Father Electrico Sculptor Slatoff Appears in Pasadena

Chuck Kovacic and Christopher Slatoff

The “Life of a Modern Day Sculptor: Christopher Slatoff” event at the Pasadena Museum of History on July 24 featured a conversation between artist Chuck Kovacic and Christopher Slatoff, creator of the Bradbury-inspired Father Electrico sculpture.

Once famous for traveling the world to make sculptures out of sand, Slatoff is now known for his impressive body of work cast in bronze. Hear how Slatoff became friends with legendary author Ray Bradbury and how that friendship inspired The Illustrated Man, one of the sculptor’s favorite works. (The maquette of this work is currently on view at PMH.) A short documentary, Father Electrico: Ray Bradbury Lives Forever by John Sasser, will be shown about the creation of this sculpture.

Mockup given to Ray

Sculpture: The Father Electrico. sculpture is available exclusively through American Legacy Fine Arts.

View of tattoo art on sculpture

Documentary: Father Electrico: Ray Bradbury Lives Forever —

…is a documentary film based on the creation of a sculpture which was a collaboration between author Ray Bradbury and sculptor Christopher Slatoff. The frontal view of the finished sculpture depicts a father carrying his son. Turn the sculpture around and the image of the father is in reality Bradbury’s “Illustrated Man,” a character taken from his classic story collection about a tattooed man.

 

John Sasser, documentarian

 

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the story and the photos of the speakers.]

Fan Art Roundup

Compiled by Carl Slaughter: Click through to see the images.

Venom is returning to the big screen for the first time in 11 years this October, when Sony unveils their solo movie based on the antihero starring Tom Hardy as the symbiote-stricken Eddie Brock. While that’s cause to celebrate, unfortunately it doesn’t look like we’ll see Venom face off against his nemesis any time soon, due to Spider-Man having returned to the arms of Marvel Studios.

However, there’s nothing stopping fans from whipping up some inspired artwork which gives us an idea as to what a battle between Tom Hardy’s Venom and Tom Holland’s Spidey could look like. Case in point: this new piece seen in the gallery down below, which paints a picture of the villain totally besting the wall-crawler in a fight. As you can see, Peter Parker lies senseless in a pile of rubble while his enemy cuts a sinister figure as he lingers over him.

Twitter user UberKryptonian recently had a minute to kill and decided to spend those waning seconds creating a Fantastic Four character poster, in which he envisioned none other than Krasinski as Mr. Fantastic himself, Reed Richards. You can check out the clever bit of fan casting below, which follows on from several other pieces put forth by various different artists (also included in the gallery).

Coming from digital artist ultraraw26 on Instagram is a mock-up poster for Avengers 4 imagining what a team-up between Iron Man and Carol Danvers might look like. Considering the Q-Ship in the background, not to mention both heroes appear to be in outer space, it looks like the battle is set on Titan, Thanos’ home-planet. Interestingly, however, the Mad Titan cannot be seen in the frame, nonetheless, the prospect of seeing the aforementioned heroes banding together to fight a common foe is exciting for fans. Check it out below:

The urban legend of Zack Snyder’s cut of Justice League grows even bigger today with yet another string of previously unseen concept art. Featured in the gallery down below, it depicts the could-have-been third act of Snyder’s version of the movie, and from what we can see here, he apparently planned for an epic, sky-based skirmish, a more Kirby-esque Steppenwolf, a larger role for Aquaman and, of course, a darker color palate than what we got in theaters.

The photos themselves are impressive and will certainly embolden fans who’ve been rallying for an official release of Synder’s version of the film.

Space Babe Coloring Book Released

Jeanne Gomoll’s Space Babe Coloring Book unveils 37 diverse representations of that amazing superhero Space Babe, perfect for coloring by wanna-be Space Babes of all ages. Says Jeanne:

I created the original Space Babe—a kick-ass gal with a raygun—decades ago. But more recently, I realized that the original Space Babe is not alone and began to create many Space Babes, all ready to fight for the rights of all. With colored pencils, readers can reimagine the future with images of gender-fluid space babes, young space-babes-in training, explorers, activists, construction workers, bakers, athletes, intergalactic pirates, a woman POTUS, and other Space Babes of different shapes, ethnicities, jobs & attitudes.

