Sunday, November 30, 2008

Saturday Morning Cartoons: "When the Day Breaks" and "One-eyed Ophelia Jackson"

This week on Saturday Morning Cartoons:

When the Day Breaks -- which I've shown here before but I think of animation as film's poetry -- it becomes better the more you see it.

And fun adventure tale: The Story of One-eyed Ophelia Jackson. (Because, as someone on already mentioned, eye patches are kick-ass.)

Shaun Tan on an animated version of The Lost Thing

For the Shaun Tan fans out there...which should be everyone out there:

Shaun Tan is working on an animated short for his picture book The Lost Thing. Check out a five minute documentary on Shaun and the movie here.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

So. Many. Great. Pictures.

Charley Parker, of Lines ad Colors, mentioned One1more2time3's in a recent blog post. And for that I owe him dinner, should we ever meet.

One1more is an animation blog showcasing drop-dead gorgeous drawings from movies, big and small. It looks like this is the relaunch of the site so the archives aren't deep, but what is there is so very, very rich. I'm looking forward to reading all of it and staying tuned.

Wetlands Sunset

The quadrupeds say Hi.

Jack, Briana, Fiona, and Morgan

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gothic: Dark Glamour at FIT

I ran into FIT’s fashion exhibit Gothic: Dark Glamour on a whim. No one would ever accuse me of being fashionable. Ever. But, I was passing by so, why not. As it happens, it was a much better show than the one I was off to see. I can't tell Gaultier from my ass but like any good Goth related activity, it was dripping with enough pomp and atmosphere that anyone who enjoys a certain amount of theatricality would love it.

The exhibit starts on the ground floor with a stunning lone Victorian mourning dress leading you to a stairway to the (appropriately) basement level gallery. The first chamber is set up like a haunted house display. The walls are painted black and the only light comes from glassed-in dioramas of, among other things, Coppala's
Dracula costumes. Also on display were a few photographs and a jewelery case that included an awesome crow’s wing broach.

Then you enter the main gallery. Again, all is black and low lights, with lots of mirrors reflecting more blackness. Much of the work is seen through some kind of barrier -- a graveyard fence, black scrim, two-way mirrors. I’m sure its main purpose is to keep people from touching the clothing but it also adds to the goth dichotomy of seduction and danger. It compels you to lean forward to view the work while simultaneously "protecting" you from it. (And, if you are like me, it gets you yelled at by museum guards.)

The clothing itself is a wonderful mix of decay and high elegance using the usual Victorian, steam punk, horror, punk rock, and religious references. Even a little scifi -- I could easily see a
Dune costume or two coming from the exhibit.

All in all, I think the exhibit did it's job as it left me feeling life would be richer if the average person walking down the street could look so long as
I still get to wear jeans and a t-shirt.

If you have some time to explore, FIT
created an extensive website for the exhibit. It includes a on-line Gothic punk mix tape, now that's cool. And videos that will give you a decidedly more fashion related view of the show.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Stop the Suit Petition

The Graphic Artist Guild is suing 5 individuals -- Brad Holland, Terry Brown, Cynthia Turner, Bruce Lehman, and Ken Dubrowski -- for defamation. Whatever anyone's thoughts on reprographic royalties are, it is sad to see an artist's advocacy group suing individual artists for voicing an opinion.

To sign the petition asking GAG to drop the lawsuit visit Stop Suit Petition and email them your name.

Pass it on.

Kate Clark

Kate Clark: Perfect Strangers
Nov 20th, 2008 to Jan 3rd, 2009

Claire Oliver Gallery

513 West 26th Street, New York, NY

I  went to this Kate Clark exhibit hoping I would like it in the flesh (pardon the pun) more than I did in the photos. I tend to like art that uses animal imagery and I’m oddly fascinated by the taxidermized specimens at the American Museum of Natural History. In the end, I found Clark’s sculptures to have the curious draw of a circus sideshow without rising to the level of art. Perhaps the anthropomorphism is too literal -- yes, we are all just animals. Certainly they are disarming for a moment but, surprisingly, the effect of a human face grafted onto the animal body does not seem to ennoble ether species. They are neither wild nor intelligent...mainly just a little sad.

