A miscellany of weekly ramblings on comics, art and film by Ted Mathot, storyboard artist and writer/artist/self-publisher of graphic novels and comics

Friday, November 28, 2008

StoryCorps - Every Story Matters

Today, StoryCorps is sponsoring its first National Day of Listening, an initiative that encourages people to record and preserve a conversation with someone important in their lives. (A do-it-yourself guide is available at www.nationaldayoflistening.org.)

"We live in a society where so many people feel like they don't matter," says Isay, 42. "And one of the underpinning ideas of StoryCorps is that every story matters."

So much of my life is spent telling stories. I tell them visually with storyboards at work, through writing and illustration in comics, and verbally with my friends and relatives. It's great to know that something like StoryCorps is around to remind us all of this gift of human interaction.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Quick post for this week: The Look

Here are some examples of "looks" from The Assassination of Jesse James. I love subtlety of expression; many times it says so much more than a broad expression or reaction. I look at this kind of stuff all the time when I work. My favorites are the undefinable expressions that lie somewhere between familiar attitudes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bad guys

Some design studies for Cora bad guys...

Monday, November 10, 2008


I've been gathering material for a sketchbook project and during the process I came across this drawing which was cut from the prologue of Rose and Isabel. I'm not sure if I've posted this before, so pardon me if you've seen it already. My favorite is the helmet of Gnor on the far right. I hope I can draw that helmet again sometime in the future.

Also, here is a mock-up for the hardcover slipcase version of Rose and Isabel that I hope to release someday.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

...Probably Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Maybe I'm just getting old, but each year it seems there are fewer and fewer movies I want to see. I've seen only 12 new releases this year, and there are only about 4 or 5 left in 2008 that I have interest in. That's why it frustrates me that films with interesting subject matter, films that are a little left of center (or foreign, even) rarely ever make it into American cinemas. A recent example (mentioned below) is Sweden's "Let the Right One In" (which I drove to San Rafael to see as part of a local film festival). LTROI will get an art-house release (hopefully) and then be remade into something else entirely (this happened with Mostly Martha, a wonderful small German film about a chef that was unfortunately remade for US audiences starring Catharine Zeta-Jones. Spanish thriller REC has been remade into Quarantine. Ringu was remade as "The Ring", Ju-On became "The Grudge", etc etc).

Kristin Scott Thomas is generating oscar buzz for her role in "I've Loved You So Long" which is currently playing in one theatre here in San Francisco. I hope I have time to catch it before it disappears.

Then there is Der Baader Meinhof Komplex, a film about a German terrorist organization during the tumultuous late 60s. The film currently has no distribution deal in the US; Why? because it deals with the T-word? Because Americans don't care about historical events of other countries? Who knows, but it appears the US film studios are balking again at something interesting. It looks like an amazing film that (god forbid) someone might have a chance to learn something by watching.

Remember how good "The Lives of Others" was? Well, it looks like DBMK will be Germany's entry for oscar consideration for 2008.

Here is the full trailer for the film (in German):

Jeffrey Wells has written much more about DBMK at Hollywood Elsewhere.

Hopefully this one will turn up in the US sometime next year.