Tuesday, December 29, 2009
after looking at this video, you will never EVER EVER complain about a "crowded " New York City Subway train again!!!!
It would be impossible even for the talented SUBWAYSURFER himself to draw on this train!!!!
I once saw a Flintstones cartoon where conductors were literally pushing passangers into a packed train just like this!! life imitating art of vice versa? I guess in Japan your boss doesnt even wanna HEAR the excuse that you missed your train
Thursday, December 24, 2009
This is a project that Ive been working on for the past couple of months and wanted to introduce it appropriately on the day Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Christ. (yes, yes, I KNOW it's not his "real birthday") I've had a lifelong fascination with the person of Christ and always felt that stories and animated features especially didnt really do him justice. Not that I was looking for the message of the Gospels to change, I just wanted the character of Christ, the PERSON of the God-Man to be fleshed outa little more and given a contemporary look. This work will focus on passages taken from the four Gospels in the New Testament, namely, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I find the truths contained in scripture timeless, the stories compelling, and often times humorous. Im bound to unintentionally offend some people in the process of my story telling, but my hope is that loyal fans and readers of my work will be objective enough to let it stand on its own and to enjoy.
In case I havent said it already, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Here it is folks, my very first "subwaysurfer nimated feature" dont bother to go to the bathroom or buy popcorn though... the movie will be over before you get comfortable in your seats..... just here practicing some very limited animation here which although choppy, looks pretty funny. Need to refine my process. even though its limited animation it doesnt have to be THIS crude! LOL! next time I plan on doing a more consistant BACKGROUND. Im not so concerned about the foreground figures being perfect, as i feel that "sloopy choppiness : is what im looking for. Thats me in the corner there drawing, and of course, this is a cartoon of someone I observed on the train who really DIDNT appreciate being drawn! LOL! I just took the story to its violent conclusion! whats a cartoon without violence anyway?
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
HI! IM ELGIN BOLLING, ALSO KNOWN AS SUBWAYSURFER! BUT THEN, YOU ALREADY KNOW THAT DONT CHA? TODAY i WILL BE TEACHING ON HOW I GET MY IDEAS FOR COMICS. IM OFTEN ASKED THIS QUESTION, AND CHUCKLE AT THE ANSWER, BECAUSE ITS REALLY QUITE SIMPLE. EVERY PERSON ON THE PLANET IS LITERALLY A WALKING BOOK, FILLED WITH BILLIONS OF STORIES THAT KEEP GETTING ADDED TO EVERYDAY! ALL THE MATERIAL ANY ARTIST NEEDS TO CONSTRUCT A COMIC STORY IS NOT TO BE FOUND "OUT THERE" IN SPACE, BUT "IN HERE" BETWEEN THEIR TWO EARS. WHENEVER I NEED A STORY FOR ONE OF MY COMICS, I ALWAY GO INSIDE FIRST FOR INSPIRATION....
USING A SHARP CLEAN KNIFE I CUT OPEN OFF THE TOP OF MY CRANIUM AND CAREFUL TAKE THE BRAIN OUT AND START SEARCHING MY MIND FOR DATA. THERE ARE BILLIONS OF STORIES, OBSERVATIONS, AND IMPRESSIONS BURIED DEEP IN MY CONCIOUSNESS THAT I JUST HAVE TO BE PATIENT ENOUGH TO ACESS. OF COURSE SOMETIMES PANIC SETS IN AND I DONT QUITE REMEMBER WHERE I PUT ALL MY STORIES. ONCE YOU GET TO THIS STAGE, CONTINUE SEARCHING, BUT BE CAREFUL TO NOTE WHERE YOU'VE PUT ALL YOUR GRAY MATTER, AFTER ALL, YOU'RE RESPONSIBLE FOR PUTTING IT ALL BACK!
IN ORDER FOR MY WORK TO "RING TRUE" I MUST HAVE A STRONG EMOTIONAL CONNECTION WITH IT. EMOTIONAL CONNECTIONS COME FROM DEEP INSIDE BASED ON HOW I FEEL ABOUT CURRENT EVENTS, PAST HURTS, REACTIONS TO FILMS OR SONGS, AND ESPECIALLY CHILDHOOD AND YOUTHFUL MEMORIES. iT'S ALL THERE INSIDE. ONCE i HAVE A STRONG EMOTIONAL CONNECTION TO MY WORK, i KNOW THAT THE AUDIENCE WILL FEEL IT TOO AND NOT JUST BE LOOKING AT :"PRETTY PICTURES" mOST ARTISTS KNOW HOW TO DRAW A PRETTY PICTURE, BUT THE TRICK IS TO WRITE A "PRETTY STORY" WHICH IS WHY SO MANY ARTISTS WHOSE WORK LOOKS LIKE A TEN YEAR OLD CAN BE MORE ENTERTAINING THAN AN ARTIST WHO DRAWS EVERYTHING"PERFECT".
