Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Capt. Action's new face

Here's a fun project I've been involved with -- Moebius Models is reissuing the ultra-rare 1960's Aurora Plastics CAPTAIN ACTION model kit. As an extra treat to the kit fans who'll be buying this, they decided to include an alternate, improved name plate -- and an alternate face part. Purists can still build the kit with the original parts -- but those wanting an improved look can go "modern" with it. I was recruited to sculpt the new face -- and here are some pics of a test shot of the kit, with that part attached.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Here's a preview of my next wraparound cover painting for SCARY MONSTERS magazine. This montage of images from William Castle's fright flick, HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, features portraits of Vincent Price and Elisha Cook Jr.  Acrylic on illustration board.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

"Minnesota Ruts Experiment Part 3"

The night before Thanksgiving, I took part in the open mic/jam session known as the "Ruts Experiment" at Minneapolis' legendary Lee's Liquor Lounge. The backing band is Al Subola's Rockabilly Quartet - and I muddled my way through Hank Thompson's "The Wild Side of Life" and Charlie Rich's "Sittin' and Thinkin'". My friend Karli Sande joined in on "Jackson." This was a "sit in and see what happens" sort of thing -- with no practice whatsoever -- though there were lyric "cheat" sheets (thank goodness!). A few notes are a little shaky, and Karli and I missed a few lyrics (look at us juggle that lyric sheet!), but this was a heck of a lot of fun. Thanks to Jessica for shooting the video. Thanks to Premium Grain Belt ("The Beer of Exceptional Quality") for the courage. Watch and listen, if you dare....

"Wild Side of Life"

"Sittin' and Thinkin'"


Friday, November 9, 2007

RIP: Hank Thompson

One of my favorite performers, country music legend Hank Thompson has passed away at the age of 82. In the 1950s, Thompson and his band, the Brazos Valley Boys had 21 songs in the top twenty of the music charts -- five of those top ten hits. In '52 Thompson's "The Wild Side of Life" was the #1 country song -- and inspired Kitty Well's "answer" song, "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" -- a classic in its own right. All in all he sold over 60 million records and scored 29 top ten country hits from 1948 to 1975. The Brazos Valley Boys were ranked the top country band from '53 to '65 -- a record yet to be broken. He was touring up until a few months ago -- and I was lucky to have seen him at Green Bay two summers ago. The pic here is one I took at that performance. So long, Hank -- we'll miss you.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

MCAD: Project UFO

I've been teaching in the comic art program at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design for the past several years -- and haven't posted much of my students' work. It's time to remedy that. Here are some of the pieces selected to be in the upcoming "Project UFO" show at MCAD.

All the design classes took part in this two week project, producing work with a UFO theme. Some kept to the traditional flying saucer notion -- others pushed the concept in other directions. In my "Comic Art" class, students were directed to create an homage or satire of a vintage comic strip in Sunday page format. Presented here are Maddie Queripel's take on George Herriman's "Krazy Kat" and Hannah Blumenreich's Charles Schulz riff.

My "Figure in Perspective" students created human/alien comparative anatomy charts. Examples here are by Francesca Buchko and David Karrow.

"Comic Art Professional Practice" students drew pitch art / concept art for a proposed project. On view are Sean Lynch's "Aftermen," Evan Palmer's "The Blinding Gold" and Renny Kissling's "True UFO Stories." These and MANY more wonderful pieces of student art will be on display at MCAD from November 7 -14. There will be an opening celebration Friday November 9 in the Student Center from 5:30 to 7:00.

Images are copyright the respective student --used here by permission - all rights reserved.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Why I love Minneapolis: Part Four

The Heights Theater! This beautifully restored vintage theater shows first run films as well as vintage fare. For Halloween they screened a beautiful print of "The Tingler," starring Vincent Price -- to a packed house. A Ben Turpin silent short preceded, with live organ accompaniment. If you live in the Twin Cities and have never been to a show at The Heights, then by all means, make plans to visit it soon!