Monthly Archives

March 2019

The Lady From the Black Lagoon

By | miscellaneous

In Mallory O’Meara’s new book there is a picture of her subject, Milicent Patrick. Probably the most famous picture of her. It’s her, dressed to the nines, working away at her art board.

Milicent Patrick just crushing being awesome

Is this not the best looking office/art space ever?

I never considered who designed any of the movie monsters I love. Not until way later when DVDs came out and all the behind-the-scenes info became readily available. Around that time (mid 2000s?) I remember seeing this exact picture of Milicent in the context of “this is who designed the Creature From the Black Lagoon.” I thought, “that’s really fucking cool.” I love The Creature, both the movie and the design (I have a massive leg tattoo of him) and that’s really all the thought I gave it. It never occurred to me that there would be any controversy over the design of it, or Milicent herself, but I suppose that was naive of me and it’s exactly why O’Meara wrote this book.

The Lady From the Black Lagoon is more of an autobiography of author Mallory O’Meara that exposes the much needed-to-be told story of Milicent Patrick through the lens of sexism in Hollywood, horror movies, and society in general. Mallory is a horror movie producer and found strength in Milicent Patrick’s story and inspiration looking up to a woman who made monsters, something that O’Meara didn’t think was possible. Patrick herself is massively inspiring, as told through the book, being one of the first women animators at Disney, and working on the (incredible) design of the Metaluna Mutant from This Island Earth as well as designing the best designed movie monster ever (that’s scientifically true, fight me), the Creature From the Black Lagoon, among other accomplishments. O’Meara shares the experiences Patrick had with sexism and what it meant to be a woman in a creative field over 60 years ago, interwoven with her own stories of sexism and skeevy encounters and it’s devastating how very little has changed. O’Meara peppers the book with statistics about women in the industry which is good data to see so bluntly presented.

The core of the book, and what I found truly inspiring, is O’Meara’s reverence for Patrick and how whether she knew it or not was a trailblazer for women, especially on the creative side. O’Meara writes extremely causally and personably about her adventures uncovering everything she could about Patrick as well as her personal history and stories of movie-making and it lends a friendly voice that makes the book feel like your best friend is telling you these stories. They’re entirely beautiful as they are heart-breaking, eye-opening, depressing, and important.

You should probably read this fucking book.

My previously mentioned leg tattoo. It looks much better in person.

Creative Pits

By | miscellaneous

“Why won’t you be art?” – Homer Simpson

At the beginning of the new year I was feeling creatively and artistically wiped the fuck out. I knew I needed to do something else whether it be with my comics or some new yet to be discovered project. I figured I should probably start from the beginning and read some books because finding books about whatever subject is vexing me is the way I like to roll. So that’s what I did. I just googled books on creativity and bought a bunch people seemed to agree on where good. I don’t want to say they were “transformative” but they were extremely helpful and did in fact, reinvigorate my desire and want to create new shit. Some I like more than others. Some I’ll go back to again and again. Some I thought were fluffy nonsense. I won’t say which are which incase you’d like to read any so I’ll just post some links to help:

Show Your Work – Austin Kleon

Steal Like an Artist – Austin Kleon

The Steal Like an Artist Journal – Austin Kleon

Manage Your Day-To-Day – 99U

The War of Art – Steven Pressfield

Damn Good Advice – George Lois

Ignore Everybody – Hugh Macleod

The Creative Habit – Twyla Tharp

Regardless of what I thought about any of the books I’m fucking glad I read each one. Even the books I didn’t like helped me overcome my creative slump in some way or another.