Introducing Cross Words

As in, words about the cross of Christ. It’s my new blog, and Instagram account.

I’ve been using Canva, a great free, graphic design site to create posts with Scripture or song lyrics or some phrase that pops into my head. I’ve created about half a dozen posts so far (the latest design is below). I post my designs on Instagram and on the blog, but write a couple of paragraphs on the blog, so please feel free to check it out and I hope it inspires and encourages you to get to know God more. 🙂

the-best-gift-you-can-give

ComiXology in France

Digital comics shop are currently in France for the annual comics festival, and have uploaded some pretty cool pics from the experience on their Tumblr, including some great journalling from Jeremy Nguyen (check out Craig Thompson’s Carnet de Voyage for a similar, excellent, arty journal), and a look at the demographics of comics readers in France.

More fun stuff from comiXology coming out of the Festival de la Bande DessinĂ©e d’AngoulĂŞme 2014.

AngoulĂ©me keeps rolling on and we keep on having a great time here in France. ComiXologist Jeremy Nguyen, who not only is one of the many people behind transforming each week’s comics in to Guided View but is an accomplished illustrator himself, has joined us this year and is doing a journal of the experience. Here are two spreads from Jeremy’s AngoulĂ©me journal.

Jeremy Nguyen

Jeremy Nguyen 2

French Comics Fans

Godzilla Comic, Storykiller and JLA Film

Legendary Pictures turned their hand to comics a while ago, and although they don’t produce a lot of sequential art, it’s always pretty slick, such as The Tower Chronicles, and Shadow Walk.

Like they did with Pacific Rim, Legendary Comics is producing another prequel. Their latets project is a comic tieing in to the May 16th release of the Godzilla cinematic reboot, which is directed by Gareth Edwards (the excellent, low budget Monsters) and starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. The original graphic novel will hit stands a week before the film’s premiere, and is set a few decades before the events of the film. Below you can see Edwards’ announcement about the project.

Continue reading

My New Undersea Short Story

Every week, cool website io9 posts a piece of intriguing concept art, and encourages readers to come up with a short story that relates to it. Here’s this week’s post, and the artwork by Vitaliy Shushko, and my story that was inspired by it, are below.

Vitaliy Undersea Burial

Undersea Is Where It’s At

By Kris Bather

“This isn’t funny anymore.”

“Was this ever funny to you?” Rufus cocked his head; every expression underwater had to be exaggerated. A raised eyebrow wasn’t enough to show his disgust.

Weary, Thom depressed the radio-comm switch inside his rubberized glove, so he could offer his hasty explanation. “No, I didn’t mean it like that. It’s just that…well, this has gone from some sort of twisted novelty to…to a bad dream, I guess.”

“Yeah. I think I know what you mean,” sighed Rufus, lifting his glove to scratch his grey moustache before realizing the futility of his gesture as he merely managed to caress his glass helmet. “I remember when we used to put names on the crosses, and then it just went to dates. Now, we don’t even bother carving them properly. They don’t mean anything anymore. I made six of them last night. It’s pretty defeatist isn’t it?”

Alique stood silently between the two middle-aged men; the only African, the only female, the slender thirty year old was constantly reminded that she was the reluctant Eve trying to remake Eden with two despondent Adams almost twice her age. In their tight orange and grey pressure suits and oval masks, everyone resembled the same dull mannequin, but she had come to know these two men far too well in the seven years they’d been given the greatest responsibility known to mankind– to save it.

The silence atop the small hill became annoying. Their home/research station/bunker known as Beta Base contained a litany of sounds that brought memories of life above in the form of random audio tracks, such as young students playing, gentle wind blowing leaves and cars hitting puddles, but the three survivors quickly grew bored with these novelties. Psychiatrists had initiated the notion, to retain some semblance of normality, but hearing the laughter of non-existent children echo through a metallic cavern in the depths of the ocean only served to bring unease.

“I’ve had enough of this. You guys are depressing me more than usual.” Alique turned away, kicking up a smoky mixture of sand and seaweed in her angry pivot. Rufus and Thom barely glanced at their departing colleague, as she made her trudging and silent way back to base.

Beta Base existed as a monstrosity comfortably nestled in the bowels of the Atlantic Ocean. It resembled a hulking octopus and over the years grew to the size of a self-contained suburb, with all the necessary pursuits and amenities from a medical care to schooling each given a mammoth tentacle to call its own. Originally it housed seventy two scientists, radicals and free thinkers, keeping them safe from the dangers of their own mad, dwindling species as well as the largely unknown beastly invaders that had made Earth its own. That was two generations ago upon discovering that the new angry alien overlords could go nowhere near seawater. Suicide, disease and ageing had taken its claim on wise minds and unforgiving bodies. Now it was only down to three. Alique, being the only woman was unable, and unwilling to bear children, and nixed the suggestion as soon as it became obvious that humanity would come down to three people hiding at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean.

The men looked down upon their “silent soldiers,” as they called them. It had taken multiple agonizing attempts to clone anything resembling a humanoid, and as their collection of untainted tissue samples dwindled, so did their success rate. The initial seven all looked alike; hairless and androgynous, they shared a mild telepathic link with each other, which was their primary means of communication.

