Got some new sketches for ya- as I slooowly work on the next Captain Rocket. Still haven’t been able to balance fatherhood with working on the cartoon. The artwork for episode #21 is all finished, I just have to start loading it into Flash and start pulling it together.
As for today’s sketches, here is an old sketch of my character Action Jackson, which is based on the very old action figure. Next is an old sketch of the Flash, with a head shot of Starman, both from DC Comics. Then some model designs of a cute girl- no more, no less. And lastly, two sketches of Young Samson, from the old Hanna-Barbera cartoon. The show was rather poorly made, with them pulling new powers for Samson out of their butt each episode. But I love those old action cartoons and Alex Toth sweet model designs (her design the girl with Samson too).
Hey party people,
Here’s another peek into my old sketch books. First a color pencil sketch of Poison Ivy, in the old Bruce Timm style. Next a marker sketch of a one shot character from DC comics, Densensitizer, she showed up in a Justice League Quarterly, and as far as I know has never been seen again. I guess I was just really bored for something to draw that day.
Then we have three character sketches from a webcartoon I has hired to produce, the Barbarian Moron (no idea what happened to this, or the guy who created it), so it’s Moron Barbarian himself, Invisible Torso-Man and I’ve totally forgot who the robot woman was, Amazoid or something. I think she had a oven in her belt buckle – oui. Anyway, enjoy and have a great week.
Got an update from my sketch books. First and old one featuring a color pencil sketches of the powerful ladies of comics, She-Hulk and Wonder Woman. Next is new one, of one of my favorite Marvel superheroes, Nova! And that would be Rich Rider there, not the new kid. Lastly, my wife loves all things Hello Kitty. And we are both fond of Chococat, so every so often I will sketch some Chococat for her. Here he is hanging out with Ding-Dong, aka Doraemon. You see, my wife is from Hong Kong, and over there Doraemon was renamed Ding-Dong. So if I can call Go Mifune Speed Racer, she can call Doraemon Ding-Dong. Hope you like ‘em.
Hey party people,
Thought I’d post a ‘just for fun’ post this week. And being the start of the new year, here’s a list! I did this a while back (before this blog) but I thought I’d bring it back now. So here is my list of TOP 10 CARTOONS from the 1960’s.
The 60’s was pretty much the birth of television cartoon. Granted the so-called first one, CRUSADER RABBIT, dates back to 1949 and Hanna-Barbera had a few shows in the very late 50’s. But the medium didn’t really take until the 1960’s. Aided by the invention of Anime and Saturday Morning cartoons, which created more companies than just Hanna-Barbera to specifically create animated programs for television. Also most early television cartoons were crudely made, for cheap tv budgets and based on the theatrical shorts. Meaning you got two or more stories in a single ½ hour show. In the 1960’s two things changed, stories were expanded to the full ½ hour and four got produced for Prime Time (THE FLINTSONS, THE JETSONS, TOP CAT and JOHNNY QUEST). So this is why I kick off with the 1960’s and basically claim it was the first decade of television cartoons.
First off, you will notice a few shows missing from my list. This is because while a show maybe important and successful, it doesn’t mean I found it worth while to watch. The biggest example is THE FLINTSTONE, I’m sorry but no matter what my age, I never enjoyed the show. It was basically a sitcom from the 1960’s and just like most sitcoms from the 1960’s they were more cute than funny. Even with all the dinosaurs, as a kid I still found the show to be boring- same with the THE JETSONS. I’m also not listing SUPERMAN, arguable the first Saturday Morning cartoon show. A massive hit, written by the Superman comicbook writers. But again, even as a kid I found the stories to be boring, and the artwork not that exciting either. Mind you, as a kid I still watched these shows, and I even have SUPERMAN on dvd today. I’m just not putting them on my top ten list, all of which I think you can still watch today and find something worth while in. Ok, now here is the list:
10- SPACE GHOST & DINOBOY (1966-67)
Let’s be real, no one turned in to watch Dinoboy, we were all there for Space Ghost. With reasonable, if predictable stories, Hanna-Barbera’s first action cartoon is winner. Having animation legend Alex Toth doing the bulk of the design work really helped make this show a classic for the ages.
9- JOHNNY QUEST (1964)
This was Hanna-Barbera’s first adventure show, and for Prime Time no less! It’s pain stacking details made it a hit, and caused it’s down fall, because it was just too expensive to produce. Those details now give it great 1960’s kitsch value today. Basically created by Doug Wildey, Johnny Quest was a spot on adventure show for 1960’s television. Which is probably why I had to get a little older to appreciate it.
8- TENNESSEE TUXEDO AND HIS TALES (1963-1965)
Featuring the voice talent of Don Adams (who would go on to play Maxwell Small and Inspector Gadget), Tennessee Tuxedo had more snap and wit than most of the comedies. While Jay Ward Productions’ ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE gets most of the fanfare, Tennessee and his mad schemes made for much better material. Plus he was aided by ridiculous THE WORLD OF COMMANDER MCBRAGG shorts.
