Friday, August 31, 2007

Rhymes with...

If you don't know what the "Nashi Movement" is within Russia, you might want to Google it. The scary thing about that word is that the translation appears to be "Our Kind." Here's an excerpt from an article I found entitled "Putin's Young Brownshirts."

Perhaps more aptly, some Russian liberals refer to Nashi as "Putinjugend." The movement's brownshirt tactics certain(ly) evoke shades of Hitler Youth, as does the emphasis on physical fitness, clean living, and procreation for the Motherland. (At the Nashi summer camp, sex was encouraged as an answer to Russia's demographic crisis, and 40 couples were married.) While the Nashi platform condemns ethnic bigotry, there is little doubt that if the Kremlin decided to single out an ethnic or religious minority as "the enemy," Nashi would fall into lockstep.

Here's the rough in two parts. I actually pieced together (2) separate drawings to create this cartoon.

And here's the finished cartoon.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

First weekly syndicate cartoon

Here's the rough:

I made some pretty significant changes to the finished cartoon. Here it is. Enjoy.

Halltoons gets a little (color) ink

Just found out that the August 22 Orlando Sentinel featured one of my Michael Vick cartoons in color. Woo hoo! Here's the Mike Bianchi piece that it accompanied. And here's the cartoon again, just in case you missed it the first time it posted. This cartoon has actually found it's way around the internet. I've seen it posted and mentioned on a couple of blogs.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

That ain't just sand between your toes

This has been an ongoing problem at our area beaches. Some people think that the ocean is their dog's own personal toilet, and that it's totally cute when an unleashed dog jumps all over you while you're trying to catch some rays. I have to admit I was more than a little influenced by that incredibly funny scene in "Me Myself & Irene." Those of you who have seen the movie, will know exactly what I'm talking about!

The rough version of this cartoon went through several "revisions" from my editor. He thought the first captions were to gross/crass. Originally I had the guy say, "when I'm done relieving myself, I'm going to get out of here and hump your leg." Needless to say, that got axed, but hey, I tried. And I really had to fight to keep the phrase "When I'm done relieving myself." But after explaining that dogs going potty on the beach was the main problem, it stayed.

Here's the rough with the original phrasing.

And here's the finished cartoon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Today's cartoon

I'm pretty happy with the color in this one. I pushed the use of layers a little farther this time, and I'm diggin' the results.

The rough:

And the finished cartoon:
Interesting little technical story behind this cartoon. Three different people asked me about why I had showed a computer monitor vs. a TV screen. If you'll notice in the rough, the woman originally says "College Football" at the end, and most people don't associate watching football with a computer monitor. When I changed the line to read "College Football Scores" all was right with the world again. Now if I can just figure out how to get these two fist fulls of hair back on my head...

Monday, August 27, 2007

That's more like it...

I went back and worked on Barack's head to make it look more three-dimensional. I didn't realize it until I posted the video, but his ears make a great delayed secondary action. Delayed secondary actions are effective in putting life into poses and holds.
Here's the looped cycle. The movie is below.

Walkin' with Barack

Here's my Barack Obama walk cycle. These are getting easier to do now. This time I decided to leave the rough puppet to the left of the
finished figure. If you'd like to see the cycle in a loop, click here. Otherwise, you can just keep clicking the "play" arrow on the video below. His head came out looking a little flat. I may go back and fix that by redrawing and turning the heads more in perspective, but for now, I'm pretty happy with it. This brings up something else I've been thinking about lately. Who's gonna be most fun to draw as president? So far, I'd have to say Barack. He's really got character in his face. Hillary is tough, maybe because she's not quite as "real"...hmmm...?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hillary Clinton walk cycle

Well, as promised, I'm finally starting to animate. I figure I'll do all of my Preston Blair walk cycles with modern characters in Flash. Then I'll post them here. Here's the first one of Hillary Clinton.

If you want to see it loop, (and better quality) you can click here.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Weekend Preston Blair Assignment

This weekend, I'm taking a step back (actually a step I missed - doh!) and doing some more character head constructions. I enjoyed doing these. I hope they're getting better!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Space Is a Funny Place

This just in from my good buddy, and cosmic cowboy, Colin Pillinger.
His new book, "Space Is a Funny Place - Fifty years (and more) of space exploration seen through the eyes of cartoonists" has finally been published. Advanced copies may be obtained from him via email:

There are a lot of American cartoonists included in this publication, and the quality of publishing is first rate. Wonderful stories help to illustrate the ideas punctuated by the cartoons. Definitely worth the 30 bucks (hard cover).

Friday - Sweet Friday

More line of action studies. I've got about 6 more of these to do before I start to animate.

I think I'm learning more from correcting these than from the actual drawing. In the corrections I see how the perspective works and how the initial action line and placement of structural elements help build the final form. In the animation stage I'll be using the skeletal puppet to get the movement right first, and then going back at a later stage and adding the body details. The first pencil tests should be just animated puppet-like stick figures.

I hope to have a syndicated cartoon to post here later today. Stay tooned!


