Monday, June 30, 2008

End of Month Doodles

Here's another bunch of various doodles & sketches over the past two months I carefully chosen as worthy to post. Because of the big move in May, I didn't get to post any drawings from that month. However, here they are today for your viewing pleasure:

The most notable items on this page below are the various caricatures of my friends from SVA near the top of the image. On the top left is yours truly, then Chris Zito in the middle, then Chris Niosi & a failed Mike Luckas above the Bloo doodle on the right. I also drew a "chibi" Kat Shin between myself & Zito.


God I love drawin' this next guy!

This is a caricature of my old man "Chim". He's a lot of fun to draw 'cause he has plenty of facial features that are easy to translate into a cartoon. The eyebrows, the mustache, the Bozo hair & the disgruntled expression describe Chim to a 'T'.


Here's a bunch of humanoid characters. While Chaplin & the sailors were a blast to draw, I'm still havin' problems with girls. I've looked at Katie Rice's blog for some inspiration, & it's helpin' a little bit. Hopefully I'll have a knack for it by the time fall comes around.


Alright, this'll be fun...

Can you guess what bands/singers Steve-O & Randy are dressed up as in the image below? Go on, guess! I'll put the answers at the end of this post.

I've said it before, & I'll say it again.... I love Dr. Seuss. I especially like Steve-O playin' Cat in the Hat.



This one has a few crazy-looking ducks, almost like the ones in my Surreal duck post a few days ago.


These are my favorites when I look through my sketchbooks at the end of each month: just pages full on various doodles piled together in a big mash-up.





Here's Steve-O in a bunch of various poses. I've lately liked to draw him like in the sitting pose near the middle, almost like he's in contemplation like Wile E. Coyote. For action poses like when he throws punches, I've been studying E.C. Segar's Popeye strips. I haven't quite got it down yet, but I'm learning a little more each day.


Here's more of Steve-O. I've also tried to neaten-up my lettering over the past few weeks for when I've decided to start doing comics again. I'm also tryin' to pinpoint Steve-O's written mannerisms & dialogue. While Randy will probably speak using fluent & complete words, Steve-O's will probably be like what you see below: abbreviated, shortened & sloshed together (have to=hafta, your=yer, -ing= -in', etc.)


Besides the duck degeneration set on the top, this particular page has another interesting bit to it. I drew the three birds in their "Then & Now" designs. Over the past 7 years or so, my characters have gone through a real drastic change in design. As my drawing ability "improved", so did their designs (at least to me). As you can see, Cannibal Chicken's change has made the most drastic, from September '01 to the present day (June '08).




Here's a page fulla animals! It's like a freakin' zoo! My personal favorites (if you can find 'em) are the crocodile, the whale, the rat, the cat, the beaver, the vulture, the bulldog, the boar & the peacock.

& finally, here's a guy you probably haven't seen in a long while..... it's CONRAD the FOX! For those that remember me postin' this guy back a LONG time ago, you probably noticed that his design has changed a bit since then, hopefully for the better. & to those who are wondering what's going on with him?..... don't worry you'll find out soon enough (I hope). I quickly colored him up sloppily in Photoshop.



Here are the answers to the "Band Birds" picture from before:


Top left is Daft Punk, Top right is KISS, bottom right is Devo & bottom left is Ringo Starr & George Harrison during their shaggy days.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

"Dōmo arigatō misutā Robotto"

To celebrate the release of Disney/PIXAR's new film Wall-E (which I still haven't seen yet), this week's Toon Platoon topic was focused on robots & their purpose(s).

I drew up this whole page of concepts. While I finally chose the one in the middle with the tank treads & tassels, I really liked the garbage can one on the top left as well as the big vacuum thingy on the bottom right. Still, I think the one I finally chose has a real nice design. It looks like something you would find in EPCOT sweeping up the street.

(Click to Enlarge)

Make sure to check out the other entries on Toon Platoon by using the link on the right.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Check out Dumm Comics!

I knew I should've done this weeks ago, so let me get this out there....

GO CHECK OUT DUMM COMICS!!!
NOW!!!

New comics, every weekday! Laughs guaranteed!

(Click on the Dumm Comics badge on bottom right side of page)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Help?..."

Does anybody remember this guy?...

For those of you that don't (or are too young to) remember, this is a character called Jof the Cat from a cartoon called "HELP?", which aired on the "What a Cartoon" show years ago on Cartoon Network. The cartoon was created, produced & directed by famed Italian animator Bruno Bozzetto (of Allegro non Troppo fame). This was one of my favorite cartoon shorts when I was a little kid!

Recently, I found the cartoon up on Youtube, having not seen it in nearly a decade. As I watched it again after so many years, old childhood memories flooded back to me, especially the memory of how great Cartoon Network USED to be. After the cartoon finished, I was inspired to draw Jof, having not drawn him since I tried scribbling him down while watching the cartoon on TV, back when I was only around 7 years old.

