Thursday, July 29, 2004

I voted for Al Sharpton in the primaries.

And for those who always ask why I did.... His speech at the DNC is my answer.

Al Sharpton's DNC speech

Also here's a new ad by Bush that is somewhat amusing.

Bush ad

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

"whatever we lose, like a you or a me...

it's always ourselves we find in the sea..." said the poet.

The scientist decided to do something about it.

Leaving colleagues and rivals to comb through the finished human code in search of individual genes, he has decided to sequence the genome of Mother Earth... The hope is to uncover tens or even hundreds of millions of new genes, an immense bolus of information on Earth's biodiversity.


Today we crunched numbers. Nick worked on his script. Next step: legitimate incorporation and insurance bonding for camera rental.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

What does a supremacy actually consist of?

I don't know but The Bourne Supremacy is such a badass movie. This is a reminder of how action films can be smart and brutal and honest and engaging.


Monday, July 26, 2004

San Diego Comic Con - The Final Chapter (or how I learned to stop worrying and love the costume)

Here are the last batch of pics...


Nick chats with a fellow bounty hunter (for the astute, Nick has a denim jacket with a patch that says he is part of something called a "Blade Runner Unit").

I on the other hand, had an Imperial bounty on my head for my eternal dissing on George Lucas.

I don't know how a picture of the Death Star cafeteria got in here...

My hero before he got the cool costume.

This bully guy on creatine shakes was all like "Argh Nick I'm going to give you an icecream headache you've never felt the likes of!"

So I punched him in the knackers. Look how in the picture with Nick he's all laughing, and in this one he's screaming.


Nick meets his hero and personal inspiration, some Canadian dude named Logan.

But then (and this is true) somehow the subject turned to how Wolverine worked in... What did he call it? "A titty bar"? And he got aggro. So...

I stepped up and got my ass kicked so bad I had to get bactine and everything. Nick asked me why it seems I get my ass kicked in all these photos so much, if it is some kind of secret masochistic fetish I have... But sadly, I replied to him, it was the fact that everyone we met was so heavily armed and it was the logical choice for displays of dramatic flourish. I mean seriously why doesn't someone make a superhero who just makes pretty colors? Oh wait, that's that slut Dazzler.

Nick Fresh and the Uglydoll B-Boys.

3 MCs and One DJ... How about 1 MC and two MONSTERS!

I came to Comic-Con looking for love, and found it.

These two miscreants may be the finest examples of the profession of journalist layabouts I have had the pleasure of meeting. I give you: Sean Howe and Andy Greenwald.

Allan Heinberg is so cool in my estimation he should be on vinyl. The most earnestly kind person I met at Comic-Con. I am actually going to watch The O.C. from now on.

So the Bruce Lee pictures are down here but before that...

A few days ago I felt that I would probably get bored or tired of Comic Con rather quickly. Not because of nothing to do, but a feeling of being overwhelmed by so many assaults on your visual cortex. Today when we were on the way to the airport, completely exhausted and minds struggling to play catch up with all the information we'd taken in over the past few days, sort of speechless and focused on the minutiae of getting home - I realized that I could leave easily without ever seeing the main floor again. But I would miss all the great people we met, people who shared a similar landscape in the recesses of our minds, obscure details and mythologies and a love for storytelling we needed to get by during our awkward years and a love for that we never gave up. Not seeing them for another year, that I would miss. Not being able to walk by someone who crafted a story that changed the way we perceived the world or helped us to survive through metaphor and knowingness.

So to all our compatriots, we bid you a fond farewell. Thank you most of all to those who made us feel like we were not amongst strangers; without them we would've gone negatively buoyant pretty fast. Jesse DeStasio, Eric Nakamura, Martin Wong, (even Bill Poon), Christina (you know I was paying attention, but I never even found our your last name), Andy Greenwald, Sean Howe, Allan Heinberg, David and Anh and Andy Lee, Matt Connelly, The Plan B Toys crew (we had to ship that stuff home), NoNo and Liz, all the people at Aspen Comics, Jimmy Jay and Heidi, and Larissa. If I forgot you, it was a really long weekend and I will remember when it all comes back to me with my sanity.

And now...

The only reason I did this was because this amazing girl I met said she'd give me a hug if I did, and if there's anything I think modern living could use it's quests. Christina's boss suggested I should ask for twenty dollars. I would be fine with the hug because Christina is lovely and cute and half Korean and is a badass colorist in comic books. But still, I couldn't bring myself to do it. Until Nick goaded me, in front of Christina and I summoned what little courage I have... You know those people in costumes? What I learned at my final day of Comic Con, most of all, is that they are brave. It's easy to laugh at them, but they have a courage that deserves a place in any sort of youth and beauty brigade.

Christina gives Bruce his hug shortly after being summoned.

Tell Sauron my Kung Fu will kick his Ring's ass.

Bruce approves of the Giant Robot T shirt.

Bruce lets Martin and Eric know how much their magazine means to him and congratulates them on ten years of being awesome.

