Monday, November 30, 2009


You've heard of Imaginism, right?

Well, if not, here's a little blurb from their website that explains them pretty well:

Imaginism Studios is made up of independent artists specializing in publishing, television, and movie pre-production. We produce some of the most fun and upbeat designs, concepts, and illustrations around! Plus we’re really friendly and will work long hours to meet your needs, so please feel free to contact us and let us know how we can help you!

Well, two of my favorite Imaginismeers (sp?) were at CTN-X and I just had to stop by their table and introduce myself since I had never met them in person:

That's Kei Acedera and Bobby Chiu in the pic (but that's not CTN-X. I borrowed that image from So just squint your eyes and pretend it's from CTN-X)

They were selling their gorgeous art books that covered every topic you're into:

Guy Sketches
Girl Sketches
Cat and Dog Sketches
Dragon Sketches
Water Worlds
Ancient Japan Sketches
Chickens Dressed Like Bea Arthur in Medieval Finery and Football Helmets

They were also selling reeeeeeeeeeally nice prints of their work, each one more drooltastic than the next. I got this one:

I love pictures that tell a story without the need for pesky words. Is that big-blue-serpenty-caterpillar thingie about to have that kid as a snack? Or grant him three wishes? Or dress him up like Bea Arthur in medieval finery and a football helmet and THEN eat him and grant him three wishes?

The world may never know. But i KNOW that I couldn't walk away from Mr. Chiu and Miss Acedera with just a print. I had to ask them to draw me something:

Yeah... I know.
Off the charts with the awesomosity, right?

Extra big-blue-serpenty-caterpillar-sized thanks to these guys for the drawings and make sure to check out their work in Tim Burton's upcoming Alice in Wonderland!

Monday, November 23, 2009


"Since it was the first one, I thought it would be kinda lame."

"I thought it was just gonna be a bunch of artists selling prints and stuff"

"Eh... I thought about going but didn't feel like it."


These are a couple of the responses I got from people who didn't go to the CTN-X expo last weekend.

And you know what? I'm kinda glad everybody in LA didn't go. Because if everybody was there I wouldn't have gotten THIS:


That's right... I'm walking the floor of CTN-X and there, idling in his booth, is Don Bluth.

Yeah... Secret of Nimh, Land Before Time, Dragon's Lair, Space Ace DON BLUTH and NO ONE is talking to him. Sure... I've passed his table before and it was crowded. But this time... there's NO ONE THERE!

So I gots to stop and talk. And I gotta tell him about how his movies inspired me. And I've even got time to tell him how a long time ago me and my best friend from high school were at the local arcade (Space Port) and the manager asked us if we'd help move in the brand new Dragon's Lair machine. And in return we got a whole bunch of free credits to play!

But man, that game was HARD!

Regardless... what a guy. Sooper friendly, no BS, quick with a story...

and even quicker with a drawing.


But the sighs don't end there.

If you know me... you know I love me some Craig McCracken. Powerpuff Girls was one of the reasons I wanted a show on Cartoon Network. And then he follows it up with Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends?!


So what's next for him?

How's about his work-in-progress graphic novel 'Wander Over Yonder'?!

You may drool accordingly.

BUUUUUUUUT what about Lauren Faust, who just happens to be Craig's wife?! They had a table together at the expo and were selling prints, and t-shirts and stuff.

And perhaps you've that Lauren's sooper triple cute Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls are currently selling in world famous NYC toy store FAO SCHWARTZ?!

Yeah... I got a drawing of that:

So glad those suckuhs stayed home while I hung out and grabbed some awesome drawings.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I just spent the weekend at the sooper very first ever Creative Talent Network Expo here in Burbank, California and man, it rocked like a hurricane!

See, the folks at the Creative Talent Network looked around and saw that there was no annual event in the LA area dedicated to networking for the animation community. So why not make one?

Yeah... WHY NOT?!?

But usually these things are a wreck the first year or two (I'm talking to you, NYC COMICON). They're disorganized, you can't find anything, they get overcrowded, it's hot and sweaty and the floor is covered with rotting giant squid (or something like that).

NOT SO with CTN-X! They really had themselves put together and put on a great event that people are gonna be talking about for a loooong time.

Personally, I couldn't have had a better time. I wandered the floor catching up with friends who had tables to hawk their wares (Craig McCracken and Lauren Faust, Bill Presing and Ikumi Moriya Presing, Scott Morse)... I hung out with other attendees (Khaki Jones, Chris Hamilton, Wilson Swain)... I went to absolutely amazing and informative panels (Pixar Storytelling, Dreamworks Production design, Animators who've made the transition from 2-D to 3-D, Visual Structure in storytelling, an interview with Mike Mignola) and made sure to introduce myself to lots of artists I've admired or had the pleasure of discovering at the event.

