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Location: Long Beach, California, United States

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Poop Culture

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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Back to the sketchbook

Silver Sable takes out some Hydra agents...

Sorry, my scanner is only 8.5" x 11" and I draw on 11" x 17". Argh. Still working on women, as you can see.

The Man Called Nova...

If you look closely, you can see fellow New Warriors Firestar and Speedball ghosting thru the page behind this one.

Gettin' all New Gods Kirby on yo' azz...

Moving away from comics...

Not too shabby - I can't blame a ten-year layoff from sketching anymore for any kinks. I can feel old, neglected, yet familiar muscles flexing. I find myself using less lines, being more sure with each touch of the pencil to bristol, as opposed to my old, looser sketching style. Less is more.

Can anyone give me some tips on scanning pencil art to avoid that grey area from the paper? I'm using Photoshop to scan.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

There is no shame.

To everyone who’s too fucking cool for school, hating on year-end Top 10 lists, let me remind you that hating on Top 10 lists is so last year. This year, it’s all about the Top 10 love. What’s to hate? Getting 10 free songs? Reading witty repartee about said songs? And didn’t irony die on 9/11/01? Yes, I have a year-end Top 10 list. Yes, Arcade Fire and Bloc Party are on it. Yes, you will read it.

10. The Arcade Fire, “Funeral” – Let’s get this out of the way first. You’ll see this album on just about every music blogger’s Top 10 list, and there’s a reason for that – it really is that fucking good. I can’t think of another album (ever!) that’s captured both the innocence of childhood and loss of such so succinctly. “Wake Up” sums it all up quite nicely.

9. The Bravery S/T – Ugh. I feel dirty for liking this. There is nothing remotely original, witty or groundbreaking about this album. In fact, every song is a shameless rip from a pool of superior new wave bands from the ‘80s. But I’ll be damned if it all isn’t so effin’ catchy. “No Brakes” is the best “Pornography”-era Cure rip-off I’ve ever heard – it’s so note perfect I can’t even be offended. Ugh. I go shower now.

8. Fischerspooner, “Odyssey” – Their debut a few years ago hinted at something great – this year’s follow-up delivered on that promise. Yes, pop power-dyke Linda Perry had her manly mitts all over it, but it was STILL good. That’s gotta count for something. “Happy?” Sure. Album three will be the tough one.

7. Tegan & Sara, “So Jealous” – A lazy writer would start this entry with the segue, “Speaking of poppy power-dykes…”, but I’m too good a scribe for such shenanigans. Honest. T&S discovered hooks, synths and the power of a three-minute song. “Take Me Anywhere” has me excited over rumors that Ric Ocasek is producing their next one. Let’s hope.

6. Louis XIV, “The Best Little Secrets Are Kept” - Y’see, we’re all supposed to hate these guys because they used to be an alt-country band called Convoy, and when that didn’t work out they trend-jumped onto a glammy, T. Rex-y train. How dare they? Let’s hate them after listening to “God Killed The Queen”. Still hate ‘em? If you’re gonna pose, pose like this.

5. Bloc Party, “Silent Alarm” - blah blah Bloc Party peep peep Gang of Four meow angular rock root ah toot “Positive Tension” peep root awesome. You’ve read it on a hundred other blogs, I won’t bore you.

4. Dogs Die In Hot Cars, “Please Describe Yourself” - What does it say when most of my Top 10 list consists of new bands aping an older band’s sound? How did Dogs Die In Hot Cars perfect ‘80s-era XTC’s sound so well? Why did they ever think that was a good band name? Why haven’t you downloaded “Glimpse At The Good Life” yet?

3. Franz Ferdinand, “You Could Have It So Much Better” - It wasn’t supposed to be good. It was supposed to be the sophomore slump, tuneless, aimless, a rehash of the debut. It wasn’t supposed to sell. It wasn’t supposed to have range, from acoustic ballads to white-boy funk like “Outsiders”. Yet, it was and did.

2. Spoon, “Gimmie Fiction” - Objects in mirror may be more evil than they appear. “I Summon You” is either a love song of true devotion or a tune hummed by an obsessed mental patient hiding in your closet with a serrated blade. You make the call.

1. Maximo Park, “A Certain Trigger” - Number one, no contest, complete and total blowout. Best debut in at least a decade, I shit you not. I think it’s sweet how it introduces itself, grabs you by the throat and throttles you until you black out. “Once, A Glimpse” was all I needed.

Singles of 2005:
Morningwood “Nth Degree”, The Rakes “Retreat”, Hot Hot Heat “Middle of Nowhere”, Timo Maas feat. Brian Molko “First Day”, Milky “Be My World”, The Ark “Clamour for Glamour”, Infernal “From Paris to Berlin”, Howdi “The Number One Song In Heaven”.

Not bad, 2005. Not bad at all.

Fine Folks

"...and by hubris, I mean overweening pride!" - Johnny's Greatest Hits

25 Year Loop
Fucking Woof
David Live
The Night Before
Jobriath Was First
She's in Parties
She's in Parties Pt. 2
Tales From the Dragon Club
Tales From the Dragon Club Pt. 2
Okay, California...You Win
How to Sell Used CDs

Previously on "Johnny Is a Man"...

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