Thursday, December 31, 2015

Eimer's Worst Movie Experiences of 2015


Although it was a great year for movies in 2015, I did come across some not-so-good ones in the batch. So, with that, I'll start with a poem:

Below are the duds ...
The turds. The failures, flops and busts. 
The worsts. The washouts, lemons and mutts. 
The dumbest, stupidest films that flashed before my eyes. 
The two hours plus that I'll never get back alive. 

Enjoy the following (in no particular order), compliments of my evil movie-going doppelgänger Twitter feed: One-Sentence Movie Review

Get Hard

The Giver

Before I Go To Sleep

Men, Women & Children


The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

Dumb and Dumber To


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 & 2

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day


Monday, December 28, 2015

Eimer's Best Reads of 2015


For whatever reason, I didn't read a lot of books this year. Boo freaking hoo, right? But, I did manage to squeeze out ten fantastic reads that I did, in fact, enjoy immensely.

Have a looksee won't you. I should note that most of these books weren't published in 2015 (with the exception to Mr. Clive Barker).

That said, I'm looking forward to a 2016 of more reading, more creativity and more cartoons. So wish me luck. In the meantime, please enjoy the list (with links to Amazon in case you want to purchase):

The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner
Buettner travels around the world from village to village interviewing these pockets areas where people live past 100 years old. The book is filled with a lot of great stories from fellow centenarians as well as tips and tactics to get you to 100 years old as well. So, what's the secret to longevity? Pretty much everything that you know you should be doing, but aren't doing it right now. (drinking more water, eating better, no meat, exercise, etc. etc.) Still it's a quick, entertaining read that will motivate you to do at least a little something to increase your chances at an extended life.

You're Next by Greg Hurwitz
Great suspense thriller. I couldn't put this book down. Hurwitz creates some interesting characters (both good and bad) and a creative plot, which moves along at rapid-fire speed. Again, very interesting storyline that had me guessing all the way until the end.  And, if you have kids, a couple very heart-breaking scenes that will crush the faint of heart. Not to be confused with the crappy home-invasion movie of the same name. But, that said, for some reason I tossed this into my book queue, which usually means that it's going to be made into some sort of movie or TV series. We will see.

When Advertising Tried Harder by Lawrence Dobrow
Good inspiration for all of those copywriters and art directors out there. Sure, the ideas are a bit dated, but the inspiration is totally there. I was completely motivated by this book. In fact, it empowered me to try to create something new, something fresh and something different at my current job. And it worked! If you're in the industry, you'll love the history and the stories behind some of the first, initial ground-breaking ad work. This is a great companion piece to Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull. Two different roads to creative excellence.

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley
Very creative interesting sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, horror, thriller mash-up. Reminded me of a mix between HARRY POTTER meets MEN IN BLACK meets X-MEN - all told through a female heroine protagonist's point of view (or should I say two?) Extremely creative writing. Keeping track of the timeline really had to mess with O'Malley's mind, because he weaves this complicated story nicely. One fault, and a minor peace of criticism, was the James Bond-ish ending when the villain explains why he/she did it - while the main protagonist plots their escape. That said, don't let that little piece of negativity stop you from reading this book. Looking forward to checking out the second. Thumbs up all the way!

The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle
Had a chance to see T.C. Boyle do a reading in Ohio and was embarrassed when I realized I hadn't read any of his books. So, I picked up this on based on a recommendation from a friend (World's End is coming up). It's very bleak, dark book about California, droughts, illegal immigration and the haves and the have nots of our society. Boyle splits his story between an illegal immigrant who recently crossed the border struggling to survive as well as a well-to-do family living in a suburban, gated community in the California hills. It all starts with a car accident, then spins into a nicely woven, well-written story. Funny this book came out in 1995 because it's hitting on a lot of hot topics that are happening today in California that you currently see in the news. By no means is it a happy book, but it's an important one nonetheless.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children By Ransom Riggs
Very interesting, creative book. I read that Tim Burton was taking the directorial reins for the film version, which piqued my interest. This is right up Burton's alley with an outcast boy that's catapulted into crazy worlds, fantastical creatures, amazing lands and, of course, peculiar children. Looking forward to delving into the rest of the author's world as the kids track down ... oh, I'm getting a bit ahead of myself now aren't I? Very surprisingly good read.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
A boy crashes in a plane in Canada with only his hatchet to survive in the wild. Great quick read. Reminded me of the movie CASTAWAY, but for teens. Perfect young adult book for adventurous, outdoor-loving kids of all ages. You may even pick up some help if (and when) you ever get lost out in the wild. Check 'er out.

