Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Originally uploaded by stymie924.
Hey y'all! So sorry I haven't been posting these days but, you see, our son Leo decided to come two months early--I guess the tax deduction was really important to him! Anyway, Please check back often and I'll be updating everyone on what's going on!!

Monday, November 28, 2005


Mandy and I spent the better part of last week in Clemson with my folks. It was great--although I was very much ready to come home by Saturday. Of course, we ate like fiends--picking every morsel of edible flesh off that damn bird! The picture above is just our first go at it. Of course, the white meat was the first to go.

We had a great visit with family and friends which climaxed with a cool engagement party for a good friend of ours on Saturday night. Everyone continues to marvel at Mandy's ever-expanding belly. She is getting so big and we're starting to sort of freak out about the prospect of her getting much bigger. She is really sort of starting to get uncomfortable and sleeping is becoming difficult. Last night, we were sitting around talking to the baby (Leo) and he started getting the hiccups. It was so cute. It also seemed that he was pushing up against Mandy's belly because her belly-button was poking out. We figured out where his back is and we have been giving him little back-rubs every once in a while. It's amazing. I can't wait!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


I just tossed off this sketch for Illustration Friday's topic.

Strength is a relative concept obviously. I see so many businessmen these days who are pumping themselves up to make themselves look more intimidating. There's really no reason to be able to bench 300lbs. unless you play tight end for the Falcons.


Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Mandy and I just finished playing some music for Leo. We ran the gamut--Beethoven, Strauss, Dvorjak, Bob Dylan. I wanted to play some Dark Side of the Moon, but Mandy forbade it.

To think, in February, we'll have our little dude here with us!

In the meantime, I have to finish this freelance gig which is about to kill me. It's a web-toon for a company here in Atlanta to send out to clients for the holidays. It's pretty involved and I am really sort of burning myself out.

On the upside, once I finish this, I can move on to some cool projects of my own. I just sent out some promo cards and I am waiting to hear from a couple other prospective clients at the moment as well. So, while I am waiting, I can work on a personal story I am creating for Leo. It will be sort of a fantasy/sci-fi thing... I'll post more here and there as I get cracking on it. Anyway, here's a color sketch I did for that story. It's going to be a picture book-type thing ultimately. It'll give me a chance to stretch some different muscles. It's really the kind of story I would be into as a young lad. We'll see...

Friday, November 11, 2005


"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city,"

Well... I guess I hadn't better move to Dover, PA. Honestly, how can anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ say something so unabashedly hateful?

From the CNN article: "In voting on Tuesday, eight Dover, Pennsylvania, school board members up for re-election lost their seats after trying to introduce a statement on "intelligent design" to high school biology students."

I wish I could say that Pat Robertson has just lost his ever-loving mind, but the sad fact is that he commands a pretty large audience of "believers." The 700 Club has been spouting this kind of swill since its inception in the 60's and Robertson is the Chsristian Broadcasting Network's--which broadcasts the "Club," chief commentator and, yes, televangelist. His "Keebler-Elf-esque" head is the one that I usually flip right past between BBC America and ESPN.

Pat needs to re-attach himself to the twenty-first century...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Friends, and readers... I realize that this is ostensibly an art blog--and that to go directly from a post about the limitations of Flash to a post about religion might cause some people a momentary loss of orientation... Still there are several things that have really put a burr under my bum, so to speak, about the way that my faith is being dragged farther and farther away from what I believe are the true teachings of Jesus.

First, The United Methodist Church, in what can only be seen as a quantum leap backward from their slogan, "Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors." has reinstated a pastor in Virginia who had been placed on involuntary leave by the judicial council for denying membership to an openly gay man. From the church's own website:

"In Decision 1031, the council dealt with the due process problems in how Johnson was disciplined. Decision 1032 was the more sweeping ruling, saying that the church’s Book of Discipline “invests discretion in the pastor-in-charge to make determination of a person’s readiness to affirm the vows of membership.”

I am not interested in quibbling over technicalities regarding what the ruling said, or what the Book of Discipline says. To me the central issues are these: (one) that an openly gay man--every bit a beloved child of god, was denied membership into the United Methodist Church and (two) that a local pastor, acting on his own authority was the one who denied that membership and that (three) that pastor now has the blessings of the governing body of the UMC to CONTINUE to deny membership to ANYONE he feels goes against the Discipline.

Friends, this is wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Not only is it ethically wrong, it is a 180 degree turn from the UMC's own stated policy of "Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors." AND it is in complete opposition to everything we are taught as Christians. For the UMC's governing and judicial bodies to cave to the rigid right wing of the church in this way is shocking. It makes me scared for my church, my United Methodist Church, of which I have been a member all my life.

Jesus was a champion of the outcast and marginalized. He was someone who, without fear, would challenge those who would hope to limit the kingdom of God to a chosen few. He sought out the otcasts and misfits and those on the "sketchy" side and he said to them, (I'm paraphrasing) "Hey y'all! Y'all who have been locked out of the temple! Come and follow me." After they have been turned away everywhere else, where can they go BUT to the church?

I am a member of a United Methodist Church here in Atlanta. We are a stewpot congregation of broken mutants--gays, lesbians, blacks, whites, Baptists, Catholics, Bhuddists, Dancers, actors, artsists, police officers, Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians. We are all there every sunday to soak in the fellowship and to hear the Gospel. One sunday, as I was waiting to recieve Holy Communion, I looked around and saw the wonderful, bizarre, diverse family that had taken me in two years ago. I thought to myself, "This is indeed the body of Christ."

I don't know what will happen with the UMC and their policy on homosexuals within (and without) the church. I do know that every time we here on earth attempt to close our church doors to one group or another, to quote my crazy cousin Ed, "...the power of the Gospel just breaks those doors down again."

The second burr under my bum deals with the Kansas Board of Education's decision to delete the teaching of science from its science curriculum. This article illustrates part of the reason why I am so beloved by my liberal friends for being a devout Christian. This group is one of several behind the push to rid our nation's schools of the scourge of evolution instruction. Apparently, if dinosaurs actually existed, then the bedrock of scripture which our Christian faith is built upon would crumble before our eyes.

For me, whether or not we decended from Australopithecus africanus is immaterial to my life as a Christian. It doesn't affect how I worship or how I pray to my God. It doesn't affect how I read the Gospels. It doesn't in the least change how I relate to the poor or the sick. It doesn't at all deter me from working and seeking to be in ministry with my fellow Christians. While we shout and beat our chests over issues like homosexuality and evolution, poverty is killing thousands upon thousands of people every day--in every corner of the globe. The irony is enough to make one sick.

