Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I had a chance to visit Comic-Con 2007 in San Diego for a couple days last week. Here are a few of the highlights of my trip:

*I got to meet one of my favorite artist/creator combos in the person of Doug Tennapel. I picked up his new graphic novel from Image comics called 'Black Cherry.' I have already read it twice...it is incredible! If you don't know about this gifted storyteller and artist, please visit his site at:
www.tennapel.com . He writes and draws graphic novels, creates characters that have been video games (Earthworm Jim), and has animated shows developed from his stories and characters. His new cartoon called 'Catscratch' is now on Nickelodeon. A REAL talented "cat!"

Here is a review of 'Black Cherry' by Sean McGowan that is on Amazon.com. I heartily agree with this review:

A Great Story that Tells the Truth, July 30, 2007
Sean McGowan - See all my reviews
This book will understandably make a lot of people uncomfortable. Full of vulgar language and violent imagery, this is easily Doug's roughest book yet and probably will be for the rest of his career. However, his intention is not to shock, but to be honest about the way the world is. To balance things out, Doug also tells the truth about the only reconciliation for all of the sin depicted in the book: Christ's sacrifice. Along with all of this is a story that's as good as any of his others. Black Cherry is not for everyone, but those who can stomach its brutal honesty really ought to give it a try.

*I met the graphic novelist named Jesse Lonergan. I got to pick up his first graphic novel called 'Flower and Fade.' This is a SOLID debut effort. It is a reflection on a romantic relationship and how it develops and eventually dissipates. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it. You can find it at NBM Publishing here:

*Taylor White and 'Monsters in Motion' (out of Placentia, California) were at the con. I got to pick up a few CD scores from Taylor and they were some great choices I am happy to say! I picked up Vic Mizzy's score to the Don Knotts films called 'The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.' Just listened last night and this score is SUPER-FUN! When you listen to scores like this, you realize where other great composers like Danny Elfman and Alf Clausen get some of their vibe! Also picked up Jerry Goldsmith's score for 'Escape From the Planet of the Apes.' What an awesome listen! When I listen to scores like this, I realize even more just HOW AHEAD of his time Mr. Goldsmith was...this score, at times and in some cues, almost sounds like a backdrop for a current movie in parts (the film was released in 1971)...and the rhythmic electronics in this score are nothing short of amazing! Jerry Goldsmith ROCKS! He has, in my opinion, influenced so many genres from electronica to lounge to avante garde film scoring. Pleae visit Monsters in Motion at:

There were some other Comic-Con highlights that I will explore in my next post. Over and out from San Diego Comic-con for now.....HK.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I have begun composing the music for an animated bumper for the 'VES 50: THE MOST INFLUENTIAL VISUAL EFFECTS FILMS OF ALL TIME.' This animated piece is being created by The Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood (www.gnomonschool.com), and will contain my original instrumental music composed specifically for the animation. The piece will screen at the 2007 VES Festival of Visual Effects, that will take place at the Writer's Guild Theater in Beverly Hills on June 7-10, 2007.
The Visual Effects Society (www.visualeffectssociety.com) is putting on this 4 day event, and among the incredible panels and screenings, the highlight of the weekend is sure to be the VES 50: The Most Influential Visual Effects Films of All Time. This panel discussion on the VES 50 will be moderated by Academy Award-winning vfx supervisor John Knoll, and the session will feature fellow Oscar winners Richard Edlund, Dennis Muren, Doug Trumbull and (tentatively) John Dykstra (Star Wars).
Listen for my music to accompany the wonderful animated bumper that will be a part of this and other VES festival sessions. For more info on the recently announced top 50 VFX films of all time, please go to: http://www.visualeffectssociety.com/documents/ves50revelfin.pdf

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Check out Will Eisner's 'THE SPIRIT' character from DC Comics...

DC Comics currently has on their release schedule a comic book called The Spirit. The newest issue is number #6, which is released on May 23rd, 2007. For those of you who don't know about this character, The Spirit was originally created by the multi-talented writer and artist named Will Eisner in 1940. The masked crime fighter became a very famous character in the world of comics. 

The current incarnation of The Spirit at DC is being both drawn and written by Darwyn Cooke, one of my favorite artist/writer combos. A couple of years back, Mr. Cooke won an Eisner award (the comic book industry's #1 awards ceremony held every year at the San Diego Comic-Con, and named after Will Eisner himself!) for his work on the comic book limited series called 'DC: The New Frontier.' If you are a comic book fan like me, you owe it to yourself to check out The Spirit character in his current form at DC. Cooke is doing a bang-up job on the series, and this comic has become one of my current favorites. 

