CAVEMAN DIARIES VOL. 5
Now Available! Caveman Diaries Vol. 5, at 8.5" x 11" with 60 ridiculous interior pages, is by far the biggest and most fool heartedly insane Caveman Diaries yet. This issue boasts over 40 rock art flyers including two in full color AND a full color poster sized centerfold (graciously colored by the mighty comic artist Nick Filardi), a wicked killer sketchbook section chock full of not only Skullface but also a handful of beautifully seductive femme fatales, and page after page of more than the usual black and white electrostatic artworks and rantings that make this 'zine unmistakably the leader in Cave Culture. The issue is $10, plus $2 shipping. I'll post details at the end of this blog as to how to order.
The cover is a variation on a photo of the Inimitable Zippy. You may remember Zippy's arm as the original inspiration for the arm in the Parts + Labor flyer. He's my main model right now. That's really really WEIRD. I chose the lion's head because it was the moswt pimp of all. The King of The Jungle n' all.
I'll be at the Beachland Ballroom this Saturday from 12 to 4 for the Rock and Roll Flea Market. I'll be selling these zines and a LOT of the original artwork from the flyers and art. I've also been really into the X-Mas Spirit this year fort some goddamn reason. I'm usually the most meanest and last human on earth to get Christmas-y, but this year I'm retarded for X-mas. So I've been doing a series of paintings that I'll also be selling on Saturday.
So if you would like to order a copy of CAVEMAN DIARIES VOL. 5 by mail you can send cash, check or money order made out to John Greiner, to 373 Lear #52 Avon Lake, OH 44012 or paypal to email@example.com. I'll ship it out immediately and you will have just spent the best $12 of your life.
Here are some of those paintings!
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Been really busy both being sick as shit, and working and reworking The Caveman Diaries #5, which I blew my self imposed deadline of 11/10. Now I'll be lucky if I can get it out by the December 9th Rock & Roll Flea Market at The Beachland Ballroom. Anyway, so... on with the art. This show is gonna be pretty awesome. Parts + Labor is on this insane tour at the moment, which apparently Todd from Suckapants is with them. I haven't seen Clan of The Cave Bear since John moved away to NYC, and he's been back for like, 5 months. I swore off going to shows, but I'll definitely be at this one.
I gave this one a whirl at coloring, mostly for practice. I didn't invest a whole lot of time on this. Still, I think I like it. If I were more diligent I'd have varied the blacks of the words on the arm to a deep red, and then spent more time on giving the flesh more dimension. Finally, I would have also done more to deepen the background and give the splattered areas some dark colors.
This flyer is based on the clever idea by John Delzoppo, the drummy half of Cave Bear. I wanted to go with a more RISK: 2210 based idea, but John's original was screaming to be redone with brush and ink.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
I can't believe I haven't been posting any updates, but I haven't really been doing any flyers and all the art I've been doing has either been for Caveman Diaries #5 or for that column "The Joint" for the Free Times. So, I'll post a piece that I did for that which I'm actually proud of. The piece is about the health care faculties that the Ohio prison system provide. Here's the link: The Joint. This was a particularily good column and I'm glad I did a good piece for it. People always ask if the column is real or fake and who actually writes it. It IS real. The author, Lidge, is in prison right now. I've never written him and he's never written me. I deal strictly with the Free Times Art Director, Ron Kretsch. I have seen the hand written unedited versions of the columns though, so I know they're real.
There's a totally shitty blizzard outside right now. It hit kinda hard, and now it's totally shitty. Hopefully it will be gone by tomorrow morning.
P.S. I have given myself the deadline of having Caveman Diaries #5 done by next Friday, the 10th, my 28th birthday. It's going to be a much bigger zine, filled mostly with the 35+ flyers I've done since issue 3. I'm going to print it full zined at 8.5 x 11, with both a full color centerpiece and full color cover. I'll post again with further details when I'm done.
Monday, September 25, 2006
I can't think because apparently there's an unscheduled TOWN FUCKING MEETING going on at the coffee shop. These dumb motherfuckers are standing AT MY TABLE and talking about the dumbest fucking shit. From going to Macy's to trash talk about some woman who was on an Angelo's Pizza flyer. My christ. Oh, and I realized the reason why nobody ever leaves any comments on my blog was that I never fucking approved anyy comments in the "moderate comments" section of my blog control thingy. So, if you left a comment and it never appeared, sorry. I approved them all so they're now there. Feel free to leave more. Please.
