Thursday, June 27, 2013

A VISIT TO WB CONSUMER PRODUCTS

A couple weeks ago I went to visit my
good friend
Kathleen Wallis
at Warner Bros
Consumer Products.


She used to run all the 
KND
licensing until 
Cartoon Network
opened up their own division.

Consumer products,
if you didn't know,
is all about
STUFF:

Toys
Shirts
Mugs
Hats
Commemorative plates
Keychains
Tortilla Warmers
Throw pillows
Model kits
Decorative swords
Novelty Ice Cream
YOU NAME IT!

If they can sell it,
they'll make it
because
MONEY!

The lobby was
rockin' it
straight up 
Batman
style:




With lots of Legos:






But in the upstairs lobby
they went
full-on
Man of Steel
and
Looney Tunes:


All this came from a
private collector
who's spent decades 
collecting this stuff:



 I would have taken more pictures
but the
Superman
pogo stick
creeped me out:


Awesome stuff, right?





Monday, June 24, 2013

THE ART IN MY OFFICE

I'm lucky.

I have a nice bright office
over at the 
Empire Center Disney 
offices.

Which is great for all my plants.
(some folks call it Jurassic Park)


But aside from plants,
I have a lot of fun artwork
hanging around:


See all those little guys?
They're
SEEKER FRIENDS!

Created by sooper awesome artist
Jeff Soto
they're a limited edition set of prints on wood
he released over the last year or so.

Every month he would make a new 
Seeker Friend 
available for 
ONE
DAY
ONLY 
and for the
LOW
LOW
PRICE
of
$25.

It all started with this dude:


 Each print is signed and numbered:


They got more detailed as the year went on:



Sometimes he would release a matching set:



And last month
the 16th 
and final
(maybe)
Seeker Friend 
came out:


I love these guys and think they look great together:


The other things hanging amidst them
are a poster from the long ago
release event at Six Flags in Atlanta:


A zombie print by Cheeming Boey


I'd rather have one of the coffee cups he draws on:


But they're kinda expensive.
Drool over more

I've already shown you this 
How To Train Your Dragon 
concept sketch by
character design
sooperstar


And this original
is nothing to sneeze at either:


On the other side of the room
looms large
Mr. Townshend.


There's also a 
print.

An original Fish Hooks 
painting by sooper fan
and sooper artist
Isabel Neidorf.

And that 

Over by my desk is this print:


I liked a similar one hanging in
Mr. Willems' kitchen.
He had bought it at a print house 
down south whilst on tour.
The next time he was out that way 
he picked one up for me!

Hanging by the door is this
reminder that there's 
LOTS
to do on
Fish Hooks:


Above the door is another
Jeff Soto print:


And on the shelves are assorted books and toys:


I like my office.

Friday, June 21, 2013

ERNEST ET CELESTINE

So the other day I went here:


To see this guy:


Talk about this:


To be more specific,
Dreamworks was hosting an
ASIFA HOLLYWOOD 
screening of 
a film by 
French director 
Benjamin Renner
called
Ernest and Celestine.

Based on the books by
the film is about a bear and a mouse 
who become friends,
something unheard of in their
segregated society.

Check out the trailer:

Personally,
I thought it was totally charming:
Beautiful design
(loved the broken line and watercolor textures)
Fluid animation
(great weight to the characters)
Wonderful voice acting
(I can listen to people speak French all day)
and
a cute, silly, fun story
(not saccharine)
(great for kids and adults)
(BUT it has subtitles so unless your kids speak French...)
Definitely check this out 
if you get a chance!
Oh... 
and this is 
coming soon, too:

Monday, June 17, 2013

DON'T PIGEONHOLE MO

Sketchbooks.

I'm always talkin'
about sketchbooks.

About how you oughta be 
filling them up with
drawings
doodles
ideas
notes
thoughts
stuff
scribbles
photos
scraps
musings
clippings
and
just,
you know,
KEEPING
A
SKETCHBOOK!

Because
SKETCHBOOK!

And because they're great places

for future projects
to gestate.

Case in point,
Mr. Mo Willems.
(yeah... him again)

For the last two decades,
Mo has created a mini-sketchbook
that he's printed for friends, family, enemies,
clients, attractive ladies and anyone who asked.

Over the years these sketchbooks have served as a
business
slash
holiday card
slash
 'zine
slash
creative laboratory
slash
overstock warehouse
for all things Mo.

And it was one of these
sketchbooks
that gave birth
to a bird that would eventually
launch Mr. Willems'
semi-successful 
book career:


And now,
since Mo
isn't releasing another book
in the next 
3 hours...

There's
THIS:


All twenty of Mo's
sketchbooks
featured in one big book! 


Actually, I don't have all of them.
But I've got a bunch:


They're a fascinating look into
Mo's creative process.
And a way to see how some of his
experiments later evolved into
books.

Like Pigeon:


And Goldilocks:


And Leonardo:



One of the things I've always
admired about Mo
(aside from his taste in friends)
is how his creative mind never rests.
He's always trying something new.
Challenging himself with:

A looser style:


A simpler aesthetic:


Stamp art:


and commuting penguins:


My favorite part of the book features Mo's 
early cartoon sketchbooks:




Many moons ago,
while looking through Mo's latest book,
my wife expressed great love for this
drawing:


I asked Mo for the original
so I could give it to her as a gift.
And he was nice enough to sell it to me for 
$74,000.


He's still waiting for the check.

Get this book.
There's a lot to
love
learn from
and
admire
in there.