June 2011

06.23.2011

Moonstruck

Now, you can never say I’m not one to finish what I set out to do. Here’s my final piece for Borderline Project’s La Loteria exhibition, the last chapter in the trilogy, the one where everybody inevitably says, “Eh, it’s alright, but the first two were better.”

loteria mexicana la luna Moonstruck

I departed more from the source material with this one than any of the others. La Luna traditionally features a blue background, but having already used that for La Mano, I wanted to do something different so each card still remained distinct when placed together. I heavily pilfered my color palette from the original El Catrin card, since I liked all the greens hues and thought they’d be appropriate given the greenery present in the drawing.

In Spanish “El Catrin” translates to “The Dandy,” a man who reveres above all else his physical appearance, refined language, and leisurely hobbies. Now, our moon in question doesn’t seem all that concerned with his appearance or language, but leisurely hobbies, well, I’d say he’s revering those a whole lot. Dandy away, La Luna, dandy away.

Anyway, here’s the whole gang together, along with their counterparts from the actual Loteria Mexicana deck of card for the sake of comparison.

Old and busted…

traditional loteria mexicana cards Moonstruck

New hotness…

dedleg loteria mexicana cards Moonstruck

I think we’re done here. *drops the mic*

06.22.2011

Go Skateboarding Anyday

As evidenced in my long-winded and self-indulgent diatribe I put up this morning, I have mixed feelings about Go Skateboarding Day, just as I’m not sure how to feel about 4/20. The two “holidays” are quite similar in their genesis, being that neither are actual holidays and both serve the purpose of celebrating something most of their practitioners would be doing on any given day regardless of cultural fanfare including, but not limited to, Twitter trending topics.

Don’t get me wrong. I can relate to the excitement and camaraderie in collectively recognizing our passions on specific days. For example, I really like getting free shit, so I’m all about Christmas, even though, when you really get right down to it, it’s just as arbitrary as Go Skateboarding Day. I guess, to me, “saving the date” just never seemed all that necessary. I’d probably be out skating on June 21st anyway. Which, coincidentally, is exactly why I dropped the ball and failed to post anything even remotely skate-related on my web diary yesterday. But in case you didn’t get enough half-baked ramblings on the topic despite my post earlier today, you’re in luck!

Ironically enough, skateboarding’s favorite pack of Lost Boys, the Anti-Hero team, came to my rescue. It turns out they’re kind of heroic after all. Well… heroic may be the wrong word, but they definitely are really good at skateboarding, and these lost tapes from one of their cross-country tours is just more proof that we don’t actually need. Thank you, Internet, for keeping us constantly sedated with content we never even knew we wanted. Maybe the constant influx of new web clips isn’t a good thing, but in this case anyway, I’m not complaining. Hell, it isn’t even a holiday, but it’s making me want to go skateboarding.

06.22.2011

Observations about Go Skateboarding Day 2011

sneakers with holes in soles Observations about Go Skateboarding Day 2011

I finally had to retire my Rowley Style 99s — but if a pair of skate shoes has to be sent to the grave, as they all inevitably do, it might as well be on Go Skateboarding Day. It’s kind of like a tree dying on Arbor Day… actually, was that a lyric from Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic”?

Anyway, this particular retirement was especially hallowed as it was prompted by my earning Skate Stigmata on this most sacred of occasions. With both footbeds touching griptape, my bigspins politely begged me to do something about my homeless-looking footwear situation. And by “politely begged me,” I mean, “repeatedly clocked me in the shins.” Obviously, I had to oblige.

vans versa Observations about Go Skateboarding Day 2011

So I ended up going with the Versa in their unofficial “bowling shoes” colorway, mainly because it was, apparently, the only pair of size 9 Vans left in the entire borough. Fortunately, initial tests came back extremely positive. Their effect on your ability to dominate a 7-10 split remains to be seen.

Okay, moving on to my very short list of observations. Sorry, I would have made more but I was concentrating on skateboarding most of the time. Go figure.

