Archive for the Social Activism Category

It’s Dave-the-Happy-Geek Week

Posted in 501st, Action Figures, Blog, Blogger, Busts, Charity, Chicago Comic Book Artists, Collectibles, Collections, Collectors, Comic Book Art, Comic Book Artist, Comic Books, DAVE DORMAN NEWS, Entertainment, Fan Culture, Geek, Geek Culture, GI Joe, Illustration, Lucasfilm, Nerd Culture, Pop Culture, San Diego Comic-Con 2011, Social Activism, Social Commentary, Social Networking, Star Wars, Toys, Twitter, WriteBrain Media, Zombie, Zombie Art with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2012 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dear Friends,

I’ve had one of my more interesting weeks in a long time with three really fun surprises in the mail–two being Star Wars-related. The first was a wonderful hoodie from 501st member Daniel Quay, TR-8285 and fan Andrew Marzka of Happy Valley Custom T’s in Pennsylvania. (Andrew’s business phone is (814) 571-2992 if anyone wants great hoodies or t-shirts.) They are concerned I’m not staying warm enough in Chicago, and they are right about that! Here it is:

Dave Dorman with 501st Hoodie

501st Hoodie from Daniel Quay and Andrew Marzka, Happy Valley Custom T's

I also received my “Save the Lars Homestead” watch in the mail this week with its pure Tunisian Tatooine sand embedded within and the beautiful engraving on the back. My fellow Star Wars junkies are stoked about the watch and the good news is, you can still order them here: http://s395343987.initial-website.com/

Save the Lars Homestead Commemorative Timepiece

Engraving on Back of the Watch

And then there was my bust from Sideshow Collectibles. I ordered this at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2011, and here we are 6 months later and I had almost forgotten about it. Almost, but not quite. What a great surprise! My wife’s friends have insisted she not display it in our foyer, so we’re still finding the right place for it.

My New Zombie Crusade Bust from Sideshow Collectibles

Even better, I just got a Tweet from @MaxToyCo friend Mark Nagata informing me that a box of toys is en route. Could this geek’s week possibly get any better?!? I hope your week is filled with geek touchstones as well.

Dave.

 

Happy Holidays from Dave Dorman & Some Cool Gifts to Share

Posted in 501st, Amazon.com, Author, Blog, Blogger, Blogger Review, Blogging, Chicago Comic Book Artists, Christmas Gifts, Collectibles, Collections, Collectors, Comic Book Art, Comic Book Artist, Comic Book Cover Art, Comic Books, DAVE DORMAN NEWS, Denise Dorman, Entertainment, Facebook, Fan Culture, Geek, Geek Culture, Holiday Gifts, LinkedIn, Lucasfilm, Nerd Culture, Painting, Pop Culture, Product Review, Product Reviewer, Social Activism, Social Commentary, Social Networking, Star Wars, Twitter, Wasted Lands, WriteBrain Media, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2011 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dear Friends,

If your household is like mine, Lucasfilm, Amazon and Apple retailers got the majority of your greenbacks this year. Santa was good to me this year and here’s a highlight of my favorite gifts and holiday cards:

I got The Making of Star Wars: The Old Republic, by Chronicle Books, a fine art book that also has lengthy descriptions on the creation of the game itself, not just the preproduction artwork. My son and I have been playing and are on Level 15 so far. It’s a wonderful game.

Dave Dorman with Star Wars: Old Republic Book

Me with my new Star Wars: The Old Republic art book

I also received Genius Isolated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth, by IDW Publishing, which is the best book I’ve received all year. It is a beautifully made compilation of Toth’s early formative years as an artist, and it’s the first of three books to cover Toth’s career. It’s an exciting start to the series and I’m really looking forward to the subsequent volumes. The production on this hardcover book was just amazing and the material that the authors dug through and found to represent in this book was truly astounding, covering Toth’s formative work, both in comics and illustration. I highly recommend it. If you are an Alex Toth fan, you should also pick up my friend John Hitchcock’s book, which chronicles his correspondence and friendship with Toth in the later years of his life. It’s a real treasure. John is a master storyteller and if you’re ever lucky enough to hang out with him, you will see what I mean by that.

