Drawing Gig in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Feeling like a dinosaur, did a drawing gig last Friday at a club with Jacky Tran and friends (great to see her again – after what, years?). Interesting experience, drawing standing up holding on to my sketchbook and trying not  to worry too much about what color I was using… my main light source was a red light bulb a couple of inches above my head, so I couldn’t tell one color from another (anything red, yellow or orange was invisible on the paper). The gig was to draw the DJs performing because photography wasn’t allowed there, so it was a great chance to do some life sketching. Boy, am I rusty.
First time I’ve been back to Williamsburg since I lived there when I was still in college. It looks just as run-down as I remember, but boy, are there a lot of pubs and clubs…and young white people there now(!)
Overall, I had a great time, and it was good to get back in the saddle again

I got hacked…

This happened over the winter break, and I haven’t had time to fully recover from this, yet.

In short, this group of hackers aligned with Pakistan hijacked my other blog at seanleong.com/blog (DON’T FOLLOW THAT URL).

WHY I was singled out, I will never know, I’m pretty sure I never said anything disparaging against Muslims, Pakistan or Islam, but their web site said they were hacking to defend against “enemies” of Islam and Pakistan.

My feeling is that they are just assholes using that as an excuse. That being said, I’m trying to recover all of my old content and will be trying to port it over to this blog.

I’ve recovered the text content from the old database, but I have to find all the old picture files as well. This is going to take a while…

In the meantime, as much as I’ve been able to, I’ve taken down all access to the former blog at that old URL. Please take it off any RSS feeds/readers you may have pointed to it.

Cheers, and hope this never happens to any of you, it’s really disruptive…

P.s. (a little rant) I am a supporter of Islam, I hate that it’s become OK to discriminate against Muslims in this country. One is my biggest heroes is Malik El Shabbazz (Malcolm X), and one of my best friends from high school is a Muslim, (hi Yusuf!) It’s these dogmatic fundamentalists that I despise, be they Muslim, Christian or Jew. I think it’s abhorrent that this group used the “defender of the faith” excuse for their insidious activities, and all they are doing is alienating Islam further, in the eyes of many if their victims, by perpetuating the stereotype of religious freaks trying to suppress free expression of ideas.

The end of Sarah Palin’s free campaign advertising on TV

I heard on Howard Stern the other day about the end of Sarah Palin’s reality show on TLC, I just got around to checking out the great news.

Here’s a little snippet from Tiny Green Bubble, an “green” news site.

You know, when her show was mentioned months ago, but before it was actually marketed on TV, I thought it was a joke. I think it was a twitter post that was asking for people to campaign against it airing at all on the Discovery Channel, a historically pro-nature show, for a historically anti-nature politician. It turns out that it was Discovery Communications’ TLC brand that carried the show. (They had such hits as Jon & Kate plus Eight).

Huffington Post had a good post about it.

OK – so to be honest I took to heart something Jon Stewart always talks about, how we shouldn’t demonized our opponents, that we should essentially agree to disagree but not to go overboard with the rhetoric. So I didn’t immediately flip the channel when I landed on her show the first couple of episodes. This was entertainment, like “hoarders” and “real housewives of Beverly Hills” — you don’t HAVE to like the people you watch, it just has to be entertaining.

But frankly, the show was a thinly veiled free TV ad campaign for whatever office she’s going to gun for in the next few years. And while I’m not completely turned off by her as a “human being” and as a parent; but her politics completely turned me off to the show, it was too difficult for me to separate the two.

And then, there was Palin’s Facebook rant about liberal hypocracy on hunting and eating meat/wearing leather and Aaron Sorkin’s response on Huffington Post. That, and a few other choice knee-jerk conservative comments she made about Obama and the lies she tells about the Health Bill’s “death panels”.

Sarah, your precious “government-is-out-to-get-them-HealthCare-Companies” are the penny pinchers that have the death panels trying to deny treatment to the terminally ill. You stupid, ignorant fuck, there are documented incidents of these and NO documented evidence of death panels in the Health Care Bill, just an attempt by the administration to include DISCUSSION about end-of-life CHOICES for the elderly with their family AND THEIR OWN PHYSICIANS, so that they get the care they WANT if they are ever incapable of making the decisions themselves. (Hmmm, that’s almost literally only the EXACT OPPOSITE of what you want people to believe, not because it’s true, but because it doesn’t fit your “government is evil” dogma) So, I couldn’t continue to watch the show, that would be a tacit approval of her. It physically makes me sick to switch to the channel and see her smug smiling trap. She made a comment in a commercial for her last show, to paraphrase: “I could die right now and be happy.”