I could go on, but I seem to have burned myself out... My bed is calling...


I am pushing a serious deadline this week--a ton of illustrations for use in a web-toon which will be created in Flash. In order to help the process along, I have been trying to re-acquaint myself with Flash. In short, it's been a little bit frustrating. The rewards are obvious (right Jared?)... Still there are some things that drive me up the freaking wall!!

First, keyboard shortcuts are different than just about every other program I use so there's a substantial dropoff in usability. Also, sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. The old "apple-spacebar" zoom-in feature works sometimes and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't, I end up dragging a huge part of the illustration off the stage. Which brings me to another irritating feature that sometimes doesn't work: apple-Z undo. Flash will sometimes crash if I try to undo too far back... It also doesn't undo accurately.

Second, making selections is a hassle. Flash will sometimes just not select what you've "selected" just for spite. Also, making and editing multiple selections is all but impossible. In Adobe Illustrator, it's possible to make a multiple selections by holding down the "shift" key. You can they easily change colors and transform the selection. I haven't figured out how to do this in Flash yet. What seems simple and intuitive turns out to be hard as balls to figure out.

Third, working with Illustrator files is sort of frustrating. Sometimes Flash just refuses to import an Illjustrator file. It just refuses. I have to export the illustrator file as a *.swf file and THEN import it in Flash. It seems like a minor step, but it is frustrating.

About four years ago, I helped animate and design a "web-toon" called "kung Fu Kiwi" which actually won some awards. That project was created in a much older version of Flash and seemed to move a lot more smoothly than this one. I just don't remember being this FRUSTRATED with Flash.

On the positive side, The animation capability is something that all but erases all the frustrating aspects... It takes some getting used to but it's a lot of fun. Also, the html capabilities rock. I am already trying to figure out some cool stuff to add to the old website. Stay tuned! I also like how smooth the drawing flows in Flash. There is a great crowquill-look to drawings in Flash. For creating great, vector illustrations there's really nothing better.

I'm sure all of this stuff just takes more learning and more patience than I am willing to give at this point. I wish I could post some examples of what I am working on but I signed an NDA which prevents me from sharing. Maybe after I get finished, I'll be able to post some other examples.

Now that I've vented, I feel better...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


This is the illustration I chose for the current Illustration Friday topic.

Monday, October 31, 2005


Okay, I am a TOTAL HUGE ASSED GEEK!! I so badly want to return to the days when I could dress up for halloween and not be openly ridiculed. I could have dropped a couple thousand bucks on a complete, screen-accurate Boba Fett costume--assembled from various parts obtained from ebay. Mandy, my wife, seemed to think that the money would be better spent on, oh I don't know, stuff for the baby were expecting in three months. Still, who wouldn't want their own Fett costume?? I mean, come on. The guy's a total badass! The gun and the helmet and the ever-important jetpack!

I might just make my own costume. I could do it myself over several years and then christen it when our son is about 6. I am a little worried that by then I'll be too heavy and old to wear the thing. That would just be pathetic.


Inspired by my friends Ward and Andrea, I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and share a few things about myself that some of my faithful readers might not know... So, without further ado... And since I am 34 this past September, I have listed 34 little tidbits of info.

1. I talk to myself. Alot. Sometimes in funny accents and voices.
2. I played soccer in high school and had once toyed with the idea of walking on in college--until I played pick-up with some blokes who played for the college one day and was almost laughed off the field.
3. I am indeed, a cat person.
4. I whine. I can throw tantrums sometimes and I have been known to pout.
5. I fell in love with my wife Mandy the second I saw her.
6. I am terrified of going to the doctor.
7. I was a counselor at this camp for many years and I still think of this place as where I came of age...
8. I played an indian chief in an Ohio outdoor drama where I opend the show on horseback. One night, my loincloth snapped and, had it not been for the huge buckskin tunic I was wearing, I would have been showing the audience a little something extra.
9. My friend Wavy Davey used to make me pee in my pants in grammar school.
10. I had a horrid, awful case of acne in high school.
11. I have often thought of going to seminary.
12. I once sang "Sweet Transvestite" from the "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" at an audition. I didn't get the part.
13. I have been known to tell some small, white lies...
14. I am a proud member of the ACLU--although, my membership has currently lapsed.
15. My toungue is tied.
16. I cried like a little girl during "The Fox and the Hound."
17. I like to pretend sometimes that I am Scottish, Irish or Australian.
18. I also like to pretend that I am more of a redneck than I actually am.
19. I once told someone that I used to hunt deer and ducks just to impress them. They didn't care.
20. I have kissed a man on the mouth. Don't ask.
21. I chewed Red Man tobacco one whole summer at camp. Everyone else was doing it. Needless to say, the habit didn't take.
22. I have never been to Europe--or for that matter, anywhere outside the continental US.
23. I love my dog like a part of my own body. Maggie is my second soul mate.
24. I once stopped up a toilet at a friend's house and then left without telling anyone. I guess I hoped they would think it was someone else.
25. I am worried about what kind of father I'll be...
26. I once ate cat food on a dare and it actually tasted pretty good.
27. I once prematurely ended a date with a girl because, well, she was infuriating to listen to and I wanted to watch Twin Peaks.
28. I'd pretty much always rather be fishing in the intracoastal waterway in South Carolina.
29. I love reading true crime/true drama novels about people lost in the wilderness and having to eat each other...
30. I have a really sick, SICK sense of humor. I laugh at some of the most inappropriate stuff.
31. Once, after smoking a wee bit of weed, I ate half a bag of chocolate chips only to throw them up fifteen minutes later.
32. I have never broken a bone.
33. In total, I have probably had about 36 stitches over the course of my life--most of them on my head. It's so freakishly huge that it just can't keep from hitting stuff!
34. When I die, I wasnt to be cremated. I want my ashes sprinkled 1) in the cul de sac at my parent's house in Clemson 2) on the dunes at Edisto Island 3) next to Francis Marion's tomb in Berkeley Co. SC.

That ought to do it for now. That should be enough dirt.

