This Flickr collection of 1950s bird illustrations by Charles Harper, courtesy of Eric Sturdevant, is incredible…so many interesting graphic variations on a single theme. I’ve heard that Harper is still alive — somebody should really do an in-depth interview with him while he’s still around. Though I don’t think he ever worked in animation, he’s influenced many animation artists. Background designer Scott Wills acknowledged Harper’s influence on SAMURAI JACK in the book MAKIN’ TOONS:
What I love about Harper’s work is the ultra-stylization…Even the character design here has been influenced by him–how we draw birds, for example. We’ve a lot of influences, I have to say, but when I feel like I’ve done a painting that’s very SAMURAI JACK, the way I want it, it’s mostly Harper’s kind of feeling.(via fwak blog)
Sadly we must note the passing of our friend Wendy Jackson Hall. She passed away this past Monday in Seattle, from complications relating to cancer.Wendy was a true friend to animation and all involved with it. She was President of Asifa Pacific NW, a writer for various animation journals & industry trade publications, and a respected teacher. I knew her when she was involved with AWN from 1996 to 1999. She had a real passion for contemporary and classic animation – and her enthusiastic spirit will be missed.Her husband, Porter Hall, is updating her website in tribute to her life. There will be a memorial service on the West Coast on Saturday at 3pm at the Seabold United Methodist Church, 6894 NE Seabold Road off of the 305 on Bainbridge Island WA. On the east coast, a memorial service for Wendy will be held at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Medfield, MA on Saturday, December 3 at 3pm. Directions to the church can be found here.
“Masters of American Comics,” a major exhibit co-organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art and UCLA Hammer Museum, opens in Los Angeles this weekend. Between the two museums, over 900 pieces of art will be on display. The exhibitions focus primarily on fifteen different artists: Winsor McCay, Lyonel Feininger, George Herriman, E.C. Segar, Frank King, Chester Gould, Milton Caniff, and Charles M. Schulz at the Hammer Museum, and Will Eisner, Jack Kirby, Harvey Kurtzman, R. Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Gary Panter, and Chris Ware at MOCA. Articles about the show are at the LA WEEKLY and LA TIMES, and the exhibition catalog/book is available at Amazon.
The combined credits of the three new bloggers below include DEXTER’S LAB, POWERPUFF GIRLS, FOSTER’S HOME FOR IMAGINARY FRIENDS and SAMURAI JACK. So you know to expect good stuff from these guys:Don Shank (who also has a couple terrific paintings in the upcoming BLAST #9)Chris BattleRob Lilly
And here’s a nice directory of animation artist blogs, courtesy of Smook. It’s not by any means comprehensive, but it’s the largest collection of animation blog links I’ve seen so far.
LA folks are in for a major treat this weekend.Saturday, November 19, is the opening of “3 Trees Make a Forest,” a three-man art show featuring new works by Enrico Casarosa, Ronnie del Carmen and Tadahiro Uesugi. I’m constantly amazed at how much quality work Enrico and Ronnie are able to produce and how dedicated they are to their various artistic endeavors — FRAGMENTS, Sketchcrawl, MIA, PAPER BISCUIT, fine art shows — and all this while holding down dayjobs at Pixar as story artists…truly commendable.
The show is at Gallery Nucleus (30 West Main St., Alhambra) and the opening night reception is from 7-11pm. All three artists will be in attendance — Casarosa and del Carmen will be coming down from the Bay Area and the amazing Tadahiro Uesugi is flying in from Tokyo. The show received a major write-up in today’s LA TIMES and it’s a good read.
VOICE: AIGA JOURNAL OF DESIGN has an interview with MISCHIEVOUS ART OF JIM FLORA author Irwin Chusid about all of the personal artwork that Jim Flora produced over the years, which includes hundreds of paintings, watercolors, drawings and woodcuts. Chusid says there is the possibility of more books dedicated to Flora’s art. The article also includes ten never-before-seen examples of Flora’s personal art, including the above piece.
Alexey Kobelev has launched a great new blog, The Russian Insider, which aims to document both classic and contemporary Russian animation. Currently he’s posting lots of great development art from PRINCE VLADIMIR, a nearly-completed Russian animated feature that should be pretty impressive if they’re able to maintain the quality of the concept art.
