Thursday, December 22, 2005

Just a little edit...

While wandering the web a bit I noticed that there were some who were trying to read between the lines of my previous post....so I did a tiny edit of my last post to, hopefully, eliminate anyone from drawing erroneous conclusions from what was meant to be a positive reaction to the Ultimates screening I attended. I have to learn to be more careful.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Ultimate viewing...

Well, once again I've been negligent in posting (maybe I should stop apologizing for that and just except it as a fact of life), but I've been busy in editing with the Stan Lee Presents...The Condor DTV. It's actually quite fun to be able to sit with an editor in front of an AVID. There are scenes that I've slowed down parts, sped up other parts and added pauses or removed pauses - I almost feel like I'm actually animating again.
And when I'm not at work I'm at home working on those children's books. These have turned into a nice little side project and I've enlisted a good friend to do backgrounds for them and my son to paint them. I'm very pleased with how they're coming out and it sounds like I'll be doing some more in the future. These are movie adaptations and I'll let you guess what unreleased films I'm working on the children's books for. I hope more than just kids are interested in buying them...

The big news, since I last posted, is that I went to the Ultimate Avengers screening Saturday night. Without giving too much away I can definitely say that the fans will be very saitisfied. It definitely achieves a much higher quality level of animation and storytelling than either X-Men:TAS or Spider-Man:TAS and equal or better in many ways to X-M:E too (and you know how high a regard I hold that show). One of the things I most feared was whether or not the overseas studio would be able to handle my character designs - I breathed a huge sigh of relief. While I might quibble about certain specifics I think overall they captured the feel of what I designed.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Re-takes, line-art, an invite and a trip

Whoa...it's been a really busy couple of weeks. I've been calling re-takes on the The Condor DTV and I'm just about done. I only have six more sequences to go and then I can continue working on the titles and start spotting the music with the composer. Since the overseas studio is starting on re-takes and they're in the middle of animating the second show it seemed like a good time for me to visit their studio in japan. that should happen in a week or so. It should be interesting - I've never been to Japan before.
I'm also finishing work on all the line-art for the children's books I'm doing for HarperCollins. I'll give you more info on these as time goes on, but I'm pretty sure anyone checking this blog will like these.
Yesterday I received an invitation to a screening for the Ultimate Avengers DTV that I co-directed (with Curt Geda) and designed all the characters for. I'm looking forward to seeing how this finally came out. Here's a truncated version of the invitation - I removed all the pertinent info to avoid too many fans from showing up...this basic image has been posted on the net before so I don't think I'm violating any secrets.

This drawing is kind of cool, actually. It's a drawing by Bryan Hitch of characters I designed based on characters he designed. Of course, Cap, Wasp, Giant Man Hulk and Fury are all virtually identical to his designs - though I'm sure he could tell you the differences. Widow and Iron man (and Thor for one obvious reason)are my original designs - sort of based on his, but more base on his thinking more than how he actually drew them in his books.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Whoops...

I just realized (mostly by going to the Toon Zone Forum) that some might have misinterpreted my post from Tuesday Nov 8th and thought I was talking about the Ultimate Avengers' DTV. I wasn't. I was anxiously awaiting footage to come back from Mook for the DTV that I directed for IDT/FilmRoman - Stan Lee presents The Condor.

Let me clear up a couple of things:
1) I was co-director (with Curt Geda) on the first Marvel/Lionsgate feature DTV The Ultimate Avengers and I was the designer for that DTV as well as its sequel. I have not seen any footage from this film.
2) I am currently working at IDT/FilmRoman on a series of feature DTVs called Stan Lee presents. This was the footage that I was anxiously awaiting to see.
And I don't mean to imply anything about the quality of animation in the Ultimate Avengers DTV. I haven't seen it so I don't know anything about it and can't comment on it.

I really have to learn to be more specific while being purposely vague...did that make any sense? Sorry for any misunderstandings.

In the meantime here's a drawing I did of Liz - from Hellboy.