Here's the cartoon (& all it's wholesome cartoony goodness), courtesy of Youtube. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Surreal....

I was bored, so I drew some whacked-out, web-footed ducks. Enjoy!

This is sick & twisted, even for me.

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin (1937 - 2008)

George Carlin, probably the greatest comedian who ever walked on the face of this Earth, has just passed away last night.

He was (& forever will be) my favorite comedian not just because he was a funny comedian, but a truthful one. For someone as raunchy & obscene as he often was, he was one of (if not the) most intelligent entertainers who ever lived. Nobody can hold a candle to him, he's THAT legendary. Such a great loss.

Thanks for the thoughts you've given us & the laughs we gave back. We'll miss you, George Carlin.

Here's some of his comedy sketches:

"Place to Keep Your Stuff"


"Baseball & Football"


"The Ten Commandments"


"Natural Disasters"


& last (but CERTAINLY not the least): "The Seven Dirty Words"


You can buy all his comedy specials all in one package HERE.

Thanks for everything, George...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Anubis: Egyptain God Turned Dog Food Spokesman

This week on Toon Platoon, my friend Jose (aka OmegaEye) decided that this week's topic will be to do your own interpretation of the Egyptian god, Anubis (below).

I decided that if I'm going to draw this bland-looking & seemingly morbid character, I might as well have a little fun with it. & I did.

Say hello to "Nubie", the spokesjackal for Anubis Brand Dog Food!

Here's the inked drawing above...

& the colored version I put up as my entry on Toon Platoon. Like I've said numerous times before, I hate coloring! But, I decided to go ahead & do a nice coloring of the picture in Photoshop especially for the viewers here on 'For the Birds'. So here it is:



Oh, & whaddaya know, it's my 150th Post!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ollie Johnston Memorial Tribute - Part #3

Sorry for being so late with Part 3. Better late than never!

video

0:00 - 1:37 -- Bambi's first walk through the woods (Bambi 1942)
1:37 - 2:31 -- Prince John & Sir Hiss greet fortune tellers (Robin Hood 1973)
2:31 - 4:05 -- Mr. Smee shaves Capt. Hook (Peter Pan 1953)
4:05 - 8:23 -- 'Bare Necessities' sequence (Jungle Book 1967)
8:23 - 10:05 -- Donald Duck VS. the Pinata (Three Caballeros 1944)
10:05 - 10:45 -- Bernard & Bianca say goodnight (The Rescuers 1977)

It's getting harder & harder to put these videos together because I'm running low on clips! I still have roughly 20 clips left to post, but it's hard to put them in a fashionable order without going too far over the 10-minute limit I put for myself. At least I got that long 'Bare Necessities' scene outta the way.

Also, I'm gonna have to go back & snag more clips for the tribute. As of now, I have NO clips from Cinderella, Lady & the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty or any of the later shorts he took part in (Susie the Little Blue Coupe, Ben & Me, the Winnie the Pooh shorts, etc.) It's not that I'm too lazy to get the footage, it's just that I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT HE DID IN THOSE FILMS!!! I know he animated the stepsisters in Cinderella & the Good Fairies in Sleeping Beauty, but I just don't know what SPECIFIC scenes he himself did. Please.... if ANYONE can clear these things up for me & can help me out, it would be greatly appreciated... not just for me, but for the sake of Ollie, too.

Also, since I have a lot on my plate right now, the next part will be a little late as well. But I'll try my best to get it done ASAP.

-----------------------------------------------

Once again, special thanks goes to Hans Perk, Mark Mayerson, Michael Sporn, John Canemaker, Thad K., Mike Barrier, Howard Beckerman & Emily Plassman for helping me through this (directly or indirectly).

**As it says in the video, all characters, scenes & films shown in the tribute are rightfully owned by the Walt Disney Company. No harm is intended. All rights reserved. **

Stay Tuned for Part #4!!!

Imaginary yet Plausible Denizens of the Hudson River

For last week's Toon Platoon topic, I chose to design a fish that could survive in the Hudson River. I ended up posting THIS.

I went through numerous possible designs for my entry. Of course, I carried a bunch of quirks from the rejected designs over to the final fish, most noticeably the smokestacks on their backs & the wrinkled, shredded look of the fins. Here's 2 of the better ones I came up with:



Tuesday, June 17, 2008

For the Birds Summer Blog Banner

You probably all noticed the brand-spankin' new banner I made for the top of the page a few days ago. I thought the blog needed a little summery touch, so I made it & put it up to ''brighten the room''.

