Sunday, November 23, 2008

Whole Latte Drawin' Goin' On

It's been a little slow at the office lately, and I could feel the art muscles start to atrophe. To limber up, I've been spending a little extra time sketching at cafes around town. Here's a sampling of some of the sketches:



Friday, October 17, 2008

Dubyamation

Oliver Stone's George W. Bush biopic opens today. In honor of that, the film held a mashup contest in conjunction with YouTube, using clips supplied on the site (http://www.youtube.com/user/wthefilm). The prize package includes a Mac Pro, a video camera and a copy of FinalCut Express. I wanted to do something with animation, but unfortunately between doing my taxes and some freelance work, I was left with a little more than two days to put something together. Anyways, here's my entry, wish I could have done more, but I think it came out okay all things considered.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hopeful Manifestations

You've really only got two choices in November. Vote for the guy who has voted along with Bush more than 95% of the time. Or vote for something new. Shepard Fairey and MoveOn.org are sponsoring an art contest called Manifest Hope (at http://www.manifesthope.com). The idea is to create an image that encapsulates the themes of Barack Obama's campaign for President. I submitted four entries. I had an idea for a fifth, unsubmitted, that gave words of encouragement to McCain supporters.





Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lions and Tigers and Orangutans! (Oh, My!)




I did a little bit of sketching today. I've recently been discovering that I really enjoy drawing animals. I've also rediscovered Canson paper and Prismacolor pencils (my media of choice in school).

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Geek Squad Interview

While tabling at San Diego Comic-Con, I was interviewed by The Geek Squad. Egads, why is my voice so squeaky in this interview?!

Sketchin' at Comic-Con

I spent a lot of my table time at Comic-Con sketching. Here are some of the sketches I did:





Monday, July 21, 2008

Stuff to Look Out for at Comic-Con '08



There is going to be so much to see (and buy) at Comic-Con this year! Here's a sample of some of the stuff I'll be looking out for (and so should you!):

E-VILLE PRESS: Derek Thompson and Ted Mathot will be selling Derek's Derekmonster Annual 2008 and Ted's new book, Cora. They will also have Afterworks 3, a new collection of comics from Pixar artists. Also look for Derek's new instructional DVD! Booth 1534

LOUIE DEL CARMEN: Digital sketch wizard Louie Del Carmen will have his new collection Alternating Currents at Table G4

ABISMO/NERVE BOMB: Jamie Baker, Rhode Montijo, and Brian O'Connell will be dazzling you with their fantastic work at Booth 1329

BOSCO NG/SERGIO PAEZ: Bosco's Figs and Sergio's Matador will be popping some eyeballs at Tables G6-G7

SAM HITI/SHO MURASE: Sketchbooks and prints that are sure to dazzle you! Booth 1830

SCOTT MORSE/JEFF PIDGEON/BILL PRESING More talent here than you can shake a pencil at! Booth 4800

STEPHEN SILVER: Master of caricature and animation character design. Table H6

DEAN YEAGLE: The man behind Mandy's curves. Table 1035

SERGIO ARAGONES: The fastest pen in the west! Table I7

LYNDA BARRY (one of my favorite cartoonists) also has an instructional book out (on developing creativity) and will be making appearances at the DRAWN & QUARTERLY tables 1529 and 1628

Of course the table you should visit most of all is MY table at Artist Alley (EE01) right alongside my brother Benton (EE02) because if you don't buy stuff from me, how on earth am I gonna pay for any of the stuff listed above?!!

aj


Say, if you are a reader of my blog and want a plug for your Comic-Con table, just leave a comment and I'll update this post!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

San Diego Comic-Con is almost here!

I will have an Artist Alley table this year at Comic-Con. I'll be doing sketches, and selling the usual titles (Saturday Nite 1 & 2, Diddly Squat, Vice, and Babes in Space). My new mini "The Hand of Fate" will be on sale as well. Although a finished version of this exists, some distance tells me I really need to punch up the story a little bit, so I'm using these last few days to work on it a little. Here's what the cover looks like:



I'll be sitting next to my brother, who will be selling his work as well.

