Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

A World Without Hero's

One of my favorite comics when I was young was the Green Arrow / Green Lantern "Snowbirds Don't Fly " set that Neal Adams did with Dennis O'Neil in 1971. DC comics did the impossible, they matched real issues with superhero's.

I loved it because , I mean how many times can you have these characters fight the same formula villains . It was a huge milestone to me and one of the few comics that felt honest. I wish these guys would do it again so ....

Quentin Tarantino said in Kill Bill that Superman was our modern mythology . That Superman uses Clark Kent as a critique of humanity and that Kent is a dope because Superman sees us as weak and cowardly. So to me Superman is the American ideal , our Jesus in a way . "Truth , Justice and the American way ". There is such a contrast in our "mythology ideals " and our actions. I did a rough a couple days back because I wondered if Superman was real how angry he would be over what we have done.


Remember when Eisner refused to leave Disney and Roy had to take him down like King Kong ? Yeah thats the Disney Animation building.

Some sketches for a graphic novel song sequence I was doing. It probably wont make sense without the words .

Some quick costume scribbles .

Ok, many of you have seen Jamie Hewlett's incredible version of the Monkey King. He is producing a stage play and has done an incredible Gorillaz style animated trailer. Well hard to believe but in 2003 Dave Smith came up with doing the Monkey King himself and asked for some character sketches. While nowhere as good as Jamies these were my first shot.

My version of Rupert Murdoch , puppet master ! Media dictator Rupert hires insane attack dogs like the Michelle Malkin to run propaganda sites like Hot Air Dot Com . This peice only makes sense if you have seen hotairs own graphic .

1979 ? And here we are at the beginning of my career ( well pre-career ) . My first color film done on acetate with a grease pencil. The bg is a color card.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Stone Age 3D

Before it became the "soup de jour" I had planned a film in 3D . I had figured that I could do it by matting and layering 3D elements in After Effects ( I think it was like version 2 or 3 ) I modeled in precambrian Hash for Mac and imported the DFX files into a program called Specular3D (a freebee to do logo animation as I remember) . I got some really terrific effects and it actually could do some simple animations layered in. I lost some really wonderful tests in a drive crash ( ah the days of Seagate and their ultra expensive and deliciously unreliable 10,000 rpm drives ) . All lost like teardrops in the rain ....... except ..... I found one jpeg extracted from the original mov . This ship is tumbling away from this Super Nova of a explosion after some ridiculous and goofy thing happens in their lab, I really don't remember the story but I'm sure it was melodramatic and overblown. I'm like that. To ghosts of the past that can never live again.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Mr Dippity

Years ago when we first got here, in the few moments Wendy and I had between jobs , we put together a one minute short. She boarded and laid it out with some minor input from me , I cut the reel together , came up with the color models and bg styling . Wendy animated half of it in her off hours waiting for me to get to design and animate the male character but I got so busy I never got back to it . It's a nonsense film with no deep message or hidden meaning beyond the mystery of man confused by woman. I found the reel again and thought it was just as charming as it was when we first did it so I really should finish it so here I go. It won't be in the "new hip " style but it will be fun. I just finished some CG animation for it and I'm doing his character layouts. The it will be like a week or 2 animating . The ruff design I finally finished.

Friday, April 11, 2008


It's out there now. Andy Knight died in Paris. It's still hard to believe and I'm still trying to grasp it . Though I worked on a lot of his stuff I cannot say I knew him well. He was this super talented mystery really and I regret that . I had an apology to make I think and , I never really got to say it. Most of our working together was on long distance projects, Asterix or commercials and that is hard because you are under such terrific pressure . Even so I think he was one of the best , if not the best board artist I have ever known and I know he was just a terrific person . He did many things , directed , designed , storyboards , layout , produced and owned his amazing company Red Rover with his beautiful wife and partner Linzi . His talent was not lost with his incredible diversity , he was good at it all . Our sympathies, Wendy's and mine , to his family and his real friends .

