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Nov 202009

Dark Art.  Art that is Dark. Angst. Pain.  Nightmares composed of hideous things doing hideous things to other hideous things.  It’s everywhere.  It dominates our culture.

H.R Giger loves the dong!

C'mon people.  Admit it.....This sucks!

C’mon people. Admit it…..This sucks!

Oh poor Royo.  I feel your pain and agony.  Let me help you with that sack of money while you climb into your Ferrari.

Oh poor Royo. I feel your pain and agony. Let me help you with that sack of money while you climb into your Ferrari.

I am sick of it.

I’ll tell you what, I think it’s all a big scam and frankly I think it sucks.  There was always a dark corner for pasty faced weirdos to draw and paint a guy hanging from the nuts with fish hooks over a pit of demons.  A few dorks with no personality who read into the Sandman a bit too much had their little corner in the art world staked up.  Guess what?  Now these guys have taken over and the worst part is everyone is buying into it.  All of a sudden heroes couldn’t wear brightly colored costumes when fighting the minions of darkness.  Now the heroes are indistinguishable from the minions they fight.  You see it in movies, comics, video games and TV.

Everything is dark and angst ridden.

Why EVERYTHING?!!  Since when did it become uncool to be a good guy?  In the latest Superman movie he’s a dead beat dad stalker!!!! That’s not the big blue boy scout I recall!  If you ask me the world needs more good guys, both in reality as well as fiction.  Back in the early part of this century America and it’s allies fought the darkest emo douche bag of them all.  Adolf Hitler and his Nazi monsters.  They were bad.  Evil.  Even their friggin’ uniforms looked evil man!  Well our grand parents and great grandparents had a real clear cut view in their minds about Good Vs. Evil.  And what it meant to be one or the other.  Why?  Because their culture taught them that the guys in black are evil. There is a clear distinction between the two.  Look at the literature and pop culture of the time.  Flash Gordon, Tarzan, need I go on? If today’s soft, deluded and self centered   knuckleheads were transported to WWII the Nazis would have won. Go ahead send in the hate mail.  You know I’m right.

Today pop culture teaches that there is no good.  Every hero is just one traumatic experience away  from being a psychopath.  In order to defeat evil, good needs to be bad.  It’s deconstructionism, it’s edgy,  it’s LAZY WRITING.  ” Batman  beats  the derelict senseless in order to get the location of the Joker’s Lair.”  Is so much easier to write than perhaps  “Batman relies on detective skills to track down the Joker”  The writer would actually have to come up with an intricate plot that could possibly be interesting.  Nah, I’d rather read 22 pages of Batman pimp slapping a crackhead….again.

Every good guy has to act and look  evil or at least be dark.

Look at the costumes of super heroes in movies today. The only brightness is the gleam from the smile on the studio execs when they cash their paychecks. Everyone is dressed like the Matrix. It’s retarded.

Why was this made?

Why was this made?

Wolverine looks tame!  His hair is combed WTF?!!! What is this?  The black leather fetish  convention?

On the other hand….

Look at this Steranko X-men cover.  Brilliant and powerful.  These guys look like good guys and the book looks fun. Look everyone COLOR!!!

Steranko Rules Period.

Steranko Rules Period.

You gotta love the skull eyeballs.  Pure friggin’ Steranko my friends!

Or look at this exquisite George Perez mega cover!  Now those are super heroes!  Nothing dark and fruity about this!  These are the colors I want to see in film adaptations.  Why is this not possible?  Is Hollywood blind as well as stupid?  With HDTV and all that other hi tech crap this stuff should be pouring out of the screen and assaulting our senses! Nope.  Black leather and muted colors please.

George Perez Rules!  I mean look at this!

George Perez Rules! I mean look at this!

There are so many other avenues of the human condition yet to be explored by art.  Why have we collectively stopped at angst?  It’s self serving self indulgent crap.  Let’s grow up and see that there is a bigger world out there than vampires dressed in designer outfits.  I dare you!

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 Posted by at 12:54 am

  6 Responses to “The Art Of Darkness. Although Dorkness is more like it. Angst Wangst!”

  1. Thanks for the unique podcasts. Your “war” stories of you time in animation are great. You have mentioned that you have created 5 or so “properties” that are “interchangable”.
    I would like to encourage you to develop these ideas and not wait for someone with money to finance them. You can make you own books, animated movies and so on. You don’t need anyone else to “help” you. Don’t wait for a company or someone to get the ball rolling. Make an animated short, 5 minutes of one of your ideas. Make a book out of it next. Don’t worry about being perfect or anything like that. Just do it.
    The big mistake i made (in life) was waiting for someone to come along and say, “you can do this”. No one ever did. One day..I just started doing it.
    You have all the talent. Go for it.
    Throw 10 hours a week at an animated movie and in a couple weeks you have an animated short. People would kill for the kinid of abilities you take for granted. You are in a unique position..you have depth of experience in many things (comics, movies) and you can make all that yourself. You are blessed. Be your own production company. Good luck.

