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, May 22, 2005

Sketchcrawl No.3 is done!

A really good day to be out and about, this last Saturday was. Even better to be spending it drawing with a bunch of friends and new people who're all there to draw and enjoy all that sunshine! Up until Thursday I was crossing me fingers that the weathermen were right about their prognostications about the weekend being a sunny day. They were right on the money. It was beautiful!

I was dropped off by Tess and Gerin (me wife and me daughter) at the Ferry Building in Embarcadero where the drawing was well underway ( I was late, slower on weekends, see). Enrico had a few of the brand-spankin' new Sketchcrawl t-shirts on hand for people to buy (affordable, too. Nice guy) and a few were wearing them already (I had mine on. Orange). After a few words about our day's itinerary we were off.

It's a combination hike, sight seeing, stories and sharing of drawings--as all of the other crawls have been--all in all, stuff I love doing on a perfect day like this. First stop was at the Filbert steps (Link and link). The views going up are amazing. You overload on the choices and you have to settle on promising yourself to comeback another day . Well, a bunch of days really. Aside from the huffing and puffing (I'm out of shape) necessary to march up it was well worth it.

We ended up at Coit Tower to reqroup and then it was lunch time. We all trudged down to Little Italy for some welcome fuel. Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store for the meatball sandwiches for a bunch of us. Yum. After that rather long respite we stepped back out into the sunlight. We couldn't resist the towered neo-Gothic cathedral, Sts. Peter and Paul Church, so we planted ourselves amongst the locals in Washington Square park and drew yon church and a few of the fine citizens sunning themselves there.

After that it was another hike that was a must-do on our list. Ice cream at Ghirardeli Square. Man, there was no end to the stream of people ordering ice cream there. I had the hot fudge sundae, of course. A group of us continued a discussion about Miyazaki movies (there's a retrospective being shown in the city this June of all the notable Ghibli greats. Hurrah!) that started a lunch. And before you know it, it was time to head to the water. At the beach we sketch a little more and met Kathy Ringgold, one of our dearest editors at Pixar. So good to see her there. We all made arrangements to meet at the Gordon Birsch for pint. And we were off again.

A short ride on the F-line and we had a long table at the GB for a round of frosty ones (thanks, Charles) and we commenced the highlight of the end of our fun day--passing around the sketchbooks! Everyone did so much with the day and really awesome good work. But more important, everyone had a great time. All that counts.

Congratulations to all who participated and made this day a success. I really look forward to each Sketchcrawl because it really lifts my spirits up. So, to everyone there this Saturday, thank you so much. I look forward to seeing you all again in the next Crawl. Give yourselves a hand!

Sketchcrawl image posts from all over the globe here.

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Monday, May 09, 2005

Joe Grant 1908-2005

Joe Grant was supposed to have created the character Lady in 1937 along with her owners, Joe and Jennie, while Ward Greene created Tramp in a completely different story, both of which were combined by Walt Disney in the late 1940's-early 1950's into "Lady and the Tramp." Link

Joe Grant passed away last Friday leaving a world that he's made better for having been in. And what a life it has been to be part of so many countless millions of people's childhood memories, whether they realize it or not. Below is Pete Doctor's email to the Pixar community:

I'm very sad to report that Joe Grant died yesterday afternoon, just a week shy of his 97th birthday.

Though quick to say he wasn't an animator, Joe did just about everything else. After a successful career as a caricature artist and illustrator for Hearst (his work was recently exhibited at the Smithsonian), Joe began work at the Disney studio in 1933. Joe became head of the development department, and was second only to Walt in his influence over all projects at the studio at that time. A small sampling of Joe's amazing accomplishments include: designing the wicked witch in "Snow White", writing and developing the story of "Dumbo", selecting music and overseeing segments for "Fantasia," and developing the concept of "Lady and the Tramp," patterning the lead character after his own dog "Lady."

Joe left the studio in 1949 to pursue his own interests (he designed several lines of incredibly clever greeting cards and some amazing ceramic tiles) but returned to Disney in the late 1980's where he continued to work up until the day before he died.

I was lucky enough to get to know Joe and hear some amazing stories about the formative days of our medium. But Joe was no historic relic. He drew every day. He pitched new concepts for films. He even sat in on gag sessions for our films, and would often mail me drawings and concepts (it was Joe who came up with the title, "Monsters, Inc."). After more than seven decades of working in the medium, Joe was always full of enthusiasm for what would come next.

Joe literally kept drawing until he died. In so many different ways, Joe was an inspiration. I will miss him very much.


Cartoon Brew remembers Joe

Animation Podcast

Seward Street

Laughing Place remembers Joe

Interview with Joe by Mike Lyons for AWN, 1999.

Jim Hill Media remembers Joe

Animation Nation thread with people posting their remembrances of Joe.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Colussus Pin-up

The Colossus makeover will not only feature the hefty upgrade of pages and story but will also have a gallery of Mark Andrew's artist peeps who'll each be doing a take on the tragic metal hero. I did mine right down the wire just this Monday night after hours. Done entirely on Photoshop and arrived at only after being inspired all over again by an artist I was rather fixated on back in the eighties, Dave Grove. I used actual media back then and used matt medium to achieve that reductive style of his that he is known for, paperbacks and movie posters which all escapes me at the moment. Here below is illustration I found on the net.

Louie Gonzales did a Colossus pinup as well and he just posted it on his blog. I'll post more when I get them. I hear Bill Presing had done one as well. More later.
All things lo.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Ben Caldwell's Dare Detectives

Ben Caldwell showed up on the landscape at the Drawing Board a few years back and started a deluge of amazing drawings which is for most a good reason (among many, but this about Ben, see?) to hang around that board . Drawing after drawing, it was a welcome torrent of verve and style done in pencil and glides like skates on ice. Pretty soon we all had Ben C, his call sign, folders on our hard drives full of them. Excerpt from the Dark Horse website on the Dare Detectives:

The wild and wondrous vision of cartoonist extraordinaire Ben Caldwell, The Dare Detectives throws Disney-esque illustration into the pop-culture blender to create a screwball smoothie of epic proportions. Reformed crook Maria Dare has assembled a team of misfits to crack the world's weirdest cases! They have brains ... they have guts ... but they don't have a clue!

As soon as we started asking who this dude is, we find right in our neighborhood megabookstores is a book made by none other than Ben C himself. Action! Cartooning is one of very few books that you'd see in your local B&N worth flipping pages through, better yet buying. Most of these types of books (there's a niche of them. Sounds like Kanga) that purports to teach the unwary how to draw in some style is full of hooey.

Here's a sketch of Sarah having a bad dream with a familiar toothy entity hovering over her. Awesome, eh?

Dare Detectives Da website.
Dark Horse published it.
Barnes and Noble link to buy Dare Detectives