My Favorite Book in 2011: The Life and Art of Alex Toth

I was also happy to receive this Christmas card, postcard and trading card from our friend Kevin-Kim, TK-1023 in the German Garrison of the 501st. That was a nice surprise. (My son is in his new Star Wars pajamas from Santa).

From Kevin-Kim of the German Garrison

My Gifts from 501st German Garrison Kevin-Kim, TK-1023

In other news, we’ve been working hard on updating my Facebook fan page. With the rate at which I’m getting friend requests on Facebook, I will have to split my time between my Facebook Fan Page and my Facebook personal page as I fear I will run out of spaces to add friends on my personal page. I do plan to maintain both, but please “Like” my Facebook Fan Pagewe are working hard to get that page up to speed this year with decent graphics, contests, fan exclusives and more. We will be doing a Fan Page for my own creator-owned series The Wasted Lands and I will announce that here shortly.

In other news, I am very pleased with the traction my artist friend Dave DeVries is getting with his own creator-owned concept, The Monster Engine. His site went viral again this month overseas and people all over Asia and Europe are discovering him. This project is really deserving of a TV series, a movie and a videogame and I hope we see it happen in 2012.

Thanks, as always, for reading my post. I’m @DaveDorman on Twitter and I do respond to direct Tweets, and I’m an open networker on LinkedIn, so please connect with me there as well. I am happy to review your products online (tech, movie, books, comics, music, nerd and geek products are my sweet spot) and to do so, please write to WriteBrain Media, Attn: Denise Dorman, P.O. Box 417, Carpentersville, IL 60110 and put “Dave Dorman Blog Review” in the subject. If you need marketing, social media or PR advice, follow Denise @writebrainmedia on Twitter or “Like” her fan page at Facebook.com/WriteBrainMedia.

Dave.

Blogger Dave Dorman Now Offering Product Reviews

Posted in Action Figures, Blog, Blogger, Blogger Review, Blogging, Busts, Charity, Chicago Comic Book Artists, Christmas Gifts, Collectibles, Collections, Collectors, Comic Book Art, Comic Book Artist, Comic Book Cover Art, Comic Books, DAVE DORMAN NEWS, Denise Dorman, Entertainment, F. Paul Wilson, Facebook, Fan Culture, Figurines, Geek, Geek Culture, GI Joe, Hanukkah Gifts, Hasbro, Holiday Gifts, Horror, Horror Art, Illustration, LinkedIn, Lucasfilm, Military Art, Nerd Culture, Painting, Pop Culture, Product Review, Product Reviewer, Sculptures, Snowtroopers, Social Activism, Social Commentary, Social Networking, Twitter, USACares.org, WriteBrain Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2011 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dear Friends,

In accordance with FTC blogger review rules, I am now making myself available to review products. Please know that regardless of who sends me an item, and regardless of its monetary value, I will give my readers an HONEST PRODUCT REVIEW. Product managers, please let me know in writing if it is time sensitive for me to review your product and provide me with a clear deadline. As you know, for a freelance artist, paying work always comes first, so if I get deluged with items, the types of products I will give priority to for reviews will include the following:

  • Electronics (Tablets, videogame platforms, drawing tablets, PCs, you name it)
  • Art Products (illustration boards, canvas, pencils, paints–oils and acrylics–brushes, inks, digital art products and software, etc.)
  • Videogames
  • Software
  • Art Books
  • Comic Books
  • Sculptures
  • Action Figures
  • Toys
  • Board Games
  • Music (my preferences run to female singer/songwriters, world music, instrumental music, and Peter Gabriel/Genesis/YES-style music)
  • TV Shows/Movies (I can’t get enough foreign films, so bring ‘em on!)
  • Apps (I have an iPhone 4)
  • Fiction Books (tastes run to action-adventure, horror and sci-fi, e.g. Stephen King, F. Paul Wilson, Joe Lansdale)
  • Organizational Products (think Container Store-type products)
  • Anything related to Pop Culture
  • Cooking tools and spices

Any products that I can’t or won’t keep, I will donate to the needy families of my charity, USACares.org, or to fellow artists in need. To participate in a Dave Dorman Product Review, please send your items to:

Dave Dorman, Product Reviewer

P.O. Box 417

Carpentersville, IL 60110

If you have any questions, please feel free to email my publicist, denise@writebrainmedia.com.

