Sunday, December 30, 2007

Timmy's Christmas Preview.

Colonel Chris, reporting to you live with an eyewitness report.

4 days. 4 animators. 1 film.

Betrayal. Sex. Scandal. These are all qualities not found in this Christmas cartoon!

The picture was directed by Mike Nassar. Colossal cartoon giants David Gemmill and Ryan Khatam also lent their animation expertise. How'd I get to join the company of such monoliths, you ask? I snuck in the back with a fake ID. The secret is just to blend in.

Here are some screens from my scenes:

Anybody wanna see this cartoon?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Construction Workers.

Eddie Harris and Les McCann

Eddie Harris was a varitone (electric sax) player who recorded a great album "Swiss Movement" with Les McCann. Two terrific jazz musicians. Since nobody probably read my words, I'll just cut straight to the chase.

Eddie Harris - Listen Here

Les McCann - Compared to What

Monday, December 17, 2007


I've always wanted to do a cartoon about a cyclops. I think I'm gonna do one soon.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Freddie King

I can't remember if I did a post on Freddie King or not, but if I have it would be worth revisiting anyway.

Freddie King is my favorite of the three Kings (including Albert and BB). Freddie got a MONSTER tone, and I have no idea how he did it (look at those meat paws!). His band flirted with a lot of funk and soul, and you can feel that interjected into his blues numbers too. On top of his energetic guitar playing, he's lays down some of my favorite vocal performances ever etched into vinyl. Freddie also has one of my favorite key players, Deacon Jones (played with Curtis Mayfield, John Lee Hooker, etc.) on that organ.

After listening to Freddie, it becomes pretty apparent where the likes of Hendrix and Clapton got some of their ideas.

Freddie King - Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone

Freddie King - Boogie Funk

Freddie King - Have You Ever Loved A Woman

Jeff Beck

Out of all the 60's guitarists, I think Jeff Beck came out of the fiery wreckage the best (if you compare him to the likes of Page, Clapton, et al). Jeff has a style that is decidedly of his own. I don't think it's just the fact that he chose to cast aside the pick, but that's the tip of the iceberg. His phrasing is out there, and it's the fact that he's always on the edge of becoming completely dissonant that makes it interesting to me. But he always manages to pull it back and make sense out of complete chaos.

I just wish he'd get a new haircut.

Jeff Beck - Brush with the Blues

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Newest Fashion Craze.

It's all the rage in Paris, Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sketch and a Joke.

"To be is to do." - Socrates.
"To do is to be." - Sartre.
"Do be do be do." - Sinatra.

Sketchy joke at that.

Funny Cat and a Fat Cowboy Thing

Monday, December 10, 2007

Teachers and Colleagues: Part I

If you have class with me, you will eventually get drawn when I'm supposed to be listening.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Felony Fights.

Today's cultural lesson is about Felony Fights. This fine film series explores the inter-convict dialog previously unknown to the upstanding world. We find them in their natural habitat, outside the confines of the "civilized" world that you and I know and take for granted.

*Warning: this video is brutal. Only watch this movie if you watched the movie Irreversible and liked it*

Notice the act of submission from the weaker felon after being dominated by the alpha-male felon. The sounds he makes are intriguingly alike to a camel in heat amidst the desert gravel.

Queer folk, these convicts.

(Footage featured courtesy of Khatam and Gemmil's visit... check them out in the links.)

Otis Spann

Otis Spann was the wonderful pianist that backed up Muddy Waters in his band. But Otis was a very talented singer and musician in his own right and recorded possibly my favorite blues album, entitled "Live the Life". It's got a bunch of wonderful blues piano pieces and some of Muddy Waters best slide work, of course laced with Spann's wonderful singing.

Otis Spann - T'aint Nobody's Business if I Do

Ignore the douchebag in the beginning...

