Sunday, January 25, 2009

Put Up Yer Dukes

Red and black ball-point ink on paper
21.59 cm x 27.94 cm (8.5 in x 11.0 in)

Recent sketchbook art of Tuff-Girl. I some times think that she'll look better without the mask as part of her costume. Counter to that, there was a reason the Zorro wore a mask. Ah, but I get the best of both worlds because her costume changes all of the time.

TAGS July 22 & 23, 1993

07/22: An imagination is a powerful thing.
07/23: Sports proverbs.

July 22, 1993: Mmmm. Ice cream makes Monster (monster) happy, and Monster like Polly (penguin). No news here, folks. Meanwhile Brayn (brain) takes mental notes on the unfolding sociological experiment. Much like my pre-"LOST" speculation about "Gilligan's Island" that the Professor was conducting a sociological experiment and was the real reason the castaways couldn't get off the island.

July 23, 1993: Heidi (gopher, first appearance) issues a softball metaphor proverb to Polly in shock. How did Charles Schulz do that as often as he did? The advice, I think, isn't that helpful. In fact, it is merely a restatement of the obvious within the framework of a sports analogy. - Chekov's (dragon) presence lingers as wafting truth. - Carolyn (raccoon, mis spelled "Caroline") is the off-stage pitcher. Her previous and second appearance was in the April 6 strip.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tuff-Girl 101

Tuff-Girl Primer 101
Black India ink on bristol board
15.88 x 23.50 cm (6.25 x 9.25 in.)

Everything you need to know about Tuff-Girl in 12 pages or less.

Tuff-Girl: yet another entry in the over-stuffed "super-hero" genre. Not wanting to tell an origin story (I'll save that for a graphic novel), Tuff-Girl's adventures are intended to be stand alone stories with her still early in her crime-busting career, in full command of her powers. In order to free up valuable space in the story telling of exposition, I do (will) design books/magazines to include one-page primers.

The primer will evolve, panel by panel. For example, panel eight featuring the reptilian Rip Tyler, can be swapped out for another scene with a different character more relevant to the particular magazine's story. Or it will evolve a whole. Even with this first version, I think too many panels are devoted to young Debby and her family.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

TAGS July 15 & 16, 1993

07/15: Brayn drops some rules on to Monster.

07/16: Barron and Michelle do the monster 'stache.

July 15, 1993: I think there are only two types of cartoon cookies: 1) round ones with chocolate chips, 2) gingerbread men. Any thing else could be a cracker, biscuit or some thing that could have been picked up off the ground.

July 16, 1993: Barron (stuffed bear) makes his third appearance. By this point, he almost interchangeable with the fun-loving Chekov (dragon), but it's the later who will become Monster's closer prankster buddy. - Michelle makes her unceremonious first appearance here. Michelle is a weasel, but since Wolf is a weasel and since I can't have two of the regular cast be of the same species, she's a ferret. - Hitler was an evil man. In the midst of his hundreds of crimes, he ruined the swastika and the short moustache.

Disneyana Re-Mix

Disneyana Re-Mix color and graphic logos
Digital mix media.

As part of the re-sequencing projects on the soundtracks to Disney's "The Little Mermaid", "Beauty and the Beast" and "Aladdin," I decided to brand the series with these logos - for the same reason that I decided to created packaging in the first place: so that it would look good in my CD collection.

"Disneyana" is the name of the collectible retail shop on Main Street USA in Disneyland. The term, coined in the 1960's, refers to collectibles from the Walt Disney Company or those featuring the licensed images from the company.

And Birds that Warble on Key

Walt Disney Presents Aladdin, Re-Sequenced Soundtrack cover
12.06 x 12.06 cm (4.75 x 4.75 in)
Digital mixed media

As I had done with "The Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast," I re-sequenced the tracks of the "Aladdin" soundtrack in the order in which they are presented in the original motion picture.

"Aladdin" in some ways represents the end of a brief era, Howard Ashman's and Alan Menken's third and final collaboration on an animated Disney musical as well as the early years of the whole animation renaissance in American pop culture. This particular project I had actually completed before the "Beauty and the Beast" one, in order to gift a copy. Since then, additional work was done on the packaging, similar to what was done with "Mermaid" with an expanded booklet.

1. Arabian Nights 1:19
2. Legend Of The Lamp 1:25
3. On A Dark Night 2:56
4. One Jump Ahead 2:23
5. Street Urchins 1:53
6. One Jump Ahead (Reprise) 1:02
7. Jasmine Runs Away 0:47
8. Marketplace 2:37
9. The Cave Of Wonders 4:58
10. Friend Like Me 2:26
11. To Be Free 1:39
12. Prince Ali 2:52
13. A Whole New World 2:41
14. The Kiss 1:51
15. Aladdin's Word 1:52
16. Jafar's Hour 2:43
17. Prince Ali (Reprise) 1:08
18. The Ends Of The Earth 1:36
19. The Battle 3:38
20. Happy End In Agrabah 4:13
21. A Whole New World (Aladdin's Theme) 4:07

There aren't any surprises here as in new or alternate tracks added.

Track #1 is from the original soundtrack with the lines, "Where they cut off your ear/ If they don't like your face," which has been replace in subsequent re-releases of the soundtrack and the home video releases with the lines, "Where it's flat and immense/ And the heat is intense." The original lines, I think, aren't so bad, if you accept that Agrabah, the sultan-dom that it describes, is a fantasy world. In defense of the revised lyrics, while not as colorfully image invoking as the original, are fine but suffer due to poor sound mixing, leaving the inserted dubs audibly different than the rest of the song. It is perhaps more curious to me that where original lyrics were deemed offensive, the subsequent lines were kept, "It's Barbaric, but hey, it's home."

Bonus tracks are mostly demonstration versions taken from "The Music Behind the Magic," the four disc box set of music from the three Ashman/ Menken collaborations (and Tim Rice on "Aladdin"). If you are not familiar with this collection and you're a fan of Disney's "Aladdin," then you should know that the fourth disc contains the Ashman/ Menken demo tracks written for a version of the story in which Aladdin has a mother and is part of a team of four scavenging boys. From this original score, "Proud of Your Boy" was recorded by Clay Aiken and is included on the 2005 collection "Disney Mania 3."

Lastly, speaking of deleted songs, you can find a cover version of "Call Me a Princess" (Ashman/ Menken) on the iTunes Store by Broadway performer Kerry Butler. It's obviously written for a spoiled, self-centered girl that little resembles the spunky Jasmine that's in the final film.