Thursday, September 13, 2007

Green Mountain Cinema Lecture Monday in Brattleboro/Dummerston...

I'll be speaking this coming Monday, September 17 at 1-3 PM at the University of Vermont's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute on Route 5 in Dummerston VT, just north of Brattleboro. The Brattleboro Lecture Series Fall 2007 is underway, and I'm launching their fall series "Made In Vermont: Films and Filmmakers" with an overview of Green Mountain Cinema from the silents to the digital era of filmmaking -- a full century of Vermont movies.

  • Here's the link -- scroll down to the Brattleboro Lecture Series info, and you'll find the list of the full "Made in Vermont" programming there, along with directions.

  • The host of this program is Tatiana Schreiber, organizer of the Westminster Festival of Film by Local Artists and of the Brattleboro Women's Film Festivals; Tatiana has hosted two of my previous Vermont film retrospective lectures at the Westminster West Library (a three-hour overview of Green Mountain Cinema and an overview of experimental and underground filmmaking in Vermont). Monday's session will be a revised and shortened version of the longer three-hour program, featuring some material I've never incorporated before for other venues.

    In case you're in the area and care to attend (see the link, above, for the specifics on cost, etc.), here's the directions:

    The Learning Collaborative is located just north of Brattleboro on Route 5 between Vermont Exit 3 and Exit 4 of I-91.
    We are 1.8 miles north of the rotary at Exit 3 (Brattleboro).
    We are 4.1 miles south of Exit 4 (Putney).
    Look for a single story brick building on the west side of the road. Many people know it as "the old regional library." Parking and one doorway are at the back of the building. Handicapped accessible parking, ramp and doorway are at the north end of the building.

    The rest of the week is Center for Cartoon Studies teaching work, and drawing my ass off!

    Have a great weekend, one and all...

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    "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night..."
    ... and the Monkey King was raining shit down on autistic children until Swamp Thing arrived to save the day!

  • Here's a rare bit of Saga of the Swamp Thing art now on eBay as a 'Buy It Now' item (thanks to Dan Barlow of the Trees & Hills Comics Group for bringing this to my attention this morning).

  • This was indeed a completed penciled cover for the series, and among my first -- though I'll defer to the seller's access to the original art, which I don't have a copy of, I'm a little skeptical about the issue #25 attribution. If memory serves (it it might not; this was after all drawn a quarter-century ago), the event depicted on the cover actually aligns with the conclusion of the Demon/Monkey King three-issue narrative arc, which would place this around #26 or #27's cover spot, not #25.

    I believe this was intended to be the cover for #26, which indeed featured a livelier monster in the same basic action, or perhaps an early suggested cover for #27, supplanted after submission of this cover pencil with then-DC-cover-editor Ed Hannigan's layout with the Demon crashing through a skylight. In any case, it's a rough, a cover concept submitted to editor Karen Berger for consideration.

    Note at this stage of cover rough, I didn't put a lot of detail into ST's surface anatomy. However, my final pencils were always tighter than this; that, and the vagueness of the building behind ST and the autistic boy, proves this was a tight cover rough, not full pencils completed after acceptance of the cover concept. My cover pencils were always solid, with particular attention paid to details of characters and architecture (when relevant), unless I was inking the cover myself (which was only true for a brief portion of the later Rick Veitch solo run on the title). Note, too, the logo was to be spelled out in lightening, a conceit also discouraged by DC, which preferred and enforced the use of the standard Swamp Thing logo after our printed #25 experiment with changing the logo to fit the art.

    Anyhoot, bid with confidence -- this is a legit bit of art from the heyday of John's, Alan's, Rick's and my run on the book, completed during the #25-27 issue arc. It's a genuinely rare item, arguably much rarer than our cover originals. It's among the precious few Bissette pencils to survive (the inking process eliminated the pencil originals) and, rarer still, a tight penciled rough on DC cover board (per usual, I submitted roughs on tracing paper or 8 1/2" x 11" typing paper).