I really like doing flyers for The Church. I like the ability to both use the uniform look of using my standard "Church" text, with the xeroxed all to hell type. Also, I like robots, and pterodactyl, and bombs.
This Pelican flyer is a totally different direction from my usual dirty style. I wanted to branch out a little, and try and clean up my act. I used a photo ref and didn't deviate almost at all. I'm not sure if the cross hatch worked too well or not. I'm glad I lettered it by hand though, even if it doesn't look as pro as it could. Kinda roughens it up a little. SunGod is a pretty new Cleveland band. I'm excited to hear them, as I've been a fan of all the bands the members have been in and I generally approve of Sun Gods.
This last flyer for the Grog Shop was a total fucking BITCH to do. I didn't plan it out at all, but I kinda figured I would just get it off the ground as I drew it. I had a really small rough sketch in an old sketch book that was of a girl pirate riding over a sea of skulls on a giant spider. It was supposed to be a painting for my friend Sarah, who I lost a bet to last winter. I'm still gonna do the painting but I'm gonna plan it out a hell of a lot better than this flyer. So I did the art and used references all to hell for both the girl and tarantula. I opted to leave the skulls line art and not fill in the blacks like I usually would. Then scanned it and tried to letter it but nothing looked right. I had to wait to get online to download that goddamn font. Then nothing I tried looked anywhere near right. Man, Fuck this flyer. The one redeeming factor is the art itself. I think it came out fucking great and that chick came out better than I expected. I may even color it.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
This was kind of a rush job, being that the show is a week from tomorrow. I still wish I had taken the time to hand letter it, but whatever. It's CHILD ABUSE. This show is gonna be so awesome. I wanted to do something with all this recent talk about torture and treatment of "detainees" and "compliance" with "Geneva" "Conventions". I still didn't want to do anything too overtly political. There's a fine line between commentary and preachiness.
I've got a bunch more flyers to do on my desk now, so hopefully I won't have a huge slump in posts again anytime soon.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
So I finally put out another zine. Caveman Diaries vol. 4 is the ALL SKETCHES issue. There's no finished art, just a lot of both sketchbook stuff and roughs and thumbnails from a bunch of flyers and shit. I'm pretty pround of this one. A lot of sketchbook collections I've seen are just sketches or whatever, but I commented on everything and I think I wrote at least half intelligent shit.
The book is 24 pages, with a grey cardstock cover. It's $2, plus 75¢ shipping. You can paypal me at JGRITTY AT HOTMAIL DOT COM, or send cash, check or money order made out to John Greiner to 373 Lear #52 Avon Lake, OH, 44012.
I'm hot the heals of this shit too, I'll hopefully have Caveman Diaries Vol. 5 done very soon. Certainly before SPX, which I'm going to do my best to attend.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
I got this gig for this flyer and it turns out the show is on the giutarist from Knife Crazy, Vic's 30th birthday. So the request was to somehow incorporate that into the flyer. I decided early that doing a woman popping out of a cake might be a good idea, but it was only after sketching for two hours that I landed on the idea of giving the woman six arms and having her holding knives. I went through so many bad ideas, from giving her a cat head to making it a dude with horns. I guess that's just how it goes sometimes. You gotta just keep on drawing until lightning stikes.
Speaking of lightning... I don't know if anybody actually reads this blog, but just in case, I'd like to call attention to a blog I've had in my links for a while. Eric Canete has been keeping up posting the most rad sketches ever on his Discard blog. I'm ever impressed and inspired by his work, most recently the covers to the NYC Mech: Beta Love series that Image published. So, check him out, it's worth a look.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
The Mad Conductor is a project by Chris of No-Ca$h. It's a psychadelic freak out dance rock thing. I can't wait to see this band. I've known Chris for so long. He's one of my favorite dudes of all time, and I'm anticipating having a lot of fun on Thursday. I don't know anything about No Service Project or Evil Empire.
