Monday, June 20, 2016

MEXICAN KND OPERATIVES RULE!


In case I didn't make it clear enough...
the KND operatives I met at 
Creativa Fest 2016
in Mexico City
ROCKED!

I met a ton of awesome fans: 



I got to draw in a tra-billion sketchbooks:


And on a buh-million badges:


And a crap-load of shirts



And even a couple iPads:


And I got to take pictures with 
a moonbase full of
sooper sweet
sooper kind
sooper appreciative
KND operatives:


Please note the sweet
S.C.A.M.P.P.
(Soup Can And Magnified Photon Phlazer)
that the operative on the left made.


She came dressed as 
Number Four,
dressed as
Number One from the episode
Operation CANNON.
She even had a bucket of
(fake)
clams to load the clam cannon with!







And don't even get me started on the awesome
volunteers at Creativa Fest.
All of them were
friends
family
bringers of food and drink
protectors of the realm
and
human shields.
And there was a hilarious panda aimed Brenda, too!
(front row)


This operative is
OBVIOUSLY
a 2x4 technology officer
because he builds awesome miniature animation disks
to have people sign.


He even gave me one!
I tried to get Maxwell Atoms to sign it
but he wanted to charge me two bucks.
And I don't want his autograph
THAT bad.

But if these operatives weren't already the best,
a lot of them brought me all kinds of fun stuff:

Like drawings of me:




Drawings of themselves as KND operatives:





Lots of thank you notes:


But perhaps the sweetest of the lot
was a beautiful hand-drawn book that 
longtime KND sooper operative
Anagby Sanban
and her friends made for me!


It was filled with beautiful drawings,
funny stories and
heartfelt remembrances of what KND meant to them.




I can't lie...
I got a bit teary reading this book.
(but I blamed it on the spicy chilaquiles)

Other amazing operatives brought me 
snacks and candy to keep me going through
hours of signing.

One guy even gave me a 
brand new cell phone battery charger.

But the numbuh one thing 
the Mexican operatives brought
me was their love for 
Codename: Kids Next Door.

You guys rock
beyond words.


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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

MY CREATIVA FEST FAMILY



One of the things I love most about
 attending an animation festival is the
bonding that happens with the people you hang out with.

You become this sort of mini-family,
flitting from event to event,
eating and drinking and talking and drinking and eating
(and drinking)
and really getting to know people you might 
never have had the chance to meet before.

And I'm not sure which celestial bodies were in alignment over
Creativa Fest this year,
but somehow this was perhaps the most
sooper talented
sooper nice
sooper fun
group of people I've ever got to 
hang out at a festival with.

Conversely,
there was Maxwell Atoms,
who tried his best to ruin everything
but failed horribly and was forced to have fun.


On the first night in town I was
 introduced to a guy named Nik.
He told me how he used to work at 
Disney Feature animation for a long time
and was now working on a video game.
Being dim,
I didn't put two and two together until I 
saw him start drawing and then realized.
"Oh crap-- that's Nik Ranieri!"


Like legendary 
Disney animator
who animated
Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast
Kuzco in emperor's New Groove
Hades in Hercules
etc etc etc

We spent a lot of time drawing alongside 
each other for eager fans,
but when we got a break I
got him to draw me this:


On that first night I also got introduced to 
Alex Lee,
an animator at 
Industrial Light and Magic.


And Trevor Walker,
a recruiter from ILM.


They were a blast to hang out with
although I'm still really mad at Alex for not showing us 
ANYTHING
from 
Rogue One,
the latest project he's working on.


There were also some amazingly talented folks from
Disney Feature Animation
including
Zootopia,
Frozen
Big Hero 6
etc
animator


He also got tricked into drawing in my sketchbook:


Keeping it in the Disney family was 
Pixar animator Carolina Lopez Dau
who packed a crowd to listen to her 
talk about her work on Cars 2, Inside Out, Brave,
and Monster University.


Personally, 
I thought her talk was
confusing and completely unintelligible.
Mainly because I don't speak Spanish.
But those who do
speak the language thought she was 
riveting.

She's also hilarious to hang out with
and incredibly helpful when you're
 trying to buy a coffee in Spanish.


Former Simpons and Rick and Morty director
and current Future Worm 
supervising director
was a joy to meet and full of laughs:


Karen Kirkland, executive director of the 
Nickelodeon writing program,
was there to talk shop with the students 
and to share an uber with:


writer on
Cartoon Network's
Stephen Universe
was an absolutely delightful guy to meet 
and talk shop with:


is an impossibly young,
terrifyingly techno-savvy,
hyper-talented
and effusive
concept artist for
Riot Games
(League of Legends)


He is also never allowed to touch Mescal never ever again:


Senior Cinematic Artist at 
Blizzard
(World of Warcraft)
was a riot and someone 
who I didn't get to talk to enough:


And there were many more like  
Grazia Como and Jessie Carbonara from Dreamworks recruiting
who were awesome to share tacos and volcanos with.

What an amazing and inspiring group of people.

And while finding your festival family is always such a joy,
it's also heartbreaking when everyone packs up to 
go back to their regular lives.

But the industry isn't that big.
We'll see each other again.

But probably not as a handsome looking group like this:


Next up,
ima show you some of the awesome
stuff some of the awesome
KND sooper fans 
made for me.



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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

CREATIVA FEST 2016



OMG,
Mexico!

When I got invited to 
Creativa Fest I had no idea what
I was getting myself into.

At the very least I knew that sooper pal
Maxwell Atoms
was going to be there.
So if I was attacked by a chupacabra
 I could throw him in the monster's path in order to escape.


But instead, I was met by:

eleventy billion mega excited fans


an incredibly appreciative and helpful festival staff



awesomely fun and dedicated volunteers:


mountains of delicious food and drink


a city full of rich history





and a deep squad of
incredibly talented,
amazingly fun and funny
fellow speakers.



I couldn't have had a better time.

Now, I always knew that 
Codename: Kids Next Door
had been popular in
Mexico.
BUT I HAD NO IDEA HOW MUCH!

From what I was told the translators
were able to keep to the spirit of the show
while injecting a healthy dose of
Mexican culture and slang that really spoke to
the audience here.



And over the years I've done a lot of 
animation events, lectures and school visits,
but I have to say that the Mexican fans were,
as a whole,
the sweetest, kindest, most polite
and appreciative fans I've ever met.







I must have signed a billion
sketchbooks, papers, shirts and festival badges



at the event...
in the halls...
at the hotel...
on the street...
in restaurants...
in elevators...
and I'm pretty sure I took a picture
with every single person in Mexico.

It was seriously crazy.
And I loved every minute of it.
THANK YOU
Justo Nava,
Astrid Cortez,
Creativa Fest,
and
EVERYONE IN MEXICO
for showing us such a great time!

Hope to see you again soon!



Next up, I wanna tell you about some of
the awesome and sooper talented people
I got to hang out with at the
festival.

Because they absolutely
ROCKED.




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