My Audio Commentary On A Classic Popeye Cartoon

[youtube_sc url=iblAFBcwWzI width=430]

Thought I’d try something different. Just for fun I’ve recorded my own audio commentary on a classic public-domain Popeye cartoon (“A Date To Skate”, 1938) focusing on pose drawing and animation. Let me know what you think.

I’m also starting to build my own YouTube channel with misc. odds and ends related to drawing (demo videos, etc.).  Not sure just exactly where I’m going with it yet, but you can subscribe to the channel and find out.

Animation for “What’s In The Bible?” Vol. 8

For the past couple of years VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer has been working on an ambitous new project called What’s In The Bible? It’s a 13-part DVD series that uses puppets, live action, and animation to educate children and adults alike about the contents of the best-selling book of all time. It’s an entertaining blend of Bible stories, theology, church history, and answers to tough questions, with equal parts silliness and reverence.

I’ve had the honor of animating a few short segments for the series, and it’s been a lot of fun. Volume 8: Psalms, Proverbs, and the Writings has just been released. I  animated a short segment on Proverbs to help explain the difference between being smart and being wise. Unfortunately I can’t post the animation here yet, but I do have permission to show a few screen shots:

Here’s a trailer for What’s In The Bible Volume 8. You can order the DVD here.

EDIT: The client has posted a portion of the animation I did for them on YouTube. For your viewing pleasure:

[youtube_sc url=Ynq1evqeKmg width=430]

National Cartoonists Day

In case you haven’t heard, today is National Cartoonists Day. It’s been pretty hard to miss with all the National Cartoonists Day sales at the Mall. I think government workers get the day off too.

Seriously, here’s the scoop: The Yellow Kid, the very first color comic strip, was first published today (May 5) in 1895. Gradually the comics became a staple in every newspaper in the country, and hence today has been designated as National Cartoonists Day. Although the internet revolution has created an uncertain future for comic strips, it’s hard to dismiss the impact they’ve had on American culture. I grew up on classics such as Bloom County, The Far Side, and Calvin and Hobbes. Maybe later today I’ll pull out one of my old paperback collections and read through it for old times sake. My hunch is the humor will still hold up strong.

Of course, cartooning goes far beyond the newspaper funny pages. Animation, greeting cards, children’s books, illustration, even toy and game design, are all heavily saturated with the work of talented cartoonists.

So don’t forget to hug a cartoonist and tell them how much you appreciate them!

Fun Animated Shorts

Kelly McNutt, a talented Minneapolis animator whom I mentioned in yesterday’s post, has been working with Michael Jantze (creator of the comic strip The Norm) on some fun new animated shorts. The shorts are now viewable on the new Jantze Studios YouTube site:

At Your Service is a cartoon created for a client in the hotel/hospitality industry. If only every hotel experience was like this one!

The Norm Short is a quick little cartoon based on Jantze’s strip, The Norm.

Jeremy and Mom is a promo ‘toon featuring the characters from the comic strip Zits by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman.

Also, a reminder that today is the last day to take a shot at the advertising product mascot contest. The winner will be announced on Monday.

Stay Tooned! Magazine


I just received the very first issue of Stay Tooned!, a brand-new magazine for cartoonists from editor John Read. Since the magazine Cartoonists PROfiles is no longer gracing newsstands, Stay Tooned! is stepping in to fill the void. The magazine is published quarterly, and you can order issues or subscribe online. A copy of issue #1 is $10, or you can subscribe to five issues for $40.

This is not a skimpy magazine. It weighs in at 88 pages, chock-full of content and light on advertising. The layout is easy to read and there’s plenty cartoon eye candy. Other than a few photos that printed too dark, it’s a terrific first issue. There are loads articles and interviews from top-drawer talent:


Regular columns:

…and contributions by Daryl Cagle, Brad Fitzpatrick, David Fitzsimmons, and Richard Thompson.

Subscribe or purchase a copy. You’ll be glad you did.

Animation Lovers Rejoice!

Today several new animated DVDs are hitting the store shelves. Time to add to your collections:

Pixar Short Films Collection – Volume 1. This looks super cool! 13 short films with audio commentary plus at least one behind-the-scenes featurette.

Ratatouille. Not nearly a good as The Incedibles, but a reasonably entertaining movie with stunning visuals. Unfortunately the DVD is light on special features. There apparently is no audio commentary, only deleted scenes with introductions by Brad Bird. There is also a documentary and two short films.

At one time there were reports that a 2-disc special edition of Disney/Pixar’s Cars would also be released today, but instead there is just a one-disc version for Blu-Ray.

Other DVD animated curiosities released today include Opus N’ Bill in a Wish for Wings That Work; Chuck Jones Collection (an ambiguous title–no Warner Brothers work here, just six little-known short films by Jones); and Beetle Bailey: The Complete Collection.

Also, don’t forget to check out Looney Tunes – Golden Collection, Volume Five, which was released last week.