(via Hans Bacher)
SHEEP IN THE BIG CITY creator, book illustrator and native New Orleanian Mo Willems has organized an online auction to benefit the children affected by Hurricane Katrina. The Pigeon Auction starts today and runs through November 25. Lots of great items are available to bid on including original artwork by children’s book illustrators, signed books and posters by Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton and Craig McCracken, a huge GRIM & EVIL puppet, and more. More importantly, 100% of the proceeds will go to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.
TREE+ME is an amusing, oddly styled Flash short by an artist named VanBeater. Afterwards, take a look at all the crazy illustrations on VanBeater’s site. Good stuff.
OK, haven’t done this in a while…
Yoshi Tamura worked at Disney Paris and was the supervising animator of the Helga Sinclair character in Disney’s ATLANTIS. He has some beautiful drawings on his blog.
Steve Lambe is a Chicago-based artist who is currently designing on HI HI PUFFY AMI YUMI. He kindly sent me a copy of his new color sketchbook, SAMICHES 2, which is available for sale on his blog.
Dean Roberts is a London-based artist who has done boards on THE CORPSE BRIDE and animated on SPACE JAM, among many other things.
Ovi Nedelcu has been listed on our sidebar for a while now, but I’ve never given him a proper mention. He’s currently working in Portland on the Laika feature CORALINE and writes and draws his own comic series PIGTALE.
Saxton Moore does it all: designs, animates, directs. He’s done a lot of work out of Atlanta for studios like Primal Screen and Turner Studios. And just because I know I’ll never have a better reason to post this, below is a caricature of Saxton (right) and myself (center) drawn by the supertalented John Mahoney. It’s from about four years ago, when all three of us happened to be working on an indie animation project.
The m modern gallery in Palm Springs, California is the place to be next Saturday. In addition to the Naylor-Reccardi GALAXIE exhibit previously noted, a companion show BLAST FROM THE PAST also opens there the same day.BLAST features over 40 works by the likes of Tim Biskup, Joe Chiodo and Amanda Visell (her work above and at right). The BLAST FROM THE PAST show is themed around the mid-20th Century views of futurism and space travel. The two art shows run from November 19th through January 2nd.
I’ve been laughing all weekend over a copy of COMIC BOOK GUY’S BOOK OF POP CULTURE, one of the small Harper Collins books in The Simpsons Library of Wisdom series.I happen to think Comic Book Guy is the funniest Simpsons character – ever – partly because I know a few comic book dealers like him – and possibly because I posess some of his more appealing traits myself. The book is loaded with humor based on comic book, sci-fi, animation, movie & TV history minutiae. The more you know pop culture (and comic book dealers), the funnier this tome is. 96 pages, in color – Kudos to Bill Morrision and his team of seven writers (and over 20 artists) for making me laugh out loud on every page.
“I will fully be on record saying I hate CG. I don’t get emotionally invested in video games and likewise I can’t get emotionally invested in something that’s come out of a computer.” That’s what Dax Shepard, one of the stars of the new film ZATHURA, told the METRO NEWS. Granted, he’s promoting a film that uses very little CG and instead relies on old school FX techniques like miniature models, constructed sets and costumed actors, but one wonders if the Jon Favreau-directed film is only the beginning of an anti-CG backlash in Hollywood movies. And what could this mean for animation? Are we going to have a filmmaker come along who decides that animated CG features don’t have enough heart and decides to make a hand-drawn animated film?Joel Schlosberg, who sent in this link, also notes that it’s ironic that Favreau chose to go retro on a film that is based on a Chris van Allsburg book because “earlier adaptations of a story by the same author provided two of the paradigmatic examples of CG excess: Jumanji (one of the earliest) and The Polar Express.”
From November 19th through January 2nd, the m modern gallery in Palm Springs, California will be hosting a joint exhibit by Lynne Naylor and Chris Reccardi entitled Galaxie – Art From Outer Space. Opening reception is Saturday Nov. 19th at 7pm. For more info click here.
Check out the opening titles for the live-action film KISS KISS BANG BANG HERE. It was directed by Danny Yount. Reminds me a bit of the titles for CATCH ME IF YOU CAN.