Sunday, July 29, 2007

Jungle Background

Just a sketch I'm working on for a background. It will be a transition between 2 worlds, one real, & one imaginary. The jungle is the result of a boy's imagination, and he will be sitting on a rock/log somewhere in the midwest & open his eyes /look up to see this jungle. I'm going to do the foreground on another sheet to start with so I don't screw up the whole thing, but at the moment I really like where it's going. I think I'm going to trace this & attempt it in watercolor as well. We'll see how that goes...
I'll have more on this soon but I don't want to reveal too much just yet.

Heres the initial rough sketch:

And here's the shaded/detailed version:

I know there are improvements I can make, so any suggestions are welcome.
And here is the rest of it.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

A little character design

One of the forums I frequent runs a bunch of little challenges for their members to practice & learn from. They range from character design challenges (such as this one) that last about a week, to full blown animation contests that can last months. I've never really participated in any of these challenges, but I figure it's time I start. It's a good source of motivation & practice, so I will really try to get involved in more of them.
This particular challenge was a character design, here is what we were given: Name - Diamond Dan Jewels, Occupation - Jewel thief. Personality traits - intense hatred for mickey mouse. Looks - must wear sunglasses & carry a knife.

With that to go on, and having seen numerous other people's versions of this character, I decided to start off with a simple diamond shape. Then I made another one upside down, like a mirror image, and from those 2 diamonds (in green on first sketch) I made the head & face, which began looking a bit ape-ish, but I decided to roll with it. I got a couple good (I think) loose sketches of him in what I think is a pretty strong pose. It is for me anyway. I think I actually captured a "line of action" so that's a step in the right direction. I'm not thrilled with the colored version, but that wasn't the point of the challenge, & I painted it without too much thought or effort. Anyway, here they are, I will add a link to the thread with other challenge entries, but their site is down for an upgrade at the moment:
Diamond Dan Rough 1
Diamond Dan Rough 2
Diamond Dan Colored

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Great new toon

I'm sure a lot of you have seen this already, but here's a link to the pilot for "Korgoth of Barbaria". Cartoon Network picked it up a while ago, but I'm still waiting to hear when they will actually start airing episodes. The sooner the better is all I can say, there is a whole lot I love about this toon. The animation is superb, the timing is perfect & the humor is, well, hilarious. It's also got a healthy dose of good old fashioned cartoon violence. And I mean violence on a grand scale - but it's done in such a rediculous & over the top way that it only adds to the comedy. Check it out here, and please let me know if you've heard when episodes will start running.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Happy Bastille Day!

In honor of Bastille Day (or because this was my first comic & I happen to read the paper yesterday) I am proud to present you with my attempt at humor. Crits & comments are welcome as always. I think it's decent, I'm happy with it, but I still see where I can improve in many areas. See what you think: Marie Antoinette

*Edit* I don't know why but I'm not getting the FOV that I had when I exported the toon in TBS. When I export & preview it looks how I want it(zoomed in slightly further so the top lef corner & right edge of wall are not visible), but then when I upload it to photobucket it shows these areas anyway. I'm fairly certain this is due to a stupid mistake on my part, but if anyone can let me know what exactly I overlooked please fill me in. I'll leave it alone for now, even though it shouldn't be visible, getting a glance at the awning behind the wall without the glass in front of it almost makes the glass effect better anyway. If nothing else you get to see it with & without the glass for a comparison.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Awesome Toon

I've mentioned this guy before, and since I really admire everything I've seen of his, I figure it's only natural to push his latest cartoon as well. His name is Comlock, & we are acquainted through the Animation Forum. His latest toon is almost 10 minutes long, but don't let that scare you, it will keep your face glued to the screen the whole time. What's really absurd isn't how good this is, but that he did it in a couple of weeks. Keep an eye on this guy, your kids may end up growing up on his toons. Check it out here: Comlock's Toon

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Saturday, July 7, 2007

Comics Coming Soon

Hey all, just a quick note to say I should be releasing weekly comics in the near future. Blatantly stealing from my buddy Rob Campbell, I think that weekly comics will help generate more return traffic to the site. As it stands, who knows when I'll have an actuall animation completed, & I can completely understand how a site with no content would get boring fast. Hopefully the comics will keep it interesting. I think it will end up being a rather eclectic mix, as I've got some ideas for a series of father/son fishing related stuff, and I've agreed to do the artwork for a neighbor who has a bunch of ideas for single panel strips sort of in the Far Side style. I have a couple finished, but I'm trying to hold off releasing any until I'm pretty well ahead of the game, I think 6-8 weeks should cover the inevitable dry spell. But stay "tooned" I promise to produce something soon.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

What a wonderful world

I don't even know why I'm posting this here, probably just for my own mental health, so if you're looking for something cartoon related in this post, be forewarned, you won't find it.