Space Babe is a symbol of the James Tiptree Jr., Award, a literary award presented annually to a work of speculative fiction that explores and expands gender roles. Their mission: “Changing the world.”

All income earned from sales of the coloring book go to the Tiptree Award.

The Space Babe Coloring Book is available at Lulu.com.

Bob Eggleton Announcement

Artist Bob Eggleton asked to have his statement posted:

I’m taking a major step back from SF fandom. I’ll still do covers for my favorite people, here and there and will be around, just have to step back from some of the unkind aspects and pithy fights fandom has developed into recently to focus on my landscape, seascape and spacescape work and my Fine Art direction. People take themselves waaay too seriously in regards to awards like the Hugo and so forth. I got a bunch when it was fun and before Social Media and “campaigning.” Now I see too much backbiting and a tendency to forget the past honors going back to the Hugo’s beginning.

Events like SPACE FEST, Windy City Pulp Con, and G FEST(Godzilla Con) I will still attend as I will Boskone (local) and some of the “Monster Convention” shows. Some of the cattiness and political backbiting and disrespect in the core of “SF fandom” has been very tiring. I have been declining AGoH invites politely anyway, I wish them well but it’s not my “tribe” as it were.

“All Best Wishes, Stay Positive.”

Worldcon 76 Hugo Base Designers

2018 HUGO BASE. Sara Felix and Vincent Villafranca are collaborating to create the 2018 Hugo Award base.

Each artist individually has created a past Hugo base.

Villafranca produced the iconic 2013 LoneStarCon 2 Hugo base. (And he designed the new World Fantasy Award trophy.)

Sara Felix of Austin, who is also the current president of the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists, created the 2016 MidAmeriCon II Hugo base.

1943 RETRO HUGO BASE. The 1943 Retrospective Hugo Award base is being created by con chair Kevin Roche.

[Thanks to JJ for the story.]

Spectrum 25 Awards Recipients

The Spectrum 25 Awards were presented at a ceremony in Los Angeles on May 5.

The ceremony was held in the historic Brookledge Theater and presided over by Spectrum’s Director and publisher, John Fleskes. Presenters included such luminaries of the art community as Alina Chau, Craig Elliott, Te Hu, Tim O’Brien, Iain McCaig, Brynn Metheney, Karla Ortiz, Colin and Kristine Poole, William Stout, Paul Sullivan. Spectrum co-founder Arnie Fenner introduced a memorial video devoted to the creatives who had passed away in the previous year. Bob Self served as the master of ceremonies during the evening.

French comics creator Claire Wendling was named the Spectrum 2018 Grand Master. She responded on Facebook:

OMG!!! Spectrum awarded me with the grand master prize!! They don’t know , well know they do ,how much it matters to me. Thank you guys.

 

Spectrum 25 awards. Designed by J. Anthony Kosar, and made by him and the Kosart Effects team.

Spectrum 25 Awards Recipients

Spectrum 2018 Grand Master

  • Claire Wendling

Spectrum 2018 Rising Star

  • Miranda Meeks

Advertising

Gold Award

  • Greg Ruth
    Moonrise

Silver Award

  • Laurel Blechman
    ComicBase 2018

Book

Gold Award

  • Victo Ngai
    Serving Fish

Silver Award

  • Petar Meseldžija
    The Old Man and the Forest

Comic

Gold Award

  • Alex Alice
    Castle in the Stars book 2 pages 60-61

Silver Award

  • Gary Gianni
    Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea page 11

Concept Art

Gold Award

  • Wangjie Li
    Battlefield Scene

Silver Award

  • Anthony Francisco
    Okoye and Nakia the Dora Milaje

Dimensional

Gold Award

  • Forest Rogers
    Octopoid Descending

Silver Award

  • Jessica Dalva
    I’ll Need Entire Cities to Replace You

Editorial

Gold Award

  • Edward Kinsella III
    My Whereabouts

Silver Award

  • Tim O’Brien
    “Nothing to See Here”

