Monday, April 25, 2011

120 [m ] : Cartoon Network 2011 Calendar

Cartoon Network makes 12-month calendars as a matter of marketing need, viewed as a premium to help keep the network and it’s original shows near the forefront of our business partners’ minds.

As such, they’re not commercially available.
As such, they’re not a “line item” on the annual budget.
As such, there was no 2010 calendar.
As such, the 2011 hit the schedules late in the year with a couple of weeks of production time.

Each month was assigned to an artist/ designer, to be done in a minimalist, 3-color (black, white and a color), Saul Bass style.

In the end, I designed four, with three featured in the final calendar, (the monthly grid on the spiral bound calendar hangs below the single page of art):

To convey the idea of “robots in high school” of this pilot cartoon, the pattern of the composition book is composed of character head silhouettes and machine parts. Without the show being approved for a full season at the time of the calendar’s production, the page was replaced by...

Dude, What Would Happen
This show is what I call “Jackass Junior,” where three reckless hosts take preposterous concepts to their ridiculous, often explosive conclusions. An early attempt on this had the figures drawing as white chalk on a black board.

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated
This new incarnation of the timeless cartoon, tells of tales of the five-some’s early association with an over-arching mythology. Where the new show’s character design is a slick updating of the original “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?”, I chose a character grouping from “The New Scooby-Doo Movies.”

Young Justice
This is a new show from Warner Bros. animation based on a DC comic. Much like the Teen Titans, the heroic team’s roster is comprised of young former sidekicks of Justice League of America members and of young heroes new to the crime-busting scene. In this incarnation, the team includes, Kid Flash, Artemis, Aqualad, Superboy, Robin and Miss Martian. 
At the top on the layout, are the JLA mentors, Aquaman, The Flash, Batman, Superman and Green Arrow. At the left, is an early rendition with two white radial bursts intersecting creating a moire effect. The idea is a dynamic, new group coming out of the heart of the established group.
At the right is the final version.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

120 [m ] : Cartoon Network stars

Last year, a friend contacted me through Facebook inquiring about donations for an auction to be held by her PTA.

I arranged to donate one of the Blooregard puppets featured on the “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends” Macy’s Thanksgiving Day float (2007, 2008, 2009), and a Flip video camera branded with the 2009 network on-air mascot (the big headed vinyl figure that was digitally repainted with the features and colors of Carton characters).

Additionally, I created these four pieces of original character illustrations.

Ben Tennyson (Ben 10, Alien Force), Chowder, 
Dee Dee and Dexter (Dexter’s Laboratory), Samurai Jack
Marker and India Ink on board.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

120 [m ] : Ben 10 QC

At its most basic, saying that I draw cartoons for a living is enough for people to imagine what I do, which is make marks in an arrangement that look like things - even if what they imagine isn’t accurate in the details of the mechanics.

In recent years, compared with earlier years, I’ve accumulated ever fewer examples of projects where I’ve produced finished drawings. With most of the illustration projects at work handled in an assembly line process, much of my involvement is a type of quality control (a.k.a. Q.C.). Basically, I make sure other people’s drawings of Ben Tennyson, Humungousaur, and Rex of “Generator Rex” all look like Ben, Humungousaur and Rex compared to the studio’s character models.

Cannonbolt (Ben 10): This alien transformation of Ben’s can roll himself into a big ball and bowl things over. As with nearly all the “Ben 10” character models, Cannonbolt is drawn in a standing position, meaning there aren’t up front examples of how a character’s anatomy is supposed to work. Many artists new to Cannonbolt seem stumped by how his arms are connected effectively to where his ears should be on a giant head.
From left to right: 1) artist A takes a stab at Cannonbolt; 2) in red I rough out correction notes; 3) artist B does a new drawing.

Ditto (Ben 10): This alien hero can split off copies of himself. I don’t have any theories on what would make this little guy tricky to draw. But to my eye, I almost instinctively internally said, “not like that.” This not being the time or place for a “how to draw” the “Ben 10” heroes, I’ve presented these two examples with the assumption that the latter drawing are better and more on-model.
From left to right: 1) artist A; 2) my Q.C.; 3) artist B.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Drawing Attention

WonderCon, San Francisco, CA, Apr. 1 - 3, 2011 - The 25th running of this convention of comic book aficionados, saw good weather and big crowds. With a table (way in the back) in the artist alley section, I used this outing as a test run to see how well I could handle traveling with stuff to exhibit.

Like HeroesCon last year, the convention sketching business kept me busy:

Wonder Woman : It could have been the subliminal suggestion by the convention’s name or recent news of the in-development television series, but the premiere heroine seemed a popular request.

Wonder Woman vs. Cheetah : for this fan I drew a triptych of battle scenes. The third (not shown) had W.W. standing triumphant over bound Cheetah. Plus a fourth commission has Cheetah behind bars (oddly still in her costume).

Power Girl and Supergirl : These two heroines were once parallel universe versions of each other. I’m not sure how they relate, if at all, in the current continuity. In the final P.G. art, I added a belt and colored her cape red.

Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn : These were separate commissions, but I based both on the Bruce Timm, “Batman, Animated” television series costume designs.

The Thing and Spider-Man : “How would you like to draw these guys in their new costumes?” I was asked (more or less). Well, I kind of would have preferred their classic costumes, but for the right money... 
I didn’t enjoy drawing Ben Grimm as a kid, but this one was fun.

Duo Damsel : This was a request by a fan collecting sketches Legion of Super-Hero members in his book. The B&W single version was done in anticipation of he dropping of his book.
Samurai Jack & Tuff-Girl : Team up!

Ben Grimm : Drawing the Thing was so much fun I drew another. Actually, this was the last commission of the Con. Whew.