Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Walkin' the Dog

I'm gonna try to chronicle the evolution of some of my favorite songs for better or for worse. For some reason I have always been a sucker for a cover song and have tried to collect them as much as possible. Thanks to the internet that is so much easier now! I'm gonna try to keep these in chronological order but that can be difficult. I'm also staying away from most concert recordings because 90% of them suck! The only time I'll break this rule is if the quality is exceptional or the content is rare and/or unusual. And if you have any that I missed send 'em along!

I also recommend looking into some of these more obscure musicians. There's some great music out there just waiting to be rediscovered. I would link to the bands listed but I'm kinda lazy and why should I anyway? I gave you the band and the song. Do some work for yourself for once! I ain't gonna hand you everything on a blood splattered platter , y'know!

Startin' off with the classic Walkin' the Dog written by Rufus Thomas and released in 1963. I find it rather odd that after almost 40 years of being re-interpreted by mostly white singers the song has evolved into a more bluesy composition than the original.

My recommended versions:
The original by Rufus Thomas of course, The Sonics because it just rocks your f*ckin' face off, The Everly Brothers because it was more hip and garage sounding than what I expected, Aerosmith because early Aerosmith = good Aerosmith, The Roosters because those Japanese guys know how to do it, Green Day just so you can hear what they could have sounded like, Joe Deninzon because electric fiddles are awesome, Dizzy Cats to see how the Russians do it and Sweet Jam because...well...just because ;-)

Rufus Thomas

Jackie Shane

Rolling Stones

Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames

PJ Proby

Johnny Rivers

The Dennisons

The Sonics

The Everly Brothers

Davy Graham

Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Randy California & Spirit

The Jam

Roger Daltrey


The Roosters

Ratt (this EP was my first exposure to the song)

Steve Marriott & the DTs

Chris Wilson

Green Day

Dumpy's Rusty Nuts

Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius

Aerosmith Unplugged

J├Ârgen Falk and Inge Josephson

Hans Theesink

The Dizzy Cats

Sweet Jam

And if you think this is a lot just wait'll I get to Louie Louie!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Zombie Portraits!!!

Hey gang! We'll be in Newport at Art on the Levee, which is ironically (?) located at Newport on the Levee, tonight and tomorrow night. We are celebrating the Twisted & Talented Halloween Art Exhibit. That ain't the big news. The big news is that I'll be doing zombie caricatures while you wait, shop or drink! you'll get stuff like:


Stop by after 6 to get your zombie on!!

Also in other news: The Cincinnati Comics Expo was friggin' fabulous! It was a great turn out and thankfully they are doing another next year. 

 We were actually having a better time than we look like we are

Arthur who?
We just got back from Chicago. This time we had time to do some touristy shit...and we have the photos to prove it!

 Indiana Dunes
 I got to pull the finger of a dude named Octave

 Sears Tower...103 stories up!

They call me Sunshine...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Zombies are comin!! re-revisited

Several months ago, shortly after the earthquake in Haiti, I posted a blog that in part gave Haiti credit for the zombie phenomenon and in part made light of conspiracy theorists. You can read it here. A few folks took me to task for it telling me it was too soon to be getting a jolly at the expense of anothers pain and suffering. So in my defense I clarified my intentions here. I made a short list spelling out who I was making fun of in my original post. 

Please make note of entry #7 where I take a poke at authors and screenwriters. I ask "How long before zombie themed screenplays and stories start showing up using the quake as a backdrop if not a cause for the apocalypse? 6 months? A year?" Well ladies and gents we have our answer! 8 months.

In Las Vegas the Rainbow Company Youth Theatre is putting on a play called "The Zombies Walk Among Us". www.mynews3.com says "Written and directed by Brian Kral, the play is set in post-earthquake Haiti. The daughter of an aid worker dreams she has seen her sister walking with the zombies, and sets out on a mysterious adventure to discover the truth about the vodoun culture and zombification." The website uses what looks like an actual earthquake photo as a promo. 

So for the record, if you want to exploit, fictionalize, monetize or make fun at the expense of the suffering of another 8 months is the appropriate amount of time to wait. 

