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Archive for February 2009

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Birthday Cards

I just did a new custom birthday card for a company to send their clients during the year. It's a good idea, I think, offering a different and more personal touch to let folks know you're thinking of them, while reminding them of you. We went with a two-sided card format this year, no fold, and the universal "cake and presents" motif.

They run another illustration and company info the back. And here's the inside spread from the card they've used previously:

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Fiber Choice Storyboards: Veggie Faces

For this frame from a Fiber Choice storyboard, we were asked to fill the screen with fiber-iffic fruits and veggies. This was patched together digitally from a series of other drawings, so we could save time using elements I'd already drawn, just rotating some to mix 'em up a bit. And these two were of a series prepared for a Fiber Choice running on TV currently. Veggie and fruit eyes and mouths were moved and rotated digitally to form various expressions. Why redraw?

For this last grey tone "bite 'n' smile" shot, we threw a spot color on the tablet to help draw attention to the product.

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Nuther Monkey

Another monkey sketch, done same as the last, but I added some graininess, used a pastel brush for the highlighted areas, then roughed up the image edges a bit.

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Monkey See, Monkey Sketch

While drawing my "Blog No Evil" illo last week, I dug up some monkey reference and got the bug to draw more. I drew this quickly in my sketchbook with a marker for the outline, adding blacks with a brush. I scanned it in and threw a mid-tone color over it, then with a Photoshop chalk brush in a lighter highlight tone, it was easy to achieve the nice effect usually gotten drawing on pastel paper, which I've always liked.  It might be fun to draw a comic in this style. Hmm.

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It'll Never Work

I was five or six when the Saturday morning kids show, The Banana Splits was on originally. Besides the live-action-people-in-costumes Splits portions of the show, they also ran cartoons, one of which was The Adventures of Gulliver. It's not much to speak of, but memorable for one of the Lilliputian characters, a grim little dude named Glum.

 

He was a real downer, always interjecting things like "We're doomed," "Don't be too sure," "He'll never make it," "I knew we'd be in trouble." But my favorite, and one I remember best, is a saying I use around here to this day to tease friends, family or myself whenever one's down in the dumps or feeling pessimistic: "It'll never work." But for some reason, lately I've been thinking Glum was on to something. I'm sure it'll pass.  It always does. To hear him utter the words for the first time, it's about 3:10 into the video below:

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Heelots!

So, I've been working hard, paying the bills, paying the mortgage, paying off the credit card each month, and saving long term, but with all the talk of bailouts, I'm beginning to feel like a heel. A real heelot. Maybe Walter Brennan had it right in Capra's Meet John Doe:

And if you haven't seen the movie, do. It's a great, classic flick with standout performances, much humor, and heaping helpings of what they call Capra-corn.

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Pump It Up! Happy Valentine's Day 2009

A few years ago we were hired by Target to draw a heart in a kid's style. So we got out the crayons and colored pencils and paints, set up on the dining room table and turned loose the whole family. We presented to them an assortment of 48 hearts in all, and they chose the one above that Mary did to use in their campaign. Below are all the rest. Happy Valentine's Day!

Or instead of all these sweet little hearts, we should've just gone with the heart Laura drew today just for the blog:

Oh...my.

Click the link to see more art and our Valentine's Day playlist from our post last year.

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Blog No Evil

I just realized I still had a Christmas greeting up on the home page -- whoops! So I knocked out this image, which I'd been wanting to do for a while, appearing here in a larger size. Monkeys are my favorite animal, and I always loved these three together with the old saying. I had a little statue like this as a kid.  Think I picked it up atop Pike's Peak. Gotta dig that out of a box somewhere...

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Swamp Thing Sketch

I was surprised to find I still had this old convention sketch in the files, and pleased, as it was a favorite. As with most other sketches, it was done with black marker, colored pencil and white on colored paper. I was into Swamp Thing at the time, this being done shortly after the end of Alan Moore's seminal run on the title, his introduction to American comics, and what a coming out party!  He flipped the original concept on its head, helped revitalize the medium and reenergized the horror genre with mindblowing concepts and an expert and playful use of language. The art by Steve Bissette and John Totleben provides the perfect tonal compliment. I should pull those out and read again; it's been a while. And if you haven't read those stories before, you'll have chance with a new Swamp Thing collection I discovered is being released any day. These stories have been reprinted in black and white volumes previously, but this new release is in color, and at almost the same price. Order thru our Amazon Blue Moon Store at no extra cost to help support the blog.

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Little Jazz Bird: Saying 'Bye to Blossom

Since discovering her music fifteen years ago, I've been playing Blossom Dearie's music regularly. She's become a staple in our house, so much so that our kids sing along and know her songs, know her by name. So, we're bumming around here since hearing the news of her death. I had a feeling it was coming, bracing myself. She'd been playing at a place called Ronnie Scott's in NY. I was planning a trip out east to see her play live, until I learned online the appearances stopped a couple years back, and I knew I'd probably missed my chance, which I regret. I've written about Blossom's music previously, and am listening as I type to a swell interview on NPR I learned of from her Facebook fan page. Give it and her music a listen again or for the first time, and she comes alive.

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