So could we Sarah, so could we.

As of this writing, Palin is trying to distance herself from the right-wing “government is evil” nut job who shot Democratic House Member, Gabrielle Giffords. Oh, you’re not PERSONALLY responsible for it, I’ll agree, but COME ON, you know every government-hating-gun-toting-conservative who doesn’t like to be disagreed with is going to be validated by your rhetoric, and rhetoric from your ilk.

It’s not an iPhone, but it’ll do…

Sculpture outside the National Portrait Museum in D.C.
National Portrait Museum in D.C.

When I got my HTC incredible I thought that it would be a great way to add posts easily to my blog.
I’ve found that the built-in browser is pretty awful in trying to access my WordPress site’s admin module. And it was almost impossible trying to write a blog of anything other than a really short post.
So I’ve been looking around for a blog posting app, and I’ve tested out a few. “PostBot” was a complete failure, the interface was nice and simple, but it just couldn’t post to the blog.
Right now I’m using the WordPress appointed, and so far so good, it was easy to configure with my blog, it recognizes my categories, and It’s simple enough an interface that there’s not that much room for clutter.
The big test of course will be to see if this actually posts to the blog, and if it is easy to upload an image for the post. Hey look, styled text too!
It looks like I won’t be able to position the image anywhere I want, but it is pretty easy to select an image from my phones internal photo app.

Ok — so I watch Project Runway, so sue me.

Last night was the single greatest Project Runway episode ev-ah!!

The front runner, Gretchen finally gets her comeuppance when the perennially up beat and diplomatic Tim Gunn gives her “what for”!


The competition this week was for the designers to split up into two teams with each team creating a cohesive “collection”. The way thee teams ended up, it looked like a slam dunk for the “annointed” “Winner’s Team” (Team Luxe) and a sure-loss for the Losers (Team Military)…

I don’t know how much influence the producers have on this show as far as staging the drama, but if they staged this, they did a fantastic job.

Team Military, the underdog team won, hands down, and looked like a cohesive team that was comprised of a collection of individuals. Whereas Team Luxe, the losing team ended up with a mediocre showing at best and was obviously being led by the nose like lambs to the slaughter by the self-proclaimed queen of fashion, Gretchen. (boo! hiss!)
The underdog of underdogs, “Casanova” won the competition this week. So despite the fact that he’s the biggest whiner/baby on the show, it made for good drama.

One of the best part of the show was during the critique where the judges wanted to pick a loser to leave the show. Everyone and their mother wanted Gretchen to lose, and she came pretty close to it, seeing as how she was the team’s de facto leader. Any comments to the contrary from her are so transparent. After promising to stick together as a team, almost everyone on Team Luxe threw Michael under the bus (but having immunity he was “safe” as long as he didn’t mind a black and blue ego afterwards). And in hindsight, I’m pretty sure Gretchen pushed the “go Team!” aspect at the second critique because that would help her argument that she wasn’t the leader of that steaming pile they called a collection. In the end, Gretchen and AJ were the last two members of their team standing, and AJ fell on the sword and accepted responsibility for his own work, forcing him to be the one to leave the show.

The icing on the cake was when Tim Gunn came in to say goodbye the the loser, pretty standard for this show, but he actually took a stand on the whole Team Luxe mess. He expressed confusion over why the losing team didn’t stand up for themselves, and allow Gretchen to use and manipulate them all into doing what she wanted. It’s the first time I’ve ever heard him blast someone, and it was in front of everyone, Gretchen could not crawl into a hole or argue that she wasn’t to blame, it was pretty obvious almost everyone agreed she was the demon seed in this whole episode.

