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.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Geweldenaren Van Ver' (Tyrants from afar)

Geweldenaren Van Ver' is a short CG film created by House Of Secrets, Maniacs Of Noise and Soulbase. Created in two and half weeks as an entry to the 'Rocketclip festival' part of the 'Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival' held annually in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. This is a spirited sample of what the movie marketplace may be in store for in the coming years.

As a formidable studio head honcho is fond of saying,"If it was easy then everybody would be doing it," referring to how difficult it is to make animated features. In these days of the computer generated anything/everything movie frontier it still isn't easy...but it sure looks like everyone's doing it anyway.

Jewel Boxing!

No, it's not the local cheerleader in a bar sport, ya silly! Jewel Boxing looks like it could be another tool with which we, the great unwashed, can steal the means of production, or at least buy it on the cheap. But this doesn't look in the least bit cheap. "... was created to allow individuals to produce a short-run of high-end packages and to give them the freedom to concentrate on the most important part of the job, the creative." Now, my little dream of making a rough animatic short has something to scheme about--packaging! I can see this flooding the next SD con. Now, all we have to contend with is content. Check out other creators who've already used the system.

Who died and made you Art Director? Me, that's who.

Western State No #4. How is this done, traditionally? I should have come from the right school, right? Or know more about it before I take this on, right? Or maybe we should hire someone who knows all this? Right?

None of these questions occur to Jason Gnewikow at all. Jason was a guitarist in a band, The Promise Ring, one of the most popular emo bands of the '90s. They needed to make a cover for their demo. So, he did it. He had no idea of how to approach a design project and, yes, like most of us he was unschooled in the land of graphic design. There be Bliss and he followed same. He figured it out himself, "The elements of design—they’re available for anyone who cares to pay attention to it."

Western State is an ongoing series of documentaries. Each examines an artist who approaches his work in a non-traditional way. The artists featured are difficult to categorize. Technology and media foster a rich, multidisciplinary approach. Western State, describes this culture of creativity through personal and engaging profiles of many of its leading practitioners.

The other Western State Documentaries, all excellent and inspiring voices in the distance: Andy Mueller, Cory McAbee, Geof McFetridge.

My soap box: What fascinates me about stories like Jason’s is how it proves time and again how the established industries don’t have a lock on making things or making things happen. Being a self-publisher, I give myself the job of making my own way. There may be an established way of doing this—and they are there on the bookshelves, movie bins, CD and magazine racks to speak for themselves—but since we're all here on this planet to follow our own journies it shouldn't make sense to wait for permission or someone else to deem you worthy.



Via Coudal Partners

Friday, August 20, 2004

How to draw Nina in meandering squirrelly steps

Purple Nina drawn in Oekaki

How's the what now? I just found out that you can watch a time-lapse movie of your Oekaki drawing online. It's great and dreadful at the same time--people can view how much wandering your modus operandi requires. Good humility and "get real" pill.

Shanesboard/Sketchbooksesssions Oekaki board can be found here. After the masterpiece you've wrought is done just point your cursor on these characters (question marks on some machines) on the upper lefthand corner. Thusly...

To view the above Nina drawing drawing movie click on the headline. Or you can click here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Do you hate creepy crows? I know I do.

"A Murder of Scarecrows"is an excellent online flash game by illustrator Vincent Marcone that gave me an obsessive need to shoo away crows off of creepy scarecrows hoping to keep them from drying up and blowing away. Arrgh! I got a high score of 459, short of the 467 score that would have gotten me into the published score list. And I wanted it...bad! Evil crows must die.

It took some getting used to. There is a pre-game intro illustrating how the game works, well done really, but I fumbled with it anyway. But I got the hang of the slingshot way of hurling those seeds and now it's just a race for time. And my friends the scarecrow don't have a lot.

Check out the Marcone website for his illustrations here.

Monday, August 16, 2004

"Frank" Animated

Jim Woodring's "Frank" is a wonder and a fright to behold. Even better animated. Fuyama Taruto did just that and won an Excellence prize for short form animation at the 7th Japan Media Arts Festival.

"This work gathers the animation works created by the distinctly different styles/methods of several writers who are avid readers of Jim Woodring's original. My version focuses on how to depict the movements of the characters accurately in the CG without doing injustice to the beauty of the pictures and global vision found in the original. At any rate, this work could not have been possible without the greatness of the original. I wish to share the pleasure of receiving this award with Jim who resides in Seattle."

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Nose to the grindstone over here.

Oekaki drawing

Nothing to post other than to say that I'm trying to dig out from under a pile of things to do. Hand is hurting a bit. Taking a deep breath and jumping back in tonight to chase after a personal deadline I've already blown. I got a reprieve of a few weeks--I hope to do a good turn at this.

Chris at Pendragon Books on College Avenue got some Paper Biscuit 2. Head on over there to visit. I know I do. I arrange the books and browse the pages, just in case someone might be needing a peek into the pages. Kinokuniya bookstore in Japantown also ordered a few books and I will drive them over this weekend. Super 7 had the Flight guys over for a gallery and Enrico was kind enough to hand over PB 2 and shirts for them to sell. This part of self-publishing sure is cool.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Helvetica vs Arial : Or Change-it-slightly-and-call-it-yours Department of Dirty Tricks.

There was a time when you couldn't get away from Helvetica and it became tiresome to call out that font for copy or headlines in ads that I—in another life as an advertising art director—had to do invoices for typesetting orders (Yep, you actually had to buy typesetting from another place to put in your ads). Eventually, it's heyday came and went.

But Helvetica as a font didn't close shop. Then Arial decided to open for business—and, aside from the name, it looked very familiar.

To the untrained eye, the difference was hard to spot. After all, most people would have trouble telling the difference between a serif and a sans serif typeface. But to an experienced designer, it was like asking for Jimmy Stewart and getting Rich Little.

--Mark Simonson, The Scourge of Arial

The moral: Winning isn't everything. Winning by being a sneak gains you fans. The kind you shouldn't want—and you'll deserve all that's coming to you.

A full article by Mark Simonson here outlining the history of how this came to be.

If you wanted to kick Arial around, then have at it here.

A how to spot the difference here and

A sold out t-shirt vote of support. Would have been nice.

The man who created Helvetica, Max Meidinger.

Via Whatdoiknow.org and a buncha other sites who were indignant long before my fascination with it.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

War Watercolors

However you may feel about the decision to go to war in Iraq, go and visit the site and see the watercolors. Then read the report. Politics here at home and posturing is pathetically unseemly next to what those soldiers have to face.

STEVE MUMFORD is a New York artist. This is the 12th installation of his "Baghdad Journal."

Via Metafilter. Headline links to site.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Ode to Letterpress

I have a personal soft spot for the old letterpress books that used to rule the printing world. Now, they are specialty printers that cost specialty rates. I love that we have seized the means of production--to a certain extent--in this digital age from the book gate keepers of printers thus making us all potential authors with books to fire off to the world, but here we see that we can now view this industrial age craft separate from it's guild.

This Quicktime micro-documentary report by Chuck Kramer from TypeCulture b is a great look at how letterpress works and why it’s special. Beautiful type examples abound.

The interviewed press proprietor has a great perspective on the impending death of letterpress: “It’s OK — I’m only responsible for my watch. I’m thankful every day that I get to do this.”

by Ryan Singer, Signal vs Noise>whatdoiknow.org

99 Rooms

If you like to be creeped out while sitting in front of your computer... Well, you could try to visit this Myst-like site by Schumanncombo.com. My suggestion is to do this alone in the dark for extra creepy points. It's just empty industrial places with painted on murals. The ambient sounds will complete the illusion of being there, enough to make you rear back a few times. Flash animation, and some mouse hunting to move you on to the next rooms. Room 44 got to me, more spooky ones in the later half.

As always, the headline of the post is a link to the site. Or if you like, click here.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Punch a clock? Let the animation do the imploding for you.

Sometimes you just don't feel like it. When you think about how much time you might really have left on this planet and be faced with the stark realization that you'll be spending most of it in traffic, cubed into cubicles, following someone else into the breech in an effort to be a good team player so as improve the company's bottom line and hope that sound you hear is not your arteries hardening...then it's time to let off some steam. Since going postal has permanent consequences then you might try watching these on some personal net surfing time at work.

Low Morale is a series of animations portraying one man's struggle to cope with the soul-sapping, will-to-live draining, life-force mugging, morale crushing experiences of work. Any correlation between events showed and real-life have been personally researched.

Check out the Radiohead acoustic version of "Creep" lip-synched to enjoyable lenghts.

Link Metafilter/homunculus

Mom, can I send for this? It's only a dollar!

"NO TALENT!" I especially like the line about the drawing guage "...like an Artist..." Long after you've read the comic book cover to cover there's just the ads to finally read the fine copy on and see what it's about. And if you never did back when then here's your chance to finally lift that veil of mystery.

Link Via Boing Boing/Cory Doctorow

So, you want to live in a Miyazaki house, eh?

A replica of the Kusakabe residence, a house of the 1950s in which the lead characters of Studio Ghibli's 1988 animated feature "My Neighbor Totoro" lived, will be built within the woods of the Expo site. It will be constructed using techniques of the early Showa era and will undergo artificial aging. The furnishings will also be made to reflect the movie as faithfully as possible. This pavilion, however, will not focus on amusement; the old-fashioned Japanese house itself is the highlight of this plan.

Visitors will be able to freely explore the house, looking inside closets and chests and touching things, just like the heroines Satsuki and Mei did when they first arrived at the house. In addition, programs will be offered in which visitors can get a taste of life in the mid-1950s to the mid-60s (the Showa 30s)--what might be considered the "slow life" of the good old days, when people lived closer to nature than they do today.

Link Via Boing Boing/Mark Frauenfelder