Pages

February 21, 2014

Break is almost over

The break is almost over, and everything will change.

Feel free to look around, but the real interesting stuff won;t be here for another week or so.

God Bless.

Stacy

November 27, 2013

Work Day Sketch One 11/27/13

The website move is still scheduled for this weekend, but while I still got it here I might as well make a post or two.

Every once in a blue moon, my job is slow and I have a day where I have to keep myself entertained. On those days, I either read a book or do some sketches; today it's sketches.

This one is based loosely off a Vampira photo found on the internet. Pastel paper and white charcoal.

I still don't have the muscle memory back, but I keep trying...


Copyright Stacy Baugher, All Rights Reserved
Sketch, 11/27/13
Stacy Baugher


November 25, 2013

An oldie but a goodie and some news...

So first up, I've got an older image that I took a while back that I wanted to showcase today. It was done with a Nikon D3200 and edited in-camera. I later added the white border and my new logo design (which is a work in progress) to it. Hope you like it, tell your friends!


Abandoned Re-vist
copyright Stacy Baugher
All Rights Reserved

The other thing is regarding the remodeling of the site. I finally found a webhost I think will work better for me and the site. While I am digesting the rest of my turkey this weekend I will be chaging servers as well, so hopefully by Monday, December 2nd, we will see a new site with some new features.

If you dig my work, don;t forget to share it with your friends! Every little bit helps!

Stacy

October 31, 2013

The War of the Worlds, 75th Anniversary

I love Old Time Radio. I have enough in digital form to listen to for over a year straight and never hear the same show twice. And my favorite is The Mercury Theater On The Air's presentation of War of the Worlds.

If you have never heard this, it is legendary. It is said that it's preformacy literally caused panic in the streets and was a major reason that Orson Wells left for England for several years.

And today, Halloween, is the 75th anniversary of it's first airing.

You need to listen if you never have heard it. It was first performed on October 31st, 1938, but to hear the effects and actors, you would think taht it was possibly made today. It was far above it's time and cemented Well's reputation as a wunderkind, although it took him years to get back into stready work in the US.

I have a link to a streaming version of it here, hosted by www.Archive.org. Give it a listen and let me know what you think....

