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Copyright 2014, Art Katalyst

Copyright 2014, Art Katalyst

http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/850176

I write a piece on Queen’s recent release of their collection Queen Forever, a set which featured three newly released tracks from the band along with a mix of classic hits and deep cut album tracks.

Pick up your issue today to read the whole thing!

QueenForever

Copyright 2013, Patrick Lemieux & Adam Unger

Copyright 2013, Patrick Lemieux & Adam Unger

BNL cover art (with text)

Copyright 2014, Patrick Lemieux


___________________________________________________________________________________________

Strangely, I find myself defending my dislike for being active on Twitter to an inordinate number of my friends. Here’s the best explanation I can give:

I don’t feel I belong there.

I was slow to join Twitter, but when I finally did, I did so enthusiastically. I followed a bunch of people, everyone from internet cult celebrities to big-time famous people and a lot of folks in between. I engaged with some and replied to friends and strangers alike.

Several things happened in a short period of time to change how I felt. The interactivity turned sour and negative. I’d heartily agree with things I agreed with and debated points I felt needed debating. These would sometimes turn into full-blown arguments and hurt feelings with friends. Or if it was with a stranger, both sides simply defaulted to the “what an asshole!” view of the other and if we were lucky, we both walked away from the argument. Occasionally, neither side was lucky.

The 140 character limit is just that, limiting. It doesn’t allow for nuance, subtly or irony. Nor does it allow for proper expression of ideas, which didn’t help (and sometimes caused) many of those arguments.

I also found myself unfollowing people for a host of reasons, from the aforementioned arguments, to TV series spoilers, to simply not being able to relate to their Tweets.

I also discovered that the creativity I was spending on Twitter left less for my actual creative endeavours. Time was part of it, but it was the need to direct that energy to creating, to writing, to painting, that forced me to look at how I spent that energy. Artists and Writers are not bottomless wells of creativity, or at least most aren’t this side of Leonardo. We must focus the creativity judiciously and then work our asses off to turn that idea into an actual, tangible thing.

For me, Twitter was an enemy of that, a draining, distracting force.

So, there was that, and there was the death of Roger Ebert (a Twitter force for good if ever there was one), getting into an specific argument with a good friend, and getting into an argument with an internet celebrity. In a short span, I lost all desire and motivation to be a part of Twitter.

I create for a living and my family and friends seem not to grasp that the Twitter they view as the bastion of freely exchanged ideas and information is not the Twitter I experience. Is it me? Is it Twitter? I don’t know. It’s a social media relationship that fell apart painfully. I’m still active on Facebook and I dabble a little in Instagram (the jury is out on whether I’ll remain on that one), but I’m told over and over, “Twitter! It’s such a powerful thing! Millions of people…” and so on.

All true.

I still don’t feel welcome there, nor do I want to be more involved than I am.

I’ve written books and as each launched, I tried to do my best to blitz social media. I Tweeted and Tweeted. There were reTweets! New followers! Fantastic! But they don’t last. I would Tweet about the book, I’d Tweet about non-book things, I’d share interesting online posts by others. The reTweets lessened to nothing, followers fell away to pre-book levels. That was it. I was told it takes work and dedication to build a following, it takes time! Well, sure, okay, but when exactly do I write the books or paint the pieces I’m supposed to be promoting? No one has an answer to that, tellingly.

Another thing bothered me about Twitter? Its focus on the immediate, on what is happening right this second. TV show plots, social injustice, news-worthy events, all vital or relatively vital information flooding Twitter up to the second, literally. My new book comes out, great, people Tweet about it, some people buy it, then the next big thing comes along and I’m left Tweeting either “Here’s my new book!” or about non-book things. And we’re back to square one.

It’s not all Twitter’s fault either, I accept some of the responsibility for this break up. I’m not capable of being interesting in 140 characters or fewer, it would seem. The things I want to share aren’t those things people on the receiving end care enough about, it would seem.

My main literary works are based on Queen, Mike Oldfield and Barenaked Ladies, and I find other ways to engage those fanbases. I write articles and guest blogs. I have Facebook pages for each book. I meet fans there. Twitter, for me anyway, was not the magical button I press to receive instant fame and recognition, nor was it an invest in time and energy I was willing to make. Others have and if they can make it work, so be it.

I’m not that guy.

Please stop trying to convince me.

I’m not going to forget about Twitter and when my next book comes out, I’ll try it again, so you are all absolved of the responsibility of extolling upon me the virtues you see in Tweeting and what it can do for my career. I appreciate the advice, but please stop.

:-)

Here are my books, by the way:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/patrick-lemieux-and-adam-unger/the-queen-chronology-the-recording-release-history-of-the-band/paperback/product-21232518.html

http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?contributorId=1213854

I may be forced to go to some dark places in my art due to things I’ve experienced very recently. I’m not sure what to expect, because I don’t normally draw on these feelings for my art. I have nothing against doing so and have in the past when the mood or inspiration takes me.