Otis Spann - Cold Feelin' Blues

And another Muddy video just for fun... Dunno if Otis is in on this one.
Muddy Waters - 19 Years Old

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sonny Boy Williamson II

Sonny Boy is my favorite harp player. A lot of harp players just get a couple licks that they repeat over and over but not Sonny Boy. He always keeps it fresh and creative. Sonny Boy was around during Robert Johnson's hayday and died in the 60's. This bastard was one of the few that got to see all the good stuff and truly lived the life of a bluesman. You can tell that when you look at his face.

Sonny Boy Williamson - I'm A Lonely Man


I'm sure I'm the only animator that does a million drawings like this...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Some heavy playin' there, man.


Willie Dixon.

Willie Dixon is the blues. What more can you say about the man that wrote tons of songs that would become standards, including Little Red Rooster, Back Door Man, I Can't Quit You Baby, etc?

Willie Dixon - I'm Nervous

Willie Dixon - Sitting and Cryin the Blues

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bits and Pieces II. The Reckoning.

Muddy Waters

The big voice himself, Muddy Waters. It's hard to talk about blues without talking about Muddy. He grew up in the Delta, but toured the Chicago circuits. Best of both worlds if you ask me: throwing the slow Delta groove into an electric setting. On top of having the greatest voice ever, he was a phenomenal slide guitarist, and I heard that everyone in his band could play every instrument proficiently when they were challenged at juke joints. Muddy on drums! What a low down shame!

Muddy Waters - Long Distance Call

Monday, November 12, 2007

Lou the Frog.

Finally getting around to animating my first short with my pal Lou. He hates the long hours, and says the pay sucks.

Hound Dog Taylor AND Little Walter

Two for the price of one! What a deal! Wait, you didn't paying anything? Why, get out of here you bum!

Anyway, here is a great example of Little Walter. I haven't seen much footage of him. He's the quintessential blues harp player, probably alongside Sonny Boy Williamson Jr. Little Walter really blows it on this tune (in a good way, immature readers) and Hound Dog is backing him right up on slide.

Hound Dog Taylor is one of the few upbeat blues players that I can follow with any enthusiasm. There's just something about his playing that really hits home. He's got a really crunchy tone and his sliding is sloppy (because he was not only a great guitarist but a great alcoholic too) and makes for some really great down home blues. There's probably 3 songs in the Hound Dog catalogue that he rearranges and puts different lyrics to, but you'd never notice.

Hound Dog Taylor & Little Walter - Wild about You Baby

Hound Dog Taylor - It's Alright

Hound Dog Taylor - I Held My Baby

Slower tune of the Dog's that I really dig.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bits and Pieces.

Kindly observations.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

No, I'm not 50 years old. Your dad has all the Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young records, huh? Well, my dad had a couple too and that's how I found out about them. This was my first album to introduce me to Neil Young and Stephen Stills. Just about died when I got ahold of those Stephen Stills and Hendrix tapes from their San Fransisco jam sessions. Anyway, here's where that chapter of my life started.

Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young - Almost Cut My Hair

Sadly, I just recently cut my hair to the enthusiasm of everyone that knows me.

Monday, October 29, 2007


A dear friend came to me with the best kinda project: one with creative freedom! I had some fun doing this without getting too crazy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rabid Animals!

Well, crazy stupid anyway.

Howlin' Wolf

There's no mistakin about how Howlin' Wolf got his name. Not the greatest harp player, but no reason to complain either. And backed by one of my favorite blues guitar players, Hubert Sumlin!

Howlin' Wolf was a real performer that paved the way for many of today's rock stars to make themselves look like buffoons. Wolf would get down on his knees on stage, crawl all over, and sometimes lick his guitar. He was a madman, and was received with shock and awe when he first started to do his stage antics. Iggy Pop oughta pay some dues.

Howlin' Wolf - Dust My Broom

Doin' a Johnson tune.

Howlin' Wolf - May I Have A Talk With You

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Happy Birthday Award Winning Sean Kreiner

I hope he doesn't check this before we go to his house for the BBQ. If you do Sean, surprise!


