Wednesday, October 13, 2010

desktops. again!

Looks like it's time for another installment of Animation Art Big Enough To Be Used As Desktop Decoration (At Least For My Laptop)! Round three... start!

Just in time for the Halloween season, it's wallpaper from the new Epic Mickey Wii game, via Pure Nintendo!

Concept art from Toy Story 3 that I found on The Art of Disney blog. Unfortunately, their site seems to be down. For forever, possibly. I don't speak French so I can't be sure— oh wait. Ah, I've solved the mystery. Here is a cheap (read: free and crappy) Babel Fish translation of the parting words from the blog owner explaining the situation:
It is not without a certain bitterness that I announce to you the closing of The Art Disney Animation following a warning of Disney. Indeed the latter reproach the site for violating the rights d' author of the firm by publishing drawings their pertaining. I try for the moment to find a compromise with them, but the future of the site seems quite dubious. I invite you to visit the facebook page regularly site to keep you informed of the continuation of the events.
Alas. That was a great resource, even if I wasn't able to read a word of their posts. Here are some gorgeous stills from the movie that are perfectly suited for desktop displays.

Continuing on!

This is a background design from Sym-Bionic Titan, Genndy Tartakovsky's new cartoon series, painted by Kevin Dart. I do believe a few episodes of this have aired already on Cartoon Network, but I haven't seen them yet. See more art on Kevin Dart's art blog.

This is very green. Too green? I haven't used it on my desktop, but I thought it looked minty. Yes, I was in a very minty mood when I found this concept art for a scrapped Amblimation Studio production called The Just So Stories, via One1more2time3's blog.

La casa de Pacha! Art from The Emperor's New Groove by Robh Ruppel, found on John Nevarez's blog.

I'll leave you with this... this... smoulder. Lucky you, this could be your desktop! Haha please make this your desktop. You may recognize this, er, charming fellow from Disney's Tangled trailers. Via David Gilson's blog.

Friday, September 03, 2010

daily doodle #32: Mighty Warrior

I am considering doing these again...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

dogs will be dogs

Oh man. Dogs! Amiright, people? I'm pretty sure my dog, Kiki, has no idea what I'm talking about. And actually, I'd be pretty impressed if she was on the Internet reading this post about her. Damn impressed. Especially considering her surprising lack of general common sense. I've lost track of all the times she's practically jumped out of her skin from various irrational fears, which include, but are not limited to: baths (even in the summer, Kiki? You cray-see!), the vacuum cleaner (I know, what animal isn't scared of this noisy suck-beast?), the electronic cords from our entertainment systems, rotating ceiling fans, absolutely stationary ceiling fans that have not been turned on for months, and sometimes hats. That's all I can think of now, but don't let the small list fool you — even the most inert and non-threatening objects can give her a fright. Still, dogs have this uncanny ability to pick up on all sorts of things outside the human range of senses, right? So maybe... just maybe... I should look into this whole fan thing. What if she's right to be afraid? Why are there so many fans installed in our house?!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

featured fan finale

Dumm Comics is featuring another of my fancomics today! "Another?" you ask. Surely you remember my June post celebrating the first of such occasions. Surely! Since then, another opportunity to pay homage to Gabe Swarr presented itself. As his weekly "Big Pants Mouse" comic strip was coming to an end he reached out to his fans to come up with their own versions of how the strip might conclude. I accepted the challenge and in so doing, most likely created (unintentionally) the longest one-page fan strip that ever saw the light of Internet. Seriously, you should see this monster:
Via Dumm.
Via deviantART.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tangled trailer

Here's the first real teaser trailer for Disney's next "happily ever after" feature, Tangled, the story of Rapunzel. Or is it the story of Rapunzel's prince, featuring Rapunzel? After watching this trailer, I'm not sure anymore. Not to mention I was too busy inspecting the new visual style of this 3-D feature (yes, in this instance I mean the bring-your-special-glasses 3-D, but I also mean CGI). Animator Glen Keane initially helmed this project with the desire to bring the beauty of 2-D to computer animation. His team created a new form of 3-D that will hopefully evoke the warmth and feeling of a traditional painting. Behold, the studio's attempt at making a painting come to life through the magic of Disney:

Monday, April 12, 2010

my first MoCCA

Where am I again? Oh yeah, the MoCCA Festival. Thanks, sign!

