Monday, December 5, 2011

Do You Know Santa?

Ho ho ho! I just released a new original Christmas song, "Do You Know Santa?", and for your yuletide enjoyment created a full animated video. Check it out below:

Play it for the kids! I actually wrote this a while ago and recorded it last Christmas, and the concept goes back way longer. My friends and I rented a movie called "Silent Night, Deadly Night" about twelve years ago, and, as you can probably imagine, it wasn't exactly great cinema. If you watch Siskel & Ebert's review of it, that's about all you need to know. There was one line in it, however, that we just found hilarious and repeated to each other all these years. At some point, I figured it might make a pretty good tune.

But this song is just meant to be pure fun, and hopefully fits in nicely with all the traditional Christmas classics. I would really appreciate it if you would take a minute to watch the video, and leave some comments letting me know what you think.

You can buy the song on iTunes or Amazon, too!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, October 3, 2011

More On John K's Simpsons Intro

As I mentioned yesterday, this week's Simpsons featured a couch gag guest-animated by none other than animation legend John Kricfalusi himself. Today, Cartoon Brew posted an exclusive interview with John about the creation of the piece, along with a good number of sketches and production animatics.

For me, it was great to see The Simpsons (the height of cartoon writing) paired with John K (the king of the visual side) join forces. Check out the Youtube video here starting at 0:49 (for some reason Homer's speech has been omitted, hopefully they will fix this soon).

Sunday, October 2, 2011

John K. Does The Simpsons!

Today is my birthday, and when I got around to watching The Simpsons on DVR, I got one of the best presents imaginable: a couch gag created by John Kricfalusi himself!

This is about the greatest thing on The Simpsons in 15 years, if not ever. Judging by the style and animation, I guess this was a one-man job. John's style is all over this: the characters look absolutely insane, and there is so much going on it's just about impossible to catch it all- I kept rewinding it and must have watched it 20 times in a row. Homer hasn't been this funny in years. Great job, John! 

Hopefully a video will be online tomorrow; I'll link to it then.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Draw Me a Picture and Maybe I'll Pay You Someday

This is a really interesting entry on SR Bissette's blog, consisting of a response to some requests he has received (at least every other month, he says, and I believe him) by people who  casually ask him to draw their graphic novel.

Here's a sample of the early part of the entry- he gets way more detailed:

Long answer: I am literally asked what you’ve asked me WEEKLY, seeking either me to engage or for me to steer some other cartoonist or CCS student (as if they’ve nothing better to do, like, oh, their own work plus the education they’ve paid for) to a similar task, and have been since about 2006.
What nobody (or precious few) seem to realize:
(1) It takes years to do a good graphic novel; Maus took over a decade to complete, as did From Hell; Howard Cruse’s Stuck Rubber Baby was one of the faster ones at 5+ years, and all required multiple funding sources, grants, and/or multiple publishers to complete. It’s a bear.
Yes, many lesser graphic novels are done in months; most of those show it.
(2) Cartoonists have their own projects they’d dearly love to afford to do, many of those lengthy works.
We rarely get to them due to the eternal question: How do I eat/pay rent/mortgage while dedicating my life to this venture?
(3) Now, taking on adapted and/or collaborative graphic novels, sans a publisher footing the financing, complicates it all multifold. I now have to introduce letter sections into the outline answer:
(a) Who owns it? Co-ownership is sticky: if you are the source author (as in this case), you’re not going to want to give up ownership/proprietary rights; but if I’m not in for 50%, why pick up the pencil?
If we co-own, what’s the split of ownership (just ownership, mind you—we’ll get to payment and royalty sharing shortly)?

I've actually seen this sort of thing all over the place, mostly on Craigslist searches for freelance work. It will usually be somehting along the lines of "I am writing a children's book and need illustrations for 10-12 pages. If I sell to a publisher we can work out a payment deal." So, in other words, he wants a bunch of fully rendered, professional drawings to help him sell his crappy book, for free. This is nothing compared to the time and skill required for a complete graphic novel of any quality, but it reflects the same disregard for professionals in our community. As if creating the art is its own reward and we are just waiting around for the opportunity to have something to draw.

Beyond that, he goes into detail about the kinds of issues that need to be considered before entering into a writer-artist partnership: royalties, ownership, page rate, etc. He doesn't take sides, and defends the writer's rights as well, but explains in great detail, that it is just not as simple as saying "I have an idea- draw it for me?"

Very educational for someone in my position who is looking to get more compelling freelance work, but needs to understand the complexities behind it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Something to Post

Has it really been a year since my last post? Oops. Well, I got busy... becoming a dad mostly.

Anyway, I have something to post, so I guess I'm back. This is part of a larger project I am working on for Christmas. Kind of liked the way it was coming out so I thought I'd share!