March 22: Happy Birthday Angel Wherever you are, today's still your birthday and you're still one of the fondest friends in my memory. Have a happy one. March 1989, and the only Catholic Church near Pisgah National Forest, where we were camping. She needed the palms for some kind of Brazilian spiritual ceremony that I still don't understand.
Our idea of Spring Break from Chicago was the wet Smoky Mountains in the deepest part of the forest. But right next to a roaring waterfall. And a lot of Neil Young and Sandy Denny on the box. And Siouxsie & the Banshees, which she liked and at the time I did not.
Any adaptation of Dracula will always be one removed from the original, because the original is an epistolary(told through journal entries, letters, and that kind of thing). So when Dracula is adapted, one is forced to interpret, and usually those are quite different than the novel. Sometimes this ends up good, like with both versions of Nosferatu. Other times it's mangled, like most of the 1931 version or Coppola's pretty debacle.The most usual thing is for Lucy and Mina to either be switched or merged, and Quincy Morris and Arthur Holmwood are either eliminated or, as in this version, merged.
This one manages to be closer to Stoker than any other version. And is quite scary. Also kind of hot. This film has been somewhat of an obsession for me since I was a kid. You may disagree, but for me, this is the best non-Nosferatu version of Dracula.
It's BBC 1970s, which means it's film outside, video inside. But like many, I think horror works better when it looks cheaper, and in any event they do a fantastic job with the means they have. I certainly prefer it to the American-clean way a lot of BBC looks now. And I actually like the cheesy video effects too. Also excellent are Frank Finlay as Van Helsing, Judi Bowker as Mina, Jack Shepherd as the best Renfield since Dwight Frye--and maybe better--and my first movie crush, the incredibly sexy Susan Penhaligon as Lucy Westenra. To this day I have a thing for chokers or ribbons about the neck thanks to her in this, which is why I draw them so often on women. Quincy is played with the worst American accent you've ever heard, but try to look past that. (as well as the Portuguese subtitles, unless you speak it, in which case, bonus!)
Here's the score, which makes heavy use of not a theremin, but a different early electronic instrument called the Ondes Martenot, which Radiohead fans might recall as an instrument Jonny Greenwood is very fond of. You start hearing it about 0:45 in--it's a bit like a theremin in that it sounds like it's singing, but in a much warmer way. After is the full film.
Trump is far more like Stalin than like Hitler. In his conviction only he should make any decisions(and thus government only does what he's interested in, which is very little that has to do with American interests); he rewrites facts that don't suit him and ejects anyone who knows more than him from the government.
And Stalin thought Hitler was his pal.
Till the invasion of Russia, Stalin was happy to deal with Hitler and rather admired him, as they shared many of the same goals and prejudices. So it was both nations that invaded and shredded Poland. Stalin was thrilled because of all the additional land and resources and the chance to purge party members he disliked and slaughter Polish army officers (see: Katyn)
And when Hitler did the obvious thing that he'd done many times before to others, which was fuck him over, Stalin was genuinely shocked, and paralyzed with depression for a week, realizing he'd purged all his best generals.
Oh No, Martin Scorsese Said Something Bad About Movies that Gross Billions All of you jumping down Scorsese's throat for speaking the truth: where are you when actual innovative films that need your support go under? Why do films that gross billions need you to defend them? People who want Marvel movies to be called real movies: 1. Don't ever tell me to "turn off my mind, it's just fun" when I point out their flaws. If it's a real film it can handle criticism like any real film. 2. Does it occur to you that largely they do no more than IMITATE real movies? WINTER SOLDIER knocks off from THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR and was praised for that. The Ant-Man films cribbed from Ocean's 11 and again, praised. They're fun but they are faux and would have not have much most would go see without their grafting from other non-superhero films. That's how they get the masses to accept it. 3. You may have forgotten, because of Marvel's imitation and replacement strategy, what real movies are like. 4. They're all basically the same plot arc. RAGNAROK isn't and that's why it sticks out--it defies all that. And that's why it's to be undone.
