Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Hodge-Podge of Random Non-Sequential Doodle Pages for the Purpose of Online Blog Viewer Entertainment

Just listen to the title & you'll catch my drift.

Here's Cannibal Chicken (middle) getting acquainted with Steve-O (left) & Randy (right). I will discuss these three guys in more detail in a later post.

I drew this while visiting a great uncle that I've never met before. He makes mozzarella. I wanted to give it to him as a gift, but since his old age prevents him from seeing, hearing or understanding correctly without the aid of someone else describing it to him, I decided to keep it for myself instead.

Like many artists/cartoonists, I bring my sketch book everywhere I go. I drew this at a friends block party. For some reason, when I'm around a group of people, my mind goes blank & I have to ask them what to draw. Usually it's their favorite animal (if not something vulgar, raunchy or suggestive in any way).

Here was a stage idea of mine for Smash Bros. I drew out to explain to a friend. For those of you who don't remember or didn't grow up during the golden era of classic video games, this is the Robotic Operating Buddy (or R.O.B. for short). He was Nintendo's trojan horse for the home video game market. Although the machine itself was a piece of crap, it drew many curious onlookers, observers & willing consumers to the NES. His original purposes may have gone the way of the Dreamcast dodo, but he still lives on (mostly in cameos & honorable mentions, like in F-Zero GX, Mario Kart DS & Star Fox).

My idea of the Smash Bros. stage was that the various platforms were made up of R.O.B.'s body & parts (his head, shoulders, claws, & disks). Various parts of him would move up & down or side to side. He would grab disks, or crush you with them if dropped. Once in a while he would shoot lasers out of his eyes.

It may seem a bit confusing to those not familiar with R.O.B. or the Smash Bros. series, but some of the hardcore/understanding fans might get the point I'm trying to get across.

Speaking of Nintendo, here's a few of my favorite Mario enemies from days gone by. As a matter of fact, "Koopa Troopa" was once my nickname to some people. Hey, it's a lot better than "Blooper", "Wiggler" or "Boo".

Here's a self-portrait of myself...

...& one of my father. I'm definitely using THIS design in my cartoon someday!

Here's a drawing I did of young Randy & Steve-O. I'll be using this & the drawing below in a already-planned, extremely-lengthy future post.

The hardest kind of characters for me to draw are either ones that are female or ones that are cute. Although they basically fall into a similar category, here I will focus on the "cute" part, which I'll crudely call "Key to Kuteness" (Yeech!).

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of cute? Probably babies, puppies, kittens & bunnies, right? Cuddly, innocent little furry mammals with big eyes, huge black, shiny pupils, eyelashes, rosy cheeks, big head & tiny body, right? Well, part of that stereotype is true: the key to drawing cute (as well as feminine) is DIFFERENTIATING PROPORTIONS.

In the page above, you can see a few Randys that are cute, & some that are not so cute. The Randy on the top right & middle bottom seem much cuter than the other two.
There's a fine line between drawing "young & cute" & drawing "old & ugly". Every wrong or misplaced line & the character in question will age in 10 year increments. Since my drawing style is somewhat sloppy & very crude, it's a lot harder for me to pinpoint what needs to be altered without ruining the drawing.

Just say I wanted to draw "baby" Randy... how would I make him look younger without just putting a diaper on his butt & a pacifier in his mouth like some other cartoons do? Like I said, the key to cute is DIFFERENTIATING PROPORTIONS. To me, to make a character seem younger, all I do is make some big features smaller & some small features larger. I went & made his nose, eyes & body smaller & his head bigger. Also, the length of the limbs also comes into play: the younger they are, the shorter the limbs.

Also to note, I usually measure my characters by "heads". With Steve-O, I usually make the torso & the length of the legs the same length as the head (3 heads tall). Just by shortening his legs & his body by half, he became not only a head shorter, but a few years younger.

Randy is usually 3 heads tall. Baby Randy is about 2.

Some people have more "fool-proof" ways of creating baby/young characters. Since I'm more-or-less a novice, I still need work.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Super Smash Doodles

To continue from Wednesday's post (sort of), here's a random page full of quick, Smash-related doodles I shelled out. Enough crap, clutter, cross-outs & complete cartoon carnage to make your brains dribble out your ears.

