Thursday, July 15, 2010

Penguin epiphany.

In which a penguin has an epiphany. "Fuck this noise" you can almost hear him saying. I would elaborate further, but I think this particular youtube comment on the clip sums it up better than I could:

"Fortune," said the little penguin, "Look there, friend, where thirty or more monstrous giants rise up, all of whom I mean to engage in battle and slay, and it is God's good service to sweep so evil a breed from off the face of the earth."
"Giants?... Those are mountains."
"It is easy to see that you are not used to this business of adventures. Those are giants, and if you are afraid, away with you out of here and betake yourself to prayer, while I engage them in fierce and unequal combat." 

The clip is taken from the Werner Herzog film Encounters At the End of the World, which is definitely well worth watching.

Well, that's it for Randomitronica folks. I hope you enjoyed the ride.
And now, let us allow the penguin to take us on out.

~ Chloé

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Interview: Dwight L. MacPherson

Good day to you all. Today I’d like to present to you an interview I recently conducted with mister Dwight L. MacPherson, the Harvey and Eagle Award-nominated creator of Zuda Comics’ Sidewise, the critically-acclaimed Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo, Arcana Studio’s breakthrough hit Dead Men Tell No Tales and writer of IDW Publishing’s American McGee’s Grimm. He’s a writer whom I greatly respect and admire for his imagination, the subject matter that he chooses to explore, his dedication to his craft, and his skill at creating well-rounded characters that resonate with readers.
I love the guy's inventive use of words and language as well, an example of which ("bumblepuppy and whirligig") is included in this very interview.
Aside from writing and editing comic books, graphic novels and webcomics he also writes short stories, poetry and young adult novels.
A busy guy indeed!

He’s also a friendly and engaging sort of fellow, and maintains a good rapport with his readers, often responding to comments people make on his online comics, blog posts and such.
And (at the time of writing) he follows 666 people on his twitter account.

A while back I hit upon the idea to email him some interview questions (a couple of which I selfishly included purely because I was really curious to know the answers) and he was gracious enough to respond with some rather insightful and witty answers.
So let’s get into this shall we?

Chloé Kovac: Your writing strikes me as being very well thought out and structured. Do you think that your background in the military has contributed to this, in regards to having a solid work ethic and a disciplined approach to setting out a story?

Dwight L. MacPherson: Well, first off, thank you very much.

Absolutely. I learned the importance of self-discipline, time-management, professionalism, integrity, being proactive, and attention to detail (and how to kill people, so don’t mess with me) in the military. In fact, it did much more than teach me these things; they became a part of who I am. So I would say that my military background not only contributed to my approach to writing, but it made me a better, stronger, more responsible person. You can’t go wrong serving your country in the Armed Forces. I’m proud to have served—and it made me a better human being in the process. Win-win.

CK: Do you have any particular set process/processes that you employ when getting a story together?

DLM: It starts with a concept. Sometimes it comes to me as a basic idea; sometimes it’s a partial story. Generally, I will write the idea down and save the document. If I’m buried in work, I will continue to brainstorm as I am able to—writing down anything that comes to mind in the meantime. From these basic ideas, I will put together a skeleton plot. This will provide the basis for my research, and I scour the internet and the local libraries accordingly. After I have adequate (you can never conduct too much research) research notes, I will flesh out the story in the form of a rough outline. I generate a script based upon these loose outlines, but you never know when the story will take me in a different direction. With a general idea of what the beginning, middle and ending will be, it is always exciting to watch the story develop. Sometimes the end result is a direct reflection of the outline, other times it’s something quite different.

CK: I’ve noticed you’re a writer who researches his subject matter extensively. Do you find that knowing the facts about something helps lend a more solid base to inspiring creative thinking?

DLM: Certainly! I cannot tell you how many times I learned new facts, rumours and myths about a person that provided a treasure trove of new ideas. For instance, one of the rumours I discovered: that young Harry Houdini ran away from home and joined the circus, turned into one of my favourite stories in “Kid Houdini and the Silver Dollar Misfits.” Conducting research provides a two-fold reward. You learn as you go, and it always provides new avenues for exploration.

CK: What’s your general approach to finding an artist who will be congruent to what you are attempting to achieve with a story?

DLM: “Will you work on a back-end deal?” [laughs] I’ve been blessed to work with and befriend many talented artists. When I write a book, I can see what it should look like in my mind’s eye. That makes it much easier to find the “right artist” for each book.

CK: What are your thoughts on the seemingly limitless creative potential of the digital comics medium?

