Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Some Corpses are More Exquisite Than Others...

I've known Ralf Schulze a longtime, since the late 1980s. We met in the wild, weird world of underground comix and 'zines. I think Ralf sent me a few of his comix in trade; "Dinky-Doo" and "Zombie Vomit" and that started a friendship that has endured until today.

Ralf lives in Richmond, VA and recently I spent a weekend up there hanging out with friends. Ralf and I met for lunch then settled in for some beers at Steam Bell Beer Works (sidebar - great beer and friendly folks, worth the trip). Ralf brought along a sketchbook and asked me, "Do you want to draw?". I sheepishly admitted that I haven't been drawing much, feel self-conscious drawing in public and have no idea what I would draw and after the bullshit excuses were out-of-the-way, we settled down to work.


I started off with a shapely dragon-salamander creature, falling back on the ten-year old boy mind that is forever doodling during geometry class.
Ralf is more in-touch with his abstract side and went with these two images; one vaguely obscene and the other reminded me of a Simpsons nightmare (I'll leave it to you to figure it out)

After warming up, we got down to business and decided on the theme "MASKS" for some exquisite corpse fun. The rules of EC are simple, gather a group of artists (or those that want to pretend to be artists, essentially the same thing) fold some paper and each person gets to draw a section. The rub is, you don't get to see what the other people drew in their sections until the end.
We set-up two pieces of paper so we could both be drawing and pass the paper back and forth until it was time for the big unveiling. The first two drawings we set-up with horizontal folds and one of us started at the top and the other the bottom. These two drawings turned out surprisedly coherent. I particularly like the one on the left (above photo) with the eyepatch.

For the second group, we decided to mix it up and folded the paper in quarters, working vertically with one and horizontally with the other. These two certainly hit a more zany quality that we were hoping for.

I appreciate Ralf prodding me to get back to drawing, lighten-up and have some fun.

Good times!

OK HW

Monday, February 29, 2016

A King Cat Card Carrying Member...

I got some "real" mail today, something other than some junk mail or a bill. I got my official "King Cat Comics Fan Club" card and a thank you note for being a "Patreon" of John Porcellino the artist/writer behind the zine. "King Cat Comics" was begun back in 1989, the same time I was doing my own comic "Reluctant Sadist", but instead of folding after a few years like I did, John has persevered and King Cat is still going strong. I admire his tenacity and dedication to his zine, so was happy to contribute to a  Patreon campaign that he launched to establish consistent financial support. He's very close to his goal of $981 a month (the US Federal government's poverty level for a single person), so please take a look his page and consider throwing down a little dough.

The link to John Porcellion's Patreon Page.

If a monthly commitment is more then you can do right now, then check-out an issue of King Cat Comics. You'll be glad you did!

Order King Cat Comics.

OK HW


Sunday, September 20, 2015

"You Can't Get There From Here"

I don't read enough mini-comics these days and when I say "mini-comics", I mean old school, printed or rather, photocopied hard copies. Nothing against web comics, I can see the appeal from a production and distribution viewpoint, but my preferred method of ingesting comix is the old-fashioned way, sans electronics. The internet is a blessing and curse when it comes to connecting with the underground comics world (does that even exist anymore or has everything been flatten out onto the same level?). On the one hand, it's easier then ever to find even the most obscure stuff and often read it immediately online. On the downside, the internet is an ever present time suck that often makes me wonder, "Well and just where did that day, week, month and year go?".

So, it's been too long since I had any REAL mail, but that drought ended yesterday when I received a couple of issues of one of my favorite 'zines,  "You Can't Get There From Here" by Carrie McNinch. It's an autobiographical theme with small snapshots from Carrie's life. I identify with many of the reoccurring topics including being middle-aged, cats, travel, running, cats and depression. The format is the classic three panel layout like you'd see in the Sunday comics and each day is "tagged" with a specific song (with band name). Usually I know the song, but when I do not, I have to track it down.

If you haven't read Carrie's 'zine and want to give it a try, check-out her Etsy Store.

OK HW

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Je Suis Charlie

3-D Speed Freak is back and standing in solidarity with the people of Paris and France and all free thinkers across the world on this dark day. I was sadden and outraged to hear of the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo today. Let us not forget the brave artists we lost today who ran straight at the sharpest edge of free expression. They are;

Stéphane Charbonnier "Charb"

Cabu


Georges Wolinski


Tignous


The final joke will be on the terrorist that instead of silencing them,  those stupid actions have assured that their courage and good work will now be seen by millions and the message that a free society is not a half measure is more clearly understood. 

Je Suis Charlie!

