Friday, October 12, 2012

Looking for more, the legend continues.

For that long time reader out there, you may recognize the title 'Looking for more'.  It was a webcomic that my good buddy Tyler Rhoads started penning back in 2008.  He asked me to draw it as I think i was the only kid he knew at the time who could draw things with recognizable things.  I said sure, cuz how hard can drawing cartoons be?

It sucks you guys.

It launched me on my path to become a better artist, became the impetus to starting this blog and in an odd sort of way makes me feel a more complete person now.

Of course, up until long Comic Con conversations this summer (four years after we decided to start the strip in a weekly fashion) the sketches for the first couple strips lay discarded and dusty in the back rooms of my hard drive.  A few months later and issue 8 just hit the web, hot and fresh.  Its hard to draw decent cartoon figures that show true emotion.  I salute Mr. Shultz and Mr. Davis for creating such icons and leave an offering at the alter of Mr. Watterson for the most impressive and emotional 5 color comic strip in history.

You can see my art style on the characters changing as the strip progresses even thus far, so its hard telling what these guys will look like a year from now.  But enjoy...or dont...but saturate your eye holes with em.









Thursday, October 11, 2012

The dr and the girl who waited.

Since I was a little Clarvae, my favorite television show has been Doctor Who. It aired friday nights from ten to midnight on PBS (Channel 19 if you are a KC kid).  It was the one night of the week I could stay up till I couldnt stay awake.  Mom would make a giant bowl of popcorn and would sit and croquet while Dad and Karla would sit for two hours adventuring around space and time inside the TARDIS.  I watched the entire run from Partick Troughton thru Sylvester McCoy that way and it is still one of the most profound memories.  I had dreams of the old control room and (since I was also a Ghostbusters fanatic) of chasing ghosts with my proton pack through the Cloister room.  Another profound memory was of my frustration at trying to talk about this incredible show with the kids on the playground and them not having any idea what I was going on about.

These newer Who's are wonderful even though I am slightly annoyed that its such a phenomenon now that its no longer a select group of nerds talking about sonic screwdrivers but the most commonly seen cosplay at the past several comic book conventions I've gone to. Yeah, thats right. I went hipster on Doctor Who cuz I was into it when it was still really the states.


Anyhow, the girl who waited and The 11th done by the talented Chris Uminga.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Every peach of a couple of months still has its pit.

Four days after my last post I got work (after far to long of a dry spell) at a new effects studio.  The place is called Pixel Magic.  All in all I can safely say its hard to meet a better group of folks and a studio with such good atmosphere.  It was small and cozy, worked on three upcoming films and got to know AfterEffects a little better.
 Actually, that brings me to a point I'd like to mention. I've been using AfterEffects in some form or another since 1999.  Like any relationship, we have had our ups and downs, discoveries and arguments.  Sure, there are a few sexier compositing programs out there (I swear I'm not thinking of Nuke when I am comping in you, AE) but it gets the job done and we are comfortably happy with one another.  So it always offends me just slightly when someone says its hard to find a studio that uses AE.  But I've been in LA for a little bit now and here is the thing...EVERYWHERE I have been uses AE.  Sure, it may not be the primary comping program but it is used just the same.
  So don't listen to the haters who say its Nuke or nothin.

Back to Pixel Magic.  I met a few folks there who I highly recommend you try to work with.  Great people, brimming with positive attitudes and can play Call of Duty like it was their job (which I do consider it a healthy component.) Check out their pages when you get a chance.

Praven Mahtani                           Fabian Jimenez                                   Melissa Quintas
Brad Moylan                                  Evan James                                      Chris Keith

Chris worked on Tron and Superman 4, which puts him in a place of respect in my pantheon even if he wouldnt know what to do with himself there.  Brad is a fellow kid from Missouri makin his way into the credit sequence, so full blown props for that.  And thanks to the whole group of them I have seen every installment of 'To Catch a predator'.  I'll tell you more about that over a Mikes hard Lemonade.

This brings me to a new component of the blog that I want to start putting in.  I'm going to call it 'Life in the 401st' due to the Springfield area code being 417 and the primary in my neck of the valley is 818.  I sometimes avoid posting since I do not have any new art to put up, but considering my professional life is a compositor and I wanted to find a blog with the sort of questions a new kid in a bad part of town might want to know if they should decide to move to LA to make bad shots look good.

The Perks of being a Wallflower.

Rachel and I went and saw Looper last week.  If you havent seen it yet, go tomorrow.  Its one of the best sci fi films I have ever seen and thats saying something.  It was so good I went and bought a Looper style pocket watch.  Go.

Yesterday we went to see Dredd (second best film shot in 3D ever) and Perks of being a Wallflower (PBW) to celebrate our 4 year anniversary. I've been lucky and so far all or the movies that I have worked on and have went to see have had my name in the credits (more on that in a future 401st article), but I've never been bright enough to document it.  So here is the credits from PBW.

Perks Of Being A Wallflower Credits
This movie was really good. Teen angsty, but well made and dealing with serious topics in a manner that if I was young would have found insightful and inspiring.  No self involved teens thinking the world will end if the sparkly dude with the neolithic brow doesnt pay attention to them.  Real topics, real problems, interesting characters and Emma Watson with an american accent.  Hard to ask for more from a teen dramedy. It even has Paul Rudd as the English teacher everyone is supposed to love.  Which now that I think about it, the vast majority of my favorite teachers from high school were English teachers, so maybe there is something to that.  Or maybe its just hard to bond over trig and physics.