There's also a second show booked for that night at the Church. It's three more bands that are going to play after the Mad Conductor. Matt Valentine + Erika Elder, The Asscrack Beat, and Little Claw (from Detroit). Again, I don't really know much about any of these bands, but I'm sure it will be awesome.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Been real busy lately. I intended on going to Chicago for the weekend to hit the Wizard World Comicon and see my sister and her family. I spiked a fucking fever last night though, so now I have a doctors appointment tomorrow instead of an eight hour drive. I'm actually bummed as hell about this. This show is the one time a year that I get to hang out with a bunch of my friends from all over the country. I was so looking forward to seeing the NYC Mech crew members Andy MacDonald, and Ivan Brandon. At this point, these dudes are like family.
Speaking of ... Ivan is the brainchild behind 24seven, a comics anthology published by Image Comics. I haven't mentioned it on this blog yet, but I wrote an 8 page story for 24seven that was drawn by Leland Purvis and my old friend Becky Cloonan. I think it ended up being pretty successful. I haven't seen a copy of the book yet though.
JAPANTHER is playing at The Church next Wednesday. Should be a good show. I drew that first flyer and was all but finished when Jae from Self Destruct Button called with this idea for this second flyer. I'm so glad I drew that. I think it came out awesome, and I drew it really quickly, so it felt good just to start out with an idea and execute it without stumbling. It reminds me that I really actually do know how to draw.
Eh, back to work.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Three days of freedom after being paroled from that goddamn ridiculous nursing home, and I started rocking the chillz and mean fevers again. I ended up back in Metrohealth, where they began to perform many tests and I waited many boring hours and days for results. They scared the shit out of me with scenarios that were not hopeful, and then put me in isolation. Then, in true american health care fasion... they let me go. They gave me a perscription for an $850 anti-biotic. I hope it worked, I took it all and now I'm kinda sorta just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Uh, yeah, fucking NEPTUNE is playing a show at The Church!!! Neptune is this wicked evil band that makes their own instruments to play this insanely mad heavy rhythmic noise rock that turns me into a giant steam powered rocket robot from the industrial age of man every time I hear it. They're from Bahston. I've heard nothing but great things about Sword Heaven from Columbus. You should come to this show, because if you do not you will miss something special.
More art soon. Keep looking to the Free Times.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
So, I've just gotten over a sweet blood infection. I had to take I.V. antiobiotics for almost 8 weeks. I stayed at this goddamn nursing home in Westlake because Medicare wouldn't pay for the drugs to be sent to my house and given by a visiting nurse. This is in spite of the fact that they would pay for a nurse to come to my house and administer the drugs. Instead they payed a shitload more for me to hang out in a goddamn nursing home for 6 weeks. It was ridiculous and kinda flushed half my summer down the toilet. The up side is that I saved a buncha money and got super healthy while I was in there. My hands are even clean. It's a miracle.
Also, I worked on a script for a full length Skullface book. I love Skullface and I can't wait to bust him out in long form. I didn't draw a whole lot, but I did these pieces as gifts for a couple people that ordered zines from me and I slacked off on sending them out, so... you know who you are if you're reading this.
I missed a couple episodes of The Joint in the Free Times. That bummed me out. However, as of two weeks ago, I'm BACK on that, which... it was a good return. The page The Joint was on happened to be in color so I got to use RED for the blood. It was a pretty violent column, which I'm happy about. Next weeks is a good one too. Check back again in a couple of days as I'll be dropping a bunch of new flyers and shit.
Thanks to everybody who sent me shit to read and watch. You guys is saints.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Yes, the first actual fucking NINE PANEL GRID on this page. It is this, a flyer for a show. A show that Wheelchair RIOT is representing at. YES, Wheelchair RIOT. We've got new bastards. We've now got a guitarist. It's gonna be special. I'll post more later before Saturday. I've limited access to the internet.
Uh, I love you all.
Friday, May 05, 2006
Did this flyer on Monday to promote the show on Wednesday. Kinda shitty, put it up on myspace and shit, but too late is too late. I didn't make any copies of it or anything. I'll print one for you if you'd like one. I'm kinda like, hitting this weird stride with these flyers where I have a specific approach for each place and like, genre of music. Then there's the time when I have absolutely no iudea what the bands sound like. I just usually base the pieces on the venue. This Shoplifting one was like that. It was set up by George from Steve Dracula, but I think Shoplifting got added to the bill later. Anyway, the show was awesome. Shoplifting is fucking great, and Impractical Cockpit is amazing to watch. In fact, I have a lot to say about the show in general, and I'll try and post more about it later. If I can find the time.
