I watched a lot of cartoons and movies. I draw incessantly and carry a sketchbook everywhere. I work in animation and self-publish my books. There are monsters in the streets, don't wear red. Mad bulls and monsters hate that color. I still watch cartoons.

Monday, December 15, 2014

"Inside Out" themed Pixar Holiday Card: A making of walkthrough

A GRAND ILLUSTRATION JOB! I got the go ahead to design and write the card this year and what an honor it is to get that shot. I did a couple of very rough ideas and in a quick presentation to Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera they picked the one of Joy with holly in her hair. It was the one I wanted to make--whew! I refined the idea only a little further in Photoshop to get the studio buy-off. It is wise to wait until you pass that final hurdle, experience tells me.

Once we got it I had only a week and half to do it in my spare time. That meant two weekends. I have this thing about seeing colors during daytime and I couldn't do the work at the studio. The day job is about meetings, not illustrating. And I'm not set up for it there. I had to do this at home.

I lined up all my intended colors on boards and assigned colors out of the tube or make notes about mixing. I had to know what the colors I picked look like in daylight and not waver as I work with them at night under artificial light. Also with gouache you have to test the colors when it is dry. It gets tricky if you rush this.

Transferred my art onto illustration board using a projector and from thereon it was all about keeping the work area accident free of unintended smudges. There were adjustments as I went like always. Some colors still looked too chalky or not enough vibrancy. Joy's hair came out better than in the comp though the holly needed more of the contrasting gold and ochre to make it pop. Overall it was a blast to make.

Finally it was just about hand lettering. I did my fair share of hand-made fonts and logo's back in the days of camera ready art for print. Didn't know if I still had it. Lucky for me I really enjoy lettering and just enough of the old skills was there to craft the headline.

And there you have it: the 2014 Pixar holiday card! Valerie Hathaway of the Pixar Store tells me they are a best seller! So happy to hear that. I had the original art framed to display along with the printed cards. One has to share the art of the card with the studio, I think. This was the best venue for it.

Inside Out trailer
Photo walkthrough of the making of this card on my Tumblr
Ronnie del Carmen @paperbiscuit Twitter

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Miracleman #7 Variant cover

No banners. Click image for larger view. With cover logo you can go here.

Supreme honor. When George Beliard of Marvel asked me to do a cover for the re-issue of Miracleman I couldn't believe my luck. I had to find a way to read those early issues and it took some hunting. I picked this issue when Miracledog shows up. I know, it's a chance to draw that monster but more than that it was the most compelling issue of them all. The most dramatic stakes--in movie terms it's your end of the second act when all is lost. Love it. If you haven't read Miracleman I strongly suggest you pick up this new, amazing re-issue. Before this there was no way you could get your hands on this continuity other than plunking hundreds of dollars for its original American run.

I thought of James Bama's covers for the Doc Savage paperbacks as inspiration. Those were powerful images. Miracleman does not have busting-at-the-seams muscles. He's more like a slender Paul Newman "Cool Hand Luke" build. Behind him I can place Miracledog who is mucho sinewy and lethal looking. Did many thumbnails but the quiet pose of an unstoppable god in front of a demon dog felt right for the story. After a pencil rough was approved I did several value and color studies. One digital and one with the actual gouache paints. Cutting the guesswork when I get to final is such a gift.

But even with all that prep I ran into some problems. My full-sized pencil when transferred to illustration board lost just enough fidelity that his face looked funny. And I only noticed that after I've already done a base color wash on him. I had to do some fixing. Maybe a lot of fixing. If his face is not right then the whole thing is a do over. In the end I felt that I needed to finish the whole thing in Photoshop--sparkles and value adjustments. It was not the smoothest of projects but overall I had a lot of fun making it. Hope you like it.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Making a Marvel Comic Book cover part 3

The final variant Wolverine/Patch cover image! Click on for a larger one.

Time to execute. After a couple of bouts doubting, hesitating and some redo's I arrived at a finished pencil. I hope I had done enough leg work for the variables that lay ahead--barring accidents and the odd thing I didn't plan on. My thumbnail had the foliage behind Logan in a light green but in the final I decided to keep all the elements in a yellow gold. A color mock-up of the composition helped me relax about applying the final colors.

The first thing on was a light watercolor wash over the shapes. After that was dry I started on flesh tones and then Logan's face. If you mess this part up then you can pack it up and start over. I had not done what the veterans would do to eliminate a complete redo. They'd pencil it in, ink it and seal it all under varnish or matte medium. That way if you falter you can scrub all the paint back to the drawing underneath. Thankfully with all the limbering up and re-draws I got the Logan face I wanted. With that clinched I went on to the other crucial face and skin tones for Jessan.

