Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Rock the Horns this summer (and forever after...)

Hey All,

Cross posted on my Facebook page, here is a new design I've put into my Society 6 products page. Variants include tshirts, skins, hoodies, even canvas bags. Rock these shirts at your summer music fest this year!

Zombie Horns on Black - No Pick Art Print

Zombie Horns TV parody edition - Red Art Print

See more here: http://society6.com/PaulMarquisIllustration

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Review of 'Oblivion': More than the sum of its Sci Fi parts...

So, I know many many of you have been asking what I thought of the new Tom Cruise movie 'Oblivion'. Ahem.

There's a large group of critics who really seemed to be disappointed by it, claiming it was nothing more than a sad pastiche of science fiction tropes, with a valiant effort by Cruise to hold them together. And that, with the exception of some neat plot turns, it wasn't worth seeing.

I agree with them.

On the part about Tom Cruise putting in a valiant effort, I agree wholeheartedly. On the other stuff, I have to disagree. Completely.

Many of my friends are well-read science fiction junkies, moreso than I am, probably. But even as I recognized many of the references and familiar science fiction themes in the film, I did enjoy them more than the sum of their parts, which unfortunately was not the case with those in more lofty internet thrones.

What is the sin in using ideas that have been used before? I know for a fact that the same ideas have been 'invented' over and over again at parties, writer's meetings, and late-night bars for decades; to say that it isn't possible for a familiar idea to be used again without it being 'stolen' is disingenuous at best, especially coming from those who would call themselves writers.

In fact, the only thing anyone can accuse 'Oblivion' of being is a little deliberately paced in the second act, which was noticeable but didn't affect the rest of the film for me.

One critic, at first dismissive of this film when walking out afterwards, woke up the next day to realize that while this film had its influences, it raised a lot of ideas that go beyond the film's running time. I'm only about an hour out of the theater myself, and I can already feel my imagination asking 'what if?' moreso now than when I'd walked out of, say, Prometheus (a film I enjoyed as well).

Yes, Oblivion wears its influences, but not on the sleeve. I'm sure this film will grow on people as time goes on, and I'm happy to have caught it today.

(by the way, be careful of reviews that list this film's influences; one film name told me exactly what to expect with regards to one character's origins. This is why I can't name the influences - why ruin it?)

Catch this movie in the theater if you can, and leave your cynicism behind.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Frank Kelly Freas: The Dean of Science Fiction

Today's Featured Artist is known as the Dean of Science Fiction: Frank Kelly Freas (b. 1922 - d. 2004), his last name pronounced 'Freeze', was probably the artist most beloved by SF fans, and indeed his artwork is filled with the strong current of heart and strangeness that envelops Science Fiction.

Raised by two photographers in Canada (he was actually born in Hornell, New York), Freas joined the United States Army Air Forces right out of high school, and flew as camera man for recon in the South Pacific, often taking the time to paint bomber noses during WWII. Afterwards, he went to study at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, beginning his career in advertising.

His most notable work was done for Astounding Science Fiction (later renamed Analog) under the eye of SF editing giant John W. Campbell, and he went on to become a giant himself in the SF publishing field, illustrating for over 50 years. Twice honored as a Guest of Honor at the Worldcon (1982 and 2003), he often played with different subjects and styles, and at one time even painted over 500 saints' portraits for the Franciscans while doing portraits of Alfred E. Neuman for Mad magazine.

He won the Hugo for best artist ten times (nominated 20 times; after that many, he asked to be withdrawn from future nominations to give other artists a chance) and had left an indelible mark on the SF world decades before his passing in 2004.

One of his most iconic images is used twice, first for Tom Godwin's 'The Gulf Between' and again, slightly altered, for Queen's album 'News of the World'. At the top it is seen in its use for the latter.

Read much, much more about Frank Kelly Freas here: http://io9.com/5987723/why-kelly-freas-was-possibly-the-greatest-science-fiction-artist-who-ever-lived

(cross posted on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PaulMarquisIllustration)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

ZILF Lives! (in all of us)

A few years ago a good friend (Michael Calahan, his website is awesome) who is a writer was passing some comedy article ideas past me (because I'm kind of a big deal, dontcha know) and one of them stood out for its potential for comedy stardom.

The idea of course was the ZILF. A Zombie of the MILF variety. Or flavor, if you will.

Too gruesome to pass up, these are some of the ideas we came up with.

Here's the logo we put as the tag less label inside the collar:

Here's the 'children's shirt' design:

Here's a shirt that never materialized:

And finally here's a one-off poster I threw together:

Oh, and did I mention? We made a website: http://www.zilfage.com


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Three new pieces

I've been away for a bit, but I've been productive. It's amazing how much doing a simple blog post every now and then takes out of your day.

Here are the three I've finished since early January:

Singularity (or Ghost):

Wait it Out:

And this one, Furnace:

Each piece is 4500 x 6000px, digital art ala Photoshop. They will be available on Etsy soon, stay tuned.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Busy busy busy!

I've been rawther busy lately, what with the illustration for my story, and the Winter Dragon challenge deadline coming up.

But I thought I'd throw this out to you, a sample of the work in progress:

That's our friend Noel, seen below in the earlier post. Coming along!

Also, for those of you on Facebook, you can see daily posts from my page there, Paul Marquis Illustration. I have posts on master artists both new and old, highlights from my portfolio, and the occasional update on my new pieces.

Talk to you soon!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Was this a good idea?

I've done this before, starting a blog and then abandoning it. The fact is though, I want to be able to keep a good record of the early times, because of course I'm going to be famous!

But I kid. I think it's a good way of keeping me on track. Anyone watching this is gravy, I suppose, but dammit I LIKE gravy. :-)

Here's a screen shot of my latest reference for the new illo:

That is my friend Noel, a local actor (and a very good one, at that). He wore a bow tie to the session and so therefore has turned my project into a potential Dr Who homage! Thanks Noel!

Here's another, just for fun:

Some of you may notice the low resolution of the photos. I don't mind that, there is enough definition for me. These are, in fact, screen grabs from the HD video I shot of Noel doing various poses, faces and general hilarity. Yes, I'm using HD video because in the past my photos lack a quality of motion to them, they looked too tense and rigid. This way I'm able to allow my models to move naturally and I can always go through the video one frame at a time to find the exact moment I was looking for.

But don't you worry! I took some still photos as well, for the details. But now I can do the general pose using a video grab and fill in the details with the still photos. Win-win for me and the image.