Friday, August 31, 2007

Pre-Post Prognostications!

Another round of previews from upcoming posts, both here and at my Flickr - starting with an update on a previous preview ( there must be a word for that! ). Back in mid-July I shared a glimpse of a bittersweet story involving a sad looking sun. I hinted at aspects of this happy-yet-tragic tale, but held off on the gory details since said sad story was still stewing. Well... six weeks later the ending's still up in the air! So all I can say is please stay tuned... you'll laugh, you'll cry, you may or may not wish to ship original art by a certain major courier service.

On a happier note : Reaction to my posting of backgrounds from "It's Everybody's Business" was quite surprising, with traffic at this humble blog increasing ten-fold overnight! So caving in to popular demand I'll be presently "Animation Backgrounds: Part II " ( I worked on that title for weeks ) with a few more images from the aforementioned film as well as one or two or three ( I can't remember! ) from the mystery flick above. Ooh la la!

As everyone from the major cable news channels to your friends around the water cooler have been talking about, we're approaching the 27th anniversary of my joining the Captain Canuck Fan Club. To celebrate this momentous occasion in comic book nerdness I'll be foisting upon the public ( meaning you! ) a cornucopia of Cap'n C ( and I don't mean "Crunch" ) goodness over the course of seven days!
Yes.. that would be a good week to take your computer into the shop for maintenance.

Plus over at Flickr I'll keeping up my regular work-shirking share of vintage illustrations from my collection as well as some new work of my own... finally!

...and speaking of Flickr here's a peek at what's up there right now. Some spiffy Mother Goose goodies from Alice and Martin Provensen. Last one there's a rotten pumpkin!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Unabashed Self-Promotion Dept.

Yipee! I received my copies of the new hardcover "Animal Tales" picture book today. Included in this great collection of stories from Chirp Magazine is "Manfred Meets the Tooth Monster", the first story I illustrated for Chirp back in 2002. The folks at Bayard Press did a nice job, with the quality surpassing that of the magazine, and all the authors and illustrators picked for this project are great. Ask for it at your friendly neighbourhood bookstore, it hits the shelves Saturday, Sept. 1st.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Aphrodite SFG

I finally got around to posting at Sugar Frosted Goodness again. Check out this lovely Greek lady and three of her powerful friends at SFG, a great spot for fans of illustration and illustrators.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Price is Right!

In the mid 1990's I got into thrift store ( and garage sale and second hand store and swap meet ) records in a big way. I'd always been partial to vinyl but the majority of my collection up until then consisted of punk and soundtrack LPs. As has happened for many people a stack o' Herb Alpert wax I found at a garage sale started me off on an adventure into unknown ( or long forgotten ) sounds . My musical ears were opened and I was soon grabbing up Latin, Exotica, Easy Listening, Big Band, Kid's records, Surf, etc as fast as I could plunk down my dime, quarter or loonie.

A few years into this collecting I started to realize that in cleaning these 1950's to 1970's treasures I'd often thrown out the remnants of old price tags ( sometimes on old shrink wrap, sometimes on the cover itself ) and that maybe I should save a few. My dusty thrift store record collecting days are mostly behind me now ( although not the swell music they brought me ) so what we have here today is a sample of some of the price tags I managed to hang on to.

A few are from vintage, non-record thrift store purchases but the majority are original price or sale tags mainly from Canada and the U.S but also the U.K., all glued, taped or otherwise stuck to the covers or labels of records I picked up.

The former owners often personalized their platters as well. Address labels, shipping labels, and even a cigar band were all affixed to the records. One of my five great NORAD Commanders LPs came, not unsurprisingly, with an address label from a Colonel from Colorado Springs, Colorado. I highly doubt that the record with the cow sticker had bovinian origins though.

Then of course there's the odd assortment of items I've found INSIDE thrift store record sleeves, from melancholy family photos and Jello salad recipes to hand written lyric sheets and a crisp $10 bill! But that, as Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai used to say, is fodder for a future post!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

John Huehnergarth at Flickr

HUEhnergath is an appropriate name for an illustrator with such a vibrant palette! Check out some wild examples of Mr. H's work from a Pixie Books version of Alice in Wonderland from 1952 over at my Flickr.

Hello Brewsters!