    We had a great day yesterday at CCS, and were blessed with terrific late summer/early fall weather for our first fall semester class trip to the nearby River's Edge Stables in Plainfield, NH to draw horses from life for our debut Drawing Workshop session. It could not have gone better, and it made the week sweet, sitting in the sun and shade drawing horses amid the peace and quiet.

    Kudos to CCS senior Bryan Stone for pulling the trip details together, and to the entire freshman class for jumping right into the breach. The good folks at River's Edge (especially Sonja) were terrific, and the opportunity to draw from the beautiful 15+ horses there was a rare treat. It's just the beginning of another year at the Center for Cartoon Studies...

    Though I'm way behind on posting info about friends and fellow bloggers, I did want to bring to your attention
  • this new horror film blog from filmmaker, fan and all around good fellow Jeff Allard, entitled Dinner with Max Jenke.
  • Bon appetit!

    And while I'm at it,
  • allow me to also steer you this morning to fellow Massachusetts-based filmmaker and likewise all-around-good-fellow Marty Langford's Vertiblog,
  • which has been up and running since June and features all you'll find anywhere online about the Springfield, Massachusetts bid to host the premiere of The Simpsons movie in their home town, among other things. Marty produced and co-scripted Magdalena's Brain, one of my fave indy movies of the past few years, and has some exciting new projects in the works. Visit these blogs ASAP, and -- Enjoy!

    President Bush's latest shell games -- dictating policy while claiming to be waiting for policy to be dictated by his current shills General David Petraeus and US Ambassador Ryan Crocker so Bush can then implement his own policy dictate, all while pretending to scale back military operations by removing the 30,000 troops he placed there for the 'surge' (plain English: escalation) -- are infuriating, and
  • we all knew who these shenanigans were really "buying time" for.

  • As Senator Carl Levin (Democrat, Michigan), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, succinctly put it yesterday, "It creates and provides an illusion of change in an effort to take the wind out of the sails of those of us who want to truly change course in Iraq." Our own Senator Patrick Leahy was blunter: "The president wants to keep the pedal to the floor in this war, dumping the Iraq mess onto the next president's doorstep. The inescapable reality remains that the Iraqis are no closer today to any kind of political settlement to end this conflict."

    The crimes of Bush, Cheney and their cronies against the world are mounting daily; their crimes against and deception of the American people is similarly without bounds.

    For all the polemic rhetoric about "victory" or "surrender" (uh, to whom? There is no central government of either Iraq or Al Queda to surrender to!), and Senator McCain's endless talk of "honor," there can be no honor in this honorless war. It was a lost cause when it was willfully launched on a stick pile of cynically manipulated lies, misrepresentations and deceit, and all Bush is doing is continuing to spin, spin, spin while hundreds of thousands (there's no reliable count to cite) of Iraqis are dead and four million+ Iraqis are displaced, over 2 million of them now refugees; over 50,000 Americans wounded and the number of American dead well over the count of those killed on 9/11 (not counting those not counted -- the various contracted services employees, Blackwater soldiers, etc.); and abysmal attention is paid to the human toll, here (care for our own wounded and returned vets, the only participants worthy of the word "honor" being used) and abroad.

    On the national front, we've dodged another potential bullet this hurricane season thus far, but the implosion of the mortgage and debt markets would count as a national emergency with any other administration. The American dollar continues to spiral in value as badly as American stature, the latter devaluation due primarily to this fucking war. There can be no victory in a war without defined parameters or foes that has been declared against a tactic; there can be no honor in a war without honor from its inception. As this sorry summer has proven, we as a nation have forgotten and/or willingly misinterpret the lessons hard-won in Vietnam -- thus, we are doubly damned, and tolerance of the President's ignorant Rambo revisionism ranks right down there with denial of the Holocaust as far as I'm concerned.

    Will the probable exception of posting info about the upcoming Monday 1 PM talk on Vermont films and filmmakers I'm giving at the Osher session in Dummerston/Brattleboro, VT this coming week, I won't be posting this weekend, more than likely, so you'll most likely see the next post popping up on either Sunday night or Monday AM. We've got a busy weekend and week ahead of us, so -- have a great Thursday, Friday and weekend, and I'll see you here again next week!

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