Friday, November 30, 2012

Two If By Tea Winning Video!

Well OK, second place... but hey, that's what Romney got, right?  After the election, I lowered my expectations but was thrilled when getting the notification email.  Animating was fun, like the last time - though maybe not as complex. The idea was inspired by Rush Limbaugh's own words, quoted here:
Don't forget Shakespeare: "Brevity is the soul of wit." Any artist will tell you that what makes his work great is what you take out of it when you think there's no more you can take out of it. It's the continued editing.Don't be daunted by the 60-seconds. Sixty seconds is plenty of time. In fact, the more you say and the more punch you put in it, the more punch it'll have in 60 seconds. 
Immediately I thought of the classic Hawaiian Punch ad and figured a creative way to meet the contest requirements' while sending Obama soaring (so to speak). Honestly I wasn't 100% inspired with the idea, until Romney's commanding performance in the first debate.  It re-energized me to press on, determined to meet the deadline (with help from friends)
As far as lessons learned, I'd condense it down to one word: "FORWARD" (yes the President's slogan). By that I mean, stay FOCUSED on the overall goal and don't get bogged down in minutia. For example: I abandoned many small ideas like having jets sky write the message at the end.

Rush continues...

We can't guarantee that you won't be arrested by the government for what you produce, though. We would like to be able to guarantee that you won't be arrested.But given what happened to the video guy out in California, I can't guarantee it. (laughing) So remember: You're producing your own video here at your own risk. (laughing) Can you just see it: A Two If By Tea, You've Been Limbaugh'd video being blamed for something by Obama? We're not gonna be responsible for any violence that your video causes. We're not gonna apologize, either. If your video that you've produced for You've Been Limbaugh'd for Two If By Tea causes violence, you are swimming alone!  - Rush Limbaugh
No Cartoon Presidents were harmed in the making of this video :)
BTW:  here's my post-election edit::       

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Debate Doodles

Well lets see if my artistic eye helps differentiate these "characters.  The sketch above was from last might's on ABC 12/10.  I forget when the one below was but obviously some months before - when Cain livened up the proceedings with his "999".

I honestly have no preference to the ABO (anyone but Obama or"Romney alternatives"), so guess I'll try to decide who might be most fun to draw - if any actually gets in.  I must say Cain was the most interesting face in the crowd - kinda had a 'black Teddy Roosevelt' look about him (in my sketch anyway). 

Newter, though smart, looked "dopey" before.  Now he just looks plain evil - like a silver haired Michael Moore... yeesh!. Santorum looks like a nice guy but more of a "milktoast" than a dynamic POTUS type.  Perry has a chiseled face that would be good to sculpt - but not much to say about any attributes inside that statue head.   Romney, Huntzman - YAWN.   Ron Paul?  I could have fun cartooning him.

That leaves Bachmann.  Always seems like a nice attractive lady - and I certainly like drawing that type.  But then again, thats really no fun - not having a president to poke merciless fun at.    I'm sure there would be no shortage of cartoonists who'd be glad to pick up that gauntlet if needed. 

OK, your turn.  Thats what the comments are for.  Let 'em rip!  ps: I know the captures are bad - its too hard to scan those big 14x17 sketchpads.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Two If By Tea
"Sweet Tea Dreams"

The animation is complete (though still tweaking the director's cut).. Exhausting but thoroughly fun. See how many Looney Tune "tributes" you can find in the scenes.  I count at  least three.  Heres a clue for one of them:

"Wacky" type dream scenes are great - no rules.  Scrapped the former "inking in the computer" method and opted to exercise my trusty Flair (napkin pen)  then scan and color in Photoshop / animate in Flash.  The file size seemed to push the limit at 145mb.  Learned the hard way that AVI files are friendlier to a PC than Quicktime (duh). For sound, my iPod Touch and pill mic was superior to my humming laptop and Audacity. 

Plenty to recycle for hopefull later use.  Here are some for the 2012 election season:

Conceiving the action in my mind, I basically skipped the storyboard stage and went straight to the preliminary animatic, seen here:

Many thanks to Jeff Flanders (George Washington voice) Boz Martin, my Mom (Michelle, O) and Dad (for letting me use his faster Dell when my HP slowed down production. 

Monday, May 02, 2011

Courtroom Sketch Adventures
Sample video and true story about drawing in Augusta GA...

"Don't you know who I am?"
Drawing courtroom sketches with Cynthia McKinney.

I've drawn numerous judges, juries, lawyers and witnesses... even Pittsburgh Steelers - but this particular day I had a memorable brush with non-greatness in former (haha) US Representative Cynthia McKinney.  You may recall Rep McKinney got herself in some hot water several years ago during a run-in on capitol hill.  She allegedly punched a cop who didn't recognize her or let her pass without a congressional security pin.  That scuffle is not the focus here.

Now for my story:  One day, I was drawing TV courtroom sketches at a federal trial in Augusta, Georgia.  The case had to do with redrawing the borders for the local voting district ... or some such thing.  Ho hum racial stuff - no murder or mayhem details like other trials I've covered.  This trial attracted politicians and media pundits alike since one of the districts had gotten Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich elected. 


I was outside during a recess when a well dressed black woman approached me to inquire about buying my sketches after the trial. I said it might be possible as long as the TV station was through with them.  She then looked somewhat puzzled and said the following words: "Don't you know who I am?"  I shrugged and shook my head innocently as she handed me a card.  "I'm Cynthia McKinney, I sit behind President Clinton during the State of the Union".  I smiled and almost made a crack like "Good that you sit behind him instead of...'" but wisdom prevailed as I held my tongue and handed her my card.


Subsequently, I never heard from her again.  The trial ended with what was probably an outcome unfriendly to Ms. McKinney's position (behind president Clinton).

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fringe Friday! 

Wow its been too long! Its time I dusted off this blog. To make up for my neglect, heres some original art to commemorate FOX's best SciFi show ever:  Fringe... moving to Friday.  Yes it can be a good thing.

More fun to come...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

11/11/2009 - a date that will live in infamy! Well OK, it was Veteran's Day too.... but out of the blue at 9:26 AM, I received an email from Edwin Bonzell Dragonman! He revealed that he has been an 18 wheel truck driving man. Wow!

As Billman says, I'm hoping this will usher in a whole new era of cartoons. More to come.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Where can I find a Harpo Horn?

Looking for one like this that I can attach to my easel. (yes more annoying cartoon sounds). This is also a test of "sidewiki" a part of the Google Toolbar which promises to post to Facebook, Twitter and Blogger all at once.

in reference to:

"If I only had a Harpo Horn... ... everyone would want to honk it."
- First Post! - CartoonSteve! (view on Google Sidewiki)