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g-rad archives

February 20, 2008

Indie Indy

Raiders of the Lost Arc

That is a torrent file. What you get once you've downloaded it. Is something pretty great.

A few years ago I was reading about what Dan Clowes, comics artist and former Grand Rapids resident, was up to. He had recently just signed on to write the screenplay for a movie, based on real life, about a group of boys so inspired by Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc that they spent eight years doing a shot for shot remake of the story in their homes, backyards and surrounding area using a home video camera. That torrent file above leads to that movie.

I'm not sure if Dan Clowes is still working on that screenplay or if it will ever get made. But the whole thing reminds me of Be Kind Rewind. Which I'm sure most everyone knows is the new movie by Michel Gondry. Which has had a fairly huge marketing campaign behind it. One of the coolest parts of the marketing is the idea of Sweding. Which is basically remaking something you love on your own. It is sort of like doing a cover of a song you really love. Which is something I've always really loved. And I always wondered why this wasn't a more popular thing to do. When I first started playing in bands we learned how to play together by playing our favorite songs together. After graduating from film school I've always thought the coolest project would have been to recreate a scene from one of your favorite movies. Just de-construct and re-construct something. I'm not really sure why it isn't universal. It is a popular thing to do with jokes, you hear a great joke from your favorite comedian, and you might retell it, tailoring it to your needs. Yet trying to paint the Mona Lisa is considered something for hobbiests or hacks. Really weird.

Anyhow the Raiders remake has been getting a lot of press lately, I believe it recently showed at SXSW.

Posted by kyle at 9:17 PM | Comments ( 0)

January 29, 2008

Video Game!!!

I suggest everyone download this and play it. It is more story than game. And it only takes a few minutes to complete the whole thing.

Passage

Posted by kyle at 9:40 PM | Comments ( 0)

January 17, 2008

Nintendo DS

I drawn using Colors! on a Nintendo DS.

Posted by kyle at 10:30 PM | Comments ( 1)

January 8, 2008

The joys of slow days at work.


Monster from the_dejected on Vimeo.

Posted by kyle at 9:35 PM | Comments ( 3)

October 17, 2007

DC

Last week Audrey and I went to Washington DC for the annual Small Press Expo and a vacation. I would consider this to be the first real vacation of my, so-called, adult life. I'm 25. Sad. I know.

Washington DC is really nice. I felt oddly patriotic while walking the National Mall. In my past I was an extremely patriotic youth as a member and, shortly, adult leader of a Boy Scout troop. Being in DC brought back a lot of those feelings. It might have been that the last time I was there for any significant amount of time I was attending the Boy Scout National Jamboree. Honestly being in our nations capitol, ridiculous thing it is, made me have hope for the future. Which is odd because things now are most probably the worst they have been in my lifetime. But DC inspires hope, this hope often comes in the form of expertly chiseled granite and stone.

DC is also of course filled with museums. We visited our share. Including Air & Space, Natural History, Postal, Health and Medicine. The Health and Medicine museum is awesome. It is on the grounds of the Walter Reed Army hospital, armed guards check your ID and bag and intimidate you about your photographic devices before you even get on the grounds. It really gets you ready to view all of the deformed baby fetuses, ancient prosthetics, bullet shattered bones, children skeletons, hairballs, Victorian medical equipment and complete lack of other patrons. It is really worth going to, it is filled with gross-out wonders.

SPX was awesome, Anthony come out to look at all of the indie comix. I got alot of stuff including two books by Jeff Lemire, who is pretty great. Also the new Jason book, I Killed Adolph Hitler. And some other stuff. I also went to a few panels, which I like. One about the state of the comic strip which I found interesting. After SPX Audrey, Anthony and I went to Yuan Fu Vegetarian the best eatery in recorded history.

Sunday Anthony took us to some flea markets and showed us around a bit.

It was a really great time and I look forward to future vacations.

Posted by kyle at 9:58 PM | Comments ( 1)

August 23, 2007

Updates

I've been so lax in my duties as a blogger. It is pathetic.

***

A few weeks ago I fulfilled a dream I've had for years. I purchased a Vespa. What a great day that was. The next day after I insured, registered, and got my motorcycle permit I was riding with my friend Matt and I crashed it. Crashed it. Horrible. I broke a bone near my wrist, and messed my knee up, but didn't break it.