Sunday, October 30, 2005


Lately, I have been providing images for our church's early worship media presentation. Today's scripture was about Joshua gathering all of the Israelites together before finally settling in the land of "Milk and Honey." There, he challenges them to make the final choice to devote their lives to God. This after having wandered in the desert for, well, a long time. Apparently, the Israelites didn't have much in the way of a sense of direction--figuratively, not spiritually, speaking of course.

Anyway, this image was meant to portray Joshua blowing his mighty trumpet, or shofar, to bring down the great walls of the city of Jericho. I kind of portray him here as an almost "William Wallace-esque" figure--the mighty warrior of the people. One of my friends took issue with that portrayal. They were uncomfortable, I suppose, with the idea of someone in scripture being celebrated in such a heroic way. I guess it's open to interpretation. I mean, hey, it's the Old Testament. They did some fighting in the Old Testament.

Here is another image I cooked up of the Iraelites preparing to lay siege of the city of Jericho--but not before walking around the great city in silence several times just to mess with their heads... I have the Ark of the Covenant being hoisted and marched ahead of the throng. I was pushing for atmosphere here. Anyway, here endeth the lesson...

Friday, October 07, 2005


Okay, so I have been terrible about updating my blog as often as I had hoped. I have been consumed with guilt over it but, hey, I am in no way perfect!! Having said that, I am enjoying a respite from a tense, deadline-driven schedule to explore some personal projects--like the above sculpture.

I love sculpting. There is a real zen thing that happens as you move the clay around. After a day of fighting deadlines and freaking out about the next freelance gig, it feels so nice to do something totally unrealated. This is a bust of, you guessed it, Francis Marion. I am continuing my journey into the American Revolution in South Carolina--for which Marion has been something of a muse.

This piece is done in sculpey. Sculpey is a polymer clay that polymerizes when baked into a hard plastic-like substance. The cool thing about sculpey is that you can bake it in stages--building up between bakings. You can also add some cool effects by using lighter fluid or alcohol as a solvent. After I finish this piece, I plan to make multiple castings of it in resin. We'll see... It's a lot of work and who knows if I'll have the time. Still, I am hoping to do more of this stuff... Stay tuned!

Friday, September 23, 2005


There has been an ongoing debate in the media since the Katrina disaster about poverty, it's causes, its relation to race and geography--not to mention it's political implications. Even as the president, in a startling moment of clarity on the issue, was acknowledging the fact that poverty continues to be a major issue, his shills and minions in the media and elsewhere were already gearing up the machinery of spin. Those on the left, smelling blood in the water, went on the offensive as well touting President Clinton's success in dealing with the issue of poverty--how there were less poor people under the Clinton administration than during the first four years of the Bush administration. Blah Blah Blah...

Poverty continues to be an issue that politicians are loathe to discuss in a substantive way. They speak in sound bites. They feign empathy and affect a sympathetic posture that says to people, "I feel your pain..." Genuine responses, however, by policy makers to the stark images of poverty and privation in recent weeks have been more akin to stunned, sucking silence--a deer in the headlights reaction. The reaction is, as I like to call it, as if one had been "snake bit." While the events surrounding Katrina were the result of a natural disaster, it is entirely approriate to take this opportunity to discuss the issue of poverty while we have the attention of our nation's leaders. We must, in this country, finally recognize that how we treat our nation's poor is a reflection of our very basic values as Americans. How can we preach to others in the world about freedom and democracy and human rights while we continue to ignore our own failures.

The issue of race and how it relates to poverty is also extremely hard to ignore. When Matt Lauer on the TODAY SHOW stated that the images of people clamoring for food at the Superdome reminded him of images from Somalia I was actually sort of stunned. He was right... Not because it was a scene of hungry people fighting for food but because it was a scene of hungry BLACK people fighting for food. The black faces wailing and pleading for help on our television screens remind us that we still have far to go.

If we are going to talk about these issues, let's talk about them. Let's have an honest discussion... Let's deal with the failings of public education and unfunded national prgrams intended to improve it. Let's talk about the war on drugs and how that war has largely been a war on our nation's urban black population. Let's talk about how property tax increases in newly "gentrified" urban areas force many black people out of their homes. Let's talk about the lack of comprehensive sex education in this country that would help curb the number of unwanted pregancies among poor women. Let's talk about the need for child care opportunities for working mothers. Let's talk about making the minimum wage a living wage so that it keeps up with the rising cost of living. Let's talk about the ridiculous cost of healthcare and the cost to taxpayers of caring for the uninsured. Let's talk about re-vamping our welfare system so that it's more efficient. Let's reduce corruption in state and local governments that make it harder for poor people to be heard. Let's talk about job training. Let's talk about no more tax cuts for the wealthy. Let's talk about sacrifice. Let's talk about the war...

These are issues that aren't some abstract idea on an editorial page or on some radio talk show. These are issues that stare at us every day whether we notice or not y'all. We ignore these issues at our great peril.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


I was culling through some old pictures this morning and came across this picture from our May trip to Edisto. Edisto Island is a barrier island off the coast of South Carolina. As many of you faithful readers may or may not know, I am a hard-core South Carolinian. It is the most beautiful state in the union and Edisto Island is the most beautiful place in South Carolina. It's a smaller fishing community that hasn't been totally overrun with development and people. I have a lifetime of memories of Edisto...

This picture was taken from the back yard of my uncle's family house, better known as The Pink House. Ironically, it was taken the day that Mandy and I were very sure that the IVF hadn't worked. It was an appropriately gloomy afternoon and there was a shrewd bite to the air as we sat on the beach. Still, the clouds were lovely--perfect cold grey. As we were getting ready for supper, I took a walk by myself and snapped a few pictures... This is by far my favorite.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


I spent last night at our church
sort of playing host to some new friends from Louisiana. We have a family of about eleven people living with us at St. Paul at the moment. About three weeks ago, we all knuckled down and prepared to recieve about fifty evacuees from New Orleans. We began stockpiling supplies, bedsheets, food, toiletries, etc... Two weeks later, eleven people is all that we have taken in. I think some people have preferred to stay with family, others in hotels and still others have returned to Louisiana to search for loved ones. There is a possibility, however, that we'll start taking in more people as they get turned out of their hotels and their money runs out. We'll see...

I had a great time. Besides talking about the horrors of the flood and the even worse horrors of the aftermath, we talked about much more pleasant topics like eating rattlesnake and just how bad the Saints suck. They've been here two weeks and I think that they are starting to get a little frazzled. Willie, the matriarch of the family, is showing signs of stress related discomfort. The teenage boys, Jamar and Derrin are having a difficult time adjusting to a new school and new life. They never know from one day to the next just what fate is going to throw at them.

