Friday, November 28, 2014

RIOT (1996)

I was recently asked by the folks who run The Laser Blast Film society at the Royal Cinema in Toronto to create a poster for their screening of PM entertainment's direct to VHS action classic RIOT staring Sugar Ray Leonard and Gary Daniels. So I did. They'll be showing it Dec. 19, 2014 at 9:30 pm, you should probably go.  It'll be fun! The trailer looks hilarious:

For more info follow this link: LINK

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sharknado 3: because, why not?

The plot for SHARKNADO 3' by Andrew Barr.
It's been three weeks since the events of Sharknado 2. Finn and his now ex-ex-wife April have decided that they no longer want to be in danger of encountering another Sharknado so they move to THE MOON! Mean while on earth, due to global warming, genetic engineering, and organic foods, tornados become sentient. These new sentient tornados make a pact with the sharks of the world to once and for all wipeout the human race. 
On board the international space station great strides are made in training dolphins to combat the threat of increasing numbers of sharknados. Unfortunately a Sharknado, disguised as a NASA scientist, has discovered this plan. An elite group of sharknados, headed up by a brash shark typhoon stage an attack on the ISS destroying it and all the the communications satellites communicating with the moon. But one dolphin escapes and heads to the moon to warn Finn and the moon that sharknados have made it off earth and are heading his way. Finn teams up with the dolphin to turn the moon into a giant antisharknado bomb to finally end the Sharknado threat. Will they succeed?
Yes. Yes they do.
But during a post credit sequence we find out the world is about to face a new threat...

Hurricrab is a giant spinning crab. Just one but he's huge.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sharknado 2: The Second One

So I did one of them Mondo type poster type things for the new Sharknado movie. 
The Asylum had a contest. I entered but didn't win. Oh, well.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Strange Case of a Horror Fan Or Do I Actually Like Horror?