Thor and Hulk Resolving Eternal Issues of Human Relationships
Really clever of Trump to taint the GOP's backup Normal Republican this way. He ensured Pence was part of the same plot, so they don't dare help impeach unless they're willing to lose the whole office. To Nancy Pelosi. Who's in the line of succession after Pence. Seriously, if they'd had any sense they'd have at least made sure Pence was involved in no Trump decisions at all. Otherwise, what was the point of him? I'm guessing that once they got one more Supreme Court Justice, and the country softened for the GOP by all of Trump's draconian policies, they'd have cut him loose to have Pence with a country made easy for him by the sacrificial Trump. I think that was the hope. And then they'd say Trump was never a real Republican at all. They managed to muddle the memory of Dubya fairly well, why not him? But we saw them, how they are when they fear no loss of power for making America suffer; how much they enjoy the permission Trump gives them, and how little they ever meant their crowd-controlling talk of their perverse 50s view of Christian morality they themselves would never follow. And we will not forget.
New Art: Crazy Jane Inspired by the rather nifty new DOOM PATROL show, and especially Diane Guerrero's stellar performance, I drew this piece of one of my favorite characters ever, Grant Morrison & Richard Case's Crazy Jane. (click to enlarge) Drawing her was both easy and difficult, because as I drew her I realized I'd been using elements of her in female characters all this time without realizing it. I didn't realize how much my style owed to Case.
Funds Needed - Huge Ebay Sale! Comics Toys and More
That's right, your humble cartoonist, though having seen sales of SUZY SPREADWELL go up a little of late, has to do day jobs to pay the rent because that still doesn't amount to a lot. And right now that's still pending though I'm hard at work on that. This was, though, after having had to go through a very sudden move and rise in rent. (for which I also have a fundraiser that still needs help to get to the goal, which you can give to here) That put a dent in my savings and lack of income has not helped. So I'm also selling a whole lot of my collection on Ebay. It's over 35 items and I'm always adding more, and it's from my collection of comics, toys, magazines and more. Possibly vinyl too, because I also still have that, but a long time since I had a turntable. Sold a lot over the years, and so much stored I don't even need anymore, and would also like the space.
New at Patreon: Suzy Spreadwell Chapter 3 p. 3 Final Color (Free!) Yes, my generous heart is allowing non-subscribers to get away with reading the new pages well ahead of the issue. Won't you have a look at the whole page by clicking the panels below, and please support this and other works for only $1? Right now your support would mean a lot, especially if you ask friends to support Bottomless Studio as well. Anyway, here's the new one! Happy Saturday!
But remember, some later pages may not be, as Patreon enforces upon me now, rather than banning me outright or locking down all my posts, the iron rule that posts that are more "adult" have to be patron-only now. So to be sure to follow the whole new issue in progress, just subscribe for $1 (or more if you like, I never mind that, I promise) to support the work and gain access to each page as it's finished, plus much more! Making indie comics these days is a real bitch, and your help, whether at Patreon or any amount you want to throw through the donate button below, helps this cartoonist in his 22nd year of independent cartooning not worry so much about eating. It also helps me put out free pages in the first place.
New at Patreon: SUZY SPREADWELL Returns! (Free!) I've begun drawing the new chapter of SUZY SPREADWELL, and while most of the finished pages will only be available to $1 patrons till "official" release, this brand new one's free, so click the image to see the whole page, and be sure to subscribe today to see everything afterward! (and more)
New (Old) Stuff Posted at Patreon: Two Banned Works Newly Up for Patrons I have resumed and (slightly) revamped my Patreon page, and now it's a very simple, streamlined pledge structure: $1 (or more, we accept more) for access to all posts except two things: ebook downloads and the really explicit stuff...
As you probably know, the orange cancer beast Trump, despite having shut down the government over his wall, and so no longer issuing earned pay to federal workers all across America, expects most of them to work anyway. Read more »
New Suzy Spreadwell Story Starts - P. 1 Pencils This chapter will be a little flashback to Li'l Suzy and her mom on a walk in Springtime many years ago. Note: No, her head isn't floating in the last panel. The pencils on Suzy's neck were too light for the scan to pick up.
Happy New Year! New Suzy Spreadwell Painting- "Lake of Fire." Also: My Art Now Available At Saatchi Let's begin our 2019 with the Devil in chains, shall we? This is what I did with my New Year's Eve till about 8 am today...
George Bailey In Jail (from the archives) So, after the end of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, you know George would still go to jail, right? I mean, just because George got the same town he'd stolen the money from to give him more doesn't change federal bank regulations.
Yes, I did another one of these things, after the ink you saw earlier this week. I'm not sure the scan really does justice to the color on the original. But anyway, this is more of me trying to get the hang of watercolors over ink.
I have always considered THE EXORCIST reactionary and overrated.
Let’s start with the overrated part. My issue with THE EXORCIST is that its scares are basic, childish: on the level of someone waiting round the corner and shouting BOO, or a nasty brother showing his sister his mashed up food on his tongue. “Did you hear there was an accident? HERE ARE THE VICTIMS GLAAA” — like that. It does scare, yes, but not in any substantial way. Pazuzu is basically just a prankster. I have always felt this way about it, especially since OMEN got me first as a kid(as well as a lot of other horror), so this seemed…so basic when I got to IT. What I gathered was this was a film designed to scare middle-class people who didn’t watch any other horror. Read more »
Censorship Update: Kindle F**ks With Me Again (UPDATED)EVEN FURTHER UPDATE: 10/30/18: They're back. Their system did this automatically, they claim. Now my books are restored at Amazon & Comixology. (which are now the same) But I still am having a phone discussion with them tomorrow to make sure this doesn't happen again. I don't care whether it was a mistake. I want to make sure this doesn't ever happen again, to me or anyone else. So I'm not going back and restoring all the links I scrubbed last night until this is not longer an issue. Still don't trust them, though. Read more »
Some Suzy Spreadwell Inspirations: HAXAN, Felicien Rops, and More (Updated)
If you're following Suzy Spreadwell, and you should be if you're a discerning comics reader, you might be wondering, "Where does he get this crap from?" I assure you I am not as insane as may appear to be the case. Or maybe I am. What I'm on about will hopefully become clearer as the plot unfolds in its silly way.
THE DEVILS (1971) -Hollywood Bitchslap Review, 1999 (UPDATED) The only Ken Russell film you ever need to see. That is, if you want to avoid the steaming mounds of shit he's turned out, which tend to distract one with stench and volume from the few perfect roses hidden within. Some have their favorite films by a director; most I know have instead with Russell a LEAST favorite they recall quite well. But oh, what a fantastic film this one is.
The Sleepy Sins of Suzy Spreadwell Print no. 3: A Wanton Lust for Burning Angels First off: major update to Suzy's site! I've added a page for the paintings, as well as one for all the sketches! Including some rather dirty ones. Mature reading only.
Another one of these painting/ink things done, no digital except the lettering. (Last one here) These are actually the first pieces I've ever done like this. The closest I got was when I got my first drawing table from my dad when I was a teen, and tried to use colored inks with drawings I soon ruined, because Higgins turned out to be not very waterproof india. (never believe their lies about their tea of an ink) It didn't work out and I gave up. I have to say, this time I actually have fun doing it.
New Artwork: Vladrushka - "Fifteen" (Anniversary Drawing) Following on the last one, my next piece in India ink (rather than digital), this one is in celebration of the fact I just realized this fall is the fifteenth anniversary of her first publication by Eros Comix./Fantagraphics. (Count the stars behind her) Read more »
The Letter Gary Cohn Grabbed With Which Trump Was Going to Sever Ties with South Korea
So now you know when you see #Trump officials like Conway or Sanders looking impatient with the press, it may not be contempt for the press. It's just the fear of an abused child who's afraid if a concerned person tells, it'll only make it worse for them when alone with him.
One of the many incomprehensible, insane decisions the thing we have in the White House instead of a president was going to make, that his staff saved us from. In this case, Gary Cohn grabbed this thing off Trump's desk before it could be signed. And to show you how seriously Trump takes all this, he forgot it existed. Read more »
I love reading story after story claiming facts no longer exist, that Trump is "redefining truth." If I say to you one day, dogs are cats, you wouldn't say I redefined dogs. You'd ask if I felt OK. Read more »
"Eternity in the company of Beelzebub, and all of his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me & this pencil." --E. Blackadder, 1789 Questionable
words & pictures from John Linton Roberson