Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Big Halloween Post, Part I

So, Saturday was a great day Halloween wise. I'll post more on it later, but for right now I'm going to finally post the winners for this year's Halloween contest. As noted, it was a fun experience for me, and there were many of the outfits I'd like to transform into Eve's wardrobe, but time and reality forced me to make a decision. So, here are Hallowed Eve's outfits for the 2007 Halloween season:

The first Halloween constume was designed by my middlest nephew Paladin, and in fact the title of this variation is Paladin Eve. It's hard to say exactly what drew me to the two outfits I chose, except that generally both challenged my perception of a character I had created. Paladin's original design was stunning in visual appeal, as I've already noted, recalling the great age of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, with a nod to the Charlton comic era as well (a dash of Blue Beetle here, some New Gods, a sprinkle of Black Orchid, some Nightshade) but ultimately arriving at a totally original design. The pumpkin drones were my embellishment on the theme, as is the Jack-O-Lantern (inspired by this year's other winner coming up next). Since I dropped the story requirement, I realized I could make up my own. So, on the surface, this Eve comes from the future, sending her cybernetic pumpkin drones out to destroy, seemingly in an indiscriminate manner, priests. The spirals on Paladin Eve's torso and legs represent one soul murdered, sort of like her medals of "honor." That's the front story, but, I guess you'll have to stay tuned for the back story. (Interestingly, even Darwin 665 knows of this legend, but what more he knows, who knows?)

Which brings us, inversely, to an Eve from the past, with the following winner:

This is Keith's winning design, which I've titled Moulin Scourge. She's a combination Louis XIV and Moulin Rouge stunner, replete with her revealing undercarriage (which I don't know how to spell, some French term I never learned), a detail that, along with the wig covering Eve's pumpkin head, put this one over the top for me and resulted in the outfits's selection. Keith provided a few details for Moulin Scourge, namely that she disables her adversaries with an array of coloured wig powders. I extended the concept to make Eve a protector and restorer of Doll Souls, indicated by the tiny doll skulls at her feet. According to legend the souls inhabit the wig powder until they are unleased on offending priests. What is the deal with Eve and priests? Time will tell, but this vision of Eve arrives from the past, a fitting bookend for Paladin Eve. Feared from the courts of Versailles to the streets of Victorian England, and even in the French Quarter of New Orleans, this scourge is one being best left un-encountered. Oh and one more thing...why does this Eve carry and revere a rag doll of Infidels Inc.'s Jack? Further, why does Paladin Eve still have the doll, sealed in a cybernetic pumpkin container, far into the future? Does even Jack know the reason?

Stay tuned, true believers. (Ok, I promise, no Pow! Biff! or Sock!) ;

Now, to sum up this year's contest, both of the winners this year made me think outside the box, well outside what I had envisioned for Eve, and when I reflect on this, I realize that was a big part of this sort of experiment for me. Plus they were so intricate as to drive me insane during the creative process, and of course, I love that sort of artistic torture. In the end, the devil's in the details.

Also, here's the template if you want to play with printing the dolls yourself. I don't know how the scale will work, because I don't know how the blog deals with that, but in the real world everything works, trust me I've spent hours refining the ideas, so I hope they work somehow here.

One more thing...Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Halloween Contest

Well here goes...I have two winners for the Halloween contest, and in fact, the images are finished and I'm getting them ready for display. But for now I'm posting all the entries. Thanks to everyone who entered my contest. I spent a lot of time working on the finished images, but it was a fun and informative process. I don't usually look outside of myself for inspiration this way, so it's been a great exploration for me. The outfits are fabulous and, I have no doubt, given more time, many of them will make their way into Eve's wardrobe. So, in no particular order...

Donna sends this sunset image of Hallowed Eve with the following explanation:

She steals the souls of all children that don't believe in goblins and the light from their life force omits an eerie glow that is often mistaken for the setting sun on a late October Eve.

Cool stuff!

Amy sent this stormy night picture of Hallowed Eve with a great description of the costume and Eve:

Hallowed Eve is best known as the spirit of vengeance! Luring men that have done the crime but not the time with her sexy outfit, and taking their souls for all eternity! You probably are wondering, “Where does she put all those souls she takes”, and “How does she find these so called forgotten criminals”? Well, they all get banished into her wicked ring, and when her nails start to glow as bright as the moon you know there’s trouble brewing in the air because the only reason that would happen is when a criminal is near by! As souls scream from the wicked ring, she counts how many she has. Once she has collected 31 unforgotten souls she will be notified. You probably are thinking, “Who notifies her”? Well, not who but what! Her ring counts each soul, and once 31 souls have been accounted for the wicked ring sends a burst of electricity up her arm, up into her neck until it reaches the side of her head, and her name magically appears! The scary thing is Hallowed Eve has done this so many times that she doesn't even need to look if her name is there; she can just feel it coming…. The good thing is that once she has collected 31 unforgotten souls she cannot collect any more but don't rejoice just yet! She will come back again next year, and she always first finds the ones that got away last time!!