However, this time it’s different in a way difficult to explain, except maybe through my art.

The Patchwork Girl (300 dpi - Patrick Lemieux)

Becoming The Patchwork Girl. Copyright 2014, Patrick Lemieux

Think of this piece as a demo of what may be to come, though it started out as something altogether different.

We’ll see there this leads.

Spoiler Alert: He's Leia's father, too. Copyright 1980, Lucasfilm

Spoiler Alert: He’s Leia’s father, too.
Copyright 1980, Lucasfilm

I was going to title this piece “Spoiler Alert: Am I The Only Sane Man?”

It’s probably a battle I’m going to lose to the excited, the enthusiastic, the ignorant and the selfish, but I’m going keep fighting as long as I can.

I’m probably going to be accused of being a cantankerous fogie who needs to just get with the times and embrace what social media is or just stop using it (as if those at the only choices. Also, I’m only 38).

It’s already been suggested that I lighten up, they’re only TV shows, so who cares?

I do. I also have greater priorities in my life, but the desire to simply not have TV series I like spoiled from week to week should not be too much to ask.

I feel like one of the people in the line up to see “The Empire Strikes Back” as Homer Simpson walks out ahead of them saying, “I had no idea Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father.” Of course, every time I suggest to my Facebook Friends that they refrain from spoiling an episode of a show before I see it in the days after it airs, several invariably joke that Vader was Luke’s father. Yeah.

A good friend says by internet consensus 24 hours is the grace period. After that, apparently spoilers are allowed to roam to free. I couldn’t be bothered looking this “rule” up, because even if I find 20 other sites disagreeing, that single citation of an arbitrary, made-up rule is enough for some people.

I don’t get it. I honestly, truly don’t. We gave up one of the basic, most fundamental pop culture courtesies, that of not spoiling the latest show, for what? So we can prove we’re on top latest thing? Because we’re just so damned excited we can’t keep to mentioning that awesome line that character said? I guess there’s the argument that social media is, well, social, and that people do discuss these things in real life. Yeah, they do, but in real life I’m not standing in a room full of people presenting me with a stream of information on their interests. In real life, we ask, “Did you see the new Walking Dead?” If I answer no, my friends refrain from spoiling it. Yet, the same people, the very same people on Facebook or Twitter joyfully post teaser images, quotes and spoiler-filled posts without checking if everyone about to receive that information is as up-to-date as they are. In person, I can put my hand up and say, “I haven’t seen it! Stop right there!” I can’t do that to an image you decided to show all your Friends.

So, why don’t I just unFriend them or stop following them or get off Facebook or Twitter? As I noted above, why are those the only choices? Why can’t people control themselves and show a bit of discretion? For Facebook, I want to know of other aspects of your life and interests, that’s why we’re here, just show some mercy with these kinds of posts is all I ask. Better yet, don’t discuss anything plot or character related on Facebook. I don’t. It’s easier than you think. As for Twitter, I’ve un-followed people for spoilers. I stopped following one of the producers of The Walking Dead because she revealed several seasons ago that an actor was returning to their role in the upcoming episodes. That was all it took.

Am I Grandpa Simpson yelling at a cloud? I don’t think so, but I’ve had that joke made, too.

I do feel like I’m the only sane man here, yet to be consumed by the here-and-now mentality of popular culture that drives so many posts.

Everyone’s doing it, so it must be okay, right?

[sigh]