The Witches by Roald Dahl
Great book. Dahl loves to toe the political correctness line between wholesome and horrific and I love every minute of it. This is a perfect example of writing from the heart and not writing for everyone. My kids are eating up these books, which is why I'm revisiting these tasty little poisoned candies once again. Check it out. Fun quick read for young and old readers!

The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker
Barker enters familiar territory in this final(?) look at the world's most famous Hellraiser - Pinhead. As a fan of the author for 30+ years, I respect Barker's vivid, creative mind and storytelling ability. This book does not disappoint as he follows a band of misfits including a detective, a clairvoyant and other miscreants who toe line between good and evil who have a run-in with the fearsome cenobite, with disturbingly bloody results. From the first chapter, you know you're heading down a very dark road that will eventually take you into the bowels of hell. Great writing. Unique plot. Just a good solid unique work of horror fiction. Warning: this book is not for the squeamish. You've been warned, so be prepared.

Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
Another Dahl Classic. Just a fun read from start to finish, with a very quirky storyline that wouldn't have passed the PC police in today's time. You have to admire Dahl's go for broke writing style with no inhibitions whatsoever. I envy the guy. But in a good way. Enjoy!

Other Top Reads From Year's Past:

Friday, October 23, 2015

Eimertoons - Work Stuff

Boss: "Hey Brad, can you draw a can of SPAM, Gene Simmons fan in a casket and a girl riding an ostrich in less than an hour for a pitch on Monday morning?"

Me: "No problem!"

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

12 Inspiring Books About The Creative Process

Based on some sound advice from copyranter, I picked up an advertising book called ‘When Advertising Tried Harder: The Sixties: The Golden Age of American Advertising’ by Lawrence Dobrow. The book is good. It highlights the exact moment when the ad agency as you know it today formed … a creative director, a copywriter and an art director working in unison to create great ideas in both form and function that answers to the goddamn brief (most of the time).

The book inspired me! My next idea (which I cannot share right now due to legal mumbo jumbo) pushed the creative bar. Working with a talented team of writers and designers, we pulled off the impossible, and put together a half-decent ad concept, which spawned an entire look and feel for the website, printed collaterals, emails, and banner ads. Yay!

I wanted to pay it forward by sharing 12 books that have catapulted my occipital cortex to creative greatness; 12 books that talk about the turmoil, the struggle, and the internal strife that affects every creative person. The creative process. The damned, gut-wrenching, glorious creative process.

Whether you’re a writer, actor, designer, painter, Lego builder, cartoonist, bartender, or even a garbage man—I'm certain you'll get some tiny creative nuggets from each of these books that will inspire, or reaffirm, the way that you approach a new creative concept. (Complete with links to

King gets personal with some tidbits about his life, his drug addiction and his accident (which almost killed him)—complete with some nuggets about his creative process and how he hates when people use adverbs.
Through these essays, Bradbury weaves little tidbits of his personal life combined with diligent practices that he used to transformed himself into one of the best short storytellers in the biz.

You know what I hate? Books written by successful businessmen that talk about their successes and never about their failures. Catmull, one of the founders of Pixar and the current President of Pixar animation and Walt Disney Animation Studios, does the exact opposite. This book is filled with failures, mistakes, blunders and the like that happened to Pixar.

Many of you millennials may not know William Goldman. At the time, he was the hottest screenwriter in Hollywood as well as a respected and published author. Here, check out his Wikipedia entry if you don’t believe me. In any event, Goldman talks about the industry, his process, his successes and, more importantly, his failures. He even shows you how he goes about adapting his own short story into a screenplay. If you like this, then you should also check out his follow-up, Which Lie Did I Tell? MoreAdventures In the Screen Trade.

