Archive for Keith Moon

Turning One Lemon of an Evening into a Lemon Martini, Star Wars Style

Posted in Art Lithographs, DAVE DORMAN ART FOR SALE, DAVE DORMAN NEWS, Geek, Geek Culture, Illustration, Lucasfilm, Painting, Pop Culture, Rolling Thunder: The Art of Dave Dorman, Star Wars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2011 by DaveandDeniseDorman

So last night, I went downtown with my friend Michael Knight to meet my friend Charlie Athanas at the Gallery Provocateur, which was having their ending party for the Frank Frazetta Tribute Exhibition that kicked off during C2E2. My painting was in the show and I hadn’t seen it displayed yet.  I was sorely disappointed to discover that there were only a couple of actual paintings – the rest were inkjet print-outs on canvas, er, giclees, of the digitally created art. It was completely not what I was anticipating. However, my compadre Charlie Athanas has a talent for always pulling a rabbit out of thin air.

Charlie suggested that we go meet his friend—Steve Heminover–who is world-renowned for his laser shows. We ended up about 15 minutes away from Gallery Provocateur, in this unpopulated industrial area that was frankly a little spooky and unsettling. We pulled into this gated parking lot and drove into this space where doors closed behind us – a textbook James Bond adventure, right down to the technology and innovation laboratory where we ended up.

We entered the freight elevator, still guided by a disembodied voice telling us where to go and what to do. I had flashbacks to my Keith Moon incident when I was a bodyguard at the Capitol Center in Maryland during The Who concert (it’s in the first chapter of my new book, if you’re unsure of what I’m referencing) and then we ended up getting a tour of Aura Technologies, Inc., this huge tech facility.

Charlie, ever the king of understatement, nonchalantly mentioned that when he worked there in the ‘80s, Steve used to have the computer that generated the Death Star laser animation for the first Star Wars movie.  Now I was totally in my element, as was Michael, who may love Star Wars more than me, if that’s even possible.  Steve took us to pay homage to the historic technology relic.

Photo Courtesy of Charlie Athanas (L-R: Michael Knight, Dave Dorman, Steve Heminover)

The actual computer is entirely the wall behind all three of us in the picture. Steve briefed us on the technical details, explaining the computer  had 2.5 megabytes of memory and when they really pushed it, they could get it up to 10 megabytes with enough disc cartridges.Here’s a link to Larry Cuba’s YouTube video explaining how they made the sequence.

Steve was connected to Larry Cuba and the University of Chicago, which had the “Electronic Visualization Lab,” the very first place you could get a graduate degree combining art with computer science back in the ’80s. You have to remember, in those days, there was no access to computers of this magnitude unless you used a corporation’s computer after hours, or you had access to a university computer.

Charlie, a technology renaissance man in his own right, was doing music for the animations coming out of the Electronic Visualization Lab. His friends there—many early influencers in the prestigious art-meets-technology group SIGGRAPH — encouraged Charlie to explore computer graphics, and the rest is history. Charlie and Johnie Hugh Horn, plus a gaggle of friends, created the Ralph the Punk animated music video, which was selected to be part of the 1985 SIGGRAPH Art Show and the SIGGRAPH ’85 Film and Video Show world tour. The 1985 SIGGRAPH Art show also featured a piece from Larry Cuba, Calculated Movements, coincidentally enough.

Just for fun, here is the index for the ’85 SIGGRAPH Film and Video Show, Issue 22.
Issue 22 SIGGRAPH ’85 Film & Video Show
sig 85 logo
  1. PDI Animation Assortment
  2. Calculated Movements – Cuba
  3. Luminare – Sanborn and Winkler
  4. Growth III: Origin – Kawaguchi
  5. Mt. Fuji – Nakajima
  6. The Last Starfighter Excerpts – Digital Productions
  7. Nursery Song – Technofront
  8. Ralph the Punk – Athanas and Horn
  9. Precision Bathroom – Weil and Helman
  10. Flow Fantasia ’85 – Sasaki
  11. CFD Workstation – NASA Ames
  12. Telepresence Technology – Rappaport
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Dave Dorman’s C2E2 Recap

Posted in Comic Book Convention with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2010 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Hi Everyone,

Well, this past weekend was quite an experience.  First, I want to say a special thanks to my wife Denise’s cousin, who owns a condo across from Chicago’s Art Institute. We spent Thursday evening there with her, and it was ideal for getting to my early Friday morning Mancow radio interview on time.

As Denise and I waited in Mancow Muller’s green room, Darrell Hammond of Saturday Night Live fame came strolling in for an interview with Mancow and Max Brooks. Here’s some trivia for you: Darrell Hammond had the longest run on SNL – 14 years. He was hilarious as usual, and in combination with Max Brooks, a former SNL writer for 2 years, it was a really great interview. Darrell’s Al Sharpton impression slayed me. When Darrell left, I entered Mancow’s lair with Max and Mancow.  It turns out, I need to hit the gym. Mancow noted immediately how much I looked like Comic Book Guy on The Simpsons. Ouch.

Mancow arranged a bit where Max and I identified Star Wars sound f/x. My wife says Max won this contest, but I like to call it a draw. Mancow drew out of me a story I wasn’t prepared to tell:  The Keith Moon story. For those of you who don’t know it already, it’s a lot to write, but I’ll write it out for you one day. It will also be documented in my new book “Rolling Thunder: The Art of Dave Dorman” by IDW/Desperado Publishing, coming out this summer (shameless plug, I know).  Anyhow, before I forget, be sure to get Max Brooks’ wonderful books: “The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead,” and “World War Z.” He’s a great writer and we all need to be supporting great writers, especially since the latest study shows that graphic novel sales dipped this past year. My hope is that the iPad and its sister digital readers will correct this.

So…C2E2 was a great show for me personally. I’ve heard mixed reviews from publishers and artists, but I liked the location, the show organizers (Reed), and the comfortable room with abundant natural light, ideal for viewing everyone’s gorgeous illustration work. I want to say thank you to all of the 501st brethren who stopped by – it means a lot to have all of your support.  I’m an honorary member of the Midwest Garrison, which I don’t take lightly.  A special thank you to my friends from the comic book store in Kalamazoo, MI and also  SketchMaven.com for dropping by as well. It’s always good to put faces to names.  I will be selling some of my original art on the SketchMaven.com site, so be sure to check them out, and I’ll post it here as well.

Some attendees were confused by the fact that C2E2 was held at the same time as KBIS, the Kitchen & Bath show,  in McCormick Place.  My wife used to work the KBIS show for GROHE and created some video comedy bits for Hansgrohe with Mancow’s former producer, Jocko Hedblade (see how small of a world it can be?) so she was doubly confused by the convergence  of her two disparate worlds. More trivia: The El Jocko cigar is named for Jocko Hedblade, for those of you cigar afficionados.

While at C2E2, I purchased a couple of books from an old favorite – Archaia – I bought “The Killer Volume 2” and “Okko Volume 1.” I also bought “The Seven Swords,” a relatively new and very cool Hong Kong Samurai-style action flick I’ve been eager to own.

We were lucky to break bread with Mike Kennedy, the creator of videogame “Unbound Saga,” and his lovely wife Liz, who is a gifted editor. It was also great to connect with Charlie Athanas, Jim Tampa of Medallion Press and Kevin Sandstrom of Blick Art Supply.

Current projects this week include closing out a project for Magic: The Gathering, roughs for SoGoPro’s graphic novel project with Charlie Athanas, commissioned art for indie comic book creator Howard Feltman, and finishing up my aforementioned art book for IDW/Desperado Publishing.  I’m also wrapping my head around the implications of tonight’s episode of LOST, and for those of you who love it like we do, we will be very bummed when the series ends. We are recording our “Wednesday is Comic Book Day” podcast tomorrow, but I’m unsure when it will be posted, so check with me here on that.

Thanks to everyone for reading. I hope you’re all having a good week. If anyone has questions you’d like for me  to answer on the podcast, please call and leave a message on the podcast hotline at (206) 350-6326. I realize I’m opening us up for all of Denise’s crazy friends to prank us, but hopefully some normal questions will get through.

Dave.