Like a Xenomorph to the flamethrower, absolute loose nail James Stokoe’s new run with IDW on an official Alien story is looking like it’ll melt more than just minds in this preview from Paste.
Stokoe’s created licensed work in the past with IDW on Godzilla: Half-Century War and Godzilla In Hell. Both are monuments to their source material, and true adaptations in that Stokoe is sure to not let the weight of cannon get in the way of a total aesthetic retake. And yeah, even the king of kaiju isn’t safe from continuity hell.
His drawing style is highly obsessive. Heavy detail with just a formative nod to technicality is a stellar fit to the acid-oozing, organic plethora of Giger-esque alien technology, gum and tape bound space suits and dank, abandoned industrial structures.
Quickly inhale this preview of Dead Orbit before waiting for the cold dark space of that empty spot on your bookshelf to be filled this April.
Aliens: Dead Orbit/Predator: Hunters Ashcan Cover and Interior Art by James Stokoe
As part of this ‘re-issued’ series of posts – turning back time to take another look at some of the people who contributed and helped form the first iterations of Malaise – I wanted to lean into the artists who took enough interest in it to made work specifically for the zine. It’s also a part of this agenda to put the artists of the the skateboarding community to the forefront and build social space for us a niche within that community, which I think is vital and rare.
Seff Mudge contributed a really impressive illustration for the second issue. Back then it took me by surprise to see how much effort is put in with every piece he does, even if it’s this pro-bono scene he flicked my way – doing work for free as an artist these days is tough and I’m super thankful he took the time.
Since following him on instagram and his facebook page over the last two years he’s become increasingly prolific and sets a good tempo for an active, developing illustrator. So I caught up with him to hear what he’s been up to and what he’s got planned for the future.
First up, how are you?
Whats been transpiring for you creatively over the past three years?
Pretty good thanks. I’m gonna have to try to think back now haha. I guess I’ve been fairly consistently throwing artworks into a bunch of different exhibitions around the Brisbane area over the past few years. I was also lucky enough to be selected to design a skate graphic in the Converse Cons Project on the coast and also win best illustration. That whole weekend was so fun, inspiring and just ahh! Designing a range of commission pieces for CRMC, an alternate clothing brand based in Scotland is also a major highlight and seeing the garments coming to life at the moment is awesome too. It was also cool getting the chance to spread the word about habitat destruction when I was accepted into the Decks for Change project last year. That whole experience has really inspired me to start putting more nature orientated messages into my art and who knows I might enter again this year. In more recent news I’ve just designed a few t-shirt commissions for Brisbane metal band Outlive, one of which is in the process of being printed and sold at their shows, definitely look forward to working with them a heap more.
Definitely noticed a shift in subject matter with your work since I last checked in. Much more interpretive symbolism. You’re self taught?
Yeah I definitely see that my work has changed. Not that I felt I didn’t previously but I’ve started putting a heap more thought into the concept stage before even beginning any part of the inking process. My pieces usually take ages to complete so it seemed natural that I should plan things out smoother before going straight into it and spending all that time. It feels like a much more healthy approach to making art, for me anyway.
Back to your question. I am self-taught. I was drawing way back in preschool but by the time I got to high school I had almost completely stopped. The first “drawing lessons” I had received, and this is probably going off on a bit of a tangent, was when I was chosen to go on a camp at some old castle place called Woodlands back in like grade 6 or something. From what I can remember it was a pretty cool experience, me and random other school kids got to meet and work with professional writers and illustrators to produce a story book. I’m pretty sure I had already been practicing most of what they were teaching beforehand anyhow, so no real improvement there haha. Besides the old high school art classes it wasn’t until I finished my design course back in 2014 that I started drawing again.
Where’d you study?
At CATC Design School in the valley. It was just a Diploma course.
Understand you’re preparing for an exhibit launch at bean on friday called ‘sloe’, what else is in the future for you as an artist?
Sure am. There should be some fresh interesting work to see there, definitely something to check out if you’re in the area. As for other exhibitions so far, I’ll have 1 or 2 pieces in the ‘Lords’ art show at Crowbar toward the end of February. I’m also going to be more active within the Primary Arcade and The Brisbane Collective groups so hopefully you’ll be able to check out more of my work in their upcoming shows. As far as personal work goes I haven’t got plans to start any art challenges or anything, as of yet, just going to focus on improving, looking within for inspiration blah, blah, blah and all that sorta shit haha. I would also like to be able to do a few more merch designs for local bands as well as working with other clothing labels in the UK or somewhere.
The term Skate Rat is often ascribed to the crustiest of skaters, the human recycling bins that roll by on mismatched wheels and a questionable amount of stains on their griptape (and body).