I originally was going to do the whole thing, drawn & colored, in Photoshop. But when I got to the point you see below, I realized that it just didn't look right to me. I can't seem to get that spontaneous & organic quality from my paper drawings using a tablet. So I decided to start from scratch the good old-fashioned way: with paper, pencil & pen.

I roughly re-sketched the layout from the computer version on paper & inked it using my favorite pen, a Size 1 Pigma Graphic Pen. I like to ink my characters with big, fat, juicy lines. The only problem I have with these pens is that they dry out SUPER quick. I can barely get a day's worth of drawing out of it. I go through a LOT of these pens, 2 bucks a pop.

After erasing my pencils & scanning the drawing in, I colored it all in Photoshop. The hardest part to me was all that #$*&! sand! Besides that, the only other things I added to the drawing in Photoshop were the clouds, the sun & my name.

There are some things I like better in the rejected tablet job than the final inked version. In the tablet one, Cannibal Chicken's pose is a bit more pushed out & Randy looks just the way I like him. The inked Randy's head looks a bit too 'dumpy', I should've had his head tilt back like I did in the other one. Well, it doesn't matter now, it's all in the past. What's done is done.

Oh, I for those who miss the old banner I had up before, here it is:

Monday, June 16, 2008

You like puppets too?...

Although I haven't spoken about it at all in the entire history of this blog, I am a HUGE fan of the Muppets & the art of puppet performing.

Along with Disney cartoons & movies, I was raised on the Muppets. Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock & Muppet Babies were some of the first shows I ever watched on television growing up. Emmett Otter's Jugband Christmas has been a must-watch yearly tradition for my older sister & me every holiday season & John Denver with the Muppets has always been near the top of my music library. The Muppets first introduced me to many great artists, comedians, musicians & actors through The Muppet Show & the Muppet movies & they still entertain me to this very day. In many ways, the Muppets have been a bigger inspiration to me than any cartoon character.

To me, Jim Henson is the person I idolize the most. He was a very unique individual, who had an incredible imagination, appealing personality & more creativity & talent in his bare hands than most people have in their entire body. Of course he had numerous equally creative & talented people at his side (Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, & countless others), but nobody had the spirit & tenacity that Henson did. He left the world far too soon.

Being a puppeteer has been a secret dream of mine for many years, & until now I haven't been able to quench my thirst for it. A few months back, I decided it was finally time to make my dream a reality.

For weeks I scanned the web scanning, researching & inquiring numerous companies & studios who can seamlessly create a puppet based on my own specifications. After looking over numerous sites & asking questions through email with countless dead-ends, I finally came to the right place: Furry Puppet Inc. . I immediately contacted Zack Bouchman from Furry Puppet, getting a gratifying reply back from him. After meeting with him & discussing specific quirks & important factors in the design of the puppet, we struck a deal!

Before I made contact with Zack, I thought hard on who to translate from 2D to the third-dimension. I finally decided that Cannibal Chicken would be the best choice because I thought he'd be the most difficult to transform into 3D & fabricate in puppet form. Get the hardest out of the way first, right?

I sent Zack a bunch of sketches & finished drawings showing him what Cannibal Chicken would look like from all sides as well as his proportions, colors, specific quirks & details in his design (his one green eye, his shirt, etc.). Here's some of the drawings I sent him:



Zack took these reference drawings & started working...

A few weeks later, Zack sent me some work-in-progress pictures of the puppet. At that point, the puppet was only sculpted foam. Although it was hard to visualize how the puppet would finally look, I was shocked & excited at how far the project had progressed & how Cannibal Chicken looked in three dimensions:



After this point, the puppet's pieces were sewn together, had it's fabric & fur dyed the appropriate colors & sewed on, had bendable & flexible wires put into the fingers & tail, had them grafted to the body & had arm rods attatched.

After over a month of work, Cannibal Chicken was finally complete:

I couldn't believe my eyes when I first saw these pictures. I practically fell outta my chair! He came out a million times better than I could possibly imagine!

I'd like to thank Zack Bouchman & Maria Gurevich (chief fabricator) from Furry Puppet for their wonderful work & for letting me have permission to post the work-in-progress pictures. They're both extremely amazing & talented artists! Check out their official site & the Furry Puppet Blog to see their work & (if you desire) order a custom puppet of your very own from them. I highly recommend them!

Now that the first half of my puppeteering goal is complete, it's time for Phase #2! I'll try to post video(s) of Cannibal Chicken in the near future to see if I got what it takes. 'Til then, I'll be warming up & getting used to handling the puppet.

As you can probably tell, I'm very satisfied indeed.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I've been plugged by the Animation Podcast!!!

Most artists/animators/cartoonists/diehards out there probably have listened to or are at least aware of The Animation Podcast done by animator Clay Kaytis. For those of you that don't know, The Animation Podcast is an online podcast show where Clay interviews many talented animators throughout the field, discussing their career as well as their own knowledge & insight on the art of animation.