My first time at the MoCCA (Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art) Festival was a success, as far as my little To-Do list was concerned. The list was mostly comprised of a small handful of names of comic artists whom I admire and wanted to meet. Only I couldn't find that sneaky Johnny Wander duo. They didn't have a booth and were just wandering (ha!) the floor like the rest of us normals. I thought it would be easy to spot them, what with the extensively smaller venue (in comparison to the San Diego Comic Con, that is) but no such luck.

Several different artists/vendors recognized the shirt I was wearing, the Oh My God Puppies tee from the webcomic Octopus Pie, and each of them lamented the fact that artist Meredith Gran was at home in Oregon with her new puppy, Heidi. "She thinks it has separation anxiety," lamented one gentleman in an unconvinced manner, who then proceeded to show me a picture from his iPhone of said insecure quadruped. And then he took a picture of me in the shirt. I think mostly because I was rockin' it with a kickass blue scarf and who doesn't want a picture of this (this being me)?

Chris Makris and Sam Bradley, two of the contributing artists from volume one of The Anthology Project.

This was the first thing I spent money on and, as it turned out, I was the first person in the U.S. to purchase a copy. Firsts everywhere! And let me just say, this is perhaps the best-looking/feeling book I own, based solely on its outer appearance. The hardcover material is soft to the touch, due to the ever-so-slight vertical ridges (so delicate!) and impressed elegant gold foil lettering. The cover illustration by Joy Ang is reminiscent of James Jean's work a bit (especially the moody blue-green tones), which I love. Oh boy, I sound crazy. I sound like I'm in love with the cover of a book. Well so what, America? Maybe I am. Maybe you should just arrest me already.

Kate Beaton!

She was the main reason I attended. Kate lives in Canada, but that shouldn't stop you from reading her hilarious webcomic, Hark! A Vagrant. JK, you guys, Canada's all right by me. Kate is one of my all-time favorite comic artists, so I brought my copy of Never Learn Anything From History with me and got her to sign it. In classic Hark! fashion, she also drew Abraham Lincoln lookin' sharp and sayin' "all the sweetest history" - how cool is that?!

Aaron Diaz, creator of Dresden Codak, drawing a quick portrait for me of his main character, Kimiko.

Aaron's artistic style has really blossomed in the last year or so and I sometimes find myself staring at a certain panel for minutes on end like I'm trying to absorb some of his talent through the computer screen. Some of the topics and concepts go over my head a bit (all the science!), but Aaron is a really amazing, down to earth guy and I didn't feel the need to wikipedia at all during our chat. (That's right, Wikipedia, you've just been verb-ed!) We discussed how awesome it is being from the South, the unfortunate case of Meredith Gran's dog, and other similarly amusing things while he sketched for me on the inside cover of his new sketchbook.

Conversations are great!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

disney desktop decorations

Remember my post a few months back about decorating my computer desktop with animation backgrounds and concept art? Well I'd like to share a few more Disney pieces that I've found. The Art of Disney blog, while written entirely in French, boasts a huge assortment of art from Disney artists. You can easily browse by film, live action flick, short cartoon, and even artist if you have something specific in mind. Here are a few that I found that are decently sized for desktop wallpaper:

Concept art from Disney's upcoming 3-D feature, Tangled, the story of Rapunzel. I cut that first one down to fit my laptop and darkened up the left portion of the image just a tad to make my icons pop (modified version).

This London cityscape from Disney's Peter Pan looks too narrow to be used for wallpaper, but it can be stretched to fit one's desktop and still look fabulous.

A background from an old 1930's short called Mickey's Trailer. The full cartoon featuring Mickey and Donald careening wildly over treacherous canyon roads in their runaway trailer can be seen on youtube (backround at 6:39).

You might recognize this as a still from the first ever Disney cartoon to be combined with synchronized sound, Steamboat Willie. Not your typical colorful desktop image, but it features Mickey Mouse back when he was a lovable rogue prone to comically violent acts.

A background from the 1938 Disney short, A Brave Little Taylor. I haven't used this on my desktop yet but I just might play around with the colors and saturation a bit to spruce it up before I do.

Another Lilo and Stitch watercolor background from Peter Moehrle, found on his blog, The Happy Brush.

Here's a gorgeous layout by Eyvind Earle from Sleeping Beauty. I found this one on the CHIUStream blog.

