Sunday, May 31, 2009

For those of you who didn't notice, I finally changed the headline banner for the blog. I just realized that Fall was over. Why doesn't anyone TELL me these things?!

I originally planned to change the banner for every season. I did one for last summer & did one for the fall, but because of college & other more pressing matters, I never got around to making a new banner. So the fall banner sat all through winter & spring, 'til yesterday when I finally got fed up & scribbled this out in 20 minutes, just to change things around.

I'll keep this one up 'til the end of the summer (or when I better idea for a design comes along). 'Til then, enjoy me & my tarantula-leg eyebrows for a few months.

By the way, here's the old model, just in case some of you miss it already:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fan Art a Go-Go!!!

Although I don't have an army of drooling fans drawing truckloads of fan art of my characters on a daily basis, I do receive one every once in a while. Sure, most of them are from friends, but I don't care, I love 'em just the same! I love seeing myself &/or my characters in such a wide variety of styles, it's a very amazing, if not humbling, sight. Because fan art comes very few & far between, I admire & cherish every single one I receive, no matter how crude they may be. & thus far, I haven't gotten a crude one yet!!!

These were done by my friend Chris Niosi, whom I've generously plugged numerous times before (& he deserves another plug now!)

This guy I haven't really showcased much is named "King Nautillus", an aspiring evil cephalopod king of the sea. Imagine a somewhat eccentric octopus with a voice along the lines of either Paul Lynde or Vincent Price.

& speaking of Nautillus, here's my friend Zach Bellissimo's interpretation of the underwater king. He got the level of sliminess & sagginess just right. I'm actually gonna take some of the little bits he subbed in & use them on the character from now on. 

& then he drew me as a link button on his blog sidebar. I look like a cross between Ace Ventura & Wolverine... in a hat. Fear my tarantula-leg eyebrows! 

My most recent piece of fanart was a commission from my Cartooning friend Mike Luckas. He drew my three bird boys in a semi-realistic, semi-cartoony style that I really dig. The colors& shading alone knock my socks off!

Another Cartooning friend, Pat Woodruff, drew this for me as a Christmas present, done up all in markers. I love the bucket of chicken in the microwave, it's actually the first time in years I've seen Cannibal Chicken actually craving for chicken. It's kinda like a coincidental throwback from when I first used to draw him, it gives me this great nostalgic feeling.

& the last bunch was done by my friend Ivey Ao. She painted all of these pieces with watercolors. Painting watercolors are very hard to do (at least for me), so I really give Ivey huge amounts of credit for going out of her way to do these for me. They rock!

I'm even going through the trouble of giving these pieces justice. Each one of the original hard copies that were given to me are going to be framed & hung on my wall. It's a lot better than stuffing them in a drawer. 

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Woods are Filled with CUCKOOS!!!

30 days, has September,
April, June & Montana,
all the rest have cold weather,
except in the summer,
which isn't often!

Woo hoo! Woo hoo!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wayne Allwine (1947-2009)

I just heard that Wayne Allwine, the voice of Mickey Mouse, had just passed away. This is a real shocking blow to the system.

I was lucky to meet him & his wife Russi a few years ago. He was such a kind & wonderful man. I'm glad to know he had a very happy life, making millions of people around the world happy too. My sincerest condolences to his wife Russi & the rest of his family.

See ya real soon!
Why, because we like you!

We'll miss you Wayne...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dumm dada DUMMMMMM!!!

Some time ago, Dumm Comics held a contest for people to submit their own interpretations of one of the regular comics on this site. Since I really loved the comics & got a kick out of my friend Zach & his girlfriend Tara's guest strips, I wanted to do one too.

I had a hard time figuring out which of the five comics to do. I finally settled on Big Pants Mouse once I found my story. That, & because I really dig the designs of the characters. I sat down & started to draw it out. 

Sadly, being not as Photoshop literate then as I am now, I had a hard time "beefing up" my drawings in the program. After much trial & error, I had no choice but to resort to tracing over my original pencil drawings. That & my skewed sense of color sight are my biggest regrets. If I could, I'd go back & redo this from scratch, but what's done is done, so I'll just leave it be & move on. Either way, it's hard for me to look at, just like an old drawing from a few months ago.

Enough self-deprecating... on to the meat & potatoes!

Here's the finished comic. Click on it to see it full size.

& here are some of my originals. As you can see, there's definitely more vitality & life in these than in the final. Oh well...

I'd like to thank Gabe Swarr for his consideration & kind words (as well as creating Big Pants Mouse in the first place). He's a very talented & nice fellow. 

& it really goes without saying, but PLEASE GO CHECK OUT DUMM COMICS EVERY DAY! The button on the sidebar is there for a reason!
You know it's about time to get a haircut when your hair does this:

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Little Animation Practice + Congrats to the Grads!

Yesterday, I found an old sound clip my friend Chris Zito recorded for a class project, which I sadly never finished. & since I needed a bit of practice to keep the animation juices flowing, I brought the clip into Flash & animated to it, straight ahead. 

After an hour & 15 minutes work, here's what I ended up with:

I may just go back & clean this guy up. I have a lot more sound clips lying around on my computer, so I'll definitely be practicing a lot. Chris' voice is loads of fun to animate to.


& speaking of Chris, I wish to congratulate him & all the other cool art folk who graduated from SVA today! I briefly stopped by Radio City Music Hall (where the ceremony was being held) & wished luck & congratulations to all my friends. They all pushed themselves to their limits these past 4 years & now they can have a little rest... then go out & get themselves a job!!!

