Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Children's Crusade That Just Might Work

Wow, no one likes the layout posts. I guess layout remains a mystery to many, huh?

Well, anyway Happy Halloween! This is the night we celebrate and relive the glorious Crusades.

If you want any candy from me, you better wear one of these costumes. No modern puffy stuff, ok?

Think of who you could conquer with great outfits like this! Maybe you could march out and take back the Holy Cartoon Land of Los Angeles from the infidels!

It might be time to restore its ancient glory.


Sneak Preview of My Pitch Blog!

Hey head over here and read my latest pitches in progress and drop a comment so I can impress an executive, ok?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

L.O. 5: Maintain Guts From SB to Layout pt 3 - Adding Poses

Chapter 3 of Maintaining some Goddamn Guts from Storyboard to Layout.

emotional states change from moment to moment- draw it!
Here are the rest of the pages from the maintaining guts from storyboard to layout manual.


I can't stress enough how important it is to make every pose completely distinct and unambiguous. We should feel the state of mind of each character every step of the way as the story plays out. Cartoon characters should not be stylized graphic images.

They are living pulsating blogs of quivering protoplasm, stuffed to the membranes with engorged emotions of every degree of intensity and subtlety. Don't leave it up to the audience or the animator to figure out what the characters are doing and FEELING. Your pencil needs to show us.

That's why you need to know all your drawing principles first. They are your story telling tools. Without them you are very limited in what you can say visually!

Don't rely on stock expressions you've seen in Disney movies or Spumco cartoons. You need to feel the emotions as you go, and have the chops to be able to draw them as they happen.

Notice that Rip does not merely pinch Chunk. He has feelings about the pinching. Pinching is important to him in very specific Rip like ways.

The pinch itself to a writer would be the end of the gag, but to you the performer, it's not enough. The gag has to be intensified by how the characters feel about the action. These are things that can be drawn and acted.

Break down the actions into States Of Changing Feelings

First Rip aims his pincers at a clear piece of tender flesh, then his eyes and grin widen as he anticipates the sheer pleasure he will derive from Chunk's coming pain.

As Rip tightens the pinch, his face cinches up to show the effort. When lets go, he looks at Chunk so that he can enjoy the reaction.

His face registers not merely happiness, but a proud sort of smug satisfaction, the look of a man who has done his job well. You should have this look when you draw your layouts and present them to the ornery director. Show him how proud you are of your clever mischief. That's why you make cartoons in the first place, right?

The emotions quickly change as the gag is over. Chunk is out for revenge and Rip's face and body attitude portrays "Oh, yeah? What are you gonna do about it, Punk?"- all without having to resort to dialogue to tell us what he feels.


In any creative department, there are so many things you have to plan and think about as you draw that it's very hard to remember everything, especially the functional needs of the scene.

It's very handy to have a checklist that you can refer to when you finish your scenes. You just go down the list and look at your drawings to check for each important point. If you see that you missed something, you can then fix it before you hand it in.

If you are this thorough in your work, your director will love you and the next creative person who has to work from your drawings will not have to solve problems that you didn't address. He has all his own complicated functions to perform and needs completeness from you!

REMEMBER: Your director may want to push you creatively, but he shouldn't have to point out functional problems. If you are a pro, your scenes should function correctly and you won't need to be constantly reminded to say- keep your poses within the TV cutoff...or your silhouette doesn't read clearly, etc.

If you haven't already donated to your cartoon education, this might be good time since it's the end of the month and all the bills are comin' in!

I'll post everyone's names in a couple days.

By the way everybody, my Dad was very happy with all your good wishes yesterday. Thanks a lot! He wants to Indian Leg Wrestle each and every one of you. Especially the girls...

Happy Birthday Dad!

Well there's my Dad in a rare calm and relaxed pose in his beautiful back yard. You should see all the great flower beds he creates!
Anyway, all you diehard Spumco fans owe a lot to my Dad (as I do). he is one of my biggest cartoon inspirations and his spirit and personality crawl all over my cartoons.

