More photos after the jump!
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More photos after the jump!
Preview & Reception:
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Opening & Downtown Art Walk:
Thursday, January 13
Thursday, February 5
215 W. 6th St. Suite 111
Los Angeles, CA 90013
The water-bearer begins another journey.
I finished this piece for my upcoming show, "A Billion Stories," at dialect in downtown Los Angeles. Show info:
Preview & Reception:
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Opening & Downtown Art Walk:
Thursday, January 13
Thursday, February 5
215 W. 6th St. Suite 111
Los Angeles, CA 90013
I finished this piece for my upcoming show, "A Billion Stories" at dialect in downtown Los Angeles. Show info:
Preview & Reception:
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Opening & Downtown Art Walk:
Thursday, January 13
Thursday, February 5
215 W. 6th St. Suite 111
Los Angeles, CA 90013
In the meantime, any questions can be directed to me via email: chris@(I'm pretty sure you can figure out what goes here).
Have a great Christmas or other winter-associated holiday that uses much of the same iconography as Christmas.
Quick news/good news:
German magazine Spoonfork has kindly featured my art in their latest issue's special guest section. Here it is!
In other news, the T-shirt that is the product of my Artsprojekt Labz T-shirt contest victory has been produced and is ready to buy, if you're interested. Click here for more info.
So it's been a freakishly-busy six months for me. Aside from my normal work and my personal artwork, I've also been creating artwork for a fairly large game project called Glitch. Today, Glitch was officially announced. More info:
I also had an interview published recently on the vector art website Vectortuts. Here it is.
Lastly, if you're interested in amazingly-crazy music/art festivals, my art will be shown at this weekend's Lucent L'amour Festival here in LA. Details.
More to come very soon!
Apologies for not being better at communicating with everyone who's been visiting the site and commenting on my work. I've been busier than ever, working seven days a week on new and very exciting projects which I'm sure you'll see in the near future. New artwork will be posted very soon!
In July, my artwork will be showcased at Hibbleton Gallery in Fullerton, CA. The show's running from the beginning of July through the 26th with an opening reception on July 10th. Of course, the flyer below already says all of that. If you're in the LA area on the 10th and you're interested in seeing my work and the work of a few other very talented digital artists, stop by. Drop a comment if you have any related questions.
I meant to post this a week ago, but things have been pretty crazy lately. On Tuesday, April 28th, 2009, my wife Adriana gave birth to our daughter, Sonja Isabel Leavens. It was an emergency C-section, so the whole thing was a bit dramatic. Apologies if I've seemed overly quiet or incommunicado. Here's a photo:
More illustrations, news, etc. as things slowly normalize.
One interesting detail: I wasn't entirely sure I entered the contest until they emailed me and told me I won. I received an invite on one of my illustrations, Calling the Sun, through my flickr profile. I always just accept the invitations as it's a good way to spread the word. It appears as if the word has definitely been spread this time around.
This not only means there will be a Calling the Sun T-shirt, it also means that I'll be joining the Artsprojekt community and designing and hopefully selling different products. I'll provide details as they're available.
In other news, I'm feverishly working on more illustrations, one a collaboration, another, a two-page spread for an Argentinian design magazine (South America loves my work). More to come!
The Flintridge Bookstore in La Canada, CA is hosting a weekend-long art show beginning tomorrow, February 21, 2009 and my work will be in the mix. They've been really great to me over the past year, displaying and selling my work and helping to spread the word. As part of the show, I'll be discussing my work on evening of Saturday the 21st, some time between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. If you're in the Los Angeles area and you'd like to see my work in person, this is a great opportunity to take it in in a fairly intimate setting. Limited, signed prints will be available. Here's the info:
Location: Flintridge Bookstore and Coffee House, 964 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011 (The store is across the street from the giant Sports Chalet mondo-complex on the corner of Foothill Blvd. & Angeles Crest Highway)
Schedule: Open reception begins at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday the 21st and the show runs through Sunday evening.
Hope to see you there.
Steve, the artist and blogger behind the website "Go Flying Turtle," was kind enough to interview me and showcase some of my work on his blog. Go check it out! While you're there, check out Steve's artwork. He's really talented and he's a super-good guy. The interview covers different ground than other past interviews have, so it's definitely worth your time if you have the time. If you don't have the time, then sit back and relax because you're really busy and I can sympathize (I'm really busy, too).
Things have been super busy recently, mostly due to our recent move from apartment to house. Even amidst my inactivity, though, things continue to stew. Case in point: I was interviewed for the web-based publication VIZIOmag, based out of South America (I believe).
More to come for sure, no doubt. Happy New Year, everybody.
