October Mega Post

Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo

Months pass and we’re back with another mega post of McD Workshop updates. The Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo book that I wrote and designed has been published. One of the most in-depth reviews so far is over on ICv2, and here are some blurbed excerpts of other editorial reviews that I grabbed:

“This book is a deep dive into the Land of Ooo.”
(Boing Boing)

“The holy grail of the hit animated series Adventure Time. And you don’t even have to go to very distant lands. In fact, you can put in right on your coffee table.”
(Paste magazine)

“An extensive look at concept art, storyboards, early character sketches, background paintings, and the series’ show bible.”
(The LA Times’s Hero Complex Blog)

“Even if I didn’t love this series so much, I would still buy the awesome Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo, a beautiful 352-page large format tome that tells the series’ genesis.”
(Gizmodo)

“It’s fascinating seeing the show broken down into its purest form.”
(Kotaku)

“Fans of Adventure Time will basically lose their freaking minds.”
(io9)

“This gorgeous full-color hardcover book will grace coffee tables with elegance. Yes, you heard right, with elegance.”
(GeekMom)

“McDonnell deserves credit for producing such a worthy endeavor that encompasses nearly every facet of this multidimensional series. . . . this book cannot be recommended highly enough for diehard and casual fans alike of the show.”
(ICv2)

“…A stunning hardcover coffee table book that dives very deep into the production of this show. It’s an incredible resource for fans that is immaculately designed and thoroughly researched, and it features an introduction by Guillermo Del Toro to make it a little more high-brow than the usual coffee table book about a Cartoon Network show.”
(A.V. Club)

new books

Another book that I designed came out recently too, Ozzy Inguanzo’s Zombies On Film: The Definitive Story of Undead Cinema.

Uncle Grandpa #1 Cover C by Chris McD

Above, the variant cover for Uncle Grandpa #1 that I made came out recently from BOOM!

Finally, the Goal Achievement Club made Soxx’s Power Hour episode 02, “Face Face!”

July Mega Post

New! The Goal Achievement Club is Jenny, Ben, Jobina and I and friends that help us make videos. Check out the first video, Soxx’s Power Hour episode 01, “Urban Expressions” here:

Coming this Fall! The new book I wrote and designed for Abrams and Cartoon Network is called Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo, which is a decent description of its contents. It is a huge 352-page slab of an art book with detailed discussion inside from primary players in the show’s creation.

Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo

Also this Fall! I designed the book Zombies on Film by Ozzy Inguanzo, published by Universe!

Also right now! In the current 2014 animation reel, you can see work I did for Kroll Show, Comedy Bang Bang, and the new edition of Brody Stevens: Enjoy It! that I haven’t gotten into the portfolio here yet. Also work that I need to add eventually includes a comic book cover for BOOM! comics, animation work for a Comedy Central web show and animation for an upcoming Warner Bros Animation produced show.

Sad bears! Curtis Hatton is a musician who saw my old sad bear painting and commissioned me to make some new lost and probably sad, at least melancholy bears for his independent project entitled, “Lost Bear.” I made time-lapse videos of the process:

Sketchbook! These hardbound roughly-letter-size sketchbooks I have been using since high school take me about 3/4 of a year to fill if I’m going at a good pace. There are selections of new drawings from this current sketchbook now up over here. I have plans to go back through all my books and scan pieces from each. Expect to see a lot less from those early books!

Chris McD Sketchbook

Working Hard

workin

As usual I didn’t get a chance to update this blog for half a year. I’ve been working hard on a lot of prime projects that I’m really excited to be part of. Above you can see the faces of some of the cool dudes whose projects I have been working on over the last few months. It’s the start of the fall semester so I’ll be back at UArts teaching my one section of Intro to Computer Animation soon. I’ve also been writing and posting on meathaus.com and cartoonbrew.com sharing work that I find extra tasty. It’s just got to have that special flavor.

Familiar Creatures Record Art

It took a while but I finally grabbed a day and half and finished Ben‘s record art just in time for the last show the full band will probably play in their current line up this past weekend at Cha Cha Razzi. See the previous post on this project here.