DLM: I think it has a lot of potential. While I am an old-school-gotta-have-it-in-my-hands kind of bloke, I realize that there are many, many people who would rather read on their phones, computer screens and portable reading devices—and I have no problem with that. The most important thing is that people are reading.

In the near future, I think it will prove to be a profitable alternative distributor for small press creators. I don’t see traditional distribution lasting into the next century, sadly.

CK: Speaking of the digital comics medium, your comic Sidewise was launched on Zuda on October 8th this year. Could you give us a run-down on your experiences with Zuda since Sidewise started its run?

DLM: It’s been a wonderful experience working with Zuda. Their editors are top-notch and my fellow Zuda creators are extremely supportive. In regards to production, however, the experience has been very much like any other work for hire gig I’ve had in the past.

CK: How do you rate the importance of comic creators’ personal appearances at cons and such?

DLM: On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say a 9. Many of my compeers have landed big-time gigs simply by meeting with publishers and editors at conventions. I don’t get to many cons, sadly, and I think that is a major contributor to the fact that I haven’t been approached regarding mainstream work. Not that I’d be willing to take anything the Big Two had to offer, mind you, but I’d like to have the opportunity to write a book or two for them.

CK: What are your thoughts on the falling rate of fiction literacy? It seems that people generally don't tend to read as much as they used to.

DLM: I’m an enormous Orwell fan, but I believe Aldous Huxley got it right in Brave New World. Our society is so busy chasing the newest bumblepuppy and whirligig that we simply do not have time to devote to reading for pleasure. The delayed gratification of reading has been replaced by the instantaneous (though vacuous) satisfaction of video games, gadgets, the internet, movies and television. Huxley also feared that we would become so inundated with information that we would become passive and egotistical—which is exactly what we’ve seen in the United States. I fear that it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a global epidemic.

CK: What are some comics/webcomics that you recommend people have a read of?

DLM: Besides my own? [laughs]

There are so many wonderful webcomics out there right now. Some of my favourites are Zuda’s Bayou (, Dual ( and I Rule the Night ( I also enjoy Chris Grine’s Chickenhare ( , Howie Noel’s Tara Normal ( , Aaron Diaz’s Dresden Codak (, David Malki’s Wondermark ( and Kate Beaton’s Hark, A Vagrant ( My evil archnemesis Nicholas Gurewitch’s The Perry Bible Fellowship ( is one of my all-time favourites—though it pains me to say.

CK: Ah yes, the PBF, ho ho ho! That's a rather creative clusterf*ck of warped eyecandy isn't it?
OK, last question; what advice would you give to people starting out in the comics "business"?

DLM: Make comics because you love making comics. If you think you’re going to get rich in this industry, you’re mad as a bag of ferrets. Sure, there is the occasional comic book that is optioned for film, but it’s completely unrealistic given the decline of comic sales and Hollywood’s eccentricities to enter the business thinking you can make a million bucks. Do what you do and do it well, whether it’s writing, illustrating, painting, whatever, and be willing to take criticism—a lot of criticism—and learn from it. A thick skin is a must in this industry. Pansies need not apply.


Sound advice indeed!
So there you have it folks, I hope you enjoyed reading this interview as much as I enjoyed putting it together and reading Dwight’s responses.
Be sure to check out his website MacPherson Media for further links to his work and other online goodies.

Yours in comix,

Friday, May 28, 2010

Rap Against Rape: Rolling in the WTFs

Rolling in the WTFs, getting sticky with their filth.
Oh God, its like a combination of your uncles, high school math teachers and your dad's accountant got together to create... one of the most bizarre things I have witnessed in an age. And they're deadly serious.

OK, its a serious subject, and I applaude them them for getting out there and spreading a worthy message; rape is a heinous and vile thing, and is definitely NOT something that our global society should tolerate, nor pretend doesn't exist. Good on them for raising funds for and awareness of the Rape Crisis Centre.
But fuck me slowly with a chainsaw*, what the hell is going on in their minds?
And what's up with their outfits? Eugh! "They certainly are a little differnt" says the guy who introduces them at the start. Ya got that right, buster. Verily, 1990 was a strange, tasteless time in Western history. Sure, I'm nitpicking over their awful dress sense and their useless abortion of a rap tune, and there are bigger issues at play here.
But this is the Randomitronica blog, and this clip falls quite, quite within the realm of pure, unadulterated random.

