Some stupid Disney exec, who’s never been to a Pixar film with kids in the crowd, came up with this
Yeah, I can see this working as an addition for the home market to keep kids interested in a film for a third, or fourth, viewing, but in a theater? How annoying are cell phones in cinemas to begin with? Those screens lighting up every twenty seconds when some idiot texts to their friend about “how cute so-n-so is”, or what “they’re wearing to the party tomorrow night”, or how they “wanna sneak liquor out of their grandparents house”? Now you want to encourage small children (who have no sense of manners) some landing strip lights to flood out the movie with?! As if sitting behind someone who’s 7′ tall isn’t bad enough, now to have an illuminated billboard popping up randomly during the important bits of a film? Telling kids it’s ok to scream at each other over a game, with a constant “tap,tap,tap”, and telling Mommy how David cheated? With “Look at my high score!”, or “Mom, mom, mom, mom, did you know…mom, mom, mom, like, the fish, he’s a flounder, did you know that? Huh? Mom, mom, mom…”.

Seriously, you think this is a good idea? Why? Because movie theaters with rambunctious kids aren’t annoying enough as it is? Your solution is to get them all riled up with other activities?! Will that solve your attendance problem? Really? Perhaps it’s the fact adults can’t enjoy films because kids aren’t being controlled as they should? Between the noise and “superfund sites” that parents leave behind, why pay a minimum of $30 for a parent, a kid, and a box of popcorn when a Disney DVD is only $24? Maybe it’s that theater owners don’t do enough to make cinemas about watching a movie, and not about “hanging out”, or letting parents treat the rest of the audience as a free “babysitter” for two hours? If you really think distracting children more when they’re supposed to be sitting, watching a film, is a better idea, then why not give them a free large mountain dew and box of sugar babies with every app download? Then we can see if it’ll make their heads explode and be done with it!?!

Ugh. Thanks to Cartoon Brew for the heads up.

Thanks for noticing me—

September 11, 2013

~Thanks Gary Erskine for posting stuff that makes me cry~

Ian Chachere did this short story about real life Christopher Robin (son of A.A.Milne, creator of “Winnie the Pooh”) for a competition. Good work that just tears out your guts.

Check it out…

“Good Night Billy Moon”


Up, up, up, and…

January 30, 2013

Not Superman, it’s Paper Man!

This is a Disney short that has been circling around in bits and pieces for a while. Now the complete cartoon is available online, and I seriously suggest everyone to check it out. I especially love how the texturing of the line work gives it that xeroxed drawing feel that 101 Dalmatians, Aristcats, and others from the late 60s had. It’s a simple, sweet, well timed, planned out short, and if you didn’t know you’d swear it was from the Pixar side of the family. Some will say it’s a prime example of the “CalArts” approach to animation, but I think all that really matters is that it’s good. At least I think so.

Enjoy— while it lasts. You know the Mouse, they’ll pull it, and put it back in their “vault” in no time. Another great steal from Cartoon Brew.

I’m not one for enjoying reading things without pictures. As a comic artist that goes without saying, but even as a kid it was more so, than most people know. At the earliest age, I showed a tendency to only see things, not read them. Granted I could read well enough, but I tended to focus on the visual side of books. When my parents saw that I loved to draw comics they went out and got me the “How to Draw the Marvel Way” book. When others look at it, this is what they see on the page.

But for me it always looked like this.

So fast forward 35 or so years, and you see me now. Still drawing, and still hating to read long sections of copy. Most art text books I avoid like the plague, mainly because they don’t seem to acknowledge that artists are visual and need things explained that way, but Andrew Loomis understood this. I think that’s why his books have been sought out by artists more so than any other. His have taught me tons, and I still go back to them on (almost) a daily basis. For years you couldn’t find them, except as expensive collector pieces, since they’ve been out of print for decades. Luckily they’re being re-released by Titan books and the first two, Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth  and Drawing the Head and Hands, are now available.

But at a recent art session, I was sitting near a girl who was just whipping out sketches. There was something that I recognized in the approach, so during a break I asked- “Are you an animator?” to which she said “How did you know?”. It was obvious from the way her pencil skated about the paper and how her pictures were more about capturing the feel of the pose than reproducing it. I noticed that after she had exhausted the pose multiple times over the five minute pose, she would expand to drawing other artists in the room, quickly capturing the essence of their stance. So I started thinking about how I needed that energy in my own work, to loosen up, to capture the feel of the pose, and not get bogged down in detail. To help me achieve this I found the Drawn to Life series by Walt Stanchfield. They’re not so much books, as they are a collection of handouts he did for his drawing/gesture class at the Disney studios.

What’s happened is I’ve been totally taken in by them. I’m reading theory, and further more, I love it. Perhaps it’s age, which has allowed me to develop… oh, what’s the word, ah, patience. They’re all theory, talking about how to see the figure, how to study it, interpret it, and only then convey it onto paper. He talks about not drawing what’s in front of you, acting like a camera, but living the pose, stressing the important elements, and letting the message of it fill the sketch. Sure there are the visual examples of what he’s talking about, and the lectures (completed around the time Disney was doing the Little Mermaid) have drawings by young animators who are now legends in their own right. It’s a concept, supported by visual cues, but ultimately it’s about how you draw in the brain, not on the page. It’s funny that to me, an artist with 20 years of professional experience (crap, now I feel old), can read this, get excited, and learn as much as a first year student. If you feel caught, stagnated, and frustrated with where your art is, take a look at these. It’s the basics, and as with any profession, be it music, sports, or art, you have to go back to the essentials now and then. This is a great way to do that, and still feel like you’re moving forward.  It’s sad that it’s taken me so long to get to an age where I can realize this, but to para-phrase a line from “It’s a Wonderful Life” , “Youth is wasted on the wrong people.” So be a kid, and learn a little.