12th Level Intellects: Mar-June ’19

12th Level Intellects— the geek news podcast co-hosted by myself, Ted Kendrick, and James Strecker– is continuing steadily forward on its bi-weekly schedule with the Watchtower Database, available for listen on Apple, YouTube, and several other podcast platforms. Ironically for this batch of episodes, we lived in a world where superhero cinema received two Captain Marvel movies in one month; the Marvel Studios entry with Brie Larson and DC Entertainment’s SHAZAM!, though the character stopped using the name Captain Marvel within the last decade.

We took a swerve in topic to discuss the launch of GAME OF THRONES season 8 with my friend and GOT expert John Morse, which ended up getting one of the lowest listening counts in the podcast’s history. I suppose the audience didn’t transfer into wanting to hear us talk about GAME OF THRONES. The rest of the world didn’t seem satisfied with how season 8 ultimately played out either. After that flop of an episode, we stuck to discussing AVENGERS: ENDGAME and going through THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES episodes like the fanbase truly wants.

X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX was the final chapter in FOX’s X-MEN franchise after its acquisition by Disney, the film landed with a more expensive flop after an attempt to recreate the same storyline from X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, regarded by many to be the worst installment of the series. On a more positive note, 12th Level Intellects tried its first livestream video podcast, which went pretty well after about 15 minutes of technical difficulties, to chat about the release of the latest LEGACIES OF THE DCAU webcomic issue, “Anno Domini: Prebirth”, the first installment of stories set specifically in the canonical year of 2019 in the DCAU.

MOMHEART premiere @ The Big Fancy

The MOMHEART short film directed by The Joes and produced by Artificial Ink Creative LLC premieres at The Big Fancy event hosted by Sly Grog Lounge in Asheville, NC on Saturday, July 6th. The festival is one night only with a $10 cover, and fancy dress code, however best interpreted, for a night to be remembered.

Posted by The Joes on Friday, June 21, 2019

The Big Fancy will also feature additional short films including another recent Artificial Ink Creative project THE REPLICA RAID II, and multiple album releases by local Asheville-based bands, some of whom contributed to the MOMHEART soundtrack such as Battery Powered Hooker Boots and Mike Anderson. Other musical acts will include Half-State, Lil’ Loswer and GLitch SLap, among others.

Flier.

Posted by Battery Powered Hooker Boots on Sunday, June 23, 2019

Additional shenanigans on site at Sly Grog Lounge will include breweries, CBD farmers from Clover who will set up a Dab Tent, retailers from Griftown Screen Printing, burlesque performances from Erin Trixi and Theresa Coggiola, live record cutting by American Vinyl, and “Live Food From Scratch” by La La Diabla.

Artificial Ink @ Asheville 48HFP 2019

Artificial Ink participated in the 2019 Asheville 48 Hour Film Project, which marks the fourth year that I’ve competed, but the first year as a branded team. Artificial Ink received the genres “Sci-Fi / Road Movie”. Although the official rules say that teams only need to choose one of the genres, we decided to try both, and I think it turned out pretty darn decent given the parameters of the 48 Hour Film Project.

The images above are screenshots from the 48HFP entry entitled PHOBOS CON. The short film will be online within the next few weeks as the Director’s Cut is ultimately finalized. Personally, I am of the mind that the 48HFP reaps whatever it sows as a project, but there were a few credits snafus and edits needed before the film inevitably lands on the internet. Team Artificial Ink also had the pleasure of being featured on the local news, ABC 13 WLOS, owed primarily to Garin Wilson, the Director of Photography, who works for the broadcasting company.

Roughly twenty different films screened together for the Asheville 48 Hour Film Project, which was hosted at Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company on Merrimon Avenue. Team Artificial Ink played on Tuesday 6/25 at 10pm and Wednesday 6/26 at 7pm, which all screenings sold out per usual for the 48HFP. There was plenty of steep local competition, but I think we held our own, though the point of the event is always to gauge progress in the production process from the previous year.

