Thursday, August 30, 2012

THE DELIGHTFUL CHILDREN FROM DOWN THE LANE COME TO PRINTLAB

You've begged...
You've pleaded...
You've threatened to shave your head...
And you know me.
I can't let you walk around all bald and stuff.
So here it is:
YES!
The Delightful Children From Down The Lane
have finally invaded the mighty 
PRINTLAB!
I'm not sure how you can resist
this high quality digital print depicting the 
members of the legendary Sector Z
being transformed into 
the Delightful Deviants.
And as always,
it'll be signed and inscribed to whoever you like.
Want one?
Then head over to the 
PRINTLAB
and get your
print 
ON!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

TISSA DAVID (1921-2012)



The NYC animation community has lost another brilliant star from it's sky.
Tissa David passed away yesterday at the age of 91.

Here's a bio from Michael Sporn's website:

Tissa David has long been the foremost woman animator on the East coast; her career spanning more than sixty years. Born in Transylvania, Ms. David escaped to Paris in 1950, where she worked for Producers Jean Image and Paul Grimault. In 1955 she moved to New York where she worked as Grim Natwick's assistant at UPA.
Her animation for John Hubley included commercials, shorts and a feature.CockaboodyEverybody Rides The Carousel,EggsDig, and Of Men and Demons were some of the illustrious projects she animated for the noted animation director.
Tissa, along with Art Babbitt, Grim Natwick and Emery Hawkins, was one of the master animators of the feature film Raggedy Ann and Andy, directed by Richard Williams in 1977. In 1978 she began work with R.O.Blechman, animating on his PBS specials Simple Gifts andA Soldier's Tale.
Her animation for Michael Sporn Animation includes the entire half hour of The Marzipan Pig. She did storyboard and animation for The Red Shoes, storyboard and layout for Ira Sleeps Over, and animation for The Man Who Walked Between The Towers. She has worked on many of Michael's other films as well.

I had the honor of meeting Tissa when I started working in animation in 1990.  
I sat in on classes she taught.
We both served on the ASIFA-EAST executive board.
And we worked on assorted projects together.

Other more eloquent folks will have much more beautiful and poignant things to say about this icon,
but I thought I'd recount some of my personal memories of Tissa:

RED INK

Tissa was generous enough to give weekly animation classes at the venerable Ink Tank back in the day. I was honored to sit at the feet of the master to learn whatever I could but it was always scary to lay your homework before the woman. She'd flip through your drawings with one of those elegantly knotted hands while the other brandished a pen, thrashing crimson ink atop your drawings, smothering your wimpy posing and weak line of action, and gradually cauterizing them with better, stronger lines. She was vicious and sugar-coated nothing. "No no no!" she'd spit. "What is this?!"  "Who told you to draw like that?" "This is terrible."  Eventually, thankfully, her disgust with your work would peter out and she would cock her head with the tiniest sliver of approval, "But you're getting BETTER. That's good."  




I lived for those moments.

LYON LAMB

Tissa once asked if I would come help replace her Lyon-Lamb machine. These were, at the time, the industry standard for pencil testing your animation.  It was really just a glorified VCR that could capture single frames.  You pegged your drawing under a cheap, overhead video camera, chose the number of frames you wanted and clicked.  Rinse. Wash. Repeat.  You only got one shot at it because you couldn't erase or look back at your work until you were done. 
 If you screwed up 
("Wait... did I shoot drawing D-23!") 
you had to start over.  
They were a pain in the butt but way better, faster (and cheaper) than shooting tests on film.

When I got to Tissa's small, yet warm uptown apartment, she showed me into a tiny, sparsely appointed room.  The only things in there were her animation desk, tilted in her signature "how the hell do you draw like that" vertical style, a tiny cot-like bed, and her sooper old-school Lyon Lamb built into an enormous old wooden cabinet.  I had never seen one of these antiques and was amazed that she still had it.  Unfortunately, the reel to reel tape machine inside was dead so I was there to replace it with a newer VCR-type. Afterwards, I gathered up the packaging,
 all the tiny baggies and rubber bands and threw them in the trash.
Tissa almost had a heart attack. 
 Why would I throw away those things?! 
Coming from war-torn Europe, the idea of throwing anything away was an anathema, 
and there I was just being stupid.