Institutional

Gold Award

  • Seb McKinnon
    Stasis

Silver Award

  • Piotr Jab?o?ski
    Moaning Wall

Unpublished 

Gold Award

  • Andrew Hem
    Whirlpool

Silver Award

  • Michael MacRae
    Tip of the Spear

How to Get Cheap Steampunk Cosplay Goggles

By Joanna Davies: If you are crazy about steampunk, then it is already clear that a good amount of your budget will be sinking in getting good steampunk cosplay goggles to go with your costumes. But, you don’t always have to spend a fortune of getting great goggles especially when you have the time to look around the options that re available.

If you have an upcoming steampunk event and you want to grab some attention a good pair of cosplay steampunk goggles will go a long way in making that dream come true. But, you might be concerned about the cost of making that happen. Here are a couple of tips that will help you make the most out of your budget and save you some money.

Make it yourself

If you have the tools and the DIY talent why not make the goggles yourself? The internet is awash with great guides on how you can make steampunk goggles from scratch and you could use them to come up with your own pair.

If you are worried about the level of complexity, you don’t have to. Steampunk is about creativity and you can use simple items around the house to come up with a great pair of steampunk goggle for your event. Additionally, there are also some guides that are perfect for beginners so you shouldn’t worry about not hacking the build.

Look for discounts

The steampunk cosplay goggles market is growing by the day. There are plenty of websites that are now selling the goggles online. The growing competition is great for all steampunk lovers because that means more competitive pricing, better diversity and the best part is the discounts and sales.

With some luck and plenty of digging, you can get yourself a great pair of steampunk cosplay goggles for half your budget on online steampunk stores that are having clearance sales and discounts. Because of the thoroughly creative nature of steampunk, it is never a good idea to hold on to stock for too long so you will always find a sale somewhere. You just have to be patient enough to look through it.

Thrift shops and hand me down stores

This is going to be a lot of work and you will have to be riding on a lot of luck to find a good pair. Most steampunk lovers like remaining relevant and usually, they might not want to have the same pair of goggles for a long time. There are also those that might not know the value of what they have and might want to dispose them. Yard sales, thrift shops and hand me down stores are a great place to scavenge for steampunk items not only steampunk cosplay goggles but even hats and other items that you can use to improve your look.

There are plenty of ways to get your steampunk look on the cheap as long as you have the time and are willing to put in the effort to try and get the best deals. However, if you would rather have the goggles now, you have no other option but to pick the first option you find and there is a fair chance that you might end up paying way more than is needed for it.

Art On A Lark

By Dann Todd: A link popped up recently over on Reddit for an artist in China. Jian Guo is an artist that has done work inspired by various science fiction and fantasy properties ranging from Lord of the Rings to Star Wars. He has done cover work for the Chinese versions of some of Brandon Sanderson’s books.

Fellowship of the Ring by Jian Guo

Star Wars: Phantom Menace by Jian Guo

Mistborn cover by Jian Guo

And it is simply mind-blowing. There is a larger offering on Guo’s Deviant Art page. And of course, prints of selected images are available in exchange for a bit of filthy lucre.

Expect to spend a significant amount of time exploring his unusual take on various SF/F properties as well as his interpretations of Chinese legends.

Swarovski Crystal Star Wars Figures

John King Tarpinian snapped this photo of Swarovski’s window display at his local mall.

Just won the lottery and need the right holiday gift for the Star Wars fan in your life? That’s the price level we’re talking about, for the big guy, anyway…


Star Wars – Darth Vader, Limited Edition 2017

$ 10,250.00

Limited to 300 pieces worldwide, this unique masterpiece is only crafted on demand and comes with a certificate of authenticity. An exclusive design showing Darth Vader, one of the most popular and iconic characters from the Star Wars movie series, with over 29’000 hand-set crystals. Authentic and detailed, this stunning Limited Edition showcases Swarovski’s expertise in the Pointiage® technique, and each piece takes over 120 hours to complete. Each one is engraved with its own edition number on the granite base, and delivered in a premium blue suitcase. The shipping procedure includes insurance and a delivery notice. Find out more about this procedure under Online Shop Assistant – Order Process. Decoration object. Not a toy. Not suitable for children under 15.

