Sunday, August 31, 2008

And She's Gone (sort of)

DC discontinued their Catwoman title, and I'm sad.
Catwoman is not the most heroic of DC characters, but she's definitely one of the most interesting. For Selina Kyle, life is very gray. She operates on both sides of the law depending on the situation and sometimes just on her own whim, but she usually has a solid reason behind her actions.
Catwoman #82 came out this week and it was anticlimactic, but kind of expected, and very in character. Not much of a plot for the farewell issue: a little self-analysis, working through issues by involving Batman and off into the sunrise (in a very fitting vehicle, I might add).
I will very much miss Adam Hughes' covers (at right is his rendition of Selina's last ride). In fact if there is a Catwoman in the possible 3rd Nolan Batman film, she should look the way she looks on Adam Hughes' covers. Tall order, because she'll have to be able to act, too. There has been consistently good artwork in the Catwoman comic book, and I hope the artists all move on to titles that I am already reading. There has also been very decent storytelling--starting with Ed Brubaker and ending with Will Pfeifer. Ed's over at Marvel writing Captain America. I'm still waffling about whether I'm going to invest in his storylines there. If I add Marvel titles to my reading list, I may have to get a second job. We'll see where Will Pfeifer ends up. I think he's writing Blue Beetle for now.
I just wanted to say good-bye. I know we'll see Catwoman around (she's featured in the current run of both Batman Confidential and Detective, but it won't be the same. Ciao Bella, you'll be missed!


I left the rough drafts I did during our staff meeting days at school. I know what was on them, and it wasn't a fire-bomb . But today I didn't feel like the bomb I had originally chosen. Today I felt like this.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mystery Bomb

My little cat, Myrna, makes everything into a toy. In fact one of the phrases she mostly obeys is the "Not a toy!" command. I'm guessing the Insalata Labs cat ignores that command more often than not.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Still Awesome

I've seen The Dark Knight (only) 4 times now, and I still think it's awesome. It's a pretty complicated storyline and everytime I see it I understand it a little better. I think for the casual Batman fan, that may be a real downside to the film, but for the fanboys (or fangirlz) like me, it's not a big deal since we're all going to see it several times anyway. In a nutshell, everyone has a plan for Gotham except the Joker, who has a wrench to throw in everyone's plan. Harvey learns all about futility. Batman learns that his job will never end. The Joker learns that he and Bats are an even match, but that Gothamites are a little more human than he gauged them to be. We get a taste of Bruce's amped up Bat-perseverance and more of his better-practiced public Bruce persona. Awesome!

There are a lot of people out there who aren't really hip on the dark Batman/dark Joker portrayed in the film. and that's ok. Everyone has his own taste, and everyone has his own idea of who Batman is--depending on individual cumulative Batman experience, so this may not be everyone's Batman. I've been reading the comic books for a while now and I'm used to the current continuity of dark Bats and the darker Joker. I've heard some complain that there wasn't enough of a sense of humor in the film. There were some lighter moments, but they were more "heh" moments and not "ha ha" moments. The animated series that just ended its run on the now-defunct Kids WB had an annoying, goofy, bare-foot Joker. I was ready for dark.

In my opinion, Harvey's squirrelled away at Arkham even as we speak. Speculation on the possible #3 is already rampant, including some waaaay out-there casting. Nolan hasn't even formally agreed to do #3 and without Nolan, there should be no #3. I would like to see Catwoman along with whatever other villain they choose. She's a good foil for Bruce/Bats and with Rachel out of the picture, there's a need for a female character (...needs to be the current incarnation of Catwoman from the series that just--waaah!--ended with #82). Hush would be an interesting and non-mainstream villain choice, but the story would have to differ from the fabulous Jeph Loeb novel and the current Detective comic-book storyline Paul Dini's writing. I know there are other fans out there who feel the same way about these suggestions. But if there's a #3, it's still a ways away.

So DC says they are ready to start developing other DC characters for movies of their own. I read that they'd like to explore the darker sides of other heroes. I think it's a mistake to model everyone after one successful film franchise. Write to the strengths of the heroes that are chosen. Green Lantern and Superman...dark? Um. No. I read that they're planning on rebooting Big Blue again. Fine. I thought Superman Returns was ok, but I could do without the whole illegitimate son angle and with a better-cast Lois, and I would love to see any other villain besides Lex (with the exception of Mr. Mxyzptlk). It would be nice if filmmakers were more thoughtful and less greedy. Just because a certain tone works for one character doesn't mean it will work for everyone else. And remember that the comic geeks know their stuff and are a discerning audience. And we're definitely not all under 25. It's good storytelling that makes a good movie.

Commentary over. Radish back soon. First day-long staff meeting of the year tomorrow. I'm sure I'll get a few rough drafts out of the next couple of days. More fun ways to attempt to kill Broccoli...or whoever Broccoli represents.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Invention Perspective

A look through Dr. V's protective goggles.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I sketched Spot and Myrna, my cats, for this week's Illustration Friday theme, "Routine." During the summer, my routine is completely different than during the school year. In fact, lately my routine has been so disrupted that I went off to my parents' for a couple of days and forgot to leave food for the cats. Spot doesn't look quite like himself in my sketch, but I am only an amateur, and drawing Radish and Garlic doesn't give me much practice in realistic eye contact. This one is pencil only and labelled as such at IF.

Invention Isn't Necessarily Easy

Dr. Valencia experiences frustration; Dr. Orange experiences surprise. Radish is, as usual, annoyed. So is the cat.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Olympic Fever

In memory of my long-nurtured lone fig, I re-imagine it as the athletic star of Insalataville rather than the eviscerated snack of starlings.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Jay Explosion; Death of a Fig

The day before yesterday I stripped the garage door to
a constant cacophony of jays. And this morning I learned
why. Junior jays were all beginning to leave the nest.
The other day I had two pair of Jay parents in my yard:
one Scrub couple and one Steller's couple. This morning
I had two families of four. Yay! I tried to take pictures,
but it's gray and rainy today (yay!) and jays don't exactly
pause to pose.

In sad news, Starlings gutted my lone fig. Bummer.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Well, duh! Dr. V. of course! Poor kitty.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


This sketch is inspired by Spot, because his tail is all black and his rump is all white, and it looks like someone could have glued his tail onto his body. I'm tagging this mixed media because it's pencil and ink. There was very minimal digital clean-up. There is some amazing art at Illustration Friday. I can only aspire to some of the fabulousness there. Go explore!

Aren't you curious which Orange brother from Beware the Red Radish was responsible for the detachment of the tail? Was it Dr. Orange fooling around or his evil twin, Dr. Valencia?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Maybe Not.

Now that I think of it, I could have added Garlic and her kite sailing in the background sky...or maybe not.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


So...this is not in the Beware the Red Radish continuity, per se.... I drew this for Illustration Friday. I thought I'd branch out, kind of. I labelled it there as digital & comic book, since I pencil and ink on paper, but then scan and color in Paint Shop. This week's theme is "Sail," although I think Garlic would call it "Surveillance." (Look for Julie's paintings at Illustration Friday, too.)


I took this through a window and apparently need to clean the glass! I love Scrub Jays. They bounce. They even bounce when they talk, as if they have to have that extra oomph from the knees in order to create their superior volume.

Radish will be back soon.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Look behind you, Broccoli....

Monday, August 4, 2008

This Is Summer

Almost every summer I spend some time out on Vashon Island. This is my favorite part:

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Raccoon Bootcamp Success Rate: 100%

...Also, just in case you didn't read it when Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog was up: Captain Hammer: Be Like Me!