Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Favorite Movies of 2010

UPDATE! I saw True Grit on the 30th and loved it. Therefore I have changed the Top Ten in order to add it to the list and #6.

It's time once again for my incredibly dorky, incredibly pointless list of personal favorite movies for the year. Two things of note before we begin:

I can obviously only rate the movies I saw. There are several things I missed this year that I really wanted to see. And very little of what I did see really impressed me (even most of the enjoyable stuff didn't really floor me). Frankly, it was even hard to round out the second half of this list with anything I felt especially enthusiastic about...but a yearly top 10 is my tradition, so I'm doing all 10 anyway.

Also, I'm not necessarily ranking this based on what is supposedly the most finely crafted, amazing movie (though I think a few of them are). These are simply the movies I had the most fun watching, out of what I saw.

1. SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD (August 13, 2010
There is nothing I can find NOT to like about this movie. Edgar Wright has expertly used his unique touch as a director to adapt Bryan Lee O'Malley's one-of-a-kind Scott Pilgrim graphic novels for the big screen. The casting of each character is nothing less than inspired (as are the performances). The special effects and visuals are top notch. And beneath all of the silliness of a world where real life plays out much like a video game and delivery girls travel through subspace, there is a sweet story about the struggles we all face when we dare to have relationships.

2. TOY STORY 3 (June 18, 2010
This one was in very close contention for the top spot. The third installment in the adventures of Woody, Buzz and the gang turned out to be the best. It was great revisiting our old friends, and there were so many equally likable new faces introduced. The story was aggressively entertaining and often hilarious, with moments of seat-gripping suspense and, of course, those touching, near tear-jerking moments. Combine that with Pixar's predictably gorgeous animation and there were very few movies to be found this year that could possibly compare.

3. INCEPTION (July 16, 2010)
Christopher Nolan reminds us he's more than just "That Batman Guy" with this sci-fi gem that was every bit "Summer Blockbuster" fare, while remaining something a little more as well. I personally love dreams and therefore tend to enjoy stories that explore the logic of dreams and the subconscious. I thought that was handled here in an interesting and visually engaging way.

4. TANGLED (November 24, 2010)
This the best non-Pixar effort Disney has offered in ages. I found it to be very much in the spirit of some of the beloved films from their early 90's renaissance. The characters are instantly likable, and their adventure is entertaining and surprisingly funny. The animation somehow manages to evoke the look and feel of the traditionally animated Disney classics even while being computer generated. On a down note, I found the songs to be largely forgettable and thought the story would have done just fine without them...but that wasn't a big enough gripe to hurt my overall enjoyment.

5. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (March 26, 2010)
I was surprised with how much I liked this one! At its core it's a pretty simple story with pretty simple characters, but that doesn't stop it from being a fun ride! And those dragons! So many cool dragons! Toothless, especially, was a scene-stealer, and the flight scenes were gorgeous (and I've only ever watched it in good old fashioned 2D).

6. TRUE GRIT (December 22, 2010)
I guess this is the first true "genre" movie by the Coen brothers and in that respect it felt different, but in other respects it's definitely a Coen brothers movie. The whole film is masterfully done with some stellar performances, but perhaps my favorite part is the dialogue, which just pops all over the place.

7. BLACK SWAN (December 3, 2010)
Natalie Portman is excellent in this dark, appropriately melodramatic little thriller. Who knew ballet could be so disturbing?

8. THE AMERICAN (September 1, 2010)
This tale of an assassin's final assignment is like the love child of an action movie and an arthouse/indie movie. But it inherited most of its traits from the indie parent.

9. ALICE IN WONDERLAND (March 5, 2010)
In a lot of ways this movie just feels like a wasted opportunity. It could have been so much more than it turned out to be. But my longtime love of the original story and many of its previous adaptations perhaps predispose me to be lenient. And if nothing else at all, Helena Bonham Carter's Red Queen is worth quite a lot all by itself.

10. TRON: LEGACY (December 17, 2010)
This movie may be nothing more than eye candy, but it was very pretty eye candy. I'm giving it a spot on the list simply because I had a lot of fun watching it. Not to mention, Daft Punk's score is a good listen as well.

Well...normally this is where I do "Honorable Mentions" of a few movies I really enjoyed that didn't quite make it into the Top Ten. But as I mentioned at the beginning, this year was such a lackluster year for movies that there really isn't that much to mention here (out of what I got to see). I do feel that some of those I've missed in the past few months might give me a little more enthusiasm whenever I finally do see them, though.

Now, what were some of your favorites?


Monday, December 27, 2010

Ramona and Scott

Here are Ramona Flowers and Scott Pilgrim from Bryan Lee O'Malley's fantastic graphic novels and Edgar Wright's epic movie. I love both incarnations, so I guess a little fan art was overdue. Enjoy!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Jenn & Bueno: Into the Grid

Jenn & Bueno with a little TRON: Legacy-inspired spoof for you. Enjoy!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Minty the Candy Cane that Fell on the Ground

Minty the Candy Cane that Fell on the Ground! He's here to make Christmas Excellent! Fan art of the weird new holiday character recently introduced on Conan. Enjoy!


