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News

SDCC x GR 1729 Exclusive 2 – Sparq the Baby Dragon by Flat Bonnie

We’ve known Rick and Yukari for years and it’s a pleasure to see their project grow. Giant Robot is proud to host the exclusive, Sparq the Baby Dragon. All of the Flat Bonnie pieces are handmade with impeccable craftsmanship. Their work is consistent and has a look that is obvious theirs. We’ll be doing more with Flat Bonnie sooner than you think. Watch for their participation in a group exhibition, October 4th at GR2. We’re excited.

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Music, MW, News

Blood, Muscles, Bones, Street Eaters

  Photo: Shanty Cheryl

Photo: Shanty Cheryl

Holy crap, the new Street Eaters LP is perfect. From the backwards-masked vortex that leads into “Reverse,” one is immediately sucked into a brutally even struggle between drumstick wielder Megan March and guitar killer John No–each trading animalistic vocals as they trade primal beats and post-punk riffs like heavyweight boxers trading blows. And just as there’s no time for musical filler, there’s no space for lyrical stupidity, either. The sound may be rough but the songs are smart and solid and  suitable for those of us who grew up on indie punk as well as the crusty kids that use dental floss to sew patches onto their black Army surplus jackets.

After listening to the brand-new, hand-stamped CD (that comes in a stitched jacket) for weeks nonstop, I shot over some questions to the real-life couple/post-punk pair. Naturally, they answered my queries as a duo and from the road. Can’t wait until they finally roll into SoCal next month…


Blood::Muscles::Bones is a pretty stark title. Or does science necessarily equal bleakness?
The title was intended to evoke the bare necessities of life–in a sense, cutting out all the extra baggage that holds us back. Blood, muscles, and bones are vital components of the body that are found in every part of it and are always growing, changing, and moving. That sense of movement+change is also key to understanding how we approached making this record, which is about self-preservation and survival. I’m not sure if it was intended to feel bleak; rather, strong and real. Sometimes, if you want to build yourself to a place of strength, you have to face the bleakness head-on and accept it for what it is.

That first song is a real ass kicker! Street Eaters’ sound isn’t about studio tricks in any way, but the backwards tape part is so perfect for a song called “Reverse.” Can you tell me about that?
We do like to keep things raw and intense, which is something that can totally be lost along the way with a lot of studio tricks. We recorded onto 2-inch analog tape at Buzz or Howl Studios with Stan Wright, keeping things driving, and he did an old-school board mix in the studio. Non-digital, so if we wanted to change something we’d have to set the levels and mix it all over again from scratch. We decided to do the intro for “Reverse” after the song was already recorded, and we had a minute to think about it. We basically just picked a part of the song and ran it backwards, did some wild stereo panning, and it sounded perfect. (more…)



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News

GR X SDCC – 1729 – Exclusive 1 – BABY CE by MAFIA FACTORY

I’ll be posting our Exclusives and getting them up on social media as well. Hope you don’t mind these transmissions. This collaboration is a fun one. Imagine keeping in touch with a person you’ve never met in person. That’s how our relationship with Mafia Factory in Thailand has developed. My contact there did send his friend and family to come visit me at GR2. I felt awful since they were on vacation from Thailand but the five member family seemed to enjoy the bus ride.

Is a figure, a figure when it’s put together? Are the sum of it’s parts equal to a whole? It’s a philosophical question, but in this case, it’s the parts displayed nicely like a model kit. Put it together or just wear it. It’s a concept that’s deep and thoughtful and puts figures in yet another situation. The big kicker is that it fits LEGO brand items. It’s the size of a LEGO mini figure and you can interchange parts and stick it to bricks. We’ll have 200 pieces.  sdcctoy



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News

Metro Train Ride – First Time

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It’s nice to ride a train in LA. For most of those who ride, it’s not a luxury. It’s like riding a bus. It’s more of a tool to get to work or school. But for my first ride, it was a test of sorts to see how easy, how convenient, and if it’s something I could recommend.

I rode the train from the Westside of LA to Downtown LA. It’s not a big deal, except in this city where I’ve lived my entire life, there’s been no commuter train. People have asked, “What took you so long?” The answer is easy. I have a car, and I seldom go to Downtown, and I don’t find myself near that exact stop in Culver City. I actually drove to the stop, parked, used the machine which was easy to figure out, and then got on the train. I could have just drove and beat the train anyway. It’s less about why I took it, it’s more about taking it.

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The ride is a strange sight since you’re moving smoothly on city streets without stopping at every other light, there’s no traffic, you can stare into space or into your phone, and you’re on Exposition Blvd – a street just one block away from my childhood home. A street that one doesn’t use to drive eastbound.