  • People sure seem to take this more seriously than Talk Like a Pirate Day. Weird.
  • Where are all you assholes the other 365 days a year?
  • It seems like it stays light out later than usual on the Summer Solstice. What up with that?
  • Free Red Bull is not nearly as effective a thirst-quencher as free water is. But until P-Rod is rocking a Dasani logo on his New Era, I’m afraid we’re going to have to settle for promotional beverage hand-outs that, while capable of giving you wings, aren’t actually all that refreshing.
  • Somebody really ought to vacuum the BQE lot.

bqe lot Observations about Go Skateboarding Day 2011

Regrettably, that photo is sourced from a largely inactive rollerblade-centric Tumblr, which sounds like basically the worst thing ever. Nonetheless, it provided adequate documentation of the state of affairs under the bridge here in Williamsburg. Basically, picture the DIY-oriented spot to be in a state approximately 100% more disgusting than this, and not only because that ledge went missing months ago.

Although, to be honest, when I first rolled up today I actually thought to myself, “Wow, it’s surprisingly clean down here today,” but upon further inspection realized that was merely due to a strange absence of usual mainstays like pigeon carcasses and vomit. But, no matter what a sweaty, filthy mess it is skating down there, it still beat managing the crowds over at the McCarren skate park, where just about everybody who’s ever even thought about riding a skateboard in the past year was eager to spend the day standing around in a giant mob, waiting for somebody to throw them a free t-shirt.

So yeah, it was a pretty typical Go Skateboarding Day by all accounts.

06.21.2011

30. Waste time on the Internet

Posting Japan-based graphic designer TO-FU’s video based on Paul Zappia’s 29 Ways to Stay Creative seems rather appropriate today, as I sit here, procrastinating on a looming deadline, wishing I could just play video games instead. It’s a great-looking short, so that alone should be enough to inspire you, but the tidbits of wisdom contained within might also help to guilt trip you into actually being productive this afternoon. I’m talking more about myself here than anybody else, but then again… you are the one reading a blog right now instead of doing your job…

Speaking of creativity, that really goes to show you the versatility of Arial. Although, considering Arial was designed as a veritable clone of Helvetica, I guess that’s kind of like telling a replicant, “you did a man’s job, sir.”

Maybe not all of the advice is totally sound… Personally, I’m not sold on singing in the shower’s effectiveness in boasting creativity, unless, of course, you count giving your roommates a reason to get creative about kicking you out of the apartment. But I guess that whole “break the rules” caveat has you covered there, and if I didn’t agree with the general statement I’d cry foul, as that seems kind of like some “wishing for more wishes”-level cheating.

06.21.2011

Hand-Eye Coordination

The illustration below is a prime example of what we here at Dedleg International like to call, “knocking one out of the park.” Granted, you’re entitled to your own opinions, but just know that if you disagree, you’re probably going to the wrong blog. Also, I’m on your front porch.

loteria mexicana la mano Hand Eye Coordination

This is the second installment in an exciting three parter I’m working on for Borderline Projects’ La Loteria exhibition, featuring work inspired by the Mexican Bingo deck of cards. In case you missed it last week, check out my first foray into the spellbinding world of tarot card design. We will conclude the series on Thursday, whereupon I can finally get back to drawing skulls and squidy things. Enough of this unfamiliar territory crap.

06.20.2011

This one right here goes out to my man

It’s nice to start the week off with some good news. Dedleg would like to officially announce its unofficial skate team by proudly welcoming its first rider, North Carolina’s Gabe Barboza. A fan of the blog, or as I like to refer to my audience, a faithful member of the Dishonorable Dedleague, Gabe has offered his soul in exchange for free product. You know, a pretty standard contract, all things considered. Check out some of his footage below — the clip’s got a chill, good-times vibe, a dope soundtrack, and like any truly enjoyable video part, at least a couple wallrides.

Our criteria for acceptance is simple — you must be markedly better at skateboarding than I am, and based on Gabe’s videos, he was a pretty clear candidate. Want to skate for Dedleg as well? Email me some of your footy and we’ll see if you have what it takes to represent a brand that doesn’t even have the good sense to spell the word “dead” correctly. Obviously, it’s a venerable position with perks unimaginable. Well… not really. I can’t even pay you, unless you consider Dedleg stickers currency, a monetary system I’m actually pretty much counting on The United States treasury adopting at some point in the future. So maybe it’s more of an honorary title than anything… but man, what an honor, amiright?

