I've been diving head first back into cartoons again lately. I've been mainlining episodes of Fanboy and Chum Chum, Adventure Time and my new favorite, Regular Show. I missed the wackiness of animated shows and I'm glad to be back in their loving arms. I'm going to spend this week and maybe next doing daily sketches of some of my favorite cartoons, new and old.
Up today, Fanboy and Chum Chum. This show may look like it's for really young kids (which it is completely fine for) it speaks to every coming/geek loving adult. It's so damn smart and funny and the design is top notch.
My son Baxter is in love with Murray's "What's the Word on the Street" segment on Sesame Street. he asks me 100 times a day "What's the word on the street?" I give him one, he asks what it means, I tell him then he repeats the definition and ends with "Listen for word ACTIVATE here on Sesame Street."
He just turned 3 and I can't get enough of the things he's into. So today's daily sketch is Murray!
I regret to announce this, but my work load and deadlines are forcing me to make a pretty frustrating choice. I have to cancel my trip to Leeds, UK next week for the Thought Bubble Festival. I was looking forward to meeting all of you and some of my friends from across the pond, but it's just not in the cards for this year.
Like always, we set up cons so far in advance and most of the time it works out fine with the dates arrive. This year, I've taken on a few very big projects and the time tables just aren't matching up in the way I had hoped. And while I love conventions, I always make sure that the dates on my table are met so the books can get to the printers when they are intended.
I know this will be disappointing for some of you that reached out about sketches and getting things signed. I do apologize and feel terrible for having to cancel a the last minute. But, if it makes you feel any better we are already re-booking my flight for another date to come and do a number of signings that the Traveling Man book stores. So I will be in the UK, just sometime in 2013 instead of next week.
Thank you all for understanding. Have fun at the festival and I'll see you in the UK In 2013
Whenever I'm in a crunch and I can't find the inspiration for my Daily sketch, I turn to Harry Potter and it always pulls me thru. I Love this world and love playing in it. It's like i can try a milling different techniques and shapes and it always works
For those who don't know, I started a TUMBLR awhile back and have been updating it with sketches and art very frequently. A bit more than here. At some point I may transition that way completely but for now you have places to check for work.
The absolute best thing about being a dad is watching something that you think you remember doing and how it must feel. My son is almost 3 and he is making me realize that while I think I still have the power, I don't. Not like him. I'm talking about the power of pretending.
I can remember having an imagination and I try to recapture that as an artist. But watching Baxter get lost in his own invisible world for what seems like ages, I'm captivated. I laugh and think it's cute, but he doesn't hear me. He doesn't look up. He's in a world of his own and I start thinking about what that world is like.
"Hi, Monkey. Where's Lion?" is something he has been saying a lot lately. He's also really into the half dozen or so hand puppets we have around the house. So these things have really inspired today's sketch. What kind of epic may be playing out in his head?
I figured I'd take the He-Man theme on for one more day. Orco was so cool but I was always let down that the toy didn't fly. In the Christmas catalog, the photo of him had him flying. Rolling across the table just wasn't the same.
After a month break from Daily Sketches, I'm back. I'm a bit rusty, but I'm back anyway. :)
Today's I went to twitter for suggestions and they had a huge list of good ones which you'll see over the next few weeks. For now, it's SKELTOR. I loved He-Man when I was growing up and I thought it would be fun to play with the shape of his villain.
Of course, I ended up turning to a go to pose of mine. Another guy climbing on top of a rock thing. My mind is always in playset mode. Meaning, what would this be if I bought a toy. I like the toys that come with a piece of the landscape to add flavor to the figure. I think I failed at the extra bits here. i could have taken more time and added character to the rocks but i just thru something down. Something to keep in mind next time.
I started this blog in 2006 and I don't think I've ever written a movie review here. I was a movie last night that is making me change that.
PARANORMAN was at the top of my anticipated movie list. While everyone waited for the release of Avengers, Dark Knight Rises and Prometheus, I was sitting patiently thru the summer's heatwave for August 17th to arrive.
