Click for larger. Add New York.
Click for larger. Add New York.
RELATED COMICS: Roger Ebert – On Kindness. Stanley Kubrick Answers a Question. Neil Gaiman – Make Good Art. Shonda Rhimes – A Screenwriter’s Advice. Ira Glass – Advice for Beginners. John Green – Make Gifts for People. The George Carlin series.
Kevin Smith is a filmmaker, writer, podcast mogul and professional babbler. I’ve been a fan of Smith pretty much his whole career. I missed the boat when Clerks came out, but went crazy for the comic book-reference-heavy Mallrats, and loved Chasing Amy, which featured Ben Affleck and Jason Lee playing a comic book artist and inker. It was like “OMG, a comic geek is making Hollywood films! One of us has made it to the big time!”
I was also in peak comic book-collecting form when Smith exploded onto the comics scene, writing the Marvel Knights Daredevil series. At the time, no big shot Hollywood filmmaker had stooped so low as to want to work in comics, and for fanboys like me, Smith deciding to write comics felt like Michael Jordan deciding to play in the local pick-up game. (Smith later admitted he had no idea what the hell he was doing and needed artist Joe Quesada to slowly train him how to write comics. Fake it till you make it, baby).
Smith was 24 when Clerks was released, which he funded himself for $27,000, using many of his friends as actors and filming it at the convenience store he worked at. The film was screened at the Sundance Film Festival, won the Filmmaker’s Trophy and was bought by Miramax. It launched Smith’s career and influenced the indie film boom of the 1990s. Although Smith focuses more on podcasting these days, he’s still in the arena, making movies. His latest film Tusk, about a podcaster who gets kidnapped by a crazy dude who then proceeds to grotesquely transform his captive into a walrus, was released last month.
The main thing I enjoy about Smith’s podcasts and gabfests is his encouragement to aspiring artists and creatives. He insists that if a fat, lazy nerd like him can make it, then anyone can. Smith draws his fair share of haters and critics, but his attitude is ‘Hey, if you don’t like what I do, then by all means, go make something better yourself.’ Smith has taken the recent poor performance of Tusk in stride and hopes people don’t take it as an excuse not to try weird shit:
“Don’t be afraid to do weird stuff, so long as you do it cheaply and cover everyone’s bets. Be bold. Be stupid, if you have to: so long as you don’t hurt anybody, what’s it matter how dopey your dream is? If I hadn’t made TUSK? If I’d let it die as a podcast? I wouldn’t have three other movies I’m now making within the span of a year. Some folks will try to shame you for trying something outside the norm; the only shame is in not trying to accomplish your dreams.”
The quote used in the comic is taken from Smith’s memoir/self-help book Tough Shit: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good. It’s from a chapter where Smith writes about his 2011 movie Red State, a 100% independent film he released and distributed. Sick of dealing with movie studios where the marketing budget for the film would have cost more than the actual film to make, Smith produced and screened the movie himself, touring America with the film and screening it to sold-out theatres across the country. At the end of the chapter, Smith thanks the small group of people who helped make the film possible, who he calls ‘Why Not?’ people:
“There are plenty of “Why?” people in the world. Whenever you hit them with an idea, they start in with their bullshit.
“Why try that?”
“Why do you think you’re better than everyone else?”
To counteract this, simply surround yourself with folks who ask only “Why not?” As in …
“Wanna make a movie?”
“Sure. Why not?”
Remember: It costs nothing to encourage an artist, and the potential benefits are staggering. A pat on the back to an artist now could one day result in your favorite film, or the cartoon you love to get stoned watching, or the song that saves your life. Discourage an artist, you get absolutely nothing in return, ever. I’ve spent the better part of my career getting up after movies and encouraging potential artists in the audience to give it a shot, pointing to myself as proof that anybody can make their dreams come true. I don’t do this altruistically: I’m selfishly insuring that I have cool shit to watch one day by encouraging anybody to follow passions like film or storytelling.”
- Follow Kevin Smith on Twitter.
– If you’re a comic book lover, then I highly recommend Smith’s Fatman on Batman podcast. Smith’s interviewed many comic book legends such as Grant Morrison, Jim Lee, Greg Capullo, Joe Quesada, Jeph Loeb, Neal Adams and Denny O’Neil. Although they’re Batman-centric, the in-depth interviews cover the creator’s whole careers and how they got into the business. Plus I’m pretty sure Smith is stoned during most of the interviews, so they’re hilarious (Warning: major potty language).
– This comic is a a follow-up to last weeks Full Body Education strip. I wanted to show that besides the education system, parents of course play a major role in realising a child’s potential.
– Last but not least, earlier this week I announced that I was giving away some of my original art to help promote my upcoming book. Here’s how you can win it.
Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks (1942) doesn’t just evoke a certain stripe of mid-century, after-hours, big-city American loneliness; it has more or less come to stand for the feeling itself. But as with most images that passed so fully into the realm of iconhood, we all too easily forget that the painting didn’t simply emerge complete, ready to embed itself in the zeitgeist. Robin Cembalest at ARTnews has a post on how Edward Hopper “storyboarded” Nighthawks, finding and sketching out models for those three melancholic customers (one of whom you can see in an early rendering above), that wholesome young attendant in white, and the all-night diner (which you can see come together in chalk on paper below) in which they find refuge.