Still, they love to visit and talk and laugh. After a few minutes, I felt like I was sitting around the table at my grandmother's house in Orangeburg, SC. I bored all of them to death with the latest ultrasound pictures of my son and we talked about all kinds of stuff that had NOTHING to do with the flood or Katrina.

At about 12:00 midnight I went to rack out in one of the sunday school rooms. I slept great except that I woke up in the middle of the night convinced that someone was in the room with me... I swear, I think that they got ghosts up in that church!

Friday, September 16, 2005


I just can't resist those RAISING ARIZONA quotes!
We had our 20 week ultrasound today!!! Mandy, me, mandy's mom and her stepdad were all there for the big reveal. Of course, we were very much interested in finding out the sex--which wasn't difficult to determine once the "wee wee" popped up onscreen (Huston, we have a boy...). It was hard to miss actually. Many of our friends with children were very careful to remind us that the sex isn't always easy to see in an ultrasound. Well... Let's just say there wasn't much left to the imagination. His little pecker was just out there as plain as day. It's a boy alright!

The doctor did say that it "appears" that it's a boy--meaning, there is a chance that what is seen in an ultrasound isn't always what comes out. Confused, I had the urge to ask whether a baby with what appears to be a bona-fide penis at 20 weeks has ever come out a girl. I decided to keep that question to myself. Mandy later explained that he probably meant that in VERY RARE cases some babies are born with both male and female sexual characteristics. Okay. Hmmm. Should I worry about that too? That's going to make things awful confusing in kindergarten.

Anyway, he has all of his appendages--arms legs fingers and toes. He has a well-formed brain, heart and liver. He looks like he's going to have very long legs just like his momma.
He also, as this picture shows, appears to be blessed with a beautiful big nose like his daddy--AND his momma. Mandy and I are interested to see all the neat stuff like whose feet he's got and who he looks like, whose eyes he has and what color hair he ends up with. In all the years we tried and tried to concieve, all of the "treatments" and injections, the disappointment, the mourning... It all seemed to melt away as we watched our beautiful baby boy on that televison screen. Earlier today, I was thinking about that May afternoon that we sat on the beach at Edisto, convinced that the IVF hadn't worked, that we were back to square one. It was the longest drive of my life, that drive from Edisto to Atlanta. I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach--repeatedly. Still, I hoped a tiny, teeny, miniscule little bit that it had worked. The next afternoon, we recieved the best news ever. The journey continues--and continues.

Anyway, we have a baby boy on the way and I am hoping I am up to the task of being the model dad. I can't help but worry I'll end up like Glenn in RAISING ARIZONA... The one who went in to adopt "...on account 'a sumpin went wrong with my semen." I'm sure I'll do great. Anyway, I thank God for this blessing.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Yesterday, the senate judiciary committee heard an opening statement from chief justice nominee John Roberts. In his opening remarks, he stated, "Judges are like umpires. Umpires don't make the rules, they apply them." He went on to add, "'s my job to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat."

An over-simplification? Possibly. I would hope that decisions regarding affirmative action, abortion rights and other important issues likely to be before the court would merit a more lengthly deliberation than the split second it takes to judge a ball or strike. Based on what I've read, he will likely be confirmed. He has broad support from both Democrats and Republicans... We'll see...

Monday, September 12, 2005


In an effort to show a little more discipline in my daily life, I have decided I will post a blog entry a day whether I really have anything to say or not.

First, Mandy and I are going for an ultrasound this week to check on the progress of the baby. Of course, odds are that things will be totally fine and that we'll have a healthy boy/girl on the way. Still, the sinking feeling that things might not be okay--the nagging doubt, the gut-wrenching worst case scenarios... It's hard to ignore. Mandy and I have been waiting so long for a child. I just want everything to be okay--not perfect, just okay. A healthy baby and a healthy Mandy. Mandy is doing GREAT. She is eating everything in sight and starting to look like a pregnant woman. It's hard to imagine her NOT being pregnant! She has struggled a little bit with some indigestion, etc... Still, she is looking and feeling (mostly) great. I am hopelessly hopeful.

Creatively, work wise, I have just completed the book on Francis Marion. It should be out this October for sure. Since I've finished it, I can now focus on getting my portfolio out there. I have several idea of where I want to send my work. For the next couple of days, however, I am going to take some time to clean up my studio and relax a little. This book really did kick my ass! I really do need some time to regroup and look to horizon to see what else is out there!

Stay tuned!

Friday, September 09, 2005


I am not an editorial cartoonist but I play one on this blog. Geez... The devastation wrought by the hurricane and flood in New Orleans/Gulf coast is matched only by the devastation wrought by the spectacularly incompotent FEMA. It's saddening and horribly unfair... And don't think that we don't notice that the vast majority of the displaced are poor people of color.

Natural disasters happen. They just happen. Hurricanes. Tsunamis. Earthquakes. Floods. They are occasional reminders that we are merely stewards of our planet, not masters of it. Still, in the midst of such suffering at the hands of nature, shouldn't we take great comfort in a certain, swift response from our government? Shouldn't we EXPECT aid and comfort? Instead what we get is a lot of blame and "non-blaming" blaming. Political Leaders abdicating responsibility as they try and maintain a death grip on their job. It sickens me... Badly done.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Francis Marion and his ragged men emerge from the South Carolina swamps with their flintlocks poised and ready for battle. This is a recently finished image from a forthcoming book about Francis Marion entitled "Francis Marion and the Legend of the Swamp Fox." This book is another in a series of projects about Francis Marion. In this image I wanted to give the impression that Marion and his men are setting up an ambush or perhaps they are moving to the aid of another group of partisans.
Francis Marion and his men spent a lot of time fighting loyalist militia in skirmishes and ambushes along the Pee Dee river region of South Carolina. They did however face the redcoats in a pitched battle at Eutaw Springs. Redcoats, or regular British army soldiers, were well equipped, trained and pretty accustomed to the grueling and brutal life of an eighteenth century infantryman in a foreign land. The unconventional war waged by partisan fighters like Marion and his men, however, made it very difficult for them to maintain their hold on British North America. An occupying army as large and as spread out as the British were at the time would have been very vulnerable to attack on their supply and communication lines. An army that can't re-equip or that is cut off from the chain of command and intelligence is almost crippled.