The Vespa is ok, just scratched and a little dented. It can all be easily fixed. But man I got to ride it for like 20 minutes before I had managed to crash it, and break my wrist making it impossible for me to ride it for another 3 weeks from now.

Sucky.

***

I've been reading "Reading Comics" by Douglas Wolk. It is a critical look at comics and what makes them work. So far it is OK. The writer spends alot of time talking about what he will soon be talking about. Alot of wasted words. But it has supplied some interesting insights. I love comics, and so I'm constantly compelled to read the book. I think comics are the most expressive form of story telling available to a single artist, and this book often backs up this idea. It is a good read for those who are deeply involved in reading comics of all sorts. I doubt it would appeal to those who aren't interested in taking a deep look at the medium.

***

I recently watched all of "The IT Crowd" season one. In many ways it is just a standard sitcom. But all of the in jokes, many of which are in the form of set decoration (many of which are references to independent comics), make the show really funny. The jokes about computer nerds, goths, weird bosses, thankless work make the show totally worth looking for. I believe all of the episodes can be viewed easily on Tvlinks.

An American version is going to be released here soon. Hopefully it too will be good.

***

I love the new Kanye West song. And this video for it.


***

Also I am on twitter .

Posted by kyle at 10:00 PM | Comments ( 4)

May 3, 2007

Glasses

For the first time in my life I have my very own medical insurance, I hate doctors. But I love glasses and I don't mind the optometrist very much at all. I have had a fascination with glasses since I was very young. In third grade a 20/20 vision version of myself once drew a picture of myself for a "what is one thing you'd change about yourself" assignment. That picture was me, plus a big pair of brown tortoise shell plastic frame glasses, like my father wore.

Back to my medical insurance. So I've been having a hard time reading the monitors at work and I realized that it has been over two year since I last had my vision checked. It gets progressively worse as the years go by and I'm sure that one day I will be declared legally blind. This aside I am excited to both use my insurance for the first time, and get new glasses. I've been looking at tons of frames. I want a different pair for everyday of the week. I want to be able to base entire "outfits" on my glasses. But before I spend my entire life savings on a weeks worth of eye wear, I need to get a new pair. So I was thinking...

I might get lenses put into these vintage frames I have. I've been collecting vintage glasses for awhile, but since my head is so freaking huge I have a hard time finding ones that fit (This doesn't prevent my from buying vintage frames where ever I find them though). These frames do fit though, and I like them pretty well. What do you guys think? Anyone ever had lenses made for vintage frames before? I never have.

None the less the prospect of getting some new glasses has me excited as does paying my co-pay.

***
Also I got a Wii, everyone go buy one.
***
Finally got a DS It is the best gaming system ever made.
***
Also I am the slackiest blogger ever..... I am sorry.


Posted by kyle at 9:46 PM | Comments ( 3)

February 25, 2007

Luck

I have really good collectors luck. Whenever I start to collect something new, I find a ton of it. I'm not sure how it happens, but it always does. For instance, Godzilla. Recently I've been really into Godzilla, and I've found many Godzilla VHS tapes for sale.

Also recently I've been trying to collect older hip hop and rap albums that I like. I'm not huge into hip hop, and I know next to nothing about it, but I do like many of the older groups. And this weekend I found a bunch that I wanted.

They Might Be Giants- Flood (not a hip hop album)

Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince- Rock the House

Run DMC- Raising Hell

Fatboys- Fatboys


I found all of these albums at the flea market. The 3 hip hop records only cost me 5 bucks total.

I think my luck might come from the fact that I'm not collecting things because of their value. I've always hated that. I collect this stuff because I want to hear it, or watch it, or read it. Not bag it up and let it collect dust, hoping to one day sell it at a huge profit. To me collecting is way to personal an activity for that. Those people aren't collectors they are investors.

When scrounging through records this kid with a huge goatee was standing next to me looking for old thrash and speed metal records, and loving it. He turns to me at one point and goes "I seriously love this man, coming here is where you find the good shit." and then he gives me the hugest grin, I just said "Totally man" as I contemplated buying an Oingo Boingo album.

Posted by kyle at 10:38 PM | Comments ( 3)

January 29, 2007

Films, fans and fams.