  • Size: 10 3/4 x 5 1/2 x 3 7/8 inches

Star Wars – R2-D2

$ 239.00

Fans of Star Wars: The Force Awakens can find a home for iconic droid R2-D2. The lovable character has been expertly crafted in crystal and features 446 luminous facets and detailed prints. Sure to amuse and impress, it’s a must-have for any aficionado. Decoration object. Not a toy. Not suitable for children under 15.

  • Size: 2 5/8 x 1 3/4 x 1 5/8 inches

Star Wars – C-3PO

$ 325.00

From a galaxy far, far away to your own home, with this stunning depiction of C-3PO. Exquisitely crafted in golden and red crystal, it boasts black detailing and a white crystal base. In all, the ever-helpful droid, which featured in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, features 537 sparkling facets. The perfect present for those who follow the Star Wars franchise. Decoration object. Not a toy. Not suitable for children under 15.

  • Size: 4 3/8 x 2 1/8 x 1 7/8 inches

Star Wars – BB-8

$ 129.00

Bring the excitement of Star Wars into your home with this exquisite depiction of BB-8. Instantly recognizable from his turn in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, everyone’s new favorite droid has been expertly crafted in crystal with 226 sparkling facets and detailed prints. A must for any Star Wars fan. Decoration object. Not a toy. Not suitable for children under 15.

  • Size: 1 7/8 x 1 1/4 x 1 1/4 inches

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the story.]

Bryan Talbot Exhibit at Orbital Comics in London

By James Bacon: I took the opportunity to visit the Grandville Art Exhibition at Orbital Comics, near to Leicester Square Tube Station, with fans Ian Stockdale and Andrea Carney. As Andrea commented a ‘very cool place’ and indeed, the shop is worthy of its Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer accolade, which it won last year.

The shop itself holds considerable stock, new comics adorn the walls as one enters, collected editions are stacked, and as ever what sets a comic shop apart from its peers is the unusual Orbital Comics has an annex full of international and local works, small press from near and afar, while the back issues are substantial, and to ensure that every quarter of comics is represented, they have a delightful selection of second-hand stock. This combined with in house comic art and framed posters of previous events, gives one the feeling that this is a genuine place where comics are loved.

Another annex is where the exhibits are shown with regularity, and we were lucky to visit at the opening of the current show, Grandville Force Majeure, by Bryan Talbot.

Without doubt, one of the finest comics of the year is about to be released. The fifth story in the series by Bryan Talbot, is incredible. I first saw images shown by Bryan for Grandville at Eastercon in 2008, and I was immediately intrigued. Comic artist and writer Bryan Talbot had just come down from the huge wave of appreciation for his previous work, Alice in Sunderland, and yet here he was showing eager fans his next project.

An anthropomorphic steampunk story. I saw a badger in detective’s clothing toting huge revolvers and in an obvious altered metropolitan setting of Paris and was excited. The official word was ‘Two hundred years ago, Britain lost the Napoleonic War and fell under the thumb of French domination. Gaining independence after decades of civil disobedience and anarchist bombings, the Socialist Republic of Britain is now a small, unimportant backwater connected by a railway bridge, steam-powered dirigible, and mutual suspicion to France. When a British diplomat’s murder is made to look like suicide, ferocious Detective-Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard stalks a ruthless murder squad through the heart of a Belle Epoque Paris, the center of the greatest empire in a world of steam-driven hansom cabs, automatons, and flying machines. LeBrock’s relentless quest can lead only to death, truth . . . or war.’. When I saw that it was stated that on the cover that the story is ‘Scientific Romance Thriller’ I was impressed. It spoke to me.

Nine years later the fifth story in the Grandville Series by Bryan Talbot is about to be released and it is one of the finest comics of the year and is incredible. We are at a point where Bryan Talbot has clearly signalled that for us fans the series is now coming to an end. Each book is a beautiful edition and Grandville Force Majeure is a lovely finishing point for this fantastical intelligent alternative history series with anthropomorphic characters.

