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Friday, July 31, 2015

Stan Lee

Stan Lee [born Stanley Martin Lieber, December 28, 1922] is an American comic book writer, editor, publisher, media producer, television host, actor, and former president and chairman of Marvel Comics.

In collaboration with several artists, including Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, he co-created Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Thor, the X-Men, and many other fictional characters, introducing complex, naturalistic characters and a thoroughly shared universe into superhero comic books. In addition, he headed the first major successful challenge to the industry's censorship organization, the Comics Code Authority, and forced it to reform its policies. Lee subsequently led the expansion of Marvel Comics from a small division of a publishing house to a large multimedia corporation.

He was inducted into the comic book industry's Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1995. Lee received a National Medal of Arts in 2008.

Stanley Martin Lieber was born on December 28, 1922 in New York City, in the apartment of his Romanian-born Jewish immigrant parents, Celia [née Solomon] and Jack Lieber, at the corner of West 98th Street and West End Avenue in Manhattan. His father, trained as a dress cutter, worked only sporadically after the Great Depression, and the family moved further uptown to Fort Washington Avenue, in Washington Heights, Manhattan. When Lee was nearly 9, his only sibling, brother Larry Lieber, was born. He said in 2006 that as a child he was influenced by books and movies, particularly those with Errol Flynn playing heroic roles. By the time Lee was in his teens, the family was living in a one-bedroom apartment at 1720 University Avenue in the Bronx. Lee described it as "a third-floor apartment facing out back", with him and his brother sharing a bedroom and his parents using a foldout couch.

Lee attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx. In his youth, Lee enjoyed writing, and entertained dreams of one day writing The Great American Novel. He has said that in his youth he worked such part-time jobs as writing obituaries for a news service and press releases for the National Tuberculosis Center; delivering sandwiches for the Jack May pharmacy to offices in Rockefeller Center; working as an office boy for a trouser manufacturer; ushering at the Rivoli Theater on Broadway; and selling subscriptions to the New York Herald Tribune newspaper. He graduated from high school early, aged 16½ in 1939, and joined the WPA Federal Theatre Project.

source: wikipedia

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Splashes of Color

Article by: Anna Gamboa

 Street art gets elevated and exposed to a wider audience at Bonifacio Global City.
Trust Bonifacio Global City to take street art to new levels. Visitors, residents and those working in the district were surprised as colors and forms began to take shape on many walls on large buildings. An initiative of the Bonifacio Arts Foundation, Inc., the group partnered with LA-based art consultancy Le Basse Projects to curate the right blend of Filipino and foreign artists.

One of the most-seen murals around BGC, Drew Merritt and Cyrcle collaborated on the huge mural of the sideways suspended spaceman, an impossible astronaut in grayscale with straight lime green neon bars woven in and out of the figure. Another work by Merritt portrays a stark, alluring and almost monochromatic pin-up girl, whose back is presented to the viewer.

Anjo Bolarda’s playful and dynamic lines converge in a candy-striped mural that dominates a wall near Bonifacio High Street, while Kristin Farr’s meditative and geometric works, cast an almost hypnotic spell with the rhythm and melody of repeating patterns and colors. There’s Faile’s pop-art mural, almost garish in color, but still eye-catching in composition. Some wonder what it’ll look like after some time, when the sun has bleached away most of the colors. Egg Fiasco and his haunting deer mural, looking like something conjured out of a surreal dream.

Do they awe because of their size or beauty? Not all the art on display is on an enormous scale—there are smaller works, hidden around a corner waiting to be discovered by eyes that seek the novel or unusual. Nate Frizzell’s charming and haunting child-sized mural of a pre-pubescent boy armed with a spray can trailing a bright yellow line after creating a quickly sketched tiger, a more realistic tiger’s mask suspended before him. Another work, playing on the almost totemic animal-child, rough-versus-fine art theme portrays a boy in a dark hoodie leaning against a quickly sketched bear standing on its hind legs. Or the little child in jeans and a raglan shirt perched with almost-cartoonish birds.

Showcasing the inclusive nature of public art, other murals and artworks are tucked away, Easter eggs hidden in BGC’s works and crannies waiting to be chanced upon by intrepid explorers of the cityscape, in this global stage featuring pop art in its playful and poetic forms. They now form part of the landscape, delightful surprises that draw the eye with their pops of color or surprising turns of lines.

Anna Gamboa
Anna Gamboa
Anna Gamboa

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Out-Faking The Fakers: Chinese Librarian Proud Of Forged Masters

Article by: Austin Ramzy
Paintings on preview for an auction in Hong Kong including works by Zhang Daqian (second from right) and Qi Baishi (left, second from left and third from left). Xiao Yuan said he copied paintings by both masters.Credit Adam Dean for The New York Times
A librarian who admitted to a court this week that he substituted his own paintings for works by Chinese masters, and then sold the originals at auction, insisted he was not the only one to carry out such fraud. He was simply the best at it.

