Saturday, October 27, 2007

Cartoons (vintage even)

Now this is more like it. The Fleischers, Bob Clampett, and an awesome World war II Donald Duck cartoon. Sure, they're available on the internet archive and youtube, but it's more convenient here and the video quality doesn't suck(respectively).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Audience pleasing done right (in its own way)

Daicon 4 (04:22)

To state the obvious, it's impossible today to talk about animation in the US (indeed the world) without mentioning anime. Why it is so popular is matter of debate (though Eddie Fitzgerald has good points here, here, and here ), although honestly, if you had to watch robotech or the snorks, which would you prefer? Granted the former is not cartoony or particularly formed of anything animation can and should do, but it is just more interesting than the crap people put up with in that time. Same as now. The trailer alone for Paprika looks better than shrek and sharktale combined. Another thing about anime that makes it work is that because so few people can come together and make something happen there is more of an individual feeling. Also, because there is again, so few workers and no crusty management (Japan respects its artists) they understand what the fans want and how to please them.

Both examples are shown in the short above. Although I don't personally care for the main character (a little too bland), the amusing cut style and oomph of the music more than make up for it. What's really special about this short is that the handfuls (four to six, depending on who you hear from) do the work of a far greater collective. This, the early Hanna Barbera and (to a far, far greater extent) Wizards all show creativity, not mass influx, make quality product. And again, why did they do this? To make the fans happy, by making themselves satisfied. They were fans. They cared about the art and trusted their instincts. And out of this small group came Gainaxe, who went on to make heads turn with FLCl and Neon Genesis Evangelion. From these five minutes. Sadly, some of that fun is lost on the current company, as with many studios (later Hanna Barbera) when their ranks swell.

So despite my somewhat lack of true enthusiasm for this short, I applaud it for being relentlessly forward in its entertainment capacity, showing that fans and admirers of animation can change the circumstances they live in. Something American animators sorely need to wake up and realize.

Another Fitzgerald post, which captures my feelings about anime perfectly,

Well thought out opinion on the piece: The Origin of the Species

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Moebius and his Dragoon

I guess you do learn something new every day. Today I found out the great Moebius did some of the concept art and the cover for the Panzer Dragoon (also great). Unfortunetly the cover only came out in Japan, and we Americans were stuck with a boring, terrible looking cgi cover,which I won't dignify by showing. Now, I ask you, isn't this appealing and make you want to buy the game? It does for me.

Here's the pure cover
And some more artwork

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Thy Name is. . .

Nerdy, but undeniably cool.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

What a sight

John K says the best examples of construction and form for cartoonists are toys, not humans(too many details). What better place to start than the greatest non-cartoon cartoon character, Gojira--and the original version too--. Someday you'll see my version when my art blog gets started.

More from John K.

Picture from Wondercon, the ridiculous con from that ridiculous country, Japan. That said, I still wish we had one like this.

More pics:
Part I
Part II
Part III
and complete with video...
Part IV

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The lighter side of Frazetta

Mention Frank Frazetta to anyone in the know, and they gush about his depictions of Death Dealer, wish they had more walls (only three or four) to put up his paintings, or silently curse that his phenomenal E.C. comics work like Squeeze Pulp(which feels somewhat similar to parts of the latter Bakshi film Hey Good Lookin') was so few in number. Hell, speaking of Bakshi, they wax negatively and positively --both equally valid to an extent-- about his film collobration with him, Fire and Ice.

But one thing you never hear--and probably because they didn't know-- is his great funny animals drawings. What, they say, the man who made Conan the Barbarian an icon drew wussy rabbits and other creatures that are best left eaten. Well, they are tasty animals, but beautiful and well constructed, and with more humor and humanity to them then most of the genre. More Bugs Bunny than Thumper. And believe it or not, this is what the real Frazetta is. Or so the man himself claims. Checkout for yourself, and decide.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Thicker than Blood-Mike Ploog

And now for the main course

Some covers
This is from a comic book coming out this year (2007) and I can't believe how good this looks. THIS is what Mike Ploog should be doing, not that those Abazad mis-mash diaries. Even better, the final product has the great Simon Bisley coloring. I urge you to go out and buy this book. I know I will. Now, will somebody please put him in a room with Steve Gerber and his new ideas for Man-Thing?!?

Note: This post is purely to express admiration for Mike Ploog. Any copyright infringement or other harmful activity is unintended. If there is a problem, please let me know immediately, and I shall sort out the problem/comply post-haste.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Mike Ploog Sketch-Lone Wolf and Cub

I wonder who inked this, it looks a bit different from the normal Ploog drawing. Hmm, still good.

And here's the finished version.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Marvel Magazine Ad

A rather unusual but excellent ad for all the great, pulpy horror magazines that Marvel published. What's unique about it is not merely the grouping of different characters but the cute but creepy way they are drawn. I've certainly never seen anything so cartoony from Alfredo Alcala. Nonetheless, its quite a joy to behold. It's sorta like a demented version of Not Brand Echh!, but because of the black and while it also appears as a kindred soul to the great Fleischer cartoons (and--at their best-- they aren't that distant in quality, which is a testament to the greatness of the magazines).

A show of hands for All In Black & White For 75 Cents

Friday, October 5, 2007

SNK vs Capcom: Match of the Millennium (aka also one of the Greatest)

This game is so awesome, not the least of which for its stunning animation (even if it is a bit symbolic of the culture it represents). Some may call it amateurish or kitsch, but I would call it appealing and cute.