Charity Animation Auction Tomorrow for Pres Romanillos

A few months ago a charity art auction was held to support animation artist/director Tim Hodge who’s teenage son had been hit by a train and is now in a coma. It was a tragic situation but fortunately $79,000 was raised to help with medical bills. Some terrific animation and comic book art was donated. I myself snagged an animation maquette of Kuzko from Disney’s “The Emperor’s New Groove”.

Chad Frye, who organized the “Help the Hodges” auction, has just sent out a notice about another similar charity art auction taking place tomorrow (Sunday June 20) for animator Pres Romanillos who is fighting Lukemia:

We just wanted to let all you Help the Hodges supporters know that tomorrow (June 20), there will be a live auction of some AMAZING artwork to help support fellow animator Pres Romanillos who is suffering from Leukemia. When we were collecting art for our own auction earlier this year, Pres did three drawings for us. Since then, his cancer relapsed and needs our help.

If you cannot attend the live auction, there are instructions on their website on how you can place an absentee bid. Much of the artwork will astound you. They even have at least one piece we sold (original Peter Pan art) that was generously donated by the buyer.

Pres is really a great guy, and Help the Hodges wishes him and his family all the best.

I browsed the auction listings and there is a very impressive collection of art available for bidding. This auction is being done live instead of on ebay but if you can’t attend in person you can bid absentee.

My best wishes go out to Romanillos and his family.

“Help The Hodges” Art Auction Starts Today

Today at 10:00am Pacific time is the start of the “Help The Hodges” art auction (ebay link). It’s not only a chance to bid on some *fantastic* cartoon and animation art but you’ll also be helping a good cause.

The drummer pictured above is Matt Hodge, teenage son of animation writer/producer Tim Hodge (Mulan, VeggieTales). Back in August Matt was in a car that was struck by a train. He survived but remains in a coma. When it was time for the Hodge’s health insurance to be renewed the insurance company decided they would no longer cover Matt since he now had a “pre-existing condition”. So the Hodge’s are on their own to cover all future medical bills.

I once went to the emergency room after gashing my finger with a knife. They sent me home with a band-aid and charged me $300. I can’t imagine what it costs to care for someone who is 100% dependent on others day in and day out.

I don’t know Tim well but I did some character design work on the 3-2-1 Penguins! TV series for which he was the producer. I’ve heard nothing but great things about him. It’s so sad to watch this black storm cloud continue to hover over his family. Fortunately Tim seems to be holding up well and facing everything with grace and even a little humor.

To help out, animation artist Chad Frye, with the help of the National Cartoonists Society Foundation, has been working hard to put together the coolest ebay auction ever. Artists from all corners of the animation and cartooning industries have donated original artwork to help raise money for the Hodge’s. Approximately 150 items have been donated including work by some top-drawer artists, as well as maquettes, posters, and signed DVDs. There’s so much cool stuff I don’t even know where to begin!

You could own an original sketch from “Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends” creator Craig McCracken…

…or an original Mickey Mouse animation drawing by Frank Thomas from “The Brave Little Tailor”….

…or an original drawing by “Kung Fu Panda” character designer Nicolas Marlet!

The auction is so large that it will be spread out over three weeks. To browse the entire collection visit You can also get the latest on the auction on Facebook. [EDIT: The auction is being split into three groups of 50 items. The first group (listed here) goes up for sale throughout the day today, approximately one every seven minutes. Then next 50 items will go live on January 28 and the final 50 or so items will go live on Feb. 4.  CLICK HERE to view all the items that are currently available on ebay.]

If you aren’t the bidding type, or if the auction gets too rich for your blood, you can always give a tax-deductable donation by clicking on the “Paypal” link at the “Help the Hodges” website.

Finally, for the latest on Matt’s condition you can also follow Tim’s journal on the family’s CaringBridge page.

Most of all, please remember the Hodge’s in your prayers.

Pre-Order Joe Bluhm’s “Sketch Infectus”


(Artwork copyright © Joe Bluhm. All rights reserved.)

Joe Bluhm is a terrific illustrator and caricaturist. I recently discovered his work and have been following him with interest.

Joe is self-publishing a sketchbook called Sketch Infectus. It’s jam-packed with great eye candy. Joe claims that “you probably won’t find a sketchbook with more drawings packed per-page between the covers”. The book will be available in March but if you pre-order by Feb. 5 you get a really cool bonus: Joe will cut out an original sketch from one of his sketchbooks and mail it to you with the book. Awesome!

I just pre-ordered my copy and can’t wait to see it. Get yours here.

Sketchbook Update

I never know when I might have a few spare moments and be inspired to sketch, so I carry a small hardcover sketchbook in the pocket of my winter coat. For the next few months wherever I go I’ll be ready when the sketching bug bites.

Here’s a few of the newest faces from its pages:


More “3-2-1 Penguins!” Character Designs

This past weekend NBC aired another brand-new episode of 3-2-1 Penguins!, an animated series on which I was a character designer. I’m not sure but I think this was the premiere of season 2. The episode, titled “12 Angry Hens”, required me to design (among other things) some robotic hens with holographic heads and a robotic scarecrow. Here’s some of the concept art I submitted.

Chinese Publisher Steals American Artwork

United States copyright law currently goes a long way towards helping protect artists from those who would steal and publish their artwork for profit. (Unless Congress passes the Orphan Works Act, in which case American artists will be doing a lot of nail biting and hand wringing. But I digress.)

Unfortunately once you leave American shores its another matter. Copyright laws vary from country to country, and if someone halfway around the world wants to steal your artwork and publish it for profit, there’s not much you can do about it.

Just ask Luc Latulippe and the artists over at the Little Chimp Society. A Chinese publisher (the “Great Creativity Organization”) recently stole hundreds of their art samples off of the internet, plus a few artist interviews, and published them in a 350-page book being sold online for over $100. The book translates the interviews word-for-word and even includes a CD containing all the artwork. The book even has a fake ISBN number. You can read all about it here.

Since filing a lawsuit against the Chinese would be expensive and likely fruitless, the only alternative the artists have is to spread the word about the thieving publisher, Great Creativity Organization, and the book’s distributor (the Azur Corporation), in hopes that the bad press will rise to the top of Google searches and assassinate their reputation. I want to help out, so I’m writing this blog post to spread the word and linking back to the original story (it’s called a trackback, and search engine’s love ’em).

If nothing else it’s also a good reminder that any artwork you or I publish on the internet is fair game for thieves and crooks all over the world. I’m not advocating that artists stop posting artwork. Just remember that once you put it out there, you can very easily lose control over what happens to it.