He's in Visit To Anthony.
He is a big influence on the character of George Liquor.

George and my Dad believe strongly in discipline and order and rules.(Especially their own!)
"When you bring home the bacon, then YOU can make the rules!"
"As long as you're in my house, it's MYYYY rules!"

Nothing makes them more crazy than when someone bucks the established order. I think this instilled in me a great disrespect for authority, but at the same time inspired a great reverence for the entertainment value of authority figures. Maybe that's why I think Ranger Smith is as big as star as Yogi Bear. I find rulemaking and the urge to make rules even where none are needed hilarious.

It must have driven Dad crazy to raise a cartoonist who never took anything important seriously.Dad is like the Canadian version of George Liquor. We don't have Republicans in Canada, but we have something quite like them. My Dad is every fish's worst enemy.

I have written some stories where George goes to Canada and hangs out with my Dad at his cottage. They are very much alike and both hate hippies, the Beatles and wimps, but their differences are much more important to them and it just takes a couple beers to get them beating the crap out of each other like real men.
Here is our relationship to this day. Does your relationship with your Dad ever change?
My Dad is such an entertaining character that I had him do voices in some of my cartoons. Here he plays Ren's Dad. There are scenes in the cartoon actually from my childhood. I kind of combined my Dad with his Dad. My Grandfather was a Ukrainian Orthodox priest and even more strict than Dad, if that's possible! Grandpa was real nice to me though- except that he always kissed me on the mouth and ripped my face off with his stubble whenever we visited.

Dad also plays the part of the freeway cop in Stimpy's Pregnant.

I think the reason why I love Kirk Douglas so much is that I recognize the intensely emotional manliness of my own Dad in him. Watch Detective story and see what I witnessed every day growing up. A manly guy with a soft heart that was constantly torn between rigid laws and extreme emotions that boiled beneath the surface and every once n a while exploded out of control.

The fire chief in the original Firedogs is half my Dad, half Ralph Bakshi. "I've had it up to heeeeere with the likes of you!" I saw my Dad whack the underside of his chin like that every time I did something stupid (which was every day!)

My Mom is also a great influence on me but in the opposite way. She is the calm, logical member of the family. She can reason situations out and is analytic about everything. That's probably where I got it from-where all my manuals and my thirst for explanation of complex ideas came from.

My Dad is the fiery emotional one and I inherited that too.

Anyway if you love the characters he inspired, please wish my old man a Happy Ass Birthday and tons more! His name is Mike and he can still kick your ass.

Happy Birthday Dad!



Monday, October 29, 2007

update on Sody shirt

Sody Pop T-Shirt In Progress

It's not fully colored yet, but here's the idea...

"GIVE NOTES" on New t-shirts for christmas presents - YOU ARE THE EXECUTIVE

Aaron Simpson from Cold Hard Flash is gonna make some special T Shirts available for this Christmas season, but I need some help from you. This your chance to be creative executives and give me some notes.

I think we are gonna do 3 different designs but all the creative hasn't been totally decided yet.

T Shirt 1
(That will be printed on the shirt)
George's bad little nephew Slab has done something bad. I think he broke the new kitten and Ernie told on him. Now George gets to deliver his tough love.

a) on Model George smiley face

I've got 3 different expressions for George here. Which do do you like best?

b) Extra Excited George Smiley Face

c) Far Too Happy about Discipline Face

T Shirt 2
Gimme a catchy saying for this design!
I need a good saying to print with this pose of Sody Pop. Something that both guys and girls would proudly wear on their chests. I kinda wanted to relate it to the idea that hot chicks like cartoons or guys who read comic books, but that doesn't have to be it. Any ideas?

T Shirt 3

After reading all the comments on Eddie's post about this classic undergarment, I thought maybe we should reissue it.

Are you gonna buy it if we do?

By the way, all these will be specially printed on nice shirts. It's not a Cafe Press sort of thing, but I just wanna be sure enough folks are interested before we spend our own hard earned cash printing them.

Thanks for your notes!

Your best friend,