Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Catcher in the Rye

"I remember around three o'clock that afternoon I was standing way the hell up on top of Thomsen Hill, right next to this crazy cannon that was in the Revolutionary War and all."

Sketches and thumbnails from my overly ambitious, unfinished, but well meaning attempt to illustrate the Catcher in the Rye while a student at RISD back in 1986 or 87. I thought a apropos day to revisit them.

"You're goddam right they don't" Horwitz said, and drove off like a bat out of hell. He was about the touchiest guy I ever met. Everything you said made him sore."


“Catholics are always trying to find out if you're a Catholic.”


"Life is a game, boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules."


"I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. "


"He started cleaning his fingernails with the end of a match. He was always cleaning his fingernails."


"I'm very sorry, sir…" he said, and beat it on me. I didn't hold it against him, though. They lose their jobs if they get caught selling to a minor. I'm a goddam minor."


"You could see the whole field from there, and you could see the two teams bashing each other all over the place."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Halloween '09 Portfolio

I know, it's January and odd to post pictures from Halloween now, but I meant to share these back then. I actually forgot about them until finding today while sorting through some desktop files.

Last October, I remember losing a lot of decorating momentum in the final week before the 31st having the swine flu. Because I usually like to add things everyday to the yard leading to the big night, many of the things I hoped to include where put on hold. Sadly, two of my past favorite props remained in the garage unused, the Ghost Bride and the window Monster Eye. Both needed some fixes and TLC before setting up and ran out of time.

Although I was happy with the new props I made, overall I thought the yard didn't end up being very different from 2008. So because of that and just plain feeling really blah then I didn't bother trying to take exceptional photos of the final set up. In the days after, I thought I'd have fun with the photos I had taken and create a small portfolio in homage to one of my favorite magazines growing up, Famous Monsters. Click on pics to enlarge.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sketchbook: Old Witch


I might clean up the pencil and break out the watercolors on this one.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Return Of The Ewok (aka Freaking Too Cool!)

Just when I thought, as a fan, I had seen every "behind the scenes" STAR WARS promo stuff ever created, I discover this fantastic unreleased short film from the '80s (in 3 parts). Even if not a big Star Wars fan, this is worth watching for the nostalgia and fun cameos...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Game Board That Seeded a TV Career


Back in the early 90's I worked for the show Wild & Crazy Kids on Nickelodeon. I found several clips on YouTube recently and was amazed to find this one game segment that has a special place in my TV career history...



It was the show's final season and I was a new production assistant on the crew. I had no aspirations of a TV career. It was just a job to pay the rent while dreams of being a successful illustrator danced in my head. At the time there wasn't an official art department or prop crew. The PA's shopped for, gathered, made, set up and assembled almost everything. The producers usually didn't have very high artistic expectations for props beyond being functional and decent looking. For the most part on every game, just making sure stuff was painted team colors was the only design note.

One week they wanted to reprise a "hidden word" challenge from a previous season and had us pull the old beat up game board for it from storage. I was assigned to clean it up and stencil on the new hidden words. The original board was really scratched up and dirty. I ended up re-painting the whole thing. While I was at it, thinking it pretty drab and boring looking as well, I painted on the show's exclamation point icons for fun (the two blue ones, left and right, in the top picture). They were just simple additional details that I was happily surprised to find the producer's really liked. Soon after, once in awhile, requests were made of me to add some production value to things. I suddenly had a sense of purpose on the show. a TV set design and prop career was beginning to bloom.

I did however get carried away once in while, voluntarily preoccupying myself making props with extra unneeded details forgetting the bigger picture and more important concerns. There were a few times when I heard things like this from the producers...
"Yes, the word BLAP on all the buckets look great with their nice drop
shadows and all, but where is the gallons of BLAP to go in them?"

Friday, January 15, 2010

My Great Grim Ghastly Garage - DO OVER!


Remember yelling "I call DO OVER!" in games as a kid? It was a magical and powerful spell that voided any previous effort so it didn't count, as if never happened. Well, I'm calling do over on my great grim garage cleaning.

When I started this series of posts 10 months ago, my hope was to post the process of my garage organizing as a way of forcing myself to complete the task. It worked for a little while, but life happens and distractions occur. Not to mention, I accumulated many stamps in my passport to the Procrasti Nation.

So I shall try again and based on how the garage looked last night (see above), it's not very different from where I began last April...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

My 1973 Portfolio

By me, age 7 or 8, when Kong was king of my world.


Coming soon...the Godzilla portfolio!


Today is my parent's 45th wedding anniversary. In all those years, in all my artistic efforts, they've always encouraged me. Thank you Mom and Dad and wishing you 45 more years times 45.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Very PARA ABNORMAL 2010!

On Monday, my web comic PARA ABNORMAL will post it's 500th cartoon. Which is a great milestone to begin the new year on.

In celebration, I've created three different themed calendars for 2010 to choose from (and added other new stuff) in the comic's gift shop. Forgive the shameless self promotion, but I hope you think of getting one for yourself or a friend or family member and help support Para Abnormal.

Click any image below to preview of all the calendar pages and get ordering details...