It’s been 20 years since Giant Robot zine was published. It was also my first Comic-Con experience and I’ve made it back every year since. We reprinted a run of GR1 & GR2 for Zine Fest LA and we printed up a brand new batch. We’ll have 100 GR1 & GR2 Zine Packs and each has at least four “vintage” GR exhibition postcards including the ever elusive Ray Fong (Barry McGee) postcard from his exhibition at GR2. People sell this card on auction websites for too much money, but you can get one with each pack. Also included will be a GR sticker and a button! I wrote a short introduction for each issue and that’ll be in there as well.
We’ve known Rick and Yukari for years and it’s a pleasure to see their project grow. Giant Robot is proud to host the exclusive, Sparq the Baby Dragon. All of the Flat Bonnie pieces are handmade with impeccable craftsmanship. Their work is consistent and has a look that is obvious theirs. We’ll be doing more with Flat Bonnie sooner than you think. Watch for their participation in a group exhibition, October 4th at GR2. We’re excited.
Giant Robot presents: Mari Inukai – who will be a resident at the Giant Robot booth. It doesn’t mean she’ll be there 24-7, but she will spend the majority of her time at SDCC hawking goods, making smiles, and drawing. We’ll have the Hone Marilla GID! $100 and it comes with a small original drawing. It’s displays beautifully. Also, DAILY mini-print releases. We’re working out the editions and details. Stay tuned!
I’ll be posting our Exclusives and getting them up on social media as well. Hope you don’t mind these transmissions. This collaboration is a fun one. Imagine keeping in touch with a person you’ve never met in person. That’s how our relationship with Mafia Toy Factory in Thailand has developed. My contact there did send his friend and family to come visit me at GR2. I felt awful since they were on vacation from Thailand but the five member family seemed to enjoy the bus ride.
Is a figure, a figure when it’s put together? Are the sum of it’s parts equal to a whole? It’s a philosophical question, but in this case, it’s the parts displayed nicely like a model kit. Put it together or just wear it. It’s a concept that’s deep and thoughtful and puts figures in yet another situation. The big kicker is that it fits LEGO brand items. It’s the size of a LEGO mini figure and you can interchange parts and stick it to bricks. We’ll have 200 pieces.
It’s nice to ride a train in LA. For most of those who ride, it’s not a luxury. It’s like riding a bus. It’s more of a tool to get to work or school. But for my first ride, it was a test of sorts to see how easy, how convenient, and if it’s something I could recommend.
I rode the train from the Westside of LA to Downtown LA. It’s not a big deal, except in this city where I’ve lived my entire life, there’s been no commuter train. People have asked, “What took you so long?” The answer is easy. I have a car, and I seldom go to Downtown, and I don’t find myself near that exact stop in Culver City. I actually drove to the stop, parked, used the machine which was easy to figure out, and then got on the train. I could have just drove and beat the train anyway. It’s less about why I took it, it’s more about taking it.
The ride is a strange sight since you’re moving smoothly on city streets without stopping at every other light, there’s no traffic, you can stare into space or into your phone, and you’re on Exposition Blvd – a street just one block away from my childhood home. A street that one doesn’t use to drive eastbound.
There was a train perhaps in the 70s and early 80s that would wake me up at 6am on the weekdays, but it was hauling gear to the warehouses and factories. These were dirty freight cars, the type that hobos would ride. When one mentions trains in West LA, I still imagine a rusted red colored car and caboose. Yet, the trains of today are electric, seemingly space age, and at the same time, typical of what I’ve seen in every other city.
The ride to downtown happened without any incident. It was fairly empty on a weekend, although once the train got into downtown the crowds got larger. A few riders smelled like they just smoked out. The same stops as freeway exits pass, Crenshaw, Western, Vermont. The Convention Center / Staples is the Pico stop, and it’s convenient for a visit to Anime Expo where I got out with a Zelda and a Power Ranger.
The ride home was just as easy. Skaters going towards Venice sat near me. An older woman going to museums got off early on. A few other commuters rode until the last stop. My first questions from the non-LA train experienced is about the cleanliness. The train is clean, it’s worth riding, and it’s fun. Perhaps I’m a tiny bit proud of LA for having even just one train connecting the Westside to Downtown.
I stopped by the studio of Edwin Ushiro and took a look at a few pieces he had just completed. It’s hard to explain the feelings I get when I see them, but it’s nostalgia from my childhood and the minute feelings we experience in crucial moments. Somehow, Ushiro captures these like none other. It’s in the body language and facial expressions. His Gathering Whispers exhibitions begins this saturday at GR2.
I’ve been a Godzilla fan from the early days and I’m proud to be in this issue of Pen Magazine featuring the world’s beloved beast. One of the first questions from Japanese writers is about the “new” Godzilla and overall, I give it a thumbs up. I still long for the “man in suit” versions, but the newest actually works. In the end, I understand that Godzilla is cultish gone major, so making a huge Hollywood picture out of it has a difficult standard to achieve. How do you retain the old school charm and the new school needs of a modern film audience? It’s a subtle line.
