Friday, December 30, 2011

Thoughts

The karaoke version of "Step Right Up" by Tom Waits has been released today.

This is probably one of the most difficult songs to pull off well in a karaoke bar.

I wonder how many people around the world will be trying it and how many people will be hearing it for the first time.

Here's hoping some minds will be blown.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thoughts

Here's hoping for health, wealth, and happiness for all my friends, family, and loved ones this holiday season and in the upcoming year ahead.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Defenders #1 Blank Cover artwork

One of the six variant covers to #1 of Marvel's 2011 Defenders series is blank, which is done for artists to fill in. I made 3 copies of the following front cover and back cover:
A blatant Steve Ditko swipe

My tribute to Crumb, Shelton, Griffin and Vaughn Bode


The cover image of Dr. Strange getting busy was a re-creation of a Steve Ditko drawing along with some inspiration from a sexy picture of the GI Joe Baroness I found online. It makes reference to an incident that actually occurs in the comic.

The back cover is a tribute to the artwork of some underground comic legends: Dr. Strange and Red She Hulk is in the style of an infamous Robert Crumb piece. Iron Fist is in the style of Vaughn Bode's Cobalt 60. The Sub Mariner is a combo of Wonder Warthog and Freak Brother Freewheelin' Franklin. The Silver Surfer is based on Rick Griffin's legendary surfing comic.

Here's the 3 covers. I painted one of them blue but decided to keep the other two white:

Here's the 3 back covers:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Thoughts

Has anyone written a teenage sci-fi/horror romance novel about a robot and a human falling in love and having babies yet?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Last night of the year for me at Ground Control Karaoke...

I wonder what I'll sing to end 2011? Its been a year of economic turmoil and the death of three international tyrants.

Most of my friends are broke, but the world is much safer I guess.

Live online streaming video might or might be on tonight, and links to see it as well as club directions can be found on the Ground Control Karaoke website by clicking here.

If you're in Los Angeles, drop in!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Reflections on Student Teaching Week 11

My last week at the elementary school was bittersweet.

On one hand, I was glad to be finishing up my student teaching, on the other I was sad to leave the kids and a school so close to where I live.

It was a fantastic experience and hope I find students and teachers to work with in a paying teaching job who are as great as the ones I was working with these last few weeks.

Kids in both classes made me thank you cards, and I distributed lenticular rulers and stickers to them as parting gifts.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Defenders #1 (2011)

All six variant covers to the new Marvel series are in my possession, thanks to Golden Apple Comics!

The one on the bottom right, the Neal Adams sketch variant, is extremely expensive and tough to find because they only shipped one per every 200 copies ordered. May Agamotto's All-Seeing Eye help Golden Apple sell the 200 copies of Defenders #1 they now have in stock!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Reflections on Student Teaching Week 10

Had to fill in for a teacher who was having an IEP meeting this week and managed to give a lesson to a class with a number of kids with severe Autism. Did pretty well, but their lunchtime playground was absolute bedlam. Children riding tricycles like they were battering rams and violent keep away games that ended in quite a few tears. The winds had blown a basketball hoop completely over a metal fence to the field on the other side of the playground. It felt surreal, like I was in the eye of a chaotic storm.

Went with the kids in the SDC room to their practice for the Christmas musical and sang "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" enough times to want to bash my head into a wall. The kids did look cute doing the tune though.

Finished the longest term paper in my entire college career on Thursday night. My Progress Monitoring paper for my student teaching class clocked in at 47 pages with appendix charts. Very glad that one is behind me.

One more week of student teaching left!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

New Wacko/Soap Plant store online

This is a webstore I helped design which happens to sell limited edition prints of The Picture of Everything! Check it out!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thoughts

All the great rock and roll bands have had songs about love, time, and dancing... except the great punk bands. Punk bands sing about sex, politics, and/or fighting.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thoughts

God wanted to make up a joke that would always make Him laugh, so He created the fart.

His Wife was disgusted by this, having to change the diapers for all of His creations and not finding such things humorous at all.