I read this book about 16 years ago and it still resonates with me to this day. Corman talks about his creative process and his go-for-broke film-making style. He’s like a film-making MacGyver, figuring out how to use all the pieces and parts of his films to make money--with great back stories about his films.

You may not think you’re going to get anything out of this book, but you will. Creatively, Stern pushed the bar in his industry so much that he had to invent the rules in order to break them. Lots of good stuff here that will motivate you to shoot for the moon - and hopefully land among the stars.

Callahan became a quadriplegic after an auto accident when he was 21. After that, he transformed his angst into cartoon form – with extremely controversial results. Personally, I thought they were funny. But, a lot of people didn't share my same feelings. This memoir that talks about how he vanquished his inhibitions and just drew whatever morbid muse sparked his fancy.

Chuck has an ego, but that’s okay. He also has a bit of a chip on his shoulder. Again, okay. After you read this memoir, you’ll understand a bit more about this ultra-creative man who dreamed up most of the Looney Tunes characters you’ve grown to love. There are tons and tons of entertaining stories on his successes, failures and battles with the powers that be - not to mention basic office life at Warner Brothers studios. Highly recommended.

This is a blow-by-blow history of Mad Magazine including stories from the usual gang of idiots who contributed to the inspirational, best-selling magazine of my youth. Great stories about editor Harvey Kurtzman and eccentric publisher William Gaines (who also created the oft-repeated, never duplicated Tales from the Crypt series).

Just some great inside stories from the cast, crew, directors, guest stars and writers. In addition to the history of the show, you get a first-person account (from the creative people themselves) on the entire creative process, how skits are written,  how they're chosen and, finally, how they’re performed, etc - with backstories galore. Sadly, Eddie Murphy refused to be interviewed for the book (asshole).

Just an inspirational story about how a budding filmmaker made his own path and put together some dough to make a small movie for a small Mexican market and how it just exploded. Rodriguez goes through everything here from how he sold his body to medicine for production money, to his screenwriting process, all the way to filming and post-production – and finally instant success. It’s a road with a lot of bombs, failures and potholes, which I love to read about.

If you're a fan of STAR WARS, or a fan of the film-making process, you'll love this book. It's a long book with very small text. But it kept my enthralled from beginning to end. Great behind the scenes pics and inside scoops on the heartbreak, the triumph and the creativity that was poured into this film. This is the definitive book on one of the most important movies of all time. Highly recommended.

So, now it's your turn. Do you have any recommendations that aren't on this list?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Top Ten 2015 Fall Movies I Would Kill Someone To See

Well, I don't think I would actually kill someone, but just trying to snag some attention from the SEO spider robots out there.

In any event, I like Autumn. Like. But I fucking love Fall Movies. After scanning Rotten Tomatoes, reading Entertainment Weekly and listening to the scuttlebutt around the office (there are a lot of Millennials here), I've compiled a list of my Top Ten Anticipated Movies that myself, and my beer-drinking jacket, will attend.

Oh, haven't I ever told you about my beer-drinking jacket? Well, since most theaters in my area don't serve alcohol, I have this old black pea coat that I've had for about 12 years. But what makes this pea coat extra awesome it that I purposely ripped out the internal seams so I can easily and stealthily fill it with about four or five cold cans of beer. I can pass keenest ticket takers in the industry with this kick-ass jacket. Some may call me an alcoholic. But I look at myself as a precocious, forward thinker.

But, first the (not-really) Autumn (but not-really) Summer Movie I Would Kill to see:

Everest (Sept. 18)
All-star cast. Death and drama during the deadliest night on Earth's highest mountain in 1996 ... maybe I'll take the kids :)

And, here's the the Autumn 2015 list:

The Martian (Oct. 2)
I thought the Andy Weir book was highly enjoyable. I have full confidence that Master Director Ridley Scott will knock this film adaptation out of the park.