Normally I don't bother posting about a show I don’t like. But I really wanted to get more out of these than I did. Maybe there’s someone out there that will respond better than I did....

Today on the Flatiron Beach

A mime and a movie. I have to say, these movie crowd controllers are being particularly dicky.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Brad Holland Intreview

We just posted an interview with Brad Holland on


In what way did Hawthorne influence you?
Well, I grew up in a period when literature was realistic and painting was abstract. Hawthorne’s stories appealed to me because they were more like folk tales, like Pecos Bill or Hogo Pogo, only more subtle. I imagine he’d been influenced by Pilgrim’s Progress—lots of writers were in those days—except that Hawthorne’s stories were harder to pin down. No Worldly Wise Man or Mr. Feeblemind. Hawthorne was a kind of Transcendental Kafka, a hundred years before Kafka. I could imagine doing the same kind of thing with pictures—and that seemed more up my alley than trying to be one more guy painting stripes on a canvas or exhibiting dead cows in plexiglass.

Besides being a remarkable artist, he's smart, funny, and has the best Slim Pickens/Salvador Dali story you'll ever read. Go check it out.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Paolo Rivera and Lou Anders interviews

A quick interview with Paolo Rivera on

And, Lou Anders' puts on his Art Director cap over at Erik Gist's blog.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Frank Godwin and Prince Ahmed

A while ago I wrote about this Frank Godwin painting. I just got an email from a Frank Godwin collector that tells me it was published in a1921 edition of The Blue Fairy Book for "The Story of Prince Ahmed and the Fairy Paribanou." The caption is, "He came to some steep craggy rocks, which were bounds to his journey and were situated in a barren country."

He also mentioned that the colors in the book are a bit different than what is seen here, pointing out the white at the top was more of a purple.

PDF of the book here.

Thank you, Mr. Sawyer, for taking the time to write in!

Saturday Morning Cartoons: "Windy Day" and "Josie's Lalaland"

Over on's Saturday Morning Cartoons, one of my all-time favorites is up this week, "Windy Day" by Faith and John Hubley, and, "Josie's Lalaland."

Earlier in the year I attended an evening of the Hubley's films at the Museum of Modern art. At that point I said, "Rather than trying to recreate the seamlessness of live action film, the Hubley's quirky movements are free and loose and comfortably fall in and out of abstraction.The half-dozen movies shown were good natured, poignant, funny, and beautifully, beautifully drawn. Truly, they were an experience that was only possible through animation -- these were not stories that could have been told in words, pictures, or music alone" Full article here.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I'm a real author!

Woo-hoo! Just got a royalty check for Jon Foster's artbook, Revolution. I feel so legit now.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Brian Francis Slattery Liberation Reading

Brian Francis Slattery read from his newly released second novel, Liberation, Friday night. As with Spaceman Blues, he did the reading accompanied by a most awesome and versatile band. Without having rehearsed the evening, Brian would shout out a style of music and key and, with very little pushing and pulling, they were all off on a groove together ranging from funk, to circus music, to blues, to 80s style rock anthem. At first Brian was reading while the band played, by the end he was singing the book. It was highly effective. So much so, the crowd would not let him stop and applauded him into reading an extra passage. Well worth getting completely lost in the middle of Brooklyn for.

SVA Cthulhus

This School of Visual Arts MFA Student Exhibit is stirring some excitement among Tor and Twitter friends....

The Call of Cthulhu
November 21 - December 13, 2008
Reception: Tuesday, November 25, 6-8pm
601 West 26 Street, 15th floor, NY, NY
School of Visual Arts presents “The Call of Cthulhu,” an exhibition of sequential narratives based on the 1928 short story of the same name by American author H.P. Lovecraft. The exhibition features the work of students in the MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Department and is curated by Viktor Koen.

