Week one-seventy-eight of Operation Graphite – theme: Spy.

Shock - SPECTRE

Did anyone see Rouge Nation? I heard it was good, but haven’t had a chance to get out and see it. Could Spy movies usurp the ubiquitous super hero films? Probably not, but the Spy film is a genre that may never be on top, but doesn’t seem to go away.

Shock – SPECTRE

The theme selected for week one-seventy-nine of Operation Graphite will be: Wolverine.

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How did this operation go three years without a Wolverine theme? The X-men in general have not had as much love as the rest of the Marvel Universe, but it is surprising one of my all time favorite grumpy Canadians hasn’t had his own Grey Op. Hugh Jackman recently announced that he’s putting on the claws one last time, and is asking people on Twitter what they want to see. Mostly, Hugh has been getting photoshop parodies and ideas involving properties Fox can not use; so we’ll see how that works out. My hope is for a Wolverine movie that doesn’t suck. That second one had me going for a while, then the 3rd act crash landed in stupid town. The whole X-men franchise has had its ups and downs. Over all, I think it comes out in the black, but we have two films left before the nine installments are complete.

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

All art work is due 9 P.M. PST on Friday, 8.7.15. Submissions will be published the weekend of 8.8.15

Week one-seventy-seven of Operation Graphite – theme: Architecture.

Shock - Palmyra

Perhaps my little travel sketchbook is not ideal for an architectural sketches. Perhaps it is a lack of proper tools, or maybe I just don’t have the patience for architectural studies. I imagine an era before photography, when archeologists would have to go out into the field with pen and paper to document finds too large to bring back. Sure, they probably had proper drafting tools, and more time than a lunch break to catalog their discoveries, but at that time, their artistic skill was needed to do the job. Back then, many fields including archeology, biology and medicine would benefit from some artistic training. Some day in the future, photographs may no longer be taken by archeologists and other occupations. Laser scans and other high tech imaging techniques might be a vast improvement our primitive photos.

Shock – Palmyra

The theme selected for week one-seventy-eight of Operation Graphite will be: Spy. 001f9988_medium Did you see the new trailer for SPECTRE? In a week there will be a new Mission Impossible, in a few more weeks there will be an update to the Man from U.N.C.L.E. All in all, its a good time to be a fan of Spy Fiction. I still remember the night I saw my first Bond film. I can’t remember if it was summer, or a weekend, but it was a rare occasion that I was allowed to stay up past my bed time. I was probably only 7 years old at the time, and the movie was “You only live Twice.’ In one grand evening I was introduced to James Bond, Secret Agents, Ninjas and Little Nelly. I was 7, Q and his gadgets were one of my favorite things. This was also the cold war and I was a space nut, even at that tender age, so a plot about a villain hijacking American and Russian astronauts was one of the most heinous things I could think of. This movie began my spiral into Bond fandom and love of spy movies. This might be Peak Spy right now. The recent Melissa McCarthy / Paul Feig Comedy, Spy was a major hit. Even the Marvel Cinematic Universe has their Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. series. Super Heroes come and go, but there is always a need for a good Spy. Please submit any drawing or painting, using traditional or digital media, that fits the theme: Spy. All art work is due 9 P.M. PST on Friday, 7.31.15. Submissions will be published the weekend of 8.1.15

Week one-seventy-six of Operation Graphite – theme: Comic Con.

Adam Savage Chris Hadfield Monolith

It was another big year for the San Diego Comic Con. The entire cast of The Force Awakens, including original trilogy stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill were one of the big highlights. The Batman v Superman pannel was another big moment. Thankfully this year, the trailers and special reels that in the past were only shown at comic con were put online the same day of the con. So even if you can’t get to the con, or even into Hall H, you can still see the footage.

One thing I missed by not being there, actual really everyone missed it, was Adam Savage on the con floor. Every year Adam builds a preposterously accurate costume recreation to hide his identity as he walks the floor. So to up his game, he brings astronaut Chris Hadfield with him, both wearing reproductions of 2001 space suits. That was a moment that inspired this weeks submission, with questionable success.