The British did have a few ways to cope with this problem. Their chief "counter insurgencey" expert was Banastre Tarleton.
Cornwallis figured out that the best way to combat a small, mobile force was to come after them with a small, mobile force. Tarleton chased Marion all over the Carolina lowcountry finally giving up. He even gave Marion his famous nickname when, at the end of his chase he wheeled his horse around and stated, "...let us go and chase the Gamecock (Thomas Sumter). As for this damned old fox, the Devil himself couln't catch him!" Tarleton was a brutal foil for Marion. Check out this
wonderful website devoted totally to him.

Friday, August 12, 2005


As the news out of Iraq has gotten worse and worse in the last week, I was compelled to create this editorial cartoon/comment... This cartoon is a homage to a cartoon by Jeff MacNelly from 1972 where he had the words NIXON with the "O" as the drain...

Obviously, I am, and have been, opposed to the war in Iraq. I feel as though we were bullied and misled into the war--not for purposes of national security but to fulfill some ill-concieved neo-conservative global agenda. Mostly, I feel achingly sad for the service men and women--particularly the soldiers and marines, who are there fighting and dying. It's just beyond sad--tragic.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


Here's another Jedi in the style of Caravaggio...

Friday, July 15, 2005


I am working on a few religious-themed images for use in our early worship services at my church. They are meant to illustrate different themes from scripture. This image is supposed to illustrate the parable of the Sower from the Gospel of Matthew. Obviously I am very much influenced by Caravaggio in this piece. When I am doing these religious pieces, it's hard not to go back to the masters--of course they are the ones responsible for the White-Anglo-Saxon-Ted Nugent vision of Jesus that is so prevalent in our culture. I am very much trying to move away from that--although I don't know that I succeeded here. He is still looking a little Nordic to me.

Who knows what Jesus really looked like? I would hypothesize that he was probably similar in appearance to naitive arabs in and around the middle east as opposed to modern-day Israelis. Israel's population today has a large number of people of European descent--Russian, German, Hungarian, etc... as well as American. I don't know. It's sort of cool to think about. I am interested in these things from an anthropological point of view.

Of course modern western popular culture has "had its way" with Jesus. Check out Jesus of the Week for a laugh at the different images of Jesus.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


This is the latest self promo card that I will be sending out in the near future. I am hoping to get some book-clients as well as some editorial assignments. The audience for this particular piece is children's/fantasy publishing. I am a big fan of fantasy art--artists like Alan Lee, John Howe, Tony Diterlizzi, Wyeth (of course), Brom, etc... Since so much fantasy art leans to the dark side, I thought I would shoot for something a little more hopeful--a little more optimistic. I also like art that tells a story, that leads somewhere. Wyeth's illustrations for LAST OF THE MOHICHANS and TREASURE ISLAND are simply perfect--perfect in their imperfection. Dramatic. Dynamic. Full of character. I try to include a little homage to Wyeth in a lot of what I do because he really is a hero of mine.

Anyway, I welcome comments and criticisms so please let me know what you think.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


This is a caricature I did of Bono--sort of portraying him as Jesus walking on water. I have long been an admirer of Bono. When I was in high school I was in a garage band with some mates from school. We would set up borrowed sound equipment in my garage and bang out U2 songs (among others) for hours. The great thing about U2's music is that it's wicked easy to play--just two or three chords. Singing like Bono on the other hand is near impossible... That doesn't mean I didn't try.

As I got older I started to become an admirer of Bono for his political advocacy. I read the book UNFORGETTABLE FIRE in college and was interested to see that Bono really struggled in the early days with issues of faith. As a devout Catholic, he was troubled at how his dreams of being a rock star would compromise his beliefs--especially since the culture of rock and roll was polluted with substance abuse and money. As Bono and U2 matured they found ways to use their music and fame to draw attention to important causes.

As I grow more and more devout in my faith, Bono (in addition to Jesus) continues to be someone I look to. He works tirelessly on behalf of the less fortunate--the poor, the sick, the victimized. He hasn't let fame and money separate him from the pressing social/health issues of the world.

Still, in spite of all that, I couldn't help poking a little fun at him...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


I am not typically into comic books--or graphic novels, as I hear they prefer to be called. In the 80's however--just as I was being ravaged by adolescence, Frank Miller's wonderful THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS came out. Suddenly, comics were considered art not camp and I started drawing Batman in the margins of all my school notebooks.

BATMAN BEGINS is a vision of Batman in the tradition of Miller's Dark Knight--forever leaving behind the technicolor antics of the 60's television show. Fans of Miller's Dark Knight graphic novels (like me) had long been hoping for a film that was more dark and more grounded what was always the central thread in the Batman canon--that he was an ordinary man made extra-ordinary by his own quest for revenge.

Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale have turned this beloved icon on his cape. Batman is portrayed as a complex bag of swirling and dueling emotions. Bale's Bruce Wayne is sometimes petulant, sometimes self-righteous but always solid in his resolve. He is, at times, hard to like. Bale transforms from the younger, simpering misanthropic Wayne to the cool "alter-ego" of later life with believability. Always under the surface, however, one gets a sense that there is a boiling anger that is just waiting for a moment to burst forth. Bale's intensity is something to behold (why wasn't he Anakin Skywalker?). In one scene he is confronting mob boss Falcone (Tom Wilkinson) in a restaurant. Sitting in the booth across from Falcone, Bale's expression is almost a poker-face. As he speaks, his lips barely move--his voice is hardly above a whisper. He appears as though he could, at any moment, either burst into tears or launch himself across the table and tear Falcone's throat out with his teeth. His transformation into the Dark Knight is why the audience cares--why they/we are there. When he finally does don the cowl and cape--over halfway into the movie, the audience is well primed for what follows. Christopher Nolan deprives his audience the payoff of seeing Bruce in the final batsuit until the last possible moment. Even when he emerges in his full glory--he doesn't FULLY emerge. The kinetic fight scenes where the newly born Batman is fighting several thugs is at once both chaotic and beautiful. Batman is a ghost moving among the men, clobbering them--dropping them with a flurry of kicks and punches. His cape flutters about, shrouding him from sight and meshing him with the shadows in a seamless fashion so that you're never quite sure where Batman is and the shadows aren't. The wonderful tableaus of him perched atop buildings (an admitted cliche' in most comic themed films) mark him as somehow part of the very surroundings. The visual look of this film has more in common with the final scenes of BLADE RUNNER thyan it does Tim Burton's original.

