Stanley Cup and Cheesecake- Semifinals Edition

Here's the official Atom-Bomb Bikini Stanley Cup prognostications for the semifinal round...sorry it took so long to post the art, but you try explaining to a ten-month-old how important it is that you have drawings of sexy girls in hockey sweaters to accompany your playoff picks!

(1) Montreal Canadiens vs. (6) Philadelphia Flyers

I really shoulda picked the Flyers in the first round, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Like many teams before them in their first trip to the playoffs, the Capitals just couldn't match the intensity and experience of the Flyers, making several key mistakes in overtime and losing game seven. Fuckin' Caps. (More on that later)

Still, the Flyers are living on borrowed time, and will find the Habs a much tougher opponent (Montreal's troubles with Boston in round one nonwithstanding). They should consider themselves lucky if they manage to take the Canadiens to a sixth game. Canadiens in six.

(2) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (5) New York Rangers

As I was saying earlier...Fuckin' Caps! Their losing in the first round (Shoot, Ovie, SHOOT!) means that not only will the Penguins not face them in round two but a much better, much tougher (and a hell of a lot more boring) Rangers team in the second round, but also that I will not be able to go sit in a luxury box for game three or four, thanks to some of my wife's work connections. Fuckin' CAPS! Ah well, at least I won't have to watch every game on Comcast Sportsnet with their annoying announcers.

Anyhow, all I'm hearing is about how Sean Avery is gonna get the entire Pens lineup so flustered and bothered that they're gonna completely lose their shit and give the Rangers a series-long power play. Thuth is, either Jarkko Ruutu, Georges Laracque or Gary Roberts (gimpy groin and all) is gonna clean Avery's clock and that'll be the end of it. I hated...hated...the Rangers in the early 90's, when they seemed to face the Penguins in the playoffs every year and out-spent everybody else in the league, Yankees-style. In the late 90s, all that spending caught up with 'em, and they became pretty much a joke for the better part of a decade, and my ire for them kinda decreased into pity. I have a feeling by the end of the series, I'm gonna be a hater again. Penguins in six.

(1) Detroit Red Wings vs. (6) Colorado Avalanche

Man, was this ever a great rivalry back in the day...Claude Lemieux, Kris Draper...always fun to watch. I'm not sure the animosity is there to expect anything similar from this year's edition, but with as good as the Av's are playing right now, I think they could upset the Wings...especially if they can take them to six or seven games. Yeah, that's right, I picked the Avs to lose to the Wild, but now I'm picking them to beat the Red Wings. Avalanche in seven.

(2) San Jose Sharks vs. (5) Dallas Stars

The Stars made me look like a hockey genius in beating the defending champion Ducks in the first round, and I reward 'em by picking them to lose to San Jose. What can I say? I really feel like the Sharks are due, and I'm sticking by my early-season prediction of a Penguins/Sharks final. Sharks in six.


Uni Girls

Here are a few recent commissions, gained as a direct result of my recent interview on Paul Lukas' Uni Watch blog. Thanks Paul, and thanks especially to my fine, patient commissioners!

Eye Candy from Strangers

Last week I received my contributor copy of EYE CANDY FROM STRANGERS Vol. 1, the first volume of an annual collection of pinup art compiled, edited and published by the amazing Alberto Ruiz and BrandStudio Press. It's kind of like one of those "Workbook"- style illustration annuals, except it's all cheesecake, by dozens of different artists from all over the world working in dozens of different styles. It's also freakin' spectacular, and I'm jazzed, humbled and honored to be included. You can find out more and order the book (or even submit something of your own for next year's edition) at Alberto's website.

And full disclosure, just so no one gets "double-dipped"...the piece of mine that was included was the girl in the Penguins jersey from Atom-Bomb Bikini #5.






Hey, Stretch

Just workin' on some poses...


The New Pornographers LIVE!

Rock shows by the higher-profile national bands seldom come to Richmond...they usually hit Chapel Hill N.C. and skip right by our fair city on the trip up I-95 to Washington D.C. But tonight's a different story. None other than Canadian supergroup the New Pornographers are playing tonight at a newish local joint called Toad's Place, and Mrs. Chappy and I couldn't be more excited! We've actually secured a sitter and we're going out on a weeknight (I'm voluntarily missing the Penguins game, too), looking forward to what promises to be a spectacular feast for the ears (and if Neko Case is present on this tour, for the eyes as well!).

For the illustration tie-in, here's the pencil art for a commission I did for a friend several years ago of the aforementioned Neko Case...though if I had it to do over, I'd probably fix her nose a bit!


Clogged Arteries and Funny Phone Calls

This illo is from a recent Young & Hungry column in the Washington City Paper, in which the author, a food critic, confesses his love for some of the most unhealthy, lowbrow food known to man. Having the palate of a tree sloth, I can definitely sympathize...try as I might (and much to my wife's chagrin), I just can't get into the fancy food.

I colored this piece while listening to the excellent comedy phone calls of Shcarpling & Wurster. Specifically, "The Chippert Report" and "Mother 13", from "New Hope for the Ape-Eared". Definitely worth a listen.


Stanley Cup and Cheesecake 2008

My Stanley Cup Playoff picks didn't exactly set the world on fire in terms of debate and comments last April, but they were a lot of fun to do! So, here's this year's serving of hockey picks and cheesecake!