These “19 studies for Nighthawks,” writes Cembalest, “reveal how Hopper choreographed his voyeuristic scene of the nighttime convergence of the man, a couple, and a server in the eerie Deco diner, refining every nuance of the countertop, the figures, the architecture, and the effects of the fluorescent lighting.” In each sketch, more pieces have fallen into place: a diner assumes their position, the light finds its angle, the perspective shifts to that of an outsider on the darkened street. Cembalest quotes Whitney curator Carter Foster describing the final product as a “marvelous demonstration of both extreme specificity and near abstract compositional summation on the same surface beguilingly [which] reflects how empirical observation and imagination coexisted in Hopper’s head.”
Despite how many elements of the real world Hopper studied to create Nighthawks, it ultimately depicts no real place. The painter himself posed for the male figures, and his wife modeled for the female. As for the locale, seen in the final drawing just above, Cembalest notes that “after years of research and scholarship, experts have determined that Nighthawks was not inspired by one specific diner. Rather, it was a composite of wedge-shaped intersections around Greenwich Avenue. Its curving prow seems partly inspired by the Flatiron Building.” In a way, it almost seemed too realistically New York to actually exist in New York. Hopper painted a distillation of a sense of American place, and like many American places, I’ve never quite known whether I’d love to drop in at the Nighthawks diner (though I’d have to find a front door first), or whether I should count myself lucky that life hasn’t relegated me to it. You can learn more about the fascinating storyboarding of Nighthawks at Art News and see many more sketches. Speaking of the sketches, they come courtesy of The Whitney Museum of American Art.
Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture and writes essays on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.
How Edward Hopper “Storyboarded” His Iconic Painting Nighthawks is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooks, Free Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.
The post How Edward Hopper “Storyboarded” His Iconic Painting Nighthawks appeared first on Open Culture.
Sometimes panoramas just don’t work. A shaky hand or moving object can really mess things up, but sometimes, accidents can lead to funny outcomes and everybody wins! Over the last year I’ve noticed a lot of funny panoramas on reddit and decided to compile the best ones into a single post. Enjoy!
The ice bucket challenge is pretty played out. So why post this photo? Quite simply because I can find scant little information about this curious Beatles pic. One Beatles blog dates the picture back to 1965. After that, bupkis. No information. So, for once, I’m throwing up my hands and asking for a little help from our friends. Somewhere out there, an ardent Beatles fan knows the story, and we’re hoping that you can give us the lowdown, either by email, or in the comments section below. We thank you in advance…
Update: We got an email from a former radio exec who offers more details. Jon tells us: “These shots were done in the Bahamas back in 1965 while the Beatles traveled the world to film their second movie Help! This sequence most likely came as a result of set close up shots that director Richard Lester needed of each Beatle during a pool sequence since John is wearing that same shirt during several of those water sequences shot in the Bahamas. Ringo has always said it was cold during the shoot as they filmed it during a cooler time (Jan.?) that year. That would explain John’s look after being doused.” And there you have it!
John Lennon’s Ice Bucket Challenge is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooks, Free Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.
This. Is. BAYHEM!
When Michael Bay directs animated gifs, explosions happen. Lots of them. A recent reddit post by jerip123 entitled, Unecessary Explosions unearthed a subreddit called /r/michaelbaygifs, described as ‘gifs, Michael Bay style’.
I’ve also embedded an excellent video by Tony Zhou that explores ‘Bayhem‘ — his style of camera movement, composition and editing that creates something overblown, dynamic and distinct. It’s worth a watch if you’re into film.
Alice Duke (UK) - Making Ghosts, 2009 Drawings: Pencils, +PS
Illustrations by Facey Artist
Thank you for submitting and for give me the liberty to make this photoset!
The Wizard of Oz by Lorena Alvarez Gómez (Part I)
I didn’t really appreciate what a huge impact Robin Williams had on my youth until he was gone. Growing up in the early 90s meant I was caught in the middle of Williams’ family-friendly hit streak. Hook, Jumanji, Aladdin and Mrs. Doubtfire were huge movies for me. I watched them all many times over, especially Aladdin. Like thousands of other fans, it’s been a joy to relive the memories of my youth by watching all of my favourite Williams movies over the past two weeks.
There are so many great obituaries and tributes online at the moment, but in my opinion, if you want to get a real glimpse of what Williams was like, I recommend you listen to his WTF Podcast interview with Marc Maron from 2010. It’s an extremely honest and interesting conversation, and you can tell Williams is just being himself (very quiet and soft-spoken) and isn’t trying to be ‘on’.
I had no idea how to approach doing a comic about Williams until I read that he was a huge video game fan. In fact, he was so obsessed with the original Nintendo system and games that he named his daughter Zelda. Here’s a TV ad Williams and his daughter appeared in to promote Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo DS. Over 100,000 people have signed a petition asking Nintendo to name a character in the upcoming Zelda game after Williams. Here’s hoping they will. And in case they don’t, I’ve decided to pay my own 8-bit tribute to the great man.
- Although this version of the quote is the most popular, I found a clip of Williams saying it with a slightly different wording.
– Thanks to everyone who sent in requests asking for a RW comic.
– This will be the first and last time I use a pixel art style for a comic. I take my hat off to those artists who illustrate in this style. It’s freakin’ hard!
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