This re-imagining (a term currently all the rage in Hollywood) of Batman is a triumph in many ways. This is no franchise movie. There isn't any real obnoxious product placeement to speak of--no Burger King tie-ins. BATMAN BEGINS succeeds much MUCH more than it fails and it's few failures can be forgiven on the whole (the whole "poisoning-of-the-water-system" plot is not very isnpired). BATMAN BEGINS soars.

I would like to take a little moment to address the moral/spiritual issues of BATMAN BEGINS. Personally, I am troubled by any personal journey that is motivated by vengance masquerading as justice--and the film addresses those issues somewhat. The notion of redemptive violence--when the hero exacts justice through the violent destruction of his enemy, is counter to everything I believe personally. Batman is a troubling figure--especially in this day and age where people somehow seem justified acting as vigilantes against the "criminal element" in the war on terror. Compassion, empathy--these are themes that are admirably addressed sporadically in BATMMAN BEGINS. They are discarded ultimately as the film slips into action-movie-mode. Still, it does deliver and it's worth a look nonetheless.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


This is an illustration in a series that I am doing for a guy in Alabama. The site is a tribute to the Second Emergency Rescue Squadron. Their mission was to act as rescue support for fighters and bombers in the Pacific during WWII. They flew giant PBY aircraft which were basically giant flying boats. These planes would swoop down and rescue downed flyers who made the unfortuneate decision to ditch in the Pacific Ocean. It was an incredible mission--considering that theirs was a mission to save as many lives as possible, not take them. WWII aviation has long been an interest of mine.

These illustrations are meant to illustrate the different uniforms and accoutrements worn by the pilots and crew. They also happen to be a caricature of the site administrator, Jim Teegarden's uncle Gary. In addition to running the website, Jim is a flight instructor at Ft. Rucker Al.. He's a great guy and this is a wonderful tribute to his uncle and fellow flyers. I hope y'all take a minute to check out the website. It's simply amazing. It's possible to get totally lost in it for hours! The volume of photographs is probably one of the best collections of WWII photos I've ever seen. This has been one deleriously fun project and I hope I am able to continue working with Jim.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


I thought that I would get back to my ruminations on REVENGE OF THE SITH while I still had it fresh in my mind.

As I mentioned before, I don't feel like I can really offer a bona fide "critique" of this film given how much the STAR WARS saga has permeated my psyche... I will do my best, however, to try and process what I can.

First, it has become somewhat fashionable for some of my friends out there in blogland--as well as in the print media, to foolishly dismiss this film out of hand as another in a series of silly or unimportant popcorn movies. One thing that we ALL must agree on is that STAR WARS--whatever you may think of the films, is indeed culturally and socially significant. As cool as it my be to sniff and guffaw the onslaught as some kind of mass Jungian hysteria, it is IMPOSSIBLE to deny the impact the films have had. So, roll your eyes and harumph and laugh at the legion of costumed fans waiting in line... It doesn't change the simple and irrefutable fact that STAR WARS is an incredible cultural phenomenon.

Now, that isn't to say that there aren't problems with the films or film, in the case of SITH. As much as I liked the last film (it was the best of the prequel and ranks below EMPIRE in my top three) it definitely had it's weaknesses...

Acting. Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor, and Natalie Portman all did the best they could with what they had to work with--that is, that is some of the most stilted dialogue ever written for the screen. Lucas has often said that these films are a throwback to the old serials of the 40's and 50's where the acting was indeed broad and the dialogue melodramatic. Indeed. --Dammit,... I have to go again... I will continue this at a later time... I have a doctor's appointment to be off to.


Sorry I've been a wee bit out of the loop here lately. I've been too busy to breathe--AND my wife and I are expecting which is exciting so I have been sort of preoccupied trying to drum up some freelance here and there... Anyway... Ward sent me this today and I thought I'd give it a shot...

Total volume of music files on my computer:
Old G3: 2 GB
Powerbook G4: 2.5 GB

Last CD I bought was Jack Johnson "Brushfire Fairytales"

Song Playing right now:
"Portland Oregon" by Loretta Lynn and Jack White

Five songs I listen to a lot--or that mean a lot to me:
"Forever My Friend" by Ray LaMontagne
"Hard Times Come Again No More" by Eastmountainsouth
"Feelin Better" by Hank Jr.
"Mary" by Patty Griffin
"Bubble Toes" Jack Johnson

Passing the baton to Kristi

Monday, May 23, 2005


It has already become cliche' for reviewers to play on the similarity between SITH and SHIT but, hey, who cares?

I finally saw REVENGE OF THE SITH this weekend after learning that my wife, Mandy, is pregnant. We had been going through in vitro fertilization so this was one piece of good news that we had been desperate for. Now, free from worry or crushing sadness, I could enjoy, unfettered, the final chapter in the film saga that helped shape the creative--albeit slightly warped individual I am today.

First let me say that this movie rises to most of my personal expectations. But I am at a loss as to how I can really objectively adjudicate something so imtimately a part of who I am--both personally and creatively. You see, as a kid, I was a bona fide fantasy/space/science fiction nut. Before STAR WARS, I was watching STAR TREK reruns on TV with my mom. I used to make whole space suits out of aluminum foil--space suits like the ones I saw on old LIFE magazine covers. When STAR WARS came out I was a six year old kid who thought that the heavens had opened and shown me the face of god... My life's meaning and purpose condensed into a two hour space opera. I left the theater wearing the "thousand yard stare" most people associate with profound life experiences--like combat or really awesome sex. I was still processing the whole experience.

Since then, it's safe to say that I have tempered my adoration of STAR WARS a bit. It is now laced with a healthy dose of cynicism and a dash of appropriate perspective. I am still a sucker for the merchandise and the DVD releases, etc... But I no longer consider the films to be holy canon. RETURN OF THE JEDI and the first two prequels were pretty disappointing for me. I had expectations that they were going to be like William Shakepeare's HENRY plays. Stories where characters evolve and grow in the midst of political intrigue and war. There had to me so much at stake that when everything comes to a crushing conclusion the audience is so caught up in the story that they too are crushed. I don't know... I must be off to a meeting at the moment... More on this later.

