Wednesday, October 25, 2006

First sketch for CG Challenge

I was able to read a bit of the the book Eon that the CG Challenge is based on, so I can start sketching on things. This is what the Orbital Transfer Vehicle looked like in my head as I was reading (as always, click to enlarge):


I'll be doing sketches for a while, since I have to read the whole book before I figure out what exactly I'm going to illustrate. Until then I'll just be drawing different things and scenes as I read, to get ideas down and grow my visual understanding of the "world" of the book. The final image for the contest is due mid-January, thankfully, so I've got plenty of time to work through the design process.

This will be the first of many, many pieces for the project.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Yes, THAT Jack Davis. Yes... yes. Look, here's proof, dammit!

Yep, I'm gettin' fat. Yep, I'm gettin' a bit bald. But by golly, I got to meet Jack Davis on Saturday night at the CAPS Banquet, so I don't really care whether my head is shiny. Jack is really, really nice and friendly and happy, and graciously accepted all the praise and honor we gave to him. I'm still pretty wonked out about meeting him. Pretty mind-blowing... see, he's looking at one of my favorite bits of his, "World's Most Obnoxious Sports Fan" from this December 1975 issue:

Which has seen better days, but is now autographed. So now I have a nice memento of meeting one of my favorite (and one of the best) cartoonists ever. I got to tell Jack that I had gone to my first baseball game earlier that year (Mets vs. Dodgers at Shea) and this piece made me almost pass out with laughter, because I swear that guy (the Obnoxious Sports Fan) was sitting right behind us (or was it next to us?) - I thought maybe Jack had sat next to the same guy at some point, and based it on him.

Jack is so cool that not only did we cartoonists honor him, but at the banquet he received letters of recognition from former Presidents of the United States Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, both of whom he caricatured in the 1970s. Now that there is some major respect, when you can cartoon (sometimes unflatteringly) the Leaders of the Free World and they send you love and praise. Whoof!

Also, Paul Coker Jr., another most excellent Mad cartoonist, was there for the party. I didn't get a chance to talk to him, sadly. There were a lot of people there, I was lucky just to get up to say hi to Jack. Ah well...

I'm not the only one who's geeking out, by the way. :)

I hope I get to meet Mort Drucker too, that would be the Mad Magazine Trifecta, which of course includes this guy here:

I got really lucky and won this door prize, a 7-piece PVC figurine set of Sergio Aragon├ęs "Groo" characters, which Sergio was kind enough to not only sign, but draw Groo and his dog Rufferto on the box. The Girlfriend (who took these pix) won a comic book of Sergio's from 1977, published by DC, and he also signed and sketched on that. Sergio is her #1 favorite cartoonist ever, with Paul Coker Jr. following at #2. Needless to say we were both very happy with our luck! We figure that if we ever have grandkids, this piece might net them enough on eBay after we're gone (no way I'd ever sell it while I'm alive!!) to put them through college.

Regular readers know I see Sergio about every month at our CAPS meetings, so this isn't such a mind-blowing event for me, but... well, yeah, it is. Sergio is on my top 10 list of not only finest cartoonists ever, but finest human beings ever, since I've gotten to get to know him. He is just a truly impressive person, who is still just as wide-eyed and excited about his gifts and his drawing and his life as a 6-year old boy - but of course he is also a man, who has traveled the world and experienced life in all its splendor and horror, and come through shining. Everyone I know who knows him loves him, and he is unfailingly positive and wonderful to everyone to whom he speaks. If you asked me right now, "who would you most like to emulate in life," the answer, without hesitation, is Sergio Aragon├ęs.

Just to show that I've actually been drawing from time to time, here's a sketch I did at the CAPS meeting last week, a little city plaza perspective that just sort of flowed off my pen during the presentation by the Hellboy Animated guys. I might just set up a more rigorous perspective (it's not very accurate here) and attempt to paint this one...

And finally, I've joined the CGSociety CG Challenge 20, where I'll be competing with hundreds of other concept and CG artists for some nice prizes. Considering some of the incredible artists who are participating, I doubt I'll win anything, but it will be good experience and a little exposure in my field, so it will be fun. I have to post progress images as part of the contest, so I'll put them up here as well.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Official Sopranos Game Site

HBO now has an official site for our game The Sopranos: Road to Respect. There's a bunch of info about the game and a few bits of behind-the-scenes stuff to check out. You can even pre-order the game right now, which I know all you gamers out there who own PS2s will do, right?? RIGHT?? Don't make me go Jersey on your asses. You all have some nice things out there. It would be a terrible shame if something were to happen to it, wouldn't it? Cuz, y'know, stuff happens, capice?

All you Jersey-ites will recognize a lot of different stuff in the game and catch some little inside jokes here and there. There are several locations that aren't part of the TV show, which we built from scratch using photos and pulling stuff out of our brains from growing up there, since three of us artists including my boss are from NJ. I think you're gonna like it.

There's a link to the "Making of..." video which aired last Friday on HBO - I got it on my DVR, yay - so you can watch that online. The actors and David Chase, the creator of the show, seem like they're pretty psyched about the game and pleased with how it's come out. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, I think it really is a Sopranos "episode," it has the feel and it works. While a bunch of my co-workers are interviewed, I'm not in the video (which is good cuz I'm damn ugly on film), but a whole bunch of my work shows up, several concept sketches and a lot of scenes that I did the camera work for. Also, as a fun little bonus, there's a very quick shot of a guitar used as a weapon - yep, it's my Les Paul. :) The sound effect when you bash someone with it is my old blue hot-rod strat, which I have here in my cube for when I take breaks from drawing.

So, we're live and nationwide, so that's good. The game comes out November 7, according to the site, so first you go vote, then head to the game store and pick this one up.