Sunday, April 13, 2008

Oh, Mighty Isis!

Somehow, the other day at work, the conversation turned to Saturday morning TV shows of our youth. I mentioned that I'd seen that SECRETS OF ISIS had recently been released on DVD. The reaction of one of my coworkers was "Secrets of...what?" I explained the premise of the show to him, that a pretty school teacher stumbles on an old Egyptian amulet that gives her superpowers and transforms her into the goddess Isis. I found a picture online of the actress in costume and he said, "Oh, of course she's hot. I wonder what the show would be like if some stodgy old archaeologist had dug up that ol' amulet." We had a good laugh and went back to work but it had already started my drawing hand itching. I've been really preoccupied at work and had been "drawing" a blank on anything to sketch for the blog. But, I thought, this was gold. So on my lunchbreak, between bites of Boca burger, I sketched this out. It didn't come out nearly as funny as it was in my head but it still makes me chuckle. Oddly, I remember when I was a kid I didn't think the actress was all that pretty. I don't remember what I didn't like about her. But looking at her through adult eyes now, my God, that woman was stunning. Absolutely beautiful. Weird.

The preoccupation I've been experiencing at work has to do with the 3D stuff I've been doing. When we first got the Lightwave software at work, I assigned myself a pretty ambitious project right out of the gate. The UPS truck. We do their advertising and it's hard to get decent shots of the truck for presentations and ad comps. So I thought a 3D model would come in handy. (It has.) But when I did it, I was still a novice. At a glance, the model looks fine but a professional modeler would look at the object file and laugh. Or throw up. So, three years later and with a ton of modeling under my belt, I've decided to redo the model as a a pro would do it. Lean and clean. So far, it's looking reeeeally good. I tend to obsess over little details. This drives my 3D cohorts crazy but in 3D modeling, it's sort of a virtue. There are three of us in my department doing the 3D stuff and I usually get the modeling work while they're better at lighting and camera work. When we needed a model of the agency for an internal project, I was the one who made the model (over the course of two months) while they did the "set decorating" and lighting. (Which I just find tedious.) Anyway, I'd like to post a render of the truck when I'm done with it but I doubt I could get permission. We'll see. It's taking up all my "down time" at work but it looks better on my timesheet than "blog sketches" would. And despite having done it already, once before, it's been a gas so far.

One last thing. They had an electronics recycling pickup in my neighborhood (well, five miles away, but that's close enough) on Saturday so I was finally able to dispose of our old G3 and monitor. They both worked fine but were so outdated they were useless to me and had been sitting on our living room floor for the last two years or so while I tried to figure out what to do with them. I hated the idea of just throwing them in the landfill but I couldn't find anyone who wanted them. The same guy who sparked the idea for this week's sketch suggested I check the recycling group's website. I did and it was just in time, apparently. As it turns out, though, I ended up taking something else to them as well. Mike's scanner. Mike had a large-bed scanner he used to scan his pages to send to his inkers. I'd wanted one for years but they're so expensive and while, for him, it was a necessity, for me it would just be ridiculously self-indulgent. Last year, when we moved Mike's stuff up here, the scanner sat in it's box for months. I couldn't bring myself to hook it up. I've used this comparison before, but it felt like I'd rubbed the monkey's paw. Like I'd wished for a big scanner and got one but at a terrible price. Every time I looked at it, I felt sick to my stomach. But eventually, I ended up needing it for something Mike-related and went ahead and hooked it up. Strangely, after three scans or so, I noticed a strange blur on all the scans I was doing. Turns out that's a typical problem with this particular scanner and it just got worse. It eventually became unusable. Friday night, when I came home, my office was filled with a horrible smell like the one we got when the transformer on our old electric racetrack used to overheat. The scanner's power supply had gone bad and I suspect we're lucky the house didn't burn down. So I took the scanner to the recycling pick up Saturday morning. It would have been handy to have around and I'll probably buy a cheaper model after all but I can't say I'm really sorry to see it go.


Craig Zablo said...


Keep the art posts coming! Seems you're getting more confident and better with each new drawing.

renecarol said...

I just googled Isis and saw some clips on youtube. I think as a kid I would've preferred the cartoon with your character finding the amulet than people in costumes.

Anonymous said...

