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.
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.
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.
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.
The Joker was written by Daniel Wallace, edited by Robb Pearlman and Steve Korté, with an introduction by Mark Hamill, and designed by myself. Nick Gazin reviewed it over at Vicehere (scroll down past the dong drawings), where he opens his review with “Chip Kidd should have made this book”, then Chip Kidd reviewed it over at The Wall Street Journalhere.
Dudley and Omar’s Moving Garden was written by Douglas Hammer, designed by Justina Blakeney, overseen/published by Miguel Nelson/Woolly Pocket, and illustrated by myself. It comes stuck in a “Mini Wally” growing pocket and 20% of profits are put towards in-school gardening education programs for kids.
In other book news I have completed design on the new English language edition of Hugo Pratt’s Corto Maltese: The Ballad of the Salt Sea for Universe, which has already been scooped by a few blogs, and I am part way through designing a sci-fi art book along the lines of the Universal Studios Monsters book, also for Universe. Both will be released in 2012.
And of course I still want you to buy my drawing book that is fun for kids, adults and surly teens alike! Sasquatch’s Big Hairy Drawing Book can be ordered for you from you favorite local bookstore, just call them up, or if there are none of those left in your area, there is always online shopping.
In animation news, I have been developing a cartoon project and posting time-lapse drawing videos to the meathaus account as they are produced in fits, and they are collected into a growing playlist that is embedded above. If all goes well with my operating system update later today, I’ll also soon be able to begin posting screen-cast videos of in-progress digital artwork.
Also I recently completed a short animated bit for the Adult Swim show, Eagleheart that required me to look up a lot of disgusting image reference. You’ll see what I mean after I post it. It is part of season two, airing sometime in the near future.
Last, the presentation pilot that I created animation for over the summer for HBO is still hanging in the balance… I think? When there is ultimately a decision either way I’ll be able to share some of the work eventually.
EDIT: I forgot that this should be titled THREE new books in the portfolio because I just added David Jablow’s Do It Yourself Doodler book that I designed for him over there too. Check it out!
In progress, a few spreads from an illustrated kid’s book that I’ve written and am painting in acrylics on illustration board. I think I posted an image of one of these perhaps six months ago or more on Flickr, but it took me until last month to finally schedule in solid working time on this and a few other projects that I have self-initiated. These paintings still are waiting for me to add some details here and there, such as the butterfly the bear cub is chasing down the hill.
Surprise, another new book. GO FOR THE GOLD! is the name of the sketchbook anthology that we’ve been putting out through Meathaus in which a selection of artists share their sketchbook work. Issue 1 was a hand-made piece with silkscreened covers and photocopied interiors, and I’ve edited and published issues 2-4 using a print-on-demand printer. More info is coming soon on this issue which includes 39 international artists and is an impressive 379 pages long.
Above is the wrap around cover art that I illustrated based on characters from my contribution to the book. Click the image above to get a larger image that you can download and use as a desktop image.
Sasquatch’s Big Hairy Drawing Book made its debut at the 2011 San Diego Comic Con last week. I wasn’t there, but April from Chronicle sent me this photo of a sasquatch that came by the booth to check out the sasquatch related books. I don’t know if he left happy or not based on this photo.
I’ve spent all morning posting this bad boy all over the internet, so I’ll finally slap it up here. This is a video trailer I made for Sasquatch’s Big Hairy Drawing Book. It makes sense these days for visual books to have video trailers with so many purchasing decisions being made in front of the computer screen. I wonder how many people will browse through the book in a store and buy it. I wonder how many people will watch this video and buy, or decide conclusively not to buy it, heh. Any way I loved the excuse to make a video, so here it is.
Sasquatch’s Big Hairy Drawing Book will be available to buy for the first time at the San Diego Comic Con at the Chronicle Books booth, #1506. Chronicle also has a special Comic Con page set up here with 25% off and free shipping. That page mentions “daily raffles” at the convention. One of your daily raffles will be this very, very sad original art of Sasquatch from my drawing book. All you have to do is show up at the booth and write on a raffle ticket to get a chance to win this original, sad ink drawing. It’s already sitting somewhere in California waiting for you!