Friday, March 20, 2015

King Kong vs. Frankenstein - Concept Art



I get a fair amount of views to this day for people searching for KING KONG VS. FRANKENSTEIN. Since I recently posted these on Facebook, I thought I'd share them here as well. These are concept pieces by Willis O'Brien for King Kong and the Frankenstein monster (aka "the Ginko") created for that ill-fated project.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Since I've Been Gone

Funny things happened since we last met here at OWARI. Water line broke (again). Car went in the shop (again). Then, my laptop's hard disk failed on February 27 (not long after I learned of the passing of Leonard Nimoy, in fact). I was without my own internet access as a result. I was able to borrow my sister's connection, but I had to stop by her house and obviously couldn't stick around for extended periods of time. That meant that until I got my fixed computer back on March 12, my presence on the web was significantly reduced.

It's been a rolling series of disasters I've been dreading, and I somehow made it out OK. But of course, I'm still kind of at a standstill as far as the changes I've been trying to affect in my life. Not for lack of trying, but...well, hopefully something will work out soon.

One thing that was interesting about the enforced lack of Internet was how much I didn't mind the limited access. It made me re-examine some of my priorities and how I was spending my time. Of course, since getting the computer back, I've been in much the same pickle as before. However, I like to think I'm getting better at managing my time. Certainly, I am more aware of it.

One day, hopefully in the next few weeks, I will be back to discuss the mystery of Larry Yakata. I'd also like to review some of the movies I watched during my absence, including the amazing DEATH MACHINES. Stay tuned and keep watching the skies!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Local Radio Past



Quite by accident, I found this last night. As some background, Rob Robin came to the local area as a DJ on KLOU 1580 AM in the 1960s. He later transitioned into being the weather man at KPLC TV for 15 years and grew into a nigh-legendary figure. He moved back into radio, only strictly doing weather until his retirement a couple of years ago. This air check is from a stunt on April 1, 1976 where KLOU invited former DJs back for a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

The nostalgia for me in this video is off the charts, even though I was only 3 years old when it was recorded. Additionally, that channel has a number of air checks from such stations as KLOU, KGRA, KSNS, and even a few call letters still in use around here. Even those stations have been shuffled around and changed over the years.

My takeaway from all of this is local radio was a lot more fun back in the day. My memories of the 1980s seemed to indicate as much, but here's the proof. I still cannot believe we had a free-form AOR station (Nova 104) for five years, because so much of what has been on the air waves since the 1990s has been so corporate-driven. I don't blame the on-air talent; rather, I blame a system that (at one point) left our market with TWO Adult Contemporary stations and ZERO stations aimed at the Top 40 crowd. Way to kill off your audience entirely, guys.

In listening to commercials for such long ago landmarks as The Black Angus and Bookworm's Apple in clips from radio stations consigned to the dustbin of history by incessant format changes, I can't help but feel something has been lost along the way. KLOU gave up its call letters despite being almost iconic, and couldn't even reclaim them now if they wanted because a St. Louis station assumed them a few years later. The channel occupying 1580 on my dial only has that number in common with a historic part of the area.

Times have changed. Music has changed. It could never have stayed the same, because that's not how these things work. But it didn't have to go the way it did. Along the way, a connection to the audience and to our own history was sacrificed in chasing ratings and a few extra bucks. My nostalgia is tinged with sorrow, because the community we felt via popular radio has dissipated. And there's no reason to believe it's going to be rebuilt.

I love radio. I think it's a powerful medium. I actually don't think it will die out in my lifetime. But the days when it could bring us together are gone. And that is a shame.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Onward!

A lot can happen in a year. So just imagine how much can happen in six years. That's how long ago I started this particular blog. I had no clue at the time I was about to close the door on a couple of aspects of my life and open the door on a couple of others. Just luck of the draw, really.

I've spent the last few months trying to figure out what I wanted to do with this blog going forward. There was a strong sentiment to just close it down entirely in September. Views were down, and there was the growing realization that "blogging" has shifted to a degree from when I started. Plus, it was hard to ignore the fact that two friends of mine who coincidentally also started blogs in 2009 had abandoned posting on their blogs. The handwriting seemed to be on the wall.

