If you know the context of this twitter conversation with Bill Cunningham, remove it from your mind and enjoy.
If you know the context of this twitter conversation with Bill Cunningham, remove it from your mind and enjoy.
So this is the result of the Secret Personal Project that I have been kind of alluding to, a victim of The Joker dead in the alley. A forced smile from the Joker Venom that entered her system and a rather happy Mr. Punch sprung from her stomach. The photo set, which is growing as I edit them, can be found right here. With a little luck (and money), this will be part one of something bigger, but I’m getting ahead of myself and should probably start at the beginning.
It all started, funnily enough, with the Arkham City “Riddler” trailer being released last month which led to a discussion with my friend Liam Leadbetter on how he was portrayed. I’ll be honest, while I do feel that the comparisons of Riddler and The Jigsaw Killer from the Saw series is a fair one, I was glad to see the Batman villain imagined as the way I always imagined him: as a super-intelligent serial killer obsessed with riddles and his own inflated ego. It was a far cry from the spandex green suit and the rather lighthearted view of him that I’ve normally seen of the character.
The conversation then progressed in to the methods of some of the more popular Batman villains, which led me to think more on the damage they leave behind. For a brief moment I imagined what it must be like to be a part of the Gotham Police Department and dealing with the bodies left behind by these twisted villains. What happens when the body has been found and Batman has either left or is on his way there, with the villain long gone? What happens when all that’s left is the victim, killed because they got in the way, or a message needed to be left or, even worse, was just killed for fun? And I’m not talking about the more famous victims, Jason Todd or Barbara Gordon where you get repeats of their attacks over and over. I’m talking about the security guard that Poison Ivy had to seduce to get in to the lab. I’m talking about the fast food manager that messed up the Joker’s order. I’m talking about the guy who the Riddler just had to use as writing paper for a riddle. The victims that are grouped in under the phrase “the people they’ve killed”, who have no name and are barely given a second thought.
And that’s where this came from.
A victim of the Joker’s was my choice for this mainly out of preference. He’s always been such an interesting villain to me. Within 12 hours of coming up with the concept, make up artist Blake Evernden, who I met on the set of SCARS, had agreed to help out and was already coming up with ideas on how to pull off the deadly smile from the joker Venom. And college friend and Sound Editor Andrea Cyr, bless her, had offered to be a model without knowing what the idea was. Thankfully she didn’t back off when I told her about it.
What followed was a series of rescheduling, picking up prop ingredients, getting location permission, multiple viewings of Batman: Under The Red Hood (The Joker parts so I could feel a bit mad) and, like any good artist has, multiple panic attacks.
But despite the rain, the shoot went incredibly. Through the use of silicone, Blake managed to make a freaky, twisted and terrifying smile out of Andrea’s beautiful face. In the end I was incredibly pleased with how it all looked and amazed that for the first time in a while, I managed to pull a vision in my head right out in to the real world.
So the question for me right now is where to take it. I could be happy with just this one set on the Joker’s victim but…well…I already have some ideas on other villains like Riddler, Poison Ivy, Clayface and Scarecrow and I kind of want to make a series out of this and maybe, just maybe, put on an exhibition in a comic shop or something. I’ll need to look in to getting permission from DC Comics, I’m thinking. My view on it is that if I’m wondering whether or not I need permission, I probably do. So we’ll see where that goes. Perhaps a Kickstarter can get set up so I’ll be able to afford props and makeup and other stuff.
We’ll see! But that’s what’s been going on with me for the last little while!
So I haven’t really been putting out work that much lately and thought that I’d explain a bit about it as well as inform you some of what’s been going on in my life.
A few things have been happening. My grandfather dying and the subsequent “going through his house and dealing with family” stuff had been taking up a lot of my time. And when I got back from NYC my day job, which consists of writing press releases, contacting members of the press and handling social media for various music artists, went in to overdrive with an album launch, tour launch, music video launch, television appearances, meet-and-greets and any upcoming promotions in between. My days have never been filled with more chaos and demands, all of which I can handle fine, but leave me rather uninspired to go out at the end of the day.
On top of that I’ve been using my evenings to focus on feeling like me again. Usually this is in the form of Ukulele Jams in Corktown and boxing lessons at Toronto Newsgirls. And Jesus, The Thirsty Wench. That…kind of blew up with success on me. More time than is prudent has been spent thinking of ways to expand it more as well as try and come across so I’m seen as someone who loves the craft and history of beer (which I am) and not as an alcoholic who will drink at any opportunity (which, you guessed it, I’m not)
Are they excuses for not doing so much with my personal art? Yep. Are they reasons? No. And if they are, they aren’t very good ones in my opinion. Rest assured that things will be picking up soon. In the coming months I’m planning for more collaborations and experiments. I’m also sketching ideas for a sekret studio shoot some time in the future. And yes, more NYC and other current pictures I’ve been stashing away will come out to play. I promise. Not just to you, but to myself.
And to seal the deal and celebrate the 4th of July, here’s a typical American.
