Monday, September 28, 2009


As you might have noticed, I took last week off. Between switching jobs (more about that later), catching flights (again, more about that later), stitching socks (you get the idea), etc... I decided it'd be best to ignore my obligations here for a few days, give or take a little.

But, I'm back and to start the week off nice and easy, how about some pictures of Japan? Specifically, Tokyo Disney Sea.

Japan boasts the only Disney Sea Park in the world, but don't get too excited. It's basically MGM Studios complete with Tower of Terror and Indiana Jones. But wait, what's that?

That's right. Nestled between Aladdin's Arabian Coast and Ariel's Mermaid Lagoon sits Jules Verne's Mysterious Island complete with -

'Journey to the Center of the Earth' and -

'20,000 Leagues Under the Sea'!

The later is fairly lame. The nostalgia was not lost on me, though, remembering back to the first time my family and I visited Florida's Disney World when it still housed a 20,000 Leagues ride.

Unfortunately, this version trades the (slightly lame) sea dragons for some (really lame) sea aliens. Not to mention the very non-Nautilus looking pods...

I seem to remember a squid at least, but I'm not too sure about that...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Day-Tripper Part I

Did a lot of traveling this week, which thankfully, kept my mind off other things.

First stop, Philadelphia! I've been SLOWLY working on a side project with a writer from Baltimore, Ron Tanner. The piece involves cats (somewhat therapeutic) and about 10 minutes of hand-drawn animation (not so therapeutic).

The film is narrated by the main character, an old 'cat lady' hosting a afternoon brunch. I immediately thought of my friend and occasional business partner, Stephanie Yuhas who lives and works down in the Philadelphia area. We booked the sound room at our old college and spent a good four hours locked in a padded room.

Stephanie - voice artist, animator, writer, producer, curry and rice cooker... Is there any job she can't do?

Myself - trying to make sound editing look hawt...

The real fun came before and after, though. I haven't gotten a chance to just walk around the city in a while. First we headed to up to West Philadelphia so Stephanie could yell at some people.

The ice rink we use to 'hang' at.

View of Center City's skyline from Drexel's campus.

Then it was off to UArts to start the recording, with a brief stop at Hamilton Hall to pick up our Alumni IDs.

Afterward, we took a stroll down Pine, past some familiar sights.

Pine Street Pizza where the owner complimented me on my Greek pronunciation of 'gyro'.

Our old 'Slum-lord's' office and -

- preferred mode of transportation. Oh, the temptation...

Remember this?

Finally got a good shot of that Take-Out lovin' T-Rex! Would have loved to get a full-body shot but the weed-turned-tree was blocking it.

I finally headed out about 6:30PM, saying goodbye to the city that boast most murals in all of the grand US o' A (or at least it was 5 years ago).

Next post? Boston!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

He is Not a Monster...

June 2000. I had just ended my first serious relationship and was about to graduate. Holly Howe's cat had a litter of kittens, most of which had already found homes. She was worried the last, a small black ball of fur, would head to the shelter if no one took him.

My family was already supporting two cats, but being the headstrong, rebellious teen I was (not), I decided to take him home that night. My parents eventually accepted him.

I gave him the name Titus after one of my favorite Shakespeare plays (I wanted to call him Saturninus but my mom forbid it).

I'm sure everyone believes this of their own, but he was the best cat in the world. He'd greet me when I came home, watch me from the driveway when I went to work in the morning, sit on my lap when I sang, roll on his back for rubs, lick my hands (even when they weren't covered with human food) and even bring me half-eaten rabbits.

He was 9 and died this past Tuesday of FIP (I had to look it up). There will never be a better cat. As my brother once pieced together from bits of newspaper clippings:

Titus- He is Not a Monster, Love Him.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thanks Skwidspawn!

They Might Be Giants' new children's album is officially out. Released of my NDA-obligations, I can finally post the video I co-directed with Dave Cowles here!

In fact, I meant to post this last week, but couldn't find the time to shift through the external hard drives to find the 'decent-looking-but-still-compressed' movie file. This weeks, the denizens of 'teh inter-webs' have saved me the trouble.

