Monthly Archives: March 2011

More Randomness

Like I said last time, I feel the need to occa­sion­al­ly post some things to at least remind peo­ple of the fact that sto­ry­board revi­sion is one of the jobs I do. Even if all I have to show for it are some ran­dom, scat­tered pan­els that I hap­pened to have kept copies of.

Here’s anoth­er one from a Care Bears board. The over­all sto­ry is for­got­ten now, but in this scene, Cheer Bear (in the fore­ground, speak­ing) was in an awk­ward sit­u­a­tion where she felt she had to fib to Har­mo­ny Bear (in the back­ground). I kind of liked the way Cheer’s facial expres­sion worked out, which is why I hung onto a copy of this panel.

A Random Storyboard Panel

It’s occurred to me that I have absolute­ly noth­ing on my site to rep­re­sent the fact that one of the jobs I do is sto­ry­board revi­sion. Main­ly it’s because it’s a dif­fi­cult thing to show in a port­fo­lio. At the request of the direc­tor, you’re draw­ing ran­dom scat­tered pan­els here and there through­out anoth­er artist’s fin­ished board. If even that; some­times you might just be redraw­ing a por­tion of a pan­el or fig­ure. Ran­dom pan­els out of con­text don’t real­ly show much in the way of nar­ra­tive skills, which is what board­ing is all about.

Nonethe­less, it seems to me I should still have some things up here to rep­re­sent that side of what I do. And occa­sion­al­ly in doing that job, I’ll gen­er­ate a ran­dom, scat­tered pan­el that I espe­cial­ly like for some rea­son, and have hung onto a copy of it. So I fig­ure maybe I should post some of those here from time to time. Why not? It lets peo­ple know that it’s part of what I do.

So here’s “ran­dom, scat­tered pan­el” #1: from Care Bears, it’s their arch-ene­my Griz­zle. I enjoyed doing a pan­el with a lit­tle atti­tude, and it’s not often that there’s a call to do light­ing effects on a board. Dra­mat­ic up-light­ing is fun!

There will be more ran­dom board pan­el posts in the future, from time to time.

How to Care for Your Monster

Here’s anoth­er “inspi­ra­tional stuff” post for you. It isn’t about a com­ic this time, but a book. One that I’m not even sure is in print any­more. But if not, it should be.

I came across this book called How to Care for Your Mon­ster when I was about 9 or 10 years old. As a kid, there are often cool things which cross your path and cap­ture your atten­tion for a while. Every so often though, you get your hands on some­thing and real­ize that not only do you think it’s cool now, you know for a fact that you will still think it’s cool even when you’re an adult. And How to Care for Your Mon­ster was one of those things for me.

The book was writ­ten and drawn by Nel­son Brid­well (the same guy respon­si­ble for Clif­ford the Big Red Dog, I believe). The con­cept was pret­ty clever; talk­ing about var­i­ous types of clas­sic mon­sters as if they were pets, serv­ing as a guide to the do’s and don’ts of car­ing for them. The humor is even mild­ly bent at points, in a way that I’m not sure a mod­ern kids’ book could get away with. I thought this book was great then, and I still think so now!

The draw­ing above is my attempt (I put the empha­sis on the word “attempt”) at try­ing to cap­ture the style and feel of the illus­tra­tions in the book. “Fan art,” kin­da. I prob­a­bly should’ve just drawn this in my own style, but my ani­ma­tion train­ing com­pelled me to attempt to put it on-mod­el. Still, it was an inter­est­ing experiment.

Any­way, it’s a real­ly fun book. If you ever come across a used copy at a rea­son­able price, give it a look! As a pub­lic ser­vice, I’m post­ing a scan at right of the cov­er of my very own much-loved copy that I’ve hung onto for all these years, so you’ll know what you’re look­ing for. Don’t say I nev­er did any­thing for you!

How to Care for Your Mon­ster is ©1970 Nor­man Bridwell.


Zita the Spacegirl

Before talk­ing about the illus­tra­tion at right, I need to set the stage and explain what I’m doing here. Please bear with me.

It will come as no sur­prise (if you know me, or have looked around my site) that I’m a long-time fan of comics. It’s a top­ic I can go on at length about (and have, at times!). Now there are a lot of things I real­ly have no use for in mod­ern comics. But it’s way too easy to talk about those. It strikes me it’d be a waste of time and space for me to go rant­i­ng on my blog about what I don’t like in comics.

Instead, I thought it might be more worth­while to take a pos­i­tive tack and point out comics (or oth­er books and things) I’ve come across that I like, and have found inspir­ing. So from time to time, I’ll do posts about inspi­ra­tional stuff I’ve come across. It may be new, or some­thing old. But these are the kinds of things that remind me why I fell in love with comics (and car­toons and sto­ry­telling) in the first place. Maybe you’ll like them too.

For my first install­ment along those lines, here’s a bit of “fan art” I gen­er­at­ed of Zita the Space­girl. Cre­at­ed by artist/author Ben Hatke, I picked this book up a few weeks back. I’d pre-ordered it on a whim, based pure­ly on the cov­er art and the sto­ry descrip­tion. I was not dis­ap­point­ed. In full col­or and clock­ing in at over 180+ pages, it def­i­nite­ly qual­i­fies as a graph­ic nov­el. Hatke’s art is loaded with charm, and he’s craft­ed a sol­id all-ages book. Zita faces some chal­lenges and some hard choic­es that kids will under­stand, but per­haps adult read­ers will find addi­tion­al res­o­nance with (much like Pixar movies). I thor­ough­ly enjoyed the book. It’s the kind of thing that gives you hope for the future of comics.

Zita the Space­girl is ™ and © Ben Hatke.

UPDATE: You might notice in the Com­ments that Ben some­how dis­cov­ered my post here, and asked if he could re-post my Zita draw­ing over on his own blog. Which he did, along with a cou­ple oth­er cool Zita draw­ings. Thanks, Ben!