Friday, November 8, 2013

Abbott and Costello Meet Young Frankenstein

My final and greatest piece of Halloween art for this year. I present my mock-poster for a mashup between two great horror comedies.

I refer to 'Young Frankenstein', Mel Brooks classic 1974 horror comedy about the grandson of the original Doctor Frankenstein who is at first repulsed by his progenitors work but is then seduced into carrying on his work and creating a new monster. It's a finely crafted comedy that I've talked about a lot recently.

And of course 'Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein' the first in a series of horror-comedies from the 1940s starring the comedy duo running afoul of Universals 'Big Three', Dracula, Frankensteins monster and the Wolf Man.

Check out the great opening title sequence to 'Abbott and Costello..." with animation by Walter Lantz!

Like a lot of my art, I take two things I enjoy and smush them together. Ren and Stimpy meets Misery, Popeye vs Scarface, The Avengers in New Zealand, Daffy Duck meets Sherlock, and so on.

Here's my super sketchy layout.
I began wondering about how the two movies could cross-breed gags. I could imagine Bud and Lou doing bits like "Put the candle back!" and "You take the blonde, I'll take the one in the toiban"

Or maybe  Costello gets made into the monster by the Mad Doctor for having the perfect body "Wide, large, and of prodigious girth" "Gee, you don't have to get personal".

Can you imagine Costello as the Monster doing the 'Puttin' on the Ritz' number with Dr Frankenstein? Or how about a bit where Abbott leads a mob with Inspector Kemp to storm the castle and rescue his buddy!

Shoot, I need to doodle some of these gags.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


This has been, without contest, the best Halloween night in years. Anybody who knows me knows that Halloween is my favorite holiday and this year I decided to do something about it. So, I invited all my friends around for a scary movie evening.

Here's the banner I Frankensteined together from various sundry parts. Including some art I'm still working on...

The invites specified that costumes were "welcome but not mandatory". I decided to go all out and wear a costume that suited my physiognomy, here I am in full dress as Rowan Atkinsons silent comedian, Mr. Bean.

I brought the jacket and pants from a thrift store and the rest were things I had around the house, including the suitcase and Teddy. I searched all over the city to find a bear more like the one Bean has but couldn't. The one I used worked out actually, since it sat snuggly in my breast pocket.

Here's a novelty, a photo taken of me earlier in the year in another costume.

This is me dressed as some sort of villainous oil-baron. I particularly liked the double eyebrows. I think I look sort of like the bad-guy from 'There Will Be Blood.'

I didn't exepct anyone else would come in costume and I'd be the only turkey wearing one. But a couple of my friends came through, one dressed as everyones favorite internet boogeyman, Slenderman, and another dressed as the Mad Hatter. I wish I'd gotten a picture of us together!

The night went off with out a hitch, we gathered in the rumpus room with several sofas gathered around a coffee-table full of chocolate, chips, pizza, soda and beer with a big TV in the corner.

I played a DVD of Mr Bean to kill time until everyone arrived, at which point the program began. To start the night off, I played one of my favorite black and white and appropriately spooky cartoons 'Swing You Sinners'. I always think it's good to play a cartoon before the main feature.

The first movie of the night was a horror-cmedy I've been raving about recently, Mel Brooks 'Young Frankenstein'. Something Halloween related but with a screwball sense of humor to keep things light-hearted while the sun was still up.

Between one movie and another I like to play something fun and short, so next we watched Disneys short film 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow' based on Washington Irvings novel. Which I've raved about previously.

The next movie we watched was the remake of the horror standard 'Evil Dead'. I liked the original evil dead and LOVED the sequel which dove headfirst into insanity, so this remake which recieved moderate praise was just what we needed, something a little more intense but still fun in a crazy, gory, blood-splatter way.

Surprisingly, the original Evil Dead, in it's entirety, is available for free on YouTube, embedded below.

For our next cartoon interlude, we watched The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror IV, which includes three of their best segments and some of the best animation The Simpsons ever boasted, courtesy of David Silverman.

Image shamelessly yoinked from here.

And for the last movie of the night we needed a movie that wasn't fun or silly. We needed something creepy and ultimately scary, so I picked C. Robert Cargills screenwriting debut film 'Sinister'

Cargill was a longtime reviewer for one of my favorite movie sites and his since gone on to a very successful career as a writer of both screen and print.

Sinister was met with great reviews claiming it to be one of the bets horror films that year and showing a real understanding of how to play an audience like a piano.

It really freaked me and my guests out, that's for damn sure as mustard. So much so that to put everyone in a slightly giddier mood before switching out the lights before bed, we had an impromptu viewing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. The perfect palette cleanser!

My only regret is that we didn't get ANY Tick or Treaters this year! Granted we're on a dead-end street but that shouldn't stop kids from walking up to the door. And I was really looking forward to using this Tony the Tiger jack-o-lantern to hand out candy to kids.

Oh well, there's always next Halloween! How will I outdo myself next year...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Kirk and Khan: Gotta Sing!

Sometimes I draw things without immediately posting them on the internet. A few months will go by and I'll look at the art again and wonder 'what on earth possessed me to draw this?' but here we are. A Star Trek buddy-duo album.

It's everyone's favorite space nemesis', Kirk and Khan, on their wondrous new album "Kirk and Khan Together Again!"

These are caricatures of the actors playing Kirk and Khan in the new line of movies, Chris Pine and Benarnold Katzenjammer, respectively.

And just to make you question my sanity further, I recorded a song, that's right, a song for this mock album cover. Inspiration hit after seeing the new Star Trek movie; Kirk and Khan singing the old Hollywood standard 'Anything you can do I can do better'.