As always, thanks for reading,

Dave

 

Dave Dorman DragonCon Boycott: An Update

Posted in Blog, Blogger, Blogging, Chicago Comic Book Artists, Collectibles, Collections, Collectors, Comic Book Art, Comic Book Artist, Comic Book Convention, Comic Books, Denise Dorman, Entertainment, Fan Culture, Geek, Geek Culture, Nerd Culture, Painting, Pop Culture, Social Activism, Social Commentary, Social Networking, WriteBrain Media, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2011 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dear Friends,

Sometimes my gut checks are on target. Sadly, this is one of those situations. I wish it wasn’t, but I will continue to boycott DragonCon until this situation gets resolved. Yes, I know it’s a good show and a growing show. Yes, I know a lot of great people are organizing it these days. However, my hunch was right — alleged child molester Ed Kramer still receives 34% of the shares of DragonCon’s profit--and I refuse to contribute to perpetuating that mentally disturbed and depraved individual’s alleged pedophilia in any way. I have zero tolerance for this activity. Nothing makes me more sick than even the idea of hurting children. Hurting anyone who is vulnerable and unable to defend themselves makes me sick to my stomach. I can’t support that in any way, especially while representing (in my own small way) an industry targeted to children. Watching the Penn State news unfold over the past couple of weeks also is making me sick. Mind you, it’s not that I’m so cold-hearted as to not realize that in most cases, the perpetrators were also abused as kids, but I have to hope that this activity will one day stop altogether. I just cannot stand it. Had I witnessed any situation like this, I would have sincerely been able to claim temporary insanity for killing the perpetrator with my bare hands.

Parents–and vulnerable single parents in particular–watch your kids and watch them closely. Be suspicious of anyone who takes a “special interest” in your child and tries to get your child alone. Relatives included. I’ll never forget a dear friend in Florida who was, at the time a single mom with a son who was absolutely precious to Denise and me. Her son’s soccer coach, a married man with 3 kids, kept trying to convince her to let him coach her son privately. She felt something was off, and shortly thereafter he was in the papers for molesting kids. Be vigilant. Don’t trust anyone unless you have very good reason to trust them. Remember, in every situation attracting large groups of kids, there’s someone out there who wants to get at them and will use every ploy to resonate with them – sports, comics, animals, videogaming, movies, camping, etc. In my mind’s eye, they’re all Pennywise the Clown.

A dear friend who prefers to remain anonymous just sent me this update:

Dave: Thought you might find this article of interest, as it mentions the exact % of shares Ed Kramer still owns in DragonCon. He is not a minority share owner, as he has the same percentage as Pat Henry, the current chairman and co-founder. Your decision to boycott Dragoncon continues to be sound.
http://www.facebook.com/l/MAQGmRPEcAQE4gn-FpdYk5JfH4KQ_orAxQpcSadjhRCK2bQ/www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/dragoncon-faces-appeal-1233100.html

And here’s an excerpt from the linked article above in the AJC / Atlanta Journal Constitution, a well respected newspaper:

DragonCon organizers have recently tried to distance the popular science fiction and fantasy convention from its ignominious co-founder, Edward Kramer, saying in a public statement that he has not had any involvement in planning or activities since his 2000 indictment on multiple child molestation charges.

Kramer did resign from the Atlanta convention in 2000, but he still holds 34 percent of the company’s stock. DragonCon president Pat Henry owns an equal amount, and the remaining third is divvied up between several other individuals, according to court records.
I hope for those of you who vehemently disagree with my stance, you will have more understanding as to why I am taking this position on the matter.
As always, thank you for reading,
Dave.

