CITY OF GOLD

finally new work again. feels great. as i’ve been saying to my friends that ever since finishing the astrology book, i feel like starting my whole life anew. part of this is redefining my stance to art and illustration. somehow the ultimate test and opportunity came along through an inspiring ‘call for entry’ by STERZ, an austrian literature magazine …

we have my ‘old’ style handing over to my ‘new’ style here in this surreal double-spread clash of filmic imagery. colours are not longer needed, at least for the time being. the ink layer and tracing paper (which always reminded me of condoms for some mad reason) are now gone as well, freeing up more time and thus lessening my karmic burden, i guess. what’s left is a more thorough and sensual treatment of lines into the actual matter of paper.

as to the story, i originally had the idea of contrasting an unredeemably depraved babylon with a ‘golden city of jerusalem’ from scriptures. and then there was the association with a woman being like a city, in a way (again we have babylon there and also frank miller/ willl eisner’s ‘spirit’ which also references such gnostic metaphors). it all went from there. hope you like and feel inspired. there’s plenty to look at and to discover for those who are looking and able to see :)

london, autumn 2011

STILL LIFE II

after having been working on and off for the past 3 years on this, i’ve managed to finish the second series of 52 episodes. the drawing and colouring bit was quite a lot of work (graphic novel, grrr) – but in the end, a seriously beautiful book came into being —> STILL LIFE <— containing both the first and the second series (making it therefore quite a ‘large’ compendium, arching over 10 of my years in total) …

—> from ocober 2010 also running at ELECTROCOMICS

here are a few sample strips of the new series. hope you enjoy =)

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reinhard schleining
© 2007 – 2010, all rights reserved

THE COOL

(invited pitch for atlantic records to promote the new album by LUPE FIASCO as a graphic novel / game ‘sitelette’).

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CONCEPT:

From amongst all the characters, features and scenes within the world of THE COOL, there is one detail, one element of the story, which I felt has an extraordinarily powerful potential, conceptually and emotionally. I thought it could serve as the red thread, ‘the key’ if you will, on which we can build the whole purpose and incentive of our game:

It is THE LETTER, written by MICHAEL YOUNG HISTORY’s eight-year-old sister.

By arranging three different episodes, on two pages of graphic novel narrative each, we have THE LETTER prominently featured as the pivotal mystery of the underlying story. Both LUPE FIASCO and THE STREETS are continuously trying to get hold of it (although for obviously completely different reasons). Its content, the innocent writings of merely a little girl, wield a power none of the evil forces will ever be able to content with. It is brimming of genuine, unconditional LOVE.

Each of the three scenes ends on a question related to THE LETTER and the successful answers results in various payoffs (perhaps also the access code to be able to continue the story). For the last one, whose correct answer is “LOVE”, the audience gets to download a secret track in which the lyrics of the letter are featured to create an emotionally moving piece of music (perhaps with a little girl featured as a voice?). It is a ballad of love and loss, hope and despair, brotherly and sisterly love. Innocence and its tragic loss forever.

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SCRIPT:

EPISODE I: THE GRAVE

 

1 – EXT. AN INNER-CITY GRAVEYARD – NIGHT

 

LUPE FIASCO is standing in front of MICHAEL YOUNG HISTORY’S grave. He is wearing a black leather coat and completely withdrawn in his thoughts.

 

LUPE FIASCO

(to himself)

so stupid. so motherfucking stupid …

 

from behind bushes, THE STREETS is sneaking up towards him. he doesn’t seem to hear her.

 

LUPE FIASCO

you could still be here, MICHAEL. (pause). we could still be friends …

 

THE STREETS is now directly behind him, he still hasn’t noticed. she puts her hand on his shoulder. he turns his head to vaguely acknowledge her presence, not more. there is a hint of contempt in his eyes.

 

THE STREETS

poor boy, huh? his brain just dropped into his pants as soon as he saw me, hahahahaha.

 

she tries to touch some of LUPE’s sensitive parts but he grabs her wrist and pushes her hand away. his hyper-cool composure hasn’t changed at all. she flings her arm out of his tight grip and soothingly rubs the wrist while she stares at him fiercely.

 

THE STREETS

don’t you dare touching me, LUPEY. and don’t pretend to be sorry about your mate’s death. you just feel sorry for yourself, you pathetic piece of shit.

 

LUPE FIASCO is turning his attention back to the grave, basically ignoring her. THE STREETS is furious.

 

THE STREETS

have you read his little sister’s letter? its soooo heartbreaking, apparently, ahahahaha.

 

she laughs hysterically. this time she has caught his attention. he turns round to face her.

 

LUPE FIASCO

(angrily)

where is it? where is the fucking letter, you goddamned bitch?

 

THE STREETS

hahaha. did i finally get your honorary attention, LUPEY? i don’t have it. trust me. you can search me if you want.