Far from that rendition is where you’ll find Dustin Ammons’ cute, fuzzy shredders. Dustin flips the all too common stereotype that rats are dirty, unhygienic pests, transforming them through simple and emotive cartooning that teaches us the real truth: rats are just like us.
I like how their work mirrors the universal in skateboarders. Capturing truisms in cartoon form can be fickle but Ammons gets the basics down in a way that feels introspective and whole.
* 99 percent of videos feature the same type of deal: street montage with intermittent found-footage of a simpsons episode/skaters being skaters off the board, insert brand collaboration here.
The “weird” different stuff is often far and few between; Pontus fans find themselves starved for artistic takes on the skate video betwix lofty titles. Don’t get me wrong, there’s heaps of dope mags and collectives out there turning their gaze away from the (North) American extravaganza and devising new ways of doing, putting out really interesting stuff. Just never enough. Here I present my new and totally interesting idea, via 99 percent invisible, a neat podcast on architecture in all its meanings: a montage film of sessions at all these concrete arrows dotted across the US that used to mark a crow’s route for airmail pilots. Read/listen here.
* Useful zine-making for the end.
* Jesse Bernasconi let loose some clips of his crew skating Brisbane, GC and surrounds. Show some Love to that big-set shove!
* One way to sneak out of kooksville is to document the scene; this guy’s got the right idea.
* Theguystokes channel mob from Melbourne show us around Adelaide, it’s the new Japan.
The future! Or what’s left of it.
To any soul-crushingly rare few who knew of Malaise in the past as a “SKATE/PUNK” fanzine which, tragically, self-immolated leaving a carcass shaped smear under a hastily written sign that read “TO BE CONTINUED” about who-cares shy of mid-2015, your prayers have been answered!
Risen once more from the ashes, reborn and eager tick off, with much procrastination, those items on your long list of disappointments is the new unimproved Malaise Fanzine!
And first on the list is a real band-aid.
Malaise the fanzine is no-more; long live Malaise Fanzine!
I’m paraphrasing the fact that, due to much deliberation, I’ve decided to make something of Malaise once again but dramatically revert on what it is and does. I always had fuck-off-high expectations for the zine that fell out of fruition for reasons outlined long ago.
But these expectations I was once throwing around, that never formed anything other than a page blurb on the old wordpress site, never left my brain. I’ve had the time to reflect and form these things into actual ideas, plot out where and what I can do to get them each rolling. I’m keen to tell you more later down the track.
So what’s new and different?
MF is no longer a print publication. There’s no use organising a newsletter-style skateboarding zine about your local scene when we have online groups for that who can report on these things much faster than the written-to-print turnaround, simply because its the actual people doing these things also doing the reporting. Social media: journalism’s double-edged sword. Then there are the general environmental concerns, like, “is this dumb zine going anywhere to justify the paper and ink that made it?” and “I could add another 40 pages of content to this issue but should I?”
In order to ~flourish~ as an idea, I thought malaise needed to move its shit 100% online, so here’s where it’s set up base camp
Also new is the whole direction of content. Malaise was originally this angst-ridden, uber-serious, fanzine that tried to capture a ridiculously niche subset of skaters and try to cover 30+ pages on just that every two months. It only survived two issues. And while there’s nothing wrong with celebrating your scene, however small, Malaise ended up having most of the celebrating by itself, in the corner of the diner with a balloon sticky taped to the table. It was dismal.
In the interest of remaining an amalgam of skateboarding and skateboarding stuff, but also trying not to be so serious, I tried to unpack the “fan” in fanzine. Once you self-criticise and knock down the tunnel you see yourself and other skaters through, it’s mind-blowing just how diverse, globally, we all are. We’re all different people with different shit going on outside of skating, yet this one thing can bring us together. You don’t need a blog to teach you that, just roll at a park for a few hours and meet the folks who stop by. Malaise shouldn’t have a “locals only, kooks fuck off” mentality getting in the way of that, or at least not in places that it isn’t useful.
For the mean time, as these new ideas start to take shape, this blog is mostly going to publish crap-posts from me under the moniker Booji Boi Skates. These are your op-eds, me talking about stuff I’ve encountered that centres around my experience skating. Updates every Monday.
Here, as I leave, take ‘PADDO’ by Mitch Owens with a side of Marina Julia comics to go.
Paddo is the beating heart of Brisbane skateboarding and Julia’s comics give me energy. Sneak in some of her (I’m fully assuming) Hardy Boys inspired ‘The House on The Cliff‘ on tapastic if you can too, I’m loving it so far.
Add a recent Aaron Brown throwaway edit for taste. This rules.