Monday, December 31, 2007

Holiday Lights

To ring in the New Year, I present to you the holiday animation I made for 2006. Here's the text I sent to friends to setup the animation:

Dear friends,

I've been doing holiday illustrations for a while now, but recently I've received numerous requests to do a special animation for the Christmas season. So in the spirit holiday giving, here it is - an animated festival lights.

If I may say so, I think it's quite a thing of beauty which perfectly captures the illuminated holiday displays of the season. But isn't not just a spectacle for the eye, oh no, the music for this animation was carefully selected for it's emotional impact. Extra bonus points to anyone who can identify the rich orchestrations I used in this short.

It's my sincerest hope you'll enjoy this celebration of electrical wonders, and harmonious sounds of the season. So without any further adieu, please join me as we visit a serene and picturesque winter carnival where the magic unfolds...

video

Not to belabor the joke, but here's an explanation in case my animation left you scratching your head.

So the "joke" was what you could call a switcheroo. In the setup I made it sound like I was animating elaborate holiday light displays, and I start the animation with fancy orchestra music and the winter carnival setting. But I then start pulling away from the carnival, and switch to wacky animated neon and illuminated signs that have holiday themes edited to the music from the closing credits of the Bullwinkle show.

But you probably knew that didn't you?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Homemade Christmas Card Retrospective #7

I discovered Microsoft Publisher in 1997, and thought it would be a great tool for creating my cards (I'd barely even heard of the Adobe's Photoshop or Illustrator back then). Kinko's told me they could print my Publisher file directly on to card stock. Great news! This was going to be my best card yet, but, unfortunately, due to some odd quirk my artwork printed in B&W. So I had to settle for some weird colorized look...

Front

The colorized look sorta works since my card was supposed to resemble a poster for an old cartoon. Still I would have preferred my artwork to be in full color, so for the first time ever here's my original art...

Original Art

On the inside I made up a fake news clipping about my fake cartoon...

Inside

And finally my fake company name for the year...

Back

Well this completes my homemade card posts for the season. Thanks to everyone who left comments, or emailed with some kind words. I truly appreciate it.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Homemade Christmas Card Retrospective #6

I used a paper cut-out technique for the art on my 1996 card. This wasn't my attempt to copy the look of South Park (South Park didn't premiere until 1997), but to copy the look of Mary Blair. Mary's art is very cute and charming, and I wanting my elves to look cute even if they were doing something very weird.

Front

Head cheese has to be one of the grossest food products ever, and about the strangest thing I could think to substitute for gingerbread. On the inside I didn't have any clever text, it just said "Happy Holidays."

Here was my fake company name for 1996...

Back

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Homemade Christmas Card Retrospective #5

In 1995 I got a little religious, but it was a geeky kind of religious with the three wise men depicted as robots.

On the inside it read...


On the back is my fake card company name for the year...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Holiday Spirit

Here's my Christmas gift to the world, or at least the handful of people who visit this blog each day.

Instead of sending out cards each year I've stated doing short holiday animations. This years animation is about a cute bell ringing elf, and the holiday spirit that possesses him. Enjoy...


video

I'm planning to do a few more homemade Christmas card posts this coming week, and one last special animation to ring in the New Year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Homemade Christmas Card Retrospective #4

We're now up to 1994, and I decided to place something disturbing on the front of the card.

Front

On the inside it read...

Inside

As you can now see it was disturbing, yet highbrow at the same time (hey isn't that Hooters' slogan?) with my idea of how old Pablo Picasso might have drawn Old Saint Nick.

Also I put another fake card company name on the back...

Back

You may have guessed by the company name I do like using a thesaurus from time to time.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Homemade Christmas Card Retrospective #3

Two years of hand airbrushing each and every one of my Christmas cards, not to mention coming up with a totally original idea, is grueling work. So in 1993 I made a quantum leap into the future by photocoping my cards, and I further cut down my labor by simply altering the artwork of an existing card.

I found a cheap card that featured some corny old-timey artwork, and I spiced things up at bit by carefully painting in a stick of dynamite. Years of watching Loony Tunes is bound to have an effect on ones' mind.

front

I kept the original inside text which now took on a slightly new meaning...

inside

On the back of the card where you'd find the Hallmark logo (if this was a real store-bought card) I made up my own brand name. I don't remember where I found the word dactylogram (it means finger print), but I think I liked how it rhymed with the word brand. It also sorta ties in with the OK hand gesture clip-art.

Back

The addition of the dynamite in the pants was so subtle that some people didn't even notice it. Upon news of this one of my friends profoundly stated, "In life there are those who notice dynamite in the pants, and those who don't."

Friday, December 7, 2007

Homemade Christmas Card Retrospective #2

For Christmas of 1992 I made another airbrushed card, but unlike the snowman card I only did the front of the cards this time.

I liked the word play of "Christmas on Easter Island," and using the island's iconic statues in a fun way.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Homemade Christmas Card Retrospective #1

In 1990 I got the idea to make my own Christmas cards. Here is my first official card. I only made about 15 since the cards were a bit labor intensive. Each card was hand drawn and airbrushed. That's right no photocopying here, each card was an original, and made with love.

Front

Inside

As you can see my card tackles a bold hypothetical question about snowmen having skeletons. I liked the idea of a sweet looking Christmas on the outside hiding a something slightly ghoulish on the inside.

This time my idea was totally original. Although I think I've seen a cartoon in resent years that used this same idea. I'm sure it was just a coincidence, or maybe it was karma payback for the Seasonings' Greetings photo.