You can download Minty's catchy theme song here.

Minty © Team Coco

Monday, December 13, 2010

Jenn & Bueno: Christmas 2010

The art for this year's Jenn & Bueno Christmas card!

Here's wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season! Not to mention an excellent New Year, etc. etc...


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Commission: Gotham Girls/Hardy Boys Spoof!

This was a particularly fun commission request from a fairly regular client. The image is actually a spoof of an old Hardy Boys book cover, replacing the original characters with various girls from Gotham! (A picture of the original cover is seen below.) Enjoy!


Catwoman, Batgirl, & Black Canary © DC Comics

Commission: Lois Lane Gets Slugged!

This is, without a doubt, the most unusual commission request I've received in a long time.
Lois Lane gets turned into a slug by an angry witch! Enjoy?


Lois Lane © DC Comics

Monday, November 01, 2010

Halloween 2010 Costumes

For Halloween 2010 I was the Mad Hatter (my own version, amalgamated from other popular interpretations). Lisa joined me as Alice! Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lydia Pin-Up

A bonus update for this week brings more fan art from the 90's Beetlejuice cartoon. A couple of years ago I did a sort of pin-up illustration of an older Lydia. That one's gotten a lot of positive response since then, and it was fun to here's another one! Enjoy, and, again, Happy Halloween!

Also, for those who read it, there are new posts in my Dream Journal.
Also a new post over at the Photography Blog

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Jenn & Bueno: Getting the Point of Halloween!

Another Jenn & Bueno Halloween treat comes your way, also featuring one of Heidi's occasional cameos. This one is a reworking of one of the earliest J&B Halloween pictures from a few years back. Enjoy, and Happy Halloween!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Jenn with a Spooky Book!

Another of this year's Halloween-themed offerings. Jenn (this time without Bueno) enjoys (?) a book of Spooky Tales! The art was originally inspired by an old Halloween pin-up of Betty Grable that I recently stumbled across. Enjoy!


Sunday, October 03, 2010

Jenn & Bueno: Zombies!

It's October and as we gear up for Halloween, Jenn & Bueno are getting in the spirit of things with ZOMBIES! More Halloween-inspired Jenn & Bueno illustrations to come throughout the month. Enjoy!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Who Watches Over You?

Here's the artwork for the design that failed the Threadless vote last week. For those not in the know, the art is inspired by the excellent They Might Be Giants song, "Birdhouse In Your Soul".

(And keep scrolling down--there are two other new posts for this week!)


Jumping Girl

It was a slow day at work. There was a "Back-To-School" sales insert in the paper. I ended up cartoon-ifying one of the kids. Ended up coloring it. Exciting story.


Death Ray Design

This is something I've been free to post for months now, and I kept forgetting!

Earlier this year, Brian Gubicza commissioned me to design a death ray (in terms of artwork--not an actual Death Ray--breathe easy) to be used as part of a project he and his wife, Jen, were doing for the offices of in Brooklyn, NY.

They created one of the offices to look like a super villain's lair.
My Death Ray art was part of a magazine cover hanging on the wall in the office.

Below is the fake magazine cover Brian designed using my Death Ray, and the blueprint he designed from my art. You can see pictures of the final product in this post on Brian's blog. Enjoy!


Monday, September 06, 2010

Jenn & Bueno: Magic Show

Here are Jenn & Bueno performing a magic show, with questionable success. I suppose an alternate title for this post could have been, "I quit!" Enjoy!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Jenn (minus Bueno) Bookmark

I made a bookmark featuring Jennifer. Just because. Bueno sends his apologies that he wasn't able to make an appearance this time.

I'm also including a link to a high-res, printable version of the bookmark if, for some unknown reason, you'd like to have one. I mean, it's free, after all. Enjoy! (Oh, and there's a little bonus update this week as well, located right below this one).


Pointless Trivia: The art on the bookmark is a rehashing of what was the very first ever, debut illustration of Jennifer, back in 2004.

Influence Map

This is a meme that's making the rounds through the deviantART community at the moment. I couldn't resist it.

Like anyone else, my influences and inspirations are far too numerous to count. This only reflects a small portion of those artists & things that form the DNA of my Muse. Apologies to the hundreds that wouldn't fit on this page. Enjoy!


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Jenn & Bueno: JUMP!

This action-packed image of Jenn & Bueno was whipped up to be a sort of general purpose illustration. Among those purposes, it has (obviously) been used to change the look of the blog again, as well as for some mild updates to the regular Studio Bueno site. Hope you like it and enjoy!