There was a train perhaps in the 70s and early 80s that would wake me up at 6am on the weekdays, but it was hauling gear to the warehouses and factories. These were dirty freight cars, the type that hobos would ride. When one mentions trains in West LA, I still imagine a rusted red colored car and caboose. Yet, the trains of today are electric, seemingly space age, and at the same time, typical of what I’ve seen in every other city.

The ride to downtown happened without any incident. It was fairly empty on a weekend, although once the train got into downtown the crowds got larger. A few riders smelled like they just smoked out. The same stops as freeway exits pass, Crenshaw, Western, Vermont. The Convention Center / Staples is the Pico stop, and it’s convenient for a visit to Anime Expo where I got out with a Zelda and a Power Ranger.

The ride home was just as easy. Skaters going towards Venice sat near me. An older woman going to museums got off early on. A few other commuters rode until the last stop. My first questions from the non-LA train experienced is about the cleanliness. The train is clean, it’s worth riding, and it’s fun. Perhaps I’m a tiny bit proud of LA for having even just one train connecting the Westside to Downtown.

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Art

Gathering Whispers: Edwin Ushiro Preview Images

I stopped by the studio of Edwin Ushiro and took a look at  a few pieces he had just completed. It’s hard to explain the feelings I get when I see them, but it’s nostalgia from my childhood and the minute feelings we experience in crucial moments. Somehow, Ushiro captures these like none other. It’s in the body language and facial expressions. His Gathering Whispers exhibitions begins this saturday at GR2.

EDWIN USHIRO A ghost is also a well-forgotten face. It exists as a transparent memory. A ghost is you holding onto it because i

EDWIN USHIRO A Broken Love Sonnets EDWIN USHIRO Days were about to get Better EDWIN USHIRO Dreaming of You Yesterday Dreaming of Tomorrow EDWIN USHIRO Once Beyond Reach EDWIN USHIRO Sundayanela Kuhia EDWIN USHIRO The Lifting and the Releasing EDWIN USHIRO The Makamakaole Gulch Man EDWIN USHIRO Where No One Remains Alone to Fend for Themselves (more…)



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News

Pen Magazine with New Attitude on Godzilla

I’ve been a Godzilla fan from the early days and I’m proud to be in this issue of Pen Magazine featuring the world’s beloved beast. One of the first questions from Japanese writers is about the “new” Godzilla and overall, I give it a thumbs up. I still long for the “man in suit” versions, but the newest actually works. In the end, I understand that Godzilla is cultish gone major, so making a huge Hollywood picture out of it has a difficult standard to achieve. How do you retain the old school charm and the new school needs of a modern film audience? It’s a subtle line.

I recall another question being Godzilla’s toughest foe. I chose Mothra. Imagine a moth that huge… Actually, imagine a moth that’s tiny. The weird moth dust disgusts us all. Imagine how much dust would come off of Mothra? Mothra is disgusting.

I’ll admit, I can’t read this article, so who knows what I said in it, but it’s an honor to be holding the treasured Godzilla items that I own. A vintage die-cast and a fairly modern vinyl figure.

See Pen Magazine online.

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News

Faces on a Mug (Mugs on a Mug!)

I curate art, but I don’t partake in creating it. A few friends know that I do little drawings once in a while – mostly to illustrate an idea or plan. They’re often simple doodles done in haste. After recently finding a page of little faces that I draw years ago, I posted an image and got a warm response. I decided to make a mug! I almost feel a bit of shame in showing my own drawing on a product since the artists I work with make such great things. I hope they don’t mind.

It’s $12. If you have any interest, here’s the link.

GRmug

Here’s a photo of the mug in use!

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Photos

Uglycon 2014 – Big Set of Photos

There’s near 100 photos here. So do take your time and relive Uglycon. Artists, friends, guests, and plenty of activities. We enjoyed it all. Thanks for being part, virtual or in person.

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Music, MW, News

Dinosaur Jr with Dale from the Melvins for Marshall Headphones; 7 Seconds with CH3 at The Roxy

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Holy crap, I just saw Dinosaur Jr. play a free show on a backyard porch with Dale Crover from the Melvins on drums. If you don’t get it, that’s sort of like seeing AC/DC with Jon Bonham, Metallica with Dave Lombardo, or you get the idea. Nothing against the real lineup–which rules–but this was a rad, one-time event that you had to be at. (more…)



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Art

GR2: 7/12-7/29 Gathering Whispers – a solo exhibition by Edwin Ushiro.

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Giant Robot is proud to present Gathering Whispers – a solo exhibition by Edwin Ushiro.

July 12th – July 20th, 2014

Opening Reception with the Artist: July 12, 2014, 6:30-10:00 PM

Giant Robot 2

2062 Sawtelle Boulevard

Los Angeles CA 90025

Edwin Ushiro’s work contains a sense of nostalgia even for a person who didn’t grow up in Maui. The subjects of his works will range from beautiful, warm, and comfortable. One piece will include a not-so-obvious homage to Super Sentai (like Power Rangers). Kids will be jumping out of a pick-up truck as if they’re embarking on a battle against a kaiju. A piece about a bridge built by Okinawan craftspersons encapsulates ideas of change as it has been a subject of demolition to widen a road for more traffic. Another piece features sparklers which scares off bad spirits.

While we travail through our daily activities, Ushiro’s calming nature comes through in his work and you’ll be enchanted by its ethereal look. His pieces have a look that’s all its own. It spans from drawings taken to digital manipulation, and then back to hand painting for finishing. It’s a laborious process that’s all his own.

Come celebrate Gathering Whispers at Giant Robot 2.

For more information about Edwin Ushiro, Giant Robot or anything else, please contact:

Eric Nakamura

[email protected]

310-445-9276

Twitter Instagram Facebook

About Edwin Ushiro

Edwin Ushiro’s work resonates with the echoes of his boyhood in the “slow town” of Wailuku on the Hawaiian island of Maui. In his paintings, he recalls the sun-struck days of youth, when the world was fresh and magical, but also explores the eerie folklore indigenous to dark country roads and the boundless depths of the childhood imagination. While structuring his work around the narrative tradition of “talk story” native to the Hawaiian islands, he interweaves the uncanny obake tales of his Japanese heritage. Working in a unique mixed media technique which involves laboring in ink and acrylic over sheets of Lucite printed with assemblages of his more traditional drawings and paintings, he creates reflections on the past that are luminous and nostalgic, like cherished memories burnished by the passage of time.

After earning a BFA with Honors in Illustration from Art Center College of Design, he worked in the entertainment industry as a storyboard artist, concept designer and visual consultant. More recently, he has exhibited in venues worldwide, including Villa Bottini in Italy, the Museum of Kyoto, the Portsmouth Museum of Art and the Japanese American National Museum. On August 13, Edwin will present new artwork in the HI Society exhibition at the Honolulu Museum of Art. A published monograph of his work will be released in 2014. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

About Giant Robot

Giant Robot was born as a Los Angeles-based magazine about Asian, Asian-American, and new hybrid culture in 1994. Over the past 20 years, the Giant Robot brand has expanded to include retail stores and galleries in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, a restaurant, museum and gallery exhibitions, and a popular website. Considered by many as influential in Asian Popular Culture and in pop culture circles in general, it has become an important outlet for a generation of emerging artists, several of whom have achieved mainstream success.



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News

Uglycon Event – Uglydoll Ice-bat Turns 10 and a Marriage Proposal

Uglycon 2014 Ice-bat Turns 10.

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It began years ago and now it’s back in “Phase Two.” After a few Uglycons, then a hiatus, and now completed second year in a row, the event is better than ever. It’s hard to top the madness of last years event, since it was the “Return of Uglycon” which was insanely ambitious except for an even larger endeavor this year – a secret marriage proposal hatched over messenger months ago. Nick Caruana and Kim Chadwick from Buffalo, New York made a trip last year, and became friends of Uglydoll and Giant Robot.

Uglycon began months ago, as bits and pieces of planning hatched and the chain of events for the day were planned. What worked last year? What didn’t work? The event was actually simplified, but at the same time, improved. Strange how that can happen. We removed a few events, and made sure that the ones we liked were well executed. Lastly, how would we handle Nick’s plan.

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(That’s David and Steve Guerra Enky Skulls who made the cape for Ice-Bat)

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News

Uglycon Partner Locations

The buttons, signed mini-prints, or magnets might require a purchase. They’re distributed at our partner’s discretion!

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News

Uglycon Schedule!

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News

Giant Robot Time: 6.13.14 – Game Over artwork now available!

giant robot time: 6.13.14 | art by: eddie xu

 

 

Event

 


 


Origins Plushes

Uglydoll


New and insanely cute Uglydoll plushes. Featuring Ice-Bat, Wage, Babo, and Ox!

Plush Clip Ons

Uglydoll


We have a handful of fun new clip ons to check out!

Hats

Uglydoll


Stay cool and gear up for Uglycon!

Toothbrush Holder Owl

Kikkerland


There’s no better way to replace that old grimy toothbrush holder!

Cards

Ray Young Chu


A fun alternative to the traditional, plain, and boring card.

 

 

 

 

 

GR2: Photos Game Over Art Exhibition and Game Night

By ERIC

Game Over and Game Night proved to be a fun combination at GR2. It’s where Game art, meets games and gamers! We have to thank Kyoto Wild, The Pack, and Scratch Race!

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2015 Sawtelle Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90025

2062 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

 

    

 

 



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News

Uglycon June 21 – Some Image Leaks

Uglycon will be next week and we’re working on the bits and pieces of the exhibition and associated events. The images you see here might all be for nothing. We might change everything in the next week, etc. But we’re up to some of the same “tricks” as last year and it should be fun.

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