[portfolio_slideshow]

“Bloodhound Dogs” is my favorite track, listen to and buy the record digital style over here:

Also I’ve been using this tumblr blog as more active blog including sketchbook work and “Lenny” comics as they roll out. I’ve recently started up more comics after a multi-month sidetrack into creating some Lenny animation development material, which is also continuing.

I recently wrapped up animation production on a segment for Comedy Bang Bang season 2 on IFC. More short animated segments appear to be on the horizon for television shows and a bit of educational software.

Syfy and Variety

I’ve received copies of the two latest books that I designed for Universe and Rizzoli, The Science Fiction Universe… And Beyond: Syfy Channel Book of Sci-fi, and Variety: An Illustrated History of the World From the Most Important Magazine in Hollywood. Below is a snapshot of them on the floor and a video preview of the Variety book from author Tim Gray and Rizzoli.

new book designs

Album Art Sketching

Ancient bud Ben recorded a new record in a studio and I am sketching cover art for it. I’m surprising myself with this transition to digital in all parts of my process, slowly but surely. It’s like I don’t fully comprehend what’s going on but I can’t stop it. It’s like What’s Happening to My Body Book for Boys. Anyway, “Familiar Creatures” is the new record, and it is the one thing I am working on right now that I can share on this blog, beside my other personal project, Lenny. Here is a rough sketch and another tonal sketch on top of that in which I’m working out some ideas, both from this morning. (EDIT: Added another from this morning, the next morning.) Otherwise I can report that over the past few weeks I’ve also assistant animated for M. Wartella on his segments on MAD (Cartoon Network) and started a new project up with Vincent Stall‘s company, PUNY Entertainment.

[portfolio_slideshow]

Adventure Time (Unofficial) Art

Yes, “unofficial.” That basically means fan art. Well, I am a fan of the show and have a good handful of pals working on it so I’m always pleased to see new episodes. I made these earlier this year for a test to become an officially authorized Adventure Time illustrator for a publisher that has a deal to put out Adventure Time books and other products. That didn’t lead anywhere yet but at least the process made me try my hand at these characters which was fun to do. I have some notes to update the characters from Pen to make them more like the iconic licensed versions that are approved for this type of use, so I’ll be updating these as soon as I get a chance. This is opposed to the versions of the characters on the show that you can see change slightly depending on which team of artists boarded the episode. Very interesting stuff.

[portfolio_slideshow]

In other news, it’s been busy around here this year. Two books are about to be released that I designed, one is a history of science fiction movies and TV produced in association with Syfy Network and published by Universe, and the second is a book that is essentially a history of the last 100+ years as seen through the pages of the magazine Variety, published by Rizzoli.

Also the Brody Stevens: Enjoy It! show that I directed animation segments for has premiered on HBO Go recently. This was an awesome project to be involved in and features a lot of funny people including Brody himself of course. Will incorporate into a new animation reel and distill into a portfolio post ASAP. Check out the post on Meathaus I did on this.

Also the segments I animated for Eagleheart need to be added to the reel and portfolioized…got a full plate here. Let’s do this.

Last, I’ve been doing a lot of pages on Lenny’s Summer Job, one of my animation show ideas re-visited as an ongoing sketchbook comic, this has been the perfect solution for me to get the ideas out without worrying about being slick about it all. Just do ’em up in my sketchbook with pencils and ink quick and dirty at the crack of dawn while everyone else is sleeping. It makes me focus on the developing story and characters knowing all along that I can always come back later and make a bunch of slick presentation material if I intend to pitch this Jimmy-Jawnson again. And I’ve never understood how you can develop a show idea with all these character descriptions and stuff without figuring them out first by actually writing and drawing a whole load of exploratory stories. So that’s what I’m doing.

Pants Down

Quality Control

I’ll admit that I’ve been caught with an incomplete website fully live. It is better than the last version, which was also incomplete, but additionally had begun advertising illicit ways to purchase prescription medicine in Google search results. It wasn’t me, I swear! I’m busy enough as it is developing my cartoon and book ideas; I’ve got no time to also be an international hacker/drug dealer on the side. Well here’s hoping for the best with this version. Which I will finish this time. Just give it a few weeks.

I believe this is what they call a “soft launch”, right? I’ll just tell myself that. Above, enjoy this artwork from my son and I, from April 2009.