Thanks ChrisShelley, Carly, Jon, Jen, Rebecca, Paul, Eunkyu, Alex, Pat, Dan, Emmanuel, Jared, Millie & the slew of other people who've inspired me, lifted my spirits or just kept me company these past few years. You guys rock this world & I know you all will go on to do great things someday. Thanks, & congratulations!

Cliche'... I know. But somebody had to say it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Animation in a (.gif)y

Last week, I was observing my profile image. I've had that same picture there for almost a year now, & not just here on Blogger, but on Facebook, deviantArt & a bunch of other websites I galavant through on a regular basis. I thought it was finally time to make myself a new one to replace last year's model. I wanted to make something snazzier, so I opened up Flash & in about 2 hours I animated, cleaned up & colored in my new avatar. At first it was simple, but by the end (like everything else I animate) I went overboard.

Here's what I ended up with: 

Click the Image to Watch

Everything seemed to be fine, until I tried to post it on deviantArt.

The site has a .gif limit of only 15KB. This baby was a whopping 60KB, way over the limit. With a little help from friends & lot of butchering, I brought the file down to a measly 14KB. To get it down to that size, I got rid of all the color, lowered the image quality to about 12%, shrunk the size down to 36 pixels & cut out 2/3 of the frames. It was finally small enough to post, but by that point the animation was unrecognizable, so I canned it. Defeated, I went back to the drawing board & in 45 minutes created another, less-overdone avatar:

Click the Image to Watch

Unlike the last one, the file size on this was only 8KB, so I finally was able to change my DA avatar. But sadly, that was the only profile image I could change. For some reason, Blogger can't upload animated .gifs on the profile pages anymore, so all that work was pretty much for naught. 

Ah well, back to the drawing board (again). I'll change my profile image eventually, but since it isn't imperative at this point, it can wait a little while longer. 

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Few Good Updates

Hey folks, how's life treating you (besides the economic depression, swine flu & outrage from jetliner photo-op debacles)? Well, at least it's been ok on my end...

-First off, my 2nd year of college is officially over. My grades were alright & I had a good time, & that's all that matters to me. I had plenty of ups & downs throughout the year, but my ups more or less outweighed the downs, & overall I'm satisfied with how it's gone. I'm really looking forward to my 3rd year.

-& speaking of college, this past Thursday was the annual Dusty Animation Thesis Screening. This was my first time going to the Dusty's & I had a complete blast. We watched nearly 50 student films there were hits & misses all around, but overall this year's graduates are some of the most talented bunch of animators I've ever seen. Those were the shortest 4 & 1/2 hours I ever sat through. I'm goin' every year now!

- & now that summer's here, I got a lot of good things planned. Besides finishing my short film, I plan on doing some side animation work here & there, just to keep the rhythm going 'til September. I'm going back to San Diego for Comic-Con once again (& hopefully THIS time I'll actually get some REAL business cards). But most importantly, I now have time to DRAW, DRAW, DRAW... & work on my special little project that I'll enlighten you folks upon shortly.

One last thing...

My friend & fellow SVA animator
Kaukab Basheer has just started her own blog! Saying this woman has infinite talent would be a complete understatement. I almost put down my pencil for good after seeing her drawings for the first time. She never ceases to amaze me. I recommend... no, advise... no... ORDER you to go to her site & check out her artwork! You won't regret it!

Take care!

Monday, May 4, 2009

3 Creepy Creatures Straight from My Cranium

This past week, I did a page of random creatures. I liked a few of them so much, I decided to not only color them, but also name them & write little descriptions of each one:

The Sea Glorxnard 

The Sea Groxnard is a troubled species. It's walrus-like incisors & large proboscis prevent it from consuming any food larger than the gap between them. It's small webbed feet make it difficult to walk on land, but they're also too small to maneuver properly in water. & because of it's disfigured appearance, it's even hard to feel pity for it. Luckily, since it's just as disgusting on the inside as it is on the outside, this makes the Groxnard virtually inedible & too unappealing for larger, more complex life-forms to feed upon. Lucky, whatever it is.

The Ruby-Speckled Horshnickle 

This particualr breed is called a Ruby-Speckled Horshnickle, aptly named for the abundant ruby-like forms sprouting from it's large cranium. Depending on the age, it sports a set of multicolored tail feathers with glowing tips, used to lure prey & impress mates. While it does have a set of wings, the creature cannot fly. But despite being grounded to the forest floor, it's spring-like legs enable it to leap at least 4 times it's height from tree to tree. 
The Radioactive Blorbble-Scungk

This one I call the Radioactive Blorbble-Scungk Lizard. It's a subterranean gator-like reptile that feeds on chemical refuge beneath landfills & power plants. While digesting, it emits a series of glowing, fluid-filled bubbles from several waste stalks on the top of his head. Because of the immense amounts of radioactivity coursing through it's bloodstream, it glows several different shades of colors (depending on it's particular mood).

Don't you think some of these would make great toys? Wouldn't the Blorbble-Scungk be cool if he were made like the old Soakie toys from the 60's? Would you buy a Horshnickle fiber-optic novelty lamp? How about a Gloxnard Pez dispenser? 

One of these days, when I've got a few bucks to spare, I'd like to have one of these guys made into a figure to sell at conventions or whenever. I really got a kick out of Jeff Pidgeon's Happy Beaver vinyl toy last year, as well as John K's Presidential figures. If they can do it, why can't I?

Oh well, maybe someday.