Simpsons Style Self Portrait

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Fiddling around a bit with the Simpsons character creator. Give it a shot and see what other characters you can make.

Posted by Batalla at 5:37 PM 1 comments  

Side Project

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Although I'm no longer getting paid to write an opinion column, I feel it's still necessary that I don't give up the practice. I point you towards The Bloggles Do Nothing! This blog will remain as a type of online portfolio while the Bloggles will be geared towards reporting and opining on geek-related news. I also plan on expanding Bloggles to other contributors willing to add their own commentary on such subject matter.

Posted by Batalla at 11:44 PM 0 comments  

Titan Sting Fast Trailer

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Here's a trailer for "The Titan Sting." To date it's still one of the best projects I've had the opportunity of working on. Hopefully, the DVDs will be finished soon. It's a film that begs for repeated viewing.

Posted by Batalla at 8:59 PM 0 comments  

Between Meme and You

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I figure this little meme should suffice while I'm in a drought of new material to post. Plus, it's a chance to share a bit about myself.

1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Here are my random eight:

1. I always pop down all the buttons on the surface of fountain drink covers.
2. When I was a kid, one of my cousins pushed me off a coffee table and I dislocated my right arm. It didn't get set properly so the range of motion is ever so slightly different than my left arm.
3. Seeing all the earthworms on the ground after it rains creeps me out.
4. My seventh grade photo day was the same day my dog gave birth to six puppies.
5. I still don't own a portable digital music player.
6. I understand tagalog but don't really speak it anymore, so I imagine that a person observing me talk to one my relatives is reminded of the way Han and Chewbacca communicate with each other.
7. I sleep in the same clothes I wear throughout the day.
8. I can make burping noises just by moving my tongue.

I guess I'll bring Simon, J, Molly, and Adriana into this.

Posted by Batalla at 10:01 AM 0 comments  

Daily Nexus Staff Portraits

Thursday, June 07, 2007

It's been a tradition at the Daily Nexus for one of the artists to draw the staff. With so many people working at the Nexus at any given time, the list is usually whittled down to the two dozen or so editors found in the staff box. Even with the relatively smaller amount of people to draw, it's still pretty tough to compose a drawing like that. Then it's time to pick a theme. This year's is Kingdom Hearts while last year's was X-Men. Then a little research has to be done in order to come up with cartoon versions of the staff. Add in the time and effort it takes to draw, ink, scan, and touch up the piece, and you've got yourself a good week's worth of work at minimum. As draining as the entire process can be, the reactions are always worth it. Especially after seeing the drawing end up on shirt that the staff and I can wear.

Posted by Batalla at 11:18 PM 1 comments  

Final Daily Nexus Art

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

After four years, it's finally time that I take leave of the Daily Nexus. As much as I want to move on to other prospects, I can't ignore the amount of time I've put into that job. It'll probably take a couple weeks before I get used to drawing under different conditions. I'm just glad that I'll be leaving the art desk in good hands.

The Mark Side of UCSB: Campus World Filled with Prospects

Monday, June 04, 2007

I signed up to be a columnist this year on a whim. My primary job has always been to illustrate the opinion articles, but I figured I would give writing them shot. With columnist topics about politics, pop culture, fashion, technology, California, marijuana, sex, parties and whatever it is Zach Phillips writes each week, I figured there wasn’t much left for me to cover.

That’s why I was all the more surprised at finding a niche by writing about my perspective on the campus. Looking back at the year I can honestly say I’m pleased with how things have gone with my column. I’ve written about phony activists, over-reactionary “town hall” meetings, exploits in the academic grading system and the inept student government. But I’ve also written on serious issues like crashing campus events, the annual power outages and gaming tournaments that finally get those shut in gamers out of their rooms.