Aw shucks, I guess I can finally talk about this! A selection of my photos will be appearing in the first issue of the Weaponizer Quarterly magazine, with one of my photos from the SCARS shoot on the flippin’ cover!
The magazine will feature some great fiction from friends Mo Ali, Andre Navarro, K. Patrick Glover and C. Brian Hickey and will feature some stonking great art by Emmanuel “MojoKingBee” Hernaez.
For more info, check out the official announcement from Weaponizer.
Well! I definitely have been seeing a bit of action lately. The shot above was taken on my first day on the set of SCARS, a slasher film being put together by my friend Sean K. Robb. Sean’s a great guy and is running this show with a crew of volunteers. I put my hand up because I wanted to add set photography to my list of skills (which will increase my chances in being hired) and…well, shit. There will be very few chances where I get to take pictures of people being murdered in quality studio lighting. It makes for a refreshing change from the grimy basements, as I always end up having to use my flash and the dude gets distracted…and so on. Check out some of the set on my Flickr
But it’s an absolute thrill to be working on this film. The crew have been nothing but professional and the producers make sure to let me know when something bloody is coming up so I can make plans. It’s also pretty fun to tell people stuff like “I’m off to shoot a stabbing in Chinatown” without giving context. For some reason I like feeling like I’m working for a snuff addict. As a friend of mine said, “This seems very consistent with your worldview and interests”.
Other, less bloody stuff has been going on. A few gigs for web sites that aren’t up yet, some shots of the Juno Cup, possible purchase for a book and I just got back from shooting George Canyon & Richard Marx performing and be presented with a gold record on Canada AM this morning. It’s exciting stuff and I wish I had more of it. Wait, I’m actually on my way to CMT after I have another coffee and send some of this morning’s pics off. Rockin’.
After a lot of people poking me to do so, I now have a beer blog up called The Thirsty Wench. What I think is setting me apart from other beer blogs is that I’m still discovering things right now, which makes it easier for people who don’t know much about beer to come discover with me. I’m really looking forward to seeing where it goes. I have some BIG PLANS for it.
Home brewing is also going pretty well. We’re alllllmost done the stout I made up. I have one batch I’m going to make first (a ginger chocolate ale) and then I’m thinking of making some nerd-inspired recipes (Darkseid Imperial Stout, anyone?).
REMNANTS: I don’t know. Ask Neil. I know he’s been working on a Murky Depths comic this last little while, though. Something WILL happen, it’s just a matter of when.
RIGHT. Well. I’m off.
Here is the info for the Steampunk exhibition opening at the Ontario Science Centre. I’ve been told that one of my photos will be part of it, so…that’s pretty cool.
Facebook event for it is here.
What started out as a sore throat seems to have turned in to the Hungarian Racka Flu (well, okay, it’s just the flu. But I can be dramatic. I’m SICK). Now…I’m one of those people who hates taking sick days. Staying in bed when I feel like walking around and doing stuff is something that brings out the angry Viking in me. It makes me feel weak and helpless, something that I can’t afford to be in most situations including an attack on my village. So I VERY rarely ever take sick days.
So I’m taking a fucking sick day.
But while I’m here with some time covered in my blanket with RED playing in the background, I can tell you what’s been going on in the past two weeks or so.
What started out as a facebook invite from fellow photo vixen Lex Machina to a Toronto steampunk fundraiser turned in to the “Difference Engineers” getting in touch with me about some photos I took of the Toronto Steampunk Society last year and them wanting to print one of them up for an upcoming Steampunk exhibit at the Ontario Science Centre starting up March 4th. There’s an opening event, but I’m not sure when it is yet. Will keep you posted when a flier or something turns up. But I’m pretty excited about it. The Ontario Science Centre was one of my absolute favorite places to go to as a child and as corny as it sounds, the thought that kids going on school trips there will see one of my photos just…makes me feel pretty damn good.
For those asking (with threats thrown in) about updates on REMNANTS, don’t worry. Neil is on it. But keep sending me dead things. I hang them up outside my house as a warning for my neighbours to leave me alone. It works.
There’s a new addition to my family. Yesterday, after paying off most of my computer at Futureshop, I decided to get in to debt again and purchase a brand new Nikon D90 body on one of those “don’t pay for a year” plans. Have messed around with it only a little bit, but it’s a BIG step up from my Nikon D50. Loving the quality and customization. Plus wirelessly controlling my external flash? Brilliant.
So…I think that’s it. There’s more, but I can’t talk about it right now. But THINGS, they are going on. Including two trips to NYC and MAYBE a trip to the UK.
But for now I have a strong desire for soup.
I have made this desktop wallpaper for you. Its name is Hello Sailor and I would be happy for you to share it with anyone you like so long as you leave my name on it.
This image by Veronika von Volkova is available in three delicious sizes over on her site.
You know how it is. You wake up, you take a look at the grey winter sky outside and decide to put on a sale for a week.
From NOW until FEBRUARY 7TH 8×10 PHOTOGRAPHY PRINTS ARE $10. That price INCLUDES cost of printing and shipping.
Take advantage of this while you can! It won’t happen again…until the next sale. *cough*