LOL...just googled it myself.
Gonna have to go with the actress in the dress...the old guy just doesn't...hold it together like her...;)

Anywho, another great sketch on the blog...dig it!

Leaf said...

I was in Stories last year or the year before and they had ISIS playing. Never saw it as a kid and I don't think I'll be watching it as an adult. She's a very attractive woman, but Linda Carter still holds that special place in my childhood.

PJ said...

The story about the scanner is kind of creepy. I can’t say I blame you about being glad it’s out of the house.

I need to do that electronic recycling thing myself, there are just way too many ‘artifacts’ lying around. I at one time thought about taking an old station and running a pdf file on it as a ‘kiosk’ but I just never got around to it.

I hope you do post the model, I for one would like to see it - that 3d stuff is tough!

Also, Erik Larsen mentioned Mike in his last column up on Comic Book Resources if you haven’t seen it.

Matt Wieringo said...

Thanks, PJ. I hadn't read that one. I also didn't know that Mike was aware of the order numbers. I know he got to see the hardcover because his copy was on his desk when we got to Durham and I believe he posted about it on his blog. I'm so glad he got to see it. It stings a little to know he was disappointed in the sales figures, though.

Other than that, though, that's a nice column by Erik. He has a gruff way of expressing himself but he's pretty damn classy in my book. And he's right about telling people you appreciate them while they're still around. I'm so glad I got to tell Sal Buscema what his work means to me when he was in Charlotte a few years ago. He was completely shocked to hear it. Which probably means he doesn't hear it nearly enough.

Heywood Jablomie said...

haha! i like your idea better. while i never caught the show, i did see it on the vh1 we love the 70's week. and from i saw there, yeah your version might have panned out to be more fun haha!

Heywood Jablomie said...

oh i forgot to add that the main actress was hot though....

Anonymous said...

Nice drawing. It does look like you're more confident with these.
Would've preferred a drawing of Isis, though.
Loved watching that show back then.
I remember wishing my teachers would look like that.

I need to recycle some electronics myself. Does the website you went to have drop-off sites in Florida? I should just do a search.

Anyway, would love to see the 3d stuff if they ever let you post it.


PJ said...

Actually, I think Erik Larsen was right on the money about what he said (appreciating people while they are still around).

I bumped into Marshall Rogers at a con a few years back and got a chance to talk to him. One of my life’s highlights was getting a chance to color one of his jobs and I told him as much. Having always been a big fan of his work, I was pretty jazzed to get a chance to work on a project he pencilled.

Same thing goes for Steve Gerber.

I haunted his boards for a few years and managed to have a bit of a back and forth with him for awhile. A few weeks before he passed, I had even sent over an email to Rich Johnstone suggesting he make mention of Steve in LITG because he was facing a tough battle.

I can’t tell you how amazed I am when I’m at a convention and I come across someone who is a hero of mine quietly standing off to the side without anyone around them.

At last years’ NY Comicon, I managed to find Gene Colan all by himself, waiting for his ride, killing some time at the end of the day all the way at the end of artist’s alley. If you can imagine, no one was around him and a lot of people didn’t even register who he was!

Suffice to say when I saw him, I didn’t let the chance pass without lavishing enormous praise on him for a body of work that I still find astounding.

Time is too precious not to give the gift of a compliment to someone.

Warren said...

Hey! I told Mr. Buscema the same thing when he was in Charlotte that year!

Every time I go to Charlotte, I seek out Roy Thomas. He's a super-nice guy and is more than happy to talk about the comic books that he wrote and I read when I was a kid. He's still my all-time favorite Marvel writer. Nobody has ever done the Avengers as well as Roy. Which I tell him every year.

Actually, I spend about half my time at the convention going around gushing to these guys about how great they are. They probably think I'm nuts.

And I watched Isis. It was part of the Shazam! Hour. I found it sort of dull, but the teacher and her teen sidekick were enough reason for me to keep tuning in. :)

Love your depiction of... er... Isis.

Matt Wieringo said...


The group is based in Virginia. Sorry. Here's the site, though. Maybe there's some info you can use.

Brian said...

I remember Isis, Shazam, and Electra Woman and Dyna girl. Those shows were cheesy to the max, but they were all we had and, to tell the truth, I thought the Isis actress was all that and a bag of chips.

That said, what I wouldn't have given for quality shows like the animated shows that Bruce Timm has been putting out.