Surprisingly, Pikachu is the hardest character to draw. One wrong move & he's fat, or thin, or constipated. Kirby is no picnic either.

Samus is a little tough, but it's better off keeping her simple than to draw all those detailed lines & curves & make her into a giant, scribbly person-shaped ball of dryer lint . Same with Bowser, Wario & Pit. I like to keep the details to a minimum, so you're eyes don't get to distracted by all the clutter. Less is more in my book.

The only drawing here I'm really proud of is Mario's head in the top right corner. To me, it's the closest thing to Mario himself, instead of a demented, beaten incarnation of him like the one throwing the Koopa shell below him. Shameful, shameful.

More to come soon. Remember to comment!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Donkey Kong & Yoshi: A Life-Long Rivalry?

As some people might know, I'm a HUGE fan of the Super Smash Bros. series. The thought of beating the crap outta my favorite childhood characters with baseball bats, guns & explosives just makes my heart all aflutter. Nothings more satisfying than sending Jigglypuff careening through the stratosphere with a well-delivered uppercut by Mario. & I can't wait for Super Smash Bros. Brawl to come out in December.

Recently I discovered this picture on the game's website:

I have no clue what this picture is supposed to suggest, but the cogs & wheels in my head began to turn...

I imagined a long-lived rivalry between the two. Almost like they've been at each other's throats ever since they first laid eyes on each other. Yoshi had to carry a certain heavy Italian man for games at a time, & that probably left a heavy burden on his subconscious mind as well as his aching back. & DK, being a supposed territorial gorilla, would find it intruding if Yoshi took his secret dream a little too far into his personal space. Punches would be thrown, tongues would flail, hurtful things said... it would get a little out of hand.

Then it came to me... it's in their ANCESTRY! Ever see King Kong? It's living proof that dinosaurs & apes have fought each other countless times in the past. It's like dogs & cats... except with simians & reptiles. Lizards & Monkeys just don't get along.

While thinking this retarded crap up in my head, my hands were busy shelling out these quick sketches.

Yeeck! Dino spit! Well, better the attic than the basement.
See ya next time!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Chuck Jones' Hare Conditioned (1945)

No artwork today, but here's something to satisfy your animation tooth for the day.

Here's one of my top favorite Chuck Jones/Bugs Bunny/WB shorts of all time: Hare Conditioned. The ending of this cartoon always makes me laugh out loud. It's downright hilarious, especially when the characters have blue irises. Enjoy!

*For some odd reason, posting on my blog lately has been a real problem. I have no idea what happened. I tried posting this video onto my blog through Youtube, but since then there's been a heavy lag problem here. The posts take at least two hours to update edits or show up. When the loading is through, the video doesn't work & it's pretty disappointing knowing that I have this problem while some other sites seem to do it A-OK. Hopefully after this post, things will run a little smoother.*

Thursday, July 19, 2007

"Hop in, I'm Drivin'!"

I just got my license yesterday. Whoop-de-FREAKIN'-doo!

Next stop... TIJUANA! Adios, "Bloggamigos"!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Bunch More Ducks

Continuing from I left off yesterday, here are some more random duck sketches from the past few days:

Here's Steve-O playin' Bogart. I usually don't add shadows to my drawings (especially quick "throw-outs" like these, but I thought it needed that little extra "oompf", so I put some in. I've been doing it a lot more lately. Maybe it'll catch on.

Since I usually spend no more than 2-3 minutes on a sketch, I make plenty of noticeable errors, goofs & whoopsies. The puddles are too angular, the cigarette smoke is wrong & most importantly the angle of the gun is WAY off. I should of leaned it down more, it looks like he's lighting his cig with it. Oh well, it's garbage either way.

I drew this in a local park before a fireworks show. I go to the same show every year with a few friends & some family. The few hours before the show are usually a real drag, but luckily I had my sketchbook to keep me company until the bombs blew.

"Finally, something WITHOUT ducks in it!"

I asked my cousin what her favorite animal was & she answered with a tie between a monkey or a pig. So I drew them both here playing poker.