Like many people, I am an avid listener to his podcast show & have been ever since his first show years ago. I've listened to it while on my computer, in my car, on plane trips, all throughout my two visits through Europe, on my commute to NYC each week & most importantly while I'm drawing or animating, whether at the SVA studio or my own little one at home. After years of listening to his show, I thought I'd finally leave Clay a voicemail through Skype thanking him for the great work he's done.

Earlier today, I find that I've had numerous hits from the Animation Podcast website. I uploaded his latest show onto my iPod & discovered that not only was my voicemail used at the end of the show, but he gave my blog's address in the show & linked to it through the site! What an honor!

Although my blog doesn't get a fraction of the hits Clay's gets, I shall return the favor! Go to the Animation Podcast website, listen & download his shows onto your computer & put 'em all on your iPod! It's all worth the listen! Also, for future reference, I shall put a link to Clay's site not only in the 'Links' section on the right, but I'll also put an Animation Podcast button link to him under my profile too!

A very special thanks to Clay Kaytis for this honor! I'll be looking forward to all of his future shows & words. "Thanks for toonin' in!"

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Ollie Johnston's Legacy Tribute - Part #2

Here's Part 2 of Ollie's Tribute comin' right at ya!

video


--:05 - :32 - Mickey Mouse's Monday Introduction (Mickey Mouse Club 195?)

--:32 - 1:35 Orville's Takeoff (The Rescuers 1977)
--1:35 - 2:10 Cupids & Centaurettes (Fantasia 1940)
--2:10 - 4:22 Gabble Sisters teach O'Malley to swim (The AristoCats 1970)
--4:22 - 4:53 Brer' Fox Introduction (Song of the South 1946)
--4:53 - 6:21 Prince John & Sir Hiss at archery tournament (Robin Hood 1973)
--6:21 - 6:56 Chicken Little learns the sky is falling (Chicken Little 1943)
--6:56 - 7:47 Baloo Introduction (Jungle Book 1967)
--7:47 - 8:03 Aurora Miranda kisses Donald Duck (Three Caballeros 1944)
--8:03 - 9:43 Peter goes forth to hunt the Wolf (Make Mine Music 1946)
--9:43 - 10:47 District Attorney makes his case (The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr. Toad 1948)

Once again, special thanks goes to Hans Perk, Mark Mayerson, Michael Sporn, John Canemaker, Thad K., Mike Barrier, Howard Beckerman & Emily Plassman for helping me through this (directly or indirectly)

**As it says in the video, all characters, scenes & films shown in the tribute are rightfully owned by the Walt Disney Company. No harm was intended. All rights reserved. **

Part Three will be coming up as soon as possible. Stay Tuned!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ollie Johnston's Legacy Tribute - Part 1

Well, after all this time collecting, organizing & compiling, here's part one of my tribute to Ollie Johnston & his life's work:

video

:20 - :46 -- Ollie's first credited scene from "Brave Little Tailor" (1938)
:46 - 1:27 -- Introduction of Mr. Smee from "Peter Pan" (1953)
1:27 - 4:07 -- Introductory scene of Prince John & Sir Hiss from "Robin Hood" (1973)
4:07 - 5:12 -- Thumper's 'Eating Greens' scene from "Bambi" (1942)
5:12 - 6:00 -- Archimedes laughing from "The Sword in the Stone" (1963)
6:00 - 6:34 -- Pinocchio coming to life from "Pinocchio" (1940)
6:34 - 8:05 -- Orville's introduction from "The Rescuers" (1977)
8:05 - 9:13 -- Female Reason & Emotion from "Reason & Emotion" (1943)
9:19 - 9:56 -- Pongo comforting Perdita from "One Hundred & One Dalmatians" (1961)

Like I said in my other post, this tribute is going be in multiple parts, each about 10 minutes in length. In the end, there should be about 9 or 10 parts. Expect Part 2 in the next couple of days (if not sooner).

Special Thanks to Hans Perk, Mark Mayerson, Michael Sporn, John Canemaker, Thad K., Mike Barrier, Howard Beckerman & Emily Plassman for your help & information. Without your help, writings or knowledge, none of this would be possible. (Since I'm limited to 10 minutes for these videos, you're names will be listed in the credits on the last video).

As it says in the video, all characters, scenes & films shown in the tribute are rightfully owned by the Walt Disney Company. No harm was intended. All rights reserved.

Stay tuned for Part #2....

Monday, June 2, 2008

FortheBirds Masterpiece Collection - "Relativity Check"

Yet another agonizingly magnificent work of art from the "FortheBirds Masterpiece Collection":
"Relativity Check"
based on M.C. Escher's famous lithograph 'Relativity'