Tuesday 17 September 2013

Gentleman and Lady Drinking Wine

By Vermeer van Delft. It's much smaller than you'd think. Original shot below. For more on Vermeer's process, check out the movie Tim's Vermeer.

Following in the footsteps

A painter was copying a piece in the gallery. Fascinating to see how he went about it.

Monday 16 September 2013

Animated map of European borders from 1000 A.D.

Great animated map of shifting borders over at LiveLeak.

Love this sort of stuff.

What I particularly like about this map is that it includes all of Europe and the Mediterranean, so you see what's happening in England and France in context with what's going on in Anatolia, for example, and North Africa. When we study history it often becomes necessarily narrowly focused on one region, a series of major events, but at the cost of context.

Smart Dunce

Friday 13 September 2013

Clever logos with a subtle touch

These witty little puppies are worth a second look.

There's a slew more over at Shre Design. Check them out.

More marketing stunts: Working Star Trek teleporter

This is really fun.

I'd buy one.

Szlam.net reviews Rebel Angels (in Polish)

Szlam takes a look at Rebel Angels. Their verdict? Generally positive, although they prefer Rex Libris.

I like the suggestion of a HBO series.

Wednesday 11 September 2013

World's biggest websites at time of launch

By Mashable, via The Wayback Machine.

It's gotten better!

Broken Frontier reviews Rebel Angels

Jason Wilkins gives my latest graphic novel, Rebel Angels, a gander. He has this to say:

"Smart, technically brilliant, and infused with a jagged, sharp-toothed cynicism that burbles under the surface of every vertiginous panel, Turner’s Rebel Angels should probably come with a disclaimer warning that it may cause seriously funny discussion about the nature of religion, faith, and social equality."

It's a great review, and puts a wind under my sails. He dug the underlying themes, but does note that it is 'sure to rub people the wrong way' as well.

Hmm. That may explain why people take a step away from me when I mention the project, presumably to avoid the lightning strike.

City of Dis
Check out the rest of the review here.

Be sure to check out the comic at Comixology. The first 70 page issue is available FREE.

Tuesday 10 September 2013

Jodorowsky's Dune: "You can't make a masterpiece without madness."

So says Jodorowsky, the infectiously enthusiastic focus of the new documentary, Jodorowsky's Dune.

He and his vision were at the heart of a quixotic 1970's effort to produce Frank Herbert's labyrinthine novel. Supported by an elite team of 'spiritual warriors' that Jodorowsky assembled, they'd create an epic without ever reading the source material.


Jodorowsky has the kind of irrepressible passion and sense of wonder needed to sell a crazy project to Hollywood. Think Reading Rainbow but with everyone on LSD. This is a man who can present a series of static storyboards in such an enthralling way you feel like you've seen the film.

No wonder he was able to put together such a talented crew.

And what a team it was: he brought together leading artists such as Moebius, Dan O'Bannon (pre-Alien), H.R. Giger (also pre-Alien), and Chris Foss. He's got taste.

That being said, I am dubious about the choice of Dali to play the Padashah Emperor. But who knows? If anyone was going to get a great performance out of Dali, it was Jodorowsky. He has a knack for inspiring people. He got great work out of his dream team, from character designs (Moebius) to ships (Foss) and architecture (Giger).

Visually, there isn't much middle eastern influence as I'd have expected, but it's wonderful stuff regardless.

The distinctive style of Chris Foss. Pirate ship leaking glowing blue Melange (spice).
H.R. Giger's design for the Harkonen Fortress
Of course, Jodorowsky decided to rewrite the ending of Dune. That's just the way he rolls. And why not? He didn't read the book anyway. He has an endearing penchant for new age themes and stories where the human spirit triumphs over all. Cosmic stuff. Good vibes. That sort of thing. Just with lots of sex and explosions along the way.

Many of the ideas he injected into Dune, like the miracle child's immaculate conception, would pop up in his later work. Reuse, recycle. Nothing wasted. Dune was the spring board that launched his future.

Ultimately the major studios rejected his ambitious film project, possibly because of Jodorowsky's eccentricity, it's wild scope, and even crazier cost.

Dune storyboard by Moebius
But Jodorowsky is not a man to be kept down. The weight of the universe couldn't do that, and undaunted, he channelled all that imagination and work into comics, producing the sci-fi acid trip The Incal with Moebius. It confirms Jodorowsky as one of the most wildly imaginative writers out there. Of course it doesn't always make sense. Who cares? It's more fun than a barrel of drunken flying monkeys on laughing gas. It'll blow your mind.

He has some outrageously funny quotes ("I was raping Frank Herbert") that only he could get away with and still seem endearing.

More about Moebius and Dune can be found here, including more storyboards.