This first successful attempt at reviving humanity they dubbed “A.” A stood before a waiting hole, which he had dug personally, as he always had. This time he purposefully left the shovel back in the massive storage area back at base, and used the cross to dig. His strength, and the soft seabed meant he was done in a matter of seconds. He also showed lack of confidence in his trio of “masters” by bringing a collection of crosses, which lay atop each other behind him, ready to be used for the next few burials.

B to G held today’s failure upon their sinewy shoulders, a task they had fulfilled often, and with no emotional attachment. The crew had to venture further across the ocean floor with each burial as graves had taken almost every available space within short walking distance of the base. Today’s small valley would soon be filled with death.

Rufus and Thom briefly looked as the metal coffin was thrown in the hole, sinking like a sigh to its place of rest amongst the few fish. The clones made several unusual body contortions, and began kicking in sand to cover it, as A knelt and used his hands to finish the task, cupping his hands like a crude bulldozer. When the coffin was covered, he stood up, lifting the horizontal arms of the cross/shovel upon his shoulders and jabbed it deep in to the ocean’s belly, like a knight felling a wounded enemy. The pair of scientists noticed that with each new burial, the clones’ rituals were becoming more ornate, but they had neither the inclination or strength to discuss it further. They turned in unison, nodded and made the meandering return to base, expecting to find Alique in her usual place looking through the remote telescope, reminding herself what sunlight and cities looked like.

A looked at his “parents,” as they trudged home. B to G stepped closer to the coffin and looked in unison at the remaining crosses laying in a pile behind him. A glanced at the unused grave markers with great intensity. All the clones remained unmoved.

The curtain of sunlight danced upon their sleek suits; the only movement in an area that was once crowned with a life of abundance and variety. There was now a void of living creatures, a void that was echoed above the blue expanse, and a void that longed to be replenished.

 

Eric Guzman’s Mash-Ups

Remember when Marvel and DC joined forces and created two series of one-shots that featured combinations of their characters? If not, go here.

Well, artist Eric Guzman has created a great series of similar mash-ups starring Batman and Spider-Man and their various villains, plus a few extras such as Shazam/Thor, and Superman/Captain America. Check out his gallery here.

Captain Krypton

Thunder God

 

Dean Trippe’s Sci-Fi Heroes

Writer/artist Dean Trippe has created this great piece featuring a bunch of heroes on a space station, and is entitled You’ll Be Safe Here.

I know most of the characters featured, and Trippe’s costume redesigns look great too.

Dean Trippe Sci-fi Heroes

Live.Life.Style Blog

So, a very fashionable and talented friend of mine has just started a blog. You can find her wonderful writing about fashion-y things at Live.Life.Style. I recommend that you do, and not just because the photos on her last post were taken by yours truly!

 

Darkness & Light Art Exhibition

Having just finished its run in Portland, the new Darkness & Light exhibition is going to San Diego Comic-Con next week and then Atlanta in August and Chicago in September. Details here and below.

Darkness & Light: Art Inspired by Heroes & Villains, Hope & Heroism exhibition is a one-of-a-kind art and education tour to raise awareness and funds for the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa. Darkness & Light features some of today’s top contemporary artists and showcases a collection of original artwork inspired by DC Comics’ Justice League characters paired with real world photography that depicts the everyday heroes fighting hunger in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. From the Super Heroes that fight for justice in the comic world, to the human heroes who make a difference every day in the real world, Darkness & Light tells the story of the crisis through the lens of those working tirelessly to be of service to those in need.

The exhibition shows us what is possible when we tap into our own best qualities of responsibility, willpower and inner strength to be of service to others in need. And just like our favorite Justice League Super Heroes, the art reflects the Super Hero powers we each hold that compel us to do good in the world.

The centerpiece of the collection features a large-scale piece of original artwork by Jim Lee, the legendary artist and DC Entertainment co-publisher, featuring the profile of Batman in a color palette inspired by the hues of Africa – yellow, green, red and black. Lee’s work is featured alongside journalistic photography that expose moments of heroism by aid workers in the Horn of Africa.

Select pieces of DC Entertainment artwork will be auctioned off at the end of the tour with all net proceeds going directly the We Can Be Heroes campaign.

Darkness & Light is launching at Mercy Corps’ Global Headquarters and gallery in Portland, Oregon – a nonprofit partner of We Can Be Heroes – and then traveling to cities across the country including Comic-Con in San Diego July 9-15.

If you’re in a tour city, stop by to see the artwork and find out how you can make a difference!

Wolvie, Hulk and Supes

Here’s some great digital art. I can’t track down the artists of the first two, but I found them here. Hulk is in his World War Hulk gladiatorial duds by the way, and the new Superman costume I found here.

Just Get Started

Too true.

Rejected Star Wars Toys

The title says its all, but check out these mostly awesome looks at what could have been. Some of these seem so obvious (Jabba beanbag) and some seem weird (Han Solo in Carbonite popsicle), but they all point to the creativity of the marketing team around the time of Episode 1.

Plenty more pics here and if you think there’s far too much Star Wars branded merchandise already, well, be thankful that there isn’t more, although I would like a Death Star basketball.

This Made Me Laugh

From here.

The Art of the Mass Effect Universe Review

At Broken Frontier you can check out my review of next week’s art book for the popular Mass Effect games.

Review here, and preview below.

Batman Pics

Here’s come cool Caped Crusader-centric fan art.

Filip Acovic’s Dark Knight Returns piece.

A nice, quotable piece from Pawel Durczok

and finally, some cool superhero silhouettes.

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