Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Wall of Kids

So I've been enjoying the hell out of learning Painter; it's slow, buggy, and prone to crashing, but the visual results you can get are insane. I did this one -- interestingly, it's based on selections and backgrounds I did for another piece -- and thought that I might have the next Swill cover, but Rob pointed out to me that placing the logo on the bottom of the cover was a no-no. "No sweat," I said. "I'll just flip it over."

I have mixed feelings about the results. I think the composition is distinctly improved, I love the way it suggests the surf... but it's a little, well, dork-oriented for me. I'm gonna keep it, but before it's done I'm going to add some more highlights to improve the sense of light. And I'm going to castrate the rock formation. For its own good.

(A brief technical note -- I've had trouble cutting and pasting into the blog from Word documents. Turns out the secret is to cut and paste into TextEdit, then cut and paste from that document. Works like a dream...)

I used to be a big Weekly World News enthusiast in the good old days before they realized they were 'hip' and 'ironic,' when they actually were peddling lies, slander, and gore to the credulous. Before they learned to nod and wink.

One of the worst things I've ever done was... Well. My mom had orchestrated a situation where my brother, my sister, and I all moved into a two-bedroom cottage owned by one of her friends. The results of this disastrous decision spread ripples of horror through the universe...

When I moved in, I had a stack of WWNewses about two feet high. One night while we were engaging in a polychemical spree and going through them whilst giggling, I realized something awful. Every single issue had a one-page article about a severely deformed child. There was the skateboarding lizard-boy whose dad had set him on fire. The kid with the big chin. The operation on the two-headed baby with the arrow pointing towards the fuzzy little cranium in the vitrine.

So I cut them all out and stuck them up on the living room wall. Because, I thought to myself, there is no better illustration as to the nature of the world in which we live.

(I have matured considerably since then. I hope.)

The Wall of Kids became legend. Oh, it was horrible. My brother, who slept in the living room, started to get this haggard look, something like the one I saw in the mirror when I brushed my teeth. "You evil fuck, you have no idea what it's like to wake up every morning and have that be the first thing you see."

We were the party house for my brother and sister's friends. After a while, instead of sitting around facing each other, everyone drank in a line facing away from The Wall. There were reports of nightmares. Some cruel people would bring sensitive friends over without warning them about what was in store. I saw tears shed on more than one occasion.

This pleased me no end. I was absolutely miserable and anything I could do to further the cause of misery was an act of conquest.

It all ended when my mom came over for a visit. She stepped in the door, saw it, and without hesitation began taking it down.

"What is wrong with you?" she asked.

I just rolled my eyes and made a face. If you haven't figured that out by now...

1 comment:

robp said...

I, of course, used to have my bedroom walls covered with grotesqueries that included many Weekly World News covers. I think I still have a lot of that stuff in the basement if you have some free wallspace and want to recreate this aspect of your glorious past.

I also had the book cover from the book by Lee Harvey Oswald's mom. It all went together well, I thought.