The Uncanny Eggs Men vs Eggneto

MojosWork:

Throwing it back two years ago with the world’s greatest Easter eggs. Happy Easter!

Originally posted on Mojo's Work:

I’ve been bitten by some sort of creative bug – hopefully radioactive – so I haven’t had time to blather on about random pop cultury things that inspire me.

One of these ideas I’ve had is the creation of the Uncanny Eggs Men. I don’t remember how the idea struck me, but suddenly, there it was. And here it is:

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COLLAGE: Dazzler (10×10″)

So Asbury is the rearview mirror, and the initial disappointment with my financial gain from the show has dissipated with an influx of post-show commission requests. Feels good. I also found a guy willing to photograph my paintings so I can make some prints. This has burned me twice over already. No mas, señor.

Meanwhile, the beat goes on, cuz if you ain’t going forward, you’re moving backwards. (I coined that phrase, but I’m sure someone smarter said it before, unbeknownst to me.) I’m looking to produce as many collages of X-Men women as possible between now and whenever the One-Shot Gallery “Daughters of the Atom” exhibit opens. If that means a dozen collages, sick. If it means three, so be it, but it better be more than three because this Dazzler is already #2.DazzlerI know One-Shot won’t display all my collages, but if I can get a couple really good ones in the show, maybe it spills over into that holy land where people stumble onto my site and see other things they want to own. I don’t think I would be this motivated to create if I wasn’t a father. Seriously, everything I do is with my daughter in mind. The little scamp is next to me playing with a TV remote and forcing out a turd as I type/edit this post.

Anyway, enough about that girl, and onto the one this entry is about: Alison Blaire/Dazzler. The character history of this X-Man is one of the most unique in comics. She was the ambitious, if not terrible, joint creation between Marvel and Casablanca Records. The original plan was that Marvel would have a new badass superhero in its expanding stable, and Casablanca would create a real life analog of the character, manufactured to be their next musical sensation. She was intended to be a disco queen, but ABBA was getting death threats by the time this concept hit paper.

As expected, someone at Casablanca (wisely) got cold feet, and Marvel was left holding the bag, so they went ahead and launched a Dazzler comic book, of which I own EVERY. SINGLE. ISSUE. Why? I don’t know. I went on this eBay feeding frenzy a few years back when I bought a lot of stupid shit. (I also own every episode of the 1990s animated series, The Tick. On VHS. Homemade. My life is filled with bad choices.) She’s predominantly been either an X-Men B-list character or somewhere in creative limbo, although she once took on Dr. Doom and lived to tell the tell.

My collage is based off Alison’s look in Excalibur about five…holyshit…nearly 10 years ago. Oh I’m so depressed with how old I am. Sigh… also, I had an intern pose for me, and I based the composition on that photograph. The intern thought I was weird, but went along with it anyway. This is the problem with kids today. Too comfortable with photos, social media, video… any weirdo can take some pics of them. So who’s dumber now? The kid who lets a weirdo take her picture after an ambiguous explanation, or the idiot who blew $70 on bootleg VHS tapes?

 

Asbury Park Comic Con II: Day 2

I was EXHAUSTED after Day 1. I run marathons. I have a baby who is only quiet if you stand while holding her. I should be ready for a day of hanging out at a table covered in paintings, but constantly smiling and being as friendly as possible is taxing!

My buddy Rick couldn’t come with me both days, so I needed a new helper monkey. Movie Squirrel was at home caring for our little Bean, and even if she wasn’t, I don’t know if she has another convention in her system. My dad couldn’t be bothered. It’s not his thing. Ditto my fist-pumping brother. My other brother was MIA, and anyway, his aviary of fucks would have flown away before he spent a day at the Con. My other local friends were all recovering from a wedding. So I was the guy who worked a vendor’s table at a comic book convention with his mom.

