Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Click above to get your Festivus Pole. Now that you're in the spirit, here are some gift ideas:

Change any jar or can from closed to open with the
The Obama Yes We Can Opener

The George W Toilet Brush

and last but not least we bring you...
The Hillary Nut Cracker


This has been a public service message from the...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

caricature by John Johns

Best known as editor of: "Famous Monsters of Filmland".

I found out while preparing my Mogulus Horror Channel ... inspired by the monsters of my childhood sketchbooks, Aurora models, Ackerman's mag and Chilly Billy's Chiller Theater.

... so in honor of all that... and "Forry"...


Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Making of NObama
To commemorate the new President, I present my home made halloween mask (scariest one I could think up). The idea was to produce a big Mardi Gras - style head (in the quickest method possible). I made it using the following ingredients:

1 sheet of 22" x 30" watercolor paper
1 quart of water
3 cups of flour (approximately)
acrylic paints (red/brown, purple, white, black)
12" dowel
duct tape
3-4 sheets of 8x10 black felt or fleece
hot glue gun and glue
1 can of Mod Podge

Boil the water, add flour and stir to the consistency of cream. Lay paper flat in a bin or tub and pour on hot flour water. Soak for 1 hour while searching for a mold. Ask yourself what kind of objects can be combined to make up the persona of the head (of state). Heres what I came up with for Obama: basketball, trash can and toilet brush holder. Perfect !

Duct tape the mold objects together and wrap the soggy sheet over them. Blowing with a fan shortens the drying time to 2 hours or less. Once dry, draw some features in pencil.

After cutting out the eyes and ears, trimming the back edge of the face, paint on the large flesh tones and smaller details. When it all dries, hot glue the hair on top/back and brush on a coat of Mod Podge (to help stiffen the mask). Taping a dowel on the back, keeps the ears from flopping. This should all take about 3 hours or so. Optionally you may use face paint or brown chalk to match hand flesh tone if needed. (what a mess).

Here we see NObama posing with Sarah Palin. Now thats a ticket!

Obama/Palin 2112!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I Met Ralph Stanley!

Dr. Ralph Stanley
, that is, performed at the Sagebrush Roundup at Bunners Ridge, WV (nearby) - a lively secluded place - only 7 miles from the interstate. Yep, even got the autograph!

Best known recently for his Grammy winning performance on "Oh Brother Where Art Thou".

Ralph played his banjo and did TWO sets - even taking requests while interacting with the audience. Also making up The Clinch Mountain Boys is his son Ralph II and grandson Nathan. The Matheneys, 38 Special and The Sagebrush Band did an excellent job between sets.

Lemeul from Moon and Stars Studio got some great photos and despite the dim lights, I was able to do my thing too...

Drawing 81yr old Stanley made me think of my Grandad, who I sketched live in '95. He didn't play the banjo, but loved gospel and was full of life ... quite a character.
"Grandaddy" Exel Bartlett

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Amazing Do It Yourself
Cartoon Life Drawing Class

Either the Lovely Ladies of Lard Beach (post coming soon) or the long lines in the grocery store, basically anyone can be a subject for our DIY Life Drawing Session - as long as they hold still for a minute or two... and have cartoony features.

The trick is to not get caught... sketching... staring... squinting... snickering. Just be cool... look studious.

Be a fly on the wall and not a spectacle as you dissect the diverse shapes and lines in these wonderful creatures. Its also advisable not to point and laugh. There will be ample time for genuine, constructive ridicule later. Our goal is to train our eyes and develop the olympic speed necessary for excellent spontaneous cartoonization, all the while flexing those drawing muscles.

Plus you never know where the next inspired expression or character will manifest.

In fact some of the faces may come in handy for future reference, like the husband in this couple below. His sly smile was perfect for my rendition of "Papa Mouse".

Above all, have fun - and make it a habit to pack a pen and paper at all times. Flair pens are great for napkin art.

Heres an inexpensive portable sketchpad: The "Hipster PDA" (clipped 3x5 index cards). They also make great flipbooks.

Someone here had the genius idea to invent one small enough to fit on a keychain. A Pilot Razorpoint would be good for that.

Bonus trivia question: Which famous comedian was a spokesperson for Pilot Pens? First correct answer comment here wins their very own Hipster PDA! (with a hand drawn caricature of said comedian).

Some of the humans pictured above are courtesy of the Shadyside Whole Foods Market, Pittsburgh, PA and Burnside Funeral Home, Bridgeport, WV
Gasp!! (yes they were all alive). The subject is "life" drawing after all.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Searching for the Original Fat Albert
Back in the fall of 1969, NBC aired a fun cartoon featuring a mix of live action and animation with a jazzy score by Herbie Hancock. "Hey Hey Hey, It's Fat Albert" had all the kids talking the next day. Besides looking similar to the '71 album cover above, I only remember it being a take off on Bill Cosby's Go Cart skit from the album: "Wonderfulness".. The concept went on to inspire the successful long running series on CBS three years later.

Forner Disney Animator Floyd Norman wrote an entertaining article for Jim Hill Media recalling his involvement with this special piece of (hopefully not) lost history. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to be available on video anywhere - nor any signs that it ever was. ? I'm not giving up yet. There must be a copy of it somewhere.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dick (pictured on rhe left by artist John Johns) from the 1960s NBC hit 'Laugh In" died yesterday. After an impressive career in acting and comedy, Dick became the chief director for the 80s series, Newhart. His Laugh In partner Dan Rowan passed away two decades earlier in 1987. Before getting into comedy, Rowan served as a fighter pilot in the United States Army Air Forces. He flew P-40s and scored two kills against Japanese aircraft before he was shot down and seriously wounded over New Guinea. His military awards and decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal, and the Purple Heart. (wikipedia)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Goofy's Back!
The beginning of this blog was a sad time for traditional hand drawn animation at Disney. I had just learned that their animation studio at MGM Orlando had closed and everything was moving to 3D. However, recently I had a chance to actually see a new cartoon in the theater, starring their best and most cartoony character - the Goof!

(follow the link and click the cartoon of Goofy for a clip)

What a great way to start off a new shorts program. If only other studios would follow their lead (hint Warner Bros) and revive the concept of cartoons on the big screen, going out to the movies could be extra fun. Ironically, the subject of the cartoon was hooking up a home theater.

If they're still out, go see National Treasure 2 or Enchanted for a chance to see this funny short.