And soon the smoke beast began to expand like a balloon, scaring every ounce of bejesus out of the house-hungry cyclops. (Illustration Friday, topic: balloon)
I actually finished this illustration about a week and a half ago, but I'm posting it now to correspond with the publish date of a tutorial I was hired to write for the website Vectortuts. If you're really interested in vector illustration and you're looking to learn a bit more about my process, check it out. I will warn you, however, that it's a members-only tutorial and you'll have to pay to play.
Here's the link, in case you missed it: vectortuts.com/articles/news/new-vectortuts-plus-tut-create-whimsical-artwork-entirely-in-adobe-illustrator/
Vector Illustration, Adobe Illustrator CS4
This year I've decided to print some extra copies of my personal Christmas cards and offer them up for sale to anyone. That's right, anyone. There's only one catch: you'll have to pay $17 for them. Sound like too much $$? It's not because you get ten cards, plus shipping's included. That's right. $1.70 per card. What a bargain.
As you may or may not remember, the card looks like this:
The text on the inside of the card reads, "There's no place like home for the holidays. Merry Christmas."
So for just $17, you get:
- Ten (10) full-color, high-quality cards
- Ten regular white envelopes (white is the color of snow)
- Shipping's included
- Tax is included
(Sorry, prices pertain to US residents only. If you live in another country and would like some, leave a comment and I'll contact you personally.)
To buy some, just press the "Buy Some!" button below. You'll be directed to paypal.com and the company you'll be paying is Kpants Productions (don't worry, that's me). Thanks!
Ryan Putnam, the singular force behind the awesome vector-illustration website Vectips, recently interviewed me via email. Here's the interview. It's pretty different than the last interview I did, so check it out and feel free to leave comments. If you have any interest in vector illustration, Vectips is an amazing resource and Ryan really knows his stuff.
Also, I realize I've been quiet lately, but new stuff's on the way. Real life's been keeping me busy. My wife and I are trying to take advantage of the economic downturn and buy a house while the market's low. Takes a lot more time than I would've imagined.
The last two times Imagekind featured me and/or my work, I was out of town and unable to spread the word. This time, I'm here and it's just about the best time to buy prints, especially if you've ever considered getting a framed piece of my art. They're currently running two specials; one gives you free ground shipping and the other takes 20% of custom framing. I believe the two offers can be combined, so if you're at all interested in purchasing any of my prints and have a little extra cash, now might be the time.
My store: chrisleavens.imagekind.com
To see my work on the main page (will disappear at the end of the day): imagekind.com
In other news, I met some folks at the art show last week who run an up-and-coming social network called My Modern Metropolis. They really liked my work and today posted a spotlight feature on my art. Go check it out!
Thanks to everyone for being so helpful and supportive.
The Update of Unloosen is mostly done and I'm mostly tired. It's here, it's different, get used to it. Thoughts, comments, opinions, etc. are welcome. Please let me know about any bugs, issues, or inconsistencies. I've already noticed a few and should have them ironed out within a few days.
I'm happy to report that the overhaul of Unloosen is nearly complete and should be debuting a little later this week (more than likely this weekend). Most changes shouldn't effect you or your enjoyment (or lack thereof) of the site, but if you're subscribed to an RSS feed of Unloosen using something like Google Reader, you'll need to make sure you're subscribed to the correct feed. Currently, there are three feeds available: RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0, and Atom. As of the update, the only feed that will be available is the Atom feed, so please change any necessary settings as soon as possible.
If anyone's interested in giving me feedback on the new site design, feel free to email me or comment on this post using your email so I can give you the test URL.
In other Chris-art related news, it looks as if my painting, Seed Tax, will be appearing in a separate publication and another possible solo show is also on the horizon. More details when they arrive.
In site news, I've begun some under-the-hood tinkering, but you more than likely won't see any of the results for about a week or so. Apologies for any bugs or inconsistencies in the meantime.
Unloosen has been in desperate need for an upgrade for a long, long time at this point. Since I had a few extra hours, I decided to upgrade the back end and database that power the site. This should allow for further enhancements/features (some of which I've been promising for months -- OK -- years at this point). If the upgrade results in any problems or inconsistencies, please let me know via email or by commenting on this post.
Vacation has ended, bringing me back to LA, back to usable Internet, and back to another group art show:
Flying sunglasses will apparently be in attendance as will my artwork, but unfortunately I will not be present. Adriana and I will be enjoying our nation's independence along the central coast of California. Hopefully we won't be engulfed in flames or anything.
But wait, there's more:
My artwork is also currently on display at the Flintridge Bookstore, an independent bookstore in affluent La Canada-Flintridge, CA. The bookstore's been nice enough to house my work for the past three weeks or so and may continue to do so for another month or so. If you're in the area and want to see the majesty that is the work of "Christo" in person, you have two options. Bookstore address: 964 Foothill Blvd. La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011.