So this past Friday I went out to see the "40th Anniversary 4K restoration of The Tobe Hooper Horror Classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre™" and came to a startling realization, I don't think the movie is very good. Not only that, I've started to question weather or not I'm ACTUALLY a horror fan, since I seem to hold views that seem to contradict the standard views of the average horror fan and occasionally seem to get weird looks and sometimes arguments because of my opinions. You are welcome to your opinion there's nothing wrong with having your own thoughts on things but here's mine.
Let's start with the above mentioned film, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a film regarded by almost everyone as a classic. Now don't get me wrong I think Tobe Hooper's a pretty good director, I really liked Invaders from Mars and Lifeforce is probably my favourite vampire flick, but there's not much going on in Chainsaw.
My biggest problem with the movie is there's no suspense once Leatherface shows up. The WHOLE Sawyer clan is LOUD, there's no way any of them can sneak up on anyone. Leatherface is either squealing like a pig, hooting or gibbering or revving his signature weapon, the chainsaw. His brother, the hitch-hiker, is likewise yelling and gibbering, waving his arms all over the place like a deranged ape. Their father, the cook? He's constantly yelling at them! Even the victim characters are loud. Whether it's shouting the name of their missing friend or screaming in terror, they are at full volume all the time. Even when they're supposed to be hiding from Leatherface they are SCREAMING!
 If it's your first time watching the movie, the lead up to the first kill lacks suspense since there's no reason to worry something bad is going to happen to the characters until something bad happens to the characters. If you've seen other slasher movies before you probably can tell the characters are making bad choices, but if this is the first movie of it's kind you've ever seen there's not much tension being built up as the characters approach the house. I guess something can be said for the use of shock in the movie. That first kill is pretty surprising when it happens but then everything that follows is just shock upon shock, it gets pretty numbing pretty quickly, which is fine since the movie doesn't have a high body count. The last half of the movie becomes an endurance test of how long can you care about this constantly screaming character. Fortunately the movie's not that long so you don't have to put up with her for very long. Is that a technique to create the sense of fear in an audience, constant loud noise? There's a chase scene that seems to go on forever which, due to the darkness of the area, seems to be made up of a repetition of the same four or five shots. Terror and suspense through repetition.
On the plus side the atmosphere is great. The house the Sawyers live in looks like it would smell horrible and it's pretty claustrophobic looking. The colour scheme really accentuates the hot, humid looking Texas summer. The Sawyers look pretty terrifying and unpleasant. Sadly there's very little plot, most of characters are either not very well defined or completely unlikeable. Watching it on the big screen really seemed to bring home to me that there's not much to the movie. I almost think you could cut it in half and have a pretty great, intense short film. It must also hold a record for the number of times someone blows a raspberry.
I guess I can see why people like the movie, but I don't understand how people can LOVE the movie. I enjoyed the sequels more (parts 2 and Leatherface) and honestly found the remake more entertaining.
Another thing I've discovered is I don't really get the love for Hellraiser. Hellraiser seems to be one of those movies you always hear horror fans going on about how great it is. Yes, Pinhead and the Cenobites look pretty cool but is that really a reason to make 9 of those movies?
Like Chainsaw there's things I like in the movie but most of them seem ill defined or maybe even made up in my own head. The Frank and Angelica characters are way more interesting than the Cenobites. Over the course of the first three movies Pinhead proves he's really terrible at his job. If you're mildly intelligent you could probably get away from him. Even if you're the one who summoned him. Even if you've done it MORE THAN ONCE! Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 should probably be called Hellraiser 2: Hellraiser Too, it seemed more than half that movie was made up of reused footage from Hellraiser to bring you up to speed as to what happened in the first movie. In the Third movie Pinhead is turned into a hilarious piece of sculpture and ends up having to convince some one dumb enough to get within kill range (about 15cm) in order to bring Hell on Earth. Fortunately for the plot that dummy exists and Pinhead gets to make the most hilarious versions of Cenobites yet! One is a bartender and there's one that shoots CDs out of his chest.
Strangely I enjoyed part 4 Bloodlines or as it's more fun to call it Hellraiser 4: In Space! Pinhead almost feels like a threat in this movie. I have yet to get around to watching the other ones but I'm probably going to say part 4 is the best. I hear most people think its the worst of the first 4 to which I say, "Have you actually seen the third one?" Come to think of it, I don't think I care much for Clive Barker's work in general. I don't think I've read anything by him I've enjoyed.
Another horror staple I'm not a fan of is The Blair Witch Project. It's actually a movie that I dislike to the point I tend to discount a person's taste in things if I find out they thought the movie was scary. I told this to someone once and they responded "You've never been lost in the woods or don't have much imagination."
I told them "I've never been trapped in the antarctic with a polymorphic alien life form either, but I think The Thing is scary."
I also don't find clowns scary. I don't think Tim Curry's Pennywise is the most terrifying thing in the world, nor do I think Stephen King's IT is as terrifying a read if you're not 12 years old. I really liked it when I read it at that age.
I'm usually not interested in stories about vampires, especially stories about Sexy Vampires (with few exceptions).
I don't care for the Walking Dead comic and if I hear something is about zombies I immediately stop caring. (I spent most of the 80s and 90s watching zombie flicks.)
I have no interest in movies like Human Centipede, A Serbian Movie or any of those torture movies that just show unpleasant things happening people (usually not written in a way where you actually care about them) to make you feel sick. That's what the news is for. I've never seen nor do I have any interest in seeing Cannibal Holocaust, Cannibal Ferrox or any of the Faces of Death movies.
I thought the "twist" ending of Haute Tension was dumb to the point it made the rest of the movie (which I thought was decent) terrible.
The Silence of the Lambs is a crime movie not a horror movie.
I really liked the look of the make up on the Freddy remake compared to his original look.
I don't automatically hate a movie just because it's a remake.
I thought the novel Frankenstein was really boring and kinda dumb.
I fell asleep watching Candyman and Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula, so I'm not sure how much of either I've actually seen.
Also Kane Hodder is probably my least favourite Jason Voorhees. Jason's a reanimated corpse by that point in the series, why's he breathing so heavy? Why's he breathing at all?
My favourite Dracula is Duncan Regehr.
I'm looking forward to seeing what Universal's going to do with their Marvel Cinematic Universe™ take on the Universal Monsters.
Feel free to comment if you want, I'm open to people trying to convince me I'm wrong or at least let me know what I'm not getting about some of these things.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Star Wars spin-off movie?

