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Posted by tom on March 24, 2016 in Uncategorized with No Comments


Here’s some new sketches I whipped up.  A little different that my usual pencil sketches.girlguy

Posted by tom on January 19, 2016 in Uncategorized with No Comments


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.

poisonivydesensitizerbarbarianmorontorsomangirl

Posted by tom on January 15, 2016 in Uncategorized with No Comments


shehulk_wonderwomannovachococatHey party people,

 

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.

Posted by tom on January 5, 2016 in Uncategorized with No Comments


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)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXx9yRCSt5Y

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)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0kg_tzQvf4

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)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHfmT_-DvEY

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)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SdMTK1Brr8

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)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSAJaHatUDQ

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)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yhn_wfgPyzI

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)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytqAS-tgGKg

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)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TF2FPmX3zrI

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)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTq6nwO4oJU

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)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suCm1w_KTiY

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.

Posted by tom on April 28, 2015 in Uncategorized with No Comments


samson1

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!

Posted by tom on February 17, 2015 in Uncategorized with No Comments


multi-fig-fremgen
Hey Party People,

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.

Have fun!

Posted by tom on February 11, 2015 in Uncategorized with No Comments


brave_bold_01

Hey Party People,

Was looking through my comicbook collection the other day, and I came across one of my favorite series, THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD ( the comic that the recent cartoon series was based off of)! It featured my favorite superhero, Batman, teaming up with various superheroes and other characters. One issue had him team-up with the Riddler, another with Swamp Thing- one of my favs was a team-up with Richard Dragon (arguably DC #1 martial artist). And the two of them actually fought each other in the issue- too cool!

But as I looked for back issues of this series (it’s run was just about over by the time I really started collecting comics) the ones I liked the best were his team-ups with female heroes: Black Canary, Supergirl, Wonder Woman- who knows why. One character he never team-up with was another one of my favorite characters: Powergirl! To me, Powergirl had all the cool of Supergirl, with none of the baggage. Teaming her up with Batman seems like a natural to me, but I guess she was on a different Earth back then and all.

Anyway, here’s my homage to the venerable THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD: Batman and Powergirl- wearing the costume I first saw her in, which I suppose is why I like it best.

As a side note, before THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD became a superhero book, and then the Batman team-up book, it was the home of Robin Hood, the Viking Prince, the Silent Knight and the Gold Gladiator! As I’m also a big adventure fan, I love all those characters too! Wish they had longer runs, especially the Silent Knight and Gold Gladiator- oh well, Batman was a bigger seller!

Lastly, I’m just about done with the next Captain Rocket cartoon, unfortunately, I just can’t find the time to wrap it up! It takes more than the few hours it takes to draw a little pin-up like this. I’m sure hoping I can get it done before the end of the month though- so here’s hoping!

Posted by tom on February 4, 2015 in Uncategorized with No Comments


phantom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey Party People, to celebrate Dynamite Comics new Phantom comicbook, KING: PHANTOM- where finally an Africa man is allowed to be an African hero! As the next Phantom has gone missing, Mandrake the Magician’s buddy Lothar has taken over the as the Phantom. Ok, it doesn’t make sense that people can tell this Phantom isn’t the same guy (because the Phantom is suppose to be immortal- as son takes over for father). But that doesn’t bother me too much. I can accept this and enjoy this piece of right mined ‘political correctness’. Oh, the costume I drew is more my own spin on the Phantom costume- not the suit in the comic. It’s just, I’m sorry those striped jockey shorts have to go. And every superhero should wear gloves- seriously. Anyway, I hope ya like it!

Posted by tom on December 9, 2014 in Uncategorized with No Comments


spaceghost2
mightor2
birdman2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey party people, so yeah I missed last week- duho! It’s the old story, I put something off for a day, then I got superbusy! Anyway, here’s my post for this week. Showing off a little artwork and talking about some of my favorite cartoons- Hanna-Barbera’s superheroes shows!

As I’ve mentioned many times, growing up in the 70’s meant watching a lot of Hanna-Barbera and Filmation! While Filmation is my fav, H-B was many times just as great. But the one thing H-B managed to do better than Filmation, and nearly anyone else, was to create some good original superheroes. Typically, if the character wasn’t from Marvel or DC, it was crap character. But back in the 60’s, in the superhero animation boom, amidst Spider-man, the Fantastic Four, Superman, Aquaman, Batman and more; H-B managed to create some original superheroes worth watching: Space Ghost, Birdman and Mightor!