I recall another question being Godzilla’s toughest foe. I chose Mothra. Imagine a moth that huge… Actually, imagine a moth that’s tiny. The weird moth dust disgusts us all. Imagine how much dust would come off of Mothra? Mothra is disgusting.
I’ll admit, I can’t read this article, so who knows what I said in it, but it’s an honor to be holding the treasured Godzilla items that I own. A vintage die-cast and a fairly modern vinyl figure.
See Pen Magazine online.
I curate art, but I don’t partake in creating it. A few friends know that I do little drawings once in a while – mostly to illustrate an idea or plan. They’re often simple doodles done in haste. After recently finding a page of little faces that I draw years ago, I posted an image and got a warm response. I decided to make a mug! I almost feel a bit of shame in showing my own drawing on a product since the artists I work with make such great things. I hope they don’t mind.
It’s $12. If you have any interest, here’s the link.
Here’s a photo of the mug in use!
There’s near 100 photos here. So do take your time and relive Uglycon. Artists, friends, guests, and plenty of activities. We enjoyed it all. Thanks for being part, virtual or in person.
Uglycon 2014 Ice-bat Turns 10.
It began years ago and now it’s back in “Phase Two.” After a few Uglycons, then a hiatus, and now completed second year in a row, the event is better than ever. It’s hard to top the madness of last years event, since it was the “Return of Uglycon” which was insanely ambitious except for an even larger endeavor this year – a secret marriage proposal hatched over messenger months ago. Nick Caruana and Kim Chadwick from Buffalo, New York made a trip last year, and became friends of Uglydoll and Giant Robot.
Uglycon began months ago, as bits and pieces of planning hatched and the chain of events for the day were planned. What worked last year? What didn’t work? The event was actually simplified, but at the same time, improved. Strange how that can happen. We removed a few events, and made sure that the ones we liked were well executed. Lastly, how would we handle Nick’s plan.
(That’s David and Steve Guerra Enky Skulls who made the cape for Ice-Bat)
We featured cookie decorating, Shrinky Dinks (yes, we brought this back), buttons, temporary tattoos, scavenger hunt, and the neighborhood Partners. Yes, Slicetruck, Nong La, Cinefile, Touch Vinyl, Balconi, Hurry Curry, Seoul Sausage, and of course ourselves. The deal was to keep the event within the boundaries of our partners which is a large cross section of businesses. We want to promote each other, and at the same time, help ourselves out. It’s the second time we created a neighborhood crossover and it worked. The partners seemed to be busy and they hopefully had fun too. I suppose it’s typical to say, one new customer makes a difference, but in the landscape of a small business, it can and does. Since last year, I’ve wanted to organize something else with the partners but it hasn’t happened yet. I’ll shoot for later in the year.
From the late nights previous, to the early morning fixits to opening at 12 noon, we saw friends, Uglydoll fans, artists, and more came through. A line formed outside. It began with the opening of the art exhibition which featured works from perhaps a hundred artists and spanned both shops! Giant Robot featured the fan mades – a collection of folks who answered the open call including a school class! Thanks for being part and making Ice-bats! GR2, featured all genres from prints, customized vinyl, handmade plush, original art, and the Makerbot 3d printer which spat out mini figures. The outside had two tents for the crafty fun. I saw people lose their minds for the Shrinky Dinks. We’ll bring that back again, sooner than later.
David did the “UglyWorld” talk, his update on his life and the future of Uglydoll. His move to Asia surely have had some ramifications on his brand. This was the time for him to tell. We set up the screen and computer and he ran through slides of things we’ll be seeing in the near future. David then signed books, drew sketches and talked with his fans and friends. His excitement for his new projects are oozing out of him. The creator is in action.
The space in the day for craft, scavenging, and visiting our partners proved to be perfect as “Bingo” came up at 6pm. It’s the reward for our friends who supported the entire event by making purchases. The prizes are usually perfect. Some small items to larger and larger. This year, we even had partner, Hurry Curry donate a gift certificate (That’s so cool). The largest prizes were the oversized framed Uglydoll photos and this is when the highpoint of the day took place.
(Nick and Kim)
From a week ago, I had to figure out how to get Nick to the front with a mic in his hand. Would we do this early in the day? We opted for the end, as it would either be the crescendo or in a morbid sense, the ultimate crash. Nick assured me, it would be fine. We were ready with confetti, cameras, and video. The plan was to let him call the last bingo card. I’m no actor, but I really was tired, so the excuse of being too tired to call off numbers worked perfect. I didn’t have to act. Nick grabbed the mic and I walked off. He made sure they sat in the front. As I called cards with David, I looked at Nick and wondered if he was ready. I swear he was focused only on Bingo. The last winner turned out to be himself and another person. I waited until photos were taken and he put the giant framed photo aside, and he took it from there. He told a story about how the Uglydoll “community” brought all of us together, and then how it brought them together, and then as he dug into his pocket, Kim looked toward the Bingo card thinking he was about to call numbers, and then he took a knee.
Publisher and President Giant Robot Magazine and Stores. Will put foot in your ass if needed. I like bunnies, toys, curry, and art. ...Read more
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