 

Dave Dorman’s The 5 Essential Truths of Art Directing

Posted in Alpha Nerd Podcast, Blog, Blogger, Blogging, Charity, Chicago Comic Book Artists, Collectibles, Collections, Collectors, Comic Book Art, Comic Book Artist, Comic Book Convention, Comic Book Cover Art, Comic Books, Darth Vader, DAVE DORMAN ART FOR SALE, DAVE DORMAN NEWS, Del Stone Jr., Denise Dorman, Entertainment, Facebook, Fan Culture, Geek, Geek Culture, Hasbro, Holiday Gifts, Illustration, LinkedIn, Lucasfilm, Military, Military Art, Military Veterans, Nerd Culture, Painting, Pop Culture, San Diego Comic-Con 2011, Social Activism, Social Commentary, Social Networking, Star Wars, The Dennis Miller Radio Show, Transformers, Twitter, USACares.org, Wasted Lands, WriteBrain Media, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2011 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dear Friends,

After a lecture at Chicago’s Columbia College this past Thursday night for Dave P.’s character visualization art class, my wife Denise asked me to write an article on boiling down art direction to five essential truths. Below is what I came up with.  I sit on both sides of the desk, doing the art for art directors, and doing the actual art direction, so I have very definite opinions based on my 30 years of experience. I even taught a class for the Florida 4th District Advertising Federation on How to Art Direct the Art Director. All of you artists and art directors following me, let me know if you agree, disagree or have tips you would like to add to this list?

Dave Dorman’s 5 Essential Truths for Art Direction

#1. You MUST review the artist’s comprehensive portfolio. Don’t judge an artist by just one piece in their portfolio. Look closely at all of the elements.  Ask them to show you the pieces that aren’t online. Does anything contained within match your needs for your project? What are the strengths of the artist? What are their weaknesses? Do they or can they paint in the style you need? Ask yourself, “Is this artist capable of giving me the art I need for this particular project?”

Real-World Example: Someone looking at my portfolio might think I only do muscled super heroes or hyper realism, but truth be told, I did a lot of manga early in my career for Robotech covers, I did toy design for Hasbro,  and I did very loose children’s illustration for Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings trading cards.

#2. Always provide a thorough review of the project with the artist. Ensure they understand your needs for the art and that they are comfortable in delivering the goods. An artist who does killer character design may be strong in creature art, but weak in landscape or architectural backgrounds.

Real World Example: Just because I did a detailed background on one painting doesn’t mean that I want to put that amount of work into every single painting I do. Personally, I hate painting architecture. If an art director wanted me to do a Stephan Martiniere cityscape, I would be up front in declining and saying, “No thanks. Here’s Stephan’s phone #.”

#3. A good art director should never ask the artist if they paint traditionally or digitally. First off, the art director’s eye should be trained to see the difference. There are effects you cannot get with digital, and there are effects you cannot get with traditional. Secondly, the final art is the final art, delivered digitally, no matter what tool(s) you used to get the final product. Any Star Wars painting I do with light sabers, I am taking into Photoshop to get that perfect glow on the light saber, although the original piece is oil on illustration board or a combo of oil and acrylic. Mind you, I could whip out my old air brush and get that same effect, but why go through the hassle when I can do it in PhotoShop?

Here's a painting with traditional and Photoshop Combined

With the plethora of art directors now being of the age that they came through their art education via digital art and very rarely–if ever–touching traditional media to produce their final art, I have seen a definite bias in those art directors to choose artists who work in the directors’ preferred medium: digital. The art should speak for itself regardless of the medium in which it’s created. I believe that if the art director is contacting the artist to do a project, then they are judging the artist by the art they see, whether it’s digital or traditional.

Real World Example: I had an art director call me once, absolutely raving about my Alien art. She had a big project for me, and I was eager to do the project, because it was right in my wheelhouse. Then she asked dreaded question: Do you paint digitally? I don’t, and the project instantaneously evaporated, despite the fact that my look and feel was a perfect match for her project. I believe this art director is short-sighted and I hope she has wizened up since then.

Graphic Novel Cover of Aliens: Hive by Dave Dorman

#4. Never, EVER assume an artist is outside of your budget. If you like someone’s art, speak with them FIRST about your budget before you strike them off of your list. Any freelancer can attest, we have months when we make a king’s ransom, and we have months when we go hungry. There’s rarely consistency unless you’re working on a videogame project, and even then, that consistent money can go away after a year or two.

Real World Example: As a traditional artist, I will often take on projects for little to no money, because I know I’m working on a licensed piece and I will have an actual painting that I can sell to collectors for top dollar once the project is completed. Obviously, digital artists are at a major disadvantage here! I once did a cover for the now-defunct but uber-cool GEEK Monthly magazine, for their San Diego Comic-Con issue. I was the first-ever painted cover they’d published. They were afraid to ask me to do a cover because they assumed they’d never be able to afford me. I did the piece for free. My piece was a modern day Transformer alongside a 1980s Transformer. I did it for free because I knew it was great publicity for the audience I wanted to reach, and then there was the value of the physical painting. I turned around and donated the painting to my favorite charity, USACares.org, to help raise funds for their not-for-profit, helping financially challenged active military families.

GEEK Monthly Cover I Did for FREE

Side note: I wish someone would revive a magazine like GEEK Monthly. It was brilliant, I never missed an issue and I miss it.

#5. As an Art Director, it’s your duty in fairness to your artist to have your project details organized properly. 

Real World Example: I once painted a beautiful sci-fi comic book cover, based on a major license you would all know. AFTER I delivered the piece, they broke the news to me that they didn’t have likeness rights. You can imagine my disappointment. I think the fans were less than satisfied with the piece, probably thinking to themselves that it was lame without the likenesses.

Another Real World Example: I painted a beautiful sci-fi cover for a major license you would all know, but they were in the midst of filming the movie, and they were afraid to provide me with photo reference of an actor I had never seen before, for fear it would “leak out.” First of all, that would never happen on my watch, and it was frustrating for me that they trusted me enough to paint their licensed characters, but not enough to provide me with proper reference. They literally provided me with a postage stamp-sized photo reference and I could not get the facial features right without decent reference.  Eventually they capitulated, but it took a lot of back and forth.

So…let me know your thoughts. I am interested to hear your frustrations with artists and art directors and your “master list.”

In other news, I think I will be converting my Facebook Group Page for The Wasted Lands to a Facebook Fan Page soon, so please watch for that. For those of you unfamiliar with it, The Wasted Lands is my own I.P. (Intellectual Property) – an alternate universe, adrenaline-pumping motorcycle western action adventure with Steampunk aesthetics. If you like it, let me know. Given the rate of growth of my personal page on Facebook, I will likely transition it over to a Fan Page soon as I’m going to hit the limit soon to people I can friend.

I recorded a 2-hour interview last night with Alpha Nerd podcast out of Australia, so I will be posting that link here as soon as I have it.

Well, I’m off to watch Godzilla v. Mothra with my son. It’s so much fun having a mini-me!

As always, thanks for reading,

Dave.

Facebook: http://facebook.com/davedormanartist

Twitter: @DaveDorman

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/thedavedorman

Website: http://davedorman.com and http://wastedlands.com

Publicity Firm: http://writebrainmedia.com | @writebrainmedia

 

Dave Dorman New Star Wars Crimson Empire Art, Horror Art, Some Studio Pictures and Some News

Posted in 501st, Blog, Blogger, Blogging, Chicago Comic Book Artists, Christmas Gifts, Collectibles, Collections, Collectors, Comic Book Art, Comic Book Artist, Comic Book Convention, Comic Book Cover Art, Comic Books, Cosplay, DAVE DORMAN ART FOR SALE, DAVE DORMAN NEWS, Denise Dorman, eBay, eBay Auction, Entertainment, Fan Culture, Geek, Geek Culture, Holiday Gifts, Horror, Horror Art, Illustration, Lucasfilm, Nerd Culture, Painting, Pop Culture, Social Activism, Social Commentary, Social Networking, Star Wars, Tony Akins, Toys, Uncategorized, WriteBrain Media, Writer, Zombie, Zombie Art with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2011 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dear Friends,

