Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Story of Bill

Now here's something that irks the hell outta me... It kills me when I come across people with incredible talent, yet they care nothing about it. Worse, when they're presented with an incredible opportunity and they blow it off like it's not worth the time or energy. AAARRRGGGHHH!

Here's an example: I went to a show a few years back along with an art college buddy of mine (for sake of arguement, we'll call him Bill). In comparison, my work PALES to his. His art style is a stylized mix of Kevin MacGuire and Adam Hughes. ( My fellow comic geeks, try to imagine THAT?!) Anyways, the comic con is in full swing, and after only two hours, my drawing hand is already struggling to keep up with the sketches and commission pieces I've got lined up. Bills' want list has TWICE the numbers--- and he's already cleared the first twenty within only 90 minutes (no headshots, people--- full composite shots all)!
While I marvel at this, many of the professional artists at the con approach the table and Bill reacts to each one like they're old friends. Worse yet, they really are! The jaw dropper comes when an editor ( a MARVELous one) bellies up and asks outright, " So when're you gonna come to New York and join the bullpen?" The response?

" That's cool an' all, but I'm thinking of creating a band--- that's more my speed."
The silence was unheard of. My heart dropped so far into the pit of my stomach, I swear, I would've lost it if I farted, because one damning factoid was known only to me at the table:

He did not sing nor did he play an instrument of any kind. OMG....

As the day ended, Bill turns to me and says, " Do you think I should've taken the Marvel offer?"
Ladies & Gentlemen of the jury, you have heard the damning testimony. It will now be left to you to decide. I damn sure can't.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pulps, the Grindhouse era, and Society as we know it.

I was in a bookstore browsing the racks, when I came across two items that someone considered, but then thought against it. A reprint replica of Doc Savage, a classic pulp from the 30's, and a DVD copy of Foxy Brown, considered a staple during the Grindhouse era of filmmaking.

It was then that it hit me: It's funny how the Pulps of the 30's & 40's are similar to the Grindhouse films of the 70's & early80's... Cheaply made escapes that, though the quality of the material was as bad as the pulpy paper & Z-grade filmprint, held an endearing quality in light of the times they were made. Think about it: The Pulps were lurid, superviolent pot-boilers that gave in to the frustrations and fantasies of a Post Depression/Pre-war America. The Grindhouse era were full-tilt genre exploitation flicks that served the same purpose for a generation steeped in Vietnam and a near debilitating energy crisis .

Now, I'm not suggesting to creators to flood the markets with trash ( Look around, I REALLY don't have to.), nor do I have to remind anyone of the times now ( Hell, I was only browsing--- I needed my money for gas!) . Life imitating art imitating life.

Past Forward...

Anyway, as I make my way through the store, I catch sight of a DVD sales rack--- No Country for Old Men are huddled up alongside Black Snake Moan and Hustle & Flow double features. Planet Terror and Death Proof, maxim examples of the grindhouse era, sitting along the bottom row. Beside this rack, are the new paperback releases, where the main selection happened to be Paul Malmont's The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril dispalys proudly with it's pulp painted cover. In our Present-depression/ conflict/energy crisis times, it's nice to see that our frustrations can still bear interesting fruit.

How's that for irony?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Epic Thought

Picture this: Sitting in a smoke-heavy bar, talking with a group of guys about football. Random talk. The first guy says, " If it were me, I'd be Head Coach." Second guy, wiping budweiser off his shirt, says, " Bump that, I'd own the team." The third guy says, " Man, y'all thinking too small! I'd be head of the league, makin' money off all y'all!" Welcome to alpha male bonding, folks.

" What about you, Rod?---" Here it comes... "Whatcho' think?" Okay...

"Simple. I'd own the stadiums themselves. " You could almost see the question marks form over their heads. " Cuz' while the Head of the League is stressing over keeping the money hungry Team owners in line, and the team owners are stressing over their clubs questionable season; INCLUDING whether or not to replace the head coach--- ALL OF YOU WOULD STILL HAVE TO COME TO ME. WITHOUT ME, WHERE WOULD YOU PLAY?!"

Moral of the story: Think big. Never dream small.

I call my line of thinking 'Epic Thought'.

Aesop never had it so good.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Welcome to Planet Griffin!

For those of you just tuning in, allow me to be the first to welcome one and all to Planet Griffin, the opening in a series of strange tales told from the inner sanctum of Rodney Blackwell, aka the Infamous RodBuddah! I am many things--- an artist, a writer, a contradiction, and a rogue of pop culture--- and much more.

I have been fortunate to experience & witness all that I have, whether it was good or bad... Hell, I've gotta learn something sometime, right? When I talk to my friends, I tend to be outspoken and highly opinionated; yearning for feedback--- something enlightening--- to face the unnerving mediocrity that surrounds us and the mindless people that dare call it 'normal'.

Well, now I bring that conversation to you... Whatever that conversation may be.

Oh yeah, did I mention that I'm creating a series comic called FIERCE CREATURES?

Again, welcome to Planet Griffin.