And, of course, I asked lots of folks to draw in my sketchbook. So over the next coupla days I'll be posting them up and telling you about some of the great panels.
In the meantime, here are a couple drawings:

This one here is by the legendary Eric Goldberg?!

Pixar's Bill Presing and his wife Ikumi... both old school New Yorkers!

How's about brilliant character designer Ben Balistreri?!

And there was lots of stuff to see and do. There as a wonderful life drawing model doing costumed poses (a cowboy, a pirate, the Godfather), live drawing, sculpting and digital demos by assorted artists, raffles, and of course, parties!

So all and all-- congrats to the Creative Talent Network for a MASSIVE success. They worked hard on this event and it showed.

So what could they do to make it even better for next year? Well for one, they're gonna need a bigger space. The floor was generally easy to get around, but the conference rooms weren't big enough and a lot of people got shut out (BUT... and this was VERY smart of the organizers... they had all the panels transmitted to TV's in the lobby!).

What else? It would have been nice to have badges for the attendees so you could know who's who.

But that's about all I've got to complain about.

Well, that and the fact I wasn't made Sooper Triple Just Moved to LA Guest of Honor.

Oh well.

Keep it locked for more in the next buncha posts.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


...until Sir Elliot Cowan would make good on his cross-your-heart-and-hope-to-be-fired-out of-a-submarine-torpedo-tube-naked promise to bestow a real live original Boxhead and Roundhead drawling on me.

And after 37 years... it FINALLY came:


But you know what's even coooooooler?
(Besides being fired out of a submarine torpedo tube naked?)

When you find ANOTHER drawing on the back of an original piece of art!

Like this teeny one here:

I'm not quite sure what exactly it is, though. It kinda looks like a glowering little Russian stacking doll with a genie's lantern on its head.


Then perhaps I have it upside down?

Now it looks like a burnt roasting turkey with the head of a Rebel Commando (you know, the dudes who went to take out the shield on Endor... duh.)


You don't think that's what it is either?

Well then YOU tell me what the heck it is, smartypants.

And THANKS, Elliot!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Wasn't it just late last August when I started a new sketchbook? I told you about it over HERE but it appears that book is done now!

As you saw in that old post, I had started doing loopy, continuous drawings that traveled from page to page throughout the book and i pretty much stuck with that theme:

It turned out to be a pretty fun way to do a sketchbook...

Because if you didn't know what to draw...

you just draw a dragon...

that goes on...

and on...

and on...

aaaaand oooooooon...



and then you move on to... i dunno...

a deep sea diver with some kind of intestiney air hose?!

or some telephone poles...

or sometimes you just need someone to hold onto the cool Naruto TCG card you got in the latest issue of Shonen Jump.

It's funny... some sketchbooks take a couple months, and others drag on for almost a year or more! This one went pretty fast, mainly because I wanted to just keep drawing even if I didn't know what I wanted to draw.

Anyway... that sketchbook is, like, SO over now. And it's on to new things.

So here's the first page of the new one... which has GREY paper instead of white (ooooooh!):

The drawings can only get better from here!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Heya fellow Californians!

Don't forget that I'm gonna be rockin' the Cerritos Public Library this Monday, November 16th at 7pm! I'll be readin' and signin' copies of 1000 TIMES NO, talkin' about making cartoons, and drawin' pitchers! Come on down and say,

"Hi, Mr. Warburton! It's great to see you in the Cerritos Public Library at 7pm on Monday, November 16th!"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lunchin'... WITH ROBOTS!

After doing countless hours of research in libraries and on the internet, and paying off many, many street informants, i FINALLY found out where Bob Boyle goes to lunch every Friday to discuss taking over the world with his fellow evil robots!

It's at some pizza joint in Burbank, and after staking it out for a couple months, I finally did it! I risked my life by disguising myself as an evil robot and crashed their little picnic!

It must not have been a very good disguise, though. They didn't mention ANYTHING about taking over the world, enslaving humanity, or bringing back VCR's. And instead of drinking oil, they ate pizza and sandwiches. And root beer.

They were obviously onto me and decided to play it normal by talking about animation and books and stuff. Which was kind of nice. In fact, there was this one guy named James Burks (not his REAL robot name, obviously) who was a creative director on WOW! WOW! WUBBZY! has now his first graphic novel, called Gabby and Gator, coming out soonishly. He even drew me a picture of them:

A couple other suspicious characters in attendance were Kyle Neswald and Frank Rocco... both creative director designer types on Wubbzy and/or Kung Fu Panda, El Tigre, etc. They did these drawings... which upon further study might be attempting to further Bob Boyle's robot agenda.

