Last week I wrote about Stephen Silver’s excellent new art book. I also saw another great hardcover sketchbook recently (thanks Bob) – this one from illustrator/character designer Peter de Seve. This came out a couple months ago in Europe and it’s overflowing with beautiful imaginative drawings with a spirited line recalling Heinrich Kley’s work. The book is a bit difficult to find being that it’s a European import, but folks in LA can pick it up at Stuart Ng Books while folks elsewhere can order it from Amazon Canada.
Another sketchbook that I get asked about quite frequently is the one by Jim Smith (REN & STIMPY, SAMURAI JACK) which debuted at last year’s San Diego Comic Con. Jim, like Peter de Seve, is one of those rare talents who is an incredible draftsman/illustrator/cartoonist all rolled into one. I hope we’ll be seeing a more comprehensive collection of Jim’s artwork down the line, but until then, this sketchbook called LONELY ARE THE NAKED is a must-have. Mr. Smith tells me that the only place in LA which currently has copies is House of Secrets (1918 W. Olive Ave., Burbank, CA 91506; 818/562.1900).
Everyone’s favorite Japanese animation dubber and classic cartoon colorizer, Fred Ladd, is honored at his alma mater, Ohio State University. Read about it here.
Apparently Dreamworks Animation’s SHREK 2 has an estimated U.S. box office gross of over $125 million for its first five days of release.
Another reason to get your hands on the issue of WIRED that Jerry mentions below is that my pal Jon Gibson has a nice piece in there about filmmaker Kyle Cooper, who is among a handful of modern film title designers on a par with Saul Bass and Pablo Ferro. Cooper talks about his new studio Prologue Films, which is an attempt to pull back and focus on fewer and higher quality projects than his previous design shop Imaginary Forces. The article also mentions a recently published monograph about Kyle Cooper (written by Andrea Codrington) which I’ve been meaning to pick up.
Does everybody here know about the latest issue of WIRED?On sale now, the June issue has a major article about PIXAR and Brad Bird.
It’s a must read. And it’s posted here.Great quote from Bird: Once Walt died, watching Disney films get made was like “watching master chefs cook hot dogs.”
The WEBSITE for the Ottawa Animation Festival (September 22-26, 2004) has just posted details for all of their screenings and retrospectives, and it’s pretty damn exciting. Kudos to artistic director Chris Robinson for putting together one of the most diverse and daring group of programs I’ve ever seen for an animation fest. The screenings range all the way from Soviet propaganda films to contemporary French animation, Popeye to Harvey Birdman, and Hayao Miyazaki to Robert Breer. There’s also original programming concepts like the “Words in Motion” series. Even the competition jury members are cool folk like Bill Plympton, Gary Baseman and Mo Willems. I’m honored to be the programmer for one of the tributes at this year’s Ottawa fest: the Fred Crippen Retrospective. This is the first major retrospective of Fred’s work, and if you only know him as the creator of ROGER RAMJET, then be prepared for an eye-opening experience. Fred will also be coming up to Ottawa to partake in the festivities.
Here is a FOLLOW-UP to this STORY from a few days ago about Pixar’s plans to expand their Emeryville campus. Unless the Emeryville City Council is mentally deficient, they’ll let Pixar keep their fence.
The talented Seonna Hong, whose BG paintings can be seen on MY LIFE AS A TEENAGE ROBOT and TEACHER’S PET, has a painting show that opens tomorrow evening, May 22, at the sixspace gallery (549 West 23rd Street in downtown LA). Sixspace owner Caryn Coleman writes about the show on her site art.blogging.la.
Here are four issues of UPA’s first comic book: Dell’s “GERALD McBOING BOING AND THE NEAR SIGHTED MR. MAGOO”. This series ran five issues in 1952-53 – then Dell published seven more issues of just plain “MR. MAGOO” spread out over the next decade. DC’s FOX & CROW outsold the Dell UPA comics no doubt, but for Columbia Pictures, Magoo & McBoing Boing brought more prestige at the box office – and that’s what counts!
Click over to Diamond Galleries’ Scoop to see the covers enlarged!
This may be the oddest film I plug on the Brew:Next week at the REDCAT they are showing a feature film psuedo documentary called TICKET TO JERUSALEM. Here’s the plot: A Palestinian 16mm film collector running a mobile cinema from his old truck throughout the West Bank (mainly showing Heckle & Jeckle cartoons!) tries to get into forbidden Jerusalem to do a special outdoor screening.It sounds like something I’d like to see. It screens in L.A. next Wednesday night at 9:30pm at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Redcat Theater. The trailer is here.