OK HW

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Cup of Elvis

Back in the summer of 1988, Carole Sobocinski invited me to contribute a piece to her anthology zine Zabawny. Each issue featured a different theme and  Zabawny #9 was an All-Elvis issue. "Café Elvis" was what I came up with, a surreal melange of Daliesque imagery and a reworking of the lyrics from the Manhattan Transfer song "Java Jive".

Fast forward to right now and you can find the original "Café Elvis" art hanging in an exhibition called "That's Funny: Art with a Sense of Humor" at the Charles H. Taylor Center in Hampton, Virginia (Sept. 13 - Oct. 19, 2014).

In the same show I also have a short stop motion animated film called "ZANK", which I wrote about in my companion blog "Weaverwerx" and two bas-relief sculptures, which I'll be writing about soon.

OK HW

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"Hot Doughnuts Now" - Catharsis #11 Cover Illustration

CATHARSIS #11 - June 1990

There once was a fine monthly alternative publication called "Catharsis" that existed from the late 1980s until the mid-1990s. It was the cranium offspring of Don Harrison, a writer/publisher/radio personality from Richmond, Va area. "Catharsis" was a garage rock melange of music, art and literature that helped the young and hip keep pace with what was cool. Don had found me through my "Reluctant Sadist" comix and profiled me in the fourth issue. This image is the cover of the eleventh issue of  "Catharsis" from the summer of 1990. It is the infamous, "Hot Doughnuts Now" cover that grabbed eyeballs all over the region. My favorite story of how this image infiltrated the local culture came from one of the photographers from "Catharsis" who had a part-time gig shooting high school yearbook photos. Reporting for one job at a small High School in North Carolina, she was greeted with hallways plastered with xeroxed copies of this cover image altered to include information for an upcoming dance!

In the stream-of-conscious rambling intro from that eleventh issue, Don made a predication:

"Future pop culture critics will unanimously agree that the kicker to a fine publication is -- of course-- the cover. For this reason and more, the work of sculptor/cartoonist/filmmaker/man-about-town Hal Weaver will be rediscovered in the far-flung future when copies of this notorious issue surface amid decades of rumor (a whole stack of Catharsis #11 found in a trunk up in the attic of Henry del Toro estate in the year 2088??? Who'd a figure?)"

I'm too impatient to wait until 2088 for this art to be rediscovered, so judge for yourself in 2014.

While researching this article, I was surprised to find little to no information about "Catharsis" on the old inter-tubes. Hey Don Harrison, time to get a web site set-up or better yet, how about a "Catharsis" book!

Side note - Henry "The Bull" del Toro was a local Rock'n'Roll DJ for FM-99 at that time who left us all too early in 2002 at the tender age of forty-four. Click his name to read an obit. RIP.

Zahdah!

OK HW


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Personal Anthropology Trip that Yielded Magic & More


Issue #21 of "BackStage"

Researching this book project has led me to dig back through the ancient history of my early beginnings in art. It took some time and effort to bring order to the jumble of sketchbooks and publications that I contributed work to way back when. It was helpful to create a timeline of all the art/illustration events starting from my first "professional" (getting paid) illustration job when I was fifteen, a spot illo for my high school English teacher, on through the 1980s and 1990s, up to the present day. One of the many things I rediscovered through this personal anthropology trip was the illustrations I did for a Magician's newsletter called "BackStage". Technically it was my second pro job, but really my first "real-world" experience having something published. Here's a sneak preview of my memories of that time that will be in my forth-coming "Reluctant Sadist" book...


Chuck Windley
"My senior year was an easy one as I found my grades and credits allowed me to arrange a shorten school day, getting out at lunchtime. I filled my afternoons with part-time work at a theatrical magic store in Norfolk, Va. called “Magic and More” owned by the worldly and mysterious, Charles Windley. Chuck Windley was a real magician and entertainer who was a touchstone to magic’s glamorous past. He had come up through the ranks of carneys and knew all the cons and tricks of the trade, traveling the world with his magic act and rubbing elbows with some of the greats. Chuck always was ready with a humorous story and loved to talk about “the biz”. He published a monthly newsletter called “Backstage” and upon learning of my artistic talents, enlisted me to illustrate some articles helping me build my portfolio and self-confidence."

I contributed illustrations to eight issues of "BackStage" from 1982-1983 while I was employed at Magic & More. I am still in touch with Chuck Windley, he's semi-retired now, living in Williamsburg, Va. I've heard him mention that he may reprint the "BackStage" newsletters as a collected volume. In the meantime, enjoy this glimpse at issue #21 from September 1983.

OK HW