We parked in the EXACT same is-this-a-spot parking spot as the previous day. Still no ticket.

setupLess than five minutes into the show, this guy who I vaguely remembered from Saturday, flew in with a red cape, sunglasses and pink-and-black Superman tee, from which I could have wrung out the three bottles of cologne he doused himself with. “THE POWER RANGERS PAINTING IS STILL HERE?!? TWO HUNDRED BUCKS, RIGHT?!?” I nodded. “I’LL BE RIGHT BACK!” And he was. Big sale to kick off the day.

My hopes were high, but it really slowed down after that. My cousin came with his kids, one of whom I have never heard speak in four years. I thought this was the day. It wasn’t.

Some lady flipped through my Muppet paintings.
“You got Elmo?”
“Sorry. I already sold that one.”
“Oh.”
“Is there any other specific character you’re looking for?”
“Yeah.”
“Who?”
“Do you have Elmo?”

I hate when people stand in front of the table, milling about, planning whatever the hell they’re doing next, but not engaging me or my table. You’re just in the way and blocking people who might want to stop by and see what I’ve got.

So many inquiries on the Joker, and in my response, I was surprised no one tried to bargain with me. Maybe they thought they were being offensive? Seriously, quantifying how to sell art is so difficult. I don’t want to scare people, but I don’t want to undercut myself. Such a fine line. I’ll say this. My mom was probably right in saying I should have had a couple more sweetheart deals just to move some more work. Next time. (EDIT: Doesn’t matter. 48 hours after the show, a collector has stepped up and purchased this massive piece. So stoked.)

I came close on a couple BIG sales, but the internet screwed me over. That’s the downside of the world wide web. It removes the urgency from making impulse buys you will later regret. (This is no way to talk about my work!) I had a bunch of people say they’d get in contact with me, and truth be told, a few days after the show, some already have. And that’s where the real barometer of success is. How much residual business can you get in the aftermath of a convention like that? I’ve noticed a slight uptick in my social media pages. I mean, to anyone who’s anyone, it’s beyond negligible, but for a small-time putz like me, it’s a big deal.

Some days, you just can't get rid of a bomb.

Some days, you just can’t get rid of a bomb.

Asbury Park Comic Con II: Day 1

Some notes from the show…

I went to the drive thru window of TD Bank to collect change before the con. Being a city person – working, living or both – for the entirety of my adult life, I have never gone to a bank drive thru before. I wonder if anyone has ever tried to rob a drive thru bank window before. I feel like someone in England would do this. I don’t know why I think that.

Found an incredible free parking space two blocks from the show thanks to my friend and assistant-for-a-day, Rick. Right there on the corner, outside of the evil, DON’T PARK HERE yellow line marking the personal space of a fire hydrant, but close enough that every chud on the road would be too scared to risk a ticket. (I did not get one.)

We were on the second floor of the Berkeley Hotel, and did a full lap around the room – vendor spaces were against the wall and some were located back-to-back in the center of the room – when I realized my table was front and center, the first thing anyone would see when they climbed the stairs or exited the elevator. It was the perfect spot and I plopped my Joker painting in full view of everything.

The Joker

Chris Claremont sat across from me. I got a nice tan from his star power.

Mike and Ming of Comic Book Men were also in my room, at the back wall. I’m assuming a lot of people wanted to see them, and they also generated traffic for me. Big thanks to Cliff Galbraith and Rob Bruce for giving me such prime real estate at their show.

Right off the bat a guy in a wheelchair commented on the Joker, and then proceeded to tell me my name (it was not printed ANYWHERE) and talk about my IMDB page, which consists of a single credit. It kinda creeped me out how he knew so much about me, but it all made sense when he told me that I was in HIS movie, too, when I was interviewed by a man in a naked suit at last year’s Asbury Park Comic Con. He gave me a copy of the DVD (100 minutes), and then dug into his bag to hand off another copy, the 90 minute “family version.” I’m so afraid of what I’m going to see in this documentary.