So it goes. After the art show displaying my work was canceled last night, I was predictably bummed out. So it was nice to receive a mass email from Imagekind today that listed me as a featured artist:
Yes, I'm now in a gazillion inboxes. Seems as if the karmic wheel's been kind to me lately.
In case you forgot, my Imagekind store can be found here: chrisleavens.imagekind.com
I've been invited to display my work at another one-night group show here in LA. The location's the same, 533 Los Angeles St., 6th Floor, Los Angeles, CA. The time, of course, is different. The show's going to be part of the downtown LA art walk on June 12th. It sounds like it's going to be much more art-centric than the last show. More details soon. For now I give you this self-portrait I took as part of the promotion for my previous show:
Today I woke up to find that I'd been chosen by Imagekind as a featured member. Given the fact that they host hundreds (maybe thousands?) of artists, this is somewhat of an honor. Check it out:
So this was the brave, skateboarding Australian woman who drank a beer with me in London. She was 35 at the time of the photo. I didn't know that they held up so well down under.
After weighing a variety of options, I've decided to sell my artwork via Imagekind. They offer a multitude of choices and reasonably-priced custom framing (their frames may seem expensive on first glance, but compared to other places, they're a good deal). A direct link to my web store follows the colon: chrisleavens.imagekind.com.
Currently I'm only selling five images. Click on the illustration you like for a direct link to its Imagekind home:
I'll be posting more for sale, including images from the first IAD, as soon as opportunity allows. I create nearly all of my artwork at a 4:3 ratio and the ideal ratio for most printers and store-bought frames is 5:4 (8x10, 11x14, 16x20 are all right on or near a 5:4 ratio), so I had to resize some of the elements to make things work. Also, I've been going in and cleaning up details that I wasn't able to during the IAD project. In some cases, like Hungry Again, for instance, I even drew in a few extra elements that I meant to include in the first go around but skipped due to time constraints. If anyone's really eager to get their hands on something that's not currently available, make it known and I'll make it a priority.
If you find time in your busy day, please make a quick list of your five favorite IAD2s and list them as a comment on this message. I'll start printing a few of them soon, so lists may be of use in order to judge popularity.
Any other comments regarding IAD2 are also welcome, but I will not answer any questions about underpants.
In case you care to know, the CAPTCHA seems to be working quite well. Spam has dropped off to zero, the plugin deflecting the buttholes and butthole computers that do their bidding. As a result, I've turned the comments on again. There are still a few bugs to work out -- preview seems to have issues with the reCAPTCHA plugin and I'd like to code things in such a way that CAPTCHA is not necessary for those with Typekey logins. When I get a few free moments (most likely in March), I'll attack this and other issues.
In order to help promote Unloosen, I've integrated the popular "digg" system into Unloosen. In case you're not aware of how this works, I'll give it a try. You click the "digg" button and the Unloosen post in question is either sent to digg.com for further "digging" or is promoted based on the fact that people seem to like it. More diggs = more higher ranking, blah, blah, blah. I think you get the point. So digg away!
After two days of no attacks, comments were hit by yet another spambot today, so I've decided to implement CAPTCHA. CAPTCHA, for those of you who don't know, is a verification system that requires a user to read a contorted word or two and type them to prove they're a human, not a spambot. I chose to use reCAPTCHA for our site due to its readability and the fact that it's got an alternate audio function for those who have difficulty reading the text.
As a result of this addition, I'll more than likely be reactivating comments on older posts when I have a little extra time.
Please test the system by leaving a comment and let me know if there are any issues. Thanks.
Much to my dismay, I've been forced to turn off comments on older posts. Anything within a half-year range is still active, but any posts older than that are now static. This doesn't mean old comments have been deleted. All of our insane ramblings are still present.
The reason? SPAM commenting has become a much more serious problem of late, with spammers sometimes dropping 1,000 or more comments within a 24 hour period. Most of these are caught by filters, but some of them, the random-letter strings that have been showing up lately, hit the front page and that's not good. Today, I even woke up to an angry message from a spammer. He was upset because I blocked his IP addresses (yes, more than one)!
I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience brought upon legitimate users as a result of this decision. If the problem gets worse, I'm going to return to a registered-user-only system.
After five or so years of quietly threatening to launch a portfolio website for myself, www.chrisleavens.com has been spawned. Most likely you've already seen a majority of what lives there, but more will be arriving as more is created and I'll be offering prints for sale through a currently-deactivated web store that's part of the site's software package.
It's still a work in progress, but if opportunity presents itself, visit the site and let me know what you think by leaving comments on this post. Suggestions are welcome.
