Keep current on my latest At the LA Times
Keep current on my latest At the LA Times
My illustration for the 2018 Fall Classic. DODGERS V RED SOX.
A fun and informative read by Tom Hoffarth at TheDrillLA
Months ago, I applied for an open position with the NFL. The “job” requirements kinda fit my skillset:
“The NFL is seeking a Social Media Illustrator to create engaging and cutting-edge illustrations for the NFL’s official social platforms, as well as other NFL-affiliated channels”
Knowledge of Football; Prior experience ‘creating engaging illustrations of varying complexity and style’; skillful illustrator; work on deadline; strong character illustration skills; and strong writing skills.
Gee, I thought – this seems to fit my (multiple) skill sets.
I’ve worked in mass media for decades. I’ve produced illustrations of varying complexity for decades. I meet deadlines. I’ve illustrated and written published articles. I thought: Gosh, I’ll get some response – right? But I didn’t. Not even a: “thanks no thanks”. Nothing. My application apparently went into the trashcan. The NFL’s winning candidate was, apparently, a D grade Elvis-on-velvet artist.
With months of advanced notice that Drew Brees would break Payton Manning’s passing yards record, the NFL put its Elvis-on-Velvet dude on high alert. On October 9th Brees broke Manning’s record and the NFL published its Brees-on-Velvet art.
It depicts Brees (I guess) with Andre the Giant hands. On Brees’ right, Manning with an enormous melon (looking more like Brett Kavanaugh than Payton Manning) also has Andre the Giant hands and a right arm that, I suspect, was detached and dangling from his body (thus the sad face). Manning is depicted in a Bronco uniform rather than a Colts uni. Why? Apparently because Manning set his record in Denver?
In the foreground and to Brees’ left is 6’2″ Favre – much shorter than 6’0″ Brees, and looking starry-eyed at nothing in particular. Favre is dressed out in a Green Bay uni. His right arm looks like it was severed and reattached by Dr Frankenstein. Why is Favre in Green Bay green when he set his record in Viking purple? Meh… forgetaboutit…
The good news — if you’re a starving street artist currently painting Elvis or Bullfighters-on Velvet, be encouraged – the NFL might hire you.
It’s the afternoon, I’m bored and felt like writing. Also I watched a stink-pile of a movie last night so why not “review” it. Jurassic World; Fallen Kingdom.
The good news first. If you like movies with 1st class CG and a garbage script this is your ticket to paradise. Let’s be clear – it’s not all that unusual to see awesome CG. What is not usual is science-fiction with a coherent plot. The Jurassic World sequel is totally unmoored from decent story telling. It had so many logical disconnects it was impossible to keep track of them all.
The movie begins three years after the park is overrun and abandoned.
Act One: At night in a blinding rainstorm. Two idiots are in a submarine in the middle of the aquarium that housed the Giant Dino fish. Remember that big fishy looking reptile that ate great White Sharks like they were sardines? The sub dudes switch on so many lights they could likely be seen from outer-space. And, of course, the intrepid submariners get eaten by Giant Dino Fish. That was as predictable as the virgin dying first in a slasher movie. How the giant Dino fish is still alive after 3 years isn’t explained. It’s an unanswered plot hole that even Giant Dino Fish could not fill. And, wasn’t the aquarium landlocked and Dino Fish needed to be fed like a zoo animal? Why yes, movie watchers you would be correct. Forget logic, forget story continuity, the sequel’s screenwriters created a giant gate to the open ocean so mosasaurus could munch on surfers in the next film….I guess. And frankly can anyone explain how Jurassic World science dudes found a mosquito with a mosasaurus’ DNA? Aqua-Mosquitoes? Anyway…
Before the submariners are eaten, they are there to retrieve a piece of Dino bone at the bottom of said aquarium. Wait… what? Why not send a robot to do that in daytime when you can kinda see it. Nah, that would make sense. Of course Dino Fish is released to the open ocean after eating the submariners because the doors where left open…
Act Two: Scene in a US Senate committee debating if the US government will save the Dinos from a second extinction – because the whole mythical Costa Rican island is about to explode in a volcanic eruption. Wait… what? Hold on. The park builders spent (likely a billion bucks on a park, with an active volcano…? Oh, ok. But isn’t this island, ah, Costa Rican? Why is the US involved at all? Meh never mind….
Fast forward some more. A private army shows up to remove Dinos with military grade helicopters and a 100Million dollar cargo ship. Chris Pratt’s character and love interest Bryce Howard are betrayed and left to die. Love interest, Pratt and a irritating cuck who spent most the movie screaming like a 4 year old end up fleeing from both an erupting volcano and sprinting Dinos. They miraculously find one of those ball shaped glass vehicles in the middle the field they are running through. What are the odds -right that they find it and the batteries work? Unlike the theme park (it looks like it was abandoned 50 years ago) the glass sphere is pristine – not a bit of dust or dirt on it. Oh, ok. Beta Male and Love Interest end up flying over a 200 ft cliff into the ocean while strapped in the sphere. Pratt rescues them, of course. While underwater Pratt fires a 9MM handgun at the glass and those tiny shell blast holes in the glass. Wait… what? In Jurassic World, didn’t Jimmy Fallon fire a .45 at the glass and didn’t the bullet bounce off the bullet proof glass? Yeah but, in the sequel Pratt fires a 9MM underwater and those super-bullets penetrate bullet-proof glass. Forget that water is 800 times more dense than air and a 9MM would travel about an inch before losing all momentum. Whatever. And – ya the ship sails away undetected… by anyone. An island being destroyed might be a world event but in this movie, no one cares. An island with the only Dinos in existence and a volcano about to envelop everything might be even more news worthy but all world governments and press are apparently taking collective naps when the bad guys remove the Dinos.