Most of the team was able to attend the premiere screening, as depicted above, from the left to right: Timothy McCarthy, Lyle Henry, Jeffrey DeCristofaro, Ted Kendrick, Jeffery Ray, Whitely Albury, Zach Echols, Garin Wilson, and Joe Kendrick. The behind the scenes photographs below were all captured by Jeffrey DeCristofaro who had a minor acting role in the film as the designated character Grant MacDonald, window washer. The other elements included a line of dialogue, “This isn’t what I signed up for” and prop of “a kite”. Overall, it was another challenging but educational experience in passionate guerrilla filmmaking.

LEGACIES Special // “Prebirth”

LEGACIES OF THE DCAU returns for a special six-pager entitled “Anno Domini: Prebirth”. Anno Domini means “the year of our lord” in Latin, which informs the AD in our society’s current calendar listing. The issue was released on June 21st, 2019, which the Watchtower Database team deduced was the exact canonical date that Bruce Wayne retires from being Batman based on a BATMAN BEYOND promotional comic issue retelling the events of the cartoon’s premiere episode “Rebirth, Part 1.” The issue was pencilled by Marcelo Millicay with the cover art by Rick Celis.

“Prebirth” occurs prior to the opening scene in BATMAN BEYOND’s first episode, and reveals what Bruce Wayne was doing mere hours before his final night as Batman. Between appearances by Jim Gordon, Veronica Vreeland, and Derek Powers, the issue is ripe with Gothamites whose stories could use a little more fleshing out before the beginning of BATMAN BEYOND. The issue was an absolute pleasure for me to write, and can be read online in its entirety at the link below.

Click the cover to read “Anno Domini: Prebirth”!

This particular issue of LEGACIES had various coloring duties shared by James Strecker and Mark Daniel Martinez, lettering by myself which insures my script stays in tact, with story editing input from James Strecker and Mattie Washburn. The promo video also featured music by Adam Mullen. “Anno Domini” is the overarching title given to special issues set within the year 2019. Provided all goes to plan, expect more chapters within the “Anno Domini” arc before the year is up.

VIA Benefit Show for Girls Rock

Leading up to Saturday, June 15th, I coordinated a music video premiere and fundraising event on behalf of the band VIA. The show was hosted by the Grey Eagle in Asheville, NC as a benefit show for Girls Rock Asheville, a non-profit organization that leads a music camp for women and gender minorities.

In addition to VIA headlining and premiering their short film “Firefly” starring actress Katie Cassenti with dance choreography by Olivia Joy Harris. Other musical acts included Kathryn O’Shea, Miss Jean and the Love Cats, Moonlight Street Folk, and Rooster. I also designed the poster embedded below. Overall, the event was a great success for both VIA and Girls Rock, and I was glad to support both groups.

“Elevator Went” by Wyla // music video

In early June, Artificial Ink Creative assisted in the production of the music video “Elevator Went” by Wyla. The concept revolves around a dreamscape scenario where the band frontman Ed Madill experiences various political calls to action. The final product will have an online launch within the next few months.

The crew on the project was limited; directed by Rome Widenhouse, produced by Ted Kendrick, sound recording by Braethun Bharathae-Lane, with cameo acting roles by Erich Reinhard, Joshua King, and a host of extras who contributed to a crowd sequence. I was responsible for securing and maintaining locations, and can’t thank The Plug venue in downtown Asheville enough for their hospitality, as well as the Asheville Outdoor Special Events department for their assistance.

Ankhst @ Pop-Up Music Co-Op

Ankhst is a pop-up band which played the Pop-Up Music Co-Op at Sly Grog Lounge in Asheville, NC on June 1st, 2019. Braethun Bharathae-Lane and myself, Ted Kendrick, switched between guitar and bass for two original songs each, with Tim McCarthy on drums. I performed “Call Back Your Ghost” and “So Tell the Captain” while Braethun lead “Another No” and “High Hopes”, embedded below.