Bryan Talbot himself, as previously mentioned, is a regular at many science fiction events, a Guest of Honour at Loncon 3, he was an early member of the Tolkien Society who he provided illustrations to and did the very first cover for Dark Horizons, the fanzine of the British Weird Fantasy Society, which was a breakaway from the BSFA, and came to be The British Fantasy Society. I consider him to be a real supporter of many events, and a fine elegant speaker with vast knowledge of comics.

Grandville Force Majeure is longer than its predecessors and this adds depth and delightfully it has a spoiler-proof sealed section, to prevent eager readers unwittingly flicking through and destroying what is a wonderful story. One can assume there must be twists and turns, but to say more about the details, is to defy what Bryan Talbot has worked to do, and spoil what is a story that is captivating and compelling. It is a fabulous ending, drawing in a whole new aspect to LeBrock, our anthropomorphic Badger Detective of the Yard. I was very pleased with how this comic gives a lovely amount of back story to our protagonist and how that links to what is occurring and also presented us with a lot more detail and for me a wonderful pastiche nod in the form of LeBrock’s mentor, Hawksmoor.

Grandville has won the Prix SNCF award for best crime graphic novel and the books have been nominated twice as finalists for the Hugo Awards, and given how good this one is, I would not at all be surprised of it also receives a finalist Hugo nomination next year. This is a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging read, so I was particularly looking forward to seeing the original art on display. I had hoped that there’d be a decent amount of artwork of the latest Force Majeure on display, what I didn’t anticipate was a whole retrospective of all five graphic novels, which surpassed my expectations.

The four walls of the exhibition space in Orbital Comics were filled with some twenty-five pages of artwork, with some from all five comics in the series. This was good.

Straightaway, one is looking at the action page from page four of Grandville. The whole four-panel sequence captures so much movement and conveys the story so brilliantly.

It’s really really clean. The black and white artwork is spotless, and indeed I have to say I did not find the lack of colour in any way impacting my appreciation of the art. Movement and action are also portrayed on page ninety, where a fight is taking place, and then with page forty-nine, one sees how detailed and accurate the architecture of a back street can look, while the rain falling adds an energizing dimension to the art, the droplets and water are depicted perfectly.

Again architecture and Bryan’s amazing penmanship was on display, with page seven of Grandville Mon Amour. We see Roderick near Big Ben, and the street scene busy, with the city scene expertly and accurately drawn. A juxtaposition with page twenty, where the twelve-panel layout and close-up work is a joy. Seeing the work up close from the hairs on the cat to the detail of Paris in the distance or the ornate door and its crumbling surround next to a character, demonstrates how much effort and work Bryan puts in here, and how dynamic an artist he is.

There are three pages from Grandvile Noel and page one captures such a serious scene. The uniforms, the setting the farmland architecture in the distance, all so important to setting the scene. While obvious elements, clothing, flags and so on give an immediate sense of location, it is the grain silo and the windmill in the distance that real give it a sense of place, solidly and accurately portraying an element that could jar and extract the reader from the immersion of the story. This is very important, and something that is occasionally forgotten, although not by the reader, I always will recall an issue of Hellblazer with yellow cabs, US Postal Service post boxes and other American street furniture, when the setting was London, an unfortunate misunderstanding perhaps some twenty-five years ago. While current alternative history comics which portray military uniforms and equipment inaccurately, or even in a distorted fashion undermines and in some cases rends the story apart or useless, such is the importance of cohesiveness between the sequential art and the script.

Bryan Talbot being a master of everything with these comics provides an impeccable standard that one gets to enjoy, and is without doubt able to capture items of pure imagination and conjecture with a sense of realness that is perfect, and believable in this fantastical world. His attention to detail continually shows through, and this works very well in invented elements that are pure science fiction, although I hope some ideas have had an interesting conceptual influence.

There are two pages from Grandville Bete Noir and page ninety-three is such an amazingly lovely view, and a fantastic one to see up close.

