March 15, 2012

Comix! View from the East returns with Vol. IV

In the off chance that you've actually come across earlier "issues" of View from the East, you may remember that this comic strip is a collaboration between a former roommate (DeLayne) and myself: we write it together and share illustration duties. Originally published in our college newspaper, these narratives are based on our experience living together in Winnipeg (2009-2010), a year after completing our undergrad degrees. In case you'd like to peruse our previous episodes, here are links to Volume 1, Vol 2, and Vol 3 for your viewing pleasure.

Last month DeLayne trained out to Edmonton and paid me a visit. I happened to have a rough draft from the "old days" sitting in my accordion file, awaiting completion. We decided to revise and supplement it with an episode from his visit. The second part ("The Local Food Fetish") is based on DeLayne's recent visit to Edmonton and, I think, puts the first ("The Ascetic Nightmare") in perspective. We've come so far.

(Select image and ZOOM for better resolution)

March 10, 2012

RIP Jean Giraud (aka Moebius)

Born at Nogent-sur-Marne, east of Paris on May 8, 1938, Giraud began after art school training as an illustrator for advertisers and the fashion industry before turning to comic strips. He found fame when he created the Lieutenant Blueberry western character and adopted the pseudonym "Moebius" for illustrations of science fiction books and magazines. As well as being published in top French magazines, he worked with Japanese manga artists, co-produced an adventure of US comic-book superhero The Silver Surfer with Stan Lee, and gave preliminary designs for such films as Alien, Tron, The Abyss, Masters of the Universe, The Fifth Element, and Willow.

Here's a recent video of the man at work:

March 9, 2012

Cymbals Eat Guitars - "Definite Darkness"

Just released a couple days ago, the music video for "Definite Darkness" from Cymbals Eat Guitars' Lenses Alien is every bit a guilty pleasure, for the most part because it unabashedly hits all the right notes for teen angst. For visuals, we have what's probably the most familiar trope of 90s alt-rock music videos: cheerleaders (or, in this case flag-wavers) at a football game. It's the best kind of high school spectacle: you've got all the popular kids at their most visible, phony, machinistic, pre-determined, etc. Throw in some heavy guitars and (extremely) emotive vocals and you've got teen angst in one of its most compact, transparent expressions. Gah! Social alienation. So painful, so liberating. Bottle and sell that stuff!

It's basically crack for outmoded hipsters (such as myself) who are still stuck in the overworn trenches of mid-90s guitar rock. Play the video and you'll know why I'm still listening the crap out of this album a year after its release.