Dreamworks Animation trailer for SHARK TALE is here.
This upcoming Saturday, May 22nd at 3:00pm, ASIFA-Hollywood presents Part Two of a demonstration and discussion of animated film preservation and restoration, this time focusing on sound films from the late 1920s throughSaturday May 22nd, 2004 3:00pm
UCLA archivist Jere Guldin will lecture and screen rare restored prints of cartoons from the golden age of animation. Topics covered will include sound restoration techniques; early sound formats; recovery of original titles; and comparisons of Technicolor shorts preserved from original successive exposure negatives and sole-surviving nitrate prints.
Preserved films to be shown include the Toby the Pup cartoon, CIRCUS TIME (1930); the Ub Iwerks ComiColor Cartoon, BALLOON LAND (1935), and Flip the Frog short, FLYING FISTS (1931); the Fleischer short subject explaining sound-on-film, FINDING HIS VOICE (1929); and many others.
THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE
TED ASHLEY/WARNER BROS. SCREENING ROOM
2021 N. Western Ave.
ASIFA MEMBERS: FREE! Non-Members: $10.00
I posted this a while ago on my Cartoon Research site, but since the date is coming up soon, I thought I’d repost this info here on the Brew:
The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra will be performing the score to PLANE CRAZY live, at UCLA’s Royce Hall on June 5, 2004, preceeding a screening of Buster Keaton’s STEAMBOAT BILL JR.
Alexander Rannie will be reconstructing the music and sound-effects exactly as they were recorded, utilizing rare extant material. Rannie, who has worked on numerous projects in film and television (including THE REN & STIMPY SHOW), has previously composed scores for several of the Alice comedies shown on the Disney Channel.
Rannie says, “As far as I know, this will be the first performance of “Plane Crazy” with the reconstructed original Carl Stalling score.”
PLANE CRAZY premiered on May15, 1928 as a silent, but was never widely released. Carl Stalling provided a pastiche of popular and traditional tunes (a compiled score) for the sound version released as a result of the immense popularity of “Steamboat Willie.”
With the plethora of sketchbooks being published by animation artists nowadays, it takes a little extra effort to stand out from the pack. Designer Stephen Silver has managed to do just that with his newly published sketchbook THE ART OF SILVER, a ful-color 160-page hardcover book. I’d enjoyed his first sketchbook from a couple years back, which was printed in a far more humble 32-page b-&-w comic book format, but I hardly expected such an ambitious follow-up. This book redefines what it means for an artist to self-publish a collection of their work, with page after page of handsomely printed sketchbook drawings, illustration work and caricatures drawn in an impressive variety of media including gouache, Prismacolor, brush pen and ink. The lush printing gives the reader the added bonus of being able to see Stephen’s light blue and red pencil roughs under his clean-ups.
Also included is Stephen’s professional work from animated projects he’s designed: CLERKS: THE ANIMATED SERIES, DANNY PHANTOM and CRASH NEBULA. His design work from DISNEY’S KIM POSSIBLE is missing, most likely due to legal reasons, and while it would have been nice to see, the huge variety of art already in the book more than makes up for the absence of those designs.
Like many of the most original and creative animation artists, Stephen is predominantly self-taught. He’s developed his own distinctive way of drawing, in which he places an emphasis on rhythm and flow, combined with a strong sense of personality, which perhaps owes to his artistic training as a theme park caricaturist where the goal is to capture a person’s likeness. Another throwback to his caricature days is his affinity for drawing heads, which he explains is one of his favorite drawing subjects.
Throughout the book, Stephen shares ideas about drawing, such as how he likes to draw multiple characters on a page to see their shape contrasts and his “figure eight” design technique. The greatest insight can be gained though by simply flipping through the pages and studying the impressive range of one artist’s work. The binding of the book indicates that this is Volume 1, and hopefully in the future we’ll be seeing many more volumes of Stephen Silver’s work. THE ART OF SILVER also has a foreword by film director Kevin Smith and a backword by MAD artist Tom Richmond. For ordering info, visit Silvertoons.com.
Airing on NBC tonight is THE ADVENTURES OF SEINFELD & SUPERMAN from 8:44-9 pm. The live-action/animated combo will be hawking American Express in this odd sweeps month programming stunt. The special will be comprised of the first Seinfeld/Superman webisode “A Uniform Used To Mean Something,” which premiered online a couple months ago, as well as the premiere of the second installment called “Hindsight.”