Week one-thirty-three of Operation Graphite – theme: Nocturnal.

Shock - Civet

The distinction between nocturnal and diurnal is just one of many animal classifications. While the balance between the two may not be equal, it really isn’t quite a black or white, yes or no characteristic. The night itself has so much weight psychologically, and what ever creeps, hunts or feeds at night instantly conjures ideas of sinister creatures. Even if the cute and cuddly fauna prefer the night life, they often seem sneaky or deceitful. But, this is just anthropomorphizing these creatures, in reality, they do what they have to do to survive. Maybe they are creeped out by the creatures that are out during the hours of the bright, burning sun?

Shock – Civet

The theme selected for week one-thirty-four of Operation Graphite will be: Fantastic Four.

Fantastic Four corman

There is Fantastic Four reboot in the works, not really for any other reason than to prevent Marvel Studios from getting the feature rights to that franchise back. The last two movies were pretty lack luster, and perhaps this new one could hit it out of the park. Fox, certainly has been doing a better job with the X-men films lately, so there is some hope. The real issue is, does anyone really care about the Fantastic Four? I think most people would rather see Marvel get the rights back so, Dr. Doom (who is part of the FF deal) can fight the Avengers, rather than see the Fantastic Four on screen again.

Please submit any drawing or painting, using traditional or digital media, that fits the theme: Fantastic Four.

All art work is due on Thursday, 9.25.14 Submissions will be published the following Friday, 9.26.14

Week one-thirty-two of Operation Graphite – theme: John Hughes Films.

Shock - Cameron Frye

Many are nostalgic for the films of John Hughes, especially since he died rather young; those films gain another layer of importance. But while many of those films deal with high school teen drama, they’ve become a little hard to watch. Just revisiting the idea of high school again is painful enough, but looking back, some other things were pretty messed up. Ferris Bueller was kind of a psychopath, Ducky was a total stalker, and don’t even get me started on Long Duk Dong. I do like the theory that Ferris Bueller is actually a fantasy alter ego of Cameron Frye, in a Tyler Durden kid of way.

Shock  – Call me Sir god damnit!

The theme selected for week one-thirty-three of Operation Graphite will be: Nocturnal.

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Nocturnal animals typically fall within one of two camps. There is the, “oh my god that is so cute,” camp, and of course there is the, “Sweet Jesus! Kill it! KILL IT WITH FIRE!” camp. Because the night time is a perfect time for creatures so cute, there isn’t a chance they would be left alone during the day. It is also a perfect time for the animals so twisted and vile, they’ve been pretty much banned from all daylight hours. This week we focus on nocturnal creatures, real, or fantastical.

Please submit any drawing or painting, using traditional or digital media, that fits the theme: Nocturnal.

All art work is due on Thursday, 9.18.14 Submissions will be published the following Friday, 9.19.14

Week one-thirty-one of Operation Graphite – theme: Final Fantasy.

Shock - Red Mage

I will admit, my participation in the Final Fantasy series is a bit limited. The most recent installment that I played was, FF X, and I enjoyed it immensely. VII, was amazing, but none stuck with me as much as the original. Before Final Fantasy, the only other Nintendo RPG was Dragon Warrior. While innovative, its endless grinding was mind numbing. FFI had its slow points, but there was much less grinding for EP or Gold . One especially fun thing about that first Final Fantasy, for me, was the character creation. Growing up in the 80’s with a rather conservative Christian family, Dungeons and Dragons could not have been a more heinous display of devotion to The Exulted Dark Lord Lucifer, unless Ozzy Osborne himself was Dungeon Master. D&D in the days of the Satanic Panic was verboten, so my first exposure to character creation was Final Fantasy. Not only did you get four characters over Dragon Warriors’ lone crusader, there were six unique classes to choose from. It was those classes that inspired a great deal of my adolescent doodles. The series has gone a long way since that first installment. The’ve become less RPG and more interactive movie. Recent installments have not been as well received, who knows how long it will be until there really is a final, Final Fantasy.

Shock – Red Mage

The theme selected for week one-thirty-two of Operation Graphite will be: John Hughes Films.

