Thursday, November 29, 2007

"Enchanted" is... well...ENCHANTED!

I had a chance to see Enchanted last night, so I took it.

Although the film sort of drifts into the "romantic-comedy" region (which I'm not very partial to), there's just enough of everything to satisfy: action, comedy, fantasy, drama & all that "lovey-dovey" stuff in between. It's like a pie that's cut into equal pieces: everyone gets a fair share.

I don't want to delve into too much detail, but I must have to say the movie is fantastic! The animation was superb & it really felt like a classic Disney fairy tale (great job, James Baxter & Co.!). & speaking of which, this film is a real treat for big Disney buffs like me. So many self references. I don't wish to spoil too much of the film for those who haven't seen it, but for you big Disney History fanatics out there, pay very close attention throughout the whole film. Some things are easier to spot, but some things are much harder to pick out, even though they are in plain sight. Look & listen very carefully!

& most importantly, I'm more than glad to hear that this film is getting very positive reviews all around. Will this be the beginning of a new, successful age of traditional animation at Disney's? By the look of this film it seems so, but there's only one way to see that dream come true: GO SEE ENCHANTED!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tom Sito Comes to SVA

Boy, was tonight a fun night!

Tonight, we had another one of those "Alumnus Lectures", & today's guest was Tom Sito, one of the most professional & talented animators/directors in the field today! From the Raggedy Ann & Andy feature to Roger Rabbit to Lion King to Shrek & beyond, he's had a big part in some of the best animation we've had in the last few decades. He also wrote Drawing the Line, a book about the animation unions, which I've been planning on picking up & reading for a while now.

For the two hours that Tom spoke to us, he was not only a very intelligent & knowledgeable speaker, but also a very cheerful guy with a great sense of humor. He told us insightful & entertaining stories about his experiences & how he got to that point. He showed us some of his demo reel & even some work he's doing on his new prime-time show Car Talk for PBS.

The funny thing was, he was taking the same classes, with the same teachers, in the same rooms where I am now. It almost feels that your standing on hallowed ground, hoping to that some of the inspiration & talent from alumni like Tom will rub off on you.

Here's hoping that I make it someday!

You can check out Tom Sito's website HERE. (I'll also put his site in my links column on the right). Don't forget to check out his book "Drawing the Line" & his show Car Talk, premiering next summer on PBS!
Once again... THANKS TOM!
*UPDATE (11/29/07)*

Tom Sito put some pictures from his lecture at SVA up on his site, & I'm in one of them! I'm the scrawny looking kid with the sketchpad & pencil in the bottom left! Check me out! Don't I look irresistible? I'm as charming as a stomach pump!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

& the Winner is...

Yep, that's right. From now on, this fox will further be known as "Conrad"!

Thanks to all of those who voted in the poll these past few weeks! You'll be seeing this guy in "For the Birds" real soon!

Monday, November 19, 2007

"Gobble! Gobble! GOBBBBBLLLLLE!!!!!"

I don't know how quite to express my love for one of my favorite holidays, so let's have Adam Sandler do it for me instead! CLICK HERE & remember to sing along!

Hope you all have a very pleasant Thanksgiving by ignoring the sad fact that we celebrate a holiday that promotes the longtime tradition of doing the things we Americans are best at: killing innocent animals, eating everything in sight, & being thankful how we screwed the Indians over nearly 400 years ago! So yam it up & go stuff it !

Oh, & here's the link to one of my all-time favorite Tex Avery cartoons: Jerky Turkey!

"Jive Turkey!"

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

College Soup - Part 6

It's been just over 1 month since I put up the latest installment of the College Soup story. About time, right?


(Click to Enlarge)

Notice anything different about this comic compared to the last ones? This comic was completely drawn & colored in Photoshop! All done thanks to my brand new Wacom Intuos3 Tablet!

I know that all the fat people & background characters all look like they're from a separate universe that seems to be made up of blue marshmallow men, but I just didn't feel like drawing dozens of different fat people. It took long enough to begin with (8 1/2 hours from start to finish). From know on, I'm just going to scan in the drawings & color them. It's a lot less time consuming.

& as an added gift, here's the original layout. This was my only reference for how the comic should be drawn. See if you can compare the rough & the final to seewhat the differences are between the two.


Hey! I figured out how to superimpose pictures on top of eachother in Photoshop! Now you can see the rough & the final in one shot! Enjoy!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Well Blow Me Down!

I just got the new Popeye set in the mail (along with a bunch of other great DVD's). Boy, do those cartoons take me back! I haven't seen many of these Popeye cartoons since they used to air on Cartoon Network years ago.

Out of any animation studio from the Golden Age, the Fleischer Studio really takes the cake (no offense Disney & Warner Bros.). Their animation is not only visually appealing, but hilarious too. I love it when Popeye yells "WHAM!" when he punches Bluto, it always makes me laugh. Too bad the Fleischers ended up the way they did.