 

she spins around in front of him, her arms lasciviously raised above her head. LUPE doesn’t move. he looks away, disgusted.

 

THE STREETS

what you’re waiting for, big man. haven’t you got the balls to touch me, hahahahaha?

 

END OF EPISODE I

 

OVERLAY:

“WHO HAS GOT THE LETTER?”

(correct answer: “THE COOL has it”)

 

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EPISODE II: THE COOL

 

2 – EXT. DARK FUCKED UP STREETS IN THE CITY – NIGHT

 

THE COOL is roaming the streets. it’s raining. he’s just been hit by one of his attacks of excruciating pain, stemming from three bullets forever stuck in his undead brain, heart and throat. they turn up quite often, these attacks, and cause him to go down on his knees, clenching his head and howling like a sick animal. the sounds seamlessly blend into the countless police sirens we can hear in the background. he tumbles into an remote alleyway and crashes between the rubbish.

 

THE COOL

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh.

 

just as the pain seizes, THE STREET stands in front of him, arms on her hips, her legs spread apart. she’s wearing a devilishly short mini-skirt and stares down on him with a cynical, vicious smile. she kicks his head with one of her long legs.

 

THE STREETS

give me the letter, COOLIE boy, baby.

 

THE GAME suddenly turns up from behind her, sporting his golden teeth with a broad grin. grabbing her upper arms he sticks his giant head next to hers, resting it on her bare shoulder. he hisses down to the green-bleeding THE COOL with a hoarse, almost inaudible voice.

 

 

THE GAME

you better do what the lady says, boy. looks like you’ve had enough shit to put up with for today. (pause). can also probably get someone to fix some of your problems, you see.

 

THE COOL’s skeletal hand stretches out as if to shy them away. for every ‘normal’ person this would have worked, for THE STREETS and THE GAME this gesture seems utterly pathetic.

 

THE COOL

i don’t know what you’re talking about.

 

THE STREETS

shut up, COOLIE, baby.

 

she kicks him in the head again, a nasty strike with her left leg this time. more green blood pours down his rotten face. she turns round to THE GAME, putting her arms around his neck. they kiss passionately. THE GAME grabs her buttocks and reveals them bare naked by shoving his hands up her skirt. witnessing this, another attack hits THE COOL and he throws himself down to the asphalt again, screaming.

 

THE COOL

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh. stop it, please, i beg you. you’ve won, you bastards. here is what you want …

 

THE STREETS and THE GAME are entwined, carried away by their dark lust.

 

END OF EPISODE II

 

OVERLAY

“WHERE IS HE HIDING THE LETTER?”

(correct answer: “strapped on his chest like a gun”)

 

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EPISODE III:

 

3 – INT. A HUGE INDUSTRIAL LOFT SHELL – NIGHT

 

THE GAME is standing against the window wall of his lair, looking out into the busy, rough street of the city. there are bars between him and the window, a surreal element of imprisonment in the midst of his spacious empire. he is thinking about his lost son.

 

 

THE GAME

(thinking)

HEROINE, are you out there? somewhere? i know you’re still alive …

 

somewhat melancholic he walks over to his huge desk. a mountain of white powder sits on top. his dimmed, faint blood vessels shiver as he sticks his head into it. as he looks up again, the veins on his neck are pumping in ecstasy. THE STREETS comes in, swayingly, wearing yet another one of her sick, sexy outfits. he looks up at her, his face is a mask of artificial hysteria.

 

THE GAME

have you read it?

 

she sticks her finger into the pile of coke and vacantly rubs it into her teeth.

 

THE STREETS

no. not yet. (pause). it scares me.

 

LUPE FIASCO comes into the room suddenly. his leather coat waves in his wake as he walks towards the two. THE STREETS just smiles eerily. THE GAME is hyped-up and unimpressed.

 

 

THE GAME

i do admire your balls, LUPE.

 

LUPE FIASCO

i’d rather you cut them off your mind, GAME.

 

THE STREETS laughs hysterically. a horde of goons storm in. they have pig’s heads and are wearing kinky, black latex uniforms. they nervously wave their neon-pink dildo machine guns at LUPE but he doesn’t care. THE STREETS laughs out loud again and he uses this as a clue to just grab her. a brief moment of panic is flooding the whole room. the pigs don’t dare to move. LUPE swiftly extracts THE LETTER from THE STREET’s wide open cleavage and holds it up in the air. nobody moves. there is complete silence. THE STREETS has buried her face in her hands and looks through her fingers in fear.

 

END OF EPISODE III

 

OVERLAY:

“WHAT IS EVERYBODY AFRAID OF?”

