I’ll be signing copies of my book The Hanna Barbera Treasury today, Friday 7/25, from 11am till noon, at the Insight Editions/Palace Publishing booth #2913-J (located in the Lucas Pavilion).
The picture above was from today’s signing event (thanks to Jay West for the photo). We had a great bunch of people come by and say hello, and I’ve really appreciated all the kind words from our readers whom I met during the show.
Tiny Inventions, a Brooklyn-based animation studio run by husband-and-wife team Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata, recently created a fun and charming music video for Playhouse Disney called “Davy Crockett in Outer Space.” The song is by They Might Be Giants, and they co-directed the piece with designer/illustrator David Cowles. Max and Ru have also created a detailed “making of” blog post that shows all the hand-crafted effort that went into the production.
There was a funny story in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (link to article on another site) about how companies that provide costumed characters for birthday parties are finding creative ways of bypassing trademark laws and creating new characters that look almost like their famous counterparts. So SpongeBob is now “SquishyGuy” and Elmo is “Big Red Tickle Monster.” According to the article, the results aren’t always entirely successful:
Miriam Sorkin, an office manager in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., threw a fourth-birthday party for her daughter in May and arranged for a costumed impersonator of Dora the Explorer. Though the walk-about “Dora” had the expected pageboy haircut and backpack, her expression was blank and her legs appeared out of proportion to the rest of her body. “When Dora came out,” Mrs. Sorkin says, “none of the kids would go to Dora, including my daughter, and a few of the kids started crying.”
Jamie Hewlett’s new BBC promo for the Olympics is damn impressive. Watch it on the BBC website. Also, there’s a new interview with Hewlett in the Guardian in which he talks a bit about working on this Olympics piece:
‘It looks wonderful and I’m really thrilled by it,’ says Hewlett. ‘It’s gone through so many changes because there are so many departments at the BBC, and the Olympics is their biggest gig of the year. Damon [Albarn] and I are used to having the luxury of doing exactly what we want, and we understand that this whole idea of using animated ancient Chinese characters is quite a wild-card for them. But somebody at the BBC had seen the Monkey opera and they put our name into the mix. And I think we’ve managed to keep the BBC happy, to tick every box, without ruining the original idea. I mean, the characters aren’t wearing running vests!’
(Thanks, Will Kane)
Pixar storyboard artist and Rex Steele: Nazi Smasher co-creator Bill Presing will debut his new “cute cartoon girl” book Bookplate Betties at the Red Window booth (#4800). A preview of the book can be found on Bill’s blog. He’ll be sharing the booth with a couple other talented artists down from Emeryville: Scott Morse and Jeff Pidgeon. Click Pidgeon’s link to find a crazily detailed diary of his San Diego experience. If Jeff figures out how to add some funky-smelling odors to his blog, it’d be just like the real thing.
JJ Villard, who set the animation world ablaze a few years back with his amazing student films and then somehow ended up working at DreamWorks for a while, will be offering his wares for the first time in San Diego. At booth A-04, Villard will debut a full-color book of his artwork titled “Someones Getn Fucked Tonight” as well as a DVD (that I highly recommend) of seven of his animated shorts including Son of Satan and Chestnuts Icelolly.
His work is also included in Scrambled Ink, a promising comic anthology put together by DreamWorks story artists. Scambled Ink, premiering in San Diego, is published by Dark Horse, and all of the artists (including JJ) will be doing a signing at the Dark Horse booth on Friday, July 25 from 1-2pm. Also, keep an eye out for JJVillard.com which will be launching soon.
The Art of Andy is a 120-page book of artwork by longtime character designer Andy Suriano (Samurai Jack, Powerpuff Girls and Star Wars: Clone Wars). He describes it on his blog as a “hardcover, full color smorgasbord of designs and sketches ranging from development ideas, Samurai Jack models and Clone Wars layouts…to comic book pages and paintings, many never before seen!” The book is $25 and debuts in San Diego this week at the Art of Fiction Booth (#523). More details about where Andy will be signing the book in San Diego, as well as where to get the book if you’re not attending the Con, can be found on Suriano’s blog.
It looks like Katzenberg’s mania for 3-D is rubbing off on his artists. DreamWorks animator Donnachada Daly has created a new art book called Depth Charge: 3D Illusions in which all of his lovely line drawings are presented in stereoscopic 3D. It will debut in San Diego at table B-8. For additional details, as well as instructions on how to view the 3D images without glasses, head over to Donnachada’s blog.