Although I'm relieved that the month of October and the Illustration a Day onslaught have both drawn to a close, I have to admit I feel a little lost at the moment. Shouldn't I be drawing right now?
IAD is one of the most satisfying creative endeavors I've tackled in years. It also seems to be among the more popular. Due to the positive response, I've decided to have a selection of the images printed and made available for purchase. What I am looking for from the Unloosen community is a brief list of your favorites, if possible. Just choose the five illustrations you liked best and list them in this entry's comments. I've extended the front-page life of the IAD posts in order to make them stick around for a few extra days, for those of you who don't visit often or need time to think.
On another, slightly-related note, I'm going to be delving into wedding preparation land and I probably won't be posting as much as usual for the bulk of November, but I'll be back.
Unloosen has been resting lately. You may have noticed a break in updates and there are some legitimate reasons. Here are those reasons:
1. I, Chris, have been busy planning a wedding. Some of you Unloosenites (Unlooseinians?) are aware that I am getting married in November. Some of you, before this point, were unaware of my pending nuptials. Now you are aware. I am marrying Adriana. She has appeared in photos here on Unloosen.
2. I have been traveling. I'm in Dallas, TX right now.
3. Other people are tired and they are getting rest.
4. My addiction to Persian rugs has gotten out of hand.
Never fear! October is coming and Unloosen updates will flood your browsers with a digital deluge of a ridiculous nature.
The place that did my book has changed the description as it appears on the back cover. They have also put up a preview, which is the first 15 pages of the book's initial, and main story. Maybe this tidbit will boost sales into the 20's! A few other projects have an outside chance of developing, as well, but nothing is concrete at this point.
My book, A Wonderful Waste of Time, is now up and ready to be yours in all of its tepid glory and mild awe. There are a few places in cyberspace to buy it, but we all know that the easiest one is Amazon. Click here.
The book was finished many weeks ago, and after many weeks of pestering those kind of people who can get a book published, I have decided to (well, no other choice) self-publish. Unknown writer + fiction + short stories + no solid genre + my insipid writing styles + too much awesome = do it yourself. But, I feel that this book will not disappoint. I know horrible writing when I read it, and there is a section in the book proving this, with myself providing the horrible writing. Read on for the title and finalized Table of Contents of this beautiful mess.
After a long and torturous weekend spent in front of the computer, I'm happy to let you know that Unloosen is now on a brand-spanking-new server. What does this mean for you? If you like Unloosen, it means faster and more reliable delivery of Unloosen AND new features. If you don't like Unloosen, then why the heck are you reading this anyway?
The aforementioned new features will be available in the near future. Keep a browser open to Unloosen and refresh constantly so you don't miss any of the upcoming news, stories, and photos.
Also, if you notice any issues or problems, let me know with a comment or an email.
By the time you read this, there will be less than 24 hours remaining in the greatest October 2006 to ever grace any of the multitude of possible realities. Time and fate have converged to deliver the awesome power of Unloosen Awareness Month, but alas, these two forces will also serve as its terminus.
In order to help you cope with Awareness-free months ahead, we're designating this day, October 31, a day of mourning and remembrance. Grab a few boxes of tissue, the DVD-R with all of the telephone company commercials you TIVO'd, and your favorite "blankie" and cry the day away. Sit in front of your computer and read Unloosen. Wring from its pages the last drops of Awareness October has to offer. Ask the universe, "Why, oh why must you make October and Unloosen Awareness Month end? Why do you rob me of spectacular surprises and events, like the return of both Joe Blevins and Stuart Gimble? How can you, deep, wise universe, be so cruel as to crush dreams of Awareness being delivered to every man, woman, and child alive? Curse you, vast everything!"
Or you could just go to some Halloween party, because apparently THAT'S happening today, too.
For the remorseful among you who failed to celebrate the seventh through the tenth of Unloosen Awareness Month, relief has arrived. October 30th is here and along with it comes the fifth "Dress Like Millard Fillmore Day" of the Awareness Month calendar. On this special day, we focus on the early days of Mr. Fillmore and we invite you to join us by sporting the attire of his youth. For inspiration, we include this anecdote:
Unloosen's Presidential soul brother Millard Fillmore has lived a long, intriguing life filled to the brim with excitement. In his early years, Mr. Fillmore enjoyed frolicking in the bucolic countryside amongst the cornfields, rolling hills, and Cracker Barrel restaurants. Chiefest among his youthful passions was mini-coach riding. In the photo below, young Millard and his 18th century girlfriend, Shasta, are guided on a mini-coach adventure by former Fillmore houseboy and fellow immortal, Dick Clark.