I call it 'Anything you Khan do I Khan do Better'

I do an impression of William Shatner's Kirk since he's more vocally recognizable than the current actor. No disrespect to Mr Pine but Shatner, like Chrstopher Walken, has one of the most unique speech rythyms ever committed to film.

I learned how to do a half-decent Kirk from this instructional video from voice-actor and professional Kirker, Maurice LaMarche. Now you too can sound like an egotistical space-captain with baffling speech inflections too!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Mission to the Sun

A friend of mine said he had an 'art thing' on that evening and I showed up and was surprised to find myself at a University lecture on Street art.

At one point they asked the audience to participate by creating a small peice of art based on a random phrase of their choosing: 'Into the Sunset.'

Here's a recreation of my doodle which was one of the prize-winners:

I decided to do something a little different and make it a space-cowboy literally traveling into the sun. After all Astronauts are the new Cowboy. Isn't that what they say on Star Trek? "Space. The Final Frontier."
So I drew a MIlt Gross style dog, riding a phallic rocket named 'Hi Ho Silver' into the eye of the sun ala  George Melies 'Trip to the Moon'

Jokes on them though, nobody knew I was a legitimate cartoonist. I cheated by using skill! Haha! Another daylight robbery!

Monday, October 7, 2013

HALLOWEEN: Headless Horseman Banner and Misc. Art

For Halloween I've put together a simple, temporary banner with that pumpkin guy I draw all the time (Scrawny Pumpkinseed) as the famous jack-o-lantern head of the Headless Horseman from Sleepy Hollow.

And I've also got a grab bag of other art I've fired off recently, including this rather stylish pop-art portrait of Vincent Price.

I've got to work with markers more often, drawing this was the most fun I've had drawing in a long time! Though don't ask me to explain my color choices.

Vincent Price called to me, from beyond the grave, and he said "Plum and canary-yellow, dude"

I was so tickled by my Vincent Price marker art, that I rushed to do another.

Here's a color study of a Mel Crawford Flintstone. It's definitely not perfect, my marker work is sloppier. The drawings proportions are different than the original, the pupils are definitely larger.

The saddest thing is that my animation school, who's markers I was using, didn't have all the colors I need. That;s why his muzzle is squash colored instead of grey and his pelt is the more traditional orange, rather than green like in the drawing I was copying.

It may not be exactly how I wanted it but it makes me smile when I see it sitting on my desk.

Here's some fanart I did for Craig McCrackens stellar new cartoon on Disney channel "Wander Over Yonder". Here I mashed Wander and Lord Hater characters with Star Wars characters. I like to call it "Darth Hater and Luke Skywander".

This is another case of pencil sketch, cleaned up with black ink pen and colored with markers, which I'm really favoring lately.

There's lots of things I like about the way this looks. Hater and especially Wander have a nice silhouettes, I like the swish effect on his light-saber, I was able to find just the right shade for his Jedi cloak and how about the creative way I organized the speech bubbles? *Pat on back*

If you haven't checked out Wander Over Yonder, make sure you do. I stand by my tweet where I said this is the best looking cartoon on TV. Super appealing, fun cartoony motion and the best thick and thin line-work I've seen since the early '60s days of Hanna Barbera.

*Watch the Wander Over Yonder pilot 'The Picnic' Here*

Here's the promo art I did to celebrate Makinita's much anticipated 'Lugo season #1 DVD' arrival in my country by Captain Aotearoa; my NZ superhero character and internationally recognised representative of New Zealand.

Here's my copy of the DVD and the wicked doodle Makinita inserted for me. Whatta pal!

Here's a couple pieces that have always bothered me, so I went back and fixed them up more to my liking or as I like to say I went back and George Lucas'd them.

I made this Fearless Fosdick art black and white to make it more like the comics...

... and the original colors of this cartoon greeting card from several Halloweens ago, were way too primary. Cecil especially was a sickeningly bright mint green.

This Popeye- Scarface art you've seen already but here's a great tweet I got from the top Popeye artist working today, Stephen DeStefano!

And to round it all out, I offer you without explanation; Me as a cowboy, riding an ostrich while holding a marker pen. Enjoy!

HALLOWEEN: Macabre Barbers

It's the cartoonists favorite holiday again, Halloween! I have a few ideas from years past for Halloween art which I didn't get around too. I'll try and do as many of them as I can before the big day!

Here's a new twist on an old classic, I call it 'Macabre Barbers'

This drawing really reinvigorated me after a long period of not really doing much artwork. I had a great time drawing Frankenstein and all his parasitic cohorts grooming his hair.

This drawing is partly a redux of this drawing from a few years ago, 'Tim Burton's Barber and Stylists'

The same way I recently redid my drawing of Phinky the Jirellaphink.

But I had so much fun drawing Frankenstein that I decided this didn't need to have anything to do with Tim Burton really and just made it a fun silly Halloweeny barber shop scene.

As you can probably tell, I liked the pencil art so much, that rather than tracing over the drawing with new digital line-work, I simply scanned the original, darkened the levels and then colored it digitally.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mad Doctor Sheep


My brilliant friend and schoolmate Mikey runs a Facebook group called Club Sketch. Mikey's naturally a very outgoing artist and likes to interact and encourage other artists and this group let's him do that.

Each month he hosts a theme challenge for group members to participate in and always has a banner to go with it. This month he asked me to design a banner with a mad sheep scientist carrying a ray-gun type machine.

I'm certainly not the best tech designer, but crazy cartoon characters are me forté. I drew this in pencil and colored it digitally. Creates a rather nice effect, doesn't it?