Laika is the studio that brought us CORALINE, a wonderful movie based on fantastic novel by Neil Gaiman. They are masters at stop-motion animation and from footage I saw leading up to the movie, it seemed they were going to bring us more of what they do best. From the early look at the designs I knew I would love this movie on the art front alone, so it had to put very little effort past that to win me over. The ParaNorman crew has never heard the word VERY LITTLE EFFORT in their entire, crazy, scary talented lives.
What I expected: A cute kids movie crafted in the fun world of stop-motion animation. Some light jokes based on horror movie troupes that would play for both kids and adults. A story about an outcast kid that we've seen before but just not as pretty as this.
What I got: My mind blown. I got a movie with a big heart and huge laughs and to top it off, genuinely scary. It was magical.
First, I spent 15 minutes wondering how in the world they accomplished this movie. It was unlike any animation I had ever seen. The shot compositions rivaled any of your favorite live action movies. Every frame of the movie was gorgeous.
There were moments of friendship that had me choked up a bit. The music choices were different but perfect. The laughs were in the writing, they felt natural and not just like gags. The voice talent helped sell that even more. And just when you think the spooky stuff is for.... ok, i'm stopping. It's too good for me to ruin.
Laika brought back something that we lost somewhere in the past 10 years or so. Movies for older kids. We got to a place where we have movies for adults or young kids. No real bridge. We grew up with ALL bridge. Goonies, Monster Squad, Stand By Me, Gremlins, ET, etc. This movie brought back the guts those old movies used to have. It brought me back to my childhood and hopefully it will be the start to someone else's. They'll add this to the list of great movies they grew up with.
Go see ParaNorman. Support movies like this. We need more of them.
Today I went old school. I love Twitter because someone will always remind me of something I haven't thought about in years and years. Today's piece, INSPECTOR GADGET.
I loved this cartoon when I was young and I was filled with excitement when I was flipping thru the christmas catalog one year and saw they were bringing the G into real life with a toy. Luckily, I got it for Christmas that year and I was thrilled. He had the hat copter, he had an extending neck, he had everything you wanted in a Gadget toy.
The timing of today's ParaNorman daily sketch couldn't have hit at a better time. I got a text from Casey with a photo of special delivery. I jumped in the car and drove home from the studio. And the following photos show what was waiting for me.
Big thanks to the folks at Lakia Studios and the ParaNorman crew. Your movie looks amazing and your kindness in sending me this is overwhelming. Thank you so much. The personalized note was the cherry on top. WEIRD WINS!!!
I can't tell you how excited I am to see ParaNorman. You know hype you all for Avengers and Dark Knight Rises? Well, that's nothing to me waiting for this movie. It's like someone reached inside my brain and took out all the things that I would want to do and made a movie with it.
The trailers are great but there's one tiny, very quick moment of Alvin dancing in a an alley. In trailer filled with ghosts and Zombies, the quick flash of a sick beat and a clay character Krumping was just too good. haha. So that's my sketch for today.
9x12 (cropped in PS) Bristol pen and marker
Original for Sale in MY STORE
A cg artist Duncan Fraser emailed me awhile back and said he wanted to create a 3d version of a commission I did. A few weeks later, here it is. It is so cool to see a piece like this come to life in a different way. I'm now obsessed with making a movie like this with my own characters. Anyone want to make that happen:)
SMILE was a word suggestion today on Twitter. It made me think of a time when I was in elementary school and wanted something more than anything other thing on the planet. Braces.
For some odd reason It thought having metal on your teeth was so cool. Not just a little, but like super fresh. I would bend paper clips and put them in my mouth like I had braces. I talked about the day I would get mine. I know, it's pretty weird. This obsession didn't last long and soon I would move on to cooler things like biker shorts, Bart shirts an and eventually wondering if I could pull off a Humpty Hump nose and glasses. And yes, I did attach a plastic nose to a pair of sunglasses.
2 words suggested on twitter today. "Still Raining"
My son is 2.5 and really starting to love his dogs. Emma, our Saint Bernard is his favorite and he's always thinking of ways to try and get on her back for a ride. She's not having it. This is inspired by that relationship with the words suggested.