Xiao Yuan, the author of several books on Chinese art and a former librarian at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, said he came up with the scheme when he began a project to digitize the school’s collection in 2003 and noticed that many originals had been replaced with fakes.


Monday, July 27, 2015


Peanuts is a syndicated daily and Sunday American comic strip written and illustrated by Charles M. Schulz, which ran from October 2, 1950, to February 13, 2000, continuing in reruns afterward. The strip is one of the most popular and influential in the history of comic strips, with 17,897 strips published in all, making it "arguably the longest story ever told by one human being". At its peak, Peanuts ran in over 2,600 newspapers, with a readership of 355 million in 75 countries, and was translated into 21 languages. It helped to cement the four-panel gag strip as the standard in the United States, and together with its merchandise earned Schulz more than $1 billion. Reprints of the strip are still syndicated and run in almost every U.S. newspaper.

Peanuts achieved considerable success with its television specials, several of which, including A Charlie Brown Christmas and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, won or were nominated for Emmy Awards. The holiday specials remain popular and are currently broadcast on ABC in the U.S. during the corresponding seasons. The Peanuts franchise met acclaim in theatre, with the stage musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown being a successful and often-performed production.

Peanuts has been described as "the most shining example of the American success story in the comic strip field"; this is ironic, given its theme is "the great American unsuccess story." The main character, Charlie Brown, is meek, nervous, and lacks self-confidence. He is unable to fly a kite, win a baseball game, or kick a football. In 2013, TV Guide ranked the Peanuts television specials the fourth Greatest TV Cartoon of All Time. A computer-animated feature film based on the strip, The Peanuts Movie, will be released on November 6, 2015.

source: wikipedia

Bugs Bunny at 75

Article by

The usual gestation period for a rabbit is a month. But Bugs Bunny, the iconic cartoon character who turns 75 on Monday, took a lot longer to come to life.

Scroll down to read that story–but not before watching a clip from his first official appearance, in the 1940 Tex Avery cartoon A Wild Hare. The Oscar-nominated cartoon has all the classic Bugs favorites: outwitting Elmer Fudd, the signature ears and tail, the “What’s up, Doc?”

 (Looney Tunes characters, names, and all related indicia are TM & © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. You can watch the whole thing here.)

Here’s how the world’s favorite cartoon rabbit came to be. Animator Chuck Jones gave credit to Tex Avery for the character, but Warner Bros. had made several rabbit cartoons in the studio’s earlier years. There were cutesy rabbits and wacky rabbits, but those rabbits aren’t Bugs. (One distinction, Jones explained, was that Bugs’ craziness always serves a purpose–in contrast to the unhinged Daffy Duck.)

The Wild Hare bunny is uncredited, though that changed before the year was up. Bugs was an instant star. By 1954, TIME noted that he was more popular than Mickey Mouse. (Mel Blanc, who voiced the character, later claimed that the name was his idea, saying that they were going to call the character Happy Rabbit, but that Blanc suggested naming him after animator Ben “Bugs” Hardaway. Alternatively, the name is sometimes traced to a sketch that designer Charles Thorson did on Hardaways’ request, with the caption “Bugs’ bunny”—as in, it was the bunny that Bugs had asked him to draw.)

Though Virgil Ross was the animator on A Wild Hare, Chuck Jones became one of the more famous hands behind the Bugs Bunny magic. In 1979, when The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie came out, TIME critic Richard Schickel noted that “it is possible that some day Animator Chuck Jones may come to be regarded as the American Bunuel” for the fact that Jones and the groundbreaking surrealist filmmaker so well understood the psychological underpinnings of comedy.

As these images from the late artist’s archives show, Bugs Bunny may have taken a long time to be born—but he sure has aged well.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Charles Schulz

 [November 26, 1922 – February 12, 2000], nicknamed Sparky, was an American cartoonist, best known for the comic strip Peanuts [which featured the characters Snoopy and Charlie Brown, among others]. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential cartoonists of all time, cited as a major influence by many later cartoonists. Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson wrote in 2007: "Peanuts pretty much defines the modern comic strip, so even now it's hard to see it with fresh eyes. The clean, minimalist drawings, the sarcastic humor, the unflinching emotional honesty, the inner thoughts of a household pet, the serious treatment of children, the wild fantasies, the merchandising on an enormous scale—in countless ways, Schulz blazed the wide trail that most every cartoonist since has tried to follow.