Here's a tip: never play cards with a monkey, they're cheaters to the core. Their poker faces are impenetrable & when they lose they tear up the house screaming & flinging their excretements all over the place. At least a pig knows when to cut out.

This is what you'd call an "in-joke" in the business.

All her life when getting her picture taken, my sister puts on this shit-eating grin & winces towards the lens like these camera shy fowl are doing in the picture above. At this point it's a completely unconscious habit.

I drew this for a local restaurant in my neck of the woods. It's probably THE best seafood restaurant on Long Island, if not the entire east coast. See if you can guess what it is?

Anyway, I noticed when I was in there last time that an old mentor of mine from Hofstra, Al Baruch, left a drawing there & they framed it & hung it on the wall. No matter where I go, I discover that Ol' Al has left his mark sometime before. Now I make sure everywhere I eat where he's been, I bring my trusty pencil along for the ride to follow his trail.

More to come soon!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bunch o' Ducks

I've kinda stepped away a bit from the main intent of this site: to post my cartoon art & show it to the world. So here's some sketches I've done in the past week or so to stir some things up a bit. Be forewarned, each of them include Steve-O, my duck character.

I drew this while waiting for my dinner in a local diner. I love to bowl. It's probably the only sport I'm good at. Wii Bowling may be loads of fun, but nothing beats the feeling of getting a REAL strike in a REAL game on a REAL alley in the REAL world. Really.

I have no idea what inspired me to draw this, but either way, it's a dead on facsimile.

My sister listens to rap... recreationally. I hate riding in her car, 'cause not only do I have to hear [expletive deleted], [expletive deleted] & [expletive deleted] throughout the whole trip, but she turns the bass up to 110%, plus she's got one of those super-powered, battery-draining subwoofers in the trunk. So every expletive is punctuated by a loud, eardrum-piercing "THUMP" sound. The only redeeming quality of rap is that it has a good beat (it vibrates the seat, massaging my back in the process). It's like I'm sitting in one of those fancy black chairs in Sharper Image.

I drew this immediately after I drew Steve-O bowling. I was just about to finish the drawing up, but then my food came out. French Toast soppin' with maple syrup, bacon, fries & an orange slice... YUM!

While I was sketching Steve-O here slipping on suds, I was thinking of the scene in Snow White where Dopey tries to get the soap to wash Grumpy. One of the funniest scenes in the movie. If only Disney kept Ward Kimball's soup scene in. It really tops off the soap gag at the end.

Here's Steve-O playing tennis. Nothing much else than that.

More to come tomorrow! Stay Tuned...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"Wiimote-ly" Amusing

I finally got my hands on a Wii a few days ago! [snickers & giggles from the back]

Since the Wii has been sold out for months, there was only one way to get one, I had to buy one of those bundle packs that come with two games, an extra remote, etc... but it was definitely worth it.

I've never had as much fun with any other game than I've had with my Wii [more snickering]. Creating eerie little versions of myself, my friends & family on the Mii Channel... nearly drowning in my own sweat playing Wii Sports... complete & utter randomness in Wario Ware... wacky minigames involving the torment, torture & maiming of creepy looking bunnies in Rayman: Raving Rabbids... downloading & playing some classic games from childhood off of the Virtual Console channel... sweet lord almighty, we have a winner!

After screwing around with the Wii for a while [snickers ahoy], I wondered... How the hell could someone lose their grip on one of these remotes & have it fly through televisions, break ceiling fans & injuring innocent bystanders? Each step through the pre-game process constantly warns you to have the strap around your wrist at all times & to grip the remote firmly. That was what went through my mind as I drew the cartoon above.

I realized that a majority of these people must either be clumsy, ignorant, stubborn, completely illiterate, lacking common sense or just plain stupid. Some might be in more than one category. Heck, plenty of these people probably would answer "all of the above". Coincidentally, nearly all the cases of Wiimote accidents that I've heard of have taken place somewhere in the grand ol' US of A. I'd like to call these people "Wii-brains". There is now even a website called "Wii Have A Problem", that has logged in every reported Wii-related accident they could find. Here's the damage report so far, as listed on their site:

45 Broken Straps
41 People
21 Broken Controllers
19 Lamps
11 Walls
9 Wii Hacks & Mods
9 Ceiling Fans
8 Dishes
7 Wiis
6 Pets
5 TV Stands and Furniture
5 Windows
3 Laptops
2 PDA's, Phones, Cameras
2 Pictures
2 Protection Devices
1 Jewelry
1 Remote Sleeves
1 Fireplaces
1 Stereos

Can you believe that?! Since September of last year, there have been nearly 225 reported cases of Wiimotes breaking TVs, frying Wii's & injuring people & animals alike. & those are only ones that have been REPORTED! Who knows how many "Wii-brained Ninten-D'OHs" are out there maiming Fluffy with a supersonic remote control from hell!

We'll, I'll make sure to grip firmly & move delicately when I'm playing with my Wii all summer long [yellow puddle forming].

'Til next time!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

"The Rockman & I"

Apparently, I made the headlines recently:

(click to enlarge)

I apologize for not continuing with the "Rockman, Shmockman" series, but there would've been endless amounts of mindless & downright dull things to cover. So, I'll cut to the chase & get to the point.

We worked night & day to complete this thing on time for graduation. But during the last two weeks, there was a falling out between ourselves & a few reps from the school board. I don't blame 'em. There's always politics of some kind coming up when discussing donations.

The school wanted us to put the sculpture on a concrete sidewalk on the side of the school, since parents & kids who drive into the parking lot in the back would see it on the way in or out. But upon inspecting the site, my father & I discovered that the spot was unsafe, since the plate the Rockman is welded to was too big to fit & the sidewalk itself was severely slanted & too steep. It would've been an accident waiting to happen. At that point, we decided to place it in a spot where it would be more level & safe from tipping over. The night before graduation, we plopped it on the lawn in front of the main entrance & left.

The next morning, dressed for graduation, I noticed dozens of people crowding around ol' Rocky, admiring it & taking pictures with it. For a while I stood in the background watching people look at it, until a friend of mine congratulated me on it, where everyone overheard him & then crowded around me. I got in on a few pictures, answered a barrage of questions & accepted many compliments & thank-you's from teachers, parents, kids & soon-to-be graduates like myself. My father was in on all the action, too.

After the ceremony, I was interviewed by the Herald (my local paper) & had my picture taken with my creation. You can view some of the pics here at the photographer Kathy Liestner's website.
-Later on that day we took Rocky back to our shop, where he has remained since. We have some high hopes for him finding a permanent home, but for now he's on guard duty at the shop.
-I'm still getting stopped on the street because of him. I'm not really used to this kind of attention. Although it feels great knowing somebody out there likes what I have done & knows of my art, I don't wanna get hooked on it, since it probably won't last too long. My 15 minutes of fame will soon be over.
-At least this project is finally done! Now I can look forward to my NEXT project (Oh boy...)! See ya around!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Independence Day!

Remember kids, don't fool around with fireworks, 'cause if you blow your hands off, you won't be able to play with your dad's powertools later.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Go See Ratatouille!

I went & saw Ratatouille on Friday. Simply amazing! Brad Bird & the PIXAR team knocked another great one right outta the park.

When I got up & left the theater that afternoon, several thoughts went through my head:

-how great the animation was...
-how the rats in the film acted & moved like real rats, & not like men in Mickey Mouse suits...
-how well developed the characters, voices & story was...

...but the one important thought that went through my head, as well as everyone else in that theater was probably this:

"I'm hungry."

I swear, I just wanted to reach out & grab that food right off the screen! I heard more stomachs growl in that theater in those 2 hours than anywhere else in my life.

The movie was not quite what I expected, but what I saw up there on the screen was equally, if not better, than what I expected. Fantastic, superb, excellent film! (& what a funny little cartoon in the beginning, too!)

Do the world a favor... if you haven't seen Ratatouille yet, go see it NOW! I mean it... get up, grab your keys, drive on down to your local theater, shell out 10 bucks for a ticket, buy a jumbo-sized bucket fulla popcorn, a tub of soda & a crate of Buncha Crunch, sit down & watch that goddamn movie! Period! End of story!