Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Bryan Ballinger Cracks Me Up!

How about some lite and fluffy goodness? If you didn't know, Bryan Ballinger is a close friend of ours and a reigning 3D wizard. Out of the benevolence of his heart he graces us mud people with his genius and insight, and now teaches design at a small college in Indiana. (An awesome cover for a wizard, ya know.) Bryan is the designer behind our GodZilla shirts, the upcoming BugSoldier and has an endless supply of creativity and off-beat delectability I completely savor. I think these digi-paintings are gorgeous! And there's way more than just these!

Just for fun, here are a few of the BBall pieces that FreakyKids wants to run as prints/posters later this year. These are from a super hero series done for www.DrawerGeeks.com. Check out Bryan and DGs via our "Links" department down and to the right. Lot's of cool stuff by artists of various stripes, several of whom are FreakyFriends.



Friday, February 23, 2007

Grateful? Yeah, I guess so...

I am not a habitually grateful human bean. Are you? With me, I'd want to argue that part of it is understandable. It's related to "my calling." [ha!] I love to analyze things that need fixing, oppose injustice and greed, to shine bright light on the supposedly good or benign to expose the falsehood beneath the surface. Some might say I like to joust at windmills practicing while I wait for a true dragon to wander by.

In all the froth, I probably do forget what I'm actually "for" in life. What it is that I like about life and living that keeps me bound to this traveling circus. In my day after day existing, the deep seated thankfulness usually goes unnoticed and almost always unexpressed. It's in there, behind the war of words, deep thinking, and jousting armor. I just need to stop and see it, hear it, feel it and let someone know about it. I know from experience that the ungrateful life is a dry and miserable one. What do you think? Where are you with gratitude?

In the name of being thankful, I'm going to put up, because I certainly can't consider shutting up. Here are a few things that feel solidly in the center of my gratitude circle. Take a few minutes and see what's in yours. It may be time.

Wes, Jon, water, sunshine, birds, good flip-flops, Holly, justice, autum, Paul, Josh, QP, good coffee, Thai food, my brain and sanity (what remains of both), my health (ditto), God (near and far), cherries and tart berries, mercy, kisses, the FreakyKids vision and opportunity to do some good, my new old car (even though it doesn't run yet), a day on a farm in WI, a good hike in the woods, the smell of fresh cut grass, fishing with my boys or brothers, being on the lake before sunset, singing, my sisters, making, enjoying, and buying art, writing (including poetry), helping people figure out life issues and get unstuck...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Watch Your Language!

Hello, it's me...

I've recently been advised that my lingo may be flying too stratospheric of late. Ya think? Maybe so. If that's the case, I solomly pledge that, "On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty, to speak in plain language at all times." Okay? I refuse to say whether my right hand was raised or not, though.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith - No Tragedy Here

Amid the thousands of options, I like these two pictures of sister Anna. They are so atypical of the dominant images she presented to the media over the years of her alleged celebrity. Plaid and sad cowgirl, with the far away eyes and edible candy necklace is my hands down favorite. Enough is enough, "Talk to the hand," speaks it's own volumes.

Without question, Anna Nicole sent the media engraved invitations to her performance. She became gluttonously fixated on their fixation. She exploited and benefited from the symbiosis, although I imagine she came to deeply resent their parasitic existence following her son's death, if not sooner. Her insatiable pattern is no surprise. Her death at 39 should not be either. Addiction is addiction is addiction, no matter how big the pay day or how bright the lipstick. Addiction is the surface manifestation of deep truth, hidden from view and deathly afraid of the light. Left untreated, it's a dead bang killer, natural born and nursed to beastly proportion through self-medication.

We all know today's "press" has no off button, other than signs that the cash is drying up around one of their overly whipped posts. It's the one and only switch capable of shutting down the lights and killing the power on the magnifying telescopes of these voyeur cannibals.