Though it's a little cold and wet, this is still a lovely bit of watercolor from 101 Dalmations, courtesy of One1more2time3's blog.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

daily doodle #31: Flight Status

::grumble grumble::

(not quite "dailies" anymore, are they? sorry for sporadic updates)

Friday, February 05, 2010

features and shorts of the Oscar sort

It's Oscars time! This year the list of nominees has grown quite a bit. Where before there were three feature selections, now there are five. It's a shame Miyazaki's Ponyo wasn't nominated. While not one of my favorite Ghibli films, it is nevertheless an amazing feat of artistry and a credit to the traditional 2-D genre. And for the first time since 1991's Beauty and the Beast an animated film is up for Best Picture, so that's pretty cool. Now to get on with the show. Without further ado, I bring you this year's nominees.

Best Animated Feature:

A spectacular and horrifyingly splendorous stop-motion feature with a flair for the dark and twisted, animated flawlessly by the talented folks at Laika. Coraline's magical otherworld is visually thrilling and I adore the character designs, especially the eerie transformations when things take a turn for the worst. And by "worst" I mean exciting! Plus, it has a great listen-while-you-draw soundtrack. (Focus Features/Laika - Henry Selick)

The humor of Wes Anderson combined with stop-motion, my favorite style of animation, really made this film kick. Like a fox! These furry characters had such charming personalities and a lively presence that brought life to Roald Dahl's tale of mischief and trickery. I'm not usually a fan of "star power" voice casting, but Anderson's witty batch of actor pals really brought this film together. (Twentieth Century-Fox - Wes Anderson)

Not quite the comeback I was hoping for, but it was a good first effort since Disney's disappointing foray into 3-D. The songs were nice but forgettable the moment they ended and the two main characters were kind of a drag, not to mention their romance seemed awkwardly forced. All in all, it was a little mediocre and not up to Disney's old musical standards, but at least they are bringing 2-D back. (Disney - John Musker and Ron Clements)

Sadly, this is the one animated feature I have yet to see. Shouldn't be long now, though, as I have a copy of it sitting on my desktop! If I understand correctly it's an Irish tale about a young monk on a quest to save his abbey from approaching barbarian hordes by completing the legendary Book of Kells (ancient Celtic religious texts and whatnot). It sounds like a fun adventure, what with a journey into an enchanted forest, encounters with mythical creatures, and a wolfgirl! The crisp, flat style and smooth animation look pretty darn neat, too. (Les Armateurs/Cartoon Saloon - Tomm Moore) Watch the trailer.

Actually, and don't kill me for writing this, but this film didn't make it onto my Pixar favorites list. I applaud the use of an unconventional main character and the gorgeous landscapes, not to mention the heartbreaking beginning, but man was I annoyed by those dogs! The perpetually broken voice box, the squirrels, the plane-flying... it just wasn't doing it for me at all. I'm glad to see it nominated for Best Picture, though. Animation ftw! (Disney/Pixar - Pete Docter) Winner!

Best Animated Short:

Some lovely 3-D rendering with a great little character-driven story to boot. It was an interesting choice to use the mirror on the back wall to create depth within the small Parisian café and move the narrative along, and I think it paid off. Add to that a few choice plot twists and this short could very well take home the Oscar. (Fabrice O. Joubert) Watch.

Granny shares her own personal twist on a classic bedtime story, much to the dismay of her granddaughter, and that pretty much sums it up. I wasn't too impressed by the 3-D portion of the short, but I thought the 2-D segments were kind of fun. (Nicky Phelan and Darragh O'Connell) Watch.

This is a madcap battle between a reaper and a cocky doctor to lay claim to an old woman's life (one wants to reap, the other to save). I really enjoyed the character designs and the softness of the 3-D models - everything looked so cool and smooth. (Javier Recio Gracia) Watch.

It's an interesting visual concept - a world and its inhabitants comprised solely of 2500+ brand logos (imagine the AIM Running Man crossing the street, Windows Live butterflies fluttering in the breeze, and the Evian mountains in the distance), but this 3-D short is more like an iSpy game than a real story. Did anyone else notice the ad for Slurm? Futurama fans know what I'm talkin' about. (Nicolas Schmerkin) Watch. Winner!

Hurray another delightful Wallace and Gromit caper! My favorite stop-motion duo is at it again! This time the pair have turned their downstairs workshop into a full-fledged bakery and, in the midst of a town mystery surrounding a series of baker murders, fallen for a couple of damsels in distress. There is nothing I don't love about this short. (Nick Park) Watch.

Remember, the Academy Awards hosted by the incomparable Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin airs Sunday, March 7th.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Hourly Comic Day

Yesterday was Hourly Comic Day so are my hourlies: