Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ha! I burst with the urge to "wet the swab" of my latest completion: This fine fellow is the afore mentioned beastie known as a "Kappa." They like drowning children, cucumbers and sucking your entrails out though your anus in that order.Here you will find sufficient details to confirm my previous declarations: He does in fact enjoy copious amounts of the cucumber fruit, as well as the company of a finely rendered multi-tailed fox. How quaint.

He is certainly terrifying, and a weaker soul upon confronting his beaked visage might surely quail. You and I, friend, are made of sterner stuff, though I should give some hesitation if the task of dispatching this ruffian fell onto my shoulders. Oh, dear me, yes!

"Unkiedev's Amazing Stuff" is my weekly column in the New York City comic book shop "Forbidden Planet." I reprint the column here at great personal risk to myself and my loved ones. May God have mercy on our souls:

Unkiedev's Amazing Stuff, by Unkiedev
Loyal readers will remember how last week I was deported to Siberia over a Halloween mishap. As we all know the world is a much different place this week, and I am a new man. I am changed inside and out. That's right: I've been transformed into a MUMMY!
And not your Michael Keaton "Mr. Mom" kind of mummy, nor even the Arnold Schwarzenegger "Junior" type mummy of old. NO, I'm talking a full on "Mumm-Ra the Everliving" mummy what with the bandages, curse and organs in canopic jars. OOOoooh, wot a pickle.
The details of this transformation would, no doubt, bore and confuse you, so let's just vow in the future to let sleeping "Bird headed goddesses of protection" lie. If you see a shambling, dry and be-bandaged corpse shlump its way into the store this week do not panic, it is only me ... or Michael Jackson.
As a Mummy, my life and curse are eternal. That is why I like a fine art book annual to show me the latest and greatest in fantasy, sci-fi and comic book art from the past year. Spectrum has been pumpin' these babies out for over 15 years now, and the quality of the art inside is asounding. John Jude Palancar, Frank Cho and Omar Rayyan make up some of the incredible talent within Spectrum's pages. From the comics world alone we have Art Adams, Arthur Suydam and even a piece by the late, great Mike Mieringo. Pirates, vampires, robots and zombies all make their appearance, as well as top tier concept art from today's (and tomorrow's) hottest video games!
It's always a great time and serves as the nerd's indispensible coffee table book. Sure, there's cheesy pin-up stuff from time to time, and things that would be better suited on the side of a 70's van ... Heck, Joe Jusko also painted a particularly bitchin' lady in a white leopard skin bikini hanging out with a pack of white leopards on page 76, if that's your thing. They have to sell the book, so they need to put the classy in with the clas-say every once and awhile.
I usually let Jeff plug the art books, but A) This one was too good to pass up and B) I'm a mummy now and can do whatever the heck I want... except get the sand out of my undies.
I'm just getting off the phone with my new architect. A swanky high-rise pad just won't do now that I'm a mummy. I shall require a 70-foot high stone dodecahedron (pyramids are SO B.C.) to be buried in soft sand for hundreds of years. I have to remember to run out to the store to pick up some cats to mummify as well. Can't have a swinging mummy pad without mummified cats.
While I'm out I figure I'll also grab the latest issue of B.P.R.D. The Warning #5 and Buffy The Vampire Slayer #19 from Dark Horse. It's good to see what the enemy is planning. Razza' frazzin' forces of good! I may as well get The Twelve #9 from Marvel and 100 Bullets #97 from DC/Vertigo, too. That has nothing to do with my enemies, those are just fun reads.
OH! Doomed am I to spend eternity sequestered in my living tomb! I'd better get some DVD's to while away my torment. Forbidden Planet has copies of the new Futurama movie, "Bender's Game," don't they? I can't seem to remember...everything is getting hazy. ARGGG! The urge to wander aimlessly throughout the countryside and murder all who disturb my crypt is getting strong! It's increasingly difficult to write with such clarity and wit! BLARGG!
Who knows if I'll be able to write another exciting installment of "Unkiedev's Amazing Stuff," as I imagine my time will be spent limping trhough the night and chasing Brendan Fraser. GRRR! Ahnkie Dev-Ra the Eternal AWAKENS! RAGHR! He demands Heroclix! ARG! Garble! Marggglable Grraggle! RAAAAAAAA!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

