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.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy Turkey day

Here we go. First time to be flying with the family over this harried holiday. Oh, heavens. We're off to visit my mom who's taken up residence in Las Vegas. I hope to get some airport drawings done or some sort of drawings done on the trip.

I leave you with images from Ernest H. Shepard. These images of Shepard's are not of Pooh or Willows folk. The focus of the narratives are about the holidays. I thought it appropriate for the week--fitful sleep, harried travel, and taxing festivities--all good fun--though nothing beats a quiet, intimate dinner, I always say.

1 2 3 4

I've admired his "decorations" on the Winnie the Pooh books for so long (I keep buying the same books over), so it came to pass that one day I gave myself the job of illustrating my own self-published little book, "Frogg's Lament." A Nina book, to be sure, an homage to Mr. Toad of Wind in the Willows fame by Kenneth Grahame (of course illustrated by EHS and famous for it, though Grahame didn't live to see those drawings adorn his stories).

Buford K. Frogg causes all sorts of trouble for Nina. Page 31, much has happened already.

Have a safe and happy holiday week.

Tirade post on Frogg's Lament. It' been a year and half already? Must get to work.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Jordi Bernet

This was an excellent big print on natural color paper clipped to a board on his table. I wanted one but no copies to be had that day. There were, however, Torpedo original art. I lost my mind. Didn't but one that day. Regretting it since. May have to fix that.

Master Artist. Last May, Super-con had as a special guest: Jordi Bernet. I'm a big fan of his work on Torpedo 1936, so I had to go. He was mobbed, of course, and people were lining up for drawings and signing their books. I fell in line and waited (he took a break for lunch), some guys had arm loads of books. I was very zen about the whole thing. I just wanted to buy a book, have it signed and shake the man's hand. I'm afraid that I'd sound like a babbling idiot so I didn't plan on saying much.

He reminded me of one my uncles, dad's brother. My father's side of the family have genes reaching back to Spain. That makes me a fraction Spaniard.

After a pious wait it was my turn. He was gracious and drew on my book. I did talk to him (his son translated) and handed him a copy of Paper Biscuit (what was I thinking?). He was very nice and kept the books in his bag.

Months later I get email from the man. He says that he read the books and liked them. I've been snowed under at work and the pressure has been mounting, Joann Sfar's visit and this were just what I needed. Been away from drawing my stories for a while and I can feel the incipient crust of frustration forming. Reading that email made a big difference for that afternoon. My thanks to the master, Mr. Bernet.


I pulled out the old digital camera and shot this leetol movie of Mr. Bernet drawing on my book. A few seconds only but what the heck, I got a kick out of it and maybe a few of you out there would too. Here

Bento Jew's blog post on his encounter with JB.

Wikipedia on Jordi Bernet.

Will Eisner introduction for Jordi Bernet.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Joann Sfar visits Pixar

Joann drew the genesis of his characters, from the Rabbi's Cat to lovesick Ferdinand the Vampire. A friend tells him one day that he's been drawing his grandfather. He tried a drawing of his grandfather and, well, wouldn't you know it, he was right.

Near Sfar. I knew about the visit for months and was looking forward to it. Unfortunately, this is the worst week for it, we've reels to make ready for an imminent screening. That means late nights and running around trying to catch many spinning plates. I did manage to carve out one hour out of yesterday's schedule to be at his talk.

He was so entertaining and very gracious, self-effacing in spite of us knowing his place in the world of published author-artist. His philosophy was simple: he just goes straight ahead and writes/draws. Trusting that his characters will show him where they should go."It doesn't always work," he disclaims several times, though at his output strata these moments are likely negligible. He draws in cafes on a sketchbook and once he takes pen to paper, "That is what the character is doing." No going back. We ask if he has less inspired pages, he answers, "If I am unhappy with a page I just start the next one."

At the end of it I was lamenting that we won't be spending more time talking stories and drawing. He says that he will be at San Diego next year and maybe we can make that happen there. Likely, he'll be scheduled to the hilt.

It was inspiring to us who are budding writer/artists who wish to make books(maybe even spend more time working on them, as opposed to the stolen fragments of days here and there). We got our Sfar books signed along with a lithe brushpen drawing and the feeling that we know him now.

It was an hour very well spent and the next day we were going on about what he was able to share with us. Made us want dive back in and start again. The late nights at work don't leave much for drawing for yourself.

Maybe next month. Yeah.

Wikipedia on Joann Sfar
Le petit monde de Joann Sfar
First Second Guest Blogger with drawings
Signing at Comic Relief tonight

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Three Flowers Show

Amazing Grace. I heard as the week progressed to the day of the exhibit that the images Nucleus had received were...well, amazing. I walked into the gallery space in the morning all ready to set up the few pieces we had for our part of the show. The ladies and Tadahiro had stayed up late last night (well into the morning hours, really) just getting their images up on the walls. We were about to walk into this.

I couldn't pick where to look first, they filled the walls with so many beautiful framed work, so I just stood there with that indecision for a while. The work from Yoko Tanji, Wakako Takayama and Icco Sassai, all different and stand out on their own, was refreshing , inspiring and just plain beautiful. After I recovered I went upstairs to the upper gallery. I wasn't going to be spared because Tadahiro's work was up here. I was done for. Man, those images are so awesome.

Pause. Preparing for these things don't come easy. Even my few offerings for the show took me weeks of preparation and carving time out from work and family--and that includes just knitting your brow, wondering if the work is good enough to show. These ladies and Tadahiro must have done that--times a thousand. They had more images AND they had to schlep all the way from Japan to make this show happen.

So, not only am I really awe struck at the work but very grateful to them for taking the time and the massive effort to have these images here for us to view. There is every reason why an event like this can fail to happen, but this one did and I feel very privileged to see the work.

Da Show. People arrived and kept on coming. There was a steady stream of familiar faces and new ones. It was so good to connect with L.A. friends. There were also people who drove down from quite a ways, some from the Bay area. There was at least one I met who flew in from New York (I gave a little doodle as a token of my gratitude for their trek over here). As you already know, the book we hoped that would be there wasn't but we had poster prints for the patrons who chose to pre-order it there. Gingko Press will ship it to you when it is released. There was a mock-up of the book you can page through at the show. I showed it off every chance I got. Man, I can't wait.

I always want to draw on white walls of galleries. This time I started on adhesive notes. I posted one over the shelf of Muji stuff, a Nina saying how much she loves them. An hour later I find a flurry of post-its done by others. May have started something there. I did draw on the walls eventually, I drew a Peg next to my favorite images from the ladies. I hope they don't mind.

My thanks to all who came to the show, you don't know what a joy it is to see so many people enjoying the work of our friends from Japan. Thank you for all the kind words for the work, theirs as well as for mine and Enrico's. This keeps us going, just so you know.

See you all for a book signing (sigh) in the next couple of months. Details, when that happens will be announced in this space.

If you didn't join us there last weekend you can visit the work at Nucleus, it'll be up for a spell. And if you're online you can check their website for prints!

If you want to see some excellent blurry images of the show, then go here.