Ultimate Marvel Team Ups Presents: David Mack and Bruce Lee.

Bruce and Jeremy Bernstein, Shrek 2 animator and Bruce's relationship therapist.

Bruce offers to teach Superman martial arts.

Bruce don't need no sword.

Triumphant after kicking a Crazy 88's ass.

Uglydoll vs. Bruce Lee! Uglydoll goes for the kick...

See you all next year...

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Back home

We're home. Time to rest for awhile. I'll have the rest of the pics up later tonight...

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Bill Poon you will die

It's very late. Very cool evening. I mean, seriously, walking away from everything today back to our car, quite a long walk, I can't even explicate in words what it felt like to be down here, amongst our own in a way, with Nick and feeling that we weren't delusion, that it was right and proper to keep after what gestated in adolescence.

I'll write about it tomorrow, but I have to say - tonight we ate at the worst Chinese Buffet restaurant I think I've ever been to. It's all Bill Poon's fault and he will pay.

He knows how to spot a good soft serve cone though.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Comic Con - Day Two

No time for words, more pictures...

I was going to ask her to use the lasso of truth on Nick to find out all the secret stuff I want to know, but Wonder Woman said she only uses her powers for good. Damn amazonians...

I asked Hunter where I could score weed, and then we started seeing all the bats.

Nick looks more like he's a barbaric post apocalyptic future dude than this genial chap.

This picture came out blurry but there's a story behind why I still want to share it with you. She PUT THE CHAIN AROUND HER NECK in MY HAND without me even asking. This bespoke of submissive ideas regarding fantasy women from childhood in so many ways that I honestly felt a little creeped out by HER. Nick on the other hand...

He was all like "bring it on slave Leia".

This girl was really nice. We were asking anyone in costume to have their picture taken with us, obviously, and when we asked her she kind of said with a hint of just enough harshness we knew something was up "okay but don't put it up on a porn website"... So were like uh hey now , so we started talking to this lady about what a weird day she was having and how this was a gig from the modeling agency she was at and she had no idea what she was going to have to do and wear. I mean, you know, she couldn't be totally naive... But it was interesting to hear for real from one of these "booth babes" - as the nerd industry likes to call them - unedited what it's like for them - and it doesn't sound cool or fun.

The power of Christ compels me. Check out how the nails in his wrists are in backward. If this was the One True Christ he would've been nailed face down on the cross, which actually is really funny if you think about it.

There is a devil and an angel on my shoulders. But which... Is which?!!!?!?!?

These are my two favorite costume dudes. Because they look like the Star Trek and V equivalents of janitors, and hey, someone's got to clean the starship.

Klingon man made me pee my pants when he started threatening me in actual Klingon.

"Hey Nick a bunch of dudes posing! Run up behind them and make it even cooler!"

I hate this fucker!

In fact you deserve getting kicked in the nuts while I flip you off!

True story: after Nick and I clown on Bush for awhile, this old dude DEMANDS we take a photo of him for ourselves of him sneakily grabbing Marilyn Monroe's boob while putting his arm around Bush. This old geezer was both incredibly cool and perverted all at once. It was like an old classy style of perverted.

Dude this is what you get for complementing Go Go on her nicely made costume. A spiked ball of death in the face.

We're going out to dinner with the Giant Robot crew... More later...

ComicCon Day 1 - Part Two

I'm torn - I don't have the time to write a detailed narrative of the last 48 hours, but there's been so much visual input and so many people we've met that it's hard to keep track of and I'm certain I'm going to forget a lot. I mean it's just weird when you sit down to get some fresh air and the next thing you know the old dude next to turns out to be the current voice of Daffy Duck for Warner Brothers. And then this pleasant older fellow proceeds to talk like Daffy Duck, perfectly. I will let the pictures speak for themselves and try to form a coherent narrative later. It's just so difficult to explain what San Diego Comic Con is like. It's like Nerd Christmas in July combined with major movie studio shock and awe assault campaigns meets a meet and greet for out of work Playmates and other random women in the "modeling industry" crashes into the longest serious dialogue you've ever had about this form you love, comics.

I am going to make a brief list of the highlights of this day as I remember them.

It has to start with the costumes. As I explained today to Nick in hindsight, when I laugh at the people in costumes it's not to make fun of them - I'm completely blown away by the creativity and most of all the sheer COURAGE it must take to dress in full like your favorite nerdy character and do it in public. I don't have that. I think the real laughter though is seeing totally perfect replicas of characters from Star Wars and the like doing prosaic things like drinking soda or getting elevators.

Then the Freaks and Geeks panel. Nick yelling out in front of 1000 people that Garth Ancier who used to run NBC and now runs the WB "MUST'VE BEEN A JOCK!" to the laughter of the whole hall. Getting to see some of the greatest ensemble cast ever and noticing how much they'd grown and how Martin Starr is not actually a giant nerd but a good looking hipster kid.

Meeting a really cool colorist named Christina, who works on Marvel's Mary Jane (amongst others) and Aspen's Fathom. The convention's so disorienting that meeting someone who seems steady in a place like this comforts you and makes you feel like you can handle it. I liked her a lot instantly.