Monday, May 16, 2005


That's me on the far right... I am playing the preacher Jim Casey in the Clemson Players' 92 production of THE GRAPES OF WRATH. I came across some old pics online from my theatre days at Clemson University. It was quite a stroll down memory lane.

One thing that I miss soooo much about theatre is the intense collaboration and, yes, even competition, that happens when you're trying to get a show off the ground. I miss those days terribly--not to mention the very talented people I was priveleged enough to work with. Who knows? Maybe I'll be treading the boards again sometime soon... I don't know though... Acting requires a lot of stamina and creative heavy lifting. I have probably been too long absent from the stage. I do miss it though... Sigh...

Thursday, May 12, 2005


My own little mischievious self portrait... Just a quickie sketch...


This is an old card I did for a friend a few months back. I think it illustrates the spirit of mischief pretty well. Cats are full of it...

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Learning is indeed a hoot! I am trying to hone my chops a little by recreating screen-captures from films and other sources. This is of course from LAST OF THE MOHICHANS. I did this fairly quickly--about 30 minutes give or take. The idea is to get a solid feel for the palette and recreate it as best I can.

I am working on a series of illustrations about the American Revolution and I want them to be sort of realistic. Not TOTALLY realistic but a little bit realistic. I want the colors and the compositions to be a little more dramatic and grounded in something that the reader will identify with. Anyway, if anyone out there has any comments, ideas, suggestions, observations, etc... Please comment and let me know what you all think... NOTE: Screen captures are for reference ONLY. I do not intend to recreate a scene from MOHICHANS and put it into my own piece of work. THIS IS JUST AN EXERCISE!!


Here is another exercise I did. I basically took a photo from Corbis and tried to recreate it in photoshop. The results aren't exactly photo-real, I realize. I am really more concerned with the process--what I'm learning about color, light and how things look in shadow etc...

What I've learned is that, in painting, I have to realize that I have to "unlearn what I have learned." I realized that different plants are different hues and shades of green (who knew?) and that they all look different in direct sunlight. I also learned that shadows are almost never black or grey. They can be purple, dark green and someitmes even light blue. I know that most of my artists friends out there are, like, "Well DUH!" The fact is that when I work with color I almost always try and out-think what actually exists in nature. Plants are green. Skies are blue. Sunlight is yellow. Flesh appears pinkish, etc... My brain, thinking it knows better, is telling my eyes to nevermind what they see and telling my hand to override the sensory input to create what I THINK I see... Confusing? You bet... As I have said before, I am pretty much self taught--particularly when it comes to color. My first attempts at painting have been pretty embarassing. I am happy to say that while I am slowly getting better, I still have tons to learn. Still, learning is all the fun.

Anyway, y'all let me know what you think of this effort...

Monday, May 09, 2005


Here is a quick sketch I did of Russell Crowe from MASTER AND COMMANDER... I took a screen capture from the film and then sketched using the screen grab as a reference. The whole thing took me about an hour. I am pretty happy with it--for an hour's work, it's not bad. Practice makes, well, not perfect, but better...

I have real issues with color theory. Since I never went to art school, I have had to teach myself color theory through trial and error. The cool thing about this is that it really is like painting with oils--building up layers upon layers of color. Skin tones are especially difficult. Check out this skin tone tutorial. It's a great place to start. Ron Lemen has some great tutorials on this site and it's definitly worth a look.

Anyway, let me know what you all think of this...


Andrew Loomis wrote some essential books on drawing. I actually think that these book are much better than the Burne Hogarth books but, to each his own... These books really do break down the daunting task of drawing believable figures into simple components. I highly reccomend that the books on heads and hands be among the first that you study.

Heads and hands (and feet) give me hell. I spend a lot of time trying to work out how to make hands and heads look natural--as they do in life. When I took a life drawing class a couple of years ago, I was amazed that I was still struggling with the hands! After working as an illustrator and artist for the past twelve years I still have a hard time drawing hands! It was incredibly frustrating. I had the same problems as I delved into drawing the heads and feet. Getting the eyes, mouth and nose looking as they should... It was really frustrating--more than I thought.

Of course, if these elements are off the whole drawing falls apart. One axiom that I have come to believe (however reluctantly) is that a drawing/portfolio/painting/sculpture is only as strong as its weakest part. Most viewer's eyes are unconciously trained to notice weaknesses in draftsmanship. Eyes that don't sit well in the face. Feet that don't grip the ground in a believeble way. Hands that are either intentionally hidden or are self counciously rendered looking overly stiff or not in perspective... These are things that can just cause a composition to collapse. An anology that I like to use is that it is the same as listening to a muscial composition and hearing a few off notes. You just notice it and it sticks in your craw.

I have noticed, looking at some portfolios of young illustrators, that the current craze in commercial art is the gaming/entertainment industry. Many young illustrators are fighting to do design work for video games. Their portfolios reflect this desire loud and clear. Many of them are either drawing these bizarre male figures with huge muscles and toting giant machine guns, OR they are stuck in Goth-land creating these Clive Barker-esque women in S and M garb--who ALSO happen to be toting giant machine guns. Looking at some of these images I notice that these young artists are suffering from deficiencies in drawing believable anatomy. Many of the figures--the ones not clad in layers of post-apocalyptic armor, were very shaky anatomically. The draftsmanship, the line quality and some of the graphic elements were right on, but as before, those wrong notes kept me distracted. I usually tell artists who want to improve their skills to go to an art store and buy a sketchbook, buy several sketchbooks, and just fill every inch of white space with drawings of dogs, cars, lightposts, tadpoles hands, feet, etc... The most original ideas come from the daily, mundane stuff that we ignore every day.

Anyway, enough of my rambling. Y'all check out Andrew Loomis's books online. They are amazing!

Thursday, May 05, 2005


Hi all... I know I've been out of comission for awhile but my wife and I are going through in vitro fertilization and I haven't really had time to post--or even to visit any of my favorite blogs (Sorry Ward and Jared)!! In addition to doing the injections, doctor's appointments, etc... I am also a freelancing machine at the moment. Doing some product prototyping and other stuff. I will fill all of you in later.

So in the meantime, please send us your prayers and happy thoughts as Mandy and I take the first of many steps towards realizing the blessing of being parents! I'll be back soon I promise y'all!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


I'm back on the IF bandwagon folks... This is something that sort of hit me this morning. Let me know what you think...

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


This past weekend was the annual auction to benefit the preschool where my wife Mandy teaches. It should also be noted that my good friend Ward's daughter is in Mandy's class--just in the interest of full disclosure.

