Today’s sketch is the preliminary sketch for the background crowd of protesters for an establishing shot of the convention center at International storyline I did last year. I still like this original pencil drawing better than the finished inked version.
So I finally got around to seeing Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph. I was expecting good things for the most part. While I may not have liked the works of Disney’s Digital Animation studio quite as much as I like the works of say Pixar, Bolt and Tangled were perfectly solid pieces of work so I’d be perfectly willing to watch antybesides I’d been hearing good things about it from friends of whose opinions I trust
So while I was never into video games that much. My parents were never that big on us kids wasting our allowance that way and to make matters worse I totally sucked at them, because of that the arcade scene was something was something I was only aware of at a peripheral level. Despite all this the whimsical fantasy appealed to me greatly. I decided to make it my choice of Thanksgiving viewing.
Wreck-It Ralph tells the story of a 80s video game villain who after 30 years of smashing (and being thrown off of) the same apartment is developing serious dissatisfaction with his job.
His efforts to improve his lot in life takes him to a first person shooter game called Hero’s Duty and an anime style race game called Sugar Rush. In the mean time his absence in his own game has great consequences.
I had a great time the look of the thing was fantastic each of the different game worlds Niceland, Ralphs game is starkly minimalistic consisting of only the apartment and Ralph’s dump, the Sugar Rush world has you looking into getting an insulin prescription and Hero’s duty adds yet another weapon to the arsenal for anyone who is sick to death of all of Hollywood’s endless excuses for not doing quality science fiction films.
It was the little details of the fill that appealed to me were all of the references and cameos from other games. The way the Nicelanders move in a very jerky manner compared to everyone else since they are only background figures. I almost wish they had gone further with things like this. There is a scene where Fixit Felix Jr (The hero of Ralph’s game compliments the high resolution of Calhoun (the heroine of Hero’s Duty.) As far as we the viewers are concerned, both characters have the same resolution. I doubt I would have liked to seen the “real version” of a 12 bit character but I’m sure there would have been some ways to show the difference between characters in different generations of computer animation.
It’s hard not to watch Wreck-It Ralph without thinking of Toy Story. Both films deal with our playthings do when we all go home not to mention a certain level of existential angst in there for example it’s flat out said that one of the character’s “tragic back story” has been programmed into her so you know that it never happened even before you hear what it is. Also you can’t help noticing that none of the characters in this film are unique and one wonders if the thousands of other Ralphs have the same issues that the one in the movie does. (That last one is completely irrelevant to the film just an example of a chronic nitpicker thinking way too much about a kid’s film)
All in all Wreck-It Ralph was an entertaining piece of fluff that I would recommend to anyone.
For this week’s Rhapsody, I would like to apologize in advance for this one but it definitely appealed to my sense of whimsey… and the perverse. I just discovered the William Shatner version of Bohemian Rhapsody and I had to share the pain. Again… I’m sorry… really.
I’d like to say that my Thanksgiving went quite well. This year I went with my usual fall back, Thanksgiving Potluck at University Friends Meeting. Even though I’ll generally volunteer to help with set up no matter what. It always feels like my last resort option for where I want to actually have my feast. Thanksgiving doesn’t have the same emotional impact for me that Christmas does but it still never feels right to just ignore it. At the same time it always feels easier to score an invite for Thanksgiving then it does for Christmas, as most people that I know don’t see the need to go out of town for it. Perhaps because of all of these reasons I have a bad tendency to take my chances for granted.
So anyway this year it ended up biting me bad with the friends I thought I had a sure thing with going to Boston and me with no time to find a plan B. So here I was committing to the Potluck.
So I got myself a n early start setting my alarm clock for six and getting there at 7:30 (I don’t think I got as much sleep as I needed that night but no biggie. Anyway I was there to start help with the prep as well as join in on the breakfast being made for the SHARE group. Prep consisted of dicing giblets for stuffing, Peeling potatoes and Yams, setting up and setting tables, carving turkeys makings sure there was space in the single oven for everything that needed reheating (a loosing battle)
In the end we had one of the bigger groups for the feast that we had ever had in a long while. There were more than enough volunteers for clean up which was great. Having stayed till 3:30 doing in the dishes more than once it was nice to be the third wheel for a change. Finally I also scored a ton of leftovers which is always a good thing. (Especially when you come prepared with your own Tupperware)
Afterwards I went to see Wreck-It Ralph which I enjoyed very much (more on that later) The only thing that went poorly for the day was a meet up I had planned to go to in the evening. Nobody else showed up and I spent an hour drawing and nursing an IPA wondering if there was a cancellation on the event’s Facebook page that I had missed (there wasn’t)
Well this was all a very interesting weekend. Much more interesting than I had expected.
I had been invited to my friend and colleague, Mark Monlux‘s 50th birthday party. Unfortunately he lives in Tacoma and I am a bicyclist and metro rider. I did the research and on the bus a trip would have been been a five hour round trip costing a lot. So I had been accepting the fact that there was no way I could make it and at the same time since I owe Mark tons I was feeling really guilty about it and trying plans to make it up to him.
Fortunately all of this changed when I went to that Saturday’s Cartoonist Northwest meeting when I was able to get a ride from my friends Scott and Georgia Ball, who were also going after the meeting, at the very last minute… and by last minute I mean only five minutes to find a place to stow my bicycle in the U-District overnight. I’ve always been paranoid about leaving my bike anywhere for long periods of time ever since I got both of my wheels stolen one memorial day weekend in downtown Providence Rhode Island and while I know there’s nothing in Seattle that comes close to being like the mean streets of Providence, the University District is not exactly what anyone would call a crime free neighborhood.
Anyway the party was great, and it was great to finally meet all of the Tacoma cartoonists from the Cartoonist’s League of Absurd Washingtonians I’d heard so much about.
The next day I had to walk back to the U-District to pick up my bike. It was raining and I forgot to pack my helmet. I confess I was still worried whether my bike would be there in tact. I was comfortably sure it would still be there but I have a bad tendency to obsess about the five percent odds no matter how ridiculous they are.
Fortunately, the bike was there exactly where and how I had left it. In fact the only downside to all of this is it’s been a while since I’ve done the five and a half miles on foot and it involves a completely different set of muscles than the peddling. So here I am the next day stiff as a board.