Shasta would later comment that the music Dick Clark played during their quaint expedition "had a good beat" and that she could "dance to it." She was, in fact, so inspired by the sounds Clark provided that she later pursued a career as a professional dancer, a career that lead her to a lifetime of extra work in acclaimed films like Xanadu, Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, and most recently, You Got Served. Clark also chose a life in the entertainment industry. He went on to become a big-time TV producer, rolling out thought-provoking, insightful programming like, All-American Ultra Quiz, Puttin' on the Hits, and When Stars Were Kids.
You do not know how wonderful it was to learn that I, Rick DeMott, was celebrated as one of the "other" guys on Unloosen.com. It is so true that I could not handle the fame and recognition that Unloosen thrust upon me and so left the world wide web to become a paparazzi.
When my Hollywood friends learned of my Unloosen honor they too wanted to join in on the fun.
Here's me telling Toby to pose like distinguished Millard Fillmore.
With the word out more of my Hollywood friends will want to be featured on Unloosen soon too.
October's final days are marching in, signaling the end of the parade of Unloosen Awareness Month events. Where would Unloosen be without the seven people who read it semi-weekly? We're not really sure either, but we dedicate two special days to these kind folks, the Unloosen connoisseurs. Today, Friday the 27th and tomorrow, Saturday the 28th are for you, friends of Unloosen.
Henry, a connoisseur of bushy facial hair, investigates the Wilford Brimley-esque mustache of a small yet defiant Henry.
Some people who visit Unloosen and participate in Unloosen Awareness Month insist on asking lengthy, probing questions about the "other" guys who've written stuff for this incredible website. What happened to Ed Darrin, Mike Wargo, David Kendall, Frog, Jason Kornblatt, Rick DeMott, and A.S. Albright?
Honestly, not everyone is cut out for the fame and glamour Unloosen drenches its contributors in. But this won't stop us from celebrating the greatness they've brought to Unloosen, so in honor of all of those "other," silent members of our team, we say, "Thank you for giving us stuff. Here, have a day."
Let these hibernating men know you care about what they've given us by delving into their work, patting them on the back, and buying them a job-well-done beverage of their choice. Who knows? It may rouse them from their deep, creation-free slumber.
On February 24, 1976, Chris Leavens was born. 200 years previous to his birth, a gang of rebels wearing powdered wigs created a country called the United States of America with Mr. Leavens in mind. As Benjamin Franklin, the best President in the history of our nation, said so eloquently, "This 'U.S. of A.' will provide Christopher Leavens, our future's greatest hope for entertainment and the cook behind some of the most kick-ass hot wings known to man, both a safe and joyous homeland and legions of fans who will stream into their local shopping malls to buy T-shirts emblazoned with his likeness. Jefferson, was that a run-on?"
As we now know, our country has failed one half of its intended mission. Hot Topics throughout the nation feel an emptiness and they don't know why. Where are the Chris Leavens bobble-heads? The Chris Leavens signature milk tumblers? What about the Chris Leavens color-changing puffy stickers?
Does Chris Leavens sit around and mope and cry about these things? No sir/madam! He soldiers on daily, and, head held high he dreams up more bizarre and useless information with which to pummel the masses. Sometimes he even showers.
Help Chris Leavens help the U.S.A. achieve the greatness our Founding Fathers foresaw 230 years ago by celebrating Unloosen Awareness Month's Chris Leavens Day. Read some of Chris's stories or look at some of the pictures he's taken with his camera. Let him live in your heart and then maybe one day in the future, he'll live on your shirt, only in screen-printed or iron-on form.
Ah, yes Friday. For those of us who aren't leather fetishists, it's the beginning of 2.33 days of bondage-free existence, a 56 hour long sigh. This evening, businessmen, computer programmers, part-time secretaries, and longshoremen will clock out at 5:00 p.m. and a special smile will wiggle its way onto their faces. This isn't just your ordinary Friday. No sir. This is one of Unloosen Awareness Month's chiefest Fridays: Craig J. Clark Day, or to the initiated and lazy, TGICJCD.
The nurses and Amway salesmen of the world will, as usual, converge on their local Chilis to suck down a variety of fruit-flavored margaritas, but instead of griping about the frustrations of the work place and gossiping about Todd's "butt pants," these corporate soldiers will engage in sparkling, witty discourse about Craig J. Clark's stunning body of work both here on Unloosen and on his own website, Dada. Then they'll get down!
Let the ultimate Friday infect you by spending your spare moments today (even your bathroom moments) reading the words that spilled from Craig's own hands. You'll be doing both Craig and yourself a "solid."