    • Dan thank you for your insightful comments! Although I think your comment about me taking my abilities for granted was a bit over the top, the rest of your advice quite valid. You have no idea what it’s been like for me in toon town. Suffice to say it hasn’t been a picnic. I appreciate the advice and positive boost in your writing!
      Do you work in animation?

  2. Dude, Awesome! I love the podcast and what you had to say. Two things though. Sweeney Todd was an old play/musical. I saw it as a kid in PBS once and it gave me the creeps. Burton didn’t invent it. Second, I’m curious to see if bright colored costumed heroes actually look good in live action movies. I need to see it actually done well before I’m convinced. So far, the closest to it I’ve seen is Ironman’s costume. Superhero costumes where originally taken from circus costumes. Do you think a guy walking around in a circus costume from the 20s and 30s can be taken seriously?

    I loved the Mexican time travelers man. I was laughing so hard I was crying!

    • I never said Burton invented Sweeney Todd. Regardless, it was messed up movie.

      As for circus costumes I believe if they look good as comics or cartoons, they will certainly look great in live action! The whole idea of putting on a cape and mask to fight crime is absurd Luis. Why are we playing down that aspect of Supers in cinema? Why not help suspend disbelief even more and really take people for a ride! It’s not supposed to be real life. It’s a fantasy. Why dull the colors? Remember Christopher Reeve’s Superman? Bright colors, no leather, no muscle suit, just a big handsome dude who could act in blue, yellow and red tights. We bought it hook line and sinker!

      It’s the word “cool.” That’s the problem. Ever since the late fifties when teen culture and the concept of “cool” was invented it all went to crap. Film makers are too worried about the costume looking “cool” that they have lost any concept of it being “fun!” In fact they would rather make it look fruity or fetishist than risk being labeled campy or worse square! Look at Spiderman. I’m sorry but where did a broke college kid get the moolah to make a state of the art latex and neoprene costume with textured web patterns? It looks like a committee of professional designers labored for months and spent millions to make the stupid thing and then made it way too dark. Peter Parker designed his costume himself and sewed it together himself. Ditko even made it look like Peter was influenced by Mexican Luchadores!

      Wait!!!! Look at Lucha Libre!!! Look how bold and bright some of those costumes are! It makes the Mexican wrestlers appear larger than life and way cooler than the idiot Gringo wrestlers with their black leather trenchcoats and biker boots.!!! It’s fun to watch them do their acrobatic fights and fling each other around!! There you go! Bright colored costumes in live action! It works!

      thanks Luis! Your insightful comments always get me thinking fun stuff!

      Viva ART!

  3. Good stuff! While I do agree that right now there IS a vampire “trend” going on (thank you Hollywood…), I also tend to think about what’s going around us–A recession, I know I’m one of the depressed (I tend to keep that side of me locked away in my subconscious world)but that’s what makes me connect with certain “dark art” <–as you would put it. I actually enjoy some of it. I am a fan of Luis Royo, not for the "fetishness" in his drawings, but more for the fantasy of it. If I could be a creature such as one in his drawings, all of my problems would not be….or so I am made to feel that way, at the same time when I view a drawing such as the HR Giger that you posted, it does nothing for me, yeah I loved the Alien movie, but the only thing in this drawing that I like is the way the shading was handled. (or painted or whatever medium was used). Oh and I did enjoy watching Sweeney Todd, I don't know why, I think it's because I like musicals & I also like Johnny Depp!
    : )

    • I just don’t like the phoniness of most Dark Art. Don’t get me wrong. I like some dark stuff too. Frida Kahlo. Her stuff is DARK!!!! But it’s real. She suffered greatly her whole life. I like Darkness when it’s real. But I don’t like it permeating everything the way it has. It just goes to show what a dysfunctional and socially retarded world we live in where everyone “is in a woefully dark sad place.” There are some folks producing dark stuff that is from the heart and is powerful as hell. It’s the posers I’m sick of. They think shocking equals dark. Shock for the sake of shock. Pointless if you ask me.

      I don’t see the dark stuff that’s all over the place relating to the economic meltdown. I think it’s more about selfish introverted people depressed about being lonely and “misunderstood”. Everyone thinks they are the Elephant Man. But that’s impossible. How can the majority be outcast loners? Remember it was back in the eighties and nineties when everyone was rolling in cash is when this stuff blew up.

      Royo is gimmicky and hasn’t evolved in 15 years. He paints a beautiful woman with a piercing gaze, and then turns her into a corpse. Ecch. I’d love to see him break out of the rut and take it to another level!
      In life, just like in painting there needs to be a balance between light and dark.

      I can’t get past the fetishism in work like Royo’s and Giger’s. You made some great points and really got me to think out my position Gras! Thanks!

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