Joe Alterio's blog on illustration, comix, design, animation, and other bouts of total awesomeness.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Year's End

Above is some of my most recent advertising work that I've done for Golden Lasso, up in Seattle, which I'm happy with. Once again, it looks like I'm solidifying my rep as "that robot guy". Also, I'm pretty sure I worked with one of those robots at a temp job once.

As the year draws to close, I like to think about projects I did, weird events that occurred, and people I met that left an impression. In that vein, the run down:

This year I:

- Hooked up with Richard Salzman as my agent, which has been nothing but a great

- Got invited to Seoul to present at SICAF about mobile comics.

- Launched

- Ran my first marathon.

- Got a totally awesome new apartment.

- Got mugged at gunpoint.

- Saw 2 friends get married, and wished well 2 more from afar.

- Spent an awkward Christmas with both my parents at once, the first time in 12

- Actually got most of my income by drawing for money, a first.

Which makes 2007 kind of a gorgeous year, in retrospect, besides the mugging part, and even that, once could argue, is informative in a Bukowski-would-have-dug-this-life-experience-kind-of-way. So I'm nothing but pleased.

Every single year, I write down things that I'm going to do in the next year on a piece of paper, and I keep it in my wallet. It's a constant barking reminder of all the stuff that I still want to get done, and there is no better sense of satisfaction than to cross one of those bad boys off the list. The problem is, I really have no one but me to keep me honest. So this year, I thought I'd post my list. That way, there's more incentive to not write a check my drawing hand can't cash. So, consider yourself witness, dear reader. You are now a part of this.

Next year I'm gonna:

- Get hitched to the greatest girl on the planet.

- Get a publisher for Robots And Monsters: The Book.

- Assemble the pieces for a solo art show.

- Get some comics in a few newspapers.

- Finally do something constructive with The Basic Virus.

- Fix my motorcycle.

Also, I'll be in a show next Friday at The Space Gallery in San Francisco, in which I did a custom skateboard , but I'll give more updates on that later. Stay tuned.

Happy New Year, y'all. Be good to one another out there.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Lurvely Spam

Back when The Internets was a mite fresher than it is these days, without the foetid stank of 2G1C mingling with the smoke of a billowing BMW Pain Olympics, my friends and I used to have a good time emailing back and forth some of the more poetic passages of text in the spam we received. Often culled from online sources, patched together in a completely random way, these little pieces of web wisdom would fall onto our collective plates and occasionally produce a real gem. We often bandied back and forth that someday someone (read: one of us) should do something with these things. Someone did.

Linzi Hunter illustrates spam subject lines in that beautiful, Ward Kimball mid-century style so popular these days, and they are, in a word, wonderful. Damn! One of us should have done this. Oh, well. Throw it on the pile with Apocalypse Insurance, Guerrilla Dogs, and Google.

(via the Hermenautic Circle)

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Sum of Our Years

Living My Life Faster - 8 years of JK's Daily Photo Project from c71123 on Vimeo.

From the Times today, an unbelievably fascinating project from Detriot Artist Jonathan Keller.

Besides the obviously cool, if slightly pedestrian project theme ( ", totally move faster than you think, man!"), I'm more impressed by the technical aspect of the project. You'll notice that his nose tip is in the exact same place every time, which makes me wonder what his method is: perhaps using the previous day as a 50% overlay? A laser guide? Tape marks and shot through a one way mirror? It's impressively consistent.

The other part I really like about this project is his plan is also to keep this project going for the rest of his life. Considering the projected age span for folks of his ( and my) generation, there's a possibility of what would end up being about a half an hour film of a man aging to 90 years old. What an incredible send off once he actually dies: way better than your average wake.Talk about life's work.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rest On Your Laurels

I was informed the other day that my dad, Brian Alterio has had some of his photographic work from the 1970s entered into the Government Art Collection of the United Kingdom. I understand that this is akin to having your work added to the Smithsonian National Art Archive collection here, so it's huge honor. Most notable among entrants is the image above, the irony of which is that my dad doesn't have a print of this image anymore, or even the negative. I had to email the GAC and beg them for a scanned file, which at 150K, is the biggest file size I could get out of their greasy little hands. So it truly belongs to The State now, I guess.

As a part of the neo-verite school that was bubbling around Britain at the time, alternatively called the Young British Photographers and the Romantic Realists, my dad was but a small cog in the upswell of recognition that photography was an art form best taken on the fly with little fuss, moving away from the staid tired images of previous generations and into more visceral iconic images. From my dad's blurb:

"I was first introduced to photography while trolling the stacks at the library as an under grad at the Mass College of Art in 1966. I happened across a book by Alfred Stieglitz the seminal figure in American photography in the early 20th century. Struck by the power of his images, I urgently set about buying a cheap, rudimentary, yet effective, range finder camera.

From that point onward the trajectory was steep and powerful until I found myself in England in 1972. Coincidentally, the precise point in time when British creative photography was about to make it's second mark in history other than the obvious and great historical figures that populate the books in our libraries and bookshelves today.

At that time I always carried my trusty Lieca everywhere I went day and night every day 365 days a year. Inspired by my predecessors and stimulated by the now famous cadre of young British photographers that would hang out at the offices of Creative Camera in London, I would shoot dozens of rolls of B/W per day and return home to process them.

That period was one of great influence and inspiration in both directions. I had the pleasure to meet and befriend one of the great yet here-to-fore unsung giants of that time Paddy Summerfield in Oxford. Paddy's approach was so unique and powerful as to be the undiscovered avante garde of that period. We shared many hours of hotly debated topics that ranged from Herri Cartier Bresson's "decisive moment" to and including the purity on the frame edge at the precise time of exposure."

I'm gratified at this turn of events of multiple fronts, not the least of which is that I'm really happy for my dad. Once I was born, and then later my sister, my dad stopped shooting and actually got a real job and career. When we were growing up, he would occasionally take us out shooting, but it wasn't as often as probably he would like: he had a lot of his plate at the time, from sustaining a family to managing a crumbling marriage. I can't help but feel partially responsible by my mere existence for my dad not being more renowned than he is. But that's enough Psychology-by-Blogger; I'm just glad he actually is getting some recognition for his vision.

My dad's mention of Paddy Summerfield lends me to add one more link, Paddy's photographic site. He's still shooting, and some of his work is truly amazing, especially the 'handheld' series under 'portrait. It's visionary work, check it out.

Congrats, pop. I love ya.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Jazz's St. James Infirmary Blues

...And then this is just weird.

St James Infirmary Blues

People always ask me why I'm such a grumpy old man and hate on most modern cartoons. This is why. If you're an old hand, enjoy again. And if you've never seen this, gird yourself.