Just shopping for nerd toys. Finding long lost items coveted. Nick hit up back issues. I don't collect comics anymore, I read them... So there's little point in that for me. But I loved finding obscure books and handling some of the old ones - modern comics drive me nuts with their computerized colors and manga influences. I love four colors, newsprint, the smell of it... Getting to handle an Amazing Spider-Man 50 was enough for me.

Meeting Jesse - another person who made us feel at home and he went to town, introducing us to everyone he could, the people behind all the things we appreciate from afar. He introduced us to David Mack who does the rather amazing comic Kabuki, and in my opninon is the best artist working in American comics today. But. He can also write. And do incredible GI Joe impressions that bind you into tears of laughter. His girlfriend Anh is one of the most instantly sweet and earnest people I've ever met. And their friend Alan Lee, clasically trained in Chinese brushwork, with a Dali moustache and really cool guy to boot.

Then we had an excellent dinner courtesy of Matt from MacFarlane toys, who you'll meet below... And after a rambling exhaustive reminscence on the stupidity of cartoons we loved as children... Off to bed instantly.

That was some of what Day One was all about...

The history of comics is rich and varied. And scary.


Nick got to meet some dude who couldn't speak English well.

But then I told him he was "one ugly motherfuckah!" and he gets all aggro on me.

I try my best gay protocol android pose.

Jesse is one of the coolest guys on the planet in my opinion, who also has one of the coolest jobs in the world. He designs TOYS for MONEY. He works for Art Asylum (Lord of the Rings toys and Mini-Mates) and his own company Subcultures Design. Next to him is Anh Tran who may be one of the sweetest people on Earth. She hand sews the lovely Tranimals which you can buy at Tower Records. There is a rumor that she is the inspiration for David Mack's Kabuki... But I must consult with the Egg McMuffin on that one.

Shine on you crazy diamonds! Jesse introduced us to a lot of cool people who make toys for all the badass toy companies. One of the nicest ones was Matt from MacFarlane. At one point I was talking to the guy in charge of Transformers about Jetfire and how to bring him back!

The Art Asylum booth.

Nick and Toxic Avenger are saying "tomorrow will be even cooler!"

ComicCon Day 1 - Part One

6:30 am

Driving in San Diego on the way to...

The first nerds are spotted! Raise the topmast sails!

Meanwhile, at the...

On our way in Nick gets busted by security.

I make friends with the storm troopers on their smoke break.

This is getting WEIRD.

Who you gonna call, Nick!

Oh no! Aaron's a ghost!


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Nerd fest 2004, here we come - and updates.

Nick and I are off to San Diego Comic Con through Sunday.

Until then you'll notice some updates to the website. You will now find working links to my first film school short, Angel Falls, several CGI shots I created for another student's film, and higher quality encodes of Ben Gibbard's All Time Quarterback video and the Impulse SuperDeform ad. The work on the website's retooling is not yet complete, but that footage is at least viewable now.

Nick can be seen on the John McEnroe show tonight.

I have taken down the Decemberists footage for now, if you're looking for it. That was not a final cut and was not intended for public viewing just yet. Details shall follow in due time.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

This is the weirdest making of story of all time

I am changing my name to Pulgasari.

The North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il has a passion for cinema. But he could never find a director to realise his vision. So he kidnapped one from the South, jailed him and fed him grass, then forced him to shoot a socialist Godzilla.


Friday, July 16, 2004

Outfoxing myself

I just managed to walk into my patio's screen door. I was carrying two pints of water for my plants. The water splashed out of the cups and went through the screen. Sadly, I did not.

Here's a trailer for Robert Greenwald's Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, an expose of the Fox News Network's practices. While I appreciate what it is, watching this trailer I can't help but feel that a clever montage of Fox footage needs no extra music or commentary. The editing speaks for itself; the network comes across as some satirical Ballardian construct.

Trailer here.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

The Very Special Guest is Joanna Newsom

Last weekend me and Nate from Decemberists and Dan from Music for America were supposed to check out Joanna opening for Davendra Banhart. Between the three of us (okay, I am exempting Nate as he has a good head on your shoulders) we somehow forgot to buy tickets beforehand. No big deal, that show couldn't possibly sell out. We were, very very wrong. And cold. And shut out.

Anyway, I hear she's opening for Sufjan Stevens on the 31st at Great American Music Hall.

Tickets here.

Peach. Plum. Pear.

This is my favorite album of the year. I have the lovely Carson Ellis to thank for telling me to check this out.

Joanna Newsom

A picture I took of Karen O.

I am testing out how to post pictures here.

Canon makes the finest DV cameras in the world.

Canon has announced the XL2 camera.

Native 16:9 support, 24p and 60i options, an improved viewfinder which now can act as a monitor...

Sadly the ergonomics remain the same. This is probably to allow the market to compensate for all the peripherals available for the XL1S.


I am working on learning .css tonight so I can figure out how these damn blogs work. Almost there...