Next week I will have a post about a comic on the web. Huzzah!
~Chloé O_O

*A quite possibly poor choice of words there.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Alien vs Pooh

Something I stumbled upon yesterday (not using Stumbleupon btw). 43 pages of some very inventive, cheerful horror. Presented in the style of a Winnie the Pooh storybook, sort of. The illustrations are child-like in tone, scribbly things really, with the whacked-out perspectives of kids' drawings. They're drawn with crayons and pencil, and it works with the overall vibe of the thing. It like something you might find drawn in a kid's doodle pad, if the kid had seen the Alien and Predator movies plus had some, ahem, "issues".
There are at least two pages in this which made me laugh out loud.

Alien VS Pooh

Click on it foo'.

Yes that's Tigger in a power loader.

Friday, May 7, 2010

New Zealand Songs of F*cking Angst pt. 3

Ah, now here we go kids, here we go.

A bitter, nasty little song from Supergroove, a NZ funk band better known for far more "cheerful" fare. They put out a EP called Tractor many years ago, full of twisted ditties which explore various aspects of isolation, disenfranchisement and the gnawing maw of depression. Its very rare, this EP, and almost impossible to find. I am lucky I have a copy. Bought it back when it was released, I was really young.
Anyway, Scone Farm. One of the darkest slices of raw funk you'll ever hear. Scratchy guitars, walloping bass, nasty brass, yelling about being "skullfucked".
And Jesus H. Christ, the drums on this track sound MONSTROUS.
"Welcome to the factory, I wanna smash its skull."

Scone Farm by ChloeKovac

Here's a link to another Supergroove song, the best audio quality of a Supergroove song I could find on youtube. Features co-vocalist Che Ness (now known as Che Fu), one of the best singers to come out of NZ, in my opinion. I link this to you for the purposes of displaying a different side of this band. You might recall my cousin whinging about what Che has become, in her guest Randomitronica post from a while ago.

I understand there is also a funk band called Supergroove from Brazil. Is that correct?

xo Chloé

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Power of the Dark Crystal

There is a sequel to the classic 1982 fantasy movie The Dark Crystal in the works, and speculation is rife over whether or not it'll turn out to be any good.
The Dark Crystal is a film that is dear to the hearts of quite a few folks (myself included), so fans of the film are naturally concerned about its good name being tarnished by a potentially less than spectacular sequel. But at this stage its all conjecture isn't it?
Personally, I feel that The Dark Crystal worked fine as a one-off, and the notion of a sequel is a pretty redundant one. The film certainly doesn't need a sequel. And I'm not the only person to have this view. According to the IMDB entry on The Power of the Dark Crystal, when asked his feelings about a "Crystal" sequel by the San Francisco Chronicle, co-director and puppeteer of the original Dark Crystal, the legendary Frank Oz, had a one-word answer: "Why?"

So yeah... why indeed?

Well, lets look at the facts about the sequel, as they stand at the time of writing. The film's screenplay has been written by Craig Pearce, (he wrote the screenplays for Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet, so, herrrrrmmm) It is slated to be directed by The Spierig Brothers, Peter and Michael, and by the sounds of it they're big fans of the original, and are going to treat the material with the respect and care that it deserves. The Spierig Brothers directed Daybreakers among other things.
To allay confusion, the IMDB page for TPotDC currently lists Michael Gracey as being the director, but the page hasn't been updated since the May 4th announcement of the Spierig Brothers taking over.
Genndy Tartakovsky was once slated to direct, but I guess that fell through. Too bad, that could have been awesome.
Brian Henson, Lisa Henson and Jason Lust* will be producing. Keeping it in the family, that's something, right?
And it will be filmed in Australia, which makes sense, as the directors are Australian, and filming over there might be more cost effective in general.

The biggest news for me though is original conceptual designer Brian Froud is on board for this sequel, so at least the film's design will look good.
The intention is to film the movie in stereoscopic 3D, the same 3D technique used for Avatar, along with using traditional puppetry and animatronics. So this mix of techniques and approaches could end up being a garish visual mess, or something really lovely.

Here's an excerpt from the press statement, which gives a brief outline of the plot:
"Set hundreds of years after the events of the first movie when the world has once again fallen into darkness, Power of the Dark Crystal follows the adventures of a mysterious girl made of fire who, together with a Gelfling outcast, steals a shard of the legendary Crystal in an attempt to reignite the dying sun that exists at the center of the planet."
A girl made of fire! Coooool!

I guess it all remains to be seen whether or not his sequel is a good thing or not. I really hope they don't fuck it up.

*what a cool name.


Thursday, April 29, 2010


Its like a window directly into my brain. Thanks to Patrick for the link.
What would undead Robert Moog think of it, I wonder?

Proper Randomitronica posts resume next week.