The Script On Silk Sheets

The Script Lying On Silk Sheets © 2014, Patrick Lemieux

The Script Lying On Silk Sheets
© 2014, Patrick Lemieux

I saw the call for submissions by the 1313 Gallery here in Toronto and knew that if I wanted to submit something, I’d have to challenge myself. There are few subjects that carry as much baggage as Sex. Obviously, that was point of the call, to gather from many different artists their views on all things related to the S word.
So, what did I have to say?
What could I say?
What hasn’t been said already, or what approach to the familiar ideas could I take?
Well, I had no shortage of thoughts and that was the problem. I mulled the call over for a few weeks as I dealt with more immediate deadlines for other projects. I’d let the thoughts and feelings float around, knowing some would fall away and some would remain. That’s what I expected to happen, anyway. It didn’t quite work that way. I’d come back and, rather appropriately given the topic, the ideas had multiplied. One set of thoughts led to others, just as strong. Imagery and attitudes and historical contexts were all making themselves heard. I started to apply my own specific thoughts and feelings, hoping to push through this crowd and organize it a bit.
I needed a few boundaries, so the best way to start was deciding what I didn’t want to say.
To start with, I didn’t want to be literal, since we all know what sex is. It’s easy to just create an image of something beautiful and/or explicit and say, “Yeah, here, this is sex. This is erotic.”
I also didn’t want this to be autobiographical. I’m not shy, but we’re all different. I wanted to say something, but it didn’t have to be about me. That would be too narrow and too predictable.
Okay, that narrowed the field a bit, but I was still looking at pages of sketches with no cohesive idea or set of ideas. What did I want to say?
Christmas came and went, New Year’s was approaching and I was actually starting to get a pissed off at myself over this. I joked with myself that it was performance anxiety. I sat on the bed, perhaps hoping to trigger some subconscious inspiration, and sketched some more, determined to solve this puzzle. I had images I wanted to use and a few clever ideas I thought might be handy from earlier sketches, but I couldn’t find the through-line, the “theme,” something to hold it all together. I discarded pages and moved onto the next. After a while, around 2 AM, I was reduced to just moving the pencil around, creating non-specific shapes and line. I’d thought about layers earlier, like posters on a wall, some torn, covering up what was underneath, the brick and mortar of the wall. I thought about walls, barriers we put up and knock down. I was getting away from the central theme of the call: Sex. I looked up the gallery website and re-read the description. What were they asking for? Definitions. Individual. Cultural. That sort of thing.
Okay.
I was back to square one. There are too many such definitions. Maybe I should forget it, stick with creating works less loaded with with seemed like the sum total of human history?
Posters on the wall seemed too bleak, too defensive. Sex is fun! Yeah, there’s mental and emotional baggage, but the act itself is thoroughly enjoyable. Still, I liked the idea of layering images. Maybe they told a story? I did not want it to be my story, though obviously I’d have to draw from my own impressions and ideas. I scribbled and sketched and doodled of scattered pages and pictures. Still, not enough cohesion. It was lazy, too simple.
What if the images were collected, like a scrapbook?
I started thinking about how we collect memories, like in photo albums. I thought about my sketchbooks, filled with artistic ideas and experiments, some realized, some not. Some drawings were just practice.
Amidst these thoughts, an obscure memory floated to the surface, of the Dean of my old faculty at university talking about a theatre director he once knew. This director would apparently draw out his ideas all through his scripts. The Dean said the scripts themselves became miniature works of art.
I thought about scripts. I was sitting in bed, thinking about what people do in bed. No, actually, that’s not right. I was thinking about how, not in the mechanical sense, but about what goes through your mind. We all have reservations, hang-ups, expectations, all those things I was that were overwhelming my creative process before.
Did I just I call what do a “creative process”?
I did. Sorry, I didn’t mean to sound pretentious.
So, now I’m thinking about how we bring all this stuff with us to bed. There’s what we want, what we’ve done before, the good, the bad, everything. We’re following that script, because what else is there? Instinct, maybe, but that tends to only get you as far as fumbling around in the dark. What we see movies, what we’re told, what we remember from Sex Ed., all of that we draw on in the moment.
We follow a script we make into miniature works of art. Sometimes we write new scenes. Sometimes we tear out old ones that no longer work onstage, taking the best bits and tossing the rest.
At 3 AM I had a coherent idea. The rest was refining, picking and choosing what worked and what didn’t. I’m not going to explain every image. I will say, this not my script you see. It’s not autobiographical. There are reasons for everything in the piece, however.
Now that it’s done and I stuff the loose papers of sketches into my sketchbook, it’s not lost on my the passing resemblance between the overflowing script I painted and the real-life sketchbook itself.
You’d think I’d planned it that way.

(Copyright Lucasfilm)

(Copyright Lucasfilm)

STAR WARS CHRONOLOGY (9th EDITION)

Star Wars: Episode I “The Phantom Menace”
Star Wars: Episode II “Attack Of The Clones”
Clone Wars Volume 1: Episodes 1 to 20
Clone Wars Volume 2: Episode 21

*** ROOKIES TRILOGY
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 1 “Clone Cadets”
WCS1#5 “Mouse Hunt”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 5 “Rookies”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 2 “ARC Troopers”

*** ZILLO BEAST TWO-PARTER
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 18 “The Zillo Beast”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 19 “The Zillo Beast Strikes Back”

*** CHRISTOPHSIS + MOVIE
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 16 “Cat And Mouse”
WCS1#16 “Shadowed”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 16 “The Hidden Enemy”
Star Wars: The Clones Wars

***THE FALL OF RYLOTH TETRALOGY
WCS1#6 “The Fall Of Falleen”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 6 “Downfall Of A Droid”
WCS1#7 “Discount”
WCS1#18 “Covetous”
WCS1#19 “Curfew”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 3 “Supply Lines”
WCS1#1 “Prelude”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 1 “Ambush”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 7 “Duel Of The Droids”

*** MALEVOLENCE TRILOGY
WCS1#2 “Shakedown”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 2 “Rising Malevolence”
WCS1#3 “Procedure”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 3 “Shadow Of Malevolence”
WCS1#4 “Agenda”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 4 “Destroy Malevolence”

*** NUTE GUNRAY TRILOGY
WCS1#8 “Departure”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 8 “Bombad Jedi”
WCS1#9 “Transfer”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 9 “Cloak Of Darkness”
WCS1#10 “The Dreams Of General Grevious”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 10 “The Liar Of Grevious