I, and this might come as a surprise, collect films. I don't mean movies really, though I do have a some of those as well, I mean 8mm and 16mm films. I've been collecting films like this since high school. It started with family films, but not my family films, other people's family films. I bought a few at a shop that converted 8mm movies to VHS tapes, they were films people didn't want anymore (which seems crazy to me). I then bought a few silent shorts, and then a sound western. Since then I've bought films everywhere flea markets and garage sales and thrift stores. Some of them narrative shorts, but mostly home movies. The home movies are the best. They capture a moment in time perfectly. Some of the best ones, and I don't yet own any of these, are ones from children who were aspiring film makers. I do own a few were the cameraman tries out a few neat camera tricks, like making the bulbs on the Christmas tree magically appear. But for the most part they are just normal events that the family saw fit to capture on film, vacations, birthdays, a day at the lake. It is all interesting to me, and some of it is beautiful. Nothing is more beautiful to me than kodachrome film anyhow, with it's very saturated colors, but add majestic vistas, 1950's station wagons, and old grandmas, and it turns into something greater than just the film stock. Anyhow, if you haven't seen any 16mm or 8mm films in real life, I suggest you make an attempt, it is really cool.



Family Films on Vimeo

Posted by kyle at 9:52 PM | Comments ( 3)

January 17, 2007

A new kit.

I have been, since I was a little kid, really into “kits”. Like spy kits, or science kits, or doctor kits. I’ve always liked them. When I was a kid I owned the coolest spy kit ever, it had guns that fired copper colored plastic bullets, and the guns could be hidden in things like a camera, and the briefcase the kit came packed in and the guns (there were 2 of them a big one and a small one) both have attachable silencers. I have looked for the kit on ebay regularly for the last 5 or 6 years, and have never found it. It was probably the coolest toy I ever owned. But I also owned a military mess kit, and a chemistry kit (with a lab coat which I saved my allowance for months to buy from the JC Penny catalog), a doctors kit, bug collecting kits. A lot of these kits were made by my parents out of stuff they’d find or make or whatever.

As time went on kits took on a more important role. As a boy scout I did a lot of backpack hiking and making my gear into an efficient kit was very important. As a teenager with a crappy car, it became important to have a “fix your car in the parking lot” kit. As a college student who lived off campus it became important to have a “all the stuff I need for the day” kit. Now that I work full time and commute a fairly long distance I’ve made a new kit, my “work pack” kit.

1. This is my bag. I think it is made by a company called ultra force. I bought it at an army surplus store, it is an all canvas bag. Lots of pockets inside. Best bag I have owned so far, and it was like 20 dollars.

2.I always have a book with me 9 times out of 10 it is a comic.

3.Digital camera. You never know when you need to take a picture, or want to. I carry this with me always. I don’t have a cell phone, if I did the need to carry this wouldn’t be as great since I’d more than likely have a camera on my phone.

4. Pens and pencils. In order. A 2 ended sharpie, fat on one side, fine on the other. A red ball point pen, I use this for script corrections at work. 5mm mechanical pencil, mechanical isn’t as practical as a regular sharpen style pencil since they break as stuff I’m willing to risk it though. Lastly I have Uni-ball Signo .28mm this is the best pen I’ve ever owned it was until recently the finest pen tip, there is now a Uni-ball Signo .18mm which I hope to get soon. These pens are usually imported from Japan and are kind of hard to find, but they are awesome and I suggest everyone get one. I use this to draw in my sketch book.

5. A small LED flashlight. You never know when you will need one.

6. My ipod. 30gb video.

7. Reporter style moleskine sketch book, which I use for sketching.

8.Mini moleskine sketchbook, which I mainly use to write down stuff I want to remember. Like movie titles or band names, stuff I want to look up later, things I have to do, and ideas that come to my mind.

9. Gameboy Advanced SP. I haven’t upgraded to a DS yet, that will come soon.

10. Headphones. These are cheap Koss ones that fold flat for easy carry around. They are more comfortable to me than the ear buds.

11. Ipod ear buds. Uncomfortable, but discrete.

I also usually have a lunch box, and some glove/ mitten hybrids, occasionally a video camera, and a scarf. But not always so they weren’t included.


Posted by kyle at 11:12 PM | Comments ( 8)

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