I've always thought the Ewoks don't get the respect they deserve as monsters. Everyone always goes on and on about how cute they are. Everyone forgets they were going to cook and eat Luke, Han, Chewie and R2 to celebrate the finding of their golden god (3PO) and welcome Princess Leia into their tribe.
Now with the new series gearing up and plans to do spin-off movies maybe we'll get a cool Ewok horror flick?
A guy can dream can't he.
Anyway I figured an ewok horror flick could follow the plot of something like Cannibal Holocaust or one of those cabin in the woods / dead teenager movies that were so popular in the '80s. So I did my own version of a poster for that based on the least disgusting of the Cannibal Holocaust posters.
as seen below.
Here's what the image looks like before I coloured it.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Monday, June 2, 2014

Life drawing at the Metro Toronto Zoo

Once in awhile Leigh and I get the urge to head to the zoo and do some life drawing and look at some animals. Life drawing at the zoo is fun but can be a little tough sometimes. Animals in the zoo are not the most cooperative models to draw from. They're either constantly on the move or asleep or hiding behind something so you can't see them. Here's my favourites from this last session.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Making Calabrese issue 2, part 1: the rough stage...

So I thought I'd give you guys the inside scoop on how I work when it comes to making a comic book! It's not really that exciting but here it goes. 
The first step is getting the script. This time I haven't written it. Instead I'm working from a script by the comic book genius Eric M Esquival, you may have read some of his work on Thor: Unkillable Thunder Christ, Blackest Terror, The Legend of Oz: Wicked West, Adventure Time or even Calabrese issue 1. Anyway once I get the script I give it a read through and start sketching up the characters. In this book the main characters are based on actual people: the worlds greatest horror rock band ™ Calabrese. So I start in on drawing those guys since that will give me a bit of a feel for the book.
Sometimes a character is hard to get a grip on. Bobby in this case so I'll spend some time playing with that character trying to nail down a look for him. Still not 1000% happy with his design...

Once I get some of the characters and stuff done I go back through the script and quickly thumbnail the entire book. These thumbnails are really rough. basically its just something that lets me get positions of characters down, a feel of what the book will look like when it's done. These thumbnails are tiny, no room for text at all but I have to block in areas where I think the text will go. I'm pretty sure most people would have a hard time reading these thumbnails but to me they're the spine of the art that's going to come later.
Thumbnails: lots of tiny hard to read pictures.
After I've finished roughing out the book I scan in all the thumbnails. Once they're scanned I print them out at roughly 8.5" X 11", a decent size to work with. This is the stage where if someone were to see what I was working on they'd see something that looks like a comic book. I take these blown up thumbnails and begin the task of actually drawing the comic book. I'm working with a Prismacolor Col-Erase violet pencil. Why? I don't know its just the pencil I tend to use when doing my art. Some times I'll use a mechanical pencil with B-hardness graphite or another color of Col-Erase (usually tuscon red). What ever tool I'm using its got to be dark enough that it over powers the cyan that I've printed the blown up thumbnails in.

Blown up thumbnails being refined with tighter pencils.
Better look at the pencils for page 1
better look at the pencils for page 2
During this stage I'll also go back and design some other characters, props, etc. Just so I have a break from the hard part of drawing comic pages. Designing stuff can be more fun than the actual comic page drawing part. Especially when the stuff you've got to design is monsters.
Once I finish this stage of penciling, I'll scan everything and blow them up to 11" X 17" and print those out again. From there I might have to tighten up the pencils, adding details that were too small to draw at this stage, maybe redraw some things, then it's time to ink.
I'll show you those stages in the future.
Until next time...

