Friday, October 16, 2020
Inktober 2020 Day 8
Our kids have always enjoyed a nice creepy image or a scary story.
In their younger years, the resulting exposure to scary stuff might have made it difficult to, say, go to the kitchen to get a glass of water when the lights were out. One never knows what horrors might lurk in one’s own domicile.
I have tried explaining that we are too far boring for Abominations to take an interest in. And hiding in dark corners waiting for a teenager to leave his room to go to the bathroom...that’s really dull stuff. Monsters have more interesting places to be.
But the very brief video clip known as “That’s Not Michael” definitely puts an amusing spin on the casual dismissal of horrors lurking in domestic spaces. The carrier of the video phone is walking around a cluttered basement looking for Michael. He looks down a dark hallway to see a very ominous, tall, naked figure squatting at the end, which turns to look over its shoulder at him with green glowing eyes. The narrator/ cameraman, comments dispassionately, “that’s not Michael” and moves on.
The figure at the end of the hall is mostly in shadow and mostly suggested, other than its glowing eyes.
It only took a couple of google searches to come up with the author of the video, Zulubo Productions, and the “how to make a cursed video” / making of “that’s not Michael” video, which shows the very literal animated figure that he posed and placed at the end of the hall.
My son says that kind of spoiled his enjoyment of the video. That plus a bad drawing, and my work for tonight is done.
Inktober 2020 Day 7
Ah, the endless joy of watching short video clips of other people getting hurt. And it’s even better when there is a compilation of multiple clips. And then add some snappy music.
The “Wii Sports Resort” meme checks all these boxes and additionally provides perverse nostalgia for our formerly Wii Sports Resort playing kids. The video is a series of unrelated clips, each representing one of the sports options off the main menu: basketball, bowling, boating, etc., and of course, archery.
Each clip features accidental or intentional injury- one ping pong player throws the paddle across the table at the other. One guy in a basketball one-on-one just plain decks the other guy, a man drives a boat full speed into a post.
It is both mildly funny and seriously disturbing, as the clips range from harmless stumbles to possible fatalities.
But the clip in which a bow tie wearing kid, who has obviously set up his phone on the floor to record himself shooting his cool nerf bow and arrow, only to have the arrow immediately bounce back to hit him in the eye, is memorable.
I am really hoping that the clip would not have made its way to YouTube if, in fact, an eye had been lost (or damaged)
Inktober 2020 day 5:
Sometimes all you really need is a video clip of a seagull laughing like a supervillain.
Many have documented on YouTube the disturbingly evocative cries of gulls. But one in particular posted by YouTuber Dimaniztlt back in 2012 features the gull throwing its head back with the malevolent flair of a Joker.
Know Your Meme reports that by 2017 the clip had over 181,000 views. It has proliferated and moved far beyond that since- and morphed into the “Seagull Inhaling” meme with a glowing red eye.
But I thought the upside down eye here was persuasive enough.
Inktober 2020 Day 4:
Our older son loves a video posted by @yeehawwsadcat of a teary-eyed cat, singing a Japanese ballad through the courtesy of creepy face morphing.
The human lips....truly nightmare fuel.
Our younger son explains that is an example of a “cursed image.” One might briefly think this terminology originated with my own clever child...well, one might think that if one is close to my advanced age perhaps. But I have learned to think twice. I googled, and discovered on Wikipedia: “ a cursed image refers to images that are perceived as mysterious or disturbing due to their content, poor quality, or a combinations of the two. Since 2016, such images have become popular online.”
This one brings together two memes, that are each their own deep rabbit holes (or entire warrens): “Crying Cat” and “Baka Mitai”
According to Know Your Meme, the earliest know usage of the Crying Cat image was in 2014, which oddly, was a photoshopped version of Serious Cat.
It proliferated on a German image board in 2015, known there as “Schmuserkadser,” before moving to 4chan in 2016.
Baka Mitai (I’ve Been a Fool) is a karaoke song that appears in the Yakusa series of games for the PlayStation. Baka Mitai, also known as “Dame Da Ne” for the first line of the lyrics, is a widespread meme of its own, sung by various game characters and real people. In 2020, Deepfake technology allowed many more people and characters ranging from Super Mario to Obama to sing the song without their participation in the real world. The face morph template was apparently provided by Youtuber shaggySuave.
No question, the queasy distortion generated by the low quality morphing is part of the charm.... if charm is the word we need here.
(A post from October 2nd)
Inktober 2020, Day 2
This one is not hard to find on YouTube, though the title does vary a bit: “Spider-man Fights Jesus to Bring Mr Starks Back” or “....to Bring Stan Lee Back To Life,” etc. Linkin Park’s 2002 hit, “In the End” plays for the entire clip. The combatants appear to be at some sort of party, though the video quality is extremely low, which is, I suppose, part of its charm. It did present more of a drawing challenge than I might have hoped.
There’s no hitting going on, Spider-Man and Jesus are mostly grabbing and stumbling around in a hapless manner. They do appear to be evenly matched. Spider-Man sports a baseball cap and track pants, both of which are in danger of removal throughout.
Our son agrees with the comment posted on one of the videos that “this is lowkey brilliant.” Another comment suggests that this video sums up the entire internet.
I’m not sure,
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter.
I’ve tried to keep up with the one ink drawing a night mandate of inktober for the last 4 years, much to the distaste of everyone in my immediate environment, and any remaining followers here. I’ve managed to limp through most of the month in years past, but I have to admit, given the competing demands on my time right now, the prospects are pretty grim this year.
But sadly, I haven’t given up yet.
Sometimes I just need to make some crappy drawings with the excuse of an artificial deadline.
In previous years I have exploited my kids and made drawings about my weird health and sleep fixations. I hatched several plans over the last few weeks, but finally decided today that it should be more in the original spirit of the napkins- though, yes, this is a watercolor.
So I am drawing from the memes and videos that our sons are always trying to get me to watch.
This one is an older video, still on YouTube at close to 3 million views...though the 10 hour version has a mere 1.8 million views. The bears flop around endless to the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams.” It’s oddly compelling even to those resistant to the charms of idiotic videos.
I haven’t done it justice at all.
(This one was supposed to have been posted back on September 28th)
I’ve been considering exploiting my all suffering male offspring as source material for the upcoming #inktober, but well, I am sensitive to over handling them, so to speak...and to putting their faces out too much online as recognizable images.
But here is a trial run, nonetheless.
My son tells me that it is recognizable as him.
I am distracted by the drawing disaster and cannot really engage with the likeness issue. But it’s not really looking like a solution to my inktober problem.
Friday, September 18, 2020
This Will Be Easier If You Don’t Struggle So Much:
(Family Support: Whether You Want It Or Not)
We were all back to school, both remote and in person. Both iterations were challenging for all involved. Everyone needs support...but they might not enjoy receiving it. And we might not be offering the right kind.
On another note, I am still thinking about faces and face recognition...and drawing the kids in such a way that their faces are partial or not exactly recognizable- at least to an algorithm.
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Yearly Napkin Portrait Dysfunction:
The Cover Your Nose and Mouth Edition.
Every year I rediscover the information that napkins do not photograph well when put next to actual people. And that my kids are unwilling to cooperate for even the two minutes it might take to line up the image. And this time I did not ask them to embarrass themselves on a subway platform.
But it’s the dysfunction that makes it interesting....right?
If the photo actually lined up the way I planned, what would be the fun in that?