https://archive.org/download/OrsonWellesMrBruns/OrsonWellesMrBruns_vbr.m3u

October 22, 2013

Writing Exercise: Commander Brightstar and the Stygian Curtain

“Commander Brightstar, we have a transmission coming in over intra-stellar communications.”
Commander Charles “Chuck” Brightstar turned his command chair to face the Ordanian communications officer whom had recently been assigned to his flight crew. He knew that the message was trouble as soon as he saw the green tint blossom around the female’s neck gills.
“Put it on screen, Officer Merandia.”
“Yes, sir.”Her webbed fingers slid gracefully over the communications deck as a video screen lowered over the main view port. A spiral pattern moved across its surface, signifying a signal was being buffered. Moment later, a small being with an elongated, square head and rounded cranium appeared. His grey-blue flesh darkened as he spoke.
“I am Grand Captain Borvish, of the Stygian Empire. You are in direct violation of the Aeres Agreement. You are ordered to power down your ship and prepare to be boarded. Any resistance will be met with deadly force.” His marble sized eyes squinted even narrower as he awaited the reply of the Earth Home Command star ship.
Commander Brightstar expected this, but had hoped to make it further behind their lines before being discovered. “Greetings, Captain Brovish. I’m Commander Charles Brighstar of Earth Home Command.” He sat in his command chair with an air of confidence that had been responsible for ending two different wars in the Outer Reaches. He waited a moment then, absentmindedly, he leaned over slightly while putting his weight on one arm of his chair. His casual pose bellied the gravity of the situation.
“I first would like to offer our sincerest apologies. Our Navigation Officer is fresh out of flight school and the workings of a Nebula Class cruiser have him a little buffaloed. He’s a good lad, but you know how these young people can be. Our intended course was for Space Station Epsilon 12, for some much needed shore leave. We are just coming for a visit to the Strandar Corridor.” He emphasized the last statement, wanting the unspoken warning to come across loud and clear.
It worked.
Grand Captain Brovish eyes grew wide, or as wide as a native born Stygian’s eyes are capable of growing. “The Strandar Corridor?” he asked with a little surprise. He glanced off screen. Brightstar was confident he was signaling to his ships Intelligence Officer for information. He also knew what he would discover; a lone Earth Home Command star ship had fought a fleet of Ronarian pirates and came out on top. The Earth ship in question had been…
“The Star-Struck Princess; you will verify that this is the name of your vessel.” The Stygian was trying his best to keep a bearing of authority, but a crack had formed.
“The Star-Struck Princess? Why yes, that’s our ship.” Brightstar sat back, placing his hands on the arm rests and lowering his voice slightly as he asked, “I take it you’ve heard of us.” It was a statement, not a question.
“Yes, I have heard of your ship. But it does not matter! You will power down your engines and prepare to be boarded. Any additional actions on your part will be construed as an act of aggression and will be dealt with accordingly. Your communications have been blocked. You have five of your standard Earth minutes to comply!” Grand Captain Borvish turned his head sharply and made a sharp nodding motion, terminating the transmission.         
First Office Cain McLemore approached the command chair. “Commander, do you think this is the best course of action? Surly he’s calling up for reinforcements. “
Brightstar stood from his chair and moved quickly across the command deck. “Mac, this is best. If we had launched the scout ship from outside the Stygian Curtain it would have been detected and defenseless. This way, we will be able launch during the firefight and it will most likely be tagged as an errant torpedo.” He stepped into the ele-lift as it opened.
“Most likely.” The First Officer leaned in, blocking the closing doors. He lowered his voice to a whisper. “Remember, Chuck, you are going to be in this ‘torpedo.’ We will be firing you off during a battle, and you will be trapped in it until the rebels pick you up, which could be days. Are you sure you want to risk your life on the ‘most likely’ scenario?”
Placing his hand on his friend’s shoulder, Brighstar smiled. “Yep.” He stared at McLemore for a moment longer than was comfortable before he hit the button which would send him down into the ship’s weapons room. “See you in a month. Save me a beer and tell Martha to wear that little green dress.” The doors hissed shut as he was propelled down the shaft to his destination.
The First Officer took a moment to straighten his tunic before he turned and took the command chair. “Ensign Bolivar, how much time do we have left in the countdown?”
The dark skinned man glanced at the ship chronometer, “Just over a minute, sir.”
First Officer McLemore took a moment to study the main screen, the Stygian ship floated in front of them like a great, dark moth.  In the distance, he saw two sparks of light shimmer.
“Mr. McLemore!” The excitable voice of young Lieutenant Allen at the tactical stations chimed, “We’ve got two pings, class- confirmation coming in now.” The lights from the monitor she shone into her eyes, giving her blond hair an eerie tint. ”Confirmed, two Charon class destroyers.” She looked up at McLemore. “Shall I raise shields, sir?”
“Time, Ensign Bolivar?”
“Forty seconds and counting.”
McLemore studied the screen for a moment longer. The large Charon class ships suddenly appeared in a flash to either side of the smaller Carrion class ship.
“Looks like the rest of guest have arrived,’ McLemore deadpanned. He stood and took position directly in front of the view port, were it filled his range of vision.
“Let’s see who wants the first dance.”
-----

If you are still around after that, I figure your first question is, "What the hell was that?" Well, it may be classified as a vignette or maybe flash fiction. I consider it a stream of consciousness exercise. All I can really say is that it is under one thousand (1,000) words and gives a small window into a larger story.

This little window is into a world that is in the style of the old sci-fi serial and pulp science fiction. I grew up checking video tapes of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serial from my local library and devouring them in all night sessions. Nowadays, this genre has seemed to evolved into what I have heard some refer to as diesel punk. I just think it is good old fashioned retro sci-fi. 

This was written in one sitting, in well under a half an hour with no editing other than spelling. It was all stream of consciousness, one thing leading to another as it unfolded in my mind.

Is it great writing? No. Is it great sci-fi? No, probably not even good sci-fi. But it is an exercise that I enjoy doing, I just don't normally post them for the world to see.

