Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Taboo art, 24 Hour news, dinosaurs, and dreams...

First off, a timely announcement for Taboo fans and art collectors:

I received an email this week from the cover artist of TABOO 6, Cruz Montoya (then signing as Cru Zen), who writes:

"I am selling a few paintings. One happens to be the painting titled "DEPRIVATION". I painted this oil on canvas in 1990. You chose the work for the cover of TABOO #6 [in] 1992.... The painting is up on ebay at the moment. Yea, I am still painting."

That was an astonishing cover painting, and one well worth picking up. The auction on ebay still has a few days left, but you should go and take a peek regardless, just to savor the imagery. Check it out at

  • Cru Montoya's site

  • or go right to ebay and place your bid:
  • TABOO 6 cover Deprivation

  • The particulars: "Original OIL on CANVAS - Painted by CRUZ 1990 - TABOO COVER Issue #6 1992 - PAINTING IS AUTHENTIC -Canvas measures 24 X 36 inches w/frame 25 1/2 x 27 1/2 inches - SIGNED ON BACK - NOTE: Cruz continued to work on this painting after the transparency was sent to SpiderBaby Grafix for reproduction (long before publication) - Minor changes appear in finished work(study images) - with questions before bidding - Painting is in EXCELLENT CONDITION with Original Frame - Selling AS IS - LARGE FILE PLEASE WAIT -" ...and yes, it can take some time to load, unless you have DSL.

    This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, go for it!

    On a more personal note, I've been having vivid dreams of late. I don't keep a record of 'em, the way my amigo Rick Veitch (Rarebit Fiends) does, but sometimes they stick. I had an amusing one this morning I thought I'd share. Tucked betwixt two winter dreams -- one involving traveling on a narrow, icy road that became a pleasurable sliding fest, and the other culminating in a spectacular, too-close-for-comfort view of a gigantic fallen oak caught in a span of power wires shuddering and splintering into pieces until it was clear of the unbroken lines (Hurricane Katrina ripping through the dream pool?)-- I had a hilarious dream early this AM involving Eddie Campbell coming to Vermont to film a Pepsi commercial he had been assigned to direct. I talked him into doing a ‘nunsploitation’ commercial that began, Ken Russell-like, with an attractive young imprisoned nun facing an unorthodox exorcism, and ended with a shot of a happy-Jesus statue clutching a can of Pepsi after the nun’s escape (thanks, somehow, to Pepsi).

    It was great to see Eddie again, even if it was in the Jungian realm; it’ll be a loooong time before Marj and I are able to visit Australia.

    I've just added an active link to Dr. Michael Ryan's marvelous Paleoblog on the menu at right, and highly recommend you visit long and often. Michael was among the most energetic paleontologists who helped me through the arduous Tyrant research efforts, as he has Mark Schultz (Xenozoic Tales, aka Cadillacs and Dinosaurs) for years. Michael is now curator of paleontology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, posting ongoing illustrated blogs detailing his own fossil digs (lots of photos!), travels, and all things saurian, including past entries by yours truly (a history of dinosaur comics that will soon be archived on my own site, now under construction) and a link to a very engaging history of dinosaur movies. Check it out!

    And hey, speaking of dinosaurs, the Chinese dinosaurs are coming to Vermont! I can't believe it! I saw a few of these fossils close-up back in my Tyrant days, when I was an active member of the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology (an adventure I'd love to re-engage with soon). But now we can all have a look at 'em, when the traveling exhibition of Chinese dinosaur fossils visits the Montshire Museum of Science starting on October 15th, 2005.

    Here's the scoop: "Chinasaurs: The Great Dinosaurs of China" will be at the Montshire from October 15 through December 18. The exhibit features six full-sized skeletons originally excavated from the Gobi Desert their home, along with ossified remains of some of the creatures that lived alongside and underfoot. The exhibit includes the ever-popular Velociraptor, displays of the unusual feathered dinosaurs that have captured the imagination of us all since their discovery, and many other fossils from China's prehistoric past (including dinosaur eggs and footprints). It looks like a fantastic exhibition -- see you there, I hope! Free with Museum admission.

    The Montshire Museum of Science is waiting for you mid-state at One Montshire Road, Norwich, VT 05055 (phone: 802 649-2200, Fax 802 649-3637, E-mail, and they're open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. For online info and pix, go to:

  • Montshire Musuem site

  • Heartfelt thanks to writer and dear friend Diane E. Foulds for bringing this to my attention.

    You know, I'm told that Diane once said: "If God is supposed to be so loving, why did he create all those awful dinosaurs?"

    Diane, the short answer is, He may not have. All hail the True Creator, The Flying Spaghetti Monster!

    Since the ongoing struggle by devout Christians against Darwinian theory and evolution continues unabated, and since the latest offensive front spin-doctoring Creationism into “Intelligent Design” has now opened a fresh can of worms, it only seems appropriate that
  • The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
  • should rear its fettucini-like head. As my cartooning bro' Tim Truman exclaimed, "At last! I have found a religion with which I am completely comfortable" (and Tim was a preacher's son, y'all, so say amen!).

    There's clear scientific evidence (well, as clear as anything Creationist and "Intelligent Design" acolytes have provided) that the Church might be on to something here. I mean, look at other cultural myths: the snake-headed Medusa might have emerged from a visitation of the Flying Spaghetti Monster settling on a female worshipper's head in ancient times, and more contemporary manifestations like Toho monsters Dogora and Hedorah were clearly inspired by the Flying Spaghetti Monster's fossil record. Besides, we all know there are indeed midgets in this world.