So what exactly have I taken from my experiences? First of all, it’s easy to become jaded about our surroundings. Let me go back to student activists. It isn’t so much the causes they represent or their effectiveness in “raising awareness,” it’s that there are just so many things that we as students need to -or more appropriately should - care about. If it isn’t a hunger strike, it’s a rally from Cheadle Hall to Storke Plaza, or a sit-in at the Pardall tunnel, or a festival in Isla Vista or some dumbass recruiter that steps in the path of a moving skateboard in order to hand out a flyer. I’ve met my fair share of confrontational protesters and spineless schemers. Both are equally irritating in their attempts to convince you that their views are correct and disagreeing makes you a horrible person. This saturation of causes and annoying activists contributes to student apathy. I’ve personally stopped caring because I’ve come across enough activists that complain how the Nexus doesn’t properly acknowledge their “accomplishments.” It’s gotten to a point where I can no longer get any more jaded and instead laugh at these futile attempts to change the world. You know how I can tell your hunger strike isn’t working? The Weatherhuman makes fun of your weight and I can see the validity of that insult.

When it all comes down to it, everybody wants to make a change and be remembered for something. We need to have our existence validated by somehow making a difference. But there lies another problem. What many of us do during our time here won’t have that much of an effect on anyone else. Even if it does, in five years, neither you nor your actions will be remembered. It doesn’t matter if you’re a misguided freshman or a 28-year-old transfer student.

The next thing I learned is that there are just so many things happening in the Santa Barbara area at any given moment. If one were to take into account all the Nexus news reports, opinion articles, sports stories and Artsweek reviews, they still only manage to cover a portion of events that occur every day. Just take a look at the campus calendar at the university’s website and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

It’s this particular lesson that I hope all of you took away from my column. As much as I ragged on about particular topics over the year, UCSB has time and again proven to be one of the most exciting places I have ever lived. Pirate, Professor Brannigan, Kip Fulbeck Smitty and Hookah Mike are just a small sampling of the interesting personalities you’ll find around here. I’ve attended and participated in events like Anacruzapalooza, Reel Loud, the GŸnther concert, Fifty Club and Nexus/A.S. Beerlympics. The best part is that some of the most interesting people and events I’ve come across have happened seemingly at random. The point being that you’d be hard pressed to ever find yourself bored on the couch.

How much time do you dedicate to class, work, activism, sports and leisure? It’s ultimately up to you to make that choice. Just make sure you don’t have any regrets when it’s time to finally leave for the real world. It comes at you faster than you think - and I’ve been here for five years.

Daily Nexus columnist Mark Batalla highly recommends the five-year plan for everyone.

And here's the art from my successor, Simon Estrada:

Easy Rider: Students Vie with Viral Videos

Given the chance and $1,200, would you be able to come up with a two to five minute long viral video that promotes the Harley-Davidson brand and lifestyle to our generation? That’s the challenge that awaited students this quarter when the Film & Media Studies Dept. partnered with Harley-Davidson for the FLMST 118 workshop in viral video-making.

Ten videos were made and each short offers something different for the viewer. “The New Breed” goes for a hip, contemporary espionage feel a la “Alias.” “Kid’s Play” presents endearing puppy love at the playground. “Expedition Harley: Tracking the Beast” deals with a safari hunt for the elusive Harley beast. “Harleys in tha Hood” is mini-documentary on urban hog riders from Los Angeles. However, the most viral among the group are “Invisible Harleys: A Mario Kart Parody,” “Biker Babes” and “Ode to the Money Shot.” These three videos stick out and beg for repeated viewing. Michael Figge and Jess Riegel’s “Invisible Harleys” uses some creative animation techniques in order to replicate the absurd nature of the classic Super Nintendo game. Laura Jean Bransky’s “Biker Babes” defies any means of conventional explanation with its bikini-clad babes, dancing robots and leapfrogging snorkelers. Jordan Harris and Matt Freund’s “Ode” pulls off a one-man show suggestive of recent Eddie Murphy films.

Go to the film & media studies website and vote for your favorite. With your help, one of these films will have a chance of winning $5,000 from Harley-Davidson and possible development as online content for the company.

Posted by Batalla at 7:26 PM 0 comments