A wonderful tribute to Andy is here at Amid And Jerry's terrific Cartoon Brew

  • Cartoon Brews Andy Knight Article

  • Fund memories follow by so many people I know like Claude Chiasson ,Robin Budd , Pascal Blais , Ian Hastings , Jamie Oliff , Greg Tiernan ,Paul Bolger , Dino Athanassiou and Kaj Pindal. And of course super animator Ken Duncan's blog on Andy , his co-worker (Asterix in Britain) .

  • Ken Duncans Blog about Andy
  • Scribblies

    A rough , just messing around in PS after talking with friends about female superhero's.

    Monday, March 31, 2008

    Entertain me !

    The great thing about blogging is it forces you to look at your work again. Something it's hard to do in the work a day world of animation. Some of it works , some of it doesn't but it's just nice to see what you were thinking at a given time in your life. Most of these are recent or within the last year or two. Sorry ,I'm a bit burned out on scanning.

    Trust me Mr Soxs ....

    Space Rangers. Done before my cintiq it was just a scribble based on some stereotypical Flash Gordon idea.

    "Now hand over the X Beam ranger or your life is over".


    Ahhh , more cow. Ok this is a bit hard to understand as it was rough comic for a freind who loves cows. Trying to get cows some respect. Very loose scribbles.

    Swim . Just some early PS playing with simple reflections and color.

    My first CG bg test attempts . The program has a very simple light systems so I tried to keep everything as flat as possible to match the drawings I was going to use. The type was done in Elephont .

    Another CG bg . This was playing with the morphing tools to create beaches and such. I was going to go in later and do a huge projected set of toners for the sand so this is just a crappy repeated texture for now.

    A test sketch for a company logo.

    A singer design for another project.

    Friday, March 28, 2008

    Tuesday, March 25, 2008

    Bones from the yard.

    Hi everybody ! Hope everything is ok . This is just more junk from the archives. The pic below is a test from a project . The design of the girl is actually one I had done for another project as a secondary character that I really liked and thought would maker a good main character. The story is about a cat who is in love with a human.

    Occasionally you meet other beginning artists who are struggling with design work. One was trying to do a Batman design so I roughed this out for them.

    One of the girls on my web group just loves cows. She was a away for a while but missed everyone so I did this cartoon for her.

    Someone gave me this card for a "gentlemen's " club. The art on the card was really primitive ( and one part was exaggerated beyond all reasonable human ability for a woman's back to support something that heavy , guys ) . I told the person it was not really anatomical but I thought the basic pose was interesting so I did my own version of it.

    A love Anarchy graphic I designed for another project.

    Long before Pixars Cars I had my own version of an anthropomorphic car film ,

    A female rock singer design.

    A car scribble.

    A drawing of the two prop girls on LTBIA . Strangley both named Lisa.

    I used this for an icon for a while.

    A melodramatic appeal to the moderator Roxanne on my women's group.

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008

    Horton Hears a Who !

    And flying monkeys too !

    As some of you may know I did the Anime sequence (yes, now infamous as you either love it or hate it ) in Horton Hears A Who . Ricardo Curtis , owner of HOUSE OF COOL gave me a shout and asked me if I was interested in doing a sequence for Horton . Hmmm, work for Ricardo, one of my favorite people on the planet ? Gee , I just don't know ????? Of course silly ! And it was a lot of fun :) All the key clean up on the Anime sequence were done by the most talented and elegant woman I have ever known , Lieve Miesson . The mystical Michel Gagne did the main FX with Joey Mildenburger . Oh how I suffer !

    Now just to add this , what I liked about the doing sequence was the cutting and anime stereotypes (the boards are what you see ). I'll make no stance to defend it within the Dr Suess context as I loved doing it and though I haven't seen the final it was a bold move by Blue Sky to do something unusual. The movie is doing really well and I am just delighted for them . Upon first seeing the lieca reel (b&w) that contained just a bit of the Horton 3D I was really impressed how beautifully Horton moved. Facially and physically. Quadrupeds are a bitch and they made it seem effortless. I couldn't put anything up till now because of non disclosure. The link below is for one of the flying monkey tests but until I see it I wont know what ended up in the film. Thangs change that way in film .