Thursday, July 31, 2008

Even more

Here's some treats from Rex:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More Scribbles

Even more later today....

Johnny Hart and more!

Hey I found another great comics blog:

It's filled with a lot of great cartoonists I didn't even know about and a bunch I did, but didn't know about some of their less famous work.

Bud Blake did a lot of stuff I didn't know about...The sonuvagun could sure draw.
I love this early Mort Walker stuff. I used to draw Beetle Bailey all the time when I was a kid.Here's an especially weird and interesting artist. Klaus Nordling.He has a few posts about Johnny Hart, creator of B.C. and Wizard of Id.
These comics had a great influence on me. I loved the interaction of all the distinct characters, the great staging and continuity, but what I thought was most unique about it was the sincere humanity of it.
Johnny Hart and his crew (Brant Parker and others) had a way of drawing expressions and attitudes that reflected the real life cynicism of men and boys. I had never seen this in earlier strips. I think it was a revolution.Johnny also had a funny way of drawing pain. You really felt the charactor's agony from the gnashed teeth and hideous grimaces he (they) drew. I'll try to find some good pain faces in my own collection...

When I read his strips, I was always amazed that they ever made it into the funny pages, because they weren't all upbeat, safe and happy like most humor comics. They had a new kind of honesty and observation of the way we humans really are. Like dirty socks.

Hank Ketcham of course, is a genius and the site has lots of rare early stuff...
What beautiful layout and composition!

Hunt around the site for many cartoon treasures!


more roughs to come later today...

Monday, July 28, 2008

some storyboard and layout images from our commercials

You can see how rough our boards are. Their purpose is mainly to tell the story, not be finished cleaned up layouts.
I draw my boards at EAT on Magnolia during breakfast, while I don't have to think about anything else and no one bothers me. I scribble them out as fast as I can, just trying to get the gags, continuity and story to flow.I use crappy cheap lined writing pads and BIC medium ballpoint pens, so I don't worry about wasting good paper. I want to draw fast, not worry about construction too much and not worry about clean lines at all.

This below is a pencil storyboard sketch on fancy paper and is less lively than my crappier scribbly ball point pen sketches on wood pulp.

Here's a couple of Jim's setup idea sketches...
Jim has his own theories and techniques and they make his style unique and fun.
More of my continuity scribbles...(not in continuity though)

If you don't have to draw perfectly clean and on-model while you do storyboards, then you can access the part of your brain that thinks about STORY, rather than clean up.

A lot of studios today have a department that's called "storyboard" but they don't use storyboards in the same way that they were originally intended. They use them instead as mini-layouts, that are supposed to be blown up larger and used as keys for the Asian animators.

"Storyboarders" don't usually get to do story anymore which is a shame and an irony. Writing with pictures is a blast and brings so much more to your stories, than merely trying to describe everything with words.

It's also hard to draw good detailed layout drawings small, so the end result of storyboarding from scripts, is both bad storytelling and bad layouts. The poor storyboarders don't get to have much fun in this system. I'm sure somewhere there are a couple exceptions.

A lot of lucky accidents happen while doing rough storyboards, and the trick is to preserve them in the layouts. When taking the idea sketches and blowing them up to animation size, tightening them up and flipping them from pose to pose, there is a great tendency to tone everything down and lose the humor and spontaneity.

In fact, every step of the animation process has a dangerous tendency to lose some of the life of the previous step. I have been working on a science to combat that for my whole 30 years in the business.

Finding good layout people who can draw with life is a blessing from above!

A side note:

Many times in a cartoon, I have tried to get funny layout drawings inspired by the storyboard to flip right and lost the humor in the process. In those cases, I would just use the funny poses, even if they didn't animate right. Lucky for me and the rest of the industry, Bob Jaques and Kelly Armstrong developed techniques to smooth the connection between 2 not very well connected poses. This technique (in simplified form) amazingly has become the standard for most Flash animation today. Carbunkle's animation used a wide assortment of techniques and they customized many scenes, but a couple of their tricks (without the custom tailored thought) became the standard style for whole studios down to today.

That's why you see so much "snapping" from pose to pose today, where you antic and go past the next pose and settle back into it. (You are in effect, avoiding the inbetweens) It's one good technique that's useful in some cases, but it gives me a headache when I see whole features use it to connect every single pose. No variety in timing or emotion. Every emotion using the same timing trick - or handful of tricks.

If you watch an old 40s Warner Bros. cartoon, you will find all kinds of custom timing and posing that is designed to fit the story and emotions. They didn't use a handful of tricks. They really thought about every scene and its context. Of course we can't afford to do that with today's TV and internet budgets, but they could easily afford it in today's animated features, if people in charge had the will to do it.

Need Production Assistant part time

Hi - I'm Marc, the production manager "Kingpin" for the new George Liquor cartoons.

I'm looking for an on-call assistant to help with:

• scanning
• moving boxes around the office
• picking up and delivering files
rubbing out the competition
• picking up supplies
• etc...

If you live in the Los Angeles area and are interested in helping out on a part-time basis - send me an email at:

marcdeckter (at)



I come in 2 colors, depending upon my mood