    Given the recent words of wisdom from none other than our own President, I implore you all -- really, we need to leave no child left behind in exposure to the many alternative theories and myths of creation. There are some lovely Creation stories from around the world, but few are as awe-inspiring and utterly convincing as the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    Why do they think they call it "Angel Hair"?

    I'll leave the final word to Tim:

    "May His Words and His Wisdom be taught to all young Kansas school children who are not yet of drinking age."

    A few more odds and ends:

    There's an ongoing online discussion about the Creator Bill of Rights (another Scott McCloud invention!) that I've been participating in for a few months. Cartoonist Al Nickerson is the brave soul who re-opened discussion and is providing a one-stop venue for the debate, which is
  • here
  • and now among the permanent links on this blog (see right).

    There's also some more 24-Hour Comic news to report:

    * First, a reminder: 24-Hour Comics Day is October 7, 2006 -- not 2005. Sorry for the confusion in my last post. Thanks for the correction, Nat, who adds, "I'd prefer people not think it's sooner. We've moved the date of 24 Hour Comics Day from April (where it was this year and last) to the fall for next year, due to various logistical reasons."

    * Ryan Estrada (see yesterday's post, below) writes, "The two 168 hour comics have indeed started something. Why, Bez, the individual who was to be 'going down,' has since started his 24 pages a day, every day for the rest of the year effort, and is going strong. Sure, a lot of them are quick doodles and stick figures, but it's still an incredibly awesome thing to do. But none of it would have happened if you two crazy kids hadn't started it off to begin with. And for that, I salute you." Ah, garsh, Ryan, nice of ya to say so.

    * Vermont Public Radio broadcast an interview with yours truly and curator Gabriel Greenberg the week before the Brattleboro Museum event, and you can check it out
  • here.

  • * Alan David Doane has also just posted a follow-up interview with the guest curator of the Brattleboro Museum 24 Hour Comic Marathon that's worth a read, and that's over
  • here.

  • * One more permutation of the 24-Hour Comic deserves mention. This event coincidentally fell on the very weekend of the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center’s 24-Hour Challenge: actor Will Keenan’s Go-Kart Films (distributed on video & DVD by Koch;
  • click here for more info)
  • and Hoverground Studios had a major hand in Cinemasports. I held on to the press release I was emailed on Friday, August 26th, and here it is:

    "Shoot your own movie in less than a day! Cinemasports is the Iron Chef of Filmmaking, where teams work feverishly to complete a movie in less than a day, that must contain a specific list of ingredients. Finished movies screen that very night. Concurrent global events often exchange movies in time for the evening screening. This is a community based, one-day filmmaking event open to all levels of filmmakers . Participation is free and open to anyone wanting to make a movie. This Saturday there will be two events happening on each side of the country - San Jose, CA & Manhattan, NY.

    Here is how it works: Teams of filmmakers will get together and will be given ingredients that must be included in a 3 minute film. Each group has 10 hours to write, film, edit and complete their 8pm participants and an audience will get a chance to watch each of the finished masterpieces. Whether you put together a team of your own, or want to come by yourself and be a part of the magic - this event is ready for you to participate: actors, directors, editors, writers, technicians, and anyone with an idea that really need to be turned into reality. To register for the event go
  • here!
  • If you are looking for a team or just want to touch base with other filmmakers, please visit our forum and feel free to ask for help (or just join the community)
  • here!

  • The whole thing starts the morning of Saturday, August 27th:
    09:00 AM Filmmakers' Kickoff / Ingredients Announced Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park - Southern Corner at the Statue of Quezalcoatl - The Plumed Serpent Market and San Carlos Street, (near San Fernando Street)(VTA Light Rail access), San Jose, CA, 95113 USA
    The films will be screened later that same evening:
    08:00 PM Public screening of finished movies
    MACLA - Black Box Theater
    510 South First Street, San Jose, CA, 95113 USA
    Tickets: $5 Participant / $10 Audience
    For more details, examples of past submissions and specifics on the NYC event,
    please visit:
  • Cinemasports

  • See you there!"

    Did you catch the reference to "concurrent global events"??? Why, Quezalcoatl must be writhing in his ages-old sleep. I wonder if Scott McCloud knows about all this. This is astounding!

    Speaking of indy actor Will Keenan (star of Tromeo and Juliet, Operation Midnight Climax, Love God, Waiting, etc.), there’s a bit of a controversy brewing over the overt similarities between Patrick Hasson’s Waiting (2000), a feisty independent film Will starred (and ate shaving cream) in, and the trailers for an upcoming comedy entitled (ahem) Waiting..., from writer/director Rob McKittrick.

    At the time of this writing, online promotion or sources (including postings by McKittrick) deny any association with Hasson and Stefanic’s film: on August 27, 2005, McKittrick wrote, “I can assure you, it's not a ripoff of the Will Keenan film. I wrote it back in '97 (and have the writer's guild registration and copyright to prove it), a couple years before the Hasson film came out” (see
  • McKittrick's comments,
  • and check the related threads).

    I never judge a creative work before I see/read/hear/experience it, but I must say the trailer immediately rang bells and had me assuming Waiting... was a remake of Waiting, until I saw not one name associated with the 2000 film in the credits. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops and plays out.

    Thanks for joining me here... more later!

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