"Why did you invent the foul smelling wind from the buttox of Your creations? And why did You have it make such a horrible sound?" She would ask Him.

God shrugged and said "Cuz' I'm God, that's why."

Later that night, God's wife woke up after Her Husband was asleep and ate chili beans, brisket and cooked cauliflower. She then got back into bed and let loose the loudest, worst smelling fart of all time. One that was so loud and smelled so bad that it awoke God Himself from His sleep, gasping for breath.

And that was how the universe was created.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Reflections on Student Teaching Week 9

The teacher was absent Monday and I subbed the entire day. I'm not technically supposed to do that since I don't have the credential yet, but I knew the routine and was effectively able to administer a relevant lesson plan at the last minute.

The kids in the Special Day Class have a very hard time with simple division. Some don't get it at all at this point. They are getting better at their writing, but it takes a lot of practice, repetition, and direct instruction to get them to perform.

The kids can follow directions well, and will stay on task if information is provided to them, but to have them process and expound on their own ideas without any guidance will end with them getting frustrated and coming up empty handed.

As an educator, I can see a lot of fault in the standardized methods of testing these children with special needs. Even with modifications or accommodations, scores will inevitably be lower if they have specific learning disabilities. Some of these kids just can't get that light to click on.

I don't mind trying day by day to keep pulling that switch again and again. Sometimes you see a flicker, and sometimes the light does go on and stays on. Those are the good days. But, sadly, there are also many days where the room stays dark.

Ate the cafeteria food every day this week. The spaghetti and meatballs wasn't bad.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Re-Post: Thankgiving Prayer

This is a parody of THIS.
To hear an audio version of this, CLICK HERE 
Originally posted November 25, 2010

To William S. Burroughs 
and hope he is still alive.

Thanksgiving Day 
November 25 2010

Thanks for The Carls Jr.
Six Dollar JalapeƱo Burger,
destined to be shat out through
wholesome American guts.



Thanks for a continent of 
Anonymous
 4chan teenagers.
posting gore porn and cp
just for the lulz. 



Thanks for vast herds of noobs
to kill in Warcraft and Call of Duty,
earning you major pwnage.

Thanks for bounty hunters
like Boba Fett.



Thanks for "The American Dream",

a great Love and Rockets song
and the last track on their album Express

Thanks for Adult Swim and Comedy Central.



For industrial steampunk goth girls
with customized I-Phones. 

For a generation of crack babies
all grown up, with ADHD
and no jobs.



Thanks for "My Child Beat Up
Your Honor Student" stickers. 



Thanks for stem cell research. 

Thanks for Cialis and Adderall
and weed stores on every corner. 



Thanks for digital social networks and Twitter
giving us all intimate details
we never needed to know.


Thanks for a nation of douchebags. 



Yes, thanks for all the
 memories--
all right let's see 
if you can Triforce! 


You always were a newfag and

all your base are belong to us.

Thanks for the latest and greatest
version 2.0 of human dreams,
soon to be outdated and
in need of an upgrade.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thoughts

The hardest alchemical ingredient to distill is the perpetuation of inspiration.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Reflections on Student Teaching Week 8

The kids were distracted this week. Some days they were really off focus.

Gave an art lesson on Image Macros and had the kids make their own on cheezeburger.com/Builder. Still can't believe that site was accessible through the LAUSD internet filters.

More standardized testing for kids who can't understand basic math or read sight words without difficulty. Needless to say, they didn't do very well.

Had my last observation by my Cal State professor on Friday. My lesson was interrupted by a fire drill and I still finished too soon. Tried to plan a better lesson but had technical problems the night before. Oh well.

Played handball and kickball with the kids this week.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Third Degree Proficiency

A very interesting evening last night at my Masonic Lodge.

It's extremely unusual for a Lodge open on all three degrees in one night, since each degree requires a set ritual that takes quite a bit of time to complete. But that's exactly what happened last night.

We were supposed to do a Second Degree, with a brother Entered Apprentice giving his First Degree proficiency before the degree work can begin. This means the Lodge opens on the Second Degree and then re-opens on the First Degree for the purpose of examination.