First off, here’s a video of the new SPECTRUM 18 book: My art is featured at about 2:18 and 5:18 in this videohttp://bit.ly/uOTP3G

Also, here’s the new-on-the-retail shelves cover I did for the first new STAR WARS CRIMSON EMPIRE comic by DARK HORSE:

STAR WARS CRIMSON EMPIRE COVER ART By DAVE DORMAN

I got a nice review from Geeks of Doom, which you can see here: http://bit.ly/rSyjuC

I hope some of you are coming out to the “MALEFICIUM” multimedia horror art show at Kosart Effects Studios & Gallery on Saturday night in Westmont, IL – a Chicago western suburb. It is on the order of more of a New York show with the caliber of talent involved, so we hope to see some of you there. I did a fun new horror piece here below, and in keeping with my sense of humor, I did a little “Rocky and Bullwinkle” thing with the title, which I am calling  “The Portrait of an Artist as a  Tortured Soul ,” or: “Cthulu! Gesundheit!”

Cthulu: Gesundheit! by Dave Dorman Oil and Acrylic on Canvas

Okay, here are some goofy pictures of a quick walk down to my “Dave Cave,” a.k.a. my studio. We have a house built into a hill, so we have a walkout basement, and I have taken the entire basement over as my studio. It’s sort of like a “garden apartment” with a lot of light coming in the windows, which are above ground. I didn’t stage any of this, just took some impromptu pictures, so forgive the mess. More pictures to come, but I really must clean some of the mess before I go posting them on the web.

Here’s what you see when you come down the basement stairs. My wife and I are big fans of BBC comedy League of Gentlemen, hence the Royston Vasey signage. At the foot of the stairs is a piece that brings me a lot of joy, a Star Wars painting by my friend Christopher Moeller. On the right you’ll see the hint of my Rocketeer cut-out, which was a character created by a dear friend, the late, great artist Dave Stevens.

Entrance to the Dave Cave...Beware!

When you get to the bottom of the stairs, here’s what you’ll see – my treasured autographs from 501st Members from around the world that I gathered during Star Wars Celebration shows. It brings me a lot of joy to see these every day.

You Are Now in the Dave Cave...

Another Viewpoint of the Entrance to the Dave Cave

My father-in-law built me all of these wonderful built-in shelves and I really use them. You’ll see there’s a “Dog Fight” game on my shelf. My brother Jeff and I played this game as kids. We were never allowed to keep our toys as we were military brats, always moving from base to base and having to give up all of our toys. I saw this one day on eBay and I HAD. TO. HAVE. IT. Now I’m addicted to toys, and intent on keeping every toy I have. Sometimes I share with my son, but not always.

Here are some paintings you may recognize to the right wall walking toward my great room of the Dave Cave. The cleavage painting in latex on the right is for sale. Make me an offer.

Right Hallway of the Dave Cave, Leading Into the Great Room

Here is the wall to the left, walking down that same hallway.

Crimson Empire Cover Art Rests on the Left-Side Hallway Wall

Dave Dorman Horror Painting Auctioned Tonight

Posted in Fundraising, Geek, Geek Culture, Horror, Horror Play, Nerd Culture, Painting, Pop Culture, Social Activism, Social Networking, Tony Akins, WildClaw Theatre, Zombie Art with tags , , , , on October 10, 2011 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dear Friends,

Tonight’s the night – my favorite horror theatre group, WildClaw Theatre, will be holding their “Masque of the Red Death” Gala Benefit to raise funds for more terrific horror play entertainment. Here are some images of my painting they are auctioning off tonight; I was inspired by the idea of an eerie Victorian asylum and it came out on canvas.

Dave Dorman's "Inside the Asylum" Horror Art; Acrylic on Canvas

Extreme Close Up, "Inside the Asylum" by Dave Dorman

I hope you can make it out tonight and join us. There will be no shortage of celebrities, surprises and memorable moments. Thanks for reading.

Dave.

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