Paint it Black, Nine Shocks, Insurrect... I am too old for this shit. However, I still like to draw burning trucks, and robots with guns to their faces. I like violence as much as the next guy, but goddamn. I hope to start doing more flyers for the Grog. I have a lot of fond memories of seeing many great great shows there over the years. Mostlyy when it was down on Coventry. That space was so hagard.
Nick Filardi colored this poster for me. I cried a little when I opened my email and this was attached. I love working in black and white, but if this is what can happen when a limited palet is applied... I'm like, gonna start pushing to get him to do this more often. Nick is also a wicked artist in his own. There's a link to his comics on the side bar to this blog. Check him out.
I have no idea what Dead Moon is all about but they have one of the worst logos I have ever seen for a band. It's a cresent moon with a skull poking out the side. I went with an insanely simple and legible font for this piece to make it as instantly recognizable as possible. Maybe went too simple. I dunno. I'm on the fence. I like it but I think maybe a slightly less common font would have been better and like, y'know, not as blah. Still, I spent a lot of time working on the art, so... yeah. Mignola should kick my ass.
I may be losing my internet connection at home, so these updates may be even less frequent than they have been. Which is pretty infrequent, but still... yeah. No money, and debt up to my eyeballs, and summer being around the corner. I might have to get a job. I don't want to do that. Fuck Jobs.
Friday, April 28, 2006
So, there's a new DIY show space in Cleveland called The Church. We've had shows every night this week so far, it's been pretty off the hook. This is my first flyer for the space. I'm glad it's for Parts & Labor.
This flyer is my subversive attempt to start getting more cute girls to go to shows. I mean, I'm fairly certain anything with kitties and puppies involved, girls just can't NOT be interested.
Monday, April 17, 2006
I'm really excited for this DISFEAR show. You can download some wicked MP3s at Relapse Records' site, relapse.com. Misery Index also has some MP3s up there, which, they're almost too brutal for my tastes. They have a great name though. Then, Nine Shocks is Nine Shocks, which I guess is back in full force and playing a shit load of shows again. I went out to The Jigaw on Friday to catch Ringworm at like, 1 am. The place was packed. Metal dudes and females wearing all black as far as the eye could see. I hadn't seen that many skulls and swords, and illegible logos in one place since High on Fire played the Grog. The Jigsaw is well suited for that type of crowd. Which is why I can't wait to see Disfear tear it down. If you're on Myspace, add The Jigaw!
Saturday I caught Tall Pines, Meredith Bragg and The Terminals from DC, and Machine Go Boom at Moe's. I only go to see Tall Pines' last song because I got there so late, but goddamn, they're so good. I liked Meredith Bragg too. If you're into folky accoustic low key typa shit, check 'em out. Their keyboardist was wearing a pretty awesome Dungeons & Dragons shirt. Machine Go Boom was awesome, really a great show. Like, the crowd just wouldn't let them stop, which, any other band I'd be annoyed as fuck. I'm a big fan of "Less is More". Machine Go Boom? I didn't mind. There was however, the thing that drives me up a fucking wall going on during their set. Dumb Motherfucker with a tiny digital camera taking picture after fucking picture like it's goddamn fucking private show throughout the entire set. Goddamn, I can't stand it. This kid was INCHES away from the band, in front of the crowd, THE ENTIRE SET. I mean, on the one hand there was only ONE Dumb Motherfucker, I've been at shows with like, SIX of them Dumb Motherfuckers. Still, FUCK THEM. If you're name's not Lou Muenz or Keith Marlowe, PUT THE FUCKING CAMERA AWAY. It was a great show though, and I had a great time. If you're on Myspace, add Moe's Bar!
Blondsai, is from Baltimore. I know Sal, the beautiful and talented bassist from back in the day. I kinda fucked up the name of the band Chelsea Graveyard and The Screams at Midnight, which, I thought it was two seperate bands. So when I dropped the word "the" from "The Screams at Midnight", it worked out to look like "Chelsea Graveyard Screams at Midnight". I didn't recognize the mistake until after I had sent it to Sal from Blondsai. Which, y'know what? Blondsai paid for the flyer, so as long as they're happy with it... I don't care what anybody else thinks. I drew this flyer based on French Romantic Painter Eugene Delacroix's "Liberty Leading The People" painting from 1830, which commemorates the July Revolution. I took a few, um... well, liberties.