*** HONDO TWO-PARTER
WCS1#11 “Bait”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 11 “Dooku Captured”
WCS1#12 “Switch”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 12 “The Gungan General”

*** AALYA SECURA TWO-PARTER
WCS1#13 “Headgames”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 13 “Jedi Crash”
WCS1#14 “Neighbors”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 14 “Defenders Of The Peace”

***
WCS1#15 “Cold Snap”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 15 “Trespass”

*** VIRUS TWO-PARTER
WCS1#17 “The Valley”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 17 “Blue Shadow Virus”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 18 “Mystery Of A Thousand Moons”

***THE BATTLE OF RYLOTH
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 19 “Storm Over Ryloth”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 20 “Innocents Of Ryloth”
WCS1#20 “The Ballad Of Cham Syndulla”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 21 “Liberty Of Ryloth”

***
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 17 “Bounty Hunters”

*** CAD BANE TRILOGY
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 1 “The Holocron Heist”
WC “Act On Instinct” Parts 1 to 3
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 2 “Cargo Of Doom”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 3 “Children Of The Force”
WC “Act On Instinct” Part 4

*** GEONOSIS TETRALOGY
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 4 “Senate Spy”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 5 “Landing At Point Rain”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 6 “Weapons Factory”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 7 “Legacy Of Terror”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 8 “Brian Invaders”

*** GRIEVOUS ARC
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 9 “Grievous Intrigue”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 10 “The Deserter”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 11 “Lightsaber Lost”
WC “Act On Instinct” Parts 5 to 15
WC “The Valsedian Operation” Parts 1 to 15

*** DUCHESS SATINE TRILOGY
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 12 “The Mandalore Plot”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 13 “Voyage Of Temptation”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 14 “Duchess Of Mandalore”

*** BOBA FETT TRILOGY
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 20 “Death Trap”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 21 “R2 Come Home”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 22 “Lethal Trackdown”

*** AHSOKA TANO ARC
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 4 “Sphere Of Influence”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 5 “Corruption”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 6 “The Academy”

***ZIRO THE HUTT TETRALOGY
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 7 “Assassin”
WCS1#21 “Invitation Only”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 8 “Evil Plans”
The Clone Wars Season 1: Episode 22 “Hostage Crisis”
WC “Hunting The Hunters I”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 9 “The Hunt For Ziro”
WC “Hunting The Hunters III”

***SENATE TRILOGY
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 10 “Heroes On Both Sides”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 11 “Pursuit Of Peace”
WC “Hunting The Hunters II”
The Clone Wars Season 2: Episode 15 “Senate Murders”

***THE NIGHTSISTERS TRILOGY
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 12 “Nightsisters”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 13 “Monster”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 14 “Witches Of The Mist”

*** MORTIS TRILOGY
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 15 “Overlords”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 16 “Altar Of Mortis”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 17 “Ghosts Of Mortis”

*** CITADEL TRILOGY
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 18 “Citadel”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 19 “Counter Attack”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 20 “Citadel Rescue”

*** AHSOKA KIDNAPPED TWO-PARTER
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 21 “Padawan Lost”
The Clone Wars Season 3: Episode 22 “Wookiee Hunt”

***
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 4 “Shadow Warrior”

***MON CALA TRILOGY
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 1 “Water War”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 2 “Gungan Attack”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 3 “Prisoners”

*** DROIDS TWO-PARTER
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 5 “Mercy Mission”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 6 “Nomad Droids”

*** UMBARA TETRALOGY
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 7 “Darkness On Umbara”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 8 “The General”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 9 “Plan Of Dissent”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 10 “Carnage Of Krell”

*** SLAVES OF THE REPUBLIC TRILOGY
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 11 “Kidnapped”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 12 “Slaves Of The Republic”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 13 “Escape From Kadavo”

***
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 14 “A Friend In Need”

*** PRISON BREAK TETRALOGY
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 15 “Deception”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 16 “Friends And Enemies”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 17 “The Box”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 18 “Crisis On Naboo”

*** ASAJJ VENTRESS TETRALOGY
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 19 “Massacre”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 20 “Bounty”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 21 “Brothers”
The Clone Wars Season 4: Episode 22 “Revenge”

*** ONDERON TETRALOGY
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 2 “A War On Two Fronts”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 3 “Front Runners”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 4 “The Soft War”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 5 “Tipping Points”

*** YOUNG JEDI TETRALOGY
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 6 “The Gathering”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 7 “A Test Of Strength”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 8 “Bound For Rescue”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 9 “A Necessary Bond”

*** DROID MISSION TETRALOGY
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 10 “Secret Weapon”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 11 “A Sunny Day In The Void”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 12 “Missing In Action”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 13 “Point Of No Return”

*** THE CRIME LORDS TETRALOGY
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 01 “Revival”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 14 “Eminence”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 15 “Shades Of Reason”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 16 “The Lawless”