Steve Jobs (Oct. 9)
Academy-award winner Danny Boyle works with Michael Fassbender as Jobs in hopes of eclipsing the disappointing 2013 film that starred Asthon Kutcher. Won't be too hard.

Beasts of No Nation (Oct. 16)
The dude who directed the first True Detective. The good one. Cary Fukunaga. Netflix world-wild distribution. Gritty African Civil War. Mercenary Fighters. Sold.

Crimson Peak (Oct. 16)
Like a little freaking fan boy, I always get excited when Guillermo Del Toro gets behind the camera (Hellboy, Pacific Rim, Pan’s Labyrinth) – let alone behind the camera of a horror movie in which he created the story and the screenplay.

Spectre (Nov. 6)
I’m not a big Bond fan. But I’m intrigued by what Academy-Award winning director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Skyfall) and new cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema (Interstellar, Le the Right One In, Her) can whip up.

The Good Dinosaur (Nov. 25)
After the success of Inside Out, Pixar goes for a two-fecta in the same year. Trailer looks amazing. Looks like a mixture between Ice Age and Disney’s Dinosaurs, but better.

In The Heart of the Sea (Dec. 11)
I’m a sucker for stories involving bodies of water and some sort of disaster and/or crazy creature (i.e. Jaws, Lake Placid, All is Lost, The Perfect Storm) – especially if said film has both a disaster and a crazy creature, and was supposed to be the true inspiration for the book Moby Dick

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Dec. 18)

The Hateful Eight (Dec. 25)
Quentin Tarantino brings Reservoir Dogs to the Wild West. Saddle up!

The Revenant (Dec. 25)
The Academy-Award winning director of Birdman. Leonardo DiCaprio. Kick-ass cinematography. Revenge drama set during 1820. Oh, and a bear attack. Yes, please.

Did I miss any favorites on your list? Well, I don't care. If you see me and my pea coat in full glory at one of the above movies, be sure to tap me on the shoulder for a lukewarm one on me.

See you at the theater!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Anatomy of an Eimertoon - Floism

About a year, or so, ago, our Creative Director asked us to put our illustration/design talents to the test and create some sort of illustration highlighting a Floism - a popular saying from a Progressive Flo Ad.

Well, I chose "I'll Get You A Rental Car" from the following Flo Spot titled 'Chick Flick' which pokes a little bit of fun at the famous rain-soaked scene in 'The Notebook' :

I had an idea that Flo was doing this all the time ... just showing up at different catastrophes around the country and getting people rental cars. I just thought about the different types of accidents people would get into - and then added a little diversity and locales.

I did a rough sketch ... mapping out how this poster could possibly flow (no pun intended). Truthfully, this came together pretty easy after I figured out the five other scenes.

After laying this out, I thought it would be a better idea to highlight the other 'accident's' first and then end the illustration with the shot of Flo standing in the rain with the handsome guy (as seen in the spot above).

And Voila! After a couple of rough drafts (which I can't seem to locate now) I came up with this final drawing, which is proudly hanging in our media room at Campus 2 ...

(click image to enlarge)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Georgia Appalachian Trail Trip - 2015

99% Humidity. Close to 80 miles in five days. Lost about 10 pounds. It was a brutal hike of the Georgia AT. The type of hike that you wish was over, then - two days later - you wish you were back out there, sweating and suffering once again.

If I could do it over, I would have done less miles, increased our overall days, and would have either tried to achieve this in May/Early June or October. Backpacking in Georgia in August is plain insane. But, we did it. And it took me a couple weeks to heal.

In any event, my good buddy and hiking partner Shuan put together this video for your viewing enjoyment. It's about six minutes long, but it's worth a look-see - especially if you're considering this hike. Enjoy.

Also, if you're really interested, check out my Flickr Account to view more hiking pics.

Hiking 2015: AT - NC Border to Georgia

Monday, August 17, 2015

Space Elevator! I called it ... sort of.

So I was browsing DrudgeReport for my daily right-wing news (don't worry, I also visit CNN for the left) and came upon this article via The Telegraph.

