Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Christmas Comic

I did this comic for Valueable Comics last year for their Christmas edition. Bassically, it's a continuation of the original Grinch tale with a similar holiday message. I'm not entirely proud of some of the Whoo or HKHHHHoo drawings (I drew and inked them rather small) but I think I did a splendid job on the Grinch, especially his facial expressions (and when dealing with Chuck Jones' version of the Grinch you've GOT to get the facial expressions right).

Anyway, I hope this comic helps put you all into the holiday spirit. (Click to enlarge if you have to). Enjoy!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Let's get Busy Town

Right here, this is what has been keeping me busy for the passed few months and the main reason why this blog has not seen much activity. I've been an animator on Busy Town for the CBC. The first episode airs on October 29 at 8:30 a.m. Whoever in Canada is up at that time is definitely free to watch it.

Of course, I'm not the only animator involved with the project. People like Chris Hankewich, Carrie Thornhill, Sean Bartlett, Chris Steininger, and Mitch Kennedy (to name but a few) certainly do more than their share of the work as well.

Remember, that's Busy Town on CBC weekday mornings at 8:30 a.m. starting this coming October 29th. Check your local listings, if you live in Canada that is.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

It's Chuck Jones' birthday

Yes, once again it's Chuck Jones' birthday. He'd be 95 years young had he not succumbed to pneumonia on that sad winter morning.

What great things can be said about Chuck Jones that haven't been said already? Should go on about his impressive body of work? Or maybe I should mention how his own style of drawing and timing influences artists since his heyday and continues to do so today. But a long sequence of paragraphs here would be quite dry and rather dull. So instead I'll embed on of his masterpieces. Enjoy:

Oh, and if you're curious about that Bob Clampett interview in 1969, you can read it here.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Work Doodle

Wow! I'm quite busy at work these days. I have 15 scenes to animate in a week. AAURGH!! But I did manage to make this little doodle of Snagglepuss while at work.

That's all I've had time for right now. I'm told the busy time is ending soon but I'll believe that when I see it.

Oh, by the way, I still need many more votes for my Hansel und Gretel film on Exposure. I want to win the grand prize, dammit.

Saturday, June 30, 2007


Sometime last year on this blog, I did a post directing everyone to my Hansel und Gretel film on the ZeD website. Well, that link doesn't work anymore because the CBC is no longer airing the ZeD program.
This is not entirely sad news however. CBC will be replacing it with a new show they're calling Exposure. It's similar to ZeD with one difference. This time people have the oppurtunity to vote for their favourites. The winner gets a prize. The show premieres on CBC July 29. Watch for it. For more information follow the link I've provided below. Get on there and vote for your favourite.

Hansel und Gretel

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My Brother-in-law's birthday

Hey, internet people. I haven't had much time to post much, drawings or otherwise. The deadlines here at Helix approach much much quicker than most of us feel is comfortble. Oh well, I'm sure it will seem less stressful once we're all in the thick of things.

However, I had to take some time out to wish my brother-in-law a happy 32 birthday. To commemorate that, here's a picture of him with a mullet. Ha Ha!!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Sydney, Nova Scotia

I'd like to take a few minutes to draw attention to a nice little harbour town known as Sydney located in the northern part of the province of Nova Scotia. Why would I do such a thing? Well, I'm doing so simply because I will be working there pretty soon. It seems an animation studio named Helix happens to be in that town and are in need of an animator. So I, being the kind-hearted citizen that I am, have agreed to offer my services to them so that they can get any project they have on their schedule done faster. Well, it certainly beats tsanding in the way of flying grease at McDonalds doesn't it? ;)

Well, really, the one person I should thank for helping me get the job is this guy:

{This is him with his favourite watch. I think it tells him to do things.}

His name is Chris Hankewich but he often goes by the name Hank. If you want you can check out his blog of goodies here. He graduated from animation school the same year as me so we know each other rather well. So, when his company said that they needed animators, you can see how my name would have come up (along with the names of others who graduated that year, some of whom I suspect might be there as well). Some shows that Hank has worked on in the previous years have been Bromwell High and The Secret World of Og. Those ones I know for sure. I'm sure he could provide the rest (even the ones he's not at all proud of).

As a "tribute" to him for getting me this job, I planned to draw a funny comic with him as the centre character. I started working on it, but somehow it seemed mean to me. I was going to have him commit arson for no reason after all. So, instead, I'll just post these attempts at caricature of him.

Hmmmmmm. I guess I still have some work to do.