*** THE FUGITIVE TETRALOGY
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 17 “Sabotage”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 18 “The Jedi Who Knew Too Much”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 19 “To Catch A Jedi”
The Clone Wars Season 5: Episode 20 “The Wrong Jedi”

*** UNKNOWN EPISODES
The Clone Wars Season 6: “Plo Koon’s Discovery (Scene)”
The Clone Wars Season 6: “A Moment Of Confusion (Scene)”

*** RUSH CLOVIS TRILOGY (Unreleased)
The Clone Wars Season 6: “An Old Friend”
The Clone Wars Season 6: “Crisis Of The Heart”
The Clone Wars Season 6: “The Rise Of Clovis”

***
Clone Wars Volume 2: Episodes 22 to 25
Star Wars: Episode III “Revenge Of The Sith”

*** The Trigon Tetralogy
Droids: Episode 1“The White Witch”
Droids: Episode 2 “Escape Into Terror”
Droids: Episode 3 “The Trigon Unleashed”
Droids: Episode 4 “A Race To The Finish”

*** The Mon Julpa Pentalogy
Droids: Episode 5 “The Lost Prince”
Droids: Episode 6 “The New King”
Droids: Episode 7 “The Pirates Of Tarnoonga”
Droids: Episode 8 “The Revenge Of Kybo Ren”
Droids: Episode 9 “Coby And The Starhunters”

*** The Mungo Beobab Pentalogy
Droids: “The Great Heep”
Droids: Episode 10 “Tail Of The Roon Comets”
Droids: Episode 11 “The Roon Games”
Droids: Episode 12 “Across The Roon”
Droids: Episode 13 “The Frozen Citedal”

Ewoks Season 1: Episode 1 “The Cries Of The Trees”
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 2 “The Haunted Village”
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 3 “Rampage Of The Phlogs”
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 4 “To Save Deej”
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 5 “The Travelling Jinda”
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 6 “The Tree Of Light”
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 7 “The Curse Of The Jindas”
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 8 “The Land Of The Gupins”
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 9 “Sunstar vs Shadowstone”
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 10 “Wicket’s Wagon”
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 11 “The Three Lesson:
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 12 “Blue Harvest”
Ewoks Season 1: Episode 13 “Asha”

Star Wars: The Ewok Adventure (AKA Caravan Of Courage)
Star Wars: The Battle For Endor

Ewoks Season 2: Episode 1 “The Crystal Cloak”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 2 “The Wish Plant”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 3 “Home Is Where The Shrieks Are”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 4 “Princess Latara”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 5 “The Raich”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 6 “The Totem Master”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 7 “A Gift For Shodu”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 8 “Night Of The Stranger”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 9 “Gone With The Mimphs”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 10 “The First Apprentice”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 11 “Hard Sell”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 12 “A Warrior And A Lurdo”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 13 “The Season Scepter”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 14 “Prow Beaten”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 15 “Baga’s Rival”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 16 “Horville’s Hut Of Horrors”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 17 “The Tragic Flute”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 18 “Just My Luck”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 19 “Bringing Up Norky”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 20 “Battle For The Sunstar”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 21 “Party Ewok”
Ewoks Season 2: Episode 22 “Malani The Warrior”

Star Wars: Episode IV “A New Hope”
The Star Wars Holiday Special
Star Wars: Episode V “The Empire Strikes Back”
Star Wars: Episode VI “Return Of The Jedi”

Legend:

Movies & TV Shows = Series Name: Episode # “Episode Title” (as applicable)

Web Comics = WC + Season # + Issue # + “Issue Title” (as applicable)

OZ cover 2

My new ebook, The Dark Witch Of Oz, is now available at Amazon’s Kindle Store worldwide.
See below for the links to the different Amazon territories.

It is a screenplay without a film (yet) and I’d like to tell you why…

I wrote this script a few years ago after reading the original book by L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz. Most people have seen the 1939 MGM movie with Judy Garland. It’s a masterpiece and if you haven’t seen it or shown your children, here’s me telling you to do so.

So spectacular is the movie that more than 70 years later it has become entrenched in popular culture. It’s a timeless story and has hardly aged. An Andrew Lloyd Webber stage production based on the movie was launched in Toronto recently and the casting process for that live show was itself made into a TV series, titled Over The Rainbow. The novel Wicked, by Gregory Maquire, was a huge success and spawned a popular stage musical of its own. in 2013, Disney released a prequel to the 1939 film, Oz The Great And Powerful.

The affect of that film enormous and far reaching, there is no doubt about it. It deserves the accolades and attention.

For many readers, though, there is one weakness (if that’s the right word) in all of the attention the 1939 film gets: It’s so very different from the original book!

The basic story is the same. A twister carries Dorothy and Toto to Oz, her house crushes the Witch of the East, she meets a good witch and travels to Emerald City to meet the Wizard, she makes friends with the Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman and the Lion and they defeat the Witch of the  West, and the story ends with Dorothy and Toto returning home. However, the differences in how these events play out, the addition of other characters and perils make the differences between the 1900  book and the 1939 film rather enormous. A big difference is that the film version plays the entire story off as a dream. Baum’s book has the events actually happen. The entire series of Oz books Baum wrote is based on the premise that Oz is an actual magical place on earth. Getting there is difficult, of course, but the subsequent adventures of Dorothy and other visitors do have them finding ways of getting back.

When I read the original novel, I was surprised by just how different it was from the movie. Those differences made me think, “I want to see this movie!” At the same time, a colleague had suggested a site called InkTip, where he’d sold a script of his to a major studio. So with those two thoughts in mind, I decided to see where my re-imagining of the original tale would take me. It was a challenge, in some ways, because there are a lot things the 1939 film introduced into Oz pop culture mythos that MGM actually owns. The Baum books are public domain, but the film is not. The film introduced the ruby slippers, for example, which are simply silver shoes in the books. The reason was to show off the rich Technicolor process. Obviously, I had to avoid elements exclusive to the films, but I was free to introduce my own elements and spins on familiar things in the book, in the same tradition as other writers of new and different Oz stories have done.

After Baum died, stories from Oz did not. Ruth Plumly Thompson continued the series and her book are recognized as canon by the International Wizard Of Oz Club, along with various other writers. And, of course, there are the many re-imaginings and non-canon works (like Wicked) that tell different tales of Oz in their own, separate realities. So, my venture into a different Land of Oz was far from unprecedented. As I wrote the screenplay, it became it’s own story, loosely following the structure of the novel, but taking on a life of its own. When it was finished, I listed it on InkTip and hoped it would be picked up by a major studio who would pay me millions for the rights.

That didn’t happen. I wasn’t too disappointed, though, because I knew it was a long shot, but I had nothing really to lose in the attempt. After a time, I became aware of the Amazon Kindle Self-Publishing feature and used it to publish a non-fiction reference book call The Queen Chronology (which you can learn more about here and here) and as I was preparing that book’s launch, I was thinking about what to do with the Oz script. Could I publish it as a script ebook? The screenplay format is rather dry, even with what I feel is a good amount of description throughout my piece, so I started thinking of how I could add some flavour and colour it. I’d just completed a wonderful collaborative effort between my alma mater, Ryerson, and my artwork before turning my attention to the Chronology and getting it published, so illustrating the screenplay began to fascinate me as a way to go. Certainly, existing movies are known to release illustrated versions of their screenplays, complete with concept art, storyboards and production photos. Could it work to create these elements as if the screenplay was a film? I had no production photos, but the artwork was well within my means. I’d written and drawn a comic book series years ago and had done storyboards as part of a script for my thesis in university, so narrative artwork was something I was quite familiar with!

It was settled then, I’d illustrate the screenplay and try to bring the story to life, and in doing so, present the entire work as both a piece of art in itself and an exhibit or art collection based on the screenplay. Because there is no film (yet), it is a story told in a different, uncommon way, but equally legitimate way.

So, if your dare, return to an Oz that is familiar, yet very different.

You can find the book here:

US

Canada

UK

Germany

Italy

Spain

France

India

Japan

Brazil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a link to a story that’s making the rounds online, that of filmmaker Greg Karber taking issue with Abercrombie & Fitch’s branding of their clothes. Give it a look:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2324748/Abercrombie-Fitchs-brand-readjustment-Filmmaker-hands-clothes-LA-homeless-revenge-wanting-beautiful-customers.html?ico=ushome%5Eeditors_choice_six_of_the_best

Okay, I can hear a lot of you cheering out there along the lines of “Way to go, Karber! Way to show this jerkass company what’s what by taking matters into your own hands and helping the homeless at the same time! You’re a hero!” I know similar things are being said because I read a lot of such sentiments on my Facebook news feed.

And here’s where I step up and say “I disagree. A lot.”

This whole “rebranding” thing bothers me.

First, let me say that I think Abercrombie & Fitch are being douchebags in how they market their clothes and what they do with their overstock. Here’s the thing, though…It’s their choice. I don’t agree with the choice they made, but I respect that it was their choice to make. It’s free country and they are a business. If you don’t like their brand or marketing, the solution is to not buy their product. That’s your choice and it needs to be respected just as much as the A&F’s right to make their choice.

What Greg Karber has done has taken it solely upon himself to try to make A&F’s choice for them. And that is wrong. It is fundamentally arrogant.

“But he’s doing it for a good cause,” I hear you say, “He’s helping the homeless and trying to make the world a better place, which A&F should be doing.”

On that last part, I’ll say, “What gives him the right to tell anyone else, individual or large company, what to do and how to do it? His moral superiority?” If you agree that he’s in the right by acting as he does, I’m guessing it’s because you agree with his position. The problem is: what happens when he or someone just as motivated starts applying their moral barometer to your life in a way you don’t share ideologically? We’re back to choice and each person’s right to make their choice as they see fit. No one should take that away from you or anyone else.