It talks about a patent that has been granted to a Canadian firm for a ‘space elevator’ which will shoot cargo 12.4 miles into the stratosphere from where it can be launched more easily.

Holy shit, right?

Look, I know it's been discussed before by Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, but I wrote this post way back in 2007 talking about the SAME, EXACT THING. Looks like my thought process is seven years ahead of the current time continuum.

Eat yer heart out Michio Kaku. 

If you're a space geek, this is exciting news, because it bring us regular folk one step closer to having  a chance to be a space tourist, and possibly see all those aliens that are flying around checking us out and stopping our war-like behavior as well.

Yes, this is a post giving myself a pat on the back, because it justifies that these posts are all for nought.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Run to the ... woods!

So, every year for about as many years as I can remember, I head out with a group of guys on a hiking/backpacking excursion.

This year, there were a couple options tossed into the fray:

- Knobstone Ridge Trail in Indiana (56 miles)
- Back to the Adirondacks for three days of day-hikes and cabin drinking at night (? miles)
- Appalachian Trail - NC Border to Mount Springer, Georgia (80 miles)

Welp, everyone voted for option 3. I gulped. Truth be told, I always have a little anxiety before these trips. I mean, yes, they're fun adventurous trips that are filled with new sights and new sounds every single day. But, for some reason this year's trip has me more anxious than normal.

First off, these trips require a lot of stamina, a lot of dedication, a lot of muscles, a lot of confidence and mental fortitude.

This ain't your normal trip to the beach. If it was easy, everyone would do it. KnowwhatI'msayin?

I think one of the reasons for my worry is the distance.

My first Appalachian Trail in Virginia way back in the early 2000's consisted of 36 miles in 3 days, and 3 nights for an average of about 12 miles per day. Not too shabby.

Last year, we upped the ante to 60 miles in 4 days in the Smoky Mountains for an average of about 15 miles per day.

To complete this year's quest, we'll need to average 15+ miles a day. We must do this to get out by Friday/Early Saturday.

Another worry, we're not getting any younger. Look by no means do I consider myself a geriatric. But, the median average for the guys is 42.8 years old - with the youngest dude a nimble 37.

Typically, after we tackle our first taste of elevation, the ages go out the window, the anxiety wears off, and the survival instincts start to kick in . And boy, do we have a doozy this time around. We're going up, straight up about 2,000 feet in four miles.

That should get the heart pumping. No worries, indeed.

While I'm here, I have to tip my hat to these four gents who are taking bonafide vacation days away from their family, away from their jobs, to join me on this 5-day excursion.

It takes a different type of cat to want to do this type of thing. It's a big commitment, but there are going to be a ton of memories and a ton of photos to share from this awesome adventure.

What's that you hear? Is that the cry of the West for next year? You better, you better, you bet. But, I digress. Let's first focus on the task at hand. See you on the mountain!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hidden Treasure Trove of Past Eimer Editorials

So, sometimes, I like to Google my name and see what comes up.

Hey! It's not a narcissistic past time at all (well, sorta), but more of a litmus test to ensure there's plenty of positive and not a lot of negative when people are looking you up online.

I try to tell this to all of the new graduates I come across who are looking for a job.

Google yourself and get rid of the negative shit. It's easy. And it's important. I mean, I wouldn't want a prospective employer to come across this picture of me on my honeymoon. (Well, in hindsight, I guess linking to said picture on an open blog is not going to help my employment opportunities, either.)

But I digress.

So, I was Googling myself and came across a link on Google that contained scanned-in newspapers from Westland News circa 2004. I started browsing and came across three editorials that I wrote for the newspaper at the time. Despite some type-os (damn you, editors!!), they're pretty entertaining reads. They brought back some very fond memories of the Suburban News Publication news crew.

During that time, I didn't make much money, but boy did I have fun writing and collaborating with a smart, talented and well-educated team.

So, without further adieu, please enjoy my SNP editorials covering a Canadian fishing trip, javelin in Ohio and deer hunting (and enjoy the good-looking youthful face, by the way):