The picture is also being used on T-shirts in my Cafe Press store. Honestly, I'm still waiting to receive my first shirt in the mail to make sure they truly look the way I intended, but if you ever get the itch for a J&B shirt, there should be some now!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Jenn & Bueno: Shark Week!

A bonus second update this week! Not only do you get beatniks--now you get sharks!

Seems I can't turn around without hearing references to "Shark Week" this week. So I decided I'd do a Jenn & Bueno piece inspired by the theme. Enjoy!


Sunday, August 01, 2010

Jenn & Bueno: Beatniks

Looks like Jenn & Bueno are reciting some beatnik poetry. You dig? Enjoy, daddy-o!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Jenn & Bueno: Sack Race!

Jenn, Bueno, and two of their occasional-guest-appearance-making pals, Heidi and Cheer the Squirrel, are all having a sack race! Enjoy!

Also, for those who read it, there are new posts in my Dream Journal.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Carefree Ant

This quickie illustration of a happy, carefree ant was inspired in the unlikeliest of places. I first saw it in a stain on a public restroom wall, as evidenced in the photograph below. Enjoy!


Not quite a religious vision, but what can I say...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jenn & Bueno: Cowgirl

About time we had a new Jenn & Bueno illustration, don't you think? I actually did this one some weeks ago, but never got around to posting it because I was going through the recent "High School Heroes" series. Anyway, here you go! Enjoy!


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Easily Distracted Dog

No regular art update this week (there will be one next week), so I thought I'd use this space to promote my newest blog.

Please direct your browsers to the following link and meet Edd, the Easily Distracted Dog. I'm going to be helping Edd chronicle his many adventures online, because he doesn't pay enough attention to remember very many of them on his own. Edd also has a Twitter feed, @DistractedDog

While Edd was very busy on his first weekend, the frequency of updates from here on out will depend on the frequency of Edd's opportunity for adventures. Please stay tuned and don't miss a single minute of the riveting documentary!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Marvelous Pigs in Satin

Meet the most rockin' girl band ever, Marvelous Pigs in Satin!

These characters date back to the comics I did in high school and college...though longtime followers will recognize Heidi from her infrequent guest appearances in modern Jenn & Bueno illustrations.


While this is another re-imagining of my past characters, it's not the official start of a new series such as the recent High School Heroes series. (Though that doesn't rule out more of the sort in the future.)

Monday, June 21, 2010

High School Heroes: Rogues Gallery

The High School Heroes series continues with the seventh and final (at least for now) installment. This week we take a departure from the heroes themselves to have a look at some of their arch enemies. This illustration represents a sampling of of the villains who went up against the varied heroes you've seen represented in the series. (One character, Dr. Buck Buckum, was actually created years later, but he fits in so well, I included him in the group).


I hope you've all enjoyed this re-imagined look back at the superheroes from my teenage years (and beyond) as much as I enjoyed putting it together! I may tackle a few other past characters later on, or even come back for more visits with some of these others, now that you've met them...

Monday, June 07, 2010

High School Hereos: Saturn

The High School Heroes series continues this week with its sixth installment. Please meet Saturn! Saturn was easily one of the lamest heroes out of my high school menagerie of heroes. Most of them, as you've seen in this series so far, were openly silly and spoof-y. Saturn just didn't play well to the slapstick, and I didn't play well with non-slapstick superheroes.


And here is an embarrassing sample of how Saturn appeared back in the old days!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

High School Heroes: The Cockroach and Cricket

The High School Heroes series continues this week (a day late due to Monday's holiday) with its fifth installment. Please meet the The Cockroach and his sidekick, Cricket! Obviously the Cockroach was my Batman knock-off. Cricket, while created around the same time, never actually appeared in a comic. I used the Cockroach so seldom, that she never had a chance to debut.


Once again, I don't have any sample art from the original comics for this one. Couldn't find any good representations in the old stash that is conveniently available to me.

Monday, May 24, 2010

High School Heroes: Sensational Super Six

The High School Heroes series continues this week with its fourth installment. Please meet the Sensational Super Six! The SS6 were my resident super-team. These are the characters I changed the most drastically when re-imagining them for this series. I even went so far as dropping two members from the original six (ones that I found entirely boring and pointless now) and replacing them with two of what had been my lower-tier solo characters who seemed in retrospect to be better served rounding out a team than running around on their own. You don't need me to explain to you that these characters were my answer to both the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. Enjoy!


In most of this series, I've provided scans of art from the original comics these old characters appeared in. Unfortunately, I don't a good group shot of the Sensational Super Six that was easily accessible for this. They weren't especially frequently used.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jenn & Bueno: Farewell to LOST

Lucky you, here's a second, bonus update this week! (The "High School Heroes" series will resume with next Monday's regular post).

Even though I was a late convert to the show (thank God for DVDs), it's hard for me to believe that
LOST actually comes to an end this Sunday! I couldn't resist a quick (and ridiculous) Jenn & Bueno tribute in honor of the occasion. Enjoy!