Oh well, I leave for Sydney on Saturday. From that point on I'll be seeing him so often that I'll have plenty of oppurtunities to caricature him and anyone else who works at Helix.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

I decided to commemorate Mother's Day with a Three Stooges film. "Why?" You ask. Simple. Do you know where the likes of Moe, Shemp, and Curly got their style of slapstick? Their mother. That's right. She would always use some kind of a physical assault in order to get things done. I remember reading in Moe's autobiography about one such incident. He was about 4 at the time. His parents were having a gathering of friends. Then, someone said something or did something to make her upset. L'il Moe knew this was trouble so he hid out of sight under a table. When he re-emerged, he saw his mother standing in the middle of the room holding a slightly bent umbrella and a lot of people rubbing their heads in pain.

That's the wonderful thing about mothers. Besides giving birth to you, spending your first 6 months of life tending to your evry need without a break, and supporting you throughout the rest of your life whether she approves or not, she could also inspire an enduring comedic routine that would please millions of people for decades.

So, as you watch Grips, Grunts, and Groans today think of all the wonderful things your mother has done for you. And don't forget to say "Thank you, Mama Howard, wherever you are!!"

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

It's Bob Clampett's birthday

That's right, today is Bob Clampett's birthday. He'd be 94 today had he survived that heart attack in Detroit 23 years ago.

First, a quick bio:
Bob Clampett showed an interest in both drawing and puppetry at a very young age. All throughout his childhood and adolescence he'd constantly draw many comic strips. While still in high school he even got a job drawing for William Randolph Hearst.
But then in 1928, he like most of the world fell in love with a little film called Steamboat Willie.He was even inspired to make a small statue of Mickey. He'd attend as many showings of Steamboat Willie as he could in order to get a good idea of Mickey's construction. Once completed, he said that he would like to make many more of these statues and maybe try to sell them. His aunt heard this and said, "you can't just up and do that, you need permission from whomever owns the character first." So, since he lived in San Diego, it was only a short drive to Los Angeles for him and his aunt and then to the Disney studios. When Walt took a look at that statue, he was not only inspired to start the Disney merchandising division (which of course still exists today) but also grant the 16 year old Bob a job. "Right now we're in the middle of moving to a bigger facility," Walt said. "But, when everything is finally up and running, you're guaranteed a job there, young man."
However, the rambunctious Bob Clampett couldn't wait that long. He wanted an animation job NOW!!!! Luckily, the Leon Schlesinger studio had a position open so Bob took that one instead. Since he was new and quite young, he was under thumb of Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising, Friz Freleng, and a few hack directors Leon had hired from Disney. Thankfully though, Bob along with Chuck Jones and several other disgruntled underlings were reassigned to Termite Terrace when Tex Avery joined the studio. It was there that these men would revolutionize animator for the better forever. Some of Bob's accomplishments at Warner Bros. were the creation of Tweety, the co-creation of Daffy Duck, and the refinement of both Porky Pig's and Bugs Bunny's designs.
There is some speculation as to why Bob Clampett wasn't at Warner Bros. after 1946. Some say he just quit while some say he was fired. Based on what I've read and/or heard on the subject, I suspect it was a bit of both. Either way, he was out on his own in the late '40's. He experimented with several projects at this time. He even did some animated films for Republic studios.
But, Bob Clampett truly hit the big time when his own puppet show Time For Beany debuted in 1949. This show would win several Emmys and create a huge following to boot (even attracting such high profile fans as Groucho Marx and Albert Einstein). Not only that, it introduced some puppeteering techniques that would be incorporated into the Muppets a few years later. I have no information as to Jim Henson's opinion of Bob Clampett's work, but I do know that muppeteer Dave Goelz (best known as the voice of Gonzo) cites Time For Beany as an influence. Time For Beany would become an animated series called Beany & Cecil in 1962.

Well, that's enough about the man's life for now. I'm not A&E y'know. Now lets talk about his work.

Besides the amazing elasticity, relentless energy, captivating yet seemingly disjointed stry-telling ability, there's also one other element of his work that I enjoy partly because it really helps him stand out from the rest: the playful imp that can't be killed. That's the way he approached Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. He'd likewise pit Porky Pig or Elmer Fudd against such a character. You can see that element quite plainly in this cartoon below:

All this merely scrathces the surface of what makes Bob great. I think it would take at least three lifetimes to fully experience everything Bob Clampett has to offer. We should count ourselves lucky to even have one lifetime exposed to his work.