Monday, April 10, 2006
I didn't get to SEE Neptune play at The Black Eye here in Cleveland what must be a few years ago now, but I think I HEARD it. I'm sure I was there, in the kitchen, hanging out till 5 in the morning. The band played at 4. That entire time and place is almost one long blur now, with very few stand out moments solidified in my memeory. I never actually went down in the basement where the bands played because it would have been impossible to get down there, and even if achieved, scary as fuck to get back out. The kitchen was where all the action was anyway.
Self Destruct Button is fucking amazing. I say this after them having not played a show since last September. They played one of my favorite shows of all last year in the alley between buildings at The Compound. There's a video of it that Cleveland Photographer Lou Muenz took on their myspace page.
Jerk is cool.
While I was working on these two flyers for the Jigsaw, I came to the conclusion that I actually KNOW how to draw. I think the illustrations for these came out awesome, though honestly, I'm getting lkind of tired by the "hot girl holding a gun" drawings, which, maybe that's why I made this one a ROBOT. Anyway, Motorhead USA is I think that band Boulder playing Motöhead songs. I could be wrong, I didn't actually ask Dave when he asked me to do this flyer. Speaking of Motörhead though, I watched Motörhead: Ace of Spades, a documentary about Motörhead and their record, Ace of Spades. It's fucking awesome. It's like, it's kinda like Spinal Tap, only real. It's seriously funny for a lot of reasons, not all of them intentional. There's this segment of like, Slash and the band's roadies talking about how madly deep Lemmy's lyrics are. Motörhead is so fun and likable that it's hard not to love their music after watching this. I've never been a Motöhead fan before, never really got it. Now I'm like: "Oooohhh, shit".
The Murder Junkies is GG Allen's band, with Jeff Clayton of Antiseen. This show should be awesome. I'm really happy with how this flyer came out. I'm not so sure on the textwork, but I think I nailed that Stormtrooper walking on piles of skulls. I've been out to the Jigsaw a bunch recently. the thing that always makes me happy is that the shows start kind of late, so you can show up at 12 or 1am and STILL get to see the bands you wanted to, because they haven't even played yet. Saw this great band called Foreign Islands that my dude Keith Marlow brought through town. Then Roué tore it down on April 1.
Also, if you're in Northeast Ohio, I have 5 pages of a Skullface Story I wrote and drew with Andy MacDonald in an comic book art show at the Cafe/Gallery Bela Duddy in Lakewood. It's not a horrible show, as Derf also has some cool comics art up. Their address is 13321 Madison. The show will be up all month.
For anybody paying attention, I've been doing a lot of art for the Free Times. I drew the cover two weeks ago, and drew a bunch of spot illustrations for the cover story. The column is called The Joint and is written by a man serving time in an Ohio prison for a violent crime. Here's the story, I'll look for a link to the earlier one, I just did a spot illustration for, and try and see if I can post the images. It's going to be a regular column, which I'll get to do art for consistently. Here's a much bigger version of the cover art.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Red spot color on an otherwise black and white piece. I love the way that looks, especially with it being Skullface with a sword walking through a river of blood. I'm still getting used to coloring in Photoshop CS. I like it a lot, especially with the wacom tablet. There are certainly a lot of ins and outs that I need to learn. I can tell there are about a million faster and easier ways to execute the things that I'm trying to do. It's one of those things that I just need to work out.
The Terminal Tower has a big scafolding on the top of it right now. I think it looks like a winter hat, or a giant beer cozy or something. I left that out of this drawing. I also added a bunch of buildings that either arn't there or don't look anything like that. I love downtown, but sometimes that place drives me crazy. Funny thing about downtown is that somehow I am exempt from bums panhandling at me. I think maybe they think I'm a bum too. Can't say they're exactly wrong.
I haven't slept in a while. Gotta go do that.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
I'm not the biggest fan of St. Patrick's day. In fact, I kinda hate it. As I sit here trying to come up with some words on the subject, I realize I don't really have much to say about it either. Let's have a parade.