For the rest of this week, Unloosen Awareness Month focuses on those few humans brave enough to create in the name of Unloosen. One such person is called Tom Weaver. Weaver writes with a sort of regularity that wards off the need for verbal Metamucil, but for some reason, he's actually been a little quiet lately. Is he losing his spark? Has he shacked up with some awesome babe who makes him cookies while he watches Burt Reynolds and Chuck Norris movies? Or is Weaver dead? I mean, that's a picture of Weaver. He kind of looks dead.
No. None of these. In that photo, Weaver's just resting his eyes and in real, every-day life, he's actually working on a big giant book filled with the things that spray from his head (not including snot, spit, vomit, or tears). For your enjoyment, he offers a selection from this book on this day to tease you and make you wish you were him or, at the very least, allowed in the same state as him, you crazy Weaver stalker.
At age sixteen, most ordinary American youth have dreams of cars and driving cars. Our very own Chris Woodward is no ordinary American youth. Upon turning sixteen in 2001, Woodward was asked by his parents, "What brand of automobile would you like to sport about town in? Bentley? Maybach? Or does our favorite son want Grandpa's prized Duesenberg?"
Woodward pretended to contemplate his parents' question for a moment, but he already knew his answer. "Mum, Poppa, I want to relieve myself of this aristocratic life, give up my future Earldom, and write short comedic stories for a website that exists on some rarely-traveled back alley of the new-fangled Internet."
His parents gasped, but young Woodward continued:
"I care not of the childish concerns and materialistic desires attached to automobiles. I don't want my license to drive; nay, I want my license to write!" With this statement, Woodward thrust his hand toward the heavens and a bolt of lightning met it, leaving no scars or permanent brain damage, just a small ID card that read, "Christopher Alabaster Woodward IX, Breaker of the Woodward Lineage and Rebel for Life has been granted this License to Write."
After that day, his parents forcibly adopted one of the kids from the TV show Home Improvement and made him their favorite son. Woodward was relegated forever to second place.
In celebration of Woodward's choice and the many great works he's provided us over the last five years, take a little time out of your day today and become Aware of his work.
Unloosen Awareness Month is about more than just simply making every single living human aware that Unloosen exists; it's also about sharing special knowledge with loved ones and not-so-loved ones. To help celebrate the "What Would Henry Do?" portion of Awareness Month, we've drilled a hole into the deepest core of our fact reserve and mined this nugget of Henry-related wisdom:
Believe it or not, the movie Field of Dreams was originally about a gang of Henries mysteriously appearing in an Iowa cornfield to form the single largest parade of Uncle Sam stilt walkers ever known to man. The production still below, taken before the original script was heaved onto the scrap pile, shows a scene in which one of the stilt-walking Henries is "pantsed" by a pair of mischievous young Henries. Those devilish little scamps! Henry's going to give them what for!
The original script also featured Kevin Costner road-tripping with Darth Vader in a pair of Shriner cars, not a VW van. In the frame of film below, Costner and the recently unmasked Vader are cheered on by adoring Americans as they make their way to the magically surreal Henry gathering in Iowa.
Predictably, the studio figured the concept of a record-breaking parade of human-faced fruit dressed as tall Uncle Sams too "strange," "disturbing," and "non-basebally" to work, so they rewrote the whole thing to be about a sport and the ghost sports guys who liked to play it.
I'll keep this short and sweet. The long-absent Mr. Joe Blevins sent an email message our way, so in celebration of Unloosen Awareness Month's Joe Blevins Day -- October 13 -- here is that message in its entirety:
I have found out through the usual channels that October 13 is a day devoted to my whereabouts. Rest assured, I am alive and relatively well. My creative pursuits have not ceased, contrary to rumors. In fact, I have devoted all my spare time these last four years to completing my literary masterwork, my magnum opus, if you will. After countless hours sweating over revised drafts, I feel I am now ready to unveil this work in honor of my special day. Here is the story in its entirety, tastefully left untitled:
The famous monsters of filmdom were gathered together for a reunion in Transylvania one evening not long ago. Dracula, the Wolf Man, and the Creature of the Black Lagoon were all in attendance. In a secluded corner of the room, the Frankenstein Monster and the Invisible Man stood chatting.
“So,” said the Invisible Man, his transparent head and limbs wrapped in gauze, his torso outlined by a velvet smoking jacket, “how is the Bride of Frankenstein these days?”
“She’s fine, thanks” replied the Monster. “ How’s the Invisible Woman?”
“Oh, I stopped seeing her.”
Just who is this Millard Fillmore character and what exactly does he have to do with October, the most awesome month and Unloosen Awareness Month?
Millard Fillmore held the political office called President of the United States of America. He was the only President to be known as "The Thirteenth President of the United States of America." He did a really good job.