Shock – Adam Savage, Christ Hadfield and the Monolith.

The theme selected for week one-seventy-seven will be: Architecture. 

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As you may have noticed, the majority of my doodles are figural. Whether I’m drawing an action hero, a monster, an animal or a cartoon, my focus is usually some sort of living creature. Working with organics suits my sloppier style of doodling. However, this Operation requires special skills, and it is time to train-up some of the weaker abilities. This week is all about architecture; modern, ancient, futuristic or contemporary styles are all acceptable.

In other news, for those interested in joining this Grey OP, or future Ops, There is an extra day. Submissions will now be due Friday Evenings. After Action Reports will be posted at some point during that weekend. It’s possible I’ll get around to posting Friday night, but I might not get the art up until the end of the weekend from here on out.

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

All art work is due by 9 P.M. PST on Friday, 7.24.15. Submissions will be published on the weekend of 7.25.15

Week one-seventy-five of Operation Graphite – theme: Fencing

  

This week I got my first stab at rapier sparing in class. I’ve got a few welts to show for it too. Funny how all the training seems to melt away once an actual fight, or sparring mach takes place. And though I may never really need to put 17th Century, Italian swordplay to use, there are things that apply to other armed, and unarmed fighting styles. But why are we fighting anyways? When one really looks at the words, Martial Arts, does it mean the beauty of combat, or killing with grace? Martial arts are really more of a science than an art, but to see someone showing off their skill is a rather beautiful thing. A science that appears as art, concerning itself with the preservation of the practitioner, might be a good way to describe it. However, there will probably never be a moment where one would need to employ renaissance swordsmanship in a life or death situation in 2015. Most HEMA people are history buffs, or were never able to detach themselves from stories of swordsmen and swashbuckling. There is an allure to training to use a weapon as close to historically accurate as safety will allow, but knowing you will never actually have to employ that skill in the real world.

Shock – Lunge

The theme selected for week one-seventy-six of Operation Graphite will be: Comic Con.

Kevin Dooley

The San Diego Comic Con is going on right now. I am not going this year, nor have I gone for the last couple years, but I still miss the overstimulation and spectacle that is Comic Con. It is too packed, lodging can be tougher than getting passes, and you can stand in lines for hours; but for a fan of geeky comics, movies and TV, it has to be experienced. I made the pilgrimage to Geek Mecca for five consecutive years. It was amazing, exhausting, and really F*cking expensive. As the scope of the Con has broadend, so too will the scope of this theme be wide open. Anything that would fit at Comic Con will be fair game.

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

All art work is due on Thursday, 7.16.15. Submissions will be published on the weekend of 7.17.15

Week one-seventy-four of Operation Graphite – theme: Merica. 

  
It’s the Fourth of July, and I live in a tinder box of a state where every sort of firework is illegal; even sparklers. While big professional fireworks shows are fun, watching someone else play with fire is never as fun as playing with fire your self. 

Shock – Sparkler

The theme selected for week one-seventy-five of Operation Graphite will be: Fencing.

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Please excuse my past tardiness. It has been tougher these past few weeks to post the, After Action Report promptly on Friday mornings. This is because my Thursday nights have gotten much more involving. After a years of being a sword obsessed nut-job, I’ve finally begun training with a Historical European Martial Arts club. Not because it is practical, not because that knowledge will become potentially useful during the sqoyote (carnivorous, pack hunting squirrel) apocalypse, though it could be. I wanted to learn how to properly use a sword. For anyone who knows me well, the only surprise is that I didn’t get involved with this sooner. I’m currently learning Italian rapier and German longsword, but any type of fencing will be fair game. Saber, side sword and buckler, viking sword and shield, foil, epee or spadroon; you may choose your weapon.

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

All art work is due on Thursday, 7.9.15 Submissions will be published the following weekend of 7.10.15