That’s the first 20 minutes.
The cargo ship (apparently) sails past the US Coast Guard and all local authorities and the massive ship docks in Northern California undetected at some rich dude’s enormous close-to-the-ocean estate with giant paddocks built specifically to house the Dinos. Wait, what? How did all that get built so fast? Never mind..nothing to see here. Move along.
Pratt and Love Interest are captured – but instead of killing them the bad guys put them in a cage. Are they going to feed them to the carnivores?
The rest of this awful movie is setting up the next sequel. Its awful. But it made 1.3 Billion from people willing to spend 15 clams on CG and terrible storytelling. It’s further evidence that all a movie needs is stuff being blown up. Storytelling is a way distant second.
‘MEMBER LAST YEAR when Clay Helton was a genius? Remember two years ago when Helton was dog-meat after three games and was incompetent to coach an 8 year old’s AYSO soccer team? I do. Depending on the results on any given Saturday, Helton can be a loved or hated by SC faithful. Right now he’s not exactly loved in Trojan Land. To be honest without Sam Darnold the team does kinda look… terrible.
At present, USC’s fanbase wants a divorce. If Helton doesn’t make a memorable turnaround SC will be filing papers and moving on.
SERENA WILLIAMS is the best to ever play women’s tennis. She’s also a diva who, when losing, tends to blame everything and everyone within a tennis ball’s throw. Remember when she threatened to stuff a ball down a linesman’s throat. I hate to break the news but great athletes can be great big jerks.
Williams’ epic melt down was unfortunate and she made it all the worse by claiming that her punishment was the result of sexism. She claimed men are not punished like she was punished. Facts got in the way. The New York Times researched and it turns out men are sanctioned at three times the rate women are. Why? Likely because men are generally bigger jerks than women.
Williams claimed that her coach wasn’t coaching. Her coach admitted he was coaching. She threw a fit while she was losing the match and losing her cool and broke her racquet. She called the Ump a liar and a thief. She then demanded that the umpire apologize to her. Her pique was self-generated, windy nonsense. She wasn’t the victim of sexism, she was the victim of her own self-induced jerkism.
Mark Knight apparently has no self-control and has no editor with self-control and he has no executive editor with a rudimentary ability to see the obvious. Justice Potter Stewart famously said about obscenity: “I’ll know it when I see it”. Justice Stewart would see the obscenity and racism in Knight’s cartoon. Knight’s explanation is, in “Australian” rubbish. There are a dozen ways he could have draw the concept of Williams being a big whinny baby. Like, draw her as… a big baby. He could have drawn Osaka in the foreground, her back to the camera , Osaka looking stunned glancing at Williams as a silhouetted figure slamming her racquet with the same talk bubble. All of the racist elements would have been eliminated and I assume he could have avoided drawing Osaka as a beach Barbie. But I suspect Knight’s intention wasn’t to comment about bad behavior; I think this cartoon was all about the international reaction he knew he’d get. And, apparently he has an editor who backs him up. Bottom line – a tabloid got what it wanted – millions of eyes on a garbage cartoon and it sullied my profession. I don’t need to repeat the vast condemnation I’ve seen – it’s well deserved. It includes a 2,000 word article in the New York Times ( with quoted “experts” on cartooning) and experts on race relations. Suffice to say I was shocked and saddened that Knight muddied what I consider an honorable and important art form – editorial sports cartoonist. I think I’m at the top of my craft and I am proud of the work I do and it hurts when I see exploitation for prurient reasons.
Justice Stewart would definitely declare Knight’s cartoon obscene. So does Justice Jimmytoons, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Sports Cartoonist.
NIKE is in the business of making money. It is not in the business of saving whales or throwing corporate bodies over baby seals about to be clubbed. It’s business isn’t shoes or hats or shirts. It’s money.
Nike makes that money by producing product, and that product is made, not by union labor, but “allegedly” by young people in foreign lands who couldn’t buy a pair of Jordans with a week’s worth of wages.
Nike’s produced a slick Ad featuring a new pitchman -Colin Kaepernick.
The tagline is: “Believe in something – even if means sacrificing everything”
I bet the kids who make overpriced Nike shoes believe in something – and I bet if they knew what Kaepernick was being paid to pitch that line, those kids would take Kaepernick’s suffering any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
JOE WEST is a veteran heavyweight MLB Umpire and generally a guy who seems interested in the camera being on him – which is kinda odd considering that he doesn’t seem to care about what he looks like.
Joe West isn’t the worst ump in MLB. That distinction, I think goes to Angel Hernandez. But West’s body of work presents a high ejection rate, an expanded strike zone, and a body that seems better fitted for a lounge chair at Leisure World than calling a game in The Show.
Over the weekend West walked over to Austin Davis, a Phillies reliever and confiscated Davis pocket-sized scouting report. Mind you, Davis has been using a scouting report all year and there is no rule against it, but that didn’t stop Joe West. Nope West took the sheet and lated said that he “didn’t want to throw Davis out of the game” because he wasn’t sure the sheet was illegal. What the holy hell? West took it upon himself to, once again, interject himself into a game, make it about Joe West and interfere with athletes playing professionally. West didn’t know the rule but decided he would make one up.
I think West needs to be fitted for a Leisure World lounge chair.
AARON DONALD is the best player on the Rams roster, and that’s taking into account the Rams’ stellar offensive lineup and the addition of Ndamukong Suh. Donald and the Rams have been working on a deal for the better part of two seasons now, and it finally got done. 135 MILLION, with 87 Million guaranteed and 40 Million dollar signing bonus. Donald wasn’t happy last year because he thought he was being underpaid – but he still ripped up offensive linemen like they were paper dolls.
I see a big year for the Rams SACK LEADER.