The final wall has seven pieces from Grandville Force Majeure. There’s a refinement to the art that I normally don’t expect in its raw form. Minimal pencil work is in view, does Bryan just get it the first time, every time. There is some light blue and light pencil in view, but this is to do with the positioning, lining up and framing of the panels. With that, one can see the thought and accuracy of vision that is being given to the readers.

This is something with Bryan Talbot’s work that appeals so much, intrigues and excites. There is often much more to it all than at first one realises. In fairness to Force Majuere, once I realised that there would be other anthropomorphic characters, as in those from other works in the story, just as cameos, I had a great time working out which references, names and of course likenesses were which, and then pondering if I had speculated incorrectly. I smiled widely when I saw Blacksad. This is just one example of his attention to detail, his appreciation for the art, and of course, something I spotted, I am certain there are many secrets in these pages, notions and ideas that exist but that are not immediately clear, or indeed, need and welcome explanation or enlightenment and I love that.

The exhibit space with benches, and a huge banner of the cover of Force Majeure is just right, and I spent considerable time looking, and re-looking at the art, while next door the gentle bustle of comic browsing took place, but separate momentarily as one considered the beauty of this art.

So as I was in Orbital Comics, I got chatting to Karl who manages the shop and took some quick notes. Karl  seemed to share many of my own feelings on Grandville, and I was interested and asked what he liked and he responded, ‘the clear lines, a definite development in Bryan’s style, the fun of the anthropomorphic characters and the humorous and emotional beats thus offered to the tales.’.

I wondered how it was for him working with Bryan and how it made him feel.  Karl had a good experience and said ‘Bryan is a consummate professional, and always a pleasure to work with! Plus I have been a fan since back in the day, probably his Luther Arkwright and Nemesis works first, although subsequently discovering the  Brainstorm Comix, and the adventures of Chester P. Hackenbush was an eye opener! To see that storytelling develop, through to Alice in Sunderland, and of course the beautiful books created with Mary up to now, the Grandville finale, is a pleasure, and to host this exhibition and launch, an honour.’

An honour, I thought, as a fan it is a pleasure to see this artwork here on display, I feel lucky that I can see this, and grateful that the art is here. There is an appreciation amongst comic people I think, of things that are good. Is that simplified, that the aesthetics of a shop, the experience we have at conventions, or the pleasure we gain from art displayed and comics read is incredibly subjective and personal, yet I find amongst fans and professionals, one can – generally- engage positively and share that appreciation. Karl is one of those people, but I am still impressed with this approach ‘ I do love comic art, we are very lucky to have the space to be able to share an incredible variety of styles, genres, workshops, group shows, and to simply proclaim ” comics are art ” without fuss. ‘

That is quite wonderful I thought, as I considered the artwork that I have viewed there, in Orbital Comics, and how much effort goes into such an endeavour, and wasn’t it not that long ago that they started here with Watchmen Artwork ‘We have been exhibiting for 8 years now, one of the first shows featured the original artwork for page 1 of Watchmen, the smiley face falling in the rain, which sold shortly afterwards for a pitiful $30K.’ said Karl. Crikey, I thought, eight years, that is some amount of work.

Some of the exhibits have been especially good, although I pressed Karl about what he had enjoyed, and he said ‘the Image Duplicator show in May 2012, comic artists responding to the then current Lichtenstein show at Tate Modern. That felt a little bit like ” sticking it to the art establishment “! and the ” In Orbit ” show this time last year, which was artwork by the Orbital staff, past and current – a formidable and wildly eclectic group!’

This exhibit runs now until December 5, and then coming up, immediately following Bryan’s Grandville show, Orbital Comics have a ‘”Kirby Consciousness” exhibit, a turn of phrase coined by Shaky Kane, which features a huge number of artists paying tribute to Jack Kirby in this, his centennial.’ said Karl who mentioned that they will be teasing it on their site although Karl was very keen to praise the variety of people who participate in the exhibits. The Kirby Consciousness exhibition runs from December 9 to January 14, with a special private view event after hours on Friday December 8.

As I walked away with Andrea and Ian, and on our path to meet Russell Smith, there was mutual agreement that this was a destination worth visiting and that seeing artwork in its original state in a fine yet unassuming gallery amongst comics was brilliant.