One thing weird about these three characters, and I’m not even sure H-B realized this- as I’ve never seen it mentioned before. Is that H-B created a superhero of the future (Space Ghost) and superhero of the present (Birdman) and a superhero of the past (Mightor). What unique range. One thing I think that really helped sell these characters was Alex Toth- the master comicbook artist, who H-B got to design pretty much all of there action adventure shows- post-Johnny Quest (though he did do some work on Johnny).

First off there was Space Ghost, who has one of the greatest designs for a superhero ever! Seriously, he is just perfect to look at. While I was never a fan of Jan and Jace, Space Ghost was still the best show around. That lava monster in the opening credits- awesome! For helping design Space Ghost alone, Toth could be remember forever!

Next Birdman, now while Toth did a lot of designs for the show he did NOT design Birdman. I’ve seen many people give credit to Toth, but seriously look at the model sheet (not only does it not look like one of Toth’s drawings) it’s signed Hi Mankin! Also, I’m sorry Hi, but it’s also not as strong as one of Toth’s designs (the mask is way too complex). But the whole secret agent/superhero angle is very cool. Especially in the 60’s during the height of the cold war.

Lastly, Mightor, who was designed by Alex Toth. And despite the fact that Toth hates caveman stuff, Mightor looks awesome! Interestingly enough, Mightor had two things in it that Filmation would borrow later. One, a side-kick that causes more trouble than help. Little Rok wanted to be a hero like Mightor but was usually just nuisance. Just like Bat-mite in the New Adventures of Batman and Robin. Two, by holding his club over his head Tor would become Mightor! And same club could change his pet dinosaur Tog into bigger tougher dinosaur- yet no one knew the two (or four) were the same. Just like in He-man- as Adam would hold his sword over his head and affect his pet tiger.

Anyway, here are some recent sketches I did of these guys. As you might imagine, I’d love to be able to work on them for real- but until then you just have to enjoy these.

 

Catch ya on the flipper.

Posted by tom on November 18, 2014 in Uncategorized with No Comments


knights

Hey party people, it’s blog time. This time I thought I’d talk about toys. As you may recall, I’ve talked about being a kid of the 70’s and revering Mego toys as the best of the decade. I still own the Batcave and their other great superhero toys (all very well played with). One toy I never had, though a neighbor of mine had at least one, was the World Greatest Super-Knights collect from Mego. It was the typical great Mego 8-inch figure, but these guys came with armor(!), shields (!), and swords (holy crap swords!). I long marveled at my neighbor’s Mego knight, but no good parent gets their kid everything! I also believe they were fairly rare, as I don’t recall seeing them in a store.

Now, fairly recently I discovered, someone was remaking these toys!?

http://www.classictvtoys.com/about-us.aspx

How insane (yet awesome) is that! But seriously, I’m grown man, I’d want them all (because I’m fanboy), I don’t have room for every toy collection I’d like to have and they were fairly expensive. So instead of buying them, as I’m a responsible adult, I just gushed about them!

Enter my loving wife, Sandra. One thing that is really nice about our relationship is, while we are both normal well adjusted adults, we each encourage the other not to be! So when my birthday rolled around, what did she get me? All five knights! King Arthur (in what now would be considered fruity purple tights), Lancelot, Galahad (his illegitimate son), Ivanhoe (who is really a parody of knights, didn’t anyone ever read the book!?) and the evil Black Knight (thou there never really was an evil Black Knight of heroic knights of yore).

Here’s a photo of the gang on my bookshelf, all looking rather boss, if I do say so myself. Since Arthur (although a badass in combat himself) isn’t really dress for combat, I’ve given his sword (not really Excalibur looking) to the Black Knight. That way he can look extra menacing with two blades. The one bad thing I’ll say about the figures is their ‘chainmail’ undergarments are really tight. Like they are a size or two too small. So the knights are barely more properly, so I did make them all mine (sorry purists) by cutting slits in their armpits. The slits aren’t that noticeable, and now they can raise their arms, so I’m good with it.

Oh to be eight years old again, fighting the good fight in the backyard garden. While the Mego figures might not look as well sculpted as current action figures, the current ones are often nowhere near as ‘playable’ as the Mego ones!

All right, that’s all for now, I’ll see you next week with a new Captain Rocket cartoon!