Brought to Earth aboard a space-proof hovercraft in 54 B.C., Fillmore was born on the steamy planet called Venus. Although his parents attempted to steer him toward a career in investment banking, little Millard fancied himself an inventor. In the year 437 A.D., his rebellious nature took him to the state of Michigan where he invented something he called the "car." After numerous patent applications and the subsequent inventions of the license plate, auto insurance, and the pine tree air freshener, Fillmore's incredible "car" finally debuted in 492 A.D., but no one knew how to invent gasoline so it sat on blocks outside a mobile home in northern Alabama for nearly fourteen centuries before being used.*
More than likely, you've already read the Unloosen Awareness Month calendar of events at least 73 times, but just in case you've been too "busy" or "illiterate" to take it all in, this message shall serve as a reminder. Only one day -- Friday, October 6 -- remains in the golden-yellow phase of the month.
During these days you were/are obligated to write to a senator or representative and plead to have Unloosen Awareness Month officially recognized by the government of our great and free nation. May we suggest you write a letter or electronic-mail message to Senator Sam Brownback? He's a warm, caring man and a good listener. While you're at it, slap him a written high-five for his strong anti-stem-cell research stance. I mean, come on. We all know stem-cell research is useless, right?
Help those less fortunate than you. Add a little Unloosen Awareness to someone's life by pointing them in our direction. Confused as to how to practice Awareness? Here are some suggestions.
Also, the calendar of events is partially completed and available for viewing and sharing. Click it for the big version.
October is Unloosen Awareness Month and this means you should already be scheduling your month around the soon-to-be-available calendar of events which -- swear to God -- will be published later this week. Until then, you should follow these simple instructions for the first two days of the Unloose schedule.
October 1 & 2: October 1 is over. Hopefully you instinctually delved into the Unloosen archives and read aloud from them to a friend or group of friends, because that's what you were supposed to do on October 1 and 2. If not, administer some sort of self punishment and spend the entirety of October 2 reciting your favorite Unloosen tale in a bad Eastern-European accent.
Also, e-mail your friends and let them know that Unloosen Awareness Month has rolled in like a mighty thunder. Help them be Aware.
More Awareness information is on the way.
After toiling for a few more hours than I would have liked, I've updated the site -- hopefully for the better. Gone are the days of a splash page. Instead, users are instantly directed here.
Also, for security purposes I've reorganized a bunch of the files on the back end, so please be on the lookout for problems and broken links. Archived files should have the same links as before, but I couldn't check each and every address. I think I weeded all of the issues out, but let me know if I missed anything.
After an annoying Labor Day weekend spent in contact with customer support, all site-related functions, including TypeKey, are back in proper working order. My hosting company installed a new firewall and it was blocking communication between Unloosen and TypeKey, but the line is open again and things are back to normal.
I highly encourage continued use of the TypeKey system for leaving comments, but I'm leaving the comments open for the time being. If spam comments become an issue, I'll move back to limiting the comment functions to TypeKey users. For now, feel free to comment using either method.
And while comments are on your mind, why don't you test Unloosen's commenting system by leaving feedback on Swamp Ass Senators?
I've discovered that there's been a problem with leaving comments recently. To alleviate this issue, I've opened the commenting process. This means, at least for the time being, that you do not need to use TypeKey. In fact, I recommend that you don't use TypeKey for a while. In fixing one problem (rampant hot-linking by MySpace users), I created another and I probably won't be able to fix it until I get back to LA on Sunday.
Open comments require an email address and an OK by me.
Oh yeah -- you should refresh any pages you want to leave comments on, too.
Sorry about the trouble, but so goes security on the modern Internet.
In the past three days, Unloosen's been hit twice by low-level hackers, supposedly of the Turkish variety. As a result, I've updated the publishing software in the hopes that it helps this nuisance disappear.
Please let me know if this has broken any links or caused any problems. If you notice any strange behavior when viewing the site, especially if there is any mention of Turkey or the Turks, please let me know via email.
And yes, I'm serious about this. I wish it was just an absurd fantasy.
To be brief, I'm writing a book. It is probably the main reason that I haven't posted anything new in ages.
The following memo pertains to new nomenclature being introduced. Please note these changes and adjust as necessary.
After weeks of tweaking the site and uploading stories from our old forum, Pork Pony, I've finally gotten around to posting some of the photos that appeared on the double P, namely those by Frog. Here's a list:
The last seven days have seen more entries from our old web site Pork Pony added to the archives. There isn't much more PP text to put on the site, so photos will be posted very soon, most likely over weekend. Reread these stories or read them for the first time; either way, they'll make you laugh, think, or cry tears of confusion. Be sure to read Karl and Me by Joe Blevins, without a doubt one of the funniest things that was ever published on Pork Pony.