06.20.2011

Hue/Saturation

Being that we’re mere hours away from the Summer Solstice, let’s hear it for full spectrum light. And here’s a full spectrum of colorful photos to mark the occasion, because nice weather means I have one less thing to complain about, and I think everybody can agree that’s a very welcome thing.

climax mason jar Hue/Saturation

spider on window elevated train tracks Hue/Saturation

stained glass Hue/Saturation

scraped elbow woven light fixture Hue/Saturation

Warmer weather also means increased levels of skateboarding-related activity in my day-to-day life, and that means increased opportunities to incur minor injuries that make my blood look like strawberry jam.

skull blood stained bandage Hue/Saturation

Speaking of blood… check out this bandage from a recent tattoo touch-up I had. It’s like the Shroud of Turin, only cooler because skulls trump Jesus.

crazy pink flower Hue/Saturation

It’s Monday — wake up and smell the man-eating alien flowers from beyond the moon.

06.18.2011

Going real big

It should go without saying that when Tony Hawk landed the first 900 in competition at the 1999 X-Games it was a pretty fucking big deal. Before that single trick kicked skateboarding’s ass straight into the mainstream, a handful of others had managed to successfully spin the rotation but never rolled away. You know a trick is hard when simply almost landing it is a considerable achievement.

Despite skating’s exponential progression over the past decade, the 900 is still one of those legendary tricks that has remained largely elusive. Only five skaters (including Tony Hawk) have successfully pulled one out in a tournament or on film. Alex Perelson, who recently made a semi-convincing argument for vert’s continued relevance in Real’s Since Day One, actually landed one in the 2009 Maloof Money Cup. But his latest Real ad showcasing him whipping through the first-ever 900 tailgrab is perhaps the first sizable chink in the trick’s fear-inspiring armor.

alex perelson 900 tailgrab Going real big

While the sequence might make it look particularly effortless, the video shows that even manhandlers of vert like Perelson occasionally struggle with a trick. Check out the footage below:

If ever a skateboarding maneuver actually deserved the title “special trick” a la Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, then this one would be it. It’s amazing how many times he almost landed it… now that’s consistency, folks. Coincidentally, I also have remarkable consistency when it comes to falling, however it’s not quite as impressive when said falling occurs after a flat ground ollie.

06.17.2011

Apocalypse now

Since the Mayan Calendar is ending soon, it should stand to reason that we’d be having some pretty ridiculous weather across the globe. I mean, just take a look at the 2009 documentary starring John Cusack, 2012, that predicts the whole apocalyptic affair. I’m kidding, of course, but when you see some of the photos from the Puyehue volcano in Chile that erupted last week really help give some credence to that whole “fire and brimstone” preaching crowd.

All photos via National Geographic… you know, that magazine with all the shameless indigenous boobies.

chile volcano lightning1 Apocalypse now

Photograph by Francisco Negroni, Agenci Uno/European Pressphoto Agency

chile volcano plume Apocalypse now

Photograph by Ivan Alvarado, Reuters

MOUNT DOOM! Oh, Mister Frodo, what are we gonna do?

That plume is six miles high, for the record. No big deal. Maybe it is for a hobbit, but I’m a human and I don’t care.

chile volcano lightning2 Apocalypse now

Photograph by Ivan Alvarado, Reuters

Lightning expert, Martin Uman, at the University of Florida in Gainesville says a volcanic lightning storm isn’t “unlike a regular old thunderstorm,” which I guess is true, disregarding the fact that they’re ten times more horrifying than a “regular old thunderstorm.” Eight-year-olds have sleepovers and read R.L. Stein books by flashlight during “regular old thunderstorms,” Mart. Conversely, during a volcanic lightning storm, eight-year-olds are evacuated along with thousands of other residents of their small, Chilean community that is about to be bombarded by poisonous volcanic gases and metric tons of ash.

lightning smoke column chile volcano Apocalypse now

Photograph by Daniel Basualto, European Pressphoto Agency

More proof of my “ten times more horrifying” postulation.

chile volcano lightning3 Apocalypse now

Photograph by Ivan Alvarado, Reuters

Nature sure is capable of some pretty jaw-dropping shit. But I think I’ll stick to my sunsets for now. Maybe their lightshow isn’t quite as spectacular as a volcanic eruption, but that’s a fairly reasonable trade-off when you’re trying to, like, continue living.