I like Medusa though. I think I'm eventually gonna color this and offer a print. I'm up to my eye balls in drawing right now though, so that won't happen for at least a week. I wish I could organize myself better so as to maximize the efficiency of my time more. I had a couple weeks of down time and instead of accomplishing much, I just hung out and went to shows. Speaking of which, Aa from Brooklyn, NY on Saturday night at The Inside/Outside Gallery was fucking amazing. Then Bloodyminded was increible last night, also at Inside/Outside. I felt like I fell into a Grant Morrison comic. I got a copy of their latest release, Magnetism, but I haven't listened to it yet. There was a full moon last night, wolves about. Stay Tuned.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Uh, hey look, it's another flyer. Lately, I have been beating my head against the wall creatively. I have no idea what it is, but I'm totally in an idea dry-spell. I have all this unfinished business, and no job, and I'm kinda freaking out because I can't sleep.
Bloodyminded is from Chicago, and this promises to be a pretty wicked show. I just saw one of the best performances of the year so far at Inside/Outside. Evolution Revolution was pretty amazing. I went in not knowing exactly what to expect, and was surprised as hell. They have a great presence, hightened by the singer/guitarist in full wolf costume. Their songs are pop as hell, but really really good and fun. It was so refreshing and inspiring to see, which may have been compounded by the fact that there were maybe 15 other people there. Most of which were in the other bands that played. They have a fifty-some page book with a five song CD available for $10. It's a collection of drawings and poetry and such. I highly recommend it, getting in touch with them through their MySpace page is probably your best bet.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
This is another flyer for Wasco. I wasn't too confident with this at first. I love doing comics style shit, and trying to make that work for flyers, but I was afraid the text was just a little too small and really... illegible for the purpose of a flyer that's supposed to be promoting a show. Then I thought about it and about how, well I don't personally KNOW any of these bands (except Scarcity of Tanks), but as far as I can tell these bands aren't rock start types. I don't think they're gonna be insulted by not having their names in big bold letters with bells and whistles and neon lights and shit. This flyer doesn't exist so much to SELL the idea of going to the show so much as to INFORM the audience of the show's existence. I think. I think it's more of a cool looking memo than a promotional material. So, yeah, I printed out the text, shrank it down to 50%, then blew that up tp 200% to give it that busted crusty feel. Then cut it out and cemented it onto the artwork itself. It's refreshing to do that shit after doing so much stuff where the text is all digital and the original art isn't a flyer, but just the illustration.
The band that I wish I were seeing play is Child Abuse. I hope they come through Cleveland soon, the MP3s up on thier Myspace page are fucking amazing. If you're anywhere near Brooklyn, I highly suggest going to this show. Hey, here's another link: Glassshouse Gallery!
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Mugan is an undisciplined, unpredictable, and seemingly unstoppable manic swordsman on the lookout for somebody, anybody, who can challenge is wild style of erratic hack and slash fighting. Jin is a mature and schooled ronin, trained in the martial arts, and seemingly invincible, wandering the country also searching for a worthy opponent. The two coincidentally meet in a fiery conflict at the heart of a burning teahouse, they are thrown into a power struggle that leads to them being captured by a greedy corrupt governor. Heads on the chopping block, and still defiant, the pair are rescued by the efforts of Fuu, a teenage girl who worked at the aforementioned teahouse, who literally explodes to the rescue and assists their escape. The young girl then gambles on a coin toss to see if the two samurai will resume their duel, or accompany her on her quest to find the mysterious Samurai Who Smells of Sunflowers. She wins and the adventures begin.
There are 26 episodes of Samurai Champloo. The unlikely trio travels from Edo to Nagasaki, and along the way spend a lot of time distracted and involved in many adventures with as many unique and brilliantly designed characters. I like how the majority of the show, the story revolves around how hungry the main characters are, and that the catalyst of a lot of the conflicts they find themselves in is that they were just trying to find food, or make enough money to eat. Thematically, it’s a great device. The fundamental aspect of just basic survival that permeates this epic set in a world of changing times. There is a lot of good solid character building, as every now and then an episode will reveal just enough of a character’s past to placate even the most hard nosed critic, and add to the familiarity of the three as they travel with and learn to depend on each other. There are a couple episodes that revolve around just one of the main characters, which helps to develop the plot through their own perspective and adds to the overall density of the world this piece is about. Then, there are just good old fun episodes that have a fairly self-contained story presented and realized that often exhibits and examines some specific piece of culture that is unique to that time and place. There is an episode about a Baseball game that was pretty funny, and an episode about a group of secret monks that had a giant pot field that Mugen set on fire, and everybody got high. There are even episodes that have elements that revolve around specific aspects of hip hop culture that is completely unrealistic, but still amazingly fun. For instance Mugen’s style of fighting had a lot of break dance moves, or there was an episode about graffiti writers in this one province. This series barrowed heavily from modern hip hop, and it’s core ideals.
