My Annual Good Friday Post

Today is Good Friday. As a Christian this is one of the most important days of the year for me, the day we pause to commemorate the torture, crucifixion, and death of Jesus Christ. You may wonder, why would a day like that be called “good?”

Because even though it was a terrible day for Jesus it was a very good day for you and me. How’s that, you ask? Over the course of my career I’ve had the privilege to work on several projects that help explain:

Are You A Good Person? Cartoon

First, here’s an 8-page cartoon Gospel tract I illustrated a few years ago for the ministry of Living Waters. Several million copies have been printed in English and it has been translated into over twenty languages. You can download it for free or purchase printed copies from Living Waters.

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Based on the tract’s success, Living Waters also hired me to produce an animated version, which I supervised with the help of two terrific animators (Michael Foster and Chance Dodd). If you like it you can download a free HD version to use however you’d like.

Finally, VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer recently completed a DVD series called “What’s In The Bible?”. I had the privilege of doing some animation and character design work on a few episodes.

Here’s a clip from the episode explaining the meaning of Easter:

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I don’t make any money or royalties off of these items. I just believe in them and want to share. Thanks for indulging me. Here’s wishing you a very happy Easter filled with smiles and jelly beans!

‘What’s In The Bible?’ Vol. 12 Now Available To Order

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What’s In The Bible? is the latest DVD series from VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer. Volume 12 has just been released, covering the parts of the New Testament written by the Apostle Paul. I got to design the character of Paul and it’s neat to see the animators bring him to life. What’s In The Bible? is a really fun, well-made series for kids and grown-ups alike. You can watch sample clips and order DVDs or digital downloads at

Trailer for “What’s In The Bible?” Vol. 12

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What’s In The Bible? is the latest DVD series from VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer. Volume 12 will be released on DVD August 27. I designed the character of Paul. It’s a really fun, well-made series for kids and grown-ups alike. You can watch sample clips at

Saul/Paul Character Design for “What’s In The Bible?”

For the past couple of years I’ve been doing little bits of animation and/or character design for the DVD series “What’s In The Bible?” from VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer.

Volume 11 has just been released. It covers the book of Acts, explaining what happened after Jesus ascended back into Heaven and how His followers travelled the known world telling others about Him. There are lots of stories including miracles, persecution, imprisonments, and even martyrdom.

Perhaps the most well-known character is Saul, an angry Pharisee who took special delight in chasing down Christians and throwing them in jail. That is, until the day when Jesus appeared to him face-to-face. Saul became a new man, changed his name to Paul, and spent the rest of his life traveling thousands of miles to spread the good news about Jesus. Along the way he also wrote about two-thirds of the New Testament.

My job was to design Paul. Besides looking like he belonged in the same world as the other characters he had to have a face that could look like an intimidating villain at the beginning of the story and a kindly, likable friend by the end of the story. So it was a bit of a challenge. The client also requested that he have a slender build, dark eyebrows, and a goatie.

I started by doing a bunch of thumbnails, searching for the right look:

Paul thumbnailsEventually we settled on the following design:

Paul final design

Here’s the trailer for Episode 11:

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And here’s a clip showing Saul’s conversion:

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You can order “What’s In The Bible?” volume 11 either as a DVD or as a digital download at I don’t get any royalties or kickback if you buy, I just really believe in the project.



“What’s In The Bible?” Vol. 10 Now Available


Look what came in the mail!

Recently I posted some character design sketches I did for volume 10 of “What’s In The Bible?”, the new DVD series from Veggietales creator Phil Vischer. Using the regular mixture of puppets, animation, and live-action this two-part DVD covers the time between the Old and New Testaments and then the story of the Gospels – in other words the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. I just got my copy and after watching it for the first time I gotta say I was really pleased with how it turned out. I think I can safely say this is my favorite episode so far.

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Here’s the trailer for Volume 10. If you’ll allow me to play salesman for a moment, you can order physical DVDs or digital downloads at Also, if you subscribe to you can stream all episodes of “What’s In The Bible?” to any computer or mobile device.

And no, I don’t earn any royalties or kickbacks from sales of the videos. I just really believe in the project (both it’s content and quality) and I want to help spread the word.

Character Designs For “What’s In The Bible?”

As some of you know, one of my clients is VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer. Over the past few months he’s hired me to do little snippets of animation here and there for his new educational series “What’s In The Bible?”. Recently he wrapped up a 9-DVD series on the Old Testament and started work on the New Testament, which is the part of the Bible that covers everything from the life of Jesus onward.

I’m an OK animator but one of my specialties is character design. I was pretty excited (and a little humbled) when Phil asked me to design several of the major characters from the life of Jesus, including the Disciples. Another artist had already designed Jesus so my job was to create characters that looked like they belonged in the same “world” as Jesus, visually and stylistically.

Animation Character Designs of Apostles and Disciples
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I started with the Disciples. Since I wasn’t animating the characters, only designing them, to simplify things I used only three body types – large, medium, and skinny/small. That way the animators only had to build three “puppets” and then just decorate them with different heads and clothing.

I was also asked to design members of the four major Jewish sects that existed in Jesus’ day – the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Zealots

Animation Character Designs of Pharisees

The Pharisees (pictured above) were the religious conservatives of their day. They took the Scriptures very literally and were extremely strict about following all of the rules. They were also very self-righteous and spent a lot of time following Jesus around trying to trap him or trip him up.

Animation Character Designs of Sadducees

The Sadducees were sort of the religious liberals of their day in that they held to a looser interpretation of Scripture, even going so far as to say there was no life after death. They were very wealthy and seemed more interested in politics than religion. They bent over backward to keep the Roman Empire happy.

Animation Character Designs of Essenes

The Essenes were a bit like monks. They pulled themselves away from normal society and started communes in the caves and hills, where they spent much of their time praying, reading, and making copies of religious texts.

Animation Character Designs of Zealots

The fourth group were the Zealots. They had a fiery religious passion and they hated being ruled by the Romans. They believed God should be their only ruler, and many Zealots had no problem using violence to achieve their goals. Interestingly, one of Jesus’ disciples (Simon) was a Zealot while another (Matthew) was a tax collector who had spent his life working for the Romans, yet both found peace and friendship through following Jesus.

I also designed the apostles Paul and Stephen, but since they don’t show up until the next DVD I’ll have to wait to show them to you.

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Here’s a YouTube trailer for What’s In The Bible? Volume 10, the episode that uses these character designs. It should be available for purchase in February. In the mean time, Phil Vischer is currently offering a free download of the first episode using this link.  If you have kids you might also want to know about, a subscription site (only $5/month) that gives you instant access to over 100 hours of Christian media for children, including every single episode of What’s In The Bible?. Just thought I’d mention that.

EDIT: Volume 10 is now available for order.