Thanks for the great image Amy, and for writing down your concept for the costume!

Which leads me to confess that not many people sent stories like that. Or stories. I guess I could get all judgy and be annoyed, but I won't. What'd I expect from crazy creative people? I can't expect them to follow all the rules. In fact, I guess I was counting on it not happening, at least for some folks.

Next up is Sarah's outfit for Eve. No story, so, we'll have to make one up on our own. Eve's done up in garden style and looks ready to chow down on something...soon to be gory!

Becky gave me this image of Stepford Eve...and told me this is what happens to bad demons, they are consigned to Stepford existences. Can't you just hear the vacuum in the background?

My sister, Chantel, gave me a few images with no stories, so we'll have to make them up as well.

First off is a Black Widow ensemble:

Followed by a skull and crossbones ensemble:

Then a signature fairy costume!

Bram, my youngest nephew, sent in a few ideas, starting with this batty number:

Bram also sent this image, with lots of clarifying notes including "capri pants." Again, we can make up the story for this one.

One more from Bram, with Rainbow colors:

My youngest niece Madeleine sends this short skirted outfit for Eve, with the explanation that "I'm not scared of Uncle's contest." ;)

Armanae, my oldest niece, sent this colorful ensemble, with the notation "she shoots color from the tips of her nails":

My Mom gave me this vine inspired image of Eve wrapped up in the pumpkin patch:

Followed by this tendril ensemble with the note "A curse on my creator's mother, may she never draw again!" or something wry like that. Maybe I did get my wry sense of humor directly from her:

And finally she gave me her black and white Katy Keene Pumkin Queen Dress:

Keith gave me a Mermaid vision for one of his submissions. Funny when people say they don't know how to draw then they do something fabulous like this:

This outfit goes with Keith's first drawing (posted later), postulating Eve as a cross dresser in Louis XIV (or thereabout) style:

This is Keith's first submission...a sort of Louis XIV and Moulin Rouge combination:

This outfit comes to us via Paladin, one of my (three) nephews, technically the one in the middle. I think Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko would be quite proud of this vision for Eve! Paladin isn't even old enough to know who those artists are, but he definitely has the feel down perfectly in my opinion.

So those are all the entries I received and could open...I had one email with an image that wouldn't load, and I tried to find out what it was to no avail.

Now...honestly it's a real pain to post this many photos on blogger! Yikes! But it's done and soon I will post the winners for this year. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Unwind and Wind

Well, I'm back. Yes, I'm at Starbucks, there's really no other acceptable solution to the at home lack of high speed internet. So, I've downloaded my songs for today on iTunes, checked my email, and I took care of financial things yesterday.

I was also admonished for not posting any blog update recently. It was Rice (argh the two dot thing's not working!!!! sorry) of course. My lack of connection seemed insufficient excuse for not posting, at least as conveyed by her eyes. Her cold certainly doesn't blunt that tone.

Now what do I write about? Do I update the past week or two? When's the last time I posted? Do I finally admit I often (often enough) write and speak like a Vulcan from Star Trek? (That one just came to me as I typed "insufficient.)

I dunno. What I really want to do is empty my brain out a bit, possibly making some sense in the process but not especially caring whether I do or not. Because right now things are tightly wound, in my head, I'm not really sleeping too well, at least not until 2 or so in the morning, and believe me I'm trying to get to bed earlier to attack the mornings with more gusto. Hum.

After all, I'm planning to depart sometime next weekish. Haven't set a date, though right now I should be researching places to stay, but I still see the pink orange and turquoise look of semi-scorn for not blogging. So I'm here.

Here is tightly wound. I was working on the paper dolls today. I finally found a paper I like, or even a few, that dry fast and promise archival qualities. They don't smudge either. Leave it to Kodak, of course, and then there's the Office Depot brand that's good too, and Rice brought me some Strathmore paper from Portland, and I hope to try it later as I'd love to have that brand work as the Saint cards are on Strathmore Illustration Board. So it would be a nice bit of continuity, circular coolness if you will, for that to work.

What is not working now is the scale issue, because the new HP printer, on the borderless 5 x 7 printing, wants to throw things off the edge of the page, or else just mess up clothes and doll proportions. Sheesh. And that was, originally, the least of my troubles once I figured out how to scale everything with ratio/proportaions (and let me tell you, I'm really glad that bit of math has stuck in my head!).

I'll figure it out, though. I probably need some time away. In the meantime of that time, there are about 30 print outs of Darwin 665 (he's really cute and I was amusing myself terribly on some of his "accessories"). So I think I'll start a journal with the journey of these paper dolls documented in earnest, pasted on the pages and interacting with the pages. At the very least, it will help me deal with all the extra print outs, and it should be fun.