Next I had to key in the darkest values of Logan's head. I didn't want to use actual black, even for his pants and shoes. It also helps to keep the other elements from stealing focus from ol' Wolvie. I even muted the contrast of Jessan's face and dress so our hero stands out. After that the only big-ish challenge is the shawl pattern. I like intricate design but I din't want the fabric to be angry with detail. Then all that's left was defining the tux, his claws, the plant leaves and pot.

I sent an image of the cover to Marvel and they were very happy with it. To be honest, I was very happy with it myself. It was something I wanted to try out and see how I'd do and the result was not too bad. I hope I get to do this again so I get better at it. Thanks for reading this far. I hope you get a chance to find this variant cover. I should order this myself: Uncanny X-Men #7. Cheers!

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Making a Marvel Comic Book cover part 2

Warm ups and research. Creating quick ideas is fun but being a feature animation guy full time means I'm not set up to make cover art. I decided that I was going to do this with actual media. No photoshop. I had to limber up. I created folders of images of tuxedos, Sean Connery (who wears it best), hands, shoes, asian models (for Tyger), fabrics from Singapore and Malaysia and tropical plants and pots.

Then I started to paint studies. Past experience taught me that I could be too casual about the job--to disastrous results). I learn from reading about other artists' process like this post from Leif Peng's Today's Inspiration where Mitchell Hooks was interviewed about his process.

On another front, I blew up the thumbnail to 125% of print size and roughed it in on tracing paper. That revealed the next problem. Without a pair of actual models I am making this up entirely out of my head. I had to hunt for poses that I can reference and draw the composition several times. Each time I found something to fix (which leg is bearing the weight, relative sizes of body parts, hand poses, etc). Next post is about painting the final!

This is just one of the full sized pencils I did. I had transferred one of these to illustration board only to change my mind after a day of staring at it. Tyger was too big, Wolvie didn't seem convincing in his pose. I tortured myself but I'm glad I did.

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Making a Marvel Comic book Cover

Wolverine Costume Variant cover for Marvel. A few months back Marvel asked me if I was interested in doing another variant cover for them. I did an Iron Man one before and I was looking for another shot at a cover. What's that you say? It would feature Wolverine? WOULD I?!

They were planning on doing a set of covers to feature the life and times of our favorite adamantium enhanced mutant. I immediately zeroed in on the Patch persona. Why? I had not read those stories that was set in Madripoor so I had no attachment to it. What did it was the look. I am a big fan of the paperback covers of Robert McGinnis and Mitchell Hooks. This was a chance to try my hand at it.

A quick round of thumbnails first. I find that I solve big design problems right off that way. Once I had the ideas narrowed down I test it again in color. These thumbnails are about an inch wide. It keeps me from noodling. I did two versions though I thought I liked the first one already. I just had to make sure that I'd be happy to do either version regardless. Marvel liked the one I wanted. Yeah! That starts another round of prep and solving design problems. That's for the next post.

I mocked up the image against a Wolverine banner just to see what clearance I needed for the banner, whatever book the cover might appear in. Marvel didn't know at the time. Now we know It's for Uncanny X-men #7. Lucky! Love that book.

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Thursday, March 07, 2013

Spacing Out

dead space,Ronnie del Carmen, Isaac Clarke
Check out the time-lapse of how the drawing progresses on Odosketch. I like this online drawing tool. Only chalky brushes and no undo's. You gotta commit.

Dead Spaces. Well, I didn't mean to not post on my blog for almost a year but that's what happened. When I started this blog over a decade ago it felt like I was part of a mere handful of my colleagues who had a blog. "A 'blog?'" I remember hearing. Now blogs have had their heyday and gone. Where do the folks flock to these days? I'm sure I don't know. But I've been disloyal myself. I have a Tumblr and a Twitter account. Both that I've been keeping up while I've left my old pal, Tirade, abandoned and unloved.

I hope this wakes up those who still follow me here and though I will not make promises I can't keep I will try to suss out the new features of Blogger by posting as often as I can.