Zurich29 is a Paris-based motion graphics studio founded in 2005 by Philippe Constantinesco and Dorian Gourg. They caught my attention with their latest piece, a visually striking three-minute spot for Amnesty International that encourages people to make their voices heard by signing petitions. The highest quality version of the commercial, titled “Ink”, can be found on Zurich29′s blog (be patient, it takes a moment to load). They’ve also been doing a lot of animated visual identity work for MTV France. The work can be viewed on their site Zurich29.com. It’s standard contemporary-looking mo-graph work, but tasteful and well done. There’s also an interview with the studio founders on Partfaliaz.
If you miss Eric Goldberg’s signing at the San Diego Comic Con
Thursday Friday – at Stuart Ng’s booth (Booths #5012 and #5022) between 2-4 (and again Saturday 11-12 noon) – he’ll be signing his book one more time in Los Angeles. On Wednesday night, August 6th, between 7-9pm at the Samuel French Bookshop in Studio City, Eric will be autographing copies of his Character Animation Crash Course at an event hosted by the Creative Talent Network. Buy the book, meet Eric and shmooze with hotshot animation folk. Now you have two opportunities.
If you haven’t heard, Brooklyn-based publisher PictureBox is putting out some of the most innovative and interesting comic and art books nowadays, including the gorgeous two-volume retrospective of Gary Panter’s work. Next year, they’re releasing what is shaping up to be one of the must-have animation books of the year. And I’m not just saying this because I’m the editor of the project. This book is about one of the most influential figures in contemporary animation, and everybody involved is working hard to ensure that it turns out properly. If you want to hear more about the project, drop by the PictureBox booth (#1630) in San Diego and chat with publisher Dan Nadel. He’ll be glad to fill you in, and he may even have a few pieces of artwork from the book on display.
Rummaging through my archives last night, I came across this inter-office memo (click thumbnail below to see full size) distributed throughout Walt Disney studios on January 17th 1939:
Attention has been called to the rather gross language that is being used by some members of the IBT (Inbetween) Department in the presence of some of our female employees.
It has always been Walt’s hope that the studio could be a place where girls can be employed without fear of embarassment or humiliation. Your cooperation in this matter will be appreciated.
Leon Schlesinger died on Christmas Day, 1949. He sold his studio to Warner Bros. in 1944 and spent his last years in an executive job at the studio, the first one dedicated to merchandising the cartoon characters. While he wasn’t technically “Bugs Bunny’s Creator” (as his obituaries claimed) he was a significant figure in the creation of a dozen pop culture icons that will literally live forever.
His obituaries from the Los Angeles Times (below left) and Los Angeles Examiner (below right) are fitting tributes. Click on each thumbnail for larger images:
Disney exec Howard Green informs us that there will be an official Life Celebration for Ollie at the El Capitan Theatre on Tuesday evening August 19th. Please note that, though this is a free event, tickets are required. Leonard Maltin is hosting and participants will include John Lasseter, Brad Bird, Andy Gaskill, Roy Disney, John Musker, Ron Clements, Charles Solomon, the Johnston family, Jeanette and Ted Thomas, and Mark Kirkland, among others.
Thanks to the courtesy of Disney, Cartoon Brew is exclusively offering 100 readers the opportunity to attend this event in Hollywood. UPDATE: No more tickets! We’ve given away our allotment. I have posted a complete list of Brew reader names who will be on the list in the comments below. If your name isn’t on this list, we cannot guarantee your admittance to this event.
To answer the many inquires they received at the time, Warner Bros. produced a three page pamphlet, in comic strip style, to explain the production of animation cartoons. Clearly the work of a lower level assistant artist, the artwork isn’t so good, but the information in this 1956 handout is essentially accurate.
Click the thumbnails below to see the pages full size. According to this piece, Fifteen months and fifteen thousand drawings are required to create a Warner Bros. cartoon. Note the caricature of Eddie Selzer (the producer) in panel #1 and Beaky Buzzard in panel #7. Adding fuel to the ongoing script versus storyboard controversy, Bugs is shown typing a story in panel #2, while Daffy is sketching the storyboard in panel #3.