A big HELLO to everyone visiting from Amid Amidi's wonderful Cartoon Brew. Feel free to look around - deadlines and trips away from the studio have cut into the frequency of recent posts, but there's plenty in the works for the near future so be sure and stop by soon!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Letter Perfect!

If you're a fan of great lettering then a visit to my Flickr might be in order to view some swell examples from an assortment of late 50's and early '60's magazines from my collection. Included is a skookum Alphabet spread ( detail above ) from the talented Bob Laughlin! Won't you come and play with me!?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Ancient Hieroglyphics Unearthed!

I dug up this long lost treasure over the weekend. Hard to believe that it hung (or more accurately was adhered using half a roll of invisible tape) on the inside wall of my sister and my bunkbeds circa 1975. I'll have to fact-check with my Mom on how much of this 6 and a half year old me did but it seems a little too neat to not to have had her hand in this. Many a DoodleArt poster graced the walls of my bedroom in the mid 1970's - Vans were a favourite subject but I also remember a Batman poster that severely tested my blue and gray felt pens.
Apparently the B.C. based (who knew!) DoodleArt company is back in business marketing these blasts from the pasts to people still interested enough to post or read a blog entry on the subject!

Friday, August 10, 2007

It's Everybody's Background!

The amount of design work created for lost or lesser known animated commercials, industrial films and international cartoons must be stunning. Amid Amidi covers a wide range in his beautiful 2006 Chronicle book Cartoon Modern, a must for fans of 1950's and early 60's animation, but there's much more out there. Case in point : It's Everybody's Business.

It's Everybody's Business ( 1954 ) was a Sutherland Production that extolled the virtues of American capitalism at a time when there was concerns that other economic views might take hold, and that a 20 minute cartoon just might sway that pinko commie sympathizer back over to the good guy's side.
From a strict design standpoint this short is a stunner. Directed by John Sutherland ( with original music by film soundtrack and exotica master Les Baxter and cartoon music pro Eugene Poddany ) this film boasts an all-star design and animation team.

Art directed by Maurice Noble, the amazing production designer, layout artist and director whose credits run the gamut from Snow White to How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but who's most often associated with some of the greatest Warner Brothers cartoons of the 50's and 60's including Duck Amuck, Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2th Century, Ready.. Set.. Zoom! and What's Opera, Doc?

The rest of the team were no slouches either, with Warner Brothers vets Emery Hawkins, Abe Levitow and Warner's alum and Charlie Brown main man Bill Melendez rounding out the batting order.
So I' thought I'd share just a small sample of the many amazing backgrounds from this fantastic film. These screenshots were pieced together from multiple images, usually during background pans ( which accounts for some missing areas ), and were stitched together in Photoshop . Unfortunately the quality isn't the greatest as I grabbed these from the public domain copy available at the invaluable Prelinger Archives, but even so the superb work still shines though. Be sure to peruse their vast holdings of animated ( and other ) films available for free on-line viewing.



Thursday, August 9, 2007

It's for YOU!

That's right - I just posted some more fun-filled frolicking and fancy free fotos at my Flickr, and they're just for sweet lil' ol' YOU*. See you there!

* For the purposes of this announcement "YOU" shall be defined as every human ( and some cute animals that don't slobber too much ) on, in, or above the face of the Earth who is not the owner of this blog.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Ride 'Em Cowgirl!

From out of the West, with a mighty "Hi-yo SFG!" comes my latest Sugar Frosted Goodness post. So why don'tcha mosey on over to the SFG Saloon pardner, and set your dusty eyes on a spittoon full of fancy drawin's. Tex Mullaly wouldn't steer ya wrong.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Future Flickr 2

Inspired by that successful trip to the swap meet last Sunday, and having just finished a deadline, I thought I'd scan a few things for the next couple of weeks worth of Flickr. Herein please find a visual representation of future Flickr items including a small selection of those selfsame Sunday swap meet sundries.

Above: Jerry Warshaw serves up a dilly from "Eggs and Cheese, Spaghetti and Rice".

Eiiiagh! A Drumheller Dino .

Leo and Diane Dillon's wonderful mid-sixties take on the Greek gods and myths.

The other deCarlo!

Gordon Raynor goes deep in "Stories of Fun and Adventure".

So I hope you stop by for the fun. I'll finally be posting more of my own work in the next few weeks as well. That may or may not be an incentive but I'm a glass half full kind of guy.
See you there!