info I will post details of where and when.

A lot of the Bats for Cats art will be raffled off today and tonight at the benefit for the Wildcat Sanctuary,  being held at the Northdown Cafe and Taproom, 3244 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL. I originally thought there would be an art auction, but now I'm not so sure. Here's the Facebook page for the event. It is sponsored and co-hosted by 3 Floyds, Surly, & Mikkeller breweries, and they will be tapping lots of special beers. This is a benefit for the Wildcat Sanctuary, a non-profit, no-kill facility providing sanctuary to wild cats in need & actively involved in ending the private ownership of exotic animals. The goal is to raise at least $5000, which would feed two tigers for a year.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Just the Bats, Ma'am.

This Wednesday at 8:00pm I'll be at BATS FOR CATS, a Drink & Draw at the Northdown Cafe and Taproom, 3244 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago. Some of the city's most talented artists (and I) will be doing Batman themed sketches, with all proceeds going to benefit The Wildcat Sanctuary. Come on by and have a drink and watch us draw like trained monkeys. Poster by the talented Tom Kelly.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Texas Toasted

TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN (Joseph H. Lewis, 1958)

Well, it was another great night at the Portage Theater in Chicago, with a beautiful mint 35 mm print of a terrific film. With its storyline of a community crumbling from fear and intimidation, in danger of falling prey to divide-and-conquer tactics, the script by blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo makes an obvious reference to the McCarthy hearings. But the plot is shared by many westerns. What's unusual is the slow build and heavy sense of dread, set up in part by the pre-credits flash-forward to the climactic showdown (which I'll return to later).

TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN has a quiet intensity, with a minimalist score and repeated, rhythmic theme, and the stark, underpopulated feel that permeates many low budget films. But the intensity goes further, extending to Hayden's performance as the Swedish whaler, George Hansen. The actor fills the screen with his lumbering physicality, at times seething with repressed emotion. By far the most interesting character is Crayle, the brooding, black-clad gunman played by Nedrick Young. The personification of the pall that hangs over the entire film, Crale carries death and doom in his tired gait and equally black worldview. His perverse relationship with his companion Molly (Carol Kelly) recalls other such sexually twisted and charged couples in director Lewis's GUN CRAZY and THE BIG COMBO.

The pre-credits flash-forward I referred to earlier is effective, but is also a bit odd in a feature. It is likely it was inspired by the technique to hook viewers used in television shows at the time. But its novelty made me wonder if it was planned in pre-production by Lewis, or added later in the editing by the producer.