Here’s the biggest problem with my work and these conventions that I’ve noticed. I’ve got original canvas artwork in various sizes, from 12×12″ up to 30×40″. A single six-foot table isn’t gonna cut it, and there aren’t enough people ready to plunk down a couple bills for a painting to justify me buying a larger space. I need to develop some sort of hanging system, maybe a metal shelf I can build and break down at every show. My parents suggested easels, but how many easels can I possibly fit in that nook? So as a result, I’ve just got this sloppy display where you really gotta work to see everything. Maybe that’s part of the charm, and maybe that makes me more endearing, a true artist, disheveled and messy. Or maybe its all annoying and I’m a fucking slob.

Sold the Stop! collage to a guy I chatted with for about a half-hour. He thought it was a print, and even after I assured him it wasn’t, he was afraid to touch the piece. I told him I have a daughter who spits on everything, so he shouldn’t worry. We’re gonna grab lunch this week, and he wants to get me an Asian.

22" x 22"

22″ x 22″

It was loud in the room, and I misheard the guy. He wants to get me an AGENT. Agent. Not Asian.

It was also five million degrees in that room. I’m a little surprised the glue holding my collages together didn’t get sticky again, and thankfully, no Muppet faces melted off the page.

People love the New Jersey Badasses, and they sold at a decent clip, but not nearly as fast as I anticipated. Maybe people don’t love Jersey as much as I thought they did. One lady asked,”Why are they all so fat?” I wish Movie Squirrel was with me; she also wondered why I was painting “all these potbellies.”

I met a girl from a bar called Roxy and Duke’s. I’ll be participating in their 3rd annual Psycho Sunday, September 7th. I’m thinking it’s gonna be collages all day, all the way.

The Power Rangers painting I created last year was by far my most talked-about piece, but it remained in my possession all day. I sometimes wonder if my prices are crazy, but then I stumble across equally unknown talents, and they’re rally charging astronomical prices for half the size, half the work. So I tell myself that I don’t need 100 people to buy a painting, it just takes one, and to hold fast.

A guy who said he had the 1966 Batmobile outside asked if I would pose with the painting next to the car and Batman after the show. Uh, freaking duh, man.JokerinBatmobile

I don’t give a shit if any of my work is ever in a museum. Suck a nut, The Louvre, my painting was in THE BATMOBILE.

We finished off an 11-hour day in which I was only fueled by two bananas, an apple (and its core), and two granola bars with sliders (meatball, pulled pork, Buffalo chicken) and “Irish nachos,” a sloppy/delicious plate with all the typical fixins’ of a regular nacho platter, plus pulled pork, and substituting chips with thinly sliced potatoes. Incredible.

Stanley Cup Predictions: 2014 1st Round

I don’t know anything about the NHL in 2014. I grew up around the game and worked in the NHL for 3 seasons, but my career took me to greener pastures in 2010. It was the first time in my life I had no ties to the game, and it was a little liberating. I got roped back in two years later when the Devils crushed the Rangers’ championship dreams on Adam Henrique’s back-breaking, nut-cracking, series-clinching goal against Henrik “Overrated” Lundqvist and went on to Finals, only to get smoked by the white-hot Los Angeles Kings.

They ALMOST got me back for good, but then there was ANOTHER lockout, the FOURTH work stoppage since I was 10, and I was so pissed off, I’ve watched about 3 games in the last 18 months. Starting a family and making a baby have also been good distractions.