The death of Anna Nicole Smith is no tragedy. Tragedy necessarily involves the conclusive overtaking of a protagonist by the superior evil it has valiantly battled. Anna's death is very sad, regrettable and unfortunate. But Anna was in bed with the unnatural force that made her and eventually broke her down. It is the all too predictable closing chapter of a troubled life arrested by serial flirtations with all manner of identity crises and lack of grounding in reality. That is to say, she had too much of the faux reality of the material universe and far to little of that which is ultimately genuine and completing. The stuff that lives beyond shape and form, and that which neither eyes nor cameras can never hope to capture.

I hope Anna is at peace. I have no such wish for the scavengers and zombies who will no doubt whip the carcass of her life cut short until it flows with water instead of green blood. Show some human dignity. What am I saying? I'm talking about the media machine!

I want to leave you with a personal favorite line from someone who learned a little bit about over-exposure to artificial light. And in his case, as compared to Anna Nicole and a good many other mortals, there was a vast and porous surface on which the light could land and lose itself. He was much adrift, but that's for another post. I don't know if you've noticed, but we humans don't seem to possess the constitution to bear up under the worship and adulation of other mud people. It merely increases the rate of entropy and magnifies the gross imperfections so painfully obvious to us as we view ourselves in even the smallest flicker of candlelight.

Can you give me sanctuary?
I must find a place to hide;
a place for me to hide."
-Jim Morrison (1943-1971)


Friday, February 09, 2007

This Is Some Sad Funny!

Here's the thing. I am no angelic being. I am by no means saintly in the Mother Theresa vein. In fact, I don't prefer to use the culturally overburdened term, "Christian," as a personal descriptor. As brand drivers go, assuming high anointed status or even direct Christ-like affiliation is from here to Pluto beyond my grasp. (And btw, Poor Pluto! And now a quick moment of silence for the Pluto formerly known as Planet.) As for me, I'll just hang a "believer" dog tag around my neck and leave it at that. For this much I know. I do, fairly unequivocally, believe at least a few times each year. And no, heavens no. I'm not trying to pick on anyone or any group of someones. However, if you want me to it can be arranged along with brunch. Kidding about the former, the latter, not so much. Is there a debater out there? Present thyself and let's bring it.

Scurfing about, I came upon this Sherwin Schwartzrock illustration at InfuzeMag.com. (Look! It's right down there.) It's bloworthiness was unmistakable. That's right, bloworthy, defined by me as, "possessing the traits and qualities of something grand to stick with pen knife and about which I can then spew." It's beautiful and tragic. Woe. Woe. Woe.

Comes now our hero, one cute, spiffy, clean-cut and quite pleased with himself Christian guy presenting his, "Amazing Christian Comic Book," to the be-sandled and befuddled Jesus. The author's self adulation brims off the book cover, as well as his face. He made a comic book for Jesus! And BOY-HOWDY is he proud of it. Problem is, it's stinko poopie.

If I were writing thought bubbles for this one, Jesus would have clouds swirling about his noggin..."Hmm. Okay. Cool. [Be affirming. Look pleased. Pat him on the head.] This is, what, like the 1369th one of these things I've gotten this month? I keep telling these guys I'm not publishing or endorsing this sort of thing. Per usual, White Horse Press digs the allegorical, the parabolic well-woven manuscript, not this overt obviousness. Dad and I are all about story and plot and and character development, life lessons and killer illo's. Besides, have you seen some of that Dark Horse stuff lately? Whoa."

I know. Harsh. But if you've got something great, let it sing to everyone, man and mouse, woman and child. If it's rot, slapping a branding sticker on the cover doesn't redeem the lack of quality or increase the readership to the world at large. (As opposed to the world at small, i.e., Christians being scared of mainstream markets and opting for the brethren as a target market.) Repeat after me, "...wood hay and stubble. Wood hay and stubble..."

I laugh. I cry. I go in peace having thrown the first stone...

Friday, February 02, 2007

A Wee Print Ad for Fk.com

Guten Tag! Just a quick note to let you know that your fave FreakyKids will have a small ad in the March issue of CCM Magazine. This is due to the kindness of our great friends at www.70star7.com. Smooches! Oh. There's the ad now! Right there. Look closely. See it, down there in the left corner? Yeah! That's it. And yes, Norbit, that is, in actual fact, an original Cole13 (aka, Josh Cole) design.

So, there you go. Freak-on!