Stop by and say hello!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What a Difference a Day Makes (24 Little Hours)




A few weeks ago, my brother Benton and I held a little 24 hour comics session at my place. For those who don't know, the 24 Hour Comics Challenge involves creating a 24-page comic in 24 consecutive hours. No scripts or preplanning, just plowing ahead with lots of coffee and take-out food. Personally, I'm not really one to like to jump ahead without a game-plan (at least in as much as story is concerned) so I had a back up card up my sleeve: the adaptation card--if something didn't start appearing storywise after a reasonable amount of pages had been done, I would push the story toward an adaptation of a story I already knew.



As it happened, the retro-future detective scenario I started was going nowhere, so I played the card and the story became a retro-future adaptation of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex--a sort of pseudo detective tale about fate with a twist ending that has been used a lot in cinema--from films like Angel Heart to Fight Club. While the finished story didn't have anywhere near the elegance or complexity of the original, and while subsequent looks at Oedipus Rex's plot summary showed that I was way off the mark in a lot of ways, I think I came up with a good, action packed story nonetheless. Here are a couple of pages from the comic, which will be made available in one form or another at the San Diego Comic-Con this year, where both my brother and I will have Artist Alley tables.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Prince Caspian



Well, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is finally out, and it's breaking all kinds of box office records. I haven't seen it myself yet, but as a member of the visual development team, I know first hand that it promises to be quite a visual spectacle. Here is a little peek at some of the artwork I produced for the film: a montage sequence of the Telmarines marshalling up the troops for battle and a light little scene featuring Wimbleweather and Glenstorm.






Friday, May 9, 2008

Shane Acker's 9

The feature length version of Shane Acker's short film "9" is scheduled for a December release. I'm over the moon that someone would make a feature like this. The voice cast will include Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer and Crispin Glover. Here's the original award-winning short:

Nocturna and Mr. Collieu

I first heard about Nocturna many years ago on the Drawing Board, and eagerly awaited it's release. Apparently, the English language version was released in Europe last year, but I never heard anything about a US release. Anybody out there in animation land have any of the inside dope on this film? Will there be a US theatrical and/or DVD release?





Apparently, there is another film on the way by the same makers with a similar style called Mr. Collieu. Anyone know anything about it?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

This is Colossal!


Here's a little piece I drew for the CAPS submission in the 2008 ComicCon Souvenir Program Book. The theme this year is The Legion of Super-Heroes. I submitted this black and white drawing of Colossal Boy for the program book and added color and the Lichtenstein treatment for the blog. Happy, well-scrubbed, old-school super-hero. By the way, you HAVE noticed the new feature to this blog, haven't you? Check out the little slideshow to the right of this entry and click on it. You can see my cartoon portfolio as single images or as a full sized slideshow. You can even leave comments for each of the individual portfolio pages (hint, hint). Check it out!

Anson

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

It's Not Easy Being Green

Damn! I should have posted this for St. Patrick's Day! What a FOOL I am this April 1st!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Everybody Must Get Stoned

My brother Benton found this short film posted on YouTube. It used to get shown a lot when I was in high school, and I always thought it was probably one of the best examples of capturing the spirit of a short story on celluloid.





There was also this one, which also got a lot of play in high school, and brings back a lot of memories. Here's the first part. You can find the rest on YouTube:

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hitting the Canvas

Here's a little oil painting I did a week or so ago at an open studio figure painting session. It was a 3-hour pose.

Anson

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

'Po Poe, Pitiful Me


Just doing a little doodling. I figured I'd scan and post this one before I spill coffee on it--like I usually do with my sketches.

Anson

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Femme Fatale


Was digging through some of my old work, and found this piece I did a couple of years ago for the Aphrodisia Showcase. It didn't get chosen, but I had forgotten how much I liked this one.

Anson

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Coming To A Computer Near You

Here's the latest trailer for Insecticide, the new game from Crackpot Entertainment, to which yours truly contributed a bunch of concept art and storyboards.



And here's another...



More info is on the website: http://www.insecticidethegame.com

Anson

Friday, February 1, 2008

CAPS Interview


Here's an interview with me that was published in the Cartoon Art Professional Society's Newsletter a couple of months ago.