Sleep is the best rock outfit to come out since Sabbath. End of story. Their album "Dopesmoker" is an hour long composition of the slowest, heaviest shit you've ever waded knee deep through. Unfortunately Sleep is now disbanded, but guitarist Matt Pike's new band High on Fire is definitely worth mention.

Sleep - Dragonaut

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sunday Night Blues

"well i got no food
cuz i got no money
my clothes are old
and smell all funny
take care of both
get me some edible undies"

I've got lots of animation going on right now. You kind folks probably won't see the likes of it for a while, because my semester's gotta end before I can start cleaning up and compositing it. But expect at least 6 films or so to be debuted whenever we figure our website stuff out. Check back for previews!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Blues Blues Blues...

When my baby left me
I wish'd I was dead
But then I thought
I'll find her sister instead

Buddy Guy

Buddy Guy is one of my favorite blues guitarists and is the obvious grandfather of the blues rock guitarists of the 60's (Hendrix, Clapton, SRV).

Both of these examples were taken off the album Drinking TNT 'n Smoking Dynamite which was recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival in '74. Man, I wonder if the festival still holds this quality material? Anybody know? I guess I have my right to be skeptical.

I also just found out that Buddy Guy was the session player on my favorite Muddy Waters album "Folk Singer".

Buddy Guy & Junior Wells - The Hoodoo Man

Buddy Guy & Junior Wells - When You See the Tears from my Eyes

David Gemmil did a cool drawing inspired by Buddy. Check it out HERE.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tourettes Guy

Here's a memory sketch of the Tourettes Guy while I was supposed to be paying attention to my teacher rehash stuff verbatim from the assigned reading. Ugh.

Here's who I'm talking about. Definitely not work friendly, or anything friendly for that matter. Lots of profanity, yet something extremely humorous about the sheer volume of his anger outbursts.

Gil Scott Heron

You know Gil. You just might not know that you know Gil. But I know that you might not know that you know about Gil, you know?

Gil came outta the Bronx. He melted socially-conscious jazz, blues, and soul together into a powerful mixture that paved the path for the first generation of rappers. You've probably heard his song "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". Gil was one of the first artists to seriously explore spoken word over music so hip cats will call him the "godfather of rap". He put out a great song called "Message to the Messengers" once he saw hip-hop start to take off that is very critical of the direction in which the hip-hop community took the artform.

"Four letter words or fours syllable words won't make you a poet,
It will only magnify how shallow you are and let ev'rybody know it."

Gil Scott Heron - Is That Jazz?

Gil Scott Heron - The Bottle

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Eddie Hazel

Eddie Hazel is the phenom guitarist that is known for his career with the legendary Parliament-Funkadelic. He was supposed to go on tour with the surviving members of the Band of Gypsies after Hendrix died, but Hazel himself succumbed to a drug induced heart attack too early for that to ever happen. It was just too good of an idea to ever happen, so it never did.

When Eddie left, guitar virtuoso Michael Hampton took his place. But this is a prime example of visceral feeling highly overpowering technical skill. Hampton has fast runs but loses the essential element that made Eddie fit so well into Funkadelic: feeling.

This ain't yo daddy's funk.

Eddie Hazel - jam

Funkadelic - Maggot Brain

Friday, September 21, 2007

"Cafeteria Crush" airing on Nick.

The first stepping stone to subversively corrupting the youth of America. I just got word that an animated short that I did for Nickelodeon will be broadcast nationally through the cutting edge technology of tel-o-vision on the Nick Toons channel at 8:00pm this Sunday evening on "Shorts in a Bunch". The short is called "Cafeteria Crush" and if you see it, it will be apparent that it's largely autobiographical. Check it out if there's nothing new on the PAX channel or something.