(correct answer: “LOVE”)

 

 

 

 

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reinhard schleining

first draft
london, 29th november 2007
© 2007, all rights reserved

STILL LIFE

these are the original pieces of work i did when starting off to write and draw again. it is a strip series featuring surreal, psychologically ‘rich’ dialogues in front of an alienating urban backdrop.

ALIENS STRIP

they’re running as an online comic on COMIC.AT, on COMICGATE.DE (animated gif version) and since january 2007 in its original strip version also on the extremely cool german comic art portal ELECTROCOMICS.COM. in addition you could also read them on the go and download the complete series to your iPod from CLICKWHEEL.NET (now also via the ITUNES store).

checkout some of the total 52 episodes as animated gifs here:

ALIENSBOOBSDOORBELLGOOD GUYSGORGEOUSILLUSIONREVOLUTIONWORLDS

 

© 2002 – 2006, all rights reserved

about what i do

When I try to summarize what I’m doing then I feel that I’m producing some kind of ‘cultural-spiritual code’ with my work which I’m spelling out to be read and understood by as many people from as many backgrounds as possible. While Words are my starting point and ultimately main focus, I do like to indulge in the freedom to float seamlessly between both cornerstones of my work: Writing & Drawing. Doing this, embedding Gnosis / Knowledge into Images and Words (Gnosticism), means passing on Encoded Wisdom to be decoded by fellow seekers of Beauty and Truth – according to their  own level of Understanding and Attainment.

In an attempt to pinpoint what subject matter interests me then I think I’d have to say it’s  mostly about People and Reality. Following an inherent quest for Truth and Love, I’ve been to a great deal looking at the world through the lens of Humanistic Psychology and Psychological Astrology. More recently, this lens has eventually zeroed in to be the Great Law of the Cosmos (or Dafa in Chinese), a law encompassing both the Dao and the Buddha School. It is thus, that Cultivation has proven itself to be the true basis of whatever I do – and have been doing all along – and that therefore the Unfathomable and Supernatural, rather than the Tangible and Explicable, is more often than not providing the answers that I’ve been looking for.

In any of my work, I want to delve deep into both the Beauty and Mystery of Human Life and Human Experience and come back to the surface with the Trophies of what I’ve seen and still can see – the Stories, the Images – but at the same time I’m also extremely fascinated by the Darker Side of our Reality and – albeit even scarier – of Ultimate Reality. The behind-the-scene workings of Fate and Destiny, the ‘political’ aspects and psycho-mechanics of human relationships, the intricate power games between men and men, women and women and – on the highest, most subtle and most mysterious level – between women and men. And the ultimate pointlessness of our human suffering and the ludicrous ‘struggle’ for relevance which continue to tear apart our hearts and our planet – essentially just perpetuating the so-called psychological ‘Cycle of Abuse’.

But also Humour is quite an important element of my work.

Influences:

Li Hongzhi, Hans Kueng, Rabbi Hillel, David Bohm, Eric Berne, Robert Graves, Douglas Reed, Jonathan Franzen, Bret Easton Ellis, Julia Davis, Charles Bukowski, Pauline Reage, Michel Houellebecq, Vladimir Nabokov, Todd Solondz, Stanley Kubrick, Woody Allen, Sacha Baron Cohen, Michelangelo Antonioni, Luis Bunuel, Lars von Trier, Ingmar Bergman, Alexandro Jodorowski, Trevor Brown, Stu Mead, Ferocius, Moebius, Robert Crumb, Steve Bell, Geoff Darrow, Gottfried Helnwein, Gustav Klimt, Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Piet Mondrian, Paul Gaugin, Jan Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Francisco de Goya, Leonardo da Vinci, Pieter Breughel, Hieronymus Bosch, Giotto, Medieval Book Illustrations, Egyptian Art, Cave Drawings, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Lao Tzu, Jesus, Shakyamuni, Hermes Trimegistos, (to name only a few) …

reinhard schleining
london, january 2012

THE SANDBOX

this one is a political strip series i develped during the year i stayed back in vienna. it’s kind of a mixture between BERTHOLD BRECHT and SPITTING IMAGE, very dark but also quite funny. all austrian politicians are reduced to small children playing in a theatrical sandbox setup. the citizens are shown as toddlers in nappies. the european politicians are adults the kids want to impress.

STRIP 01STRIP 02STRIP 03STRIP 04STRIP 05

© 2004, all rights reserved

THE AGENCY

this is a one page comic concept, set in an advertising agency. the lead character called HARRY thinks he’s a genius and so does his boss but everyone else hates him. in each episode he’d wear a different outfit and show a different aspect of his personality. the everyday ‘adventures’ in the agency are always surreal and hysterical, a tongue-in-cheek pisstake on all the creative egos out there.

this project is looking for people to take it on board of their publications.

THE INDIAN WAYKNICKERSIMPORTANT CLIENTTACKY ITALIANS

© 2003 – 2005, all rights reserved