Popeye has to be one of my favorite cartoon characters. The Thimble Theatre strip by Segar is a big inspiration for my own comics & the cartoons have that edge that no other cartoon star could ever surpass.

The cartoons on the DVD are so pristine that they blow me away. Plus many of the cartoons have audio commentaries (my favorite feature!) & cool little "Popumentaries" that go into detail on the characters (Popeye, Olive Oyl, Bluto, Wimpy & Swee'Pea), voices & music of the cartoons. Even my History of Animation professor, Howard Beckerman, appears in one of the documentaries on the set! Awesome!

I've only gotten through the first two discs, but they've been a real treat & I'm looking forward to viewing the last two. It may be a little pricey, but you should at least consider picking up the set. One of the best cartoon DVD's I've ever bought.

The sad thing is I still can't get those catchy tunes out of my head, especially the one from the cartoon Axe Me Another. "I'll do anything that YOU DO!"

Friday, November 9, 2007


After much deliberation, determination & confrontation, I've narrowed the list of names down to three: Conrad, Simon, & Vincent. I am no longer asking for new names, so the "Other" selection is outta there, too.

Also, the deadline for the poll has been moved up 'til Nov. 20th, so you've only got 10 days to choose your favorite. Happy voting!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Everybody Listen! I've Been Out-Foxed! I Need Your Help!

Alright, if this didn't sound urgent enough, let me explain:

I know some of you are probably asking "Hey, where's that damn comic you promised us DAYS ago!?" First off, I want to apologize for the lateness. I'll make sure to get the next installment(s) up here by either next Tuesday or Wednesday).

Here's my excuse, since the hardest part of doing this comic is actually finding the time & staging & actually drawing it out. So I thought "Hey... before I dive into the hard stuff, why don't I plan out the next few installments first?" As of this post, I've already planned & laid out the next 3 parts of the College Soup arc. 3!

& not only am I planning out the future installments of this story, I'm starting to flesh out the plots of my next few stories. Some of them will introduce new characters to the For the Birds universe. One of them will eventually be this character below: a fox!

My idea for this fox will be that he's going to be Steve-O's main adversary. They've known each other since childhood & have never gotten along (you'll find out why in the near future). These two are heated rivals, trying to take down or "out-fox" each other in any way, shape or form, whether in sport, survival or supper.

Now the hardest part when thinking up a new character (at least for me) is picking a name that suits the character. I spent a day or two figuring out Steve-O's name & weeks on Randy's. This fox has been one of my hardest puzzlers to date. I've spent nearly an hour last night scrolling through baby name sites, just trying to see which one sounds the best. I've narrowed it down to around seven names, but I can't decide which to choose. That's where you come in:

On the sidebar, there will be a poll, asking which name you prefer. If none of the names sound good, select "Other" & post a new name in the comment section of THIS post. But there are a few ground rules for these fox names:

1) The name(s) cannot start with "F". I don't want to have a "Mickey Mouse/Donald Duck/Woody Woodpecker" sounding name. That means no "Fred Fox", "Frank Fox", "Felix Fox" or "Ferdinand Fox"es in there.

2) They have to be real person names. No pet names (Rex, Spike, Tex, etc.)

3) The names cannot have been used for foxes in film/book/TV/comic/cartoon etc. (Foxy, Tod, Miles, Tails, Reynard, Fauntleroy, Sly, etc.)

The poll will be up 'til the end of November. Thanks for helping out. See you soon!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

"Totoro-ly Awesome!"

I know... bad pun. So sue me!

Another tally for my "Miyazaki Films I've Seen" list! This time, I watched My Neighbor Totoro. Another awesome film!

Unlike the other Miyazaki films I've seen so far, Totoro doesn't have big action scenes or explosions. It's just a cute, little movie with a warm story. I personally think of it as the Dumbo of Miyazaki films.

After seeing these films, I'm starting to doubt my faith in Disney (gasp!). It's not that I don't like Disney films anymore, it's just that their last few films haven't been up-to-par with the Miyazaki stuff. The characters in Miyazaki movies are much more believable & relatable than Disney's.

Some of the Disney children either have no distinct personality whatsoever or are 30 year olds in a child's body. The two girls from Totoro, Satsuki (age 11) & Mei (age 4) FEEL more like real girls. They not only look & sound more believable, but they also act & feel that way too.

& COME ON! Who would not want to ride on the Catbus!? So what if it might shed everywhere! CATBUS RULES!

Ahem... anyway, it's a spectacular film. 10 out of 10! But don't just take MY word for it. Go see it yourself!

Hospitals Make Me Sick

I did this drawing really quick, but I thought it deserved to be colored... so I did.

Consider this as something to hold your attention until I post the next part of the College Soup story, plus a whole bunch of other stuff I want to share with the world this week.