06.17.2011

In which we gain a new understanding of the term "butthurt"

Starting the week off with a backlog of work usually isn’t a good idea. And now it is Friday, a day I like to reserve for being incredibly lazy, only my backlog has grown in size, taking on grotesque new proportions. Indeed, my workload is basically a hideous, distorted mirror of all my procrastination, and that, along with seeing those “Cost Fucked Madonna” stickers all over the city, inspired today’s visual diversion.

dedleg fucked himself white In which we gain a new understanding of the term butthurt

dedleg fucked himself black In which we gain a new understanding of the term butthurt

By the way, the file names for those are really hilarious. They are, respectively, “dedleg-fucked-himself-white.jpg” and “dedleg-fucked-himself-black.jpg”, and both seem to imply a very serious amount of fucking, although the latter potentially strays into offensive (and not to mention just plain weird) black-face territory.

Moving onward… for those who aren’t in the know, Adam Cost is a New York based graffiti artist / widely regarded legend in his own times, who rose to notoriety with his partner Revs in the early to mid 90s. Long before street art became the nearly-legal institution that it is today, Revs and Cost saw a new way to leave their mark on their environment. Combining the concepts of tagging and advertising, they started making posters of out simple 8.5“x11” pieces of paper, with obscure messages typed on them in bold, black text. Phrases like “Cost Fucked Madonna,” “Cost Was Here”, and “Suicide Revs” appeared on the backs of Walk/Don’t Walk signals all across Manhattan. Many years later, in late 2010, Supreme capitalized on their innovation, collaborating with Cost on a number of t-shirt designs. The idea was to remind young street artists that originality reigns, uh, supreme, and no matter what your sticker/poster/self-declared revolutionary concept is, Cost did it first. The ultimate outcome, though, was just a whole bunch of new “Cost Fucked Madonna” stickers covering the LES and Williamsburg.

cost fucked madonna stickers In which we gain a new understanding of the term butthurt

Now, a parody of a t-shirt design / sticker reprint based on a wheat-pasted poster dating back to the early 90s can hardly be called timely (although it could be called “starving for content”). Nonetheless, this little doodle isn’t quite as irrelevant as it seems…

If we wanted to go the literal route as opposed to the more figurative one taken, the text would have to be modified to read, “Last night, Dedleg’s skateboard ass-fucked Dedleg.” Now, I’d like to leave you with that image, but that statement is a bit of a generalization. And I want to be clear about the state of my behind in a mostly pointless effort to control the inevitable rumor mill. I’ll say it once: there was no real penetration. Of my actual asshole, anyway. The perineum though? Oh man, my skateboard tore that shit the fuck up. And make no mistake, it feels decidedly penetrated.

conan obrien surprised1 In which we gain a new understanding of the term butthurt

Anyway, just thought I’d share that little factoid about my day. After all, you don’t get fucked in the ass by your own skateboard and not tell anybody. Or maybe you do? Are these not the kind of riveting personal stories you come here for? As always, I’m just trying to service - I mean serve - my loyal fans better.

But who am I kidding? Everybody knows the only question anybody actually has is, “Seriously though… did Cost really fuck Madonna?” icon cool In which we gain a new understanding of the term butthurt

06.16.2011

Never touch his beans, never touch his food

It’s not hard to be a fan of Kool Keith if you stop trying to understand what he’s talking about and just enjoy the madness for what it really is: complete and utterly incomprehensible madness. The video for his new song, “Bushman”, off Yeti Beat’s This Is Not A Hotel, dropped last week, and like the rare Pokemon Kool Keith is, it evaded me until just now. While I’m not convinced the track is going to be tearing up the club scene any time soon, the video is pretty fucking amusing. It could best be described as Rick James meets Cobra Commander, but even that is a miserably inadequate comparison.

In this age of multi-million-dollar music video budgets, it’s nice to see we’re still capable of topping ourselves with a flip cam and Windows Movie Maker.

For more proof that almost everything that comes out of Kool Keith’s mouth is hilarious, check out this interview with him from a couple years ago about his refrigerator and why he started drinking seltzer water exclusively, amongst other things.

I’ve really learned seltzer water keeps people away. It’s a twist… like, “wow, I really don’t like it myself, but I like it, because people don’t like it.” Like, you have to do it that way.

Now that’s the kind of attitude I can get behind. Funny, yes, but whether or not everything the rapper/modern day prophet says is actually cool on the other hand, well, that really all depends on how you define “cool” in the first place.

Anyway, one thing’s for certain. I have a pretty clear contender for my 2011 Halloween costume. This October… Dedleg Jones is… The Bushman.