Also, I should note that my Stanley Cup Finals prediction of Sharks vs. Penguins, made on video last October as the season was just getting underway and both teams were in the tank, is looking mighty smart now, if all the experts are to be believed.

(1) Montreal Canadiens vs. (8) Boston Bruins

The Habs owned the Bruins all year, going a perfect 8-0 against them in the season series. And Montreal dominated those games, outscoring Boston 39-16. They might win a game, I can't see a way Boston avoids getting steamrolled. Which, since they're from Boston, I would find hilarious. Canadiens in five.

(2) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (7) Ottawa Senators

These teams meet again in the first round for the second straight year. Last year I underestimated the veteran Sens, and they went out and thrashed the Pens in five games on the way to the finals where they lost to the Ducks. This is a different Ottawa team, however, almost choked their way out of the playoffs entirely after an amazing start to the season. Their best player is hurt, they've got one goalie who's a nutjob and another who's not very good, and are generally going in the wrong direction. Conversely, the young Penguins have weathered their first playoffs and the disappointment that comes with losing, are finally healthy and and are getting spectacular play from netminder Marc-Andre Fleury. You'd think I would have learned some humility after picking the Pens in six last April and being completely wrong, but I'm going to fly in the face of superstition and pick the Penguins in five.

(3) Washington Capitals vs. (6) Philadelphia Flyers

This is a toughie, as both of these teams were on the outside of the playoffs looking in just a short while ago. The Capitals are flying high right now, wresting the division title from the Carolina Hurricanes in their final game of the season, while the Flyers rebounded from being the worst team in the NHL last year. Washington has all-everything superstar Alex Ovechkin, while Philly has a lot of no-names whose game plan is to break the ankles of the other teams best player. Trouble is, sometimes it actually works. I'm not gonna lie to you...I hate both these teams...but I hate the Caps a lot less, so I'm gonna pick them to win it. Capitals in seven.

(4) New Jersey Devils vs. (5) New York Rangers

If you're having trouble sleeping, why not skip the Ambien and tune into this series, which promises to be a complete snooze. Both teams have great goaltenders, play stiff, choking defence, and can't score for shit. The Rangers won seven of eight games against the Devils this season, but unlike the Canadiens/Bruins matchups, the games were very close, with several having to be decided in overtime. I give the nod to New York 'cause they have more ex-Penguins, and because they're just slightly less horrid offensively than New Jersey. Rangers in six.

(1) Detroit Red Wings vs. (8) Nashville Predators

This one might not be the cakewalk it appears to be for the Red Wings, who amassed more points than any other team this season. Nashville is in the same division as the Wings, and played them tough in eight regular-season meetings. In the end, though, I expect Detroit's star-studded lineup to win out. Also, if the Preds win, chances improve that I'll have to hear someone use the exceedingly annoying term "Nash Vegas". Red Wings in six.

(2) San Jose Sharks vs. (7) Calgary Flames

It sucks having my two favorite Western Conference teams meet up in the first round, as it means one of them will be eliminated early...but it oughta be awfully entertaining while it lasts. Cal-gary's good, but the Sharks are on an absolute tear, having won something like 19 of their last 20. I don't think the Flames can keep up. Sharks in six.

(3) Minnesota Wild vs. (6) Colorado Avalanche

The only two teams in the playoffs with singular names face off in what figures to be a pretty even series. That's what I've read, anyway...I've only seen maybe one period of a Wild or Avs game all season. I've gone back and forth several times just while writing this paragraph, but I think I'll go with the Avalanche- no, the Wild in seven.

(4) Anaheim Ducks vs. (5) Dallas Stars

I don't really care much for the Dallas Stars...in fact, I have problems with the whole concept of Texas. But I flatly refuse to draw those lameass, shitass Ducks jerseys. They actually redesigned them over the summer to fit the new RBK Edge jersey template...and this is all they came up with? Makes me nostalgic for this. Anyway, screw 'em...they're ugly. Oh, and their captain, Chris Pronger, is a turd. Stars in seven.


10k Post-Mortem

Well, obviously, I survived...it wasn't quite as great as last year, mainly 'cause it was colder and rained the entire race, but Alycia and I kept a good pace throughout and managed to run (rather than walk) the entire way. And you gotta love any scene where 30,000 people turn out to run six miles...especially when you're from Ohio, one of the fattest places on Earth. Funny thing is, I trained and followed a workout regimen for eight weeks before the run last year, and this year, I was a lot lazier (out of necessity, 'natch) and ran a mile or two and lifted weights where I could, doubting the entire time that I'd be able to make it all the way through on race day. Know what all that preparation last year was worth? Eight lousy seconds. That's right, I finished a measly eight seconds slower than last year. So much for preparation!


I'm running the Monument Avenue 10K again this morning, despite being grossly out of shape. Last year I was trying to finish in under an hour, this year I'll simply be trying not to perish. If you've been thinking about purchasing some original Ullman artwork, now might be the time to do so, as it may soon skyrocket in value!


Bendy Redux

After looking at last night's post right next to the one from the day before, I decided that the color was way too boring. So I took a few minutes and ramped up the intensity a bit. Better?