Dead Space. I was playing the first Dead Space as I was doing late nights finishing my first children's book, "My Name is Dug." It was my cigarette break, only without the cigarettes. It's been the one game series I've played more than any other. I'm not a hardcore gamer but I've played my modest share. This year we have Dead Space 3 and I am happy to have a new outing of my favorite lovelorn space engineer. He's got new suits and a weapon crafting bench that is loads of fun to keep coming back to. But more than that it's the closest I've come to being able to live out Ripley's vendetta in the Alien series. These creatures are terrifying and the best way to deal with that terror? Payback. Dead Space has boat loads of that.

Paper Biscuit on Tumblr
Ronnie del Carmen on Twitter


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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Moebius (8 May 1938 – 10 March 2012)

Jean Henri Gaston Giraud. I had stared at my Heavy Metal issue with Arzach in it till it wilted to pieces. "The Long Tomorrow" started to yield more of the city, around corners that he didn't show, and I knew those streets were fantastical at every turn. I studied how thick the line weights were on that story versus the ones on "The Airtight Garage." I was obsessed as I've never been obsessed and will not be again since.

I met him when my friend Sylvain Despretz introduced me to him in the early 90's during a Comic-con. We had a sushi lunch. I think I ate. I didn't say anything coherent but succeeded in sounding like every bit of fan boy that I was. The next times I meet him again I could not know (nor was it important) if he recognized me.

I worked on doing character designs for an animated Airtight Garage project being produced in Russia. The designs they did had tried to replicate the complicated hatching of a Moebius drawing. No good for animation and a dead give away that the production they hired did not know what they were doing. I did a pass on the main characters, did turns and some head shots. Preliminary stuff, things I learned from Stephan Martiniere who had mentored me when we worked on a DIC t.v. show.

As payment Jean Marc Lofficier gestured me to a flat file, "Go pick one." I didn't quite understand what our agreement was as I stood there. Money was not going to be exchanged--? Oh, I get it! Opening the flat file I see all sizes of art and comic book pages (bandes dessinée, real big). I gawk as I touch each gingerly. Overload. I tried for an hour. I came to about a handful that I can't remember now. But I chose finally. A page from the Incal.

More than the privilege of owning the piece and having worked on a Moebius project no matter how obscure and doomed, I am honored to have met him and somehow intersected with a great artist and visionary. One who cannot be replaced and will not happen on to this plane again.

You will be missed.


Image was drawn at Cato's Ale House with the crayons they provide patrons. Mostly to kids of families dining there. Drawn in the dark on their graffiti etched table on common bond paper. Post color in Photoshop.

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Sunday, December 04, 2011

"Ellie Fredriksen, Aviator" at the Cartoon Art Museum auction

How about an auction? The Cartoon Art Museum is just a Bay Bridge away from where we work and we find a constant stream of great art and artists come to the museum and visit the studio as well. Why not participate in this year's Pixar event?

The Cartoon Art Museum, the only museum in the western United States dedicated to all forms of cartoons and comics, is delighted to host its eighth annual benefit at Pixar Animation Studios on Saturday, December 10, 2011.

More info about that event if you click this link. Wanna bid on this piece of art created by yours truly? It is so affordable, ground floor action here. You can do more than think about it and head on to this location and start bidding, by gum!  Charity Auction

Hey, if you want an original Pete Docter then you are in luck! This is by far the easiest way you can snag actual hand made work by this modern movie master. Just check this out and give yourself an early Christmas present.  Check it out! 

I have something to confess. If you want to see the full image of the Ellie art (she is drawn full figure, see) go head to my tumblr. You heard me. I got one. I've been carrying on with another blog system. I have images there that are not here on Tirade.  I can wax ad nauseum here. But I'm practically mute over there.  Check it out.

Cartoon Art Museum Pixar Event, December 10, 2011
Bid on Pete Docter hand drawn Carl and Kevin!
Bid on Ellie Aviator by Ronnie del Carmen

Cartoon Art Museum

Ronnie del Carmen Tumblr "Paper Biscuit"

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sketchtravel: Around the world through 71 artists's worlds

EPIC. Dice gave me the book back in 2007. And now the project that seemed so far off is done. It's been a long journey for Dice and though I wasn't there it's almost as if I can see how it all culminated. And who was the final artist on the book? Sketchtravel TV, the end of the journey...

The book, as in, THE ENTIRE book, will be auctioned off on October 17, 2011 in Brussels. I know, one person gets to walk away with this one book. Amazing. I won't be there but I wish them all good fortune. It is for a very good cause. Who's in it, you ask?