Meanwhile...I just finished having what I'm calling the Willy Wonka virus, which is difficult to explain exactly, but basically was a quick lower intestinal stomach bug that afflicted David and me, and no one knows where it came from, but it hit hard and then left. I'll spare too many details. Suffice to say this past Sunday I slept most of the day. Little to no work was done.

Alright...just took a break to explain my cool shirt to April's Mom here at Starbucks. It's an orangish floral pattern. She just told me she bought a shirt at Dunlaps with the exact pattern...a woman's blouse. I got this shirt from Dillard's when they carried the Contigo line, but long gone now. I call it the couch shirt because it looks like some 70s couches I've seen or may have known. (If you combine the pattern of a green couch with the color of an orange couch my parents had, you'd have this shirt.) I really like it. If Rice shows up tonight she better comment on it, that's for damn sure. (She did.)

Okay. Apologies that I don't have pictures to post here. I planned on doing so, taking some catch up pictures to make the update ever so interesting, but the scale issue on the paper dolls got in the way.

One of the pictures I was going to post was of the Love Gun Becky Boone made for me. It made me cry, when she gave it to me, not just because it's so cool and awesome, but because she personalized it for me. She made it with two hearts (this is a knit "gun" with a barrel that holds the hearts) anyhow two red hearts and one blue heart (for bluebird) to give away when I fall in Love. I can't tell you how meaningful that is. I have some really great people in my life right now. Odd that I'm leaving soon, but, everyone supports me, knowing I need to stretch and put myself and my art out there. I expect they'll all stay in touch with me anyhow, so, when I'm sparklingly wealthy, they can come stay at my beach house. :)

Aha. Rice has just pulled up. Now I'm going to talk about her while she's in front of me. Mwah ha.

The iPhone is carrying a couple of Rice-isms right now. The most current, that is, fresher than the latest Starbucks brew, is Dick Havers. This refers to, well, basically, men with dicks, which includes almost all of us, at least the lucky ones who have managed to keep theirs. She used this term ever so succinctly in conversations, expecting that it would just roll by and remain effective but essentially unnoticed. Well, not with me around. I had a semi-guffaw over the term, and semi-guffaws are not easily obtained from me, oh what the hell, unless David's drinking, but anyhow, I pulled out the...iphone! get your mind out of the gutter!...and recorded it.

Since I'm unloading the Rice-isms, I'll post a very beautiful quote from one night at Abuelo's, where she was heard to say "It will cheer Gabriel to know there's beauty walking loose in the world." I think it's applicable to many situations, so, I'll leave it to you the reader to applicate it. ;)

Just under that quote on the same note is "Le cacti of love," uttered on a return trip from Johnny Carino's I believe. Honestly she does not drink that much, even if it might appear so.

Well, now I have someone to talk to, so I'll edit this and post it. I note that I have received no submissions for the contest as yet. Oh well, if no more show up I'll just make the two I know exist fully realized in the realm of Hallowed Eve.

So, that's it for now. Again, sorry for no photos. I'll have some soon.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Whew! An Update

Well, the past week or so has been intense. I thought the hardest part of moving from point A to point B (to get to point C eventually) was the physically intense job of taking heavy furniture up and down stairs. Not to mention the washer and dryer, and sorry I didn't ask for the help offered, I'm a pain that way.

But no, the hardest part is rearranging things at point B once they are there. Having said that, I'm basically done with it. My room looks "well designed" yet again, the surround sound is up, and most of the action figures are on display, except for the Mini-Mates and the Mattel action figures, and a few of the DC that are now wrapped up and waiting for the future. This arrangement soothes my mental state a lot. I can't believe the angst it generated, even as I recover from the stress.

So, what else is up? No internet access at home. So I signed up for T-mobil, since I hang out at Starbucks enough (mostly every day except for the last few). Never mind the argument I had with the T-mobil (is there an e?) people since iTunes wasn't letting me download songs the first day I signed up for it. Never mind that it wasn't my computer or actually iTunes, since things worked fine down the block at the free McAlister's Wi-Fi hook-up.

Never mind since it is working now. I'm still a little a-bristled (like a cat) at the whole phone ordeal, and no one ever called me back as promised.

So here I am updating. Not that I haven't been able to check my email and perform other functions, thanks to the iPhone, which definitely has earned a few more stripes in my book. But, the iPhone's not really good for long winded posts, and of course, I can be and often am suited to long winded posts, so, there you have it.

What's been going on here, online? I don't know exactly EXCEPT (sorry to yell) that I haven't received a single submission for my contest, though I have seen one more fabulous design. That makes two I've seen, so far.

In other words, get to crackin'. I have other pumpkins to whip, after all!