Bob drew something, too. But it was so anti-human... so unbelievably pro-robot evil that I can't show it here! It was also his version of one of my projects that's sooper secret so there's that, too.

All in all, it was a very nice lunch, mainly because they were acting all human and nice for my benefit. I might have to show up again... not because I like them or anything. Just to make sure they're not up to complete and utter evil.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Soooooo last week I got to see Pete Dockter talk about making Pixar's UP...

And last night I got to see Henry Selick talk about CORALINE!

Ya gotta love ASIFA HOLLYWOOD putting on free screenings with the directors there to talk about them! Best deal in town!

This was actually my first time seeing Coraline. I hadn't read the book, so I didn't know what to expect save for what I had seen in the trailers. And I liked it. Wasn't in love... but visually it was stunning. I spent a lot of time being stupamafyed at what they had accomplished with stop motion-- which isn't necessarily a good thing since it kinda took me out of the story a bunch of times. But still, the movie was quite an accomplishment. And after the credits roll there's a time lapse sequence of a really complicated scene before they digitally took out all the rigging and stuff-- massively cool.

Afterwards, Mr. Selick came out to be interviewed along with supervising sound designer Ron Eng. And since you probably weren't there (because if you were I would have said HI and bought you some Milk Duds) I thought I'd transcribe some of the juicy tidbits from the conversation. So here we go:

• Mr. Selick originally got the book from writer Neil Gaiman's agent ages before it got published... apparently he was having trouble getting a publisher to pick it up because it was thought to be too scary for children. This same problem occurred once they tried to find someone to make the movie. So they were already developing the film when the book eventually came out and became a best seller.

• When bigshot producer Bill Mechanic came onboard, he had a previous deal with a company that said he couldn't do any animated projects. So they originally went around town pretending Coraline would be a live-action film until the deal was up.

• Mr. Selick's development process includes a lot of 'scrapbooking and sketching'. For instance, the Other Mom's spy doll idea (which was not in the book) came from an old obituary Mr. Selick found with a picture of a girl with a doll that looked just liked her. He thought it was weird and fit the story so he cut it out and saved it.

• Ron Eng brought up that when you're designing sound for live action films, you spend most of your time trying to hide bad recording on the production track, but in animation you get to create a whole world from scratch.

• Also regarding sound, Mr. Selick said that they tried very hard "not to add too many spices to the stew" and keep it very simple and sparse, especially in the 'real' boring world.

• When asked about the advancements in stop motion since The Nightmare Before Christmas, he said that while animating on TNBC they were able to save TWO frames of animation. But on Coraline they could save entire scenes. Which was amazing, but it caused a lot of "navel gazing"-- where animators would constantly refer back to what they had shot instead of forging onward to get the scene done.

• Another big advancement was the use of 3-D printers that could carve actual heads from computer models. This allowed for even more intricate facial expressions.

• After trying out hundreds of musical ideas for the movie, they found that the soundtrack to the documentary Winged Migration worked amazingly well. It was both "dark and light" and represented "true childhood.... not syrupy sweet stuff". So they brought the composer Bruno Coulais on.

• My question to Mr. Selick was "What sequence, or sequences, almost killed you?" The answer was that before any sequences had a chance to kill him, trying to get financing had already done the deed. But once that was taken care of, the garden blossoming into Coraline's face was a killer as was the sequence when the Other Mother turned the room into a spider web. They had to fabricate a 20 foot steel spiral that could bounce and still allow the animators to reach in and do their thing.

• Another fun anecdote came from recording the famous English duo of French and Saunders as the two old actresses who live beneath Coraline. Mr. Selick had flown out to England to record them and after hours of recording knew that what he got was "good... but not great". So, after much internal deliberation, he suggested that they switch characters... which almost instantly made the characters roar to life.

• When asked about how much of the film "actually existed" and how much was CG, Mr. Selick guessed around the 90% mark. He seemed uncomfortable talking about when they used CG in the film... which I assume is a stop motion animators point of pride. CG can feel like 'cheating'.

• And lastly, I had forgotten to ask about a phrase that showed up after the credits:

For those in the the know: Jerk Wad

So I googled it and found out that it was in reference to Coraline throwing her shoes at Whyborn and calling him a jerk wad. If you dig around on the Coraline website and typed in 'jerk wad' you could win a pair of shoes.

Obviously there was more things said, and more lyrically described. But this is what you get for not being there. As I said before... ya gotta love ASIFA HOLLYWOOD for putting on this stuff!

But then again, you know I'm always down with ASIFA, be it East or West.