The thing about Samurai Champloo that makes it so amazing isn’t necessarily the amalgamation of hip hop elements and Edo Era Japanese culture revolving around Samurai, but that these ideas, among many others, serve as ultra-cool decoration and dressing for a deeper, more philosophical journey story that follows three unique and enthralling characters as they search for, and ultimately find, what they’ve always lacked: friends.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
EVOLUTION REVOLUTION from Troy, NY apparently puts on a show involving maybe animals playing groove laden dance music. They're playing at the Inside Outside Gallery here in Cleveland on Thursday March 9th at 7pm, it's an early show because the Gallery isn't soundproofed and there are babies trying to sleep at night. Check out this wicked weird video of them. Dude named Wasco set this up. Wasco is one of those soldiers that has been in the trenches longer than most and has mastered many valuable combat skill. His House is Slow Toe, which puts out records and publishes poetry, throws down magnafied reflections of America through Cleveland. I like that motherfucker. I keep meaning to ask him to collaborate on some zine type shit, but I always forget. Someday our creative paths will collide. The Inside Outside is really the best thing going in Cleveland right now, especially for completely DIY live music. It's young and smart and fun and comfortable. My band, Wheelchair RIOT, will be playing there on May 20th with Wasco's band Scarcity of Tanks. Pengo from Rochester and Lambsbread from Delaware, OH are also playing. It's a saturday night, so wear your fancy shoes. I've got a really phatt sketch dump to post, but i'm still writing all the words that go with it. Check back DAILY.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Early Man is Metal as all hell. I don't really know much about them, but i'm pretty sure they're from NYC. The band that I really want to see is The Sword. their website is www.swordofdoom.com, which also happens to be the name of a really fucking good Samurai movie from 1966. The Sword of Doom is about this sociopath samurai that has no honor and kills using an unorthodox technique. I'll spare you the plot, as it is long and has many threads, but the gist of it is that this Samurai with no honor, also loses his mind. This film has some seriously amazing sword fights, both intense as all hell, and exciting. There's a steady cam sequence where the villain walks down a forest path and slays about 30 adversaries. There's also a bad ass sequence where Toshiro Mifune chops apart maybe as many assassins in a snow storm. SPOILER WARNING: In the end he goes completely insane, surrounded by the ghosts of all of his victims, he attempts to kill them with his sword but ends up having to battle a group of assassins he himself was associated with. That's pretty much where I got the idea for this flyer.SPOILER WARNING OVER. It's really quite a remarkable movie. I have no idea if that is where the band got their name, but it will be interesting to find out when the play here.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
I don't really know much about any of these bands, except The Subtones, who... is it my imagination or do they play like, every week? Anyway, I liked not knowing the bands because I like not having any preconceived stylistic leanings going into this flyer. Sometimes if I know a band is a metal band, or a hardcore band I’ll get the urge to do something genre specific, or on the other hand try and do something completely opposite from what anybody would expect from a flyer for that particular band. Either way, the art is influenced by the genre of the bands playing, which isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s just something I consider. The one thing I definitely did not want to do was anything having to do with “beef” as in “meat” or “cows”. Doing a literal graphic for a band has a time and place, but it usually just exemplifies a complete and total lack of any creativity or imagination on behalf of the artist. I’ve been guilty of it in the past, but at this stage in my “career”, if I’m going to reference a word from a band’s name, it had better be funny as hell.
I just decided to run with a visual image I've had in mind for a long time. I wanted to use this for a Skullface thing, but I think this works a lot better. I had this idea for a guy sitting on a pile of bodies with a machine gun propped on his shoulder and straps of bullets hanging all over him. I didn't really even intend to make it an insurgent type guy until I had roughed it out, and it just sort of became that. It was only after the fact, after I was done with the final art, that I realized in a certain context this could apply to the term “beef”, as in “conflict” or “a grudge”. What could possibly be a more profound statement than art depicting the current beef in the Middle East, and more specifically, in Iraq? On a more general scope, the conflict between The Western World and The Middle East? I highly doubt The Beef Dealers, as a band, had this in mind when they named themselves, and I really didn’t derive this meaning from their name to come up with this piece, but it is kind of universal, I suppose.