Foss designed space craft. Chris Foss is awesome.
Character designs by Moebius. Who is also awesome.
Chris Foss designed temple for Dune
Giger's version of a great worm
By the end of the film you really wish he'd made his movie. But The Incal is a pretty amazing consolation prize, deserving of a film of its own, if it could be trimmed down and rejigged to make sense to a mainstream audience that wasn't stoned. It's filled with his groovy, positive spiritual concepts, the same sort of ones he brought to Dune.

He's all about the collective unconscious and dreams.

John Difool falls in The Incal
A trippy underwater vista in Incal
Jodorowsky gets even more cosmic with his next work: Metabarons, illustrated by Juan Giménez. It contains many elements from Incal, only weirder. Same goes for Technopriests. They're both beyond epic. The scope of his imagination is truly breathtaking. There can be no doubt that Jodorowsky is still in touch with his inner child, and a sense of unbridled enthusiasm and uninhibited creativity suffuses his work.

Scene from Metabarons. Or is it Technopriests?
The collapse of the Dune film left Dan O'bannon broke and sleeping on a friend's couch. That's where he wrote Aliens. It must have been some couch. He hired an artist he met while working on the Dune project to design the xenomorph: H.R. Giger.

The rest is cinema history.

Dan O'Bannon and H.R. Giger designing the future of sci-fi cinema
O'Bannon went on to write the whacky Lifeforce (1985) about hot naked space vampires, the B-17 sequence of the Heavy Metal movie (the only memorable bit), Blue Thunder (1983), Total Recall (1990), Alien vs. Predator (2004), and Invaders from Mars (1986). He also directed the cult classic Return of the Living Dead in 1985.

H.R. Giger worked on a number of films, but is best remembered for Alien and his atmospheric and disturbing paintings that tortuously merge human bodies with cybernetic parts. He's also known for referring to himself in the third person.

Giger's vision of the Space Jockey
Foss' art graced the covers of an entire generation of sci-fi novels. He worked on the 1980 Flash Gordon film, and illustrated The Joy of Sex, although there are no spaceships in it.

Spectacular Foss
The documentary finishes with some inspirational comments by Jodo, as he's known to his friends.

I left feeling uplifted.

Monday 9 September 2013

Tim's (Wonderful) Vermeer

Tim Jenison and the producers, only really really tiny.
TIFF is in full swing here in Toronto. Saw Tim's Vermeer; it's excellent.

The film follows eccentric genius Tim Jenison in his quest to paint a Vermeer, inspired by David Hockney's book, Secret Knowledge.

And he does.
Detail of Girl with the Pearl Earring, one of my favourites.
Tim and his invention. Or re-invention.
If you are interested in painting, optical devices, or mysteries, see it.

Saturday 7 September 2013

LG Viral Ad: Meteor Strike Prank

Holy Crap. The Pepsi Challenge meets Armageddon. Must be staged (what if an applicant had a heart condition?), but makes for a fun (and very successful) viral ad. I couldn't help but post it. Well played, LG, well played.

We'll be seeing more of this sort of thing in future. This is at least the second shock ad LG's tried. The first had the floor of an elevator seemingly falling away, but it's not nearly as convincing as this one.

Friday 6 September 2013

Paintings from the Atelier Museum

There was a tragic story around the model below. That's all I remember now...

Thursday 5 September 2013

Locomotive hits Metro Toronto Convention Centre during Fan Expo

Fan Expo was almost engulfed in disaster when a locomotive was driven right onto the convention floor, presumably after running out of control from the neighboring rail yard.

I stood my ground, took out my camera, and fearlessly snapped this picture before it bumped into my table and came to a stop.

And checked out some comics.



From the British Museum. Had this image in a colouring book when I was a kid. Such a pleasure to see the original.

Wednesday 4 September 2013

Rebel Angels has LAUNCHED on Comixology!

Rebel Angels has LAUNCHED!

Available now as a digital download on Comixology... for FREE.

That's right: FREE.

Support an indie artist: download a copy today!

It's good luck. Every time you buy a copy of Rebel Angels, an Angel gets their wings.


Sand sculptures at the Canadian National Exhibition

Really striking work, particularly the first piece. Always something to see at the CNE.

Tuesday 3 September 2013

Princesses in Peril: Hostages of TM

Interesting article.

It focuses mostly on the use of trademarks to monopolize the presentation of a public domain character, strangling usage by independent artists. It effectively preempts copyright. You'll be beaten down by trademark infringement claims and never even get that far.

When large corporations build their revenue flow on characters that will eventually enter public domain, it means... they will never enter public domain.

My understanding is that copyright was meant to protect an author's revenue during his or her lifetime, and for a period after. Then the property would enter public domain, giving it new life and adding to the cultural stew.

Instead, laws will be changed. Not only that, corporate legal teams will work to nail down and monopolize as much material as possible, including public domain characters.

They will bully and intimidate independent voices into silence, which is unforunate to say the least.

If the article is correct, corporations are just expanding their arsenal by misusing trademarks.

More on the difference between copyright and trademark here.