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thursday's Preston Blair Assignments

Well, it's more of these line of action studies. I wonder if the old animators of Tom & Jerry ever got tired of drawing these things over and over again? This got me to thinking that, if you're going to animate something (or have a reoccurring character) you'd better make damn sure you like drawing that character. You'd better LOVE that character or else boredom is a real issue.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fourth local cartoon of the week

Here's another one that I think is half decent, so I'll post it.

Second local cartoon of the week

Actually it's the third, but the second one sucked, so I ain't postin' it. I'll let my editors figure out which one I'm talking about. I do (6) local cartoons a week, so there isn't any way they'll know.

Anyway, here it is. I like this cartoon because it goes for the throat of The St. Augustine City Commission. Here's a link to the story behind it.

Here's the rough:

And here's the finished cartoon. It didn't change much from the original. It usually doesn't when I feel the image is strong:

I added "St. Augustine" to the front of the map, which, BTW was taken from the graphic below. The red areas indicate the actual proposed "sprinkling" of areas that may be used for adult entertainment businesses inside the city limits.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

More bodybuilding with Preston Blair

Here's a couple more for today's exercise. One is a body building exercise, the other one is another "Line of Action" study. In the line of action study, the mouse pulls against an imaginary rope. The line of action is comma shaped and is reflected in the spine and the "pulling action" of the body.

Our local bridges

Seems our Country's weakened infrastructure stretches beyond the big cities. After an inspection of local bridges around Baker County, six were found to be structurally "deficient." Here's the press story (you might have to scroll down).

And here's my rough for this first local cartoon of the week.

After consulting with my first editor (my better half), it was determined that the cartoon would be stronger without the speech bubble. She was right, as usual. This caused me to do a couple of things. First, I made the father (driver) look as scared as the dog and the kid, and then I figured since I was making them all so scared, why not make the truck look scared as well. Hey. Anytime I can take out words AND make the IMAGE read more, I'm happy. Here's the finished cartoon.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Another Line of Action Study

I like this one. A lot of movement and flow. It seems as though the line of action allows the eye to "follow-thru," understanding the action that came before and the action that is to come. Interesting.

This exercise seems to be setting me up for the next one which will involve actual walk and run cycles. I can't wait to get to it, but I've still got (7) more line of actions to render. Grr....

More Line of Action Studies

Sunday, August 19, 2007

This weekend's Preston Blair assignment

I'm falling a bit behind with my PB studies this weekend, but here's one I did yesterday. It's probably my least favorite so far. I had to make a few more adjustments with the red pencil than I'd liked, and it's still not quite where it should be.
Notice the "line of action," extending in a long comma shape. I'm still trying to get the hang of this traditional animation technique, but it definitely adds dynamic to a static 2-D image.

Here's another one (this one's better), and notice that the comma-shaped line of action has been inverted.

Happy Sunday!


Friday, August 17, 2007


Last Syndicate cartoon of the week. Here's the rough:

It was a tough thing, psychologically, to tie up Mr. & Mrs. Claus, but here's the finished toon:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Last local cartoon of the week

CCD Is the Community Development District for The Julington Creek Plantation. They have announced that the homeowners fees will rise to $190 more than what they are currently paying. They had originally said that it would only go up by 90 bucks. This will affect a lot of residents on fixed incomes. Here's the rough:

And the finished cartoon. I took the bouy marked "Julington Creek Plantation" out. Too wordy, and besides the people that this will matter to will know that "Creek" means Julington Creek.

My daily Preston Blair projects

Well, I've been trying to do at least one of these per day, and then post something about it. In this first group, I'm again building figures with circles and ovals, and utilizing the skeletal form. Contro-posto is essential here and can be used to your advantage in setting up poses.

In the second group, I'm using ovals to construct different character type heads. Notice the positioning of the eyes relative to the horizontal ovals:

And then finally, these other ones have to do with "line of action," that is the direction that the main action takes as it extends through the figure. As Preston Blair himself puts it: "An imaginary line extending thru the main action of the figure is the "line of action" - - plan your figure and it's details to accentuate this line - - by doing so you strengthen the dramatic effect - - the first thing to draw when constructing a figure is the line of action - - then build over that."

Post, please. I know you're out there. Come on...

Man, I like blogging, but I thought I'd get more responses on this thing. I guess I'm going to have to do something so outrageous that it gets people's attention. hmmm.... I wonder what that would be...?

Anyway, it would be really nice to get a post once in a while from someone other than the Bank of Nigeria.

Hello...? Is this thing on...?

So long Karl - we will not miss you

There's been a spate of cartoons this week showing "Bush's Brain" AKA Karl Rove, jumping from the skull of GWB. I wanted to do something slightly different that said the same thing. It just so happens that the cartoon ended up saying far more than I'd hoped for about the Bushies.

Here's the rough:

And the final drawing:

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Back to school cartoons

There's a bit of debate within the profession over whether or not a so-called "back-to-school" cartoon can legitimately be called an editorial cartoon. I think that as long as it comments on some aspect of our society, or is connected by current events, it can. Here's this week's.
The rough:

And the final cartoon in color: