Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gamma-Ray Productions Presents:

...Itself as my new Flickr screen name!

I feel that I should explain this. So that's what this post is about: My new, more professional name.

Gamma-Ray Productions originated as the banner for a small, random comic strip that my father, his friends, and myself used to draw/write. My father and his friend James Brunton (who now lives in Calgary and only returns for Winter) originally did the comic themselves when they were younger. One day, while at a co-owned gallery on Somerset Street, I decided to draw exactly what is shown below:

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While today it appears to be a residence, it was once owned by my dad and James and called 'Gamma-Ray Productions.' Basically it was a tiny, one-room art gallery that showcased paintings as well as many other types of artwork (including bowls of the oddest substances once displayed on a table in the front window). It hosted artshows and attracted local painters and other artists. It was kind of an odd little building. Basically it was a long, narrow room with a counter and sink at one end, behind which was a back office and a bathroom. The bathroom itself contained a back door. There was a large door in the floor that led to the basement. I was only nine when the gallery was in operation.

So one day I drew that picture of the front of the building seen from across the street. James came into the back room and saw it, and then suggested something else: he started drawing intersecting lines with a banner at the top and a title in the middle. Then he inserted drawings and simple text. There was our comic. At the top he'd written "Gamma-Ray Productions Presents:" and in the middle, the title. I can't remember what our first title was, but it had something to do with Art. I remember 'art' being in the title somewhere. "Art is Expressive?" Art is something, I remember that. That was the first time I contributed to producing under that name.

These comics rarely had a plot or storyline. Most of the time it was just a random drawing with words in it. Mostly the title of the comic would evoke a theme and most of the pictures would be related to it somehow. There was one we did a long time ago titled 'Busy Signal.'

One of the last comics I started, a few years ago. Unfortunately, any others we did are either lost or not in my possession. This was what a standard page looked like.

We would do these comics all the time back then. Between the ages of nine and maybe thirteen I helped produce some interesting material. They were vibrantly colored, diverse, and spontaneous in storytelling, seeing as almost each box had a different story to it.

The name 'Gamma-Ray' Productions goes back further than that though. I'm sure it was around since before I was born. My father has some big rectangular canvasses with the name on it and there was a big wooden sign that was used on the front of the building. Today it resides in my dad's basement.

While I no longer write/draw comics, and while my dad and James no longer own the 'gallery' on Somerset, and while James isn't even living here anymore, I still credit anything I produce with that name. It doesn't mean anything. It's not a trademark or an official name, it's not incorporated. It's not really anything at all. It's just a name my dad or his friends came up with that we like to produce things under, because it's fun and it's like it is a real trademark or company or something like that. I had a T-shirt with the logo on it. At some point when we had the gallery, we had a few shirts made up. The logo always had a miniature Saturn-like planet under the 'M' in Gamma. Unfortunately my shirt was lost to my father who probably threw it out because it was old and stained light pink (I mixed it up with red shorts in the laundry) and it had just been around for awhile. I can be seen in my Flickr photos wearing the shirt a few times.

That's why today I've decided to change my screen name to Gamma-Ray Productions. Because while it's not exactly in its heyday anymore (in the form of a working art gallery and comic-strip) it still lives on in the things that we produce. It was created a long time ago. The name still exists today. And I think that I should help in keeping it common, for it to not be forgotten. Hey, if someday I do well and sell screenplays that make huge hits and release bestsellers, then I will continue to trumpet that name in that context. I like it. I think it's cool and fun to use and it's good to keep something going that the original generation started. Another thing I'm interested in is having an archival facility, since in all respects keeping records is a crazy habit of mine. The Gamma-Ray name would be in that too.

Besides, my original screen name was too boring and obvious. The name 'Gamma-Ray Productions' makes it more interesting, more professional-sounding, and more different. And I will be the one to carry the name on. With that, you'll see any video I produce with that label on it. It won't be located on photos, because I'd rather not spend too much time having to watermark them, and the screen name will be enough to serve the purpose. In the unlikely event that I paint, if they were to be exhibited they'd be exhibited under that name. Any media I produce will be related to it.

Gamma-Ray Productions will live on, I hope, in both the abstract sense and the practical sense.

-Justin C.

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