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John Hughes is responsible for many of the quintessential teen movies from the 80’s, as well as some of the most memorable comedies of that era. Weather it be, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, or
Pretty in Pink, Hughes career as writer, producer and director defined a decade of teen and adolescent angst with a sense of humor. Though he passed well before his time, this week we look back on some of Hughes films that remain as fresh now as they did decades ago.

Please submit any drawing or painting, using traditional or digital media, that fits the theme: John Hughes Films.

All art work is due on Thursday, 9.11.14 Submissions will be published the following Friday, 9.12.14

Week one-thirty of Operation Graphite – theme: Indiana Jones.

If only you spoke Hovitos

As much as my generation obsesses over Indiana Jones, one also thinks of the negative impact of the films. I don’t mean the spin offs and the lack luster successors in the treasure hunter adventure genre. The real negative impact of the Indiana Jones films is the damage done to the field of Archeology and academic sciences. While many Archeologist today were inspired by these films, they all to well know how incorrect Dr. Jones’ methods were. Tomb raider and treasure thief, or pot hunter is probably closer to what Indiana Jones really was. Then again, the films didn’t portray an accedameic dig, they were about trying acquire something before the antagonist does. Rigorous academic protocols pretty much evaporate when the Nazis are after you. Pretty much any formalities fall by the wayside when the Naizs are on your ass.

Shock – …if only you spoke Hovitos.

The theme selected for week one-thirty-one of Operation Graphite will be: Final Fantasy.

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What began as a broke software companies swan song, became one of the largest RPG video game franchise in history. Some might remember Yoshitaka Amano’s unique illustrations, but many talented artists also contributed to the look and style of the series. While the earlier games let you customize your team and create your character, later games were more like interactive movies where you interact with fully fleshed out characters. weather you prefer to pick a class and create your light warrior, or revisit a cherished character, this week is all about that not so final of fantasies.

Please submit any drawing or painting, using traditional or digital media, that fits the theme: Final Fantasy.

All art work is due on Thursday, 9.4.14 Submissions will be published the following Friday, 9.5.14

Week one-twenty-nine of Operation Graphite – theme: Napoleonic Era.

Shock - Dragoon

After thinking about the Napoleonic Wars a bit, and the impact on the world it had, I started to think about a few recent events. I’m grateful for living in one of the few countries that had a revolution, and immediately afterwards, a stable government was established. But the US is a rare exception, we were not a long established country, but a fledging colony. Everywhere else in the world, when a major government was toppled, that was just the beginning of the shit. After it’s revolution, France had the Reign of Terror, then the military took over. One power hungry Corsican, who was actually of average height contrary to what people believe today, proclaimed himself emperor of France, and then tried to take over the world… like you do. Russia tried overthrowing their monarch later on too, but like in France, once you create a power vacuum, you don’t always know who will fill that void. While things are very different today in the middle east, a great and terrible vacuum in power was created, and that void was filled by an even more terrible group. I wouldn’t want to suggest change for the better is futile, but it is sobering to realize that rebellion it is not like changing a tire, and more like extinguishing a submarine fire by opening the hatch.

Shock – Dragoon

The theme selected for week one-thirty of Operation Graphite will be: Indiana Jones.

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George Lucas, though he certainly wavered in his later career, gave us two of cinema’s greatest film trilogies. While some have called the original Star Wars films, the Holy Trilogy, It is the Indiana Jones films that are concerned with Holy artifacts. Raiders of the Lost Ark, is almost the perfect film, and even more remarkable in how unusual the third act plays out. It ends, not with some epic final fight, but with a intense supernatural reveal. Some have criticized the film in recent years, joking about how after all of Indy’s heroics and efforts, the Nazis still accomplish exactly what they intended too. It is Deus Ex Machina who defeats the Nazis in the end, with or without Dr. Jones’ intervention. However, if you think of the film as a love story, the only thing that Indian Jones actually accomplished was keeping Marion out of the hands of the Nazis, and that was all that really mattered.

Please submit any drawing or painting, using traditional or digital media, that fits the theme: Indiana Jones.

All art work is due on Thursday, 8.28.14 Submissions will be published the following Friday, 8.29.14