Saturday, July 31, 2010

Should Chuck Continue Past Season 4?

Thanks, Wikipedia!

Recently, we discovered Chuck. We picked up Season 1 on Blu-Ray a while back, and finally got into it. We blazed through the thirteen episodes of Season 1, and quickly rushed out to pick up Season 2.

Prior to this was the Subway campaign to save Chuck from cancellation, which I was vaguely aware of. Thank goodness it worked and that NBC decided to renew Chuck for Season 3. What was nerve-wracking was watching a similar thing happen after Season 3 ended, only for Chuck to be renewed for Season 4.

I honestly wasn't sure it would happen. You see, after the way the conflict with The Tonight Show was handled, I had little faith in NBC to renew Chuck. Nonetheless, they pulled through, and we'll be seeing Chuck Bartowski and his colleagues in action this fall again.

What I'm wondering is, should the creative team behind Chuck intentionally wrap up the series this season? Of course, I'd love to see that not happen. Chuck has been a great show, but the Nielsen ratings, the outdated system that they are, aren't always there. Since the Nielsen ratings still seem to weigh heavily in a show's chance of renewal, I'd hate to see Chuck end in a similar manner as My Name is Earl.

As bittersweet as it sounds, if ratings don't improve I'd like to see Chuck end on a high note. Leave the audience begging for more. It would be better than a cliffhanger ending that is never resolved, or seeing the show decline in quality.

What do you have to say? Let me know in the Poll to the side.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Concert Review - Silversun Pickups - July 27, 2010

As a rather nice surprise, my friend Patrick called me up around 6:30 P.M. Tuesday night and asked me if I wanted to go see Silversun Pickups. The show started at 7:00, so I quickly agreed, and off we went.

What a show! Opening were the Henry Clay People and Against Me!, both of whom I was unfamiliar with. I had heard one Against Me! song before, and we heard another one in the car on the way to the show. HCP were performing when we got there. They played a decent set, and were followed by Against Me! Their set was a bit harder, but it was more of a melodic type of punk rock, but not quite pop-punk or anything like that. You could tell their singer was having a blast. My major complaint regarding both HCP and Against Me! was that their keyboard players were drowned out in the mix, but that's more of a mixing complaint than it is regarding them.

It was hard to get a picture of just Christopher Guanlao! 
Silversun's performance was more than I thought it would be. It was all energy, all night. Drummer Christopher Guanlao was arguably the most energetic drummer I've seen live. I've never seen a drummer perform open-handed before, so it was pretty cool to see and recognize this technique.

One of the highlights was watching bassist Nikki Monninger play -- what a talented bassist! I also enjoyed the crowd's enthusiastic response every time she sang a lead vocal.

Bandleader Brian Aubert was right on, enjoying performing for the crowd, telling us that the band always got excited when they planned a stop in Salt Lake City. While his guitar playing was great, the highlight of his performance was his unique voice.

Often, due to my position and lighting, it was difficult to get a decent picture of Silversun's keyboardist, too.
Unfortunately, I was unable to see keyboardist Joe Lester for the majority of the performance, but unlike with the Henry Clay People or Against Me!, he was able to be heard loud and clear throughout the whole performance.

All in all, though, it was an absolute blast of a show to attend. I hope to catch Silversun again, they're a phenomenal band. If you haven't listened to them before, check out their music!

Update 7/31 - Here is the video I shot of "Well Thought-Out Twinkles," the second song in their set. Sorry for some of the sound distortion, there wasn't really anything I could do about that.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Film Review - Inception

After seeing Inception twice, I finally feel comfortable giving an official review.

I can't in good conscience tell much of anything about the film without giving much away, and not knowing anything really is half the fun. You know it's about dreams; what fun would your dreams be if you already knew what was coming? That's why I recommend going into Inception not knowing anything. And if you think you know anything based on the trailers, forget it. The trailers are, of course, entirely out of context, and really don't give anything away. If anything, they actually mislead you, making you think the movie is something else entirely.

And that's brilliant in a way, too. Christopher Nolan is a master of deception. Rewatch The Prestige and The Dark Knight; there is so much going on, and you're deceived at every turn. So it is with Inception.

What I can tell you is that this is a film that will make you think, and one that is one heck of a thrill ride from start to finish. At the midnight screening I attended, I felt the two-and-a-half hour run time breeze by; the second time was just as brisk. So don't be deterred by that.

All in all, you won't feel your money is wasted. If you're like me, you'll want to go right back to the counter and pick up another ticket. It'll take a couple of viewings just to wrap your head around what you've just seen. And the final scene will have you wondering what you've just seen.

4/4 Stars. Inception is rated PG-13 for violence and profanity (relatively mild aside from a handful of religious exclamations.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

New Old Stuff - Banner Girl

If you drive by Dr. Volt's Comic Connection, you will see this image hanging in their window. No joke. When the store was being moved around or otherwise decorated as a comics emporium, I was allowed to do an original image that has been hanging in the window for several years.

This image comes courtesy of the Dr. Volt's website. You can see her hanging in the window in the left-hand side of the picture.

I didn't want to draw another person's character, so I came up with my own. I think she embodies the spirit of comics, though; that sense of being close to our world, but there is something magical and mysterious about her that sets her apart from the real world.

Since I have it on file, here is the original line art, as well.

Thanks for checking out the old stuff! Hopefully before long I can get back to posting some new things!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

New Old Stuff - Supergirl

This is an old Supergirl from 2004. My style's changes a bit since then, which is something you can tell particularly within the way the eyes and hair are drawn, yet I think the overall style is still very much "me."

I'm just going to apologize for the ridiculously short skirt and attribute it to the fact that I was 19.

One thing I really like are the eyes, even though they're an unrealistically bright sky blue. I think they bring out what I perceive to be the jovial nature of Supergirl.

Friday, July 2, 2010

New Old Stuff - The Painter

As I mentioned, we're moving. In cleaning out and getting rid of a lot of old stuff, I came across a CD that had a few old drawings on it. So, since I mentioned I didn't have time to do anything new recently, I've decided to share some new old stuff with you all over the next few days. :)

This guy is something I did for the newsletter we published when I worked at Dr. Volt's Comic Connection. (You can also check out the Dr. Volt's blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages!) He would get cropped for the banner, but it was something I thought was fun at the time, and something I think still holds up today.

The original image

This is how it would show up cropped on the newsletter.

I also just realized that this is kind of similar in style to my Joker drawing I submitted to Project: Rooftop. Maybe I inadvertently have the urge to do a graffiti-inspired drawing every four years, as the similarities were completely unintentional; I forgot about this drawing until I rediscovered it last night.

Also, if you're into comics and are in the Salt Lake City area, check out Dr. Volt's at 2043 East 3300 South. They will take care of you. :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

P:R Update, and a Regular Update

Canary on the Catwalk runners-up have been posted on Project: Rooftop. Alas, I did not make the cut. Congratulations to everyone who did, though.

I really thought I was doing well on keeping the blog updated on a semi-regular basis, but then life hits you and it takes a back seat. I got really busy with school; now we're moving, so it'll be crazy getting things organized and all of that, too. So I don't have a ton of time to draw right now. I do want to keep the blog going, though, so until I can really get situated, I may just post more reviews, critiques, thoughts on life, etc. Before long, though, I hope to get some more drawings posted on here.