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Strangest E-mail I've Ever Received: A True Tale of Mystery and the Macabre

I know usually this blog is full of creepy monster drawings and discussions of horror movies or other cool things like that, however today I received a strange e-mail. An e-mail from a complete stranger. An e-mail with a subject line that absolutely screamed don't bother reading this.
Titled "You are not going to believe this – not spam" I was completely convinced I was going to believe it and it was totally a piece of E-mail spam. I was completely wrong. The e-mail contained a strange tale from a man I had never known. A man involved in an important archeological dig in the wilds of New Mexico. A dig that would prove what many thought legend was, in fact, truth. This man, a man of letters not faith, was soon to under go an experience that can not be explained!
What you are about to read is the ACTUAL e-mail sent to me, May 8, 2014. The names of people and institutions involved have been removed to protect the innocent:


So first off, let me tell you a bit about myself.  I have two college diplomas (one in film and one in Multi-media) and have a BSc with a double major in Biology and Psychology.  I'm not religious or believe in many things that I cannot see but quantum mechanics has been teaching me anything is possible.  For the most part - I'm pretty sane and a skeptic. You may have heard a couple weeks ago a they dug up some ET cartridges in Alamagordo.  I was there.  I've attached a pic of myself at the dig.

I flew to El Paso from Ottawa on the 23rd, rented a car and drove around New Mexico for a couple days before the dig for some adventure.  It was an awesome couple days.  I ended up in a place called Carlsbad and had to drive to Alamogordo from there, this road took me through the mountains.  Now, I am also a musician and collect rare musical instruments - so I listen to absolutely everything.  As I came around one of the mountains, I lost the radio signal of the classic rock station I was listening to and when the radio came back it was playing another station's music - happens all the time.  It seemed like the perfect thing to listen too for this part of the drive so I kept it on and really got into it.  I took some video so I could shazam the song later and buy it on itunes.  

Here is the actual video I took

Here is the tune

So ever since this drive to go dig up the ET cartridges I have been listening to this album over and over.  When I find something I like I usually obsess over it for a time.  So, this is where things get weird...  I get these dreams where my wife is sleeping with another guy and they drive me nuts, I'm always trying to figure out who the hell this guy is ( its all a dream).  Well, last night I got a name... Andrew Barr.  Now, I have never heard the name before and don't believe I have read the name anywhere and I apologize if you are a popular artist.  As I work in an art field and many of my good friends (and employees) are illustrators, I have never come across your work or your name.  So when I awoke this morning I thought i would Google the name for shits and giggles - I was groggy as hell and just started clicking links that came up on my Iphone and I came across your ET illustration.  Pardon the language, but its a pretty fucking crazy coincidence.  Here I am listening to this Sephardic music pretty much non stop ever since the ET dig, get your name from a dream and it brings me to a Jewish ET.  Absolutley, utterly bizarre.  

Just thought I would share.

PS.  I like your stuff and might buy a print

PS. no, you can not meet my wife.

My response:
I have been experimenting with black magic in order to get my name and art out into the collective unconscious recently, these results are not quite what I was hoping for. Your dream version of me is behaving completely out of character compared to the real me, I'll have to breakdown that spell to see where it's going wrong. It's completely the not the message I was hoping to have hitting peoples minds. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Pretty cool that you guys actually found the E.T.s was there anything else in the pit? You know you weren't supposed to disturb what was buried there.

your pal,

P.S. tell your wife I said "Hi!"

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sketch Dailies: Medusa

Saw this Sketch Dailies thing on twitter, Figured I'd join in. here's the first one I've had a chance to do. Their topic for March 11 was Medusa. Here's my sketch.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Some new additions to my Etsy Shop.

I've put a couple copies of some of my recent prints up for sale in my Etsy shop.

Each of these are available now! buy-em while they last! Monstershop!