1. Where are you from, and where do you live/work now?
I am originally from Sacramento, CA, and after a stint working as an animator in Marin County, moved to Los Angeles to pursue freelance illustration in 2002. I work primarily from my home.

2. Do you have a spouse and kids? Their names?
No spouse, no kids.



3. How long have you been a CAPS member?
I think I joined a little bit after I moved to LA. Since 2003 probably.

4. Please list some highlights from your resume.
-"What's Your Claim to Fame?" published in National Lampoon.

-Animator at LucasArts on "Full Throttle", "The Curse of Monkey Island" and "Herc's Adventures" among others.

-Won a Xeric Foundation grant and self-published two issues of my comic book, Saturday Nite, followed by various sketchbooks and minis.



-Asked to do a comic story for WritersCorps book, Smart Mouth (alongside Nina Paley, Spain, Derek Kirk Kim, Gabrielle Gamboa)

-Art Directed flash animated short "Clockwork Rocker", was background artist for web cartoon "Rip Van Nelly" for rapper Nelly.

-Storyboards for film and TV including Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, TMNT, Anacondas: Hunt for the Blood Orchid, "Growing Up Creepie" and "Wolverine and the X-Men".

-Contributor to Komikwerks Anthology "Thrills and Chills" with my story "Reality TV"




-Contributed to "Babes in Space" anthology with "Fly Me to the Moon", featuring my character, Nora Drenalin: Teen Space Ranger

-Self-published minicomic "Vice" gets 9 out of 10 stars from Sequential Tart

-Interviewed in "24 Hours Later" a documentary about 24-hour comics.

-Won spot in Aphrodisia: Art of the Female Form in '05 and '06

5. When did you know you wanted to be a cartoonist/writer?
I wrote and drew my own comics and cartoons ever since I was a kid. It's always been a part of my life.

6. Did you go to school for art/writing? Where?
I graduated from Chico State with a major in illustration and a minor in art history. I continue to take classes occasionally at places like the L.A. Academy of Figurative Art.

7. Who was the first cartoonist/writer you ever met?
Probably Steve Leialoha, at a comic convention in Sacramento in the 70's.

8.What artists/writers of all time influenced you in your formative years?
I had access to a lot of old Silver Age and early 70's comics from a very early age and had a lot of influences come and go. Some of the most memorable and influential included Jim Aparo's Phantom Stranger and Paul Gulacy's Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu. I think what appealed to me most about those comics were their cinematic sense of atmosphere and storytelling. Aparo frequently used Dutched angles and often threw characters into full or partial silhouette. Gulacy would slow down time by breaking an action down into small parts, often focusing on inserts or peripheral information (following a beer bottle as it rolls across the floor, for example). My very favorite comics, however, were the short horror story anthologies like The Unexpected, Creepie, Eerie, House of Secrets, etc. I appreciated how much story they were able to pack into just a few pages. I felt the same way about Mad magazine, which I read a lot. I usually didn't follow serialized comics over a long period of time; I had no patience for that...I liked complete, self-contained stories. In college I had a weekly comic strip in the campus paper, which was a blatant Jules Feiffer rip off.

9. What current artists/writers inspire you today?
Mitch O'Connell, Dan Clowes, Crumb, Serge Clerc, Dave Cooper, Ben Caldwell, Shane Glines, Bruce Timm, Derek Kirk Kim, Kyle Baker, Alex Toth. The list goes on and on...

10. What was the first cartooning/writing gig for which you were paid?
I was hired as an intern illustrator / graphic designer at The Modesto Bee out of college.

11. What was your first big break and who gave it to you?
Sam Gross bought a cartoon I did called "What's Your Claim to Fame?" which appeared in National Lampoon in 1989. A few years later Gary Winick hired me to work at LucasArts as an animator, where I stayed for 9 years. The Xeric Foundation Grant for my comic book Saturday Nite helped my comics work reach a wider audience. As a storyboard artist, Kerry Conran's Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow was my first substantial gig, lasting about eight months and subsequently opening a few doors.

12. What was the worst job you ever had (not necessarily in the cartooning field)?
I worked at a car wash in Sacramento one summer. People can be very picky and protective when it comes to their cars, and that would often create some tension. Plus, any outdoor job in Sacramento during the summer will be a sucky job.

13. Cartoonistically speaking, what was your favorite project/job?
I did a comic book a few years ago for the 24-hour Comics Challenge. It was a Twilight Zone type of story called "VICE" about magic fortune cookies. What I liked most was how the story, even though I had no idea where it was going when I started, fell together perfectly (with all it's thematic complexities and twist ending) in less than 24 hours. I didn't actually finish the artwork within the 24-hour timeframe, but I felt it deserved to be finished, so I gave it a second 24 (nonconsecutive) hours to finish the inking and lettering. I self published it as a minicomic and it got 9 out of 10 stars from Sequential Tart! It also sold well at APE and Comic-Con.



14. What is your medium of choice?
Pencil and paper. I also like to add tone or color in the computer.

15. Specific tools you like to use (type/brand of paper, specific brushes, paint, ink, etc.)?
Col-erase Indigo Blue pencil on white bond paper. Regular black graphite pencils smear too much for my taste. When I ink, I use a Sharpie, or sometimes a Pigma brush pen. I generally do color in Photoshop.

16. What are your work habits/routine?
Actually, I'm kind of an artistic chameleon when it comes to my comics; I experiment a lot. I work in the manner that the particular comic story is asking me to work. Look at my comics over the years and it looks like I have multiple personalities; each project different from the other, but internally consistent.

17. What is your philosophy regarding your work - for instance, what are you trying to achieve?
As an artist, I just try to do the type of work I would enjoy as an audience.

18. What is the greatest lesson you have learned in your profession?
The work will be easier, and the final product better if you can make the work fun for yourself.

19. If something could be invented to make your job easier, what would it be?
On my computer, a "fix" button.

20. Any interesting people you've worked with?
My first full-time art job was at LucasArts, and I was floored to find Ken Macklin (Dr. Watchstop), and Brent Anderson (Astro City) working there; its a shock when someone who you were a geeky fan of as a kid is suddenly one of your professional peers.

21. Any side interests? "When I'm not drawing/writing, I like to...
I've been trying to learn to play piano and oil paint. I cuddle my DVD collection daily.

22. If you have any fans, what is your best fan story?
No specific stories, and its been a while since I've gotten fan mail for my comics, but it was neat to get fan mail from places as far away as Glasgow, or Paris. People have also sent me stuff like their own comics work and drawings, which was fun. I get the occasional email from people wanting advice on storyboarding as a career. Actually, after working on some LucasArts games, I have gotten a couple of strange emails and phone calls from Star Wars fans who somehow tracked me down at home thinking I could answer their game tech support question or somehow give them some inside information about the Sarlacc in Return of the Jedi.

23. What are you working on right now?
I'm not working on anything at the moment, which is a good opportunity to revisit the multitudes of personal projects I've put on the back burner. I've also been working on a couple of screenplays, since that's something I've always wanted to do. If nobody wants to buy my screenplays, they'll probably end up as comic books instead. I'm also trying to learn an animation/paint program called Bauhaus Mirage and a 3D animation program called Animation: Master. I have an idea for a themed sketchbook project which I hope to have done for Comic-Con next year.

24. What is your dream project to work on?
What I really want to work on is just something that I can feel proud to have worked on; where the creator clearly personally cares about the work and isn't bending his vision to appeal to a certain demographic to sell the maximum number of units. That said, I really like old film noir movies and old sci-fi and horror movies like Metropolis, Things to Come, T-Men, I Married a Monster from Outer Space, The Brain That Wouldn't Die. I wouldn't mind doing something that embraces some kind of retro aesthetic.

25. Any additional tales to tell regarding your career?
Once upon a time there was a cartoonist who created three websites. Their names were
http://www.satnitesite.8k.com, http://ansonart.tripod.com and http://www.badjoojoo.8m.com. They chased down Goldilocks, ate her up, and they all lived happily ever after. The End.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Ah, The Olden Days...

Here are some samples of my animation work for LucasArts Entertainment. These sample reels were originally assembled for an old, old version of my portfolio website. There are shots here from Full Throttle, Herc's Adventures, unused versions of The Dig, Curse of Monkey Island, an aborted Indiana Jones project, Sam and Max Hit the Road and Mortimer and Riddles of the Medallion.

Anson