As for the “doing it for a good cause” motive…? No, that’s not why he’s doing it. He’s doing it out of spite, or as the article above puts it, he’s doing it for revenge. Does it matter why, so long as he’s helping people? His cause is to re-brand A&F to align with his own sensibilities and to say A&F are jerks for how they behave. The “help” the homeless get with receiving free clothes is incidental to his cause. And what happens after he feels he’s made his point? Will his “help” continue?

Now, to address an even deeper problem I have with this re-branding notion. Karber is a filmmaker, so to partially answer my own earlier question of “”What gives him the right to tell anyone else, individual or large company, what to do and how to do it?”, he is an artist. As an artist myself, I respect using one’s medium to convey messages and ideas, to try to bring about change (hopefully positive) in our world. What I don’t respect in Karber’s case is, in addition to the aforementioned issues I take with this campaign, is his exploitation of the homeless to make his point. He points the camera at the homeless and hands them free clothes. Again, his motive is to show up A&F, so he needs the less-fortunate in order to make to his point. The people he gives clothes to aren’t in a position to turn it down and say, “No, we will not be exploited!” Of course they’re going to take what’s given and be thankful. That doesn’t make them any less taken advantage of, put in a position of gain solely because an artist needs to use them to make his point.

So, yeah, this whole thing bothers me. A lot.

Because neither side deserves any more free advertising, I’m not putting an image up that relates to either A&F or Karber. Instead, here’s a picture of a puppy. You’re welcome!

Who's a good little puppy?!  (copyright unknown)

Who’s a good little puppy?!
(copyright unknown)

 

I hope you’ll forgive this bit of self-indulgent, shameless promotion, but the book I co-authored launches today on Amazon!

If you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to this last little while, this was a big part of it, getting this book done and ready to be loosed on the world!

Here is the official press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Across The Board Books™ proudly announces the release of the NEW ebook…

THE QUEEN CHRONOLOGY:

THE RECORDING & RELEASE HISTORY OF THE BAND

 

Copyright 2013, Patrick Lemieux & Adam Unger

Copyright 2013, Patrick Lemieux & Adam Unger

Available now on Amazon worldwide:

Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/TheQueenChronologyUS

Amazon.co.uk: http://tinyurl.com/TheQueenChronologyUK

Amazon.ca: http://tinyurl.com/TheQueenChronologyCA

Toronto, Canada – April 30th, 2013 – The Queen Chronology is a comprehensive account of the studio recording and release history of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor, who joined forces in 1971 as the classic line-up of the rock band Queen.

For nearly 40 years, Queen has both topped the charts and embedded itself in the musical landscape worldwide, with such hits as “We Will Rock You,” We Are The Champions,” “Another One Bites The Dust” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Their rock musical, We Will Rock You, and their Queen Extravaganza official tribute production both continue to carry on the band’s legacy to audiences long after the tragic passing of singer Freddie Mercury.

Years of extensive research have gone into the creation of the Chronology, which covers the very beginnings of band members’ careers, their earliest songwriting efforts and recording sessions, through the recording and releasing of Queen’s 15 original studio albums with their classic line-up, to the present-day solo careers of Brian May and Roger Taylor. All of this information is presented date by date in chronological order, with detailed  descriptions of each song version, including those both released and known to be unreleased. Every Queen and solo album, single, non-album track, edit, remix and extended version is examined, as are known demos or outtakes, pre-Queen recordings and guest appearances. It’s  all here in one place: The Queen Chronology!

The first edition of The Queen Chronology is exclusively digital, available on Amazon for the Kindle e-book reader. Check the Amazon site in your territory!

The Authors:

Patrick Lemieux is a Canadian artist and writer. His articles for Queen’s Official Website (www.queenonline.com) include The Lost History Of A Queen Track, A Chronicle Of Magic, The Journey Back To The Light, A Mystery In The Wreckage and co-authored with Adam Unger The Elektra Edits. He also painted the cover art for The Queen Chronology.

Adam Unger is the owner and webmaster of QueenVault.com and has contributed articles to Queen’s Official Website, including B-Sides and The Elektra Edits (co-authored with Patrick Lemieux).

###

I sent that out to various outlets.

As noted, I painted the cover. I wanted to create an image that was both expressive and somewhat expressionistic, rather than be literal portraits. There was a lot I wanted to convey in the painting, like the energy and excitement of the band, their stage presence and also the dream-like quality of of the past. It’s been nearly 22 years since Freddie Mercury died and though the legacy lives on, their past becomes somewhat how fans feel about it, the nostalgia and longing for “the good old days.” It was that vivid, slightly unfocused imagery I have when I listen to a Queen song. A mixture of my own emotions and what I know of the band.