Karl and Me by Joe Blevins
A Cannonball For Mother Nature and The Legendary Mystery of Exploding Andy by Chris Leavens
A Licensee of Satan Lives in My Blue Recycling Tub by David Kendall
Afterschool Special by Tom Weaver
The Horrible Secret by Jason Kornblatt
Every Club11 movie review Mike Wargo wrote has been added.
Every Gimble masterpiece has been added.
A pile of Intelli exists here and more is on the way.
In addition to all of the old stuff being added, I've redesigned the section pages in an attempt to make them a little more user-friendly. I've also begun to add bios and section descriptions, again to make things a a bit more comprehendible. If you have any suggestions concerning ease-of-use issues and/or readability, let me know. I'm always looking to improve.
More new stuff's on the way. Rumor has it both Chris Woodward and Craig J. Clark have stories in the works and I'm currently polishing off Alone with the Talking Dog, Part 2.
Last night, a very serious ghost visited me. He attacked with ethereal howls and windy slaps all the while coating me in the stuff Egon called ectoplasm. The ghost wore a grim face, not unlike that of John Tesh's brother-in-law during Tesh's infamous "let's have a family reunion so people will be forced to listen to me play my heart out on the piano" days. I fought back and rocked the specter's face by adding more Pork Pony stories to the archives.
God Is Dead & Mountain Dew by Chris Woodward
Frank's Demise by Joe Blevins
The Society of People Who Look Just Like Me and The Way My Sink Gurgles by Craig J. Clark
The Ebony Wizard and Time Canyon, Episode 4 by Tom Weaver
Somewhat Fit by Jason Kornblatt
I'm actually nearly finished adding feature stories to the archives, so photos, Intelli, Stu, Reviews, and other bits are just days away from joining the hallowed halls of Unloosen.
Delving into the Pork Pony archives has been a treat. Many of the stories read like hyper-smart comedy sketches that never happened. Read through the archives and you'll see what I mean. I'm guessing the new stories that make it to these pages will be even better as a result of maturity(read: age), practice, and the mounds of "smart cheese" we've been obligated to eat. Added yesterday:
My Name Is Not William, Part 5 by David Kendall, Jr.
Your Cheating Pants by Joe Blevins
Time Canyon, Episode 3 and A Fictional Character's Rite of Passage by Chris Leavens
Outgoing Messages and Playing With Fire by Craig J. Clark
I added a pile of stories into the archives yesterday. I'm still working my way through the Pork Pony archives in chronological order, hitting the featured stories (fiction and non-fiction) first. I'll be adding in entires from Stu Says, Club 11, and Intelli-head in the coming days. I know the photo archives are highly anticipated as there was plenty of great stuff in there from Frog and one Jackson Anderer, but populating the photo section takes a good deal of time, so please be patient.
Take, Take, Take by Craig J. Clark
Unlock the Inner Player, Chain Mail Jacket, and Time Canyon, Episode 1 by Chris Leavens
Time Canyon, Episode 2 by Tom Weaver
Among the Nuts by Jason Kornblatt
Three more stories added to the fiction archives: That Pen by Chris Leavens, Afternoon Skeletons by Tom Weaver, and My Name Is Not William, Part 2 by David Kendall, Jr.
Here are some of the old Pork Pony articles I've recently added to the archives:
I'm going through the Pork Pony archives and I'm trying to add things chronologically starting with the first PP entries and working my way up to the latest stuff. If you're waiting for a particular story or photo just let me know and I'll try to put it up sooner as opposed to later.
I changed the banner to accomadate the added categories. What do you guys think? Also, I think a white background might make the site look a little better (as opposed to the blue). Black looks pretty boss-hog, but it may look a little too "dark" (read: goth). Let me know what you think. Drop a comment.
After a hiatus that lasted a few years, Unloosen (formerly Pork Pony) is back. I've moved to the easier, more updateable and database-friendly Movable Type engine to make posting articles and maintaining the site easier on me. As those of you who were close to Pork Pony know, the maintenance of the site grew to be quite a strain on me and it became difficult for me to balance my full-time job with the rigorous update schedule I'd created for myself in the days of the double P.
I'll be adding old Pork Pony articles to the site in the coming days. Not everything will return, but most of the old stuff will be available. Feel free to comment on any of the articles or stories (you'll have to register to do so -- I don't want to deal with a bunch of anonymous, Ritalin-fueled 1337 speakers crashing my site).
In the coming weeks, I'll also be adding MP3 versions of many of the stories so you can take them with you on your iPod or similar portable device. Reading text from a screen can be straining, especially if the stories are long. I'll keep you posted on the progress Unloosen's audio department.
Thanks for dropping by,
Safety Day has been set for Thursday, the 21st of April. How will this affect production? Only Chuck Norris knows the answer.