This traveling museum contains the personal visions of 71 exceptional illustrators, animators and comic book artists, including artists such as Bill Plympton, James Jean, Rebecca Dautremer, Glen Keane, Frederick Back, and Hayao Miyazaki. Initiated by illustrators Dice Tsutsumi (Japan) and Gerald Guerlais (France), the project will culminate in an auction of the original book in Brussels on October 17, 2011. Proceeds from the auction and royalties from the book's publication will be donated to the international literacy non-profit, Room to Read.

My participation in all this is just as a silent partner who watched as Dice and Gerald did all of the heavy lifting. But I did manage to document it back when I was years younger and had better time management skills. Check that out here

My congratulations to the entire team and all the artists involved. May good luck and angels watch over you all.

Sketchtravel website

Sketchtravel Blog

Room to Read

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Art Blocks for Ghana

Watercolor and Pencil on watercolor board mounted on wood panel.

Been Swamped. Been playing catch up for the last month and headspace is on work most days. A sobering weekend to be sure and it's made me wake up. Also, not seeing my friends from when we used to carpool from the city, separated by three projects over three buildings--yada yada yada. I contributed to this amazing auction with all these amazing artists. Please give this a look.

The Picture Book Project Foundation presents Art Blocks for Ghana – a charity art auction of original works created by top artists within the animation and illustration community to provide boarding and education for orphaned children in Ghana, West Africa. Online art auction coming March 12-20. 2011.

So, you might want to throw in and the best part is that you could end up with amazing original art. But really, even better than that you are helping in the lives of children who really need it.

Bid here.

The great Dice Tsutsumi lead the charge on this effort but also set the bar with this beauty.

Enrico loves Japan so much he can draw a street scene from memory. Check out Enrico's art block

My contribution. Finished over a plane ride back from Argentina.

The Picture Book Project Foundation will also be donating part of the proceeds from Art Blocks auction and events to help in the awareness and support Dice Tsutsumi's efforts and Give2Asia.

Art Blocks for Ghana
Artists Help Japan

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Help Japan

Help Japan by Jerrod Maruyama
Help Japan a photo by Jerrod Maruyama on Flickr.

It is very easy. I just did it and it shows up as an item in your next phone bill. I didn't even have to call or lick a stamp. After all I've seen of the devastation left by the largest earthquake to hit Japan ever--well, it's not much but it's a start. Our thoughts and prayers go out to our friends and colleagues in Japan.


George Takei, Lt. Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the U.S.S. Enterprise tweets: The tsunami's devastating power, chillingly captured. Share this video & give $10. Text REDCROSS to 90999

Lee Unkrich, director of Toy Story 3 talks about this horrific video in his tweet: This is absolutely unbelievable.

For my video game friends, check out Kevin Pereira of G4's "Attack of the show" who took a break from the show to talk about texting help to Japan. Check out the video here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Watercolor Sketch weekend

The image above can be viewed much larger by clicking here.

A Sketchcrawl in the new year. Saturdays are for drawing. You look forward to it (feel the fates are keeping you from it) until the day of and then you're thinking Saturdays are for sleeping in. After you push yourself out the door it's all momentum. I had a great time. Enrico and I had a relaxing afternoon with about 60 other people in the city. Jamie Baker and Matt Jones joined us for coffee at Japantown's New People building.

I was lazy and didn't start drawing until way past lunch. This was a lady who was seated two tables away and did not deserve to be bothered by my gaze. I hope I didn't ruin her afternoon--much. There's no way to ignore the fact that I was drawing her and she endured my attention with grace. She was a lovely subject.

I love the grain of watercolor washes seen up close. To view her larger click on the link below the image. Oh, heck do this right here.


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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Aviator Ellie

Adventure is out there! Ellie has the distinction of not only being one of the most loved characters in the Pixar universe but one with also the least amount of screen time. Having had the privilege of telling her life story (the ones we showed in the movie and ones we set aside) I am especially attached. I can tell you that I still muse about their possible adventures: cross-country races, barnstorming, secret missions, cryptozoological hunts, rescuing endangered animals and ballroom dancing! A regular Indiana Jane.

I did this pin-up for San Francisco's Cartoon Art Museum fund raiser this coming weekend. Where? Why, at Pixar, that's where! Michael Johnson (who also happen to be the tech grand wizard who devised software for us to storyboard by) holds this annual get-together for CAM and a bunch of us donate lectures, tours and art. Go check it out.

Seventh Annual Cartoon Art Museum Benefit at Pixar Animation Studios

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Monday, September 06, 2010

Windup Girl study

Sketchbook drawing. Muji mechanical pencil, watercolor applied with Pentel waterbrush. Fleshtone finish on Photoshop. She just showed up while having Blue Bottle cappuccino at New People in Japantown.

Because you can't choose what to draw. Haven't been able to read much of late but I did pick up Paolo Bacigalupi's "Windup Girl" in paperback after being caught by the back cover description. I'm just into the first chapters. Growing up in the Philippines and having traveled to Thailand and Japan the textures and cadences summoned by the book are fun to conjure along with.

So, sketches happen. Maybe more will show up. But I am taking my time reading the pages. A leisurely approach to casting the movie inside my head. It just won a Hugo award in a tie with The City & The City by China Miéville,

The Windup Girl is a story about colonialism, independence, mysticism and ethics, sex and loyalty, and the opposing forces of greed and empathy. Filled with complex and flawed characters who must struggle to overcome their failings, The Windup Girl has no easy or pat answers, but rather charges the reader to summon empathy for imperfect humans who fail as often as they succeed.

--from Boing Boing review

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Japanese Brush pens are an occasion to what else--draw!

Gray ink brush pen, Muji black ink brushpen. A couple chinese calligraphy classes allows me to relax. The red ring you take off--it separates the ink from the brush array when inside the package. I kept it. I'm a pack rat.

Delaying gratification. Been wandering into the Kinokuniya stationery store as a matter of course each time I'm in Japan Town. I have more than enough drawing implements in my satchel. I have three or four sketchbooks in there, kneaded erasers, pens, pencils, ,waterbrush (and unopened spare), watercolor set, various hoarded coffee shop napkins for blotting, fountain pens--I am prepared for a drawing opportunity. Though most days I will not find one.

The bag is heavy. I have my GF-1 in there for photos that I will regret not taking, a copy of "And there you are" because this book was intended to replace the habit of carrying sketchbooks all the time. See I've lost an entire bag with contents like mentioned above. Including a camera.

Old habits. "Then the terrorists win" internal argument loops and fades, results in carrying a reconstituted clone of the same bag, contents and all, anyway. Why not. If I'm not drawing then what the heck I'd just hang it up and buy a doughnut franchise.

But when the drawing does show up all recrimination is erased. More drawings want to show up. The need to try brushes and notebook papers and feeling some stories out glide in. The day is brighter in one corner.

The coffee helps, too.

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Sunday, June 06, 2010

2010 National Cartoonists Society Reuben Awards

The Animation division award from the NCS Reubens for my work on UP. It's already up on the mantle. Notice the Rube Goldberg characters adorning the edges.

A wonderful honor. Last weekend I flew to New Jersey to attend the 2010 National Cartoonists Society Reuben awards. My schedules being what they are I had to make sure I could really attend before making the travel plans. The lure of meeting all these luminaries of cartooning was too great. It all worked out in grand style. Oh, and I won the feature animation division award!

I got to attend two talks. George Booth, as Arnold Roth mentioned as he presents George a Lifetime Achievement Award, "makes it impossible for any of us to ever attempt to draw a funny dog or cat ever again." Joe Kubert is a legend in comics and I wasn't about to miss hearing him speak about his career. I was very impressed at how well rounded his regard for the life of an artist, not just comics, and his love for drawing.

George Booth drew dogs and various parts of dogs and put them together using an overhead projector. So amazing to see him construct these hilarious dog drawings. Then he looks up and laughs out loud himself. What a joy!

My thanks to Jeff Keane, president of the NCS (brother to Glen, son of legend Bill Keane of "Family Circus) for welcoming me and for throwing such a grand party. Jeff is also quite the thespian. In a send up of The Godfather featuring fellow cartoonist he did a very convincing Vito Corleone.

Very special thanks to David Folkman for introducing me to the NCS. He is tireless in his support and passion of the organization and kindest of people you can meet (he is also Co-Publisher/Design Director of “Hogan’s Alley"). Chad Frye recognized me in the corridors and proceeded to make sure I felt like I belong and connected these giant names of cartooning to faces. Whoa! They were all there! Arnold Roth, George Booth, Joe Kubert, Jerry Robinson, Mort Walker...it goes on. What a night. Met so many amazing and welcoming people.

Joe Kubert spoke briefly and opened it to questions. He is a noble man and wants to talk more about the history he was witness to as a comic book artist than about himself. He has a great laugh as well. He says he draws everyday still. That's for me!

The NCS wishes that more animation professionals attend the event and I for one am sure I'm coming back. Because besides the star gazing and the great people I know that someday soon I want to be one among them, drawing from my home office, weaving my own tales of adventure and hopefully being a card carrying member. A real cartoonist.

The National Cartoonists Society

Chad Frye's Blog for a comprehensive report on the entire weekend.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wild West Iron Man: A variant cover

I snapped an iPhone pic of the work in progress on my cintiq. Pencil illustration finished off in Photoshop.

Outlaw Metal. Joe Quesada and I almost worked on an feature a long time ago but it was not meant to be. Flash forward to Marvel being part of Disney and I get the call from Joe asking if I would be interested in doing an Iron Man cover. How fast could I say, "YES!"without tripping over myself? I mean, ol' Shell-head was THE very first super hero I ever drew as a kid (hey, no human features to stumble over like eyes, ears and such). And I am still a huge Iron Man fan (though don't ask me what happened to Tony in the last decade or so. Love the Gene Colan and Don Heck illustrated ones). So, not only, yeah, but HECK YEAH!

Those of you who are old enough can see the homage right away. Yup, "Wild Wild West" was a TV show I grew up with and loved the characters. Sure, it's silly but the opening titles looked awesome. Like an animated comic book page. They did their titles right back then.

I wanted to show the mask as it might be fashioned with the tools of the time, rivets and screws, so I needed the head to be big. It made for a more movie poster approach for the design.

If you like to see more check out Bill Presing's WWII Iron Man. It is a study in grace and metal. Check out his post in Daily Peril, his blog. My cover will be a variant for Invincible Iron Man #27, goes on sale June 9. Bill Presing's variant for Iron Man: Legacy #3 hits stores on June 23.

Marvel Sneak Peek

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Tirade Oekaki has moved! Not too far.

Keeping limber with a fashion illustration exercise and a poster study. Both illustrations based on images found at The World of Kane

Whole lotta moving going on. The Tirade oekaki board has been around for a long time and a favored stop for those who tire of Photoshop (after all, a lot of you already have that as your default drawing program). The simple java applet provides a more casual tool to use even as it mimics the basic Photoshop tools. For some, like Claudio Acciari, it appears to rival Photoshop for that favored default spot.

Well, the folks responsible for hosting our board are moving servers and gave us an alert to say that they are moving the address to here.

Please make a note of it. It's all there and nothing has changed. I always make a habit of grabbing my finished image onto my personal files because the gallery holds only a fixed number and the drawings fall off as it makes room for new ones. That is, they disappear. Don't wait too long after you finish drawing and posting. Keep a copy for yourself, if you care. I have a folder of Claudio and others somewhere in my work or home machines.

A Nina lost in the scary dark dreamscape. There is also a blue study in the oekaki board.

The banner to the right has the link to the oekaki board's new location (the headline above as well). Oh, and if you want to start your very own board you can check out how here.

Tirade Oekaki
Claudio Acciari
The World of Kane

Oekaki BBS

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Saturday, May 01, 2010

TIRADE has MOVED! To here, actually.

iPhone snap of a doodle yesterday from a meeting. I just made the connection as I write this post. I had moving on the brain.

PANIC! I've settled with my frantic life and near impenetrable proclivity to procrastinate. So, the fact that the May 1st deadline to migrate Tirade off of FTP publishing was coming was not going to be an exception. Except it was. April 30, yesterday, evening: searching the web for a way to backup my blog. Found many clunkers, downloaded a few. I really should have just looked into what Blogger had set up. Which I eventually did.

To my relief they had it all figured out. It went rather smoothly. Had a near panic that comments seemed to have not migrated along with my ur-blog posts. But that got resolved after I got to the last step. Then there was the forwarding post to relay people from the old address to here. It was only showing up...here--where it would be useless. That fixed itself after re-uploading the entire thing again.

Whew. So it was a dread panic and would have required industrial grade sedatives after the cataclysm of losing all these years of posts. It all turned out okay.

Pass the beer and let's post something.


Here's an image uploading test. My home Photoshop in on the fritz.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

UP nominated for Best Picture!

The man of the hour as he tries to stem the tide of phone calls this morning.

What a ride! It's been a long journey that's about to culminate in March. For myself I am counting today as the win. We made it to the big boys table with UP being nominated for Best Picture along with the other live action movies. We make movies, we tell stories. These days the fact that a movie is made completely with computers or whatever percentage is not a discussion anymore. It is just making movies.

