Saturday, May 28, 2011

Heroes 2011 - Update

Heroes Convention is less than a week away and the site has at last been updated with final lists of exhibitors and assigned boot locations (although, at this point, I’m uncertain if my browsers had not been updating to show intermediate update made since late March)!

I'll be there all next weekend.

Find me!

Heroes Convention
Charlotte Convention Center, NC
June 3-5, 2011
Monster Enterprises booth

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Heroes Convention

The Heroes Comic Convention is approaching in less than two weeks and I’ll be there (some where) in the small press area.

More information to follow.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Drawing Conclusions 2002

Blue pencil and black India ink on paper
21.59 x 27.94 cm (8.50 x 11.00 in.)

Within a year of working for Cartoon Network I wrote and drew this update of my autobiographical comic strip. For what ever reason, I never got around to adding color. The structure is inspired by Windsor McCay’s classic “Little Nemo in Slumberland” Sunday strips.

Header: Witness my crude drawings of Monster (my alter-ego), a robot (they’re cool until the robot insurrection), Charlie Brown and a bear.

Panel 1: I am told that my older brother gave me crayons as a baby, and then I proceeded to draw on the sheets in my crib.

Panel 2: Of the toys I had as a baby, I had these stuffed dolls: a brown bear, a poodle and a baby clown. I’m told that the clown made me cry.

Panel 3: The transmogrified crib legs allude to my Chinese horoscope. The crib logo is for my “Time Flyers” story idea. The baby oysters are from “Alice in Wonderland” which I would occasionally hide in my Disney work.

Panel 4: A floating island with a pirate ship in dock is inspired by “Peter Pan”, while the rainbow bridge by Thor’s Asgardian mythologies.

Panel 5: The skyline is partially formed by a paint brush, compass, 30/60-degree triangle and broom.

Panel 6: I drew critter-caricatures of my Disneyland co-cast-members - Mike was a dragon. The crest is an interpretation of Monster. That’s a circle template on the wall. The banner icon is a painters palette with crossed brushes. The ten gallon hat and sarape alludes to a previous version of “Drawing Conclusions.” The mice are a nod to Walt Disney’s version of “Cinderella.”

Panel 7: There’s a cog in the background. I’ve been nursing a flying penguin story. I took some linguistic liberties with made up “enfaced” (applied to the face of) and “pantsed” (pants wearing).

Panel 8: An adult monster skull  is a foreboding sign. The dark mountain in the distance is like something out of “The Hobbit” complete with flying dragons.

Panel 9: Introducing Fillo (Fill-oh) the toucan, mascot for my fictitious design company.

Panel 10: The symbols: panther, brain, Disney name tag, and Disneyland castle icon. The princess is generic. There are eyes in the dark.

Panel 11: Monster in silhouette. The princess has Aurora’s tiara, Belle’s hair style and Cinderella’s dress.

Panel 12: Television!

I think it’s about time I work on a new “Drawing Conclusions.”

Monday, May 9, 2011

Fantas-Diego Four

“Fantastic Four at Fifty”
Preliminary draft.
Scarlet red Col-Erase pencil on Bristol Board
27.94 cm x 43.18 cm (11.00 in. x 17.00 in.)

“Fantastic Four at Fifty”  
Final ink.
Scarlet red Col-Erase pencil and India Ink on Bristol Board
27.94 cm x 43.18 cm (11.00 in. x 17.00 in.)

“Fantastic Four at Fifty”
Digital illustration
6,600 pix  x  10,200 pix.

Here to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Fantastic Four is my submission to this year’s San Diego Comic Con souvenir book. It is based on the cover art of FF issue #49 (yeah, I know, ‘Why not #50?’) by Jack Kirby and Joe Sinott. My preliminary draft (top) is closer to the original cover layout even with the addition of the floating cake, but the Fantastic Four seemed too small to me.

The final art submitted to SDCC is cropped tighter and has added text.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

120 [m ] : Young Justice Poster

For most new shows the Cartoon Network (CN) launches, the marketing strategy includes key art, a.k.a. a central image. It is pretty much THE poster, THE iconic image for the show, and if there’s not enough money or time to have teaser images preceding it, or multiple posters to introduce individual characters than by default it is the poster.