And yes, it is a sort of riff on Star Trek, and other popular sci-fi, in the vein of Galaxy Quest and Space Hunters. The thing is, when I was writing it I imagined big elongated ships with fins and crewmen in jumpsuits wearing leather jackets and bubble helmets while flying saucer shaped crafts battling aliens with tentacles. You could even call it campy if you wanted.

I'll probably do more of these in different genres. This was just a little thing that popped into my head and jumped out to the screen. It is as pure and unrefined as writing as I could manage without really thinking about it.

I hope you realize why I am so defensive: it is not meant to be great. It isn't meant to be Asimov or Ellison or Doc Smith, it is meant to be an exercise, something to help my flow. I get a few ideas down and see how they work. How you take it is entierly up to you.

Take care,
Stacy

STORY, CONCEPT, AND CONTENT COPYRIGHT STACY BAUGHER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. PLEASE DO NOT REPOST WITHOUT PERMISSION.

September 25, 2013

Wax Batik Project: Superman #1

While the site still may not be overhauled yet (I’m freeing up time, just got the home computer set up in the new office at the new house) I’ve been able to start on my latest art project. Since this one is rather time intensive, and involves a processes that takes days to complete, I figured that I would be able to walk everyone through the steps I take to do it. The goal now is a post each day, but that is dependent on the real world schedule, which for me has been crazy lately.
Years ago while in high school, I learned a technique of art that I fell in love with, the wax batik. The Webster Dictionary defines batik as a method of dyeing textiles, principally cottons, in which patterned areas are covered with wax so that they will not receive color. Originating in Indonesia, the process has spread through the world, carried from Asia by European traders. The exact technique varies by country and tradition, but the wax-resist process is normally the same; just the application process varies.

Many wax batiks depict intricate patterns and designs and are used largely for clothing. In some counties the type of batik worn and the sizes of the patterns depicted a person’s social rank.  Colors would vary for much the same reason. The process I will be using follows a very simple pattern: 1) Sketch the image onto the fabric, 2) Apply wax to the fabric for the areas to stay the original color, 3) Submerge into the dye vat, 4) Remove and allow to air dry, 5) Apply additional wax over areas to stay new color, 5) Repeat process until desired effects are achieved.
Patterns are the most popular subjects, while many African nations use the process to depict daily life. Myself, I always like to pick odd subjects. For this batik, I decided that I wanted to start doing a series of fandom related batiks. The subject of the first is the first true comic book SUPER hero, Superman!
One of my favorite images has always been the cover of Superman #1, published in 1939 by National Periodical Publications (now known as DC Comics). I am sketching the image onto a 100% cotton fabric which is of quilting quality. I plan on the project to take a minimum of 1 week, if I am allowed to work on it every night. I come to this time because I will be dying 6 colors, possibly 7 or 8, to achieve the look I want.
The colors I will currently be using are…
1.      White
2.      Tan
3.      Yellow
4.      Orange
5.      Green
6.      Blue
7.      Red
8.      Black

I include white and black as they are part of the process, I am aware that they are not technically considered colors.
At this point, I have completed the sketch. The total image size will be approximately 36 inches by 23 inches with several inches around it to allow for matting or hanging. I used a small refrigerator magnet I have of the Superman #1 cover as a reference, along with some internet photos.

09/23/13 Wax Batik Project - Step 01, the Sketch
image copyright Stacy Baugher

Tonight I will be applying the wax to the areas which are to remain white, and then dipping the full piece into the tan dye vat. By tomorrow afternoon, I will be ready with another post and to begin another color.

Stay Tuned!

Stacy

August 23, 2013

Welcome to the Fail of Geekdom...