And now for a report from my drawing table, which currently has this monstrosity atop it. He is a "Kappa," a creature of Japanese myth which is equal parts Monkey, Turtle and just plain nasty. Here is a close up of his beaky little mush:
Disquieting, to say the least. The question now becomes why is Unkiedev spending valuable lint harvesting time drawing such a felonious foreign fellow? "Could it possibly have something to do with Unkiedev's top secret art project," you wonder to yourself?
Yes. Yes it does.
MEANWHILE, my friend Sean Andrew Murray has finally gotten himself into Spectrum, the premiere book of contemporary Sci-Fi/Fantasy art. You should all buy a copy and regard it with pride. YOU know that guy.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Every Wednesday (give or take) the New York comic shop extraordinaire "Forbidden Planet" runs my comic column " Unkiedev's Amazing Stuff" in its hand out newsletter. This is the column for November 5th, 2008:

Unkiedev's Amazing Stuff by U.D.
I thought my Alaskan Inupiat Halloween costume was pretty dang fabboo, myself. Unfortunately, the Homeland Security agents who hound my every step couldn't see the "Huskies through the team" as we say. They thought I was a Siberian Yupik. HA. As if. Anyway, the joke is on me as the increased hostilities between Russia and Georgia has got everybody in the H.S. a little spooked. They've adopted a " Zero Tolerance" policy towards Eurasia. Deported AGAIN, *SIGH*
My new Yupik family and I have been huddling for warmth and trying to open the first Arctic comic book shop. Diamond and I have been exchanging some pretty heated, albeit freezing cold, words. Seems they won't ship above the 20  degree latitude. To satisfy my customers I've been creating scrimshaw recreations of Final Crisis, and I've carved a totem pole that, when read correctly, recounts all of the Secret Invasion so far...but it's just not the same.
Sandman The Dream Hunters #1 (of 4), P. Craig Russell (W/A), Vertigo/DC
Umugak has requested I weave an intricate basket to recreate this issue, but we have to wait for the sea fronds to dry. In the meantime, I recommend one of you pick this up, if only to mail it up to me. I can't really pay for the shipping, but I could make you a member of our tribe, and that way you could legally hunt whale!
Many people arrive at comic fandom through the work of Neil Gaiman. With increasing Hollywood attention on his career this trend will only grow. His most beloved creation was Sandman, which along with Alan Moore's Swamp Thing pretty  much invented the DC/Vertigo line. Even after Sandman wrapped up fans couldn't get enough! Sandman: The Dream Hunters was one of the earliest original Sandman graphic novels post the actual comic, and was written by Gaiman in prose and illustrated by renowned Japanese artist Yoshitaka Amano (of "Final Fantasy" fame.)
Amano's closing inscription to this first iteration of Dream Hunters says that Neil and Amano's relationship would "... build and take many forms in the future... This is only the beginning." Sadly, this was not the case.
I loved this story. Dream Hunters is simple, elegant and illustrated by a true world master. I suspect the prose tone and Amano's flowing ink style deterred many a mainstream American reader.
Which brings us to this new adaptation by Sandman alumni P. Craig Russell.
What would seem a tactless attempt to rebrand Dream Hunters for the Yanks I expect to be a delightful celebration of the original story under the pen of Russell. He is one of those rare comic pros who's career is long, substantial and marked with personal projects the creator finds rewarding. I'm a P. Craig junkie, and usually pick up everything the man does. It is with no hesitation I can say I am wildly excited for Russell to show Dream Hunters the same love, attention and dream like quality he brought to his adaptations of "Das Ring Der Nieblungs", "Pagliacci" and the works of Oscar Wilde.
Otherwise it's rather a slow comics week. This is good news for my poor frozen fingers. Marvel has Dan Slott's Initiative Special out this week, always a smooth read for folks who dig their cape stories with a smart twist. I', also going to pray to the Great Raven, he who made the reindeer out of his hair and the sea from his urine to make me this week's Ms. Marvel Storyteller issue out of... oh, I dunno, his eyelash? I've never bought an issue of Ms. Marvel before, but this one promises pirate versions of the entire Marvel Universe and YES I am that easily beguiled.
Nukusuk and I are really excited for this week's Lucha Libre #6! Out from Image and drawn by some of Cali's hottest talent, Lucha Libre is that diamond in the rough of "indie" art books: High talent artists having a blast drawing fast, goofy stuff! There's also a NOT-TO-BE-MISSED Lucha Libre TB out this week as well collecting issues 1-5. 
Till then, I sit and await the harvest of the seals, the subsequent bladder ceremony and word from my attorney, or better yet the American Embassy. Next year I'm just going to dress up as Sephiroth.

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