I enjoyed playing with these musicians, and hope we can again soon since there were many original songs to go around between us. The co-op also created this amazing sign which was so on brand with the ankh symbol in place of the letter T.

PBR Easy promo entry

Early in January 2019, Artificial Ink Creative participated in a promotional video contest for the classic Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. The competition asked for a 30 second character driven video highlighting the new low calorie PBR Easy beer and the lifestyle to go with it. It wasn’t always easy, but we made the promo happen.

The promo video was produced by myself, and featured Josh Weinert on skateboard, an old friend of mine that I’ve known since my days as a whitewater raft guide. Cinematography was captured by Thomas Goddard, and sound engineering by Braethun Bharathae-Lane. We didn’t win the contest, but our local PBR rep Alex Pean provided plenty of free pizza and beer to fuel the endeavor. Between that and the high quality of the piece, I think it was worth the effort.

the828.com // new articles

I’ve written a few more articles for The828.com throughout the fall and winter of 2018 into the 2019 spring. Find my most recent writings embedded below, detailing all things eat, drink and play in the 828 area code of Asheville, North Carolina.

Asheville's Cat Fly Film Festival 2019 returns with events at The Asheville Masonic Temple, New Belgium Brewing, The Mothlight, and other venues around the city.

Posted by The 828 on Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Queen Bee and the Honeylovers sing of the people and places of Asheville. Find out about the group's debut album and release party at Isis Music Hall.

Posted by The 828 on Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Local filmmakers with Night Frizz Productions are bringing a Stephen King classic to life in WNC.

Posted by The 828 on Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Asheville's Jane Kramer celebrates album release at Ambrose West.

Posted by The 828 on Monday, February 18, 2019

Crooked Ghost Skeleton House Vinyl Release Show with Crooked Ghost, Morbids, and Thresher next Monday 2/18 at The Mothlight for FREE!

Posted by Ted Kendrick on Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow at West Asheville's Beacham's Curve.

Posted by The 828 on Sunday, January 20, 2019

Join Comic Envy for the return of Asheville Comic Expo 2018! The event is back at the U.S. Cellular Center Nov. 10.

Posted by The 828 on Sunday, October 28, 2018

The articles are listed in reverse order of publication with the newest at top. The feature on the up-and-coming Beacham’s Curve development zone was the most time intensive piece of the bunch as it involved multiple interviews with various business owners in the East-West Asheville area, but a fun challenge nonetheless.

Watchtower Database at ECCC ’19

The Watchtower Database met in Seattle during Emerald City Comic Con which occurred from March 14th through the 17th. The production team involves myself Ted Kendrick, James Strecker, and Mattie Washburn. Our YouTube channel is known for its video content such as the DCAU video essays, “Vanishing Point” timeline analysis show, “12th Level Intellects” podcast, “Legacies of the DCAU” webcomic, and “Graphic Content” comic book recommendation series.

We managed to conduct several interviews with writers and artists who were all loosely creatively involved in some capacity with the DC Animated Universe, the shared world and continuity that includes the likes of BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, JUSTICE LEAUGE UNLIMITED, and STATIC SHOCK. We made connections with Will Friedle who provided the voice of Terry McGinnis, the hero of BATMAN BEYOND, which should lead to an exciting upcoming interview. Stayed tuned.

The gathering was a productive and celebratory experience, essentially a creative summit for the content creators. My wallet whined after an excessive stack of signed comics, but my heart was full from a super-charged weekend with cherished collaborators. Our series of interview videos from the convention floor are available to view on the Watchtower Database channel and embedded below.

Mattie Washburn and I met previously when he visited Asheville while based out of Savannah, Georgia at the time. He recently moved to Seattle, Washington, and served as the home base while we all met at the convention. James Strecker, who lives near Portland, Oregon, and I had never met in person before, despite being podcast co-hosts, artistic collaborators on the LEGACIES webcomic, and longtime internet friends from a history of shared comic book message boards. It was apparently a moment to document, and I recorded the video vertically like a jerk.