A little side note for folks not familiar with Freemasonry: In order to be raised to Second and Third Degree Masons, you have to write a small essay and memorize a coded booklet that goes over what you experienced in the secret ritual. This is called your "proficiency".

Well, last night's candidate didn't have his written essay completed, so the degree was postponed after his examination. This meant there was time for me to do MY Third Degree proficiency!

We had to close Lodge on the First Degree and re-open on the Second Degree (just to close on that degree), and then immediately open on the Third Degree for my proficiency examination.

Well, I did it!

I even got some applause from the brethren afterward.

That felt great. It took me months to memorize that stuff.

Once you get your Third Degree and you take the proficiency for that degree, you get a card that enables you to visit other Lodges and you can move up the line to become Worshipful Master.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thoughts

Sometimes I really believe we are living in a virtual simulation that lasts around 70-90 years (if you're lucky) and that when we die, we wake up in a giant space ship where we can either have the option of living another virtual life or do something else for the next aeon of time as the ship slowly travels from one corner of space to the other.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Reflections on Student Teaching Week 7

Tomorrow we have a day off for Veteran's Day, so the school week ended early.
I had my third observation this week and got to prepare a science lesson. Made a Powerpoint and set up a science experiment having the kids pick up rice, nuts, gummy worms, raisins and raw spaghetti with a pair of kitchen tongs, a clothesline, some chopsticks, a spoon and a tweezer to emulate bird beak adaptations.

It was a home run, as the kids were interested and interactive and the lesson was a success.

The next day's state testing bummed me out though. The kids had to do a science test on stuff they hadn't covered in the curriculum yet. They test low to begin with, but giving them questions about stuff they had never even been taught is unfair.

Ate hot pockets every day this week for lunch.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Reflections on Student Teaching Week 6

Took my first sick day this week (Thursday).
The kids finally gave me my first cold.
Taught a lesson on the civil rights movement on Tuesday.
In fact, taught most of the day Tuesday all by myself.
Did pretty good. The kids seemed to be getting the gist of what my lesson was all about.
Some of the kids in IDEC may not be progressing as rapidly as I initially thought.
Will be interesting to see the progress monitoring data at the end of the 10 weeks.
Am officially sick of Yogurt Honey Peanut Power Bars.
Kids were recovering from sugar highs the day after Halloween.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Reflections on Student Teaching Week 5

Went to the Halloween party the school threw over the weekend dressed like Dr. Strange.
Got to show the IDEC kids The Picture of Everything site on the smartboard.
Had some of the kids with the lowest cognitive abilities make great strides in learning addition.
Even staying up until 1am I was able to get up by 6:30 before the alarm.
Discovered the falafel place for lunch near the school.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thoughts

Things to look forward to:

The Rum Diary
The Avengers movie
The Hunger Games movies
New South Parks
New Beavis and Buttheads
New Futuramas
New Venture Brothers
New Through The Wormholes
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 with Doctor Strange (out Nov 15th)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Reflections on Student Teaching: Week 4

Kids in the IDEC room are having a lot of success with developing their scary stories from rough drafts to final products. The progress is quite remarkable.
The kids in the SDC class needed a lot more review, but there's twice as many in that class as there is in the IDEC room. The teacher is still dealing with way too many brand new instruction modules being thrown her way.
My friends filmed me this week in both classes for my video assignment. It'll be interesting to see the difference in my demeanor in both settings.
Got to give a lesson in how to draw a monster to the IDEC kids on Friday afternoon. That was pretty cool. I'm an art teacher at last!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Subliminals

They have this poster for the Three Musketeers movie on billboards all over Hollywood. I couldn't find an English version online, so here's the Spanish one:


I noticed all 3 Musketeers proudly sticking out their phallic weapons at the viewer, but only Milla Jovovich has her face next to hers, like she was just kissing it.

