I’ma Luigi, Numbah One!

My Super Mario collage was feeling lonely, especially since I sold Bowser, so I gave him a brother. Here is Luigi, 24×24″ made of a bunch of random comic books, Wizard magazine, and some other random papery things, like a box of Goobers from the movie theatre from November when I took the family to see Trolls.

MINI-MOVIE REVIEW: Bright, colorful and fun. Literally and figuratively. Terrific story and soundtrack adults will appreciate. I would gladly add this to our home rotation, which currently consists of Frozen, Tangled, and Barbie Spy Squad.

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Capitol Wrestling Art Show

d86d37ea-c64f-4910-9796-528bb2350a63-e1484339858877I’m heading to Jersey City, Saturday, June 3rd (which is tomorrow) for the return of Capitol Wrestling to Cathedral Hall. I was at the debut show back in March, and overall, it was a blast. The ambience was amazing, what with a wrestling ring plopped among scattered rows of pews in a sprawling church. My biggest gripe from that night was that I wish I knew it was BYO Space Heater.

This time around, sure, you’d think the return match between Jeff Cannonball and John Kermon would be enough to whet my whistle for a return trip to JC, but the main reason I’m heading to the Garden State is to partake in the Capitol Wrestling’s inaugural art show. This is exactly the type of event that should include an artistic sideshow to the one going on between the ropes.

TANGENT: About eight years ago, while I was in the New Jersey Devils’ marketing department, I suggested hosting a flea market-type event in our arena, The Prudential Center, either as part of concourse activities during intermissions of a game, or as a separate event. We were Jersey’s Team, and the idea was to host some local artists as another form of community outreach.

TANGENT WITHIN A TANGENT: The Jersey Flea Market/Art Show went same way as my suggestion to christen Section 16 the AlcoHoliks, and reward every fan seated there with a free beer whenever Bobby Holik scored. I don’t care what anyone says. This was brilliant, because Holik wasn’t ever going to put a puck in the back of net in 2009, but the lure of free beer would have popped attendance.

I wasn’t sure what to present at Capitol Wrestling II. My biggest contribution to wrestling art is this WWF-inspired piece that brought 15 minutes of notoriety back in 2013. At the first Capital Wrestling event, I had my brother take a few photos for me to use as reference for a painting that never happened. Salvador Dali has nothing on the surreal visual of being in a cathedral to watch a couple guys in their underwear pretend to beat the shit out one another.

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Sight unseen, I have this idea of what the other artists will be contributing to the show, and rather than offer a slightly different take on the same thing, I’m going a little more experimental, painting famous quotes and catch phrases in color schemes befitting the superstars who said them. I have one I need to finish, but here are the other four:

This could be a massive flop for me, or it could be great, but I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.

Now ring the damn bell.

Power Up Paintings!

Been a while since I’ve shared anything in this space, but aside from a long-term X-Men related project I hope to wrap up in the next month or so, I haven’t had too much to share.

TANGENT: It’s been so long that i even let the custom URL to this site expire, rather than cough up the $26 to keep it going another year. Times are tough in America.

That said, I got into a real painting frenzy over the past month, whittling down the canvas mountain that seemingly multiplies in my basement like a wet Mogwai.

TANGENT: I am slowly accepting the reality that I am…gulp…old. This Gremlins reference is so embarrassingly dated, yet I can’t think of one other thing that multiplies. I guess there are worse eras to be stuck in than the 80s and early 90s. 1850s comes to mind. 1340-1400 seems like another wretched time to be alive.

I’ve been fixated on Super Mario for over a year now, and I acrylicked (not a word!) some iconic power-ups from the extensive Mario Kart series.

Bullet Bill and the Piranha Plant are both 11×14″, and the others are all 12×12″.  If you’re familiar with my Muppets work, this is the same style, which, at this point, I think is safe to say is, simply, my style.

I lost my studio space to a freshly remodeled basement (re: new carpet), so painting took place in the garage, until winter determined it was too cold for that. So I moved into the boiler room, where there is barely enough space to set up an easel between the hot water heater and boiler. And that’s where the magic happens now.

 

These are available at my Etsy store.

Lemmy; Ghostbusters chatter

Lemmy

Lemmy Koopa is named after the iconic frontman of metal rockers Motörhead. Apparently, most of the Koopalings are named after famous musicians, from Beethoven to Roy Orbison. The more the you know…

Also, in my research for this 24×24″ collage (comics, magazines, a movie ticket to the new Ghostbusters movie*), I learned that the seven Koopalings (Lemmy, Larry, Iggy, Roy, Wendy, Ludwig and Morton), who originally debuted in the NES’s Super Mario Bros 3, are no longer classified as Bowser/King Koopa’s children!