My thanks to our stellar, award-winning crew but especially to our Story crew. They did a lot of heavy lifting that won't have a category to celebrate at these award shows but they so rightly deserve every bit of goodwill this movie gets. They are the best story crew I've had the privilege of serving with as Story Supervisor. You guys make me proud. I thank you.

Here's the logo for our Story Crew t-shirt. We wear it proudly and this week is an especially good week to walk tall in one of these. All hail, STORY!

UPdate: Here's the squadron photo we took after dealing death from above to all unholy story issues.

Josh Cooley composed the photo, Bill Presing had the airman headgear and we all took headshots with it one day. Viola! From left to right, Back row: Brian Wright, Bill Presing, Enrico Casarosa, Ronnie del Carmen, Josh Cooley, Tony Rosenast. Front Row: Justin Hunt, Nick Sung, Rob Gibbs, Bobby Rubio (not in the photo, Pete Sohn, Ken Bruce and Jamie Baker). The beauteous Shannon Ryan is emblazoned on the plane as our babe/department manager among beasts. She is known as "The Ryan." We couldn't have the entire crew with us that day but then again it is a war after all.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2010 Golden Globe Award for UP

We had a little champagne toast this morning with the guys. Hip hip! Hurray!

I almost missed it. I was driving home and caught the original broadcast winding down. I got email and notices on line congratulating me. I did see Pete Docter accept the award on the rebroadcast as well as Bob Peterson and Jonas Rivera in their group hug. Amazing.

ABC interview of Pete

Apparently they hung out with Paul McCartney quite a bit and noted that he's such a gentleman and a lot of fun.

My congratulations to Michael Giancchino for his Golden Globe win as well. I am very lucky to have worked with his music on this movie and on the Dug short.

Michael Giacchino after the award Q & A Wait for Pete heckling Michael.

Honored to have served on the movie with the entire UP crew. Among the highlights of being in this business I can say this is the brightest.

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Monday, January 04, 2010

Old New

Counter Reset. The doodles I do are fleeting and so with anything I draw. I could lose these. I just had that happen in a big way over the holidays and I mourn for those things that I wrote and drew. After the trough of necessary emotions I chose to leave it as memory. I can't really have them them with me everywhere. Which I know is what I had insisted on doing.

I choose to draw some more and what survives will be up to the fates.

Good Start. Enrico just sent me a link to the Muji website that holds their manifesto. Both of us are pre-sold audience. We love Muji. A reason to fly to New York or Japan. I mean, literally on the list of things we have to do while there.


Old hold fold cold sold mold Been playing Word warp on the iPhone and I thought I would quit after I break the million mark score. I'm way past that and I still do it.

Non sequitur I turned another year older on the last day of last year. Last week. I say it today. Steve Purcell says, "There's something that actually makes sense about starting the New Year right on the heels of a birthday." Never thought of it that way in all the years I've had this mill stone birthday. I think I will see it like that from now on.

Hold a sec... I am writing this on my work desk. I had just remembered that I had Muji pens lost along with that bag. I had a lovely brush pen that I was getting really attached to. As I opened applications on the computer I see a brown paper bag below the screen. I didn't carry all my Muji pens with me! I had these here still! I had a kid smile on my face if you happened to pass by with a camera. Underline this with silver.

This is going to be a great year.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Unreality Check

Cappuccino foam Nina drawing at Caffe Trieste. Zazu makes good espresso drinks. The foam holds up, then I draw.

Yesterday was the day. September 28, 2009 was a Monday. The morning was at the El Cerrito swim club trying to get my breathing lesson down. Then rush to work, grab coffee (and a small cinnamon swirl) and then on to a meeting.

Right after the meeting I pace about and decide I should take my photo with the phone. What I remember of a day is harder now. I should remember more but not many win that battle over time. This post should help. Cryptic, huh? But maybe I just like Mondays--direct opposition to that song about hating them.

I should say something about the long silence in blog posts. Or I just start posting and get on with it, eh? Things are afoot. The house is empty and looking to see if the city will have a new place to call home. All's good. Spectacular, really. I'm off to Japan in less than a week to travel for the movie. I will be traveling most of October. I should pack.

Monday, June 01, 2009

UP opening weekend: 68.2 million!

WHOA! Not bad for an old man movie, eh? All the work and anticipation had culminated in a grand showing of love for Pixar movies and this movie's story. On Friday I was at the Disney studios signing books with Ricky Nierva and we were met with very grateful people--people who are in the same studio, and industry--thanking us for this movie. On Saturday I did a signing and talk for the public at Nucleus where I was met with the same response. I must say that this is unique for us. We usually will get compliments on "a great job" or "an amazing movie" but this is different. People are thanking us for this movie's story. I am so honored to be part of this movie.