Monday, February 24, 2014

In the Mouth of Madness

Probably my favourite John Carpenter flick, I think I may actually like it more than "The Thing"!
Since I'll be going to the Toronto Comicon next week I'm trying to get some new art done for it. I'll probably print this and the other two Mondo style posters I did (Three O'clock High and Prince of Darkness) on top of my art books and ink monster drawings.
Since the image on this blog isn't that big, here's a couple of closeups of a couple of bits of the poster.
closeup of the lettering in the title

John Trent drawing crosses

not that much closer that in the poster, but I like the shadow hands.

Friday, February 21, 2014

My next BIG project: behind the scenes peeks. Calabrese Issue 2, character design stuff.

So over the next few months I'll be working on a new Comical Book project. Is it a new Something-A-Go-Go book? Not yet, I hope to be working on that as too. For now however lets focus on the one that I'm getting payed to do.
Way back in 2010 I had helped the band Calabrese put together a comic book based on their fantastic adventures. the book was written by Eric M. Esquivel (Blackest Terror, Thor: Unkillable Thunder Christ, Legend of Oz, Loki: Ragnarok and Roll) and drawn by Dave Baker, I did a couple pieces for the inside front and back covers. It's a fun book and if you can you should by multiple copies.
Anyway flash forward to now. Eric had written a script for the second issue but Calabrese had been too busy fighting vampires, turning in to werewolves,  fighting ninjas and basically just doing all the cool stuff rock bands do in their spare time. When they realized they still hadn't put out the second issue they asked me if I could do it. I said sure. Now I'm working on the new Calabrese adventure.
Since it's going to take a while and I'll be producing a bunch of preliminary art I figure I'd share some of it here, let you see a bit of my work process. Hopefully it will get you excited to see the final comic when it's available.

Here's a look at my designs for the three brothers.
I'm not really used to doing comic books based on real people so its been a fun challenge trying to get them to look like them selves.
I'm also trying to bridge the look they had in the first issue, which  I believe this was during "They Call Us Death: CALABRESE III",  and their current "Born with a Scorpion's Touch" look mixing in a bit of the "Dayglo Necros" phase of their adventures.
Here's the brothers. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. Bobby's face is still giving me trouble but I think I'm getting closer to how I see it.
Davey's my favourite so far but I think he's going to be a pain to draw when I finally get to the actual comic. Hopefully I'll be more comfortable with the characters by then.
I'll post other characters and props and such as I do them. 
I also will be building a size comparison chart as I go so that I can keep a rough estimate in my head about the relative sizes of everyone.
I'll also be doing some random art featuring the guys and monsters and stuff just to get used to drawing them. I hope you guys enjoy seeing this stuff since I'll probably be posting a lot of it. I'll be trying to pos some more finished things too. I hope you'll continue on this adventure with me it should be pretty fun.
Believe in Rock n Roll.

Toronto Comicon! March 7–9, 2014

Leigh and I will be in Artist Alley at the Toronto Comicon this year. This is the first year we're doing this convention so if you're going please swing by and say "Hi!"
We'll be selling some prints and some original ink drawings of monsters and horror stuff, pinups, some cute art and a few art books. Get 'em while they last.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


 Body/Mind/Change has released some video of the day I went and had my POD™ implant put in. There were a few days of side-effects (nose bleeds, head-aches, hallucinations) but they've cleared up. It's pretty exciting being part of this first wave of enhanced humans. Really looking forward to seeing what POD™will do for me!

Monday, February 10, 2014

I won a Silver Medal in the 2014 Society of News Design Awards.

It's nice to know someone appreciated the headache that was the Walking Dead graphic. A project that was equal parts fun and frustrating. The print version only covers up to the mid-season finale of season three. I actually continued this graphic up to the end of that season with some extra bits and pieces and a composite image by Richard Johnson using all the little zombies that filled the rest of the piece which you can find here: The Stopped Dead: A Statistical Look Back at the Walking Dead So Far.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Three O'clock High

After getting Matt Tobin's ridiculously cool "Die Hard" poster on the weekend (thanks Matt!). I felt like doing a poster for "Three O'Clock High." So I did. Here's my "Mondo style" take on the classic movie about a bully wanting to beat the snot out of a nerd in high school. one of my favourite teen movies from the '80s


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...