Ideally, all other launch related marketing should fall out of or be based upon this key image.

Fall of last year, I worked on the key art for the new superhero action show from Warner Brothers (WB) Animation, “Young Justice.” For those of you who may not be familiar with the DC comic book on which it’s based and yet may remember “Teen Titans” (2003) and know the Justice League of America (JLA) (more or less the “Super Friends”), it’s like “Teen Titans” with the team is comprised of young superheroes many of which are side kicks of JLA members. This show takes itself more seriously than Titans, and has the team working as the JLA’s secret, covert squad while they train under the guidance of certain JLA members.

The six core members are Aqualad, Robin, Kid Flash, Miss Martian, Superboy and Artemis.

4 rough concepts.
Red pencil and black ink on paper.

As a superhero actioner, it was natural that I would fall back on comic book cover styled layouts for inspiration. My favorite is concept “D” with Young Justice battling the over-sized mechanical menace of Amazo.

Approved layout.
Mixed media.

In typical fashion, my favorite pick has little influence on what is ultimately chosen. This image is clearly an amalgamation of conceptual drawings “A” and “B” above. From “A” is the silhouetted line of JLA members. I prefer the contrast of having YJ in action. From “B” is a re-mix of the characters based on how the network wanted to feature the characters in a composition that was based on art press art created for 2010 San Diego Comic Con.

Near final layout.

As a WB show, the WB not CN is responsible for producing the final character art assets. However in this instance due to a the lack of production time and benefited by being able to substitute all of the characters with existing character poses, we at CN vectorized what we needed with no new art from WB. That’s the only reason for the subtle changes to the YJ poses from the approved layout.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

120 [m ] : Television

Cheers to television, I love it, but admittedly I’ve been bewitched by it. Ever present during my lifetime, it’s been entertainer, baby sitter and timekeeper, ubiquitous, perhaps, but ever changing. Television presents old movies to new audiences. It delivers both amazing stories of real people and fantastic tales of a wonder woman or an incredible hulk. Occasionally, eureka, it will teach you something!

Defined by its very name, television, as one of the modern marvels, is a system of devices designed to transmit and receive sounds and simulated moving pictures. In it’s invention, it was conceived either as radio with pictures or as motion pictures telegraphed, except in contrast where motion pictures were preceded by still photography, television wasn’t preceded by the facsimile machine. Curiously, it was preceded by mechanical attempts each with a screen the size of a business card, a mere firefly compared with a giant, wide, flat screen of the 21st century. Doubtfully, the modern computer and Internet experiences wouldn’t be as fun or popular if they weren’t like enhanced televisions.

Television along with any number of video playback devices re-plays old movies, most of which without television I wouldn’t be able to see at the movies, and then to be forgotten to some twilight zone no matter the number of revival theatres. I think there’s more than just history appreciation to be gained by the daily show of classic films and legendary performances.

Friends and super friends of all sorts are introduced through television. It’s why I love Lucy, Reba, Lavern and Shirley. Maybe unlikely heroes will emerge from a group of freaks and geeks. Maybe you’ll see the Muppet show the celebrity guest lessons on being human.

Click through the channels to find a bonanza of entertainment tonight and live vicariously through the actions of fantastic characters. With a click you’ll leave a farm with a northern exposure in some small ville to get lost on a fantasy island. Click again and blast off on a star trek with a supernatural doctor who is an alien life form to the outer limits of time and space.

I may not necessarily get smart watching television. Although I’m unlikely to learn how fix my kitchen nightmares and become a top chef, I may be able to prepare 30-minute meals. I might pick up a little something to banter about at the office. While it’s unnecessary for television to assume the dirty jobs of being educator and counselor, I do get a little bit of glee to learn through televised, empirical demonstration that both thawed and frozen chickens can bust through an airplane’s wind shield and feel good for the knowing.

Everything else that I may click past is probably something some one else loves. So no matter who you are, what you watch, or when you watch it, television never says “no.”

p.s. 30 Rock, The A-Team, Battlestar Galactica, Burn Notice, Hill Street Blues, Johnny Quest, Mission Impossible, The Powerpuff Girls, Schoolhouse Rocks, Sesame Street, Speed Racer.