Dempsey Pencil Test

Here's a pencil test for another homegrown toon, nurtured with sunlight and love. Something to tantalize your tastebuds hopefully.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Just some doodles.

Just some doodles, doods.

Sorry for the lack of posts. I'm working on an animation test and I've got a pencil test if anybody's interested... Should I post it, or do you guys just wanna see finished stuff?

Monday, September 10, 2007

the Bar-Kays

Two music posts in a row?! Has Chris gone soft? People, people: I give you my assurances. I'm as hard as ever. Erm... Artwork/animation coming down the pipes (probably later tonight).

The Bar-Kays. They were signed to Stax Records (home to Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, Booker T. and the MG's, et. al). This footage is from Wattstax, the baddest concert on the planet. Could've probably done without the vocals. Their later material really sucks, so don't bother. The guitar player really drives the whole piece and it's nice to see a guitar take a rhythm role in this age of facemelting players (not to say I don't like my share of thems, too).

Anyway, this track is so funky you might wanna turn a fan on in the room.

the Bar-Kays - Son of Shaft

Rahsaan Roland Kirk

You know, this is my blog and I'll blog about whatever I damn well please. And boy oh boy, do I please Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Erm... shit. Well, guess I can't go back, it's already in print so I'm just gonna go forward with it.

Anyway, Roland Kirk is an amazing blind, jazz musician. He's known for playing 3 saxophones at once, two flutes (one in the mouth and one in the nose(okay, minds out of the gutter)), along with a maelstrom of other quirky instruments. He mastered circular breathing (where he doesn't have to stop playing notes to breathe) and was once recorded to play continuously for 2.5 hours without a breath break. This is footage from the Monteaux Jazz Festival.

Rahsaan Roland Kirk - Volunteered Slavery

Rahsaan Roland Kirk - no idea what the song is (not the song title)

Haha, he's his own horn section!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Dempsey the Dodo.

This design is for a 40 second quickie I'm pumpin out starring Dempsey the Dodo. He's the simple man's simpleton. Dempsey tries to put on a raincoat and goulashes to go out into the rain. Hilarity ensues.

And here's a bonus drawing off the pegboard in the animation room. I'd love to see more of people's drawings of the people they work around. This one is of myself (with long hair) and one of my best hippie-smashing friends, Mike Nassar.

Friday, September 7, 2007


My buddy Zack always does rope the 10's.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Great NEWS!

I've been hounding Lou the Frog to let me use him in a film. Finally early this morning, he held his head and reluctantly said "yes, anything as long as you get the &#@*$ out."

The one stipulation Lou had was that there had to be women in in the film. Lots of women. I'm only happy to oblidge.

With the other film winding down, I'm getting geared up for the next. Progress to come soon! Check back! Oh, and could you bring Lou a tylenol and a glass of water? He's got a headache for some reason.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


More progress. This time, I'm adding highlights to my work. Start with the background, poorly executed in Photoshop because you just learned about textures.

Throw down the character. If you have a dramatic scene and you want these highlights to pop, your character is gonna have to be what professionals call low key (or a low value). It's important not to just take the character and pull the value down, or just take the colors and darken them. It's important that the colors preserve their proper relationships, so that might mean dropping saturations or pumping them up a bit. I dropped the saturation of the pilots helmet and lips because they would've been far too saturated, and pumped up his arms because yellow gets really desaturated at low values. Anyway, I'll do a more labored post later about colors, but it's still important to try to think about these things.

Highlights are on a separate layer. I find the color I want, and then set the layer to a low opacity. As with all the highlights, they will be flickering so the amount of opacity range you have really depends on the scene.

Then finally, I do the same for reflected light on the front. What's important is that these highlights should help to really wrap around the form. When I have them roughed in, I usually select the highlights and hit smooth a couple times just to make sure they look clean.

I'm a big fan of classical lighting, and I hope to exploit more techniques like this. Of course, this is just a frame of the scene, but you get the general principle of how I pull stuff like this off.