Aerobizone, featuring Greg

Over on the Aerobizone portfolio page, I’ve added this latest sheet of Greg expressions, a work in progress. Yes, the main character’s name is Greg. I think a name might stick this time. Also I have been dumping visual development sketches on Twitter and Instagram for another project, a short film I’m working on with my pal Ben. Once there is enough viz dev work in a presentable format, I’ll add that as another portfolio project here.

I wanted to fill out the character design and visual development section of my portfolio here, since two of my favorite projects that I have contributed to (a WB series in development and a TriStar Pictures feature in development) both seem to have fizzled a few years ago, yet the work remains under NDA. Oh well. So I’ll be creating a lot of new independent work that I own and can do whatever I want with.

Under De/Construction

Quick note to let any chance visitors this summer of 2021 know that this website is currently being reborn like the phoenix.

Specifically for this page, I intend to repurpose this former “news” blog to become the sketchblog, a place where I post the actual art that I wish to share online in an informal way and retain control of its presentation (without ads, other bullshit). In other words, reclaiming the agency I have over my art online as much as anyone ever had back in the days of websites and blogs before social media. I will then use social media to promote each post, certainly, but only with the intention of getting those eyeballs over there to come over here, and interact with the work, or not, without distraction.

Net Neutrality Animated Video

New animated video for WeTransfer! See it here.


Executive Producer: WeTransfer
Creative Agency / Executive Producer: Doubleday & Cartwright
Executive Creative Director: Aaron Amaro
Creative Director: Matthew Reed
Producer: Adam Argersinger
Production Assistant: Cary Nakamaru

Animation Director: Chris McDonnell
Singer/Songwriter: Adam Roth
Music: Granted, Allen Blickle
Sound Design: Granted, Allen Blickle
Animation Assistant: Colton Barto
Animation Assistant: Angel Kawash
Animation Assistant: Gia Pedicone

Three Years Later…

More than three years later than the last blog post, I guess. To catch up a bit on this McD Workshop news blog, we’ve done a lot of fun work! The Steven Universe: Art & Origins book came out this summer and the BoJack Horseman: The Art Before the Horse book is scheduled to come out in 2018. Beyond that, more animation books are on the horiozon. I’m teaching animation at Moore College of Art & Design and The University of the Arts (see my new student work highlight reel). Speaking of students, I’ve hired a handful of ’em to assist me on some of the latest and greatest animation segments that we’ve produced, including work for Tour de Pharmacy (an HBO comedy special) and season two of Lady Dynamite (Netflix). Check out some highlighted clips of that work in the new McD Workshop animation reel or just see it here:

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.”

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

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

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

“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.”

“…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!”