Monday, March 26, 2007

A Friend of Mine

The Friend Magazine asked me to do this illustration for their "Kitchen Krafts" section. I did this a few weeks ago, but it probably won't be published until a summer issue. I've done a number of things for The Friend and they are always on top of their schedule by about 4-5 months.

Old Timey Stuff

I am working on some illustrations for a series of short stories about a kid who grew up in the 50's in Idaho and has some entertaining and humorous tales to tell. I've done five or six sketches and decided to take this one to the final stage to give the author an idea of how they would all turn out. I wanted to do them Black & White so they felt consistent with the era.

What a creepy little guy

Last week's Toon Club topic was The Frog Prince. This was my first idea, it seemed like a really obvious solution to me. I was affraid others may take the same approach, but I couldn't really come up with anything more creative, so I just went for it. I remember discussing Prince and Michael Jackson with other kids in 1st grade, who was better, who was creepier etc. Back then, everyone thought that Prince was creepier and Michael Jackson was such a fine upstanding citizen. Things have sure turned out differently. I mean, The frog formerly known as Prince is still creepy and weird, but I believe he's been married for many years with a solid family and look at how Wacko Jacko has turned out. Yikes.

Blogging about old surf shirts

Blogging seems to take up too much time. It's sort of bothersome for me to have to do, that's why I haven't posted for 2 weeks I guess. I have a lot keeping me busy. But onward and upward. Here's a new post.

A couple of weeks ago, the topic for Toon Club was 1980's video games. I thought of all the classics, Pac-Man, Frogger, Burger Time, Pitfall, Donkey Kong, etc. but didn't have any great ideas as to what context to put them into. I started researching stuff from the 80's and remembered one of my fondest childhood memories, T&C Surf Design T-shirts! I loved these in 4th or 5th grade, or whatever it was. These characters were created by Steve Nazaar in the 80's were so cool. I had a bunch of these T-shirts and I used to try and draw them as a kid. Then I remembered I also had a nintendo game based on these characters called T&C Wood & Water Rage. I figured this was the perfect chance to redesign these characters in my own style and use them for Toon Club. The game itself was kinda crappy, but I think we all bought it because we loved the characters. There was Thrilla Gorilla, Joe Cool, Tiki Man, & Caveman, my favorite was the Gorilla.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

I don't have any imaginary friends... I don't even have any real friends.

Toon Club's topic for this week was imaginary friends. I never had an imaginary friend. I do however, imagine things a lot. I've been in a number of bands over the past 10 years & sing a lot in the car. I'm not much of a singer (maybe that's why my band never went anywhere) but I don't really care. Anyway, I thought it'd be fun to illustrate a 16-piece swing backup band for myself. I figure that counts as an imaginary friend. I also thought jamming 17 people into a car (where I usually do my singing) would make for a fun & challenging environment. I'm stupid.

You wouldn't want to be a Gladiator

Two weeks ago the topic for Toon Club was: Gladiator. After doing a little research, I remembered that gladiators had basically slave status in ancient Rome. I also started thinking that these gladiator battles were basically big, entertaining outings in Rome, & figured that after the battles, the spectators probably continued entertaining themselves with parties & socials, you know - Hey man, after the battle we're all goin' to my place for some wine & a dip in the pool.... So I got more excited about illustrating a pool party in ancient Rome than the actual gladiator. I included him at the party (even though I'm sure the gladiators were probably not invited to any pool parties) but tried to remain true to the gladiator's slave status. I lived in Italy for a few years & wanted to try & capture the environment of Rome so I spent a little more time on this one than I really have time for. I also got excited about putting a bunch of little Roman references in the illustration as well, see if you can spot them all!

Up to Speed

About a month ago, I was invited to join Toon Club, I guess that's how I got on to this blogging path (although my wife has had a blog for some time now). I started contributing on a weekly basis. Here are a few of the things I've posted, though I'll go into a little more detail here.

A few weeks ago the topic was Cartoon Villains, so I posted my interpretation of General Mills super sugared cereal monsters - Count Chocula, Franken Berry & Boo Berry. I had seen Craig Kellman (Character Designer for the film Madagascar) re-design them somewhere on the internet & I wanted to further his designs with color etc. He had done them in a very similar style to my own (mid-century retro cartoon) & so I used his designs for reference.

While I was researching them, I found that there were two other cereals in this monster line-up: The discontinued Fruit Brute & Yummy Mummy, which I do actually remember. So I re-designed them from scratch to match the others. I think Fruit Brute is my favorite.