Friday, April 25, 2008

Fall or Winter Meeting?

For a number of years now the North Central Chapter has been meeting in the fall for our annual chapter get together. I am not sure why this time of year was chosen, but suspect it was because winter is a precarious and ugly travel time for us tundra dwellers.

The odd thing is that March is the only time of year we have any official duty to perform for the NCS... our Reuben divisional voting. Doesn't it make sense to plan a late March meeting to do our divisional jury and also have our annual meeting? Does beer taste better in September or October than it does in March? Do we plan on camping outdoors?

What do you as members think about this? Should we switch to late March for our meeting time?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

NEWS- New NCC Vice Chairman

Current North Central Chapter vice-chairman and beloved pal Oliver Christianson has stepped down from his highly paid position due to reasons not pertaining to leaked memos or misappropriated campaign funds. Oliver is in fact stepping away from the NCS and our little chapter due to a busy life and the demands of a daughter in college. We'll miss Oliver greatly.

Our own Bucky Jones has stupidly agreed to step in as vice-chairman for the remainder of Oliver's term at half pay ( zero x .5= zero) and double workload. Thanks for stepping up, sucker... uh..., I mean Bucky!

Plans have not been set for this fall's annual chapter meeting, but there are discussions about moving said meeting to March so we can also use the get together to do our jury voting for whatever divisional Reuben category we are given. Anyone with thoughts on that idea feel free to comment here or e-mail them to myself or Bucky... preferably Bucky.

I miss Oliver Christianson

What ever became of Oliver Christianson? He seemed like such a nice man.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Disney Legend Ollie Johnston Passes Away

Animation legend Ollie Johnston, the last surviving member of Walt Disney’s famous “Nine Old Men”, passed away yesterday (April 14, 2008). He was 95.

Johnston was a phenomenal artist and widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest animators. In 1935 he was hired to work at the Disney studio alongside his pal Frank Thomas. They rose to become two of Disney’s top animators and remained lifelong best friends. They co-wrote several books on animation including Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life ( link), which is still considered a classic textbook on animation. In 1995 they were the subject of a wonderful documentary film, Frank and Ollie (which you can buy on DVD). Their love for animation was contagious.

Johnston animated such classic characters as Pinocchio, Bambi, Thumper, Alice in Wonderland, and Winnie the Pooh. He and Frank also animated large portions of The Jungle Book. It's been said that over half the film is Frank and Ollie's work.

Animators are sometimes referred to as actors with pencils. Frank and Ollie didn't just fit this definition, they defined it. They were superb draftsmen and their characters gave Oscar-worthy performances.

Franklin Roosevelt referred to the Supreme Court as his “Nine Old Men”. As a joke, Walt Disney borrowed the term to describe his nine top animators. Though they were young men at the time, the name stuck. All nine went on to become legends at the studio. Frank and Ollie were the last surviving members of the group. Frank passed away in 2004.

It's hard to overstate the influence Frank and Ollie have had on the animation industry. Besides being animation pioneers and writing classic books on the subject, after Walt Disney's death they helped train a new generation of Disney animators. Brad Bird (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles) was a huge fan of their work and gave the pair animated cameos in both of his films.

Here's a few samples of Ollie's work. His passing truly marks the end of an era for animation fans, and he will be dearly missed.

(Artwork copyright © Disney. All rights reserved.)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Win A Free Book On Digital Coloring

I'm currently running a fun little contest over at my blog. I've been posting a lot about character design and mascots lately, so today I posted pics of twelve product mascots. If you can name all twelve products, I'll enter you in a drawing to win a free copy of the new book Hi-Fi Color For Comics: Digital Techniques For Professional Results.

This is not a scheme to get you onto a mailing list or anything. It's purely for fun.

The contest ends at midnight on Friday, April 11. To find out more and to enter, visit my blog.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tom Richmond Ending His Blog?

Word is that over at Tom Richmond's blog he announces that he is ending his informative and often entertaining blog.
I recommend visiting it today and checking it out before it's gone. Personally, I can't stand Tom and find even his appearance distasteful and his artwork mediocre at best.__ April Fools.__:-)

2008 Reuben Nominees Announced

The nominees for this year's divisional Reuben awards have been announced:

Book Illustration
Nancy Beiman - “Prepare to Board”
Sandra Boynton - “Blue Moo”
Jay Stephens - “Robots!”

TV Animation
Sandra Equihua and Jorge Gutierrez - Creators - “El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera” Stephen Silver - Character Design - “Kim Possible”
Richard Webber - Creator - “Purple and Brown”

Greeting Card
Gary McCoy
Glenn McCoy
Dave Mowder

Newspaper Comic Strip
Paul Gilligan – “Pooch CafĂ©”
Jim Meddick – “Monty”
Richard Thompson – “Cul De Sac”

Editorial Cartoon
Gary Brookins
Michael Ramirez
Bill Schorr

Magazine Illustration
Daryll Collins
John Klossner
Tom Richmond

Newspaper Illustration
Drew Friedman
Sean Kelly
Ed Murawinski

Feature Animation
Brad Bird – Director – “Ratatouille”
Sylvan De Boissy – Character Design – “Surf’s Up”
David Silverman – Director – “The Simpson’s Movie”

Gag Cartoon
Benita Epstein
Mort Gerberg
Glenn McCoy

Comic Book
Nick Abadzis – “Laika”
Bryan Lee O’Malley – “Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together”
Shaun Tan – “The Arrival”

Advertising Illustration
Jack Pittman
Tom Richmond
Tom Stiglich

Newspaper Panel
Chad Carpenter – “Tundra”
Glenn & Gary McCoy – “The Flying McCoys”
Kieran Meehan – “Meehan”

Congratulations to all of the nominees. The winner will be announced at the 62nd Annual NCS Reuben Awards banquet on May 24, 2008.