Here’s the print version of the piece, presented for your consideration:

Light & Electricity [PRINT - Sample] Print size: 11" x 17" Print price: $19.99 + tax & shipping

Light & Electricity [PRINT – Sample]
Print size: 11″ x 17″
Print price: $19.99 + tax & shipping

That thumbs is a registered trademark, you know! (Copyright unknown)

That thumb is a registered trademark, you know! (Copyright unknown)

“I cannot begin to describe how much this loss will affect the not only the film business, but critical thinking of and in our world.
It’s not about whether you agreed with him, but that he could entertain you by arguing his point so well.
I wish I could have met him, though we did exchange some emails.
:-( Requiescat In Pace, Mr. Ebert. I hope you’re watching the perfect film up there.”

I posted this on Facebook, attached to a link to a news story about the death of Mr. Roger Ebert.

I’m still reeling.

The emotions I’m feeling are many. I know I said I would not get personal on this blog and I intend to keep to that promise for the most part. Forgive me in advance if what follows is scattered and unfocused in some places. I’m letting the thoughts and feelings well up and am looking at each the way I might look at a piece of art for the first time, simply letting it be what it is without judgement and very little analysis.

Roger Ebert was a film critic by job description, but in reality he was a critic of life and the world in which we all live. It just so happened that both life and the world were reflected in film and that was how he best loved to look at it. It just didn’t stop him from looking at the world straight on, either. In the age of social media, he was a titan of the Twitter-sphere, sharing links not just about movies and his reviews, but of interesting articles, comments on religion and politics, and sometimes just funny stories. The under-riding presence of a critique (his or someone else’s) was always there. One way or another they made you think or see the world a little differently.

I’m going to miss that.

In the days after September 11th, 2001, that terrifying, terrible day, there was a lot of emotion in the world. The August before, I’d gone to see the film “Final Fantasy” in the theatre and one of the trailers was for Sam Raimi’s first “Spider-Man” film. It ended with bank robbers in a helicopter being caught in a giant spider web. The web was spun between the two World Trade Centres in New York City. It was a powerful image, made too powerful a month later when maniacs destroyed them (along with destroying countless lives). The ad was pulled from theatres and even now is unavailable on the DVD. The knee-jerk reaction of the time was to remove the iconic Twin Towers from current TV shows and films about to be released. The argument was that it was being done out of respect. “The Sopranos” cut their shot of the Towers in Tony’s rear view mirror that season and from all to follow. There was serious talk of older movies being edited to take them out, apparently because some believed it was too painful or disrespectful to show them anymore. It bothered me, but I couldn’t quite articulate why I thought such action was wrong. I wrote to Mr. Ebert and said I couldn’t understand this reaction, really. He wrote back, agreeing, and said, “When someone dies, you don’t destroy all their photos.”

I later submitted an entry to his Little Glossary Of Movie Terms:

Backlit Horizon Phenomenon
The ever-present white light whose source is always just beyond the horizon line where no practical light source would be. This phenomenon allows dramatic entrances to secluded locales, e.g., the appearance of the Ring Wraiths on the road in “The Fellowship of the Ring” and the appearance of the Nigerian soldiers in the jungle in “Tears of the Sun.”PATRICK LEMIEUX, TORONTO

I’m still really proud to have made it into his collection, even in a small way.

It bothers me that in his battle against cancer in his last years he lost his ability to speak. It didn’t stop him working and writing, but I felt bad for him, nonetheless. I can’t imagine what life must have been like. He never publicly complained or sought sympathy for what he was going through. I admire that.

I didn’t always agree with Ebert and sometimes I think he missed the point in a film he would slam, but every argument for his position was made clearly and understandably, so I could meet him halfway. It helped me learn the value of critical thinking and critical writing, to argue not with the goal of antagonizing, but with an eye on enlightening the opposing view as to where I’m coming from on a topic.

It’s sad that he won’t see the new Star Wars movies.

The current young generation will never quite understand just how much power the duo of Siskel & Ebert had back in the day. Getting “Two Thumbs Up” would make your box office and practically guarantee a hit film. And “Thumbs Down,” well, you knew you had a stinker on your hands. After Gene Siskel died, that magic combination was lost and Roger Ebert, still a great critic, continued to review and write and enlighten. He’d talk about his friend and colleague Siskel and we learned that even though the arguments on their show were genuine, the two never lost respect of friendship. I recall Ebert saying in an interview that he and Gene had a shorthand about movies, simple words and phrases they developed over the years, that could communicate so much so quickly and that Ebert really missed that.

I also recall Ebert saying several times that he had no fear of death. Why should he, he’d ask? He came from nothing and would go back to nothing. What was to fear? I admire that, too.

Lastly, I hope the world learned some things from him. I hope his legacy dissuades some bad movies from being made. I hope the world learned that “critic” is not a bad word. We needed Ebert’s intelligent analysis of the our world and we all need to pick up where he left off.

I plan to do my part.

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