ANOTHER METHOD I USE IS TO JUST GET OUT A REAM OF PAPER AND START 'STREAM OF CONCIOUSNESS DRAWING" sOMETIMES THE OLD IDEA ENGINE NEEDS TO BE WARMED UP, SO I JUST DRAW ANYTHING! ONE DRAWING FLOWING INTO THE NEXT, FORMING ASSOCIATIONS AND VISUAL CONNECTIONS.... SOMETIMES FRUSTRATIONS SET IN AND I START TO LET OUT PRIMAL SCREAMS OF FRUSTRATION ESPECIALLY AROUND DEADLINE TIME.....
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, SOMETIMES IT'S JUST BEST TO CLEAR YOUR HEAD AND GO OUTSIDE FOR A WALK. A SIMPLE CHANGE OF SCENERY CAN SOMETIMES HELP SPARK YOUR IDEA ENGINE. FOR ALL YOU KNOW, THE NEXT BIG IDEA CAN COME TO YOU UNEXPECTEDLY OUTTA "NO WHERE!...'
SOMETIMES OUT OF NOWHERE, AN IDEA JUST HITS YOU!! THAT'S JUST HOW THE CREATIVE PROCESS WORKS!!! WOW... THAT'S GONNA LEAVE A MARK!
Monday, December 21, 2009
Here's something different. I was in the mood to do a comic tragic love story wanted to use an animation/comic minimalist technique. We all know a little bit about heartache, dont we? Responses welcome as always.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Ever notice that what the things you SAY concerning/about yourself usually come true? Think about those times in your life when you've said, " I cant do that" or " Im too old," "Im tired" "I'll never be able to afford that!" " I'm stupid..." the list goes on and on..... If we're honest, the WORKDS that we SPEAK are not just "harmless meaning less things" which pop and disappear like soap bubbles. Words have POWER! Power to transform, uplift, and heal, or consequently, to teardownk, or distroy.The Bible says ... whether you believe it or not... God created the heavens and the earth and everything in between by speaking it into existence. Since he made US, he put some powerful stuff in US too!
I was listening to a broadcast on Christian TV one day and the host was speaking on this very subject:
Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth
He then exclaimed, " I WISH I HAD A CARTOON SHOWING SOMEONE BEING HANGED BY THEIR TONGUE!!!
I immediately got to work on the cartoon, confident that I was the ONLY one who thought of the great idea to send it to this broadcaater!
Weeks later I got a very nice rejection letter, thanking me for the toon, but informing me that it would not be used, just like the many hundreds of others who got the same idea to send a cartoon in! LOL!
It's STILL a great cartoon, and still a truism.
There's a reason why your mom used to tell you to
WATCH YOUR MOUTH!!
As You may know, in addition to clowning people on Mass Transist and at corporate parties, the surfer also does animation. To date I have done character dessign and key frames and storyboards for most of the projects Ive been involved in. For most of those projects before sending the work to the lead animators I do my own crude pencil tests on a nifty little FREE Pencil test program called "Monkeyjam" Trust me, if you can operate an ATM Machine, you can use MonkeyJam to create your own little animations like this one here, called, "ACTION PAT". This sequence is part of a larger project that included Caricature artists/cartoonists Kenly Dillard, and Alison Gelbman while we all working at Mark Stnasbury's "Screen Arts Animation" Studio on Orchard street two years ago. (it was forced to close! Sob!)This is one of the characters I co created with Alison called "ACTION PAT" based on one of the other animators in the studio, named, you guessed it, PAT! Action Pat is a young girl full of imagination who whenever she doesnt get her way, transforms herself into the super hero, ACTION PAT! Unfortunatley for Pat, her "superpowers" never quite work as plan and she always ends up with a different result than expected. In this eposide, Pats mother refuses to let her go to the concert featuring rap artist, Toe Jam, because of Pat's bad grades. When Mom leaves the room she transforms via hurricane, into her super powered persona, and jets over to the window where she will fly away. Thats when things go really bad!
It takes longer to tell this "story"than to see the animation. Enjoy.
Ive had this little animation sitting on my hardrive for some time now, but after the recent panels and frames animation seminar I attended last on Dec 5th Ive been re inspired to re investigate animation. It doesnt HAVE to be Disney, I just need to take baby steps....I'll try not to soil my diaper too much, but just in case, cover your nose folks.... and DO watch your step!