Here's 'The Sun is a Miasma of Incandescent Plasma' OR 'Why Does the Sun Really Shine?' (yeah, check out that monster o' a title card!)

I'll go into the process and post drawings and such from it in future posts. You can also see some more of our (Dave and me) work in front of each They Might Be Giants podcast promoting the album (but you'll actually have to buy 'em to see those)!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Job That Ate My Week

Last Wednesday I got a call from a production manager at DCA, a company I had done some freelance for in the past.

The job basically entailed drawing up about 15 boards in a specific style to illustrate 6 videos to be shot for a client of DCA. The final videos will involve an actor and no hint of animation, but they wanted some spiffy images to catch the clients eye.

The hardest part was making sure i captured the emotions of the man in the video. They started off by giving me very simple, rough boards with clear directions as to the setting, time of day and feelings the actor would be portraying.

Not entirely confident with my abilities to convey these emotions through a realistic sketch of an actor I had about 4 reference photos of, I decided the task would fall to his gestures and posture. Hopefully, it worked-



In pain, trying to maintain.

Explaining, trying to be hopeful. Kinda like me right now. I definitely feel confident a few of the boards nailed the emotions. Hopefully, you'll agree. In the end, the client did and really, that's all that matters.

It's amazing how much this industry is all about who you know. A little over a year ago I was commuting out to Parsipphany, NJ, working on a hand drawn viral ad for FLOMAX at DCA.

My college friend and former roommate, Stephanie Yuhas got a call from Phil Schadt, a guy she use to work with at the local art store in Philadelphia. The company he worked for (DCA) needed an animator. While working there, I met Brian Russell. About three months ago, Brian called me up out of the blue to see if I could start 'tomorrow' at Special Ops Media.

Then this call. DCA needed a storyboard artist and Phil suggested they call me. We have come full circle.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

In celebration, here's something I labored away on last week.

That's right! More G-dcast-tic Animation! What may most likely be my final episode was a fun one. Once again, my fellow feline-lover and current roommate Chrissy Fellmeth lent a hand (and wondrous Cintiq), helping me get work out of the way long enough for me to enjoy some fun in the sun-

- and a bit of history this weekend.

But today it's back to the grind. New job, new criteria, same short deadline. Should be good to post images by Wednesday.

Friday, September 4, 2009

That's a Wrap!

Been one of those weeks again (aka - another G-dcast due by end of day)... In an attempt to run off one more blog before the week's end, here it is! My week in photos-

Some crew has been shooting a film up and down Lewis Ave. all week. While I'm sure Mr. Cage is not involved (his latest local film most likely wrapping up in post-production), it's still nice to see all that fancy equipment.

And a little further down, a different sort of roadblock.

This is a new area that just been renovated in the building I work at. The door's locked, by the way. I guess we know where the next Ghostbusters is being shot. "There is no Dana..."

Douglas reminds me that with the end of every week comes recycling!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Train Traffic

Did a bit of traveling by train this weekend (more than usual considering the fact that I have a car here in Brooklyn). The results?

The first guy, more stylized, just looked angry. I don't blame him. This was at Delancey, waiting for the F. If you've ever been held up there, you'd know why he looks a bit irritated. The other guy, a more realistic sketch, was just nodding off.

I'm almost certain no one will recognize this chap, partly due to my terrible caricature abilities, partly due to the fact that it's suppose to be Steve Winwood, a la 1972. I just dug his chiseled looks, like some emoting Roman bust you'd find at the Met.

Unfortunately, I can't claim the rights to these awesome bitches. Came across this in the trash (among other more useful items) walking to the J about a week ago.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Man Bites Dog

Ended last week with a picture from Japan. This week, let's start with one.

I've seen all manner of impersonations in my time. Good, bad, brilliant, weak.

This, though? Possibly one of the best.

I promise some doodles tomorrow for all of you out there wondering "Wait, I thought you were an artist? Where's all the notebook scribbles and self-pitying?"