apocalypse

All posts tagged apocalypse

Face Off Season 9 Episode 9: The Four Horsemen

Published September 23, 2015 by vfdpixie

After Evan got a boost from his win, and the gang regrouped after the grueling Gauntlet, the artists geared up for what McKenzie called one of the most intimidating challenges.  They met on a ruined set with crumbled buildings and abandoned, burned out cars to find out what the subject of their next Spotlight Challenge would be.  This time, they would be dealing with the end of the world and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  They would have to pick one of the four horsemen:  War, Famine, Pestilence and Death, and create their own horrific interpretations.  Resident judge Glenn Hetrick was there to give his advice since he was the makeup designer behind the film Legion.  He told them to find contrast and range with their characters.  The artists chose from survival kits adorned with the names of each horseman character, and even thought they would be creating individual makeups, the 8 artists would be split up in groups of two, each with four horsemen shown together on the reveal stage.

In the first group, Jordan, Stevie, Scott and Meg would tie their characters together with pocket watches.  Jordan picked War and created an armoured look complete with a war mask.  His horseman would also have a terrifying hole for a face that absorbed souls.  He waited until last looks to put his makeup together and the result was pretty creepy.

Stevie’s Famine would have an emaciated look.  This horseman would kill everything with a touch.  She planned on a face and chest piece, and was advised by Mr. Westmore to change his mouth so it didn’t look so healthy.  This would be the first time she made a chest piece, and she was the last in the mold room, but managed to get it finished.  The starved ribcage was a key look to her makeup, so she was lucky!  Her gothy Famine horseman got a nod from the judges with the colour palette she used.

Scott wanted to create an empathetic Death character.  He would incorporate a burial shroud look, and as usual, had his strategy planned out well.  He also made an hourglass from scratch for Death’s timepiece and to imply an aged look for her.  His clean face prosthetic, planning and consistent confidence was behind my favourite horseman of the night.  The mummified face was brilliant!

Meg worked on Pestilence.  She would create a female character that brought death instead of life, and make her impish.  She used some interesting techniques like latex and salt for a boily textured skin, and her character was really gross.  The judges liked the lower eye area.   Group one was safe for another week.

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The second group consisted of Kevon, Nora, Ben and Evan.  They linked the characters by having collars that Death held onto with chains.  This group held the best and worst looks of the week.

Kevon wanted a bacterial look to his idea of Pestilence.  This horseman would serve Death, and would have the key feature of a rotting, sore-like mouth.  He also wanted tendrils around the mouth, but was afraid it would look too alien.  Mr. Westmore agreed and told him to add boils.  While he did add the boils, Kevon also kept the tendrils.  It ended up being a little weird, and the judges thought they didn’t work with his story.  The obscure choices he made created what Ve called “the Goonies sloth and The Fly baby”.  He had too many ideas that didn’t work, and that put him in the bottom looks.

Nora would go for a skeletal Famine.  She had trouble once again with her sculpt and concept, but with some encouragement from Evan, and working out a cool barbed wire detail, she finally came up with something she liked.  This was also a favourite of mine, and the judges liked that her skillful paint job showed with the matching skin tones of both Famine’s face and body.  The barbed wire detail was used to wire the character’s mouth shut, which impressed the judges as well.  Neville loved the forms and textures, and Nora was in the top looks.

Ben went big with War.  He aimed for a Kevlar chest piece, and mapped it out with paper.  This would prove to be a huge time eater, especially with his time for painting.  He felt defeated, but didn’t give up even though the look was not what he envisioned.  He was disappointed and cringed when the judges inspected what he called a “total turd”.  They thought it looked too dry and too red, and even thought it wasn’t horrible, it lacked passion and clarity.  The poor decisions got him placed in the bottom looks.

Evan created a bare bone and muscle look for Death.  He wanted an interesting character and Mr. Westmore told him to look at his sculpting carefully.  He used vaccuform to create a mask that would reveal the skinless face once removed.  He tweaked his paint job and added a jelly for shine.  His risk with anatomy paid off.  Because it was treated with a graphic design approach, the judges loved his liberties with his facial sculpt.  The mask looked like metal due to his great paint job, and Glenn raved that Evan did exactly what the challenge called for:  a unique interpretation of the character.  He was in the top looks.

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The winner this week was Evan for his risky but gorgeous makeup.  The person going home was Kevon.  There was too much going on in his makeup and no presence of a terrifying horseman.  The judges would miss his high concept thinking and Kevon was pleased with how far he had come.  I can only see extreme weirdness (in a good way) for Kevon’s future.

Graphic Novel Memetic and the Meme of Destruction

Published January 24, 2015 by vfdpixie

memetic

Memetic issues 1-3, BOOM!Studios, 2014

Writer: by James Tynion IV

Artist: Eryk Donovan

I grew up with rotary dial phones that were soon replaced with push button faces. Next came the portable, brick-sized cell phones you could carry on a purse strap.  Fast forward to this day and age, and the cell phone and tablet are now basically pocket-sized computers that help run our lives and keep us connected in a zillion ways through texts, messaging, websites and apps.  I have always been a bit of a gadget nut, and I love to see what those crazy kids come up with next, but sometimes it can be overwhelming with all the über-connectedness and social media.  It seems that you need to check in to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and any other social media outlet du jour frequently to stay up to date, in the know, and valid.  It is a job unto itself, and some take it very seriously.  What if these very same outlets were the harbingers of an apocalyptic event?  What if you had access to an image literally everywhere you looked, and what if that image wheedled its way into your brain to ultimately self-destruct?  This is the premise of Memetic, a 3 part graphic novel that will make you think twice about the power of modern communication.

memetic2

Aaron Sumner is college student who is having boy troubles.  He is on the verge of breaking up with his boyfriend Ryan when a meme of a happy sloth, the “Good Times Sloth”, becomes viral in a matter of minutes.  After seeing this benign, cutesy image the viewer is overcome with a sense of euphoria and well-being.  Unfortunately, the meme is lost on Aaron because he has ocular and hearing impairments that prevents him from getting the full effect of the picture.  His friends, indeed everyone in town, is talking about the image, and Aaron begins to feel uneasy about the fervour.  He isn’t the only one.  Retired Colonel Marcus Shaw is worried by the lightning fast euphoria and frenzy associated with the phenomenon, and calls on his former intelligence colleague Barbara Xiang to look into it since he suffers from macular degeneration and has very little sight left.  The euphoria takes a sinister turn when 12 hours after seeing the image, the viewer goes berserk, tearing anyone at arm’s length limb from limb.  What follows is a dark, cautionary tale about an image that ends the world in just 3 days.

 

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Creator and writer James Tynion IV brings us a scary take on how things could end literally in the blink of an eye.  He uses some great, non-traditional characters to tell his modern tale of doom, and the story travels with the same speed as you would imagine the meme to reach millions; fast and unforgiving to anyone that sees it.  He points out how chilling it is to be at the mercy of relentless information, how a shared experience may unify in the worst way possible, and how being an outsider could both save you and put you in doom’s way at the same time.  This literal representation of what a meme is, how it spreads, mutates and has the potential to be a thing of destruction, does a great job scaring the crap out of this reader.

Eryk Donovan’s frenetic illustrations create a real sense of chaos and destruction, in fact, just flipping through the pages will leave you unsettled even before you start reading the story.  Don’t skip the last pages of the 3 volumes where you’ll find mock Facebook and Tumblr pages that provide info on each character, and the last issue has a great section where Tynion and Donovan interview each other.

Being connected in cyberspace is a given in this age of technological advancement, but if you have ever questioned its immediacy and effects on society at large, Memetic will certainly give you a horror, sci-fi take on a familiar internet and social occurrence and maybe get us to shut off the phone, laptop or tablet…but just for a couple of hours.

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