In years past, the auction has been a great showcase for some of the spectacularly talented parents and friends of the preschool. I, myself, have had several paintings sell at the auction--a small ego stroke for myself I'm happy to say. Not only is it a celebration of the preschool and the children, it's also a celebration of the wonderfully diverse and talented community we live in.

This year's auction was every bit as festive. The food was great and the music--provided by still another of the talented preschool parents, was simply awesome. There was however one thing that bothered me. The actual event was billed as an auction with an "Art Show Featuring Local Atlanta Artists." The event took up two rooms in the gallery space. One room was reserved for the auction items (which included original and local art by the way) while the other was reserved for the art show. The art show items were intentionally set apart from the auction--for what reason I don't know. I do know that there were several pieces of original art by some local Atlanta artists that were not included in the art show--where pieces were selling for much higher than at the auction.

I know it may seem like I am splitting hairs. I mean who cares, right? The preschool is really the winner in the end. What exactly, James, are you sore about?? I guess it's sort of a cultural thing that I really struggle with--maybe it's just me. It very well could be. I tend to get my panties in a wad over stuff that is, ultimately, pretty silly. But I notice these things you know? I am sensitive to how these things play out. I am sensitive to how easy it is to separate and segregate this art from that--and not just because I aam an atist myself. It just seems unfair that this painting gets a prime spot on the wall and a huge price tag while that piece over there is sent to the "other" room with the "other" stuff. The cool thing would have been to invite ALL those people in the preschool who are artists to participate in the Art Show. Better yet, why not include some of the amazing art work done by the children (the mobiles, quilts, tables) in the art show of "Local Atlanta Artists."

I know I am probably not seeing the forest for the trees. The auction was, as far as I know, an amazing success. The preschool did very well. They are the ones who will ultimately benefit from the auction/art show. I am very happy for that. I only wish it had been a little bit more inclusive with regards to the Art Show portion of the event.

Friday, April 15, 2005


I saw Ward's Illustration Friday topic and thought it was perfectly representing how I feel at the moment.

Ever have one of those days where you just don't think you have it, that you'll EVER have it and that you're wasting yours and everyone else's time? I'm feeling a little of that now... I am working with a client that is chewing my last nerve. Mandy was horrified by my caricature of her and is still pissed at me. All the projects I WANT to be working are either on the back burner or are all together not happening. I haven't even felt like picking up my sketchbook lately. Where's the inspiration?

I know, I'm just having a pity-party and that means it's time for a trip to Borders!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


As some of my other blogger friends are paying wonderful online tributes to their better halves, I thought I would do the same. This is a caricature of my lovely wife (and Ward-o-matic's daughter Ava's preschool teacher) Mandy. She is a truly beautiful person--in every way. She and I are celebrating 5 years of marriage this month! Jeez, it just hit me that I have to do something extra special for her! Sheesh! It is impossible for me to express how blessed we have been these past five years--and, as we are about to undergo in-vitro fertilization in the next two months, we hope that we will CONTINUE to be blessed. Who knows? We'll definitely keep y'all posted!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Finally finished another one... Let me know what you all think!


Here is an illustration depicting Marion and some of his men fighting Cherokee during the French and Indian War. It's not finished--I still have to add some furious Cherokee warriors and other elements... I'm pretty pleased so far. It's very definitely reflecting my love of N.C. Wyeth's work. I have been pouring over his work for inspiration. His style--loose and painterly, is something that I think works for this subject matter. His illustrations for LAST OF THE MOHICHANS and others are forever in my head. Howard Pyle's work is also a great source of inspiration for me. His painting, entitled The Nation Makers is a wonderful example of the style I am after.

I want to keep everything as exciting as possible without making it too over-the-top-violent. Y'all let me know what you think!!

Monday, April 04, 2005


I am not really a big fan of graphic novels. I don't have anything really against them, they just aren't for me. There are, however, a few that I love. In particular, Frank Miller's Dark Knight series, were a favorite of mine--not so much for the writing but for the pictures. Miller's angular line work somehow doesn't keep his beautifully rendered figures from leaping from the page.

So, I was understandably excited to see SIN CITY this weekend. I am always interested in how filmmakers mate film and a visually stunning media such as comics/graphic novels. I had seen some of the clips and trailers, read some of the pre-release press that showed some pretty awesome stills from the film. It looked like this was going to be a romp.

As excited as I was, I was equally dissapointed when the film just sort of fell flat. Visually, it was stunning. The black and white, high-contrast look with splashes of color here and there was artfully done. It was paced well. The characters were pretty well designed--although Marv (Micky Rourke) looked a little bit silly. Even as one is able to suspend a fair amount of disbelief in a film like this, you can't help but be a little annoyed when the make-up starts to look like a bad halloween mask. Visually, Miller's work is about his characters cutting a dynamic silouette against the background. It works well on the page but in life it can have the effect of looking forced--almost as if they are trying WAAAAAY too hard to get Marv's coat to flutter out towards his left or right etc...

Still, as visually interesting as the film was, it was impossible for me sustain interest for more than an hour. The stilted dialogue, the hackneyed noir voiceovers, the obscene amounts of voilence... It just started to wear on me. I found myself truly, well, bored... I felt a similar reaction to SKY CAPTAIN--another film that is very much visual-effects-centric.

As to the whole genre of films adapted from graphic novels... FROM HELL remains my favorite. Faithful to the original, yet it is its own entity. SIN CITY is too closely connected to the source to be strong enough to stand alone. I wonder, why not just creat an animated adaptation--sort of in the style of COWBOY BEBOP? I don't know...

I still have high hopes for BATMAN BEGINS...

Saturday, April 02, 2005


Here is a new rendering of a Cherokee warrior. Scary isn't he? Well, I think that's the point... These guys were fierce, determined fighters. I have him carrying a French-issued smoothbore musket. In addition, he would be carrying a belt knife and a tomahawk. As I mentioned in my previous post, the Cherokee were very prominent in the South Carolina Piedmont and surrounding areas. Although they were generally peacful--trading and co-habitating with many settlers in the back country, they could be provoked into a terrible wrath.

I've read accounts of how brutal Indians could be to their captives--often burning them alive or torturing them to death. I'm not sure how much of this is fiction and how much is fact. I know that scalping was a common practice--a practice that was made worse by the Europeans paying handsome bounties for every scalp taken.