It was a quickie, but I kinda like it...

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Animation Archive


I thought I'd point out another blog. I think most of you should find it interesting. It's the Animation Archive Blog and it shows some of the progress that is being made putting together an actual archive of a lot of animation from the past. It seems to be a worthwhile project and could use support.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Buried alive...

Seems like everytime I promise myself (and those few of you who keep checking in) that I'll be a more consistant blogger I get buried in work and find it's hard to find anytime to come up with anything interesting to say. Or to dig up something new and interesting image to show.
Almost all the footage came in for the direct-to-video I'm directing and I've just started calling re-takes. It seems pretty daunting, but it feels good to be finally looking at what I've been working on in another form other than the still pictures and storyboards.
And if that wasn't enough work to keep me busy I've been helping to illustrate some children's books for HarperCollins. Those are a lot of fun and hopefully I'll be able to share some images from them in the future. I suspect theyll be something that most of you will enjoy.

Well, time to get back to work....

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Today's the day....

...that we should finally get the animation back from overseas. I'm not too worried...(ptoo...ptoo...ptoo - warding off the evil eye) , after all I've seen a few test scenes already and they were very well done and I've worked with this company before. We're using Mook - the same company that did half the animation for X-Men: Evolution - so I know what to basically expect. I hope...

I also wanted to point anyone interested to a pretty good blog, Character Design. It was put together by a student in the animation program at BYU and I think he's doing an excellent job of putting together a bunch of interviews of many artists that I've never heard much from. I'm not justimpressed with this blog because I'm included, but it doesn't hurt that he's got such good taste. Go check it out...I think you'll be glad you did.


Friday, October 28, 2005

First Ultimate Look!

If you go and get the latest issue of WizardMagazine you'll find an interview I gave for an article about The Ultimate Avengers. The interview's nothing to speak of but they preview a couple of my designs. I found these posted also on the Comics Continuum web-site and decided to post them here as well. I hope they don't mind. I'm pretty happy with how the designs turned out and can't wait to see the DVD when it's released in Febuary.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Web Update!!!

Well, I know some of you have been anxiously waiting for this update...the last two charcaters, Rogue and Spyke, have been added to the "How To" section of my web-site. The really fun title cards that were designed foir this were done by my web-master himself, Francesco Francavilla. I really like them a lot and I also like a lot of his other work too. Here's an ink job he did (apparently all done on computer) to the Batman pencils I posted below.



He's quite an artist. I'm in awe of his abilities...and he sure can improve on my pencils.

Someone was asking me if there were any good books I could recommend to help somone interested in animation so I thought I'd post these links.
Richard Willaims book is a good "this is how to do this" guide - Animator's Survival Kit. There's also Dob Bluth's Art of Animation Drawing and his Art of Storyboard and, of course, Frank and Ollie's book - The Illusion of Life is a definite must have for anyone interested in animation.
And just for books of how to draw I recommend Andrew Loomis' Figures in Action (Any book you can find by Loomis is well worth it) and Ben Caldwell's Fantasy! Cartooning and Action! Cartooning. I even bought these last two for my son.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Bad Blogger...

I know, I know...I've been negligent and not posting often...hell, I'm not even posting weekly...oh, well. All I can say is I'll try better...just don't hold me to it.
Currently, at work, we're expecting to see the color animation come in from Japan in a couple of weeks and then I can start calling re-takes and go into post. We're also waiting on the second draft of a script. In the meantime I've started the character designer on taking a stab at the characters we know (or are pretty damn sure, at least) will be in the show. It'll be nice to get back into full production and have our crew back.

In the meantime I've been working on some children's books for HarperCollins and having some fun.

Going through my PC portfolio I found this drawing of Batman I had done sometime ago and never used for anything - I'm not sure why. I always kind of liked those really big style ears. So here it is...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

John Carter!!!


