Lizard in a Woman’s Skin - Wood Engraving

Posted on

The second in my series of wood engravings based on my memory of classic giallo films (see Don’t Torture a Duckling). Lizard in a Woman’s Skin is perhaps my favorite Fulci movie with an incredible soundtrack and lots of trippy visuals. This print isn’t so much a plot synopsis as it shows some of my favorite moments from the film including the dreams of the murder, the zombie-like hippies, the bat attack, and, of course, the dissected dogs.

About eight prints into the edition my printing press snapped and several important screw holes were stripped, rendering the press useless. The remainder of the edition had to be printed the old fashioned way: by hand with a wooden drawer knob.

Replacing the Battery on an Apple IIgs

Posted on

A pandemic ago I decided to heed the warnings on the Apple ][ Facebook group and remove the 30-year-old battery from my Apple IIgs computer. This is harder than it should be since Apple thought it was a good idea to permanently attach this ticking time bomb to the motherboard. My solution was to clip out the old battery and solder in a plastic battery holder instead. This is not that hard to do, but I am a complete klutz when it comes to soldering. Destroy the motherboard with a mountain of silvery metal was always a possible outcome. I documented the process and present it here. Originally I had intended to do a hilariously comic narration over the video but I eventually came to my senses. Enjoy the video, video enjoyers:

Dog Autopsy Study No. 2 - Gouache on Paper

Posted on

I did a couple of drawings/paintings in preparation for a wood engraving. As I type this, the engraving is still in progress but, if all goes well, it will be part of an ongoing series of engravings based on Italian horror movies. This image is derived from the notorious scene in A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin which had the producers of the film having to prove to an Italian court that the dogs seen in the film were an effect and not real dogs.

Thief 2: The Metal Age on PC (6/10)

Posted on

Thief 2 has not aged terribly well. I’m usually not one to complain about dated graphics, but in this case they affect the game. A core mechanic is hiding in the shadows, so when the game engine can barely render a shadow you’ve got a problem. I would plan my movements based on scurrying between dark areas only to discover that I would be running through a brightly lit hallway. There is probably a mod out there somewhere that fixes all this.

The guard AI is pretty janky too. Sometimes you could just clop around in your tap shoes and the enemies would be none the wiser, but then other times you’d turn your head and trigger their alerted state. Eventually I got used to just walking in a slow crouch all the time to avoid them.

There is a bit of a story here which is told as inter-level cutscenes. It’s not bad for what it is (sloppy amateurish art and all) but for some reason the main baddie is voiced in that Howie Mandel baby voice. So goofy.

The Editor (6/10)

Posted on

A horror-comedy that takes aim at lampooning Italian giallo and horror films. It never quite nails the comedy part and is more concerned with simply recreating elements from the films of Fulci, Argento, and Martino. For example, it parodies the spider attack scene from The Beyond but there’s no joke other than, “Look spiders!” The sharpness of the digital filming kinda kills the vibe too. I’ll admit I chuckled two or three times but it mostly misses the mark and could have used a joke writer’s sensibility in the writing rather than a film buff’s.

Swamp Dweller - Pen and Ink Drawing

Posted on

This is another drawing I created for the Nox Archaist manual as part of their Kickstarter’s call for artwork. We were given a list of creatures from the game but I didn’t really have a specific one in mind when I drew this. I had labeled as a nightmare. They decided this worked better as a swamp dweller and worked some of my design choices in to the creature’s description:

Swamp Dweller manual page
The final page in the Nox Archaist manual featuring my Swamp Dweller illustration.

The Kid Detective (8/10)

Posted on

What happens when a child prodigy detective like Encyclopedia Brown graduates out of schoolyard mysteries into solving real crimes? He becomes a washed-up alcoholic who can’t seem to do anything right. The Kid Detective plays mostly as a dark comedy but it is elevated my its tight plotting and smart screenplay. It skates the line between humor and a real mystery thriller perfectly.