Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Resophonics

Many of you know that I have been playing the guitar since I was 10. I think that if you play an instrument you have a greater appreciation of more diverse music genres. I enjoy rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, jazz and country (from the 50’s and 60’s, not the new crap they try to tell you is country). One band that I have seen at least 4 times is The Resophonics. They are a bluegrass/folk band that really rocks. They have so much energy on the stage and they always have one or two hilarious stories to tell. The first time I saw them only three members of the band performed, Paul Kochanski on bass, Sean Staples on guitar and Eric Royer on banjo. I drew caricatures of them of them minus Sean’s beard, which he no longer has. You can check out there site here, although the link to purchase their CD’s no longer works.

Paul Kochanski

Sean Staples

Eric Royer

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Put On Your PJ's and Pour a Bowl of Captain Crunch

Flash back to 1969 any Saturday morning. A small boy of 7 years wearing cowboy pajamas settles in front of the TV with a heaping bowl of Captain Crunch cereal. He is glued to the television for hours watching cartoons. This leads to a lifetime love of all things cartoons. Flash forward to May 26, 2009. A not so small man of 46 wearing jeans, t-shirt and swilling from a heaping glass of Guinness is glued to the TV watching cartoons. Coming in exactly two weeks is the DVD release of Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960s Volume 1. If you are my age this is a no-brainer purchase.

Below are pictures from all the cartoons that will be on this awesome DVD. See how many you remember.

Ricochet Rabbit
Punkin Puss
Magilla Gorilla
The Impossibles
The Jetsons
Frankenstein Jr.
The Herculoids
Dino Boy
Space Ghost
Marine Boy (the only one I don't remember)

The Flintstones

Augie Dogie
Snooper and Blabber
Quick Draw McGraw & Baba Looey
The Porky Pig Show
Winsome Witch
Squiddley Diddly
Secret Squirrel and Morocco Mole
Yippee, Yappee and Yahooey
Breezly and Sneezly
Peter Potamus and So-So
Hillbilly Bears
Precious Pupp
Atom Ant
Top Cat

Monday, May 11, 2009

How to Draw Stupid

I was recently talking to Bill White who was one of the instructors for the cartooning class I took. He highly recommended, "How to Draw Stupid" by Kyle Baker. Of course I had to have it. After reading it twice I decided to take some notes. What follows is the list of the best bits I gleaned from it.

You have to ACTually draw something, even if it is bad.

Doing stuff wrong is how you learn to do it right.

Cartoons are all about using exaggeration in the service of communication.

It’s the characters personalities that people respond to.

The body is composed of three basic sections, head, rib-cage and pelvis. You should have all the sections oppose each other.

Two priorities in cartoon design: emotion and clarity.

In cartoons the eyes are where the characters live.

A good cartoon character should be easy for everyone to draw (i.e., Peanuts, Sponge Bob).

Simplify by eliminating details and also by exaggerating contrasts.

Leave nothing in the art that is not story information.

Streamline designs for clarity and easy repetition.

Every element of the cartoon should communicate.

Not using reference pictures is lazy.

Characters are defined by what they do.

People respond to characters not dialogue.

The purpose of entertainment is to manipulate emotions.

Antics are the moves that precede and anticipate a bigger move that follows. Antic is short for anticipation.

Avoid the “Hand of Death.” Most people don’t stand around talking with their hand just held out or floating in space. Have the characters hand doing something.

Stupid people are safe to ridicule, because they always think you are talking about someone else.

The eyes show what a character is thinking.

If you are drawing a strip with a stupid character, show the character thinking before doing something stupid. It makes them seem even more stupider.

Try to generate at least two conflicting emotions. Funny with a sad ending-romance with comedy-excitement with fear-depression with uplift.

Have your characters display a specific emotion state that’s specific to the situation and is played in character.

"How to Draw Stupid" is a great book packed with helpful tips for the cartoonist. If you are interested in drawing comics or cartoons you should definitely pick it up.

Kyle has a blog you should checkout, .
In addition to Kyle's blog, you must stop by Bill's, . He updates it quite frequently.