I don't know if everyone is as excited as I am about this film finally going into serious production or not, but I definitely thought it was worth a mention. You can read the Aint it cool interview with Jon favereau here.
A long time ago (what seems like a lifetime ago), towards the end of production on Fire and Ice, Ralph said he had been contacted by the Burroughs company about producing an animated version of John Carter of Mars, but the most that they could put together for it would be 4 million. Even in those days that was almost nothing. We had just finished Fire and Ice and no one thought it was worth pursing - especially Ralph. ralph didn't want to work that hard for so little so he considered having my friend Bruce Woodside and me co-direct the film for him. Althoug it would have been a dream project - and we might have been able to use Frazetta's designs - we weren't really seasoned enough to pull it off and for that type of money we knew what it would have looked like: Fire and Ice 2.
So needless to say I'm thrilled that technology has finally caught up with this project and made it feasable to do this film in live-action. Favereau seems to have the right attitude about the property and he even seems inclined to use frazetta's art as inspiration. Goood luck Jon!

The above image was already posted to my web-site as is, but I started painting/rendering it in PhotoShop some time ago and stopped. This might actually give me the motivation to finish it and post it here.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

A face from the past...

Ever since I bought the Fire and Ice DVD SE I've had a hankering to do a drawing or two. The opportunity arose (a drawing jam at the Sketchbook Session web-site) so this is what the results were...

Thursday, September 29, 2005

This is too good...

Mark Evanier linked to this on his blog (a link to his blog is over to the right)...Make sure you click on the word "this"....

I laughed out loud when I saw this. I hope everyone else enjoys it also.

Back on track...




With all the fire surrounding the area (we're pretty safe- I think) I thought that one of these was extremely appropriate. Once again these are designs that were submitted for a particular project that the X-Men: Evolution crew was going to go onto. But for some reason the executive producers and Boyd couldn't seem to agree on the type of story to tell and for what age group. At least, this is what I think caused it to slip through our fingers. Oh, well....

Monday, September 26, 2005

An Honor...


An artist that I've met on-line, Euan Mactavish - also known as em..., found this Blog and liked my Hellboy so much that he took it and painted it up. I'm honored and thrilled with how it turned out. I think he took something that was only a so-so drawing and turned it into something really nice. He is not just a painter, but quite an artist himself - along with being a moderator of the Sketchbook Sessions http://www.sketchbooksessions.com/shanesboard/index.php
I agreed to let him post it there (that was a hard decision - yeah right) and he agreed to let me post it here.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Other unused designs...



In keeping with the earlier posts showing off unused designs that were created to try and get a job I thought I'd post a few more from a different pitch. It's either that or I could go on about the Rita situation and politics. I suspect anyone checking out my blog would probably rather see my art than hear my views.
When I did these presentation drawings the show was being put together by the same creative crew that did X-Men: Evolution. The show has gone ahead with other people involved and I haven't seen any of the final designs, but I suspect that they ended up being a lot brader than mine.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

One more...


Here's the last of the images I creatd for this particular assignment. Actually, it's the last that I'm going to post. There were others, but they were actually me aping some other friends styles with the idea that if they liked those drawings in particular I would hire them. These were intended for a show I was going to direct.
As it turned out another artist was chosen and I ended up having to fill in some of the blanks after all.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


Here’s another in this series. Some of these were intended to be more exaggerated and others (like this one) were intended to be more in line with my X-M:E style. I doubt I’ll post the really off-style ones. I wasn’t real happy with them.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Failed drawings


I've been too busy (or is it too lazy) to post much lately, but I thought I'd do anyone that is actually watching for such things a courtesy of at least posting a few drawings.
These first few are spec/tryout drawings I did that didn't work for the client. I still like them though and just came across them recently while exploring some of my desktop folders.
I'll post some more later...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Prodigal Brother

This afternoon - out of the blue - I received an e-mail from someone asking if the Darryl and Jil Gordon at a hospital in Illinois could possibly be my brother and his wife. She left a phone number for the hospital and I called it. It turns out it was definitely them. They'd been there for 3 days. The hospital had set aside a couple of buildings - they called them pavillions - for evacuees of the NO flood.
They are both well and will be flying to Florida tomorrow to live with her sister.
Other than the fact that they hadn't been flooded out - they lived on the 4th floor of a building on Bourbon St - I couldn't get many facts out of them, but I'm sure now that communications have opened up (somewhat) I should be able to find out more...maybe?
I wasn't even able to find out how the mysterious e-mail correspondent had locatd them (I assume they were checking the lists that we had posted their names on), but I did thank her.