I am shocked and appalled.

*TANGENT: I had time to kill, and Ghostbusters was the best option from a thin pool of viewing options. I have to say, as a silent hater every step of the way in the development of this remake, I was pleasantly surprised. The remake was good, and I laughed more than a few times. Not guffaws, mind you, but I consider a smile, or a “Heh,” a laugh.

The main villain is a guy by the name of Neil Casey, who I remember from my time studying improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City. So in a weird, vicarious way, i was a thrill for me to think it was a thrill for this guy I didn’t even actually know to be the primary antagonist in a Ghostbusters. I WOULD DO IT. And so would you.

I do think Ghostbusters ’16 should have expanded on the mythos and universe built in the first two movies, rather than reimagine it, and I’m still furious that Paul Feig so linearly gender-swapped his characters (three white scientists, one street smart black, Johnny-come-lately).

In my Ghostbusters sequel, Egon’s ghost would have been their spiritual advisor. Venkman likely would have had a daughter (probably illegitimate) involved either as a teammate, or better yet, an antagonist as the mayor’s disbelieving lackey. The cast wouldn’t have to all be the children of the original team, but SOME connection would have been a nice homage. (All members of the original cast, minus Rick Mornais, do make cameo appearances as new characters in Ghostbusters ’16.)

Anyway, good movie.

Bowser

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In response to my Super Mario collage from a few months back, here’s Bowser, made from a bunch of reaaaaaaaaaaaaally shitty comics, old Wizard magazines and Comic Shop News.

Yesterday morning, my almost-three-year-old asked me if she could help. “Daddy, can I glooooooo it, too?”

So I had her tie up some loose ends on the right arm.

I think I may go with Toad or Luigi next, or jump back over to cereal mascots.

MUPPET MONDAY: Bobo

One of my daughter’s favorites (not the painting, the character). Well, it’s one my favorite Muppet paintings, and here it is.

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Bobo is a Muppet who has steadily gained traction to now. To borrow a hockey term, he’s a solid two-way center. This isn’t the guy who’s going to score the game-winner every night, but he’s an integral part of the team, and really, the Muppets are the ultimate in celebrity teams. Not one of them could ever survive on their own. (Well, maybe Pepe. I could see him leading a sitcom starring an otherwise all-human cast.) It’s the summation of their part that makes the Muppets great, and its nice to see a new character break through to join the staples we all know and love.

But that brings me to the point: The Muppets has omitted some previously established well-known puppets. I’m playing devil’s advocate when I ask what happened to Walter, because I hated him from day one. But seriously, he was the star of the Muppets’ revival on the big screen in 2011 and now he’s… uh… in storage?The Muppets

We’ve also been without penguins and Camilla the chicken, Gonzo’s former main squeeze. If there’s background room for Crazy Harry, a personal favorite whose antics as a trigger happy bomber shouldn’t fit in the PC post-9/11 world, then there’s got to be a place for Camilla.

Muppets Tonight alumni Clifford and Johnny Fiama (and his monkey, Sal Minella) have been MIA for years, which is especially telling considering the visible, if not prominent, roles they held during the mid-90s through the earliest part of the 21st century. Meanwhile, fellow Muppets Tonight stars, Andy and Randy, Miss Piggy’s nephews, have at least had some blink-and-you’ll-miss-them moments in 2015.MuppetsTonightSandraBullock

Beauregard is stick clutching to whatever screen time he can get with a vice-like grip, but we’ve lost Pops and George the Janitor. (It looks like Beau inherited that glamorous gig.) I can’t remember the last time I saw Mildred Huxtetter, but it was probably the original Muppet Show.

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Beauregard and Andy (or Randy) sneak into a shot of otherwise well-known Muppets. At least we got Behemoth in a Santa cap, too.

I’d also like to see more of Gene/Behemoth, just because.the-muppets-abc-series-750x422

 

Iron Man as New Jersey

I used to be a great drinker. I don’t do many elicit or illegal or even mildly hazardous activities anymore, but I did have two glasses of wine at work just now and sweet maple syrup, do I feel wobbly. And in that time, I also painted/drew this commissioned Iron Man as New Jersey. (11×14″, watercolor and gold ink)

 Iron Man