I am hoping that someday, in some form of audio-visual media, I might be able to compose instrumental music directly inspired by The Spirit and his unique world, much like I did for the character of Doc Savage for the documentary entitled 'James Bama: American Realist.' Whether that be in a movie, animated show, video game, or some other form, it would be fantastic to write music inspired by The Spirit!

For further info about the new 'The Spirit' comic book, please visit: http://www.dccomics.com/ (Here's an updated link at DC Comics site for the first Volume of  THE SPIRIT by Darwyn Cooke: http://www.dccomics.com/graphic-novels/the-spirit-book-1-0 ). For further info about the creator Will Eisner and the original incarnation of The Spirit, please visit Denis Kitchen's wonderful site: www.deniskitchen.com/docs/bios/bio_will_eisner.html

Monday, April 30, 2007

Have you heard these Orchestral Sound Samples?

Recently, I finally picked up several of the sound collections from the Vienna Symphonic Library. Each collection of sounds comes with an installation set-up that easily allows that particular collection to be used within the Vienna Virtual Instrument itself. The instrument interface is pretty nifty looking and great to use, and it can be used as stand-alone, or within a VST host music software program. In my case, I run the Vienna instrument within my Nuendo music software on my desktop PC.

These are some of the best and most "real" symphonic sound samples that I have ever used in the recording of my compositions. The varied harp collection sounds extremely "stringy" and "plucky", and most of the harps have a very pleasant tone to them-aggressive, without being too in your face. No plastic or toy-like sounding plucks here! Also, I found that the Orchestral Strings Vol. 1-Violins and Violas, especially in their section forms, are amazingly natural and intuitive sounding. Furthermore, the wind sections and solo winds from the Woodwinds 1 collection, especially the flutes and clarinets, have great articulations and "realistic" stuff happening between each note right out of the box-like someone is actually playing these instruments and slurring them together via the nuances of embouchure.

In fact, each of the three collections I bought have particular instrument "noises" and "peculiarities" that make the performances that much more real sounding, and they often happen between the notes. Sometimes I have found that many of these "realistic" sounds, such as the clicking of the keys on an oboe, can make things tricky in the mixing and/or mastering. So, be careful how you E.Q. your instruments and how much verb, or what kind of verb you bathe them in. Note that those factors can amplify the peculiar sounds in an unpleasant way.

Each collection from the Vienna Symphonic Cube can be bought separately, or as part of the whole cube. My advice, when buying individual collections, is to spring a little extra dough and get the FULL Library, which comes with the complete set of articulations and single note instances for each instrument in the collection. VSL sounds can be heard and bought from Ilio at:
www.ilio.com. The VSL company site is here : www.vsl.co.at.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Who or what inspires you to create???

Whether you're creating computer
graphics and illustrations, painting on canvas, writing via novels or comics or screenplays, composing music, taking photographs, developing video games,
devising mathematical formulas, drawing a comic book, directing films, dancing, acting, cooking, playing, thinking, emoting, devising spreadsheets, writing computer code, joking, philosophising, psychoanalysing, celebrating, playing a musical instrument, crying, bumming, or just simply communicating and expressing who you are......WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE??? I'd love if you'd let me know.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Some of my current reads......

In between composing music, teaching piano and working on other creative stuff, I like to read novels and comic books. Hanging out in a favorite place and reading is a great way to spend time. Right now my reading list includes:
1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's
Stone (J.K. Rowling-Book 1)
2. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
3. The Life and Times of The Thunderbolt Kid (Bill Bryson-Memoir)
4. The Inhumans (Graphic Novel from Marvel Comics-Written by Paul Jenkins and illustrated by Jae Lee)
5. A whole stack full of other monthly comic books!

(Lamps #1 and #2-3D renderings by the talented artist Feby Delimarta. Contact her for image usages or freelance CG interior renderings at: Feby_delimarta@yahoo.com. Both images (c) 2007 by F.D. All Rights reserved. Unauthorized copying, lending or posting prohibited without the consent of the artist).

Friday, April 27, 2007

Check out the paintings of Yumiko Kayukawa.....


'Green Tea Ice Cream'

'The Entomologist'

If you don't know about her yet, you probably will in the near future. I am speaking of the brilliant painter from Japan named Yumiko Kayukawa. Mixing up pop-candy sensibilities with a dose of American Flashiness and Japanese Tradition is what this artist is great at! I feel that her work is very unique and bound for great heights. Check out her stunning work at: http://www.sweetyumiko.com/artwork.php Hope you enjoy her paintings as much as I do....HK.

Music Scoring News and Pop Culture Thoughts from Composer Hans Karl at Liquid Years Music: http://wwwhanskarlmusiccom.blogspot.com/