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Schulz grew up in Saint Paul. He was the only child of Carl Schulz, who was born in Germany, and Dena Halverson, who had Norwegian heritage. His uncle called him "Sparky" after the horse Spark Plug in Billy DeBeck's comic strip, Barney Google.

Schulz loved drawing and sometimes drew his family dog, Spike, who ate unusual things, such as pins and tacks. In 1937, Schulz drew a picture of Spike and sent it to Ripley's Believe It or Not!; his drawing appeared in Robert Ripley's syndicated panel, captioned, "A hunting dog that eats pins, tacks, and razor blades is owned by C. F. Schulz, St. Paul, Minn." and "Drawn by 'Sparky'" C.F. was his father, Carl Fred Schulz.

Schulz attended Richards Gordon Elementary School in Saint Paul, where he skipped two half-grades. He became a shy, timid teenager, perhaps as a result of being the youngest in his class at Central High School. One well-known episode in his high school life was the rejection of his drawings by his high school yearbook. A five-foot-tall statue of Snoopy was placed in the school's main office 60 years later.

Schulz's first group of regular cartoons, a weekly series of one-panel jokes entitled Li'l Folks, was published from 1947 to 1950 by the St. Paul Pioneer Press; he first used the name Charlie Brown for a character there, although he applied the name in four gags to three different boys as well as one buried in sand. The series also had a dog that looked much like Snoopy. In 1948, Schulz sold a cartoon to The Saturday Evening Post; the first out of 17 one-panel cartoons by Schulz that would be published there. In 1948, he tried to have Li'l Folks syndicated through the Newspaper Enterprise Association. Schulz would have been an independent contractor for the syndicate, unheard of in the 1940s, but the deal fell through. Li'l Folks was dropped from the Pioneer Press in January 1950.

Later that year, Schulz approached the United Feature Syndicate with the one-panel series Li'l Folks, and the syndicate became interested. However, by that time Schulz had also developed a comic strip, using normally four panels rather than one, and reportedly to Schulz's delight, the syndicate preferred this version. Peanuts made its first appearance on October 2, 1950, in seven newspapers. The weekly Sunday-page debuted on January 6, 1952. After a somewhat slow beginning, Peanuts eventually became one of the most popular comic strips of all time, as well as one of the most influential. Schulz also had a short-lived sports-oriented comic strip called It's Only a Game [1957–1959], but he abandoned it due to the demands of the successful Peanuts. From 1956 to 1965 he contributed a single-panel strip ["Young Pillars"] featuring teenagers to Youth, a publication associated with the Church of God.

In 1957 and 1961 he illustrated two volumes of Art Linkletter's Kids Say the Darndest Things, and in 1964 a collection of letters, Dear President Johnson, by Bill Adler.

source: wikipedia

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Chuck Jones

Charles Martin "Chuck" Jones [September 21, 1912 – February 22, 2002] was an American animator, cartoon artist, screenwriter, producer, and director of animated films, most memorably of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts for the Warner Bros. Cartoons studio. He directed many classic animated cartoon shorts starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, Pepé Le Pew, Porky Pig and a slew of other Warner characters.

After his career at Warner Bros. ended in 1962, Jones started Sib Tower 12 Productions, and began producing cartoons for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, including a new series of Tom and Jerry shorts and the television adaptation of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. He later started his own studio, Chuck Jones Enterprises, which created several one-shot specials, and periodically worked on Looney Tunes related works.

Jones was nominated for an Academy Award eight times and won three times, receiving awards for the cartoons For Scent-imental Reasons, So Much for So Little, and The Dot and the Line. He received an Honorary Academy Award in 1996 for his work in the animation industry. Film historian Leonard Maltin has praised Jones' work at Warner Bros., MGM and Chuck Jones Enterprises. He also said that the "feud" that there may have been between Jones and colleague Bob Clampett was mainly because they were so different from each other. In Jerry Beck's The 50 Greatest Cartoons, ten of the entries were directed by Jones, with four out of the five top cartoons being Jones shorts.

zource: wikipedia

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Julie Bell

Julie Bell [born October 21, 1958] is an American painter. A fantasy artist and wildlife artist, she is a former bodybuilder and fantasy model for her second husband, painter Boris Vallejo.

Bell was born in Beaumont, Texas. She married Donald E. Palumbo, an academic and "future science fiction scholar" with whom she moved many times. They had two sons, Anthony and David Palumbo, who are both artists. "Her life changed forever when she met Vallejo in 1989 and successively became his model, art student, and wife following her divorce from Palumbo.