That said, I still think it’s time to make some predictions.
Boston Bruins vs Detroit Red Wings: I guess the Red Wings have had the Bruins number this year, but this is the playoffs, and there are more good players still playing for Boston from when I watched regularly than there are on the Wings. Bruins in six.Amazing pizza.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Montreal Canadiens: I’ve had a soft spot for the Canadiens since I was a kid, when the Devils inherited some of Montreal’s decent players (Tom Chorske), great players and coaches (Claude Lemieux, Stephane Richer, Jacques Lemaire, Larry Robinson, Jacques Caron) and Lyle Odelein. Tampa Bay is going to play at least four road games in a row, because Canadiens fans are gonna PACK the Lightning arena. And that’s really annoying. So annoying that the Lightning will be too motivated to lose, and that’s a shame. Because I like the Habs. Lightning in five.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Columbus Blue Jackets: The Blue Jackets sound like a scrappy team with a stupid name, and after every year since forever of being terrible, I guess they finally have a shot at winning a playoff game. Like Canadiens fans invading Tampa Bay, those goddamn Pens fans are going to occupy Columbus, and while the Jackets are in no way going to win this series, maybe they can break someone’s leg on the other side. Pens in five.Pittsburgh Penguins

New York Rangers vs Philadelphia Flyers: Both teams fall into a hole in the ground and forfeit, allowing the Bruins a bye to the Conference Finals.

Colorado Avalanche vs Minnesota Wild: Colorado’s good again? Okay. Avs in six. Because I’m still sick of the 2012 media coverage of Suter-and-Parise-to-Minnesota.

St. Louis Blues vs Chicago Blackhawks: A guy at the gym with spaghetti stains all over his shirt told me this is the Blues’ year. He was an idiot savant and knew every player, coach, GM and director of marketing in the NHL, so I will take his word for it. Blues in six.St. Louis Blues

Anaheim Ducks vs Dallas Stars: I have to base this on the tried and true method of sports betting perfected by every airhead woman in America. Who has nicer clothes? The Ducks’ jerseys, colors and logo are way better than Dallas. Ducks in six.2007 Stanley Cup Champions

San Jose Sharks vs Los Angeles Kings: That serial killer from the gym picked the Sharks as his back-up winner for the Cup, so… Sharks in seven.

RIP Ultimate Warrior

I almost called out of work today for bereavement leave, what with the Ultimate Warrior dead. After 20 years of lawsuits and an ugly real world feud with his former employer, the WWF/E, he finally made amends and was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday night. Then he gave this speech on Monday night:

So was that his own eulogy? So surreal and absolutely eerie.

Last year, his people sent me a cease and desist letter for trying to sell this zombie painting I made of him. (It’s still in my collection.) Zombie Warrior

Four years ago, he sent me a NICE letter, emailing me to listen to the artistic voices in my head, and follow my own path. It’s the best advice I ever received, and I want to share it here. Some of it is a bit dodgy (burn bridges after you cross them???) but there is a lot of merit in these words. Ultimate E-Mail“Safety sucks if you really want to live.”

(Once I’m settled in a proper dwelling, I’m going to frame Warrior’s encouraging “oursue your art” letter next to the zombie painting next to the cease-and-desist letter telling me not sell the zombie painting.)

I go back and read this e-mail from time to time. It motivates me before marathons, and revs me up when I need a charge.

Rest in Peace, Warrior.

 

COLLAGE: Mystique (10X10″)

MystiqueMade this with Movie Squirrel‘s In Style magazine. That catalog is a massive waste of paper. (I did ask her permission this time. I got in trouble last month for destroying a Pottery Barn mailer to create Dracula.)

I’m going to bring this to the Asbury Park Comic Con on Saturday, framed, as a test to see if something like this has any legs. If not, its back to the drawing board, but if it does go, or at least generate interest among poor and/or cheap people who like to look but hate to own (and I respect that mentality), I’ll create another X-Men collage as my submission to the One-Shot Gallery (St. Marks, New York City) show I’m partaking in later this year. THAT WAS A LONG SENTENCE.

In related news, we are thiiiiiiiiiis close to signing off on renting a beautiful Victorian house with a basement hidden below a trap door. I have every intention of turning that into my kill room art studio, where I can make as big a mess as I wish, leave paper, glue, paint and canvas EVERYWHERE. Oh my god I can’t wait. Cross your fingers for me us.