Wednesday, January 28, 2009

WWE: Batista

I did a bunch of work for WWE last year, sketching poster concepts and stuff, like this one. As an old comic book hack I really enjoyed it, since it was virtually the same as drawing superheroes. Plus every time I looked up from my desk some mailroom guy would be dropping a free lapel pin or some other promotional tchotchki in front of me, and I'd think I was right back at Marvel.

I wouldn't say I exactly became a wrestling fan, but I like to throw myself into my work, so I got my head into it. I still enjoy doing studies of the performers. I mean look at this guy. He looks like he walked right out of a Punisher book. Wrestlers look way more superhero-y these days than they used to. They're these hulking, chiseled specimens. Back in my day they mostly looked like if your dad put on some spandex and a fright wig.


I wasn't planning on doing a political caricature today, but damn, that is one handsome man.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bush's legacy: two views

"Though a smaller band, Bush's defenders parry that he will look to history more like Harry Truman, a president whose achievements took decades to appreciate."
-Jonathan Rauch

"Even if you're a Republican, at this point you gotta admit, for eight goddamn years we've been watching a monkey fuck a football."
-Ron Bennington

Friday, January 16, 2009

My theory on the USAir crash

I was on a deadline this week so I didn't have time read about this story in depth. Apparently a stray flock of geese took out the engines on a plane out of LaGuardia, and it made a miracle landing in the Hudson River, and luckily everybody made it out okay. Yeah right. I'm telling you right now I smell government cover-up. Because as far as I'm concerned this thing has Jack Bauer 's fingerprints all over it.

Obviously Jack Bauer busted this cell of terrorist geese, and he caught the head goose and tortured him in a hotel room with a piece of lamp wire or something until he found out about the airline plot, and he stowed away in the luggage compartment of the plane and right at the last second he burst in on the saboteur.

"Tell me how to defuse the bomb or you start losing feathers!"

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Change we can believe in

New York has been given a monumental makeover in the 20 years I've been here, but one obstacle they will never conquer is the concept of public toilets. How the hell does anybody have kids in this city? There couldn't be a more hostile place for children if you had to walk them through a cave full of bears. Have you ever tried to find a place to change a diaper in midtown, like I did the other day? After about ten blocks, the best idea I could think of was to just walk into the dining area at Taco Bell, put her on a table and let it rip. Hey, why not. It's Taco Bell. It's practically a public toilet already.

I was trying desperately to remember how I used to handle situations like this back in my drinking days. Then saw an inviting-looking standpipe on a side street, and I remembered: oh yeah, I used to just take care of whatever I needed to right out in public like an animal. Which is just what I did. Someday my daughter is going to be lying on a couch somewhere, talking about a recurring nightmare where a hairy behemoth is groping her in public, and people are just walking by, not intervening at all apart from the occasional disapproving glance.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


If you've seen The Fountain, chances are you either found it a work of genius or, like I did, an interesting failure. It's a love story between a man, a woman, and a tree; with the characters somehow living three separate lifetimes: past, present, and future. Darren Aronofsky has indicated that only the present-day storyline might be real; the past story is the book that Rachel Weisz' character is writing, and the future might be a fantasy or some kind of astral projection. But of course it's one of those films that's open-ended enough to have room for different theories on it.

I personally found it intriguing but ultimately disappointing, until my brilliant wife rescued it for me with a completely different take on the story. She watched it and saw a single timeline with the same characters over hundreds of years. Which is slightly wackier, but as it turns out I like her version better. Aronofsky's version, a letdown. Faith Fennessey's version, one of the greatest sci-fi films I've ever seen.

If you'll be so kind as to follow me to the comments section, I'll break it down and you can see if you agree. (Spoilers ahead. But go ahead and read it, it's not like I can stop you. Ruin the movie for yourself if you want, tough guy.)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Bush, reconsidered

Now that Bush is safely in the rear view, it's easier to dispassionately reassess him. For one thing, my hatred of him was exhausted a long time ago, and as far as I could tell it wasn't actually accomplishing anything. In fact I'm pretty sure it was somehow feeding him.

But you know, you can call George W. Bush a failure all you want, but I think he succeeded by the yardstick that really mattered to him. I think that all that Bush Jr. ever wanted was to overshadow his dad's legacy. Remember, he was going to succeed where his Dad failed. His Dad invaded Iraq, but he didn't get Saddam Hussein. If you think about it, Bush Sr.'s lasting legacy was really just a PR achievement: he only succeeded in making the name Hussein synonymous with Hitler in the minds of the public. By contrast, Bush Jr's legacy was to get someone named Hussein elected President of the United States.

Bush Sr. is remembered for having won an election by painting his opponent as somebody who might be in favor of letting black guys out of jail. Bush Jr. got a black guy elected President of the United States.

So when you look again at the record, I think you'll see that George W. Bush could really be treating himself to a victory lap around the rose garden right about now.