Julie Bell has painted the cover illustrations of approximately 100 fantasy and science fiction books and magazines since 1990, including more than 90 in the 20 years to 2009. In the early 1990s, she illustrated painted covers for video games as well as best-selling trading cards for the superheroes of Marvel and DC. A cover art image from the Sega Game Gear video game Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe would depict the semi-barbaric world that the game took place in; thus being entitled Savage Land by Bell herself. She designed the award-winning Dragons of Destiny sculpture series, Mistress of the Dragon's Realm dagger series, as well as the Temptation Rides sculpture series produced by The Franklin Mint.

Julie and her second husband, Boris Vallejo, have done many paintings for advertising campaigns such as Nike, Inc., Coca-Cola and Toyota. She has painted the covers for two albums by musician, Meat Loaf: Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose and Hang Cool Teddy Bear.

Julie was the winner of the Chesley Award for Artistic Achievement in 2008. She also came first in animal category in the Art Renewal Center's 2011-2012 International Salon with the painting "Order of Wolves".

She also designed the cover art for Meat Loaf's albums Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose and its first single "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" and the album Hang Cool Teddy Bear.

In 2007, Bell and Vallejo illustrated the poster for Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters.

A yearly calendar of 13 paintings by Bell and Vallejo is produced by Workman Publishing.

Bell and Vallejo reside in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She has two sons, Anthony Palumbo and David Palumbo, both of whom are also professional painters.

Bell is a former nationally ranked competitive bodybuilder.

source: wikipedia

The Power of Photoshop Gradient Maps

Monday, July 20, 2015

Archie Comics

Archie Comic Publications, Inc. is an American comic book publisher headquartered in the village of Mamaroneck, New York, The comic is known for its many series featuring the fictional teenagers Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Reggie Mantle, and Jughead Jones. The characters were created by publisher/editor John L. Goldwater, written by Vic Bloom, and drawn by Bob Montana. They were based in part on people met by Goldwater "in the Midwest" during his travels throughout the United States while looking for jobs and places to stay.

Archie's first appearance in Pep Comics #22 on December 22, 1941, was drawn by Montana and written by Vic Bloom. With the creation of Archie, publisher Goldwater hoped to appeal to fans of the Andy Hardy movies starring Mickey Rooney. Archie Comics is also the title of the company's longest-running publication, the first issue appearing with a cover date of Winter 1942. Starting with issue #114, the title was shortened to simply Archie.

source: wikipedia

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Disney and Dali: Architects of the Imagination

Article from

Salted caramels and bitter chocolate tantalize not only our taste buds but our imaginations. Salvador Dali painted melting clocks and Walt Disney portrayed backward clocks and relentless watches in his animated Alice in Wonderland. Both men possessed the knowledge and ability to harness the sweet and sinister in the 1940’s. This outwardly odd-coupling was destined to become their joint venture Destino, which travelled its own labyrthine path until its release in 2003.

“Disney and Dali: Architects of the Imagination” curated by Ted Nicolaou, in the words of the Dali Museum’s Hank Hine, “a fine art experience and funhouse”, a chance to experience the friendship of these two magical minds in a myriad of objects, sound and film.

“Disney and Dalit: Architects of the Imagination,” will be on view at The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco through January 3, 2016.

All images courtesy of The Walt Disney Family Museum


Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Gorillaz are an English virtual band created in 1998 by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. The band consists of four animated members: 2D [lead vocals, keyboard], Murdoc Niccals [bass guitar], Noodle [guitar, keyboard, and backing vocals] and Russel Hobbs [drums and percussion]. These members are completely fictional and are not personas of any "real life" musicians involved in the project. Their fictional universe is explored through the band's website and music videos, as well as a number of other media, such as short cartoons. The music is a collaboration between various musicians, with Albarn being the only permanent musical contributor. Their style is an amalgamation of genres, with influences including rock, alternative, Britpop,  trip hop, hip hop, electronica, indie, dub, reggae and pop.

The band's 2001 debut album Gorillaz sold over seven million copies and earned them an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the Most Successful Virtual Band. It was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2001, but the nomination was later withdrawn at the band's request. Their second studio album, Demon Days, released in 2005, went five times platinum in the UK, double platinum in the United States, earned five Grammy Award nominations for 2006 and won one of them in the Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals category. The band has won numerous other awards, including two MTV Video Music Awards, an NME Award, three MTV Europe Music Awards, and have been nominated for nine Brit Awards. The combined sales of the Gorillaz and Demon Days albums had exceeded 15 million by 2007. The band's third studio album, Plastic Beach, was released in March 2010. Their latest album, The Fall, was released in December 2010 as a free download for fan club members, then in April 2011 as a physical release.

source: wikipedia