P.S. Personally, one of the best things I liked about Screen Arts Animation was learning how to make the "tornado effect" and also the "exit stage right" somoke effect. I will try to find the other key frames and up load the rest of the animation in future posts even If I have to redraw everything.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival R. O. Blechman, Kim Deitch, and Dash Shaw Panel Discussion
R. O. Blechman, Kim Deitch, and Dash Shaw started off discussing the historial relationship between comics and animation at the Dec 5 The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival. At one Point, Moderator, Bill Kartalopoulos asked the one question that was central in minds of every audience member in attendance, namely, "who was the COOLIEST artist on the panel?" Dash Shaw was the frist to speak up and mentioned how he was very "fashion forward" with his dynamic red scarf that captivated every eye in the room. Kim Deitch chimmed in on how his vintage Blue Jean Jacket called to mind the image of the 1960's youth culture which transformed American media, politics and music. He also added how devishly handsome he was sporting his ponytial. R. O. Blechman pointed felt that his button down shirt and crewneck sweater added an element of classic elegance to a group of panelists obviously lacking in taste and fashion sense, thus making HIM the coolest of them all. Even though Kartalopoulos had posed the question orginally, he couldnt help calling attention to his checked cotton blend shirt that paid homage to the blue collar work ethic that built American fron the ground up, and championed the proverbial "everyman". He also concluded that R.O. Blechman was a "Mr. Rogers" Wannabe in his sweater.
This comment set off a rather explosive debate among everyone else. Kim Threated to hang Dash using his Red Sweater as a noose, Dash rebutted that Kim should stop fighting baldness to the death and should return his tired ,old "Billy Jack" Dungaree jacket to the Smithstonian, before they realized it was missing. R. O. Blechman, being a dignified man was quietly and passionately telling off Kartalopoulos, who was getting angrier by the second. Without warning the entire panel was ingulfed in a giant free for all much to the the amazement and amusement of the capacity crowd!
I have to admit, THIS is what Indy Comics is all about!!!
Of course, you do realize these events occured in the alternate universe that exists between my two ears.......
The truth is while listening to the thought provoking discussions, I was inspired, as always, to draw, as I listened, and this is what came out.
My sincere thanks goes out to all the panelists for their insights! I had a great time and after I left, I couldnt wait to draw a comic, which of course, I did!
I apologized to R. O. Blechman for not drawing his picture as well based on my vantage point, and he was nice enough to write me back. What a classy guy.
No need to apologize for the drawing. I look better as a cartoon than a photograph.
Thanks for sending it.
All best wishes,
R. O. Blechman
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
I had the pleasure of meeting Professor Charles Brown, M.M.
Assistant Professor of Music
Director, Choral Activities
at Concordia University recently, and this is my first attempt at doing his caricature, as promised, from memory. I had a bad pic to work with but was determined to do what I promised, so this is my FIRST attempt!
While in Chicago I had the pleasure of hearing Kapelle, Concordia’s choral performance ensemble, which Professor Brown conducts, and which my son and daughter are members. A little known fact about the surfer is that in addition to art, one of my passions are music and I sung to my kids ever since they were toddlers and apparently they inherited the gift although I'd be first to admit they are both much better singers than I am.
The Kapelle group tours extensively in the United States and abroad, and has over five recordings with one currently in production. I cant wait for THAT one as my son performs a solo on it! Dr. Brown, this caricature is for YOU! More to come...
In this caricature I wanted to portray him as an
"Evil musical genius"
I squeezed my way onto a Kings Highway bound B Train, late for an appointment with my wife, and now frustrated that I wasn't fast enough to get a seat for the long ride. It was then that I looked down at this passenger that brightened my mood a bit.
Here was this teenager talking excitedly with his friend on this crowded standing room only train eating Chinese food out of a large Styrofoam container. We have a saying in the city that goes like this: "How Ghetto can you be?" one thing that is definitely a social "no no" is eating a PLATE of food on public transportation. Its just "too common" Too low Class, but there he was. Like most youth his age, he didn't seem to care, and kept eating and talking as if he was home at his dinner table. His appearance caught my attention as much as his behavior. He had a beautiful ebony complexion like dark chocolate that shined. He also was sporting this outrageous Mohawk mane of black hair that looked like a horses mane. His hair was trimmed neatly on the sides , almost shaven but not quite. His face was long and his frame was long and lanky. I thought he would make a perfect character design for one of my comic projects, and although Im not accustomed to drawing standing up during rush hour , I quickly whipped out my drawing pad and got started. It was challenging to draw as the train swerved and swayed, with passengers bumping into me, and me trying to maintain my balance, all the while hoping that he would not stop to notice me. I completed a few preliminary sketches hoping that when I got back to the studio I would be able to recapture what I saw. My results were more than satisfactory, and I know that i will be going back to this character for future projects. Here he is drawn in semi realistic style using a tombo brush pen and pencil.
REMEMBER FOLKS, IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU SEE HERE, AND WOULD LIKE TO HAVE ME CREATE A CARICATURE OF YOU DRAWN IN THIS BEAUTIFUL EXAGGERATED GRAPHITE STYLE, SEND ME AN E MAIL AT