The show is going to be much more fun to watch now, and it’ll be interesting to see what the rest of the season is like with Gretchen now on the bottom of the social totem pole. ALL her cred’ from winning the first two contests has evaporated and she’s shown her true self to the rest of the designers, it’ll be interesting to see what they say behind her back now… It’s always better when a show has an obvious villain…

Really? only one third of Americans know this?


Shame on America, you got the President you wanted, but you know nothing about him at all. How can only a third of America know that Obama is a Christian? Did they not go through the Jeremiah Wright incident, or were they just mesmerized by that spectacle on Tv? Quite frankly, America doesn’t deserve Obama, in 10 years we’ll look back and be thankful for all of the things he did for this country, but he won’t get any credit while he’s sitting in the White House.

Believe me, I wish he were more progressive, and some of his NSA decisions have been almost as bad as Bush’s. But he’s almost exactly who he said he was when he was campaigning.

Frank Frazetta Died

Frank Frazetta died two days ago,  I’ve been going through some of my old sketch books from my art school days, and I remember how amazing an artist he was, and what a huge influence he was on me, growing up.

I think all “superhero” artists knew Frazetta’s work, probably his cover illustrations for pulp science fiction and fantasy works. I think I even bought a Conan softback JUST for the cover when I was younger. I had (and probably still have, in my basement somewhere, his poster for the animated movie “Fire and Ice” by Ralph Bakshi.

I wonder how many fans knew his early work was not just for the pulps or magazine covers, but he also did Romance, Cowboy, Science Fiction and even Funny Animal comics (he went under the name “Fritz” in those). I always think that he was a master in the true sense of the word, classically trained, but took off with the training with kick-ass talent and attitude.

I’ll try to find examples, but his pen-work was some of the best in the industry, he could do brush-work like a Japanese master, and emote gesture and attitude with a few simple lines. He executed the most amazingly detailed illustrations keeping the same gestural freshness as a one line brush stroke as well. (This post seriously needs examples, I’ve got to re-visit this with some of his work)

Frazetta lost NONE of that power or sex appeal when he worked up to a finished drawing or full oil painting, unlike the second-rate hack “BORIS” (Boris  Vallejo – that stinker could paint, but he didn’t have the confidence to be able to do it from his head and relied WAY too much on photographic reference.)

We’ve lost one of the giants in the industry, there will be pretenders to the throne, but NEVER anyone who will be as great as Frank Frazetta in the genre.

Here’s a link to the NY Times’ article on his passing: http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/10/frank-frazetta-fantasy-illustrator-dies-at-82//22k2yab

It isn’t about literacy, stupid.

My post yesterday about literacy tests for voter registration reminded me of how the republicans managed to convince  people a great organization like ACORN was a corrupt, pro-big-government, money-grubbing, fraudulent, anti-American, pinko, socialist, hippy-funded, anti-white, Muslim group out to buy the American election with persistent focus on a group of ground-level knuckle-heads and ignoring the record they had trying to get legitimate voters to the polls.

There will always be those who don’t say what they actually mean, (“I just don’t want black people to vote” would be honest at least) like a lot of these so-called mainstream pundits who latched onto every ACORN story as if it were the devil himself. Give Glenn Beck the Big Cojones Award for not hiding his race-baiting very well, he’s somehow managed to make racism in style again with mainstream America, how can normal people actually think he’s not talking about race when he attacks ACORN? When did Voter Registration equate to ELECTION TAMPERING? (hmmm, let me see, after the Emancipation Proclamation, when all of a sudden white people North AND South weren’t so concerned about equal democracy for all, afterall.)

In case you’re wondering, some of my best friends are white, I’m really not that angry at white people, really! : )

Tea Party, Shmee Party, Let’s Call a Spade a Spade

I don’t read/get to watch enough Rachel Maddow.  Here’s an interesting bit from Mediaite:  Enraged, Maddow Explains ‘Racist History’ Tea Party Is Embracing. I’m sure a lot of people would think it’s perfectly reasonable to make sure the electorate is “smart enough” to make informed decisions, but the history of voter registration and arcane registration requirements in the country have a funny way of excluding certain types of people. (And let’s put it this way, they weren’t illiterate or homeless, they were often just hard-working people of a certain color and socio-economic background.)

The article had a great link to a short primer on the history of US Voter “Literacy” tests in the South.