Anyway I thought this drawing appropriate for the occasion - somewhat? Oh, well. I knew no one had seen it yet....

Monday, September 05, 2005

Labor Day


In honor of meeting Mike Mignola the other day I thought I'd post a Hellboy I drew recently...mostly based on the movie more than Mignola's designs. I couldn't compete with him anyway so I thought "why try?"


Yup. I'm working, laboring, whatever...I've got plenty to keep me busy. I'm trying to prepare the next script in the series so i can get the story artists working Tuesday. It's fun, but time consuming.
I've listed my brother's name on several sites like the Next of Kin Registry with the hopes we might hear something.

I received my copy of Fire and Ice DVD SE and watched it with the family. My youngest son, Eric, had never even seen this film. He hadn't been born until after this production was finished and he seemed to enjoy it. I'm not nearly as critical (or defensive) of the film as I used to be and so I enjoyed seeing it again. What I really enjoyed was watching the supplemental materials on disc 1. It was fun seeing the "making of..." materials. Brought back some fond memories and it was pretty funny seeing the "great" Thomas Kincaide and his old friend James Gurney (the better of the two IMO)working hard to capture Frazetta's essence. It's a shame it was all too short. The second disc is the "Painting with Fire" Painting with Fire documentary on Frazetta, which I already owned and had seen when it was released on it's own DVD.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Dark Tower

It seems like it's been years (I guess it has been actually)since I started reading and listening to Stephen King's The Dark Tower CD series, but I've finally completed the journey along with Roland. The last two books I listened to on audio CD (unabridged, of course) and it was quite enjoyable. The readings were great and the writing was, of course, exemplory. The ending was anti-climatic, also of course, but after 7 books and 20+ years how couldn't it be? But I've learned over the years not to read (or listen to) Stephen King for the exciting endings. It's the journey. I think even he knows that at this point and even alluded to that fact by the end of The Dark Tower CD.
One of my favorite Stephen King books of recent vintage was Bag of Bones. That one had a much more satisfying ending. Stepen King actually does the reading on the Bag of Bones CD and does an excellent job - as I guess any writer reading their own material should.

Over the years, I've often sat down and tried to do a drawing or two based on the Dark Tower, but was never satisfied. Maybe sometime still in the future....

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Katrina

With all that's going on at work it's been dificult to focus or even know what to say about the devastation in New Orleans. I'm sure there's very little I could say that would have any more impact than what you see nightly on the TV.
My older (somewhat estranged) brother lives on Boubon street above some stores. We have no way of getting hold of him (in fact, we had no way of getting hold of him even before this) so all we can do is contribute money. We gave to the Red Cross, but I know there are many other worthwhile charities that are helpful.

Sunday, August 28, 2005


Oh, by the way, I will try to add a few drawings here and there to the Blog - just to keep it interesting. Like this one:
Now that I'm actually up and running I will do my best (time permitting, of course) to update everyone as to my doings as often as possible. No promises though.
I just got back from a vacation with the family in Yosemite. I'd never been there before (a typical Californian) and it was beautiful and really restful. Now I'm in the thick of it again starting up the second of my DTVs for Stan Lee presents.
There should be some new updates to the "How To" section of my web-site soon. It amazes me how many people have requested more of these pages.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Hi everyone...this is all brand new to me, so let's consider this first post a test. Okay? My friend and web-master, Francesco is still coordinating everyting so there should be some changes shortly.
Remember this is just kind of a test....sort of.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005