Friday, November 14, 2008

American Illustration party

If there is ever a night for illustrators to be hipsters, it's at the annual American Illustration party. It was great to catch up with Tim O'Brien, Chris and Soojin Buzelli, the whole Solomon staff, and others. I even got to shake hands with Seymour Chwast. I think the best part, however, was seeing a band of recent SVA grads run over and introduce themselves. They were super excited to be among so many great illustrators and have a chance to show off their promotional cards. I know I did not have half the the poise these guys had when I was just out of school...or even now, come to think of it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Paolo Rivera's Mythos

I once asked Dan Dos Santos what his dream job is and he said, "Paolo Rivera is already doing it! A fully painted X-Men comic." That was my first introduction to Paolo, since then I've run into him at a number of conventions and he very gracioulsy agreed to participate in an Art Out Loud demo event at the Society of illustrators.

Mythos, a collection of stand-alone Marvel origin-stories is coming out today -- panel after fully rendered and painted panel, equally inspired by illustration's golden age as comic book's.Link
For those in NY, he'll be at Jim Hanley's Universe tonight signing books:
Jim Hanely's
Wednesday, November 12
6:00 - 8:00
4 West 33rd Street

And check out Paolo's blog - lots of cool process stuff.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Peak Inside John Jude Palencar's Studio

Bryan Beus, from Richard Solomon Representatives gives us a look at John Jude Palencar's studio, and promises video to come.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Robert Hunt's Dragon in Chains

I few days ago I showed the Dragon in Chains cover. The artist, Robert Hunt, just posted a step-by-step of the painting, including a sculpture he made for reference. Very cool.

Saturday, November 08, 2008 Saturday Morning Cartoons Episode 8 Saturday Morning Cartoons Episode 8

This week's animation spotlight is on Tale of How and Pyrats. Go watch them on, give us lots of hits and comments so we can keep the lights on, and then run off to the individual movie's websites. Both of them have extensive background info including Making of's and concept art.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

Envy Inducing Covers

Suvudu pointed out this envy inducing cover for Salmonella Men on Planet Porno: Stories

And, SF Signal turned me on to this "I wish it was tor's!" cover for Dragon in Chains

Update: Dragon in Chains art is by Robert Hunt.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Saturday Morning Cartoons Episodes 6 and 7

In honor of World Animation Day we snuck in an additional SMC last Tuesday:

Camera Obscura -- I'm amazed how much feeling they get out faceless figures. "The blind man was there. We put a helmet on his head to get a better look at what he couldn't see."

And for the regular edition of Saturday Morning Cartoons, Episode 7:

-- one of my favorites. "Balance by Christoph and Wolfgang Lauenstein is equal parts choreography and Samuel Beckett"-- The Washington Post "Balance ... turns a black comedy into a meditation on human interdependence" --Los Angeles Times

Space Alone -- sweet and terribly sad and awfully alone. Wall-e, if it had ended the other way.

New York City Marathon

Saturday, November 01, 2008


While I regret skipping World Fantasy this year, it has made room for a perfect Halloween. Rebecca Guay and Matt Mitchell kindly invited us up to Amherst to go trick-or-treating with them, Scott and Teresa Fischer, and various ninjas, witches, mermaids, and three eyed monsters. After the sugary loot was hauled back, it was off to Holly and Theo Black's for a feast Tim Burton would applaud -- bone silverware, worm and cricket soup, needle injected palette cleansers, and brains for dessert. (For the record: I did not eat the bugs - in fact, I considered myself very brave for just eating around them -- but the consensus of the table was that crickets taste better than worms. Just so you know.) The best part, however, was sitting around a candle lit room and having the likes of Holly Black, Gavin Grant, Kelley Link, and other storytellers doing what they do best: tell stories. Of a ghostly nature, of course.