Dean Motter has updated his website
with new information about his Mister X comic series, with old material to be re-released, and new stories to appear through the good graces of Dark Horse Comics.
Mister X was quite the phenomenon during the 1980’s, with its Lost-like riddles within riddles and a dark, ominous setting in one of three cities in Motter’s noir retrofuture. Maybe a just little nearer to my own heart would be his Electropolis and Terminal City, but hey – it’s all good.
You can start with a taste of Mister X: The Archives, which will collect the 384 pages of the character’s initial run along with Motter’s restored and revised finale to the series. Following that there will be Mister X: Condemned, a new four-issue miniseries.
In his first life, Mister X attracted artists and guest talent that included the Hernandez Brothers, Seth, Paul Rivoche, Bill Sienciewicz, Dave McKean and Neil Gaiman – but on the art side, at least, my favorite Dean Motter always had art by… Dean Motter. No one else ever quite captured his Expressonistic dystopias the way he did himself.
Mad science! Sleepwalking! Drowning Fish! Helpful Flies!
Welcome to the mad dreaming world of Halbtraum, a short animated film by Marco Jeuring and Tobias Wüstefeld.
…and there’s a “Making Of” short, too.
High res, Divx versions here
Low res, Youtube versions:
I just happened across a couple of wonderful retro rocket paintings by SF painter Marianne Plumridge. They’re painted in a sort of pasty, dreamy palette that you might expect to be a poor match for the gleaming fins and metal teardrops of an iconic, 1950’s rocket ship – and as you see, you’d be wrong. Lovely stuff.
Shown is Reach II, 9″ x 12″; that one’s sold, but have a look at Reach III, too. Both are on view at Plumridge’s “Daub du Jour” page.
Comic Book Resources reports what could be wonderful news, or terrible news, depending on how it works out. The John F. Dille Trust has reached an agreement with Dynamite Entertainment to revive the Buck Rogers comics as a comic book series with many merchandising tie-ins. No writers or artists are yet attached to the project except that covers will be provided by the very able hands of Alex Ross and John Cassaday.
When I looked into Buck about ten years ago I thought that Disney had sewn up most of the rights; I have to assume that what I was looking at were film and television rights, though, or that those agreements have since expired.
Buck Rogers was a first in many ways. His adventures began as a work of short fiction and then transmogrified into a successful comic strip that ran for almost four decades. Written by Phil Nowlan and originally drawn by Dick Calkins, the series was ghosted (at least on the art side) many times over its reign. On the left we see one of Frank Frazetta’s contributions from Famous Funnies in the 1950’s.
Buck paved the way for science fiction heroes in both comics and radio . He didn’t have the same success in movie serials as did the me-too character Flash Gordon, but for my money the Buck Serials were a good deal more fun. But backpedal to the early days of the comic strip for a moment, because one of the most astonishing things about Buck’s popularity in those days of the late twenties and the early thirties was that he invented merchandising.
Dave Stevens, possibly remembered best for his comic book character The Rocketeer, has died after a long battle with leukemia.
Although I never met the man I’ve always been certain he was living in exactly the right world.
From some who did know him:
Dave Stevens at The Beat
Mark Evanier Remembers Dave Stevens
There’s a complex back story behind this 17″ tall toy rocket ship. To be honest, I still don’t understand it, though its wildlife-friendly nature has some ominous overtones for us puny humans.
I’m going to ignore that bit, though, because the toy rocket itself is just amazingly cool. They’re available in limited numbers (the two other colors, not shown here, are sold out already) from rocketworld.org. They zip right up to the upper reaches of my niftyometer.
I just found this via Statcounter (the artist, Brian Crick, is linking to me) and I got a kick out of the retrofuturistic travel poster from Crick’s own immense personal project – like mine, a work of years. Check out the gallery.
But honestly, it’s worth a visit just for the incredibly cool rocket ship and flying saucer in the site’s page design. Mmmmm, rockets.
In the past week or so I’ve seen an ice storm (my first, and pretty interesting to see), a snowstorm, some power outages and an internet connection that was up and down and up and down… and so on. So while I haven’t posted here, I was busy – I’ve wrapped up my six-weeks-long work on this retrofuturistic city picture, then discovered that there was a t-shirt and even a clock design in it, and now that I’m predictably online again I’ve added those to my online shops in nearly every way it can be added.
By “nearly” I mean that although it’s now available as an archival print, I don’t yet have a poster quality version of it up. There’s a bug in the printer’s system that’s preventing me from making that available in a standard framing size. Once that’s sorted, there will be a poster too.
I didn’t expect any part of that large rendering to turn up on t-shirts, but I found that there was a pretty nifty shirt hidden away in there. So in the long run, it’s become an archival print, a greeting card, a clock (!) and a whole collection of lovely and talented shirts.
The name I finally settled on for the picture is “The Clouds Will Soon Roll By”. That’s the title of a popular song from 1932 which I first heard as part of the soundtrack for Dennis Potter’s Pennies From Heaven.
I think I’ve got a couple more of these in my head, about ready to force their way out in the near future; we’ll see!
Yep, I’m still working on my City of Tomorrow – or the City of next week, or possibly the week after that. I’ve done all the work on the foreground balcony and its characters, barring adjustments and post, and having done that I now have some ideas for changes I’d like to make in the middle distance; then there are some other elements I’ve been planning to add in between.
So, like I said – the city of next week or the week after. Give or take.
It’s a little painful to see what happens to it when I shrink it down this much. With any luck, though, this bit of a close-up on the left will give you a better idea of what’s what.
Not too many misadventures on this bit, though as always some bizarre things did seem to happen. I’ve been meaning to try the Guruware Ivy plugin for Max, and so I did that here (in the urns at the upper left). Next time I think I’ll give it a trellis to work with.
There are some small details that’ll reward a viewer who’s looking at the big version – like some Buck Rogers comics pages from the early 1930s, and a wine label (“Volstead Merlot”). That one’ll only make sense if you’ve looked into Prohibition history. And if not, why not?
Still not sure what I’ll call this. I was listening to Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” earlier and that seemed like the perfect soundtrack for the image – but “Rhapsody in Blue” is such a high-falutin’ name for a picture that I probably won’t be able to bring myself to use it.