Honestly I don't care what others think and I see nothing wrong with the play. I just wanted to point out that I was pretty accurate in my prediction. If the play is holding auditions now it has probably been in the writing stages for a couple months which puts it firmly in the 6 month period. I'm like a Nostradamus or some shit. Tell your friends...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It ain't always about me...

Cincinnati Comic Book Expo, Cintas Center, Cincinnati OH, Sept 18! Be there!

OK, I got that outta the way I can get to the point which is this: I've noticed that my blog posts have become about where I was last weekend, who I hung out with, where I'm going next weekend and who I'll hang out with. That's all well and good but it leaves my blog lacking any substance or personality. That's about to change! Time permitting I'm going to be sharing some stuff that I find interesting. Stuff like music, art and so on.

Jack Kirby's birthday was on Aug. 28th and to commemorate this I thought I'd share this interview. Keep in mind that this interview took place at about the time the whole Marvel fiasco was coming to a legal ending so the wounds are still pretty fresh for Kirby. The interviewers did a good job of skirting the subject but the animosity is pretty evident in some of Jack's responses to caller's questions.

Note- When I'm asked why I chose a career in art my reply is a very honest "Because that was the only thing I was good at". My wife always rolls her eyes at this, telling me it minimizes what I do and why. In the interview Jack is asked the same question. His answer? "It was what I was good at"!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Chicago, St Louie, I been a lotta places, man!

I've been meaning to get this blog out for a while but have either been too busy or under the weather so here goes:

First of all I want to plug our next show which is the Cincinnati Comic Expo Sept. 18 at the Cintas Center. There will be folks like Josh Medors, David Michael Beck, Mark Kidwell, Mike Maydak, Jeff Preston, Tony Moore and legends like Allen Bellman, Murphy Anderson, Russ Heath and Craig Boldman. And if you don't recognize these names you owe it to yourself to go to the bio page and see exactly how much today's comics industry actually owes to these guys.

A few weeks back we headed up to Chicago for Wizard World's Comic Con. We met a lot of great folks and they really kept me busy! The first commission was from a group of guys that stopped by, one of which was holding a copy of a well known comic book. When I asked if he had the cover artist sign the book he kinda rolled his eyes and showed me the sketch and signature he had paid for. The following ad came from that interaction:

Here's how I feel about the situation: If a fan, or anyone for that matter, is going to pay you for a sketch you should at least give them something that resembles your style. Now if this had been a freebie? I still think one should do more but hey, you get what you pay for, right? But this guy was willing to shell out some bucks and this is what he got. And what are you gonna do, ask the artist to give you your money back for a crappy half-assed sketch? It kinda burns my ass to see someone treat their fans like that.Now that I got that off my chest...

Below are some of the sketches I did while I was there:

One of the more unusual requests, a book full of Strawberry Shortcake getting what she's got coming to her...my method of demise? Being eaten by zombies of course!

Cap was a favorite...this one turned out looking a lot like Tar Man!


Zombie Catwoman and her camera shy owner!

Re-sketch of my classic Born To Lose pic

The Force is strong...just not very fresh!

Another Cap!

Oh, and then there were these guys! They didn't buy anything though.

And these last two are collages of sketches I did during some down time.
Zombie JLA...I discovered that a zombie Superman image just doesn't have the impact if you don't show at least his chest too.

And one more Cap for the road!

Lots of people we knew there like Chris Kuchta, Menton J. Matthews III, Mike Maydak, Marc Ballard, Nigel Sade, Mark Kidwell, RD Hall, Mike Holman, Morgan Mead, and...and...crap! I know there were more but I just can't remember. Unfortunately there wasn't much time to hang out but it was a great time...except that the hotel was out of Fat Tire...bastards!

The next weekend we headed to St. Louis for a mini vacation. Visited City Museum and the Arch. Stopped for a bite to eat on a great little street before we left and had this little incident:

Heather shoots a great photo of the street we were on, carriages and everything! Except that just a few short moments later I hear someone call my name...

The carriage driver just happened to be our old friend Alicia!

Heather's Big Brown Beaver...I never get tired of saying that!

Finally! A Fat Tire!

Ruby's first encounter with a horse.

If you've made it this far I shall give you your reward. I hereby present to you...

Justin ZOMBIEber

You're welcome...