Teen Titans #1


I read Janelle Asselin’s critique of the new Teen Titans cover today.
I agree with her.
It looks like one of those horrible pin-ups from those swimsuit edition comics that Image used to put out.
On top of all of the problems…it’s just boring. I haven’t read a new DC comic in years, this cover- yeah, it won’t bring me back.
I did a quick sketch of how I think the new cover should have looked. A cover that shows an actual team and reaches out to the correct demographic, and one that I hope is in more in the direction that Janelle was thinking of.

20140412-001717.jpg

Posted in Art, Comics | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Won’t You Bebad?


I used to live in Sydney. I went to Uni there, met some people that have changed my life…and discovered a band that quickly became one of my favourites.
I grew up on Motown and still foster a deep love for the down and dirty delta blues. Old second hand beat up guitar licks, thumping, bass, Bar-Kays groove and Funkadelic absurdity…
It was the blessing called RAGE that started it. The late night, weekends only music program that was on one of the four channels of Australian basic cable.
I heard a song. “try and see red” I think it was. And it filled me with such 2am joy that I ran to the nearest music store the next day to track it down. JB HiFi. Not the cheapest. Well, I was still used to American prices…but I dropped nearly $30 on the cd.
I don’t regret it.
I discovered them just in time for their second album, “Diamond Amongst the Thieves”, to come out. I snatched that shit up as fast as I could. And played it to over and over, to the dismay of other people.
I spread their music like gospel. “Oh, you like (whatever band might be playing)? Then you’ll fucking love these guys.”
It was around my birthday. Lowrider was playing at Luna Park (scariest fucking entrance to any place, but I braved it).
Small ass area…I mean…small. A little bar off to the side. Maybe three tables. A little stage.
…now, as an aside, I’ve been to see some seminal bands. Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Sonic Youth, UNKLE…all great, some massive, some took place in a park in front of the Manhattan skyline…
This is still one of my favourite concerts. It was a small crowd. Pushing 20 people if I’m being kind. But they killed it. They brought some old school hip-hop energy that had died in the early 90′s. They brought soul and funk and a medley that contained Dusty Springfield.
They fucking killed it.
It takes true passion to perform your heart out to a small, intimate crowd. To perform, and rock and groove and not be swayed by the people sitting on the carpeted floor…because even they were bobbing their heads and screaming and singing along.
Somehow, unlike a lot of bands, they are able to channel that live-performance-passion to their recorded albums.
I bought the first two, I bought the third. This week, I bought their newest album: “Black Stones”
It ranks up there. It’s great. “Pay Day” has that kind of churning gut-bass that “Music for My Mother” rests on.
“Day Time Tripping,” “Go Get Gone,” fuck…they are all good songs.
Click here for the itunes page to their new album. Get it. And get the rest. Or start at the beginning like me and let it wash over you as you hear their sound refine and bring the old school R&B back. Back to when it stood for Rhythm and Blues. When music had a heart and a soul and you felt something.
In music, Lowrider are becoming the equivalent to the opening drums of the Rhonette’s “Be My Baby”: refreshing, soulful, and completely bad ass.

Posted in Reviews, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Addiction


I’m not sure I have anything to add to the conversation on Philip Seymour Hoffman and drug addiction.
I will say that addiction is not a choice- it’s a disease. It consumes and controls.
I admire anyone who has been able to kick a habit and stay sober. Just because they are sober, doesn’t mean the fight is over. It’s a constant battle, and I admire those who struggle, fight and win.
I also admire the natural talent of PSH. I’m sad that I won’t be able to witness any new performances of his.
The one ray of light in the face of this is that his death has started a dialogue , one which people are open and understanding and looking at addiction for what it is.

20140206-132813.jpg

Posted in Art, current affairs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

My Wonder Woman Movie


They say making a Wonder Woman movie would be too difficult, her backstory is too confusing and won’t translate well to the big screen.
Seriously? It’s nearly the same as Thor.
If I were to write a Wonder Woman movie, I would have the stories go like this:

1. Young Diana on her amazon island. Training, learning, dreaming of life off of Themyscira. Big tournament, maybe she wins, maybe she loses – doesn’t matter. She feels she’s ready – she’s head strong, thinks she knows it all – she steals the lasso, the tiara, the bracelets from her mother and flees the island to the world of men.
It’s World War II. Young Diana has flown to France/Germany/England/Spain to stop the war – but it’s nothing like she’s every seen before. This isn’t the battle she’s trained for. There are no Gods pulling strings, there’s nothing to be gained except for blood and power. It’s the war of men, empty of meaning. Nothing like she’s encountered.
Diana is the embodiment of love, peace, patience…how does she react and cope with the disgusting nature of man and man’s wars? How does she rise above sadness and hatred to teach and guide – like a true warrior, like the warrior she trained to be. Boom. Movie.

2. Typical dual identity. Baddass Mod styled spy Diana Prince. Super heroic Wonder Woman. Big threat on the world. She chooses the safety of her chosen world over her identity- thus, Wonder Woman because a hero in the eyes of everyone. Simple.

3. Problems back home. Civil war amongst the gods? Rogue demi-god trying to take over Paradise Island? Wonder Woman breaks her exile and flies home to protect it with her mother and sisters. Lots of distrust – she’s been in the world of men, her sisters feel betrayed – she takes it in stride as best as she can – she’s Wonder Woman, she understands. The Amazon’s overcome the threat, maybe WW has to sacrifice herself to stop the battle, but of course, she doesn’t die – maybe she gives up her immortality- and she’s finally welcomed home. It’s the WW version of you can’t go home again, but some dude with power is fucking things up so you go home anyways and you give everything you have, and more, because you love your home and your sisters and you’d die fighting along side them.

There. Not hard at all.

With thew news breaking that Wonder Woman will be in the new Superman Vs Batman movie, I  - like many others – am starting to worry.
To paraphrase a few people: this is our one shot. If this WW bombs (whether it’s the acting, the script, the whole movie itself) then that is it, say goodbye to your big screen Wonder Woman dreams.

Posted in Comics, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Revolver – Make It Happen.


Like most creative people, I hit a part of my life where my dreams were filled with rail cars and road trips, late night parties and early morning poetry. The ghosts of Kerouac and Burroughs inspiring the future.

For me, it all came down to escape and the lure of the road trip. I wanted to feel that freedom, to drive down those long straight highways in the desert of New Mexico. Nothing but clouds racing by and music blaring. The freedom to go anywhere my heart desired.

There’s always been a certain romance in road trips. Those stories about the drifter rolling into town and finding love, the adventures of life on the road and on the run. Living a tom waits song like “Burma Shave” or “Invitation to the Blues.”

There’s a dream in effect, just waiting for you love and help.
It’s a road trip in the works. It’s a romance on film.

It’s “Revolver” by Veronica Varlov and Burke. It’s a Road Trip Romance in Exile. A movie that needs to be made, seen, and shared.
There are 35 hours left to fund this through Kickstarter.
I’m broke, I mean, bum on the highway hitchhiking broke, but I just upped my donation by $50. That’s how much I want to see this happen.

So get on it people, every donation counts. Help make this road trip dream come true.

Donate here:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/veronicavarlow/revolver-a-road-trip-romance-in-exile-feature-film

Posted in Art, Writing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Gunpowder, Treason, and Voting Day


Happy 5th of November all.

20131105-142921.jpg

Posted in Art, Comics | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Happy Halloween, Children


20131030-130459.jpg

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , | 1 Comment