In short, Happy Birthday Bob.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tom & Jerry Meet the Censor Monkeys

Well, finally here it is, my latest Censor Monkeys adventure. Before anyone bombards the comments section with well-intentioned critiques let me first ask if any of you out there have ever created a 20 page comic all by yourself doing the writing, drawing, inking, and colouring within a 3 1/2 month period. And if so, what was the result? Well, this is MY result. I can only hope that all who come here enjoy it but I know how flimsy a guarentee that is.

If you haven't been introduced to these monkeys yet or need to refamiliarize yourself with them, you can do so here. Then come back and read the comic.

Also, I should note that there is indeed a joke within this comic that was used on the Colbert Report recently. No, I did NOT borrow it from him. That joke was used on a Colbert show that first aired on April 19 of this year. I came up with the joke for this comic back around January. So even though I predate Mr. Colbert, there is no way he could have seen this comic until now. Therefore, noone stole anything from anyone. It was just an unfortunate coincidence. I do NOT have to steal material. This comic wasn't co-written by Jay Leno or Dane Cook y'know.

Well, enough of my chatter. All readers of this blog please enjoy the comic below. That is with the exception of all real-life censor monkeys and censor monkey sympathizers. In your case, please be offended. And I KNOOOOOOOOOOW you will be.

Okay then, start imagining Scott Bradley's musical score as you begin reading. Take it away MGM lion:

You don't have to read this.  I'm just making a transcipt of the dialogue in the above comic.

Mother Monkey: HOLD IT!  How dare you smoke in front of children.  You'll just create a new generation of smokers.  That's why I only let my children watch wholesome programs.

TV: Come on, Dora, let's explore.

Psychologist Money: Yes, not only that, a cigarette is a phallic symbol.  This could encourage pre-marital sex among children as well.

Priest Monkey: Do NOT put any ideas of fornication into young minds for it clearly states in Thessalonians 4:3 that whom so ever practices such perversions shall suffer...

Scientologist Monkey: GET RID OF THOSE!!  Pills won't help you.  They won't get that little alien soul out of your head.  Here, read these pamphlets.  They'll guide you on your path through Scientology with...

Mother Monkey: There's what I like to see in children's programs: friendship and cooperation.  No!  No!  Stop this violence at once.  You'll influence kids to start fighting like this.

TV: Hey, kids.  Hip Hop Harry says "Play nice with others."

American Monkey: Say, boys, where are you getting this dynamite?  Are you stock-piling?  Getting ready for a massive assault against America?  Did you swipe those WMD's from Iraq before the weapons inspectors could find them and thus make our beloved Commander-in-Chief look foolish?

Mammy 2 Shoes: THOMAS??!!  What's all dat commotion all about?  Is you wreckin' dis house again?  Cuz if you is...

Black Panther Monkey: Halt!  Stop and desist this racist display of People With Color at once, you sell-out.

Mammy 2 Shoes: What?  Listen here!  If I's a racist sell-out than you is Kirk Douglas, WHICH YOU AIN'T!  So you best be goin' right out dat door...OW!

Feminist Monkey: Oh, you're a sell-out alright.  A sell-out to ALL WOMYN KIND!!  How dare you promote the oppressed housewife agenda.  Womyn should NOT be locked up in domestic dungeons serving some phallocentric tyrant.   Cast off the aprons of injustice.  Stand up for... for... um... my face is up HERE, bub.

Mammy 2 Shoes: Who says I'm a housewife?  Honey, I's a swingin' single sewing as many oats as I can.

Victorian Monkey: So you choose to promote yourself as a loose woman going against traditional values.

Priest Monkey: Must I show you Zechariah 5:8?  Hmmmm?

Mammy 2 Shoes: Not before I show you my foot up your...

Not Muhammed Monkey: Wait a minute.  Face is unseen.  Came from above.  THIS IS IMAGE OF MUHAMMED!!

Mammy 2 Shoes: Das it.  These monkeys is crazy.

Not Muhammed Monkey: CRAZY??!!  I show you crazy!  I keeeeell you!

Nazi Monkey: Und now ve take care of YOU and your mouse friend.  Vait!  Vhere is he?  ACHTUNG, MOUSE!!

Jerry: Come ova!  It's oi-jent!  Tanks!

Mammy 2 Shoes: Oh, Thomas!  We's goners now.  Sure as shootin'.

Jerry's Cousin: Listen, monkeys.  Don't go around hasslin' my cousin and his pals, see... or else THIS will happen to you.