Site is still undergoing re-construction, but I got something to get off my chest in the meantime….
For a while now I have been fighting the urge to rant; but with some recent news in the “geek” world, I’ve decided I would only feel good if I just let loose. So here we go…
I hereby tended my resignation from the geek culture.
What used to be just people enjoying what they loved has turned into something ugly. The term has been co-opted by everyone from corporations to entertainers to movements to politicians into meaning whatever they think it should, which is usually whatever will make them a profit or promote their agenda.  It has caused what used to be a tight knit community of people sharing to become angry and self-important, shunning all that don’t think in their terms. The term geek has gone from being derogatory to a badge of honor to a status symbol to marketing demographic.
I’m sick of it. I quit.
Yes, in the past I have participated heavily into what has developed into geek culture. I even wrote for several excellent websites regarding comic books and geek entertainment. Sadly, only one of the current crop of website reporting on comics and such (and I have written for several under pen names) do I consider to have remained true to its original vision while still growing.  Those guys love comic, and they know you do to. Go check out Major Spoilers when you get a chance and see one of the last great comic sites from an era before the corporations bought out everyone and homogenized coverage and opinions.
---
My displeasure with the term geek culture has been on a slow burn for the last several years.  I can’t even tell you exactly when it started. I was as thrilled as anyone several years back when Star Wars returned to the big screen and became a media powerhouse again. When the first Spider-Man movie came out I was there opening night. When Batman Begins arrived, I was there. The Justice League and Justice League Unlimited cartoons were must see TV in my house. I worked in a comic shop and had a huge pull list. For a while it seemed as if the medium of comics was finally getting some overdue respect.  The geeks were on the rise, so to speak.
Then it started turning dark. The corporations took notice.
I don’t blame the people who jumped onto the band wagon. Comics and video games and sci-fi/fantasy are great. You can lose yourself in them and become a different person. You can learn lessons about humanity and the importance of the individual and morals. You can find others who share your loves and celebrate them. But suddenly, you could get “internet famous” and be on TV simply for donning a costume and walking around a convention floor.  If you yelled loud enough, and to the right people, you could be considered an “expert” on various subjects. “LOOK AT ME, I know stuff about <insert currently relevant character/franchise here>, I’m an EXPERT. Put me on TV so I can give a commentary about the social implications of <insert currently relevant character/franchise here> and get some Klout points!”   I really don’t begrudge those people, good for them. Affirmation of something you love is a great thing.
But that being said, and this is a trend I have noticed spike recently, fans of “geek” have become very greedy. If their beloved franchise/character/book/show, whatever, does something they disagree with they attack, as if they had a real stake in it or they owned it. Tell you what, those corporations and creators don’t owe you shit. When you scream about how horrible it is that X character did not hook up with Y character, or how Z event was not to your likeing, you are just proving the point that you are spoiled and greedy. The “geek” community has gone from sharing loved franchises and stories to calling people the equivalent of a lobotomized goldfish if you don’t agree with them. Not just with them, but with everything they love about their franchise.  You aren’t a “real fan” unless you support what they support.
But to be honest, I could care less about many of the franchises in fandom. Example…
I could care less about Game of Thrones. That does not mean I am not a fan of well written fantasy.
I did not go see the last Spider-Man movie or the last Batman movie in theaters and have not seen them on Blu-Ray. That does not mean I am not a fan of the characters or that genre of movie.
I enjoy J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot. That does not mean I love the Original Series any less.
I no longer buy DC or Marvel’s monthly comics because I do not like the stories in the New 52 and Marvel Now. That does not mean I stopped loving those characters.
I am not a big fan of Halo. That does not mean I cannot pop it in to play a round or two every few months.
I enjoy My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and sing the song with my little girl. That does not mean I am a Brony.
While I enjoyed the first Transformers movie, I never bothered with the others. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. But I love the toys and the cartoons.
The event that really broke the camel’s back was the news of Ben Affleck playing Batman in the upcoming Superman/Batman movie. The venom that has been unleashed on this is embarrassing. Personally, I’ll go see it and make a decision then if I like it or not then, not before.
That is what geek culture has turned into. If your favorite franchise does something that you do not agree with, it’s become more common now to attack it than it is to wait and see.
---
So in closing, you can keep your geek culture. Keep your Trekkie, Brony, Whovian, gamer, cosplayer, whatever the tag you have allowed a corporation or marketing firm to hang on you and you keep wearing it with pride. If you want to stay in their carefully organized demographic category and think that you are being oh so unique and original, that is your right. Me, I’m just going to enjoy what I like and not bother with what I don’t.  
My lifelong belief is that if you complain about a situation, but do not offer a resolution, you are just as much a problem as that which inspired your original complaint.
Don’t like Ben Affleck as Batman? Your prerogative; but let me know when YOUR Batman/Superman movie is out so I can fairly compare it against the official version. Better yet, create your own property and do with it what you want.
Geek? Not me, I’m an original.