But? In the intervening months, I've come to realize the possible usefulness of keeping this place open. It's not going to be the same as it was in, say, 2010-11 though. When you push the reset button, you can't just undo that decision. Plus, I simply don't have the same level of interest I had when this enterprise was at its peak.

I suppose in a real sense I fell victim to that very interest in building this blog. "OWARI" is not this blog, just as it wasn't the fanzine that carried the name off and on for ten years. OWARI is me. The blog is just a vehicle, and I think I lost sight of that along the way.

Anyway, the OWARI blog will stay open and I will keep posting here when the mood strikes. I would *like* make at least one post a month for consistency's sake, but I'm not even going to promise that. Similarly, I don't know what you'll be seeing here in the future. This is not me being coy, because I really just don't know. We're going to find out together. And if there's not much to say? There won't be much here.

I'd like to say how much I appreciate everyone who reads this blog, from the regulars I've inexplicably built up over the years to the one-offs who arrive via search engines. You've buoyed my spirits as I try to make some difficult transitions. Onward and upward with the arts!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Ringing Out The Year With Gift Art!


raffle- velvet by kennasaur on DeviantArt

I recently was one of the winners of an art raffle by kennasaur. I asked her to draw Velvet Verity. I think we can all agree the results are smashing!

I was also the lucky recipient of some holiday art from Wandering Kotka. However, given that this art is most assuredly NSFW, you will have to view it on my Tumblr. Nuff said?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Reaching The Finish Line

No no, not with this blog. As you can see, the blog is still kicking against all odds. In fact, I think I've finally decided what to do here. But that will be a topic for another day. Spoiler though - I'm not closing it permanently.

This post is here because I am celebrating. You see, in September, I decided to embark on the Captain Satellite Tumblr Project. I wanted to create a place for the Owariverse, and I wanted to use it to make a fresh start. The evolution of my fictional world has been filled with starts and stops, and as a result, there were plenty of things about it that I found wanting. It has long been my desire to try to set things up in a way I found artistically satisfying.

The problem was that making such fixes as you go is terribly awkward. Please see the fact that I have established things on this blog that blatantly contradict the book I published of those characters in 2011. So I've been putting a lot of bandages on a continuity I was making up as I went. And to be honest, much of what had been written was pretty sparse in the detail department.

The Tumblr account was exactly the remedy for what ailed the Owariverse. Taking this new start as an opportunity, I declared that I was blowing up everything and putting the pieces back together again. Of course, to do that, I had re-examine every single profile for my world. And that was, uh, a lot. Seventy-eight (78), to be precise.

The first order of business was sitting down and examining what I had and consider how I wanted to go forward with each character. Because, in truth, I had fallen victim to the idea of throwing together profiles for any supporting character who popped into my head semi-formed. A lot of them only merited two or three sentences. If I wanted readers to care about these people, I needed to care enough about them to tell their story in a little more depth.

If you mosey over to the new Profile Page, you will see 60 entries there (though most are not actually live). Six of those do not exist in the Owariverse Encyclopedia I compiled here. Another merges what had been two separate entries. So yeah, I scrapped over 20 profiles in this new revamp. Most of those characters still exist in some form or another, but I decided I didn't have enough to say about them to warrant an individual entry. I can't say this is the way it should have always been, because it's taken me years of trial and error to get my material and my ability to the point I am today.

ANYWAY, I decided prior to launch I needed to work out all the individual profiles for these characters. I needed a clear idea of how they related to one another and the bigger universe they inhabit. But...60 profiles? Some could be rewritten, but in other cases, I was almost starting over. A few times, I was building a character from the ground up. It seemed daunting. And I'll be honest, my track record in recent times hasn't been great. Two abandoned short stories, a shelved novella, a blog fallen on hard times -- it even took three additional years after wrapping Return of Jetman to stagger to the conclusion by completing the notes.

Today, I did it. Sixty profiles are in the can and ready to go. Nine have already been posted. The remaining fifty-one await their accompanying art. That part will happen at its own pace. But in approximately three months time, I managed to achieve a personal creative goal I had set for myself. The results are some of the most satisfying works I have ever created. I am pleased.

Allow me a moment to take a victory lap for finding success amidst much failure this year. Meanwhile, Captain Satellite boosters are advised to bookmark and/or follow the Captain Satellite Tumblr. If you don't, you are missing out on such stuff as Muttnik the Satellite Dog. And that would be a pity.