Pete, myself and Bob during one of many recordings at Studio B at Disney. Being around where Walt made the classics sure brings out the animation fans out of us.

Amazing. There was a time when we were just figuring out how to dig ourselves out of one difficult corner after another when this day was so far in the future. It wasn't real. Now here we are. My thanks and eternal gratitude to Pete Docter who took me along on this journey and believed in what I was going to do for him. Bob Peterson for showing me where the funny was only EVERY time. Jonas Rivera for making sure I can show up for all of it and having my back.

Our story crew was unobtrusive. We worked hard and kept on the path, fought the battles. I am so very proud of each and every one of them. That deserves its own post. Be sure of it.

It's out there now. Up is welcomed into people's lives and I am forever grateful.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

UP is released tomorrow! Plus a booksigning!

I love these guys. This has been the most rewarding movie I've ever worked on. From left: Russell (likes chocolate), Dug (loves everyone) and Carl (likes grumbling)

Nothin' but blue skies! The movie finally opens tomorrow, May 29,2009. Man, it seems we've been waiting forever. With the movie opening Cannes and the studio screenings one can almost think that the movie's been out there already. But NO! The general public will be able to see what all the fuss is about. If you got time please search out the reviews for this movie. It's been such a gift to us who made it. Made all the hard work all worth it. But now the real proof: The general public gets to see it.


That's right! On Saturday yours truly will be at signing at Nucleus Gallery in Alhambra.

Artist Ronnie Del Carmen will be visiting us from San Francisco on Saturday, May 30th, to talk about his work on the upcoming Disney•Pixar film "Up" where he served as story supervisor & lead story artist. Ronnie will show a short slide presentation and participate in a Q and A session.

"The Art of Up" Artist Panel and Book Signing with Ronnie Del Carmen

May 30, 2009
Opening Reception / May 30, 2:00PM - 5:00PM

Nucleus Gallery
210 East Main St, Alhambra CA

Please come by if you are around--Hey, it's free admission! I will be signing both Pixar books as well as the brand spankin' new "And there you are." Limited copies only so the first few will be able to get a signed copy. Real busy, eh?

Actually, I'll be at Disney studios tomorrow (Friday) doing a book signing then stay overnight for our Nucleus signing. Hope to see you guys there.

Nucleus Gallery
AWN: The Art of UP Artist Panel in L.A. on May 30

Sunday, March 15, 2009

UP: My name is Dug

The advance copy. I brought it with me everywhere last week. Yup, even N.Y.

My very first one! I've always wanted to make one and I didn't really pursue it like I have many other career goals. Maybe because it appeared to be rather arcane. Who knows how one gets that gig?

Last year the opportunity to illustrate this book for our movie came around and I asked maybe I could submit samples. A long shot at best, I thought, and I have to draw it in as spare a manner as I can so I could--in the unlikely event I get the job--whip through it. I could only do it away from my day job, which was of course just getting into the frenzied third act. Every reason not to do it.

But got it I did. And the editors also wanted (with good reason) for me to put more muscle into it--way more than my scratchy samples. Oh, boy. But I was blessed that the author is the divine Kiki Thorpe (who now works here). She's an old hand at this and she gently guided my newbie carcass through all this. We did a rough pass and tweaked here and there (images, words, placement of the text) to make the reading experience better. Then Winnie Ho designed the graphics of the book took care of the fonts and all the other details not related to illustrating it. I have them to thank for my first effort into children's book illustration.

Oddly enough, though it took forever to do those leaves I enjoyed making them. All done in Photoshop CS3 with two customized brushes.

I hope this leads to more because I am hooked! I need to do more. I learned a lot about the way I work after making this.

I never get tired of looking at that. Not the drawing--the credits!

Now then, on to the commerce. The book is slated to release on April 14, 2009 but you can pre-order it at Amazon right now. See that sidebar image of this book on the right?

Special thanks to Kathleen Chanover, Leigh Anna McFadden, Kelly Bonbright and Nancy Intelli. They made all the publishing dreams we had regarding UP come true. They rock.

The back cover. The entire dust jacket was designed to wrap all the way into the interior flaps. They eventually decided to keep those white with some spot illustrations from the inside pages. Very professional job, I must say.

My Name is Dug on Amazon

Kiki Thorpe

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