Where to start... as some of you know that I'm getting married in a few months (Oct 5th to be exact). Everything was going great, most of the planning is done except for a few small details, and everyone in both families have been eagerly looking forward to a great day. As it turns out, due to recent events, it will most likely be a bitter-sweet day at best. You see, Erin's Dad had a bout with cancer in his bladder a couple months ago, but we were told he was ok & that they removed it all etc etc. Well on Thursday of last week, he was taken to the hospital with bad back pain. Guess what? Cancer's back, & it's literally everywhere: Liver, lymph nodes, bones, spine to name a few. They planned on treating him aggressively with surgery, chemo & radiation, and at that point (thurs/fri) they still thought that with the treatment he would be able to attend the wedding & give his daughter away. By Friday night, the word had changed. Surgery was out of the question for a variety of reasons, but without it he was guaranteed to stay bedridded for the rest of his life, as the cancer in his bones has basically disintigrated his hip joints. It's also disintigrated 2 discs in his back which is what caused the pain in the first place.

Through Sat & Sun, all we got was worse news on top of worse news. They still hadn't (haven't) figured out where the primary cancer is, and with radiation as the only treatment option left, they wanted to target the primary if at all possible. Well it doesn't matter, because last night(Mon) his liver stopped working altogether, and the Doc said any treatment now is basically a waste & will only cause him more discomfort. All they can do now is get him on hospice care, and send him home so he can at least die in his own house. We all jokingly call him "Captain America" because he has flags everywhere he can fit them & about 500 magnet ribbons on his truck, so I wouldn't be surprised if he's got it in his head to just let go tomorrow - it's definitely his style, & it would almost be fitting in a strange way.

Like I said, I don't know why I'm posting all this, but I am. I feel so bad for Erin (and her family) right now I don't have words to express it, & the helpless feeling when you know you can't change a thing doesn't help any. It's also an all too soon instant replay of my own Father's last days, & that was only 2 years ago now. We all know death is a part of life, but saying the timing sucks right now is beyond an understatement. Erin is one of four, but she's always been "Daddy's little girl," and the two of them were looking forward to the wedding like kids waiting on Christmas. Out of the four kids, Erin is the only one having a planned/traditional wedding. She would have been the only daughter he got to give away, & it was a huge deal to both of them. I think Erin is having as hard a time dealing with that as she is with his death in general. The self-pitying part of my head just can't get over that no matter how hard you try to do something the "right" way, it seems that life will just bitch slap you for it & hand you a plate of shit for dinner - then tell you to ask for seconds.

No giving Erin away, no dancing to "Daddy's Little Girl," just a candle "In Memoriam" instead. Doesn't quite cut it, but unfortunately none of us get to make these decisions, we just get to deal with them. I don't know how she's keeping it together at this point, but she's doing as well as can be expected. Her & her family keep asking me how I did it with my Dad, & I just say I didn't have a choice, to quote Bob Dylan, "You do what you must do, and you do it well." Parts of me are finding this to be the tougher go-round. I could deal with my pain, but seeing her's & not being able to take it away is something else altogether. This I've never had to do before. And of all the people I know, life has already fed Erin enough shit that she sure as hell doesn't deserve this. Her mother has been in a wheelchair for years with chronic MS, and guess what? Two years ago Erin was lucky enough to be diagnosed with MS as well. Know what the odds of that are? Something in the range of winning the lottery. But hey, she gets to defy medical odds & wins MS for the rest of her life instead. And people wonder why I'm a cynical bastard.

I don't subscribe to any of the major religions, but I do believe something bigger than me started all this. Whoever or whatever is up there must be pissed at Erin & I for something. Either that or God has a sick sense of humor. Whatever the case, the only useful thing I can do right now is support her as she has always done for me. All I can ask of you is to say a little prayer to whoever it is you pray to that Erin & her family stay strong & get through this.

Sorry for dumping, but thank you for reading, it felt good to purge a little.

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