Am I reading too much into this?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Reflections on Student Teaching Week 3

There were dozens of dead roaches in the staff refrigerator but no one stepped up to clean them out.
The 4 kids who are mainstreamed to a general ed math class are ahead of all the other students in their SDC class when it comes to mathematics.
Does mainstreaming special ed students work?
When they have a good TA or student teacher to help them!
We have a guy coming in to the IDEC room each week to teach a reading strategy that involves drumming.
It was developed by one of Jimi Hendrix's drummers.
I personally think it only sort of helps.
One of the required reading books I read to the kids was all about zombies.
They have Ceasar Chavez Day and MLK Day off, but not Columbus Day. I can understand that.
Found out the school janitor's 12 year old son got a 14 year old girl pregnant.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thoughts

My phone has a 3D video camera. This, more than anything else, has made me realize just how far into the future we have come.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

La Luz de Jesus 25th Anniversary

My artwork is in this amazing catalog alongside some of the greatest artists of the early 21st century! You can get it by visiting La Luz de Jesus Gallery or by pre-ordering it online.


The piece I have in the 25th Anniversary show is a lenticular called "1983". In the book it's printed as a flat image, which doesn't really do it justice.

"1983" will make its 3D lenticular debut on November 4, 2011 at the gallery opening. Drop by if you can to check it out!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Reflections on Student Teaching: Week 2

Standardized testing is very disruptive.
I think it's detrimental to do it in the first 2 months of school.
Kids like computers. They take to them fast.
The laptops crash or drain their batteries rapidly, however.
One malfunctioned today, started beeping, and wouldn't stop.
Saw notable improvements in some students from what they did on Monday to what they could do on Friday.
Someone stole my small bag of cookies this morning from the staff dining room.
My CSULA professor came to observe me doing progress monitoring and math lessons today. I think I did all right.
Got to see what a rainy day schedule was like on Wednesday: Not very fun for the teachers or the kids.
Woke up before my alarm rang every day this week.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Reflections on Student Teaching: Week 1

I can get to the school in 8 minutes.I eat a Cinnamon Pop Tart and drink a 5 Hour Energy Drink and a Glaceau Vitamin Water "Focus" drink each morning.
They have a parking structure for the staff.
All the kids are in uniforms. Blue pants. White shirts.
Some people break this rule, but not many.
One of the teachers told me they don't allow the kids to dress up for Halloween.
The children in the special education class are the most well behaved I've observed so far.
The first master teacher I work with is strict. The kids respect her. Learning a lot from her.
Was in her class all this week and did a Read-Aloud for the entire class and led some small group activities in math and language arts.
Today I was at IEP meetings all day with my second master teacher. She's running a new program called IDEC. Her assistant translated all the kids needs beautifully to the parents and guardians. These people are on it.
All the kids have their own personal laptop/tablets. The class has it's own smart board and printer.
Only 6 kids in the entire class.
Don't feel too exhausted at the end of the day.
So far so good.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Thoughts

Now all we have to figure out is how to transform stuff into neutrinos and back again and we can teleport anywhere in time.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Thoughts

If I opened a donut shop it would be called Blue Donuts and do for donuts what all those fancy cupcake places did for cupcakes. It wouldn't look like Krispy Kreme. It would be all fancy and appeal to hipsters and the idle rich instead of being a 50's diner throwback. The donuts would be of all shapes, sizes and colors and the usual glazed, sprinkled, and jelly-filling confections would make way for blueberry raspberry chocolate bearclaws and other original amalgamations. Purples, blues, greens, and other colors not usually used in donuts would be used with great enthusiasm to make new specialties... The Birthday Cake Donut. The Red Velvet Vanilla Pudding. The Donut Cupcake. The Blue Ice Special. Small glasses of milk would be 50 cents apiece.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Thoughts

If photons are particles of light, what are particles of darkness called? Antiphotons? Melanons? (From the Greek, 'melas', which means black)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Giant Robot Toys For Sale!

Selling some 24" vintage giant robot toys, including some of the original Mattel Shogun Warriors, a rare plastic Voltron, and a vinyl Giant Robot! These are the toys that were showcased at the legendary Nova Express Cafe. Check 'em out!