I never stood near a trash can when Tissa was around ever again.

PUNCHED PAPER

J.J. Sedelmaier Productions is located in White Plains, about 45 minutes outside NYC.  On my way back home I'd often drop off scenes and/or supplies to animators that lived in the city, like Tony Eastman and, of course, Tissa.  They always needed a steady supply of animation paper which, of course, needed to be punched with the Acme registration holes using one of these:  

You could only punch a couple sheets at a time so it was a dull, laborious process. 
And Tissa liked her paper to be punched PERFECTLY.  
If you jogged the ream of paper evenly you should be look 
straight through the middle hole as if a laser had cut through it.
And if it wasn't....
RUN!
Once I had an intern punch her some paper and deliver it.
I foolishly neglected to warn him about how Tissa liked her paper.
Fortunately, the intern escaped before she noticed.
But when she DID notice,
guess who she called?
I think I broke the land speed record for punching 
a ream of paper and getting it into the city that day.

RAGGEDY ANN AND ANDY

The ASIFA-EAST USED ANIMATION ART AUCTION I used to run was originally put together by David Ehrlich.  The first one I ever went to included around 10 lots of pencil roughs 
Tissa had done for the Raggedy Ann feature.
They were gorgeous, each envelope containing 4 sooper strong roughs that 
demonstrated Tissa's gift for posing.
I couldn't bid on any since I was rather financially embarrassed at the time, 
being only a freshly minted intern on the NYC animation scene.  
So how psyched was I, when after the auction was over, 
Tissa gave me a set that hadn't sold.
And I still got 'em.

So long, Tissa.
The animation world is already 
less animated without you.
 




Monday, August 20, 2012

NEW FISH HOOKS GAME


There's a new app in town
and it's all kinds of 
FISH HOOKS!

Fish Hooks is an underwater physics-based adventure puzzle starring Milo the fish and a host of his aquatic friends from Freshwater High. You assume the role of Milo and must master the art of making and popping bubbles to successfully navigate the treacherous waters of Randy's diabolical design. You will have to float, fall and fling yourself through the mazes to advance, all while maneuvering with the precision of a ninja (well, the fish version of a ninja. While you're in a bubble.) Perfect timing and puzzle solving skills are essential if you want to avoid the increasingly difficult obstacles and master all of the underwater moves you'll need to win. Have you got what it takes to BE THE BUBBLE?
Find out!, as you:

•Play through more than 50 levels of marine madness!
•Unlock 5 of Milo's best friends – who you can use as player characters in the game!
•Master the art of bouncing off turtles!
•Surf whirlpools, fly through tubes and free fall!
•Collect apples in each level and max out your high score!
•Beat Randy Pincherson at his own game and win back the trophy!



I know
I know.

You're all like,

But Mr. Warburton,
I can't afford a game that costs
$562.00!

And I'm all like,

Don't worry, dudes and dudettes.
This game 
is
FREE!

So what are you waiting for?
Go get it over

And don't be shy to rate it, okay?






Wednesday, August 15, 2012

DON'T LET THE PIGEON FINISH THIS ACTIVITY BOOK

I have secrets.

Lots of
sooper cool secret
things that I'm working on
that require
sooper secret levels
of 
secretive 
secrecy.

But sometimes
it's time for one of those secret projects
to become a little less secret.
Like,
for instance,
this:


Yes, this is a Mo Willems book.
But it's so BIG,
so chock full of 
activities, events, games,
and awesomeness that not even the 
mighty Mo Willems could handle making it himself.
So they called in a 
SOOPER TALENTED
 PROFESSIONAL 
to help write it.

But he wasn't available
so they got me instead!
See?


Mo and I hadn't worked together since KND 
and it was a blast collaborating again.
Kind of like putting on a pair of your favorite stinky old shoes
and running around your childhood playground in the mud.

The book took a while
because this isn't your typical activity book.
It's a whopping 270 pages 
with an actual story that has you and Duckling 
visiting Pigeon's house,
writing your own picture book, 
putting on a puppet show, 
making a sandwich 
and even building an airport!



Seriously,
this is the activity book
that all activity books want to be when they grow up.
Check out some of these sample pages I stole from Mo's blog:






Like what you see?
Of course you do.
Because designer 
took what Mo and I did 
and made it 
sooper
BEAUTIFUL.
Please take a moment to applaud him.

Thank you.

Anyway...
We're really proud of this book
and are thrilled to make you wait until
October 2nd to get it.
Don't be shy to pre-order it over
HERE 
if you wanna make 
sure your get yours
in a timely manner.

And keep it locked here to find out about a 
couple special appearances Mo and I will be making
to promote the book in Boston
and the Northampton, MA area.

Now 
THAT'S
gonna be
FUN!


Monday, August 13, 2012

BORN THIS WAY

So it's 1985.
I'm a junior in high school.
I like Devo, Adam and the Ants,
Black Flag and 7 Seconds.
I read lots and lots of J.R.R Tolkien.
I play videogames at Spaceport 
or on my friend's Apple II plus.
I ride a Skull Skates Mutant.



And I love comic books.
Especially X-Men.
In fact, I was pretty much exclusively a Marvel nerd.
(DC didn't do anything for me)

But I'd check out the teeny tiny independent shelf, too.
Alien Legion rocked.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was amazing.
(before they became all "Cowabunga, pizza, dude!")
and occasionally I'd pick up something just for the heck of it.
Especially if I was bored and needed 
something,
ANYTHING 
to read.

I bought this when I was stuck at my grandparents.


I remember liking it so much that I wrote the creator a letter!
And later when I bought issue 5:


I found this on the last page:


Whadda nerd!
Jeez... I was even bugging people for 
drawings when I was a kid!
(I didn't get one)

I actually found issues #1-6 sitting on a shelf in a comic store last weekend.
I know I still have my original copies buried SOMEWHERE.
Maybe at my parent's house?
But for $4 it was worth grabbing them for a read.

I wonder if I'll still like them?

P.S. 
Fashion in Action?  Seriously?


Thursday, August 9, 2012


MAKING MY DAY, EVERY DAY



I'm lucky.

I still get a lot of e-mail, comments and posts 
from operatives around the world telling me how much they love KND.

I don't get to respond to them all,
but I DO read every single one.

And they really make my day.
All of 'em.

Here's one that made me smile before I skipped off to work:

Thank you.
To:warburtonlabs

Hello, I love Codename: Kids Next Door, and I feel that my life would've been different (in a negative way) without it. I really appreciate the show and its brilliant creator. The concept of your idea really appeals to my generation 1990-1999. I am 17 yrs. old and I am currently re-watching the series to remember every single thing and once i start to forget a little bit of it over the years (which isn't likely) I shall let the show reiterate its message. I intend for this message to be an ode to Tom Warburton a.k.a Numbuh Eleventy Billion so I hope he gets a chance to read this and know that he is vastly appreciated and is a great person, although I am sad that the show ended I know it was for a reason.

Kids Next Door Rules! Stay Young.
thanks theviralkidd7!
you rock!


Monday, August 6, 2012

MY PRETTY KND

Someone recently tipped me off to this
Kids Next Door/
My Pretty Pony: Friendship is Magic
mash-up:


And this awesome Sims family:


That is all!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

WHAT TOOK THIS SKETCHBOOK SO LONG?!

Egads...
this sketchbook took forever!


I started it waaaaaaay back in January.

Yeah...
It seems like just 7 months ago
me and my little gorillas
were cutting out little bits of paper for the title page:



It usually takes me 3 or 4 months to fill 
one of these up with the usual
stuff.
Like heavily armed roasting chickens:




And owls:



Great detectives:


Disapproving businessmen:




Trees coming out of my ears:



Toads:



Fish:



Doodles with my kids:



XXXL Swords:



Moose/rabbit/bramble/whatevers?



Rockin' rabbits:



Rhino's confused by Prometheus:


I don't know what this is:



Bearkobra's:



And being okay with things:




Okay then.
On to the next sketchbook!

And
how is
YOURS
coming along?