7- THE ALVIN SHOW (1961)
Ross Bagdasarian Senior’s high speed voice creations Alvin, Simon and Theodore, the Chipmunks from record fame became a cartoon show. Packed with the bounce originals and covers by the Chipmunk (you’re a fan or not I guess) and the simple premise of how can they (mostly Alvin) screw with their producer David Seville. Every episode is the same, David is just trying to get through his day, and they just mess with him every step of the way, like a good YouTube video.
6- THE BEATLES (1965-68)
What could be better than the Chipmunks? The Beatles, the then and still undisputed kings of popular music. Each episode had animated music videos and the boys living it up in a cartoon version of the movie, A HARD DAYS NIGHT. It was just about as fun as the Beatles themselves, or as least as fun as we hoped they all were. Only people who don’t like the Beatles would find nothing to like here.
5- PRINCE PLANET (1965)
Now this one might sound like sacrilege, as it is actually a knock-off show of the more well known ASTROBOY. As a kid I never got to watch Astroboy, but I did see Prince Planet, and it was one of my all time favorites. Maybe Astroboy is just as good or better. I still haven’t seen much, but what I have seen seems to fall short of the imagination and excitement packed into this spaceboy superhero show. I don’t think any little boy could turn down watching Prince Planet.
4- KIMBA THE WHITE (1965)
Another Anime, this one created by the creator of Astroboy, Osamu Tezuka, the father of comics and animation in Japan. This is a show that has it all, adventure and heart. As a ween boy who was crazy about superheroes, I still picked Kimba over Prince Planet as my favorite tv show. It just has that quality few shows have, making it better than it probably should have been. Case in point, originally called Jungle Emperor, Disney all but ripped it off for their movie the LION KING, their most successful animated movie.
3- SPIDER-MAN (1967-69)
Marvel comics hit big in the 1960’s with everything that’s becoming a hit movie today. In the late 60’s they hit television, mostly thanks to cheap animation producer Grantray-Lawrence. Not sure how, but Marvel’s crown jewel, Spider-Man got the best treatment, with original stories and well made animation cycles, event though they were played over and over again. Ralph Bakshi was put in charge of seasons 2 and 3, to cut the budget. But while animation quality dropped, he made up for it with the best soundtrack a television cartoon ever had.
2- SCOOBY DOO, WHERE ARE YOU (1969-70)
One of the greatest animation icons just made it into the 1960’s, with arguable his best show. With restrictions starting to hamper action shows, Hanna-Barbera turned to mystery and kicked off a major cartoon fad. Scooby Doo is still, in some form or another, in production today! But his first show, especially for the time, did a great job of selling monsters, mystery and humor. It’s no wonder kids and adults still love Scooby Doo.
1- SPEED RACER (1967)
The best Saturday Morning cartoon took 2nd place and the best Anime takes 1st, Tatsuo Yoshida’s Mach GoGoGo. As a Manga, Speed Racer was a reasonable hit, as a cartoon it was a mega hit. Yoshida tailored his racing car hero after Elvis and his adventures off of James Bond. Seriously, how could it not be a hit. The style, music, adventure and reasonable animation for the 1960’s was the first clue that Japan was going dominate in animation.
If you can watch just one show for the 1960’s, it should be SPEED RACER! Feel free to disagree, but you’ll never convince me otherwise. Until next time.
Hey party people,
So life has been pretty sloppy these days. Got the holidays going on, doing the whole work transition bit, taking care of the new baby, and doing some freelance animation. Some days I don’t have much more strength or time than to just play a video game (Skyrim by the way, 2nd time through, what a crazy game). But I still make time to sketch in my sketch book. So I thought I’d share a few before the New Year.
So this is Wonder Woman, the way I see her. Very simple and very basic. As with all the classic characters, I always take inspiration from their creators. Case in point, originally Wonder Woman was not very busty (look at her comic compared to superheroine comics of the 1940’s), so I prefer to draw her that way. Next we got Aquaman, again another character who seems to suffer from over writing. Here, I guess I didn’t get too ‘originally’ with him, as I think he looks good with longer hair and no black trunks (opposed to Batman and Superman, who I think look better with the trunks). Last is John Carter, the Warlord of Mars. As you might know, I love the classic characters, so I will always sketch them from time to time.
Next time we talk, next month, there should be a new Captain Rocket episode up.
Hey Party People,
As it’s common with one man websites like mine, they go dark every so often. The recent lack of content is because I became a Dad a month ago. I’m still trying to figure out how to balance my life with the new baby- as I feel guilty doing anything not related to taking care of the baby or my wife. As some of you know, it not really hard work taking care of baby, just long work. And the screaming can be very hard to endure, as you try to figure out why they are so upset. In my boy’s case: gas- almost always gas. The little fella needs to be burped 24/7, regardless when he eats.
Anyway, that all leads to Captain Rocket being neglected. With fingers crossed, I hope to get back to production soon- this week. I’ve also been playing around with a podcast. As usual, my eyes are bigger than my stomach. So it often turns into more playing around than final product. Mainly because I want to make sure I can produce regularly. And you can see what a challenge that is with Captain Rocket!
So I don’t completely leave you with nothing, here is a look at the Captain Rocket comic strip I made back in college- the character actually dates back to my junior high school days. When I was just trying to create a generic space (retro) space hero.
Hey Party People,
Well, I’ve been working hard on the next Captain Rocket installment. Like a fool I decided to do some walk cycles! Lots of work, even at my ‘Hanna Barbera level’ here. I should have it finished by next month.
In the meantime, stealing precious time away from Captain Rocket, I made this fun little sketch of Young Samson and Goliath! I just love the concept of this show. Some teenage kid on an endless European vacation (or sorts) with his pet dog. Riding around the country side with his moped like motorcycle. And whenever crazy danger strikes- aliens, robots, monsters and madmen- (ala He-Man) he changes into Samson! But no secret identity, as everyone knows he’s Samson (in fact while unpowered his name is still Samson!), and even ask him for help at times. Just a crazy little take on a superhero.
Mind you, the show itself, is one of the worst! Clearly animated by H-B’s C squad, with the briefest scripts, as Samson seems to pull out different superpowers for no rhyme or reason. But it does have the typical H-B awesome character designs by Alex Toth. You should Google the model sheets sometime, as they look great. And will make you wonder why everything doesn’t look that great in the show itself!
Hope you enjoy the pic and I’ll see ya next week!
One thing that bugs as a comicbook fan, is how every editor and artist feels the need to redesign every character they touch. Now, if a design isn’t working, sure have at it. But once a perfect design has been hit upon- STOP! Look at Dead Shot, first he’s running around in a tux and top hat- obviously not a very good look. Then Marshall Rogers gives him the ‘cyclops’ mask and the wrist guns- perfect! Next thing ya know they are giving him a ‘levolor blind’ helmet and take away his wrist guns- wtf!?
Same thing with Killer Frost. Allen Milgrom makes her this totally creepy ice maiden- perfect (Note- remove the pupils)! Now everyone and their grandpa wants to redesign her. To either A) make her more punk and stereotypical scary, and B) more slutty. Because every single female in a comicbook MUST look a Victoria Secrets model- even Amanda (f’n) Waller. Jeez! Drives me crazy! Anyway, this explains why I just drew Killer Frost. If I saw this eying me in dark alley, I’d be way more scared than how she looks in any of Warner Bros animation of her!
Just wanted to remind all you artists out there- life drawing, life drawing, life drawing! Nothing beats it for improving your artistic skill. So do it as much as you can, and never stop- seriously, never stop. Even when you become the next George Perez or Glen Keane, make time to life draw. Why? It’s like being an Olympic athlete. You need to keep up your training, to remain #1- and become #1.
Generally speaking, there are two schools of life drawing, the construction method and the measuring method. The construction method is the best for storytelling drawing (comics, animation, etc). You start with a gesture, build up shapes and volume, getting more specific as you go until you have a solid figure. Poses will last between 10 seconds to 30 minutes. Drawing fast and getting as much down as you can is key (forcing yourself to really understand the body). This method will not only teach you how to draw what you see, but also draw from you mind. This is because you will have a strong sense of the body, and can move it around in your head clearly.
The measuring method is more for illustrators and painters- in the sense they make one perfect images. The measuring method usually starts by drawing the nose brow of the figure and slowly expanding outward- using the features you just drew as a measuring tool to draw the next features. A pose will usually be no less than 30 minutes, and up to three hours. This is so you can methodically go over the whole figure and make it as prefect as you can. Starting with very little detail, and then slowly adding more and more detail, until you get what you feel is enough detail to define the figure.
I recommend taking a class in each method, and then focusing more on the approach you like and need. For myself, when I’m drawing ‘prefect’, I start with the construction method, and then use the measuring method to finish drawings. Hope to get the best out of each approach.
One word of warning! There are many, many, many, art teacher out there who don’t know either of these methods, and are STILL teaching life drawing! They have the false belief that if you simple draw the figure over and over again- without out a real plan of attack (aside from, well just study the figure, and try to make it look more like the figure), you will be able to become a good figure artist. This is like getting building supplies and trying to build a house just by looking at one- not happening. That ‘method’ only ‘works’ for people born with natural skill. Sometimes people are just born with talent, unknown to them, their brain is just wired to get it- they then assume everyone’s is, and they become sh!tty teachers. This is the bulk of college art teachers IMHO. Be nice, but stay away from these teachers, do not give them money. Always try to ask a teacher what they will be teaching, if they can’t get more specific than, “we study the human body, and focus on drawing it”, they probably don’t know what they are doing. A real life drawing teacher loves to talk about life drawing and how to do it!
Ok, time to get off the soap box. My pretty picture this week is from a life drawing class, where we drew a clothed figure. You can tell by my markers that it’s in the construction method. And the important thing about life drawing with clothed figures, you focus on folds, not wrinkles. Folds are what happens to clothing because of the position the body is in. Wrinkles are ‘marks’ in the clothing that have nothing to do with the figure.
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