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Holiday Rip-off Artist

Christmas is a time for peace on earth, and goodwill towards men, and all that stuff. But it's also a time for people getting ripped-off. Embarrassingly, I'm guilty of up some yuletide theft of my own.

No, I didn't steal someones presents from an unattended car. I am guilty of intellectual property theft.

When I was in high school I took a photography class, and one assignment was to come up with a Christmas card. Mine was titled "Seasonings' Greetings" which you can see below.

I believe I got an A for the assignment, and people who show this picture thought it was cute and clever. But what they didn't know is that I totally riped-off the idea from Bil "Family Circus" Keane's book Jest In Pun.


Here's Bil Keane's original cartoon...


Looking at my photo now I wish I positioned the hands better so you could read the entire "Ground Beef Seasoning" on the bottle. I did title the photo "Seasonings' Greetings" so that, with my other cosmetic changes makes this more of a "homage" than a rip-off.

Oh who am I kidding, homage is just another word for stealing. I'm sorry Mr. Keane that I knowingly used your idea for a high school project, and passed it off as my own. Please forgive the misguided actions of a school boy.

I hope that apology was sufficient. I'd hate the thought of Dolly, Jeffy, Billy, PJ, and Barfy pissed off at me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

We're Living on Borrowed Time


I love priceless kook fodder like the above ad.

About 10 years ago I came across a stash of old UFO magazines, and I found this ad so amusing that I clipped it out and filed it away with a collection of my "weird" stuff.

I'm confident I remember seeing this same ad reprinted in the other old UFO magazines with only the date changed (e.g."Will you be alive in 1984"). Heck, it still might be reprinted in magazines today for all I know.

But if it's still being printed I hope they've updated the "Space Brothers" art. I don't know about you, but I prefer my extraterrestrials to have a little better fashion sense.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Jerky Turkey


Hey there Pilgrims it's the big turkey day!

Although Charlie Brown made an attempt to create another holiday classic (sorry Charlie, you'll always have Halloween and Christmas), the best Thanksgiving themed cartoon is still the Tex Avery MGM cartoon Jerky Turkey from 1945. If you've never seen it prepare to laugh at the some of the best cartoon humor ever, and scratch your head to the ever increasingly obscure WWII references.

To make this post a little more special I drew my very own "Jerky Turkey"and Pilgrim above. That way when the Jerky Turkey cartoon is inevitably pulled from YouTube, future visitors reading this post will still have something to look at.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Attention shoppers, Thanksgiving is only one week away!


Last year I made this mock ad just for fun. Please enjoy, but don't let me find it on Worth 1000 or something mister!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Old South Bar-B-Q Ranch Brochure


Howdy Partners! Take a gander at this ol' crazy brochure for the now defunct Old South Bar-B-Q Ranch restaurant...

Front & Back

Inside

Map

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

There's Something About Mary Hair Gel

In 1998 at advance screenings for There's Something About Mary the audience were given little packets of hair gel. The packets were covered with risque double entendre jokes. If you liked the film you should get a kick out of the jokes. As always click the pics to enlarge.

Front

Back

Personally I don't know how well the hair gel works. I've kept mine safely sealed in its little foil packet. I'm sure it's a fine untainted product, but why take chances.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Real Fake Wacky Packages Poster


If you're reading this you probably own, have owned, or at least heard of Wacky Packages.

They've been extremely popular from the sixties up to this very day.

This popularity has spawned down right rip-offs, but I prefer to think of this poster from 1977 as an homage.

What's fun about this poster is that it's a photo of a real fridge stuffed with "real" wacky products.



It's very well done, but not quite as funny as actual Wacky Packages. I don't know where this poster came from exactly, but I believe it's from one of those monthly Scholastic book order things you got in elementary school. If you know anything more about its origins please leave a comment.

Anyways, click on the image below for an extra super huge almost poster-size picture.

Click photo to enlarge

Friday, November 2, 2007

Do the Roo!

French Fry bag circa 1985-ish

Beef-A-Roo.

It sounds made up, but it's the name of an actual restaurant chain. It's a very, very small chain, but a chain nevertheless.

While on a family trip to Michigan's upper peninsula in the 80's we ate at the Beef-A-Roo in Marquette, Michigan. I even saved the above fry bag because I thought the name was so funny.

MySpace picture

I'm happy to report the Marquette Beef-A-Roo appears to be still in business, and even has an unauthorized MySpace page.


It's nice to see it has retained its retro style graphics. It's not only nice, but downright amazing if you check out what the official web site looks like. (Well it's kinda sorta the "official" web site. The web site is only for the Illinois Beef-A-Roo stores.)

Web Site

Look at that logo! Awful souless early 90's crap! It painfully lacks the charm of the original font and the fun cartoon cowboy graphic.

If anyone reading this can shed any light on the Beef-A-Roo story (like the relationship between the Marquette restaurant, and the ones in Illinois), or know of other locations please leave a comment.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Alfred Hitchcock presents WHY a Mystery Game


In 1958 Alfred Hitchcock "presented" a Milton Bradley board game named WHY. The premise for the game is that six people were coming home from a masquerade party one night, and took shelter from a storm in a spooky old house. They were never heard from again. Now their ghosts are haunting the house, and you need to find out "WHY." The game is similar to Clue, and if you care about how it's played you can read the instructions here.

The game has fun and cool art work. First here are the murder weapons cards...


Here are the masquerade ghost cards...


Now here's the spooky house game board. It's extra huge so you can use it as desktop wallpaper, or actual wallpaper for your home.


And last, but certainly not least. Possibly the greatest motion picture director ever... Ladies and gentlemen please give it up for Mr. Alfred Hitchcock...

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