Raydeen 24" Shogun Warrior
Dragun 24" Shogun Warrior

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ernie Cline!



That's me on the left meeting "Ready Player One" author Ernest Cline on September 10. Got my book signed as well!


MTFBWYA = May The Force Be With You Always.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9-11-01 Memories

• My girlfriend at the time waking me up with the words "Turn on the television."
• People on TV, covered in ash.
• Thinking about the ending of The Lone Gunmen pilot (which I had watched a few months before the event) that had an airplane which was piloted by remote control from the ground barely missing the Twin Towers...
• Realizing my dad, who died that past July, would never see all the tragedy and fear that spread all over the globe as a result of this event.
• Thinking about the tarot card "The Tower".
• My cousin, who was in town from Canada, being worried about flying home.
• The W speech on the big TV.
• My brother getting survival supplies at the Surplus Store.
• Freaking out at the abandoned moving van parked on our street.
• Thinking this was just the first of a bunch of horrible attacks to come on American soil. Glad this wasn't the case. Very glad.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lenticular of the day

This is a 3D lens based on Ernest Cline's book "Ready Player One" (I blogged about it yesterday. It's awesome!)

If you click HERE or on the image below, you'll see an animated simulation of what the piece looks like in 3D:


This is a tribute to the cover of DC Comics Swordquest #1, which came with the Atari 2600 cartridge of the same name:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Audiobook Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline


Wow. A fantastic and entertaining read. Destined to be a classic science fiction book.

The Oasis, The Easter Egg hunt, the main characters in this story (Parzival, H, Art3mis, Halladay, etc.) ... all of them kick such ass that this is the only audiobook I started listening to again immediately after I was finished the first time through. So many geekgasm moments it would be a crime to reveal them here.

I'm not as much of a fan of the band Rush as Ernest Cline is, but I completely understand why they were chosen in the context of this novel. Also, Will Wheaton, who did an excellent job reading this audiobook, mispronounced the word "poseur". It should be pronounced "Po-zer", like someone posing as something they're not, not with a French inflection like "monsieur". These are tiny little insignificant gripes at what is by far my favorite book of the year.

It will be interesting to see how they deal with the licensed characters from video games, music, books, TV, movies and other forms of media cited in the book when it's made into the inevitable Hollywood blockbuster... and if they remain true to the main characters' body types in their casting. We shall see.

As for now, if you don't immediately read or listen to this book, you are missing out. Get it now!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Blog about The Picture of Everything and get listed on the site!

I want YOU to blog about my artwork The Picture of Everything!

If you like my work and want to help me promote it, link to it on your blog!

Any blog entry I find or you send to me will be added to this page on my website!

Monday, September 5, 2011

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT #1: THE PICTURE OF EVERYTHING WEBSITE: RELOADED!

Zoom in and out of The Picture of Everything! The website has been completely rebooted and now has a Flash zoom in feature that allows you to do live magnification JUST LIKE GOOGLE MAPS!

CLICK HERE OR BELOW TO CHECK IT OUT (REQUIRES FLASH)

A big debt of gratitude goes out to Zack Dougherty at Panoview Imaging for creating this Flash engine especially for my artwork. Thanks Zack!


BIG ANNOUNCEMENT #2: HALLIS.BIZ


This is the first official announcement for Hallis.biz, my official web store. It's kind of like eBay, since you can pay with Paypal, but I'm offering downloadable content along with stuff you can buy in the real world.

The logo is modeled after the Hallis' Ladies Wear logo, which was my Grandparent's clothing store in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. 

On the first day of online business, I'm offering high resolution images of The Picture of Everything, my Alien Man comic book (as both a real comic you can order and a PDF), and the Don Knotts Overdrive 7" vinyl single from the early 90's.

In the weeks to come, my original novella "Dotty and The Murderer" will be available for download, along with a whole bunch of rare collectible toys, art, and memorabilia.

If anyone out there is interested in how I set up this store, I used Prestashop, but couldn't have done it without the programming expertise of Robert Bain.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Big announcement coming...

Check back here on Monday (9/5/11). Some neat things are making their debut on the internet!