SETH ROLLINS: Rob Schamberger Newsletter 28MAY23
I'm your hate when you want love.
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Hi. My name's Rob Schamberger. I'm that guy who paints rasslers. And other stuff. I’m the one who took you there.
It’d been a while since I had made a wild freeform watercolor painting and Seth Rollins felt like the right fit to stretch those muscles! His current persona frees me up to do a lot visually, as he’s so over the top already.
The musical notes are inspired by how crowds around the world sing along to Seth’s entrance song and I thought they’d be a fun visual element to add to the composition. I used a white paint marker to add them in at the end, whipping around his figure like gusts of wind as he conducts the singing crowd that’s become Rollins’ trademark.
ICYMI, here's last week's Canvas 2 Canvas episode. Tomorrow's episode will go up on WWE's YouTube channel at 11AM CST!
6/11 - LA Knight
6/25 - Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn
7/9 - The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin Wrestling Landscape
7/23 - Pretty Deadly
Card subject to change.
WHAT I LIKED THIS WEEK
I read the Grendel Omnibus Volume Four: Prime by Matt Wagner, Pat McKeown, Greg Rucka and friends pretty quickly. I’d read most of this before, but it was especially great revisiting the War Child story. I think it’s my personal favorite of all the Grendel stories, a sort of futuristic Lone Wolf & Cub and the introduction of the raddest of Grendels, Grendel Prime. McKeown’s art is stellar in those issues, too. He had a lot of literal world building to do and he made all of the peoples, technologies and locales feel organic, unique and visually compelling.
Year Zero Volume Zero by Daniel Kraus and Goran Sudzuka was a real surprise. I was unfamiliar with Kraus’ work and was delighted to find out how integral he was to the George Romero Living Dead universe. He brought that to this tale of the days leading up to a zombie outbreak and the sheer humanity of it all. If that sounds familiar to the early days of the Covid-19 outbreak, it should as not only was that the impetus for the story but it was written during lockdown. But it’s also, you know, zombies. And beautifully drawn by Sudzuka, a very talented cartoonist who brings both levity and gravity to the characters and their situations.
I listened to the audiobook of The Black Echo by Michael Connelly, read by Titus Welliver while working and was sucked right in. I enjoyed the Bosch show so when I saw they did this I thought it was worth checking out. It’s a different Bosch from the one in the show, with the book set in the 90’s plus Harry’s got a mustache. No cell phones, barely an internet, but still the same empathy for the victims and distrust of the corrupted institutions he has to work within.
I had somehow missed out on the Amazon FreeVee show Jury Duty but after it was talked about on an episode of The Town podcast I jumped in. Friend, this show is AMAZING. The concept is a sort of Truman Show meets A Mighty Wind by way of Twelve Angry Men, where everyone is an actor except for one man, Randall. He thinks he’s involved in a documentary about jury duty and quickly finds himself immersed in a wild world of characters and situations. James Marsden plays an egotistical version of himself that can’t be missed. The final reveal is incredible and the thing that makes the show work is that it’s not a prank being pulled on Randall, but instead giving him options to do right or wrong and the joy that comes from him making good decisions. Really beautiful, honestly.
Friday night Katy and I watched the Marvelous Mrs Maisel series finale and golly did they stick the landing on this. The whole final season is a majestic work of art and I was honestly nervous that they wouldn’t be able to pay off everything being set up (Hello Sopranos, Battlestar Galactica and Game of Thrones) in a realistic and emotional way, but they sure did. Midge’s standup routine in the episode is perfection, doing all of the things it needed to for the character, her world, and the story being told by the series. Bravo to all involved, this is a masterpiece.
BONUS: Here’s 15 incredible live performances from the 1970’s show The Midnight Special, kicked off by David Bowie’s Space Oddity! And it’s actual live performances, not lip-synching which I personally adore. The Fleetwood Mac Rhiannon is a jaw-dropper, honestly. Also, watch for the mustache on the bongo drummer for Linda Ronstadt’s performance which is a straight-up jam.
ROCK VS AUSTIN WRESTLING LANDSCAPE PROGRESS
I started fleshing out the audience in the floor seats, largely still using thinned-out acrylic with some liquid glazing medium but also some thicker paint to get some nice vibrant colors. You can especially see it with the reds and yellows, as well as the white highlights. I’ll do more of that with the ringside photographers and cameramen, to give the piece some depth. It’ll really pop once I get to Rock and Stone Cold in the foreground. At least that’s the plan!
Here’s a picture of Kima working on two paintings at the same time. How DOES she do it? What’s her secret?
Right before launch, the big WWE Shop project hit another speed bump delaying its launch. I know, I know, I’m frustrated too. But like I keep saying, I’m experiencing all of this at a bigger scale than ever before and a lot of things need to be ironed out now so that they don’t become issues down the line. I was ready to go, Fanatics was ready, but WWE brought up some points that led to a conversation about how we can make all of this even bigger. So, I’m in negotiations with WWE to formalize our relationship in a way we never have before. Up to now I’ve had a variety of ways my company integrates with theirs that sometimes are in opposition to one another, so we need to smooth all of that out and get it all spelled out contractually. Get the right hand and left hand to know what each other are doing, so to speak.
It’s frustrating in the moment because we were about to launch, but I can see the bigger picture and understand why we need to pump the brakes and make this as big and as long-lasting as possible. That’s the ultimate goal, right? Plus, with all of the changes happening at WWE I can for sure understand why they want this all formalized and spelled-out now. My lawyer will be happy, too. I drive that poor man to drink. Or I drive to drink with him. Something like that.
Our man cat Korma’s still up and down health-wise. He maintained his weight over the past week, but his appetite and energy levels aren’t where we want them to be. He’s overall better than when he took his bad turn, but we just want our dude to be alright, y’know?
My childhood best friend Brandon reached out to let me know that his company was getting rid of their flat file cabinets and asked if I wanted any. Boy, did I! These are solid gold for artists. There were A LOT of them, so I scored two for myself, one for my friends at Art School KC, and then the art department at my alma mater Lee’s Summit High School got three of four truckloads worth! Hopefully that makes up for stealing a drawing board at the end of my senior year (it’s actually the one laying flat on the table in the picture above. Still using it.).
I’m keeping mine in my mom’s garage for the next little while, since they’re a bit big and I’m anticipating needing to get a separate space just for fulfilling orders shortly after the WWE Shop thing launches.
I’m so close to so many pieces coming together, contingent on a few things that are out of my direct control at the moment. Like, I’ve got everything in the solution that I need to form some beautiful crystals but the seed for them to build upon is hovering just above. We’re almost there, to a place we’ve only dreamed of.
Or a bowl of goo that never manifests.
Love you more,
EXCLUSIVE PAID SUBSCRIBER CONTENT
Paid subscribers this week will get an exclusive 25% off discount code for prints, 24 hour early access to the ORIGINAL SETH ROLLINS PAINTING and access to the exclusive chat. WE ARE GO FOR PAYWALL.
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