Sunday, April 26, 2015


Caricatures OF me by other artists, that is. Here's one by John K. He's convinced that I survive entirely on a diet of mayonnaise sandwiches and fast food. 

Uh-oh...John again. Oh, Man! Is that (above) cruel!!!!! But it can't be accurate. I know I look like Sean Connery in the James Bond movies, regardless of what my lying mirror says.

More John. He never said this (above) was me, but really.... 

Mike Fontanelli did this one of me reading a funny script by Henry Gilroy. Man, he totally NAILED Henry.

Ted Blackman did this one (above). It makes me look like Harold Lloyd. Ted's an amazing guy. Hes an animation producer but he could easily have been a newspaper cartoonist or a stand up comedian.

Never, ever get a cartoonist mad at you. The retaliation would be too horrible to think about. Here I am (above) with Mike Bell as drawn by Mike F. In a comment Mike says he didn't do this...but then who did?

Haw! Bruce Timm drew this. It's embarrassing because I really did say what's attributed to me here, but I should have given more attention to how it would sound to others. Art is obviously about beauty, not ugliness. I only meant to say that comedy is about ugly people doing stupid things....beautiful ugly people doing intelligently stupid things.

Friday, April 24, 2015


A while back I did a blog about the nude pictures that used to hang in cowboy bars in the old West.  Well, I just got a request for info about currently available posters of that kind. The comment rekindled my interest and I did a little research. Here's what I found:

So far as I know(above) the most famous picture of that type, one made just for the saloon that hung it, is the one above, which is the very picture that used to hang in The Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City Kansas. The reproduction costs $50 and unfortunately isn't very big.

You wouldn't think that a dirty, Godforsaken place like a Western cowtown could support a fancy bar with paintings on the wall, even amateur paintings, but they did. I imagine that the nudes paid for themselves because satiated cowboys would have felt the need for one final drink to "toast the lady."

I don't think any Western bar ever owned a Titian but I wouldn't be surprised if some had big, tinted etchings of some of his pictures. Today you can probably get a decent sized poster of the classic reclining nude by Titian: the one called "The Venus of Urbino."

I like this picture; in fact, it's been a long-time feature in my left sidebar. It succeeds in being erotic and earthy on the one hand, and completely intelligent and thought-provoking on the other.

Giorgione did a similar picture (above). So did Goya. So did Matisse, but the Matisse pictures aren't funny. Bar nudes should be able to provoke jokes.

If the commenter has his own bar and the drinkers are male, then he'll probably want to consider a copy of Bouchet's "Reclining Girl," painted for Louis XV in 1752. I like this picture but I'd never hang a poster of it at home. It would be too distracting and besides, until recent years I had kids living here.

Then there's Beaumont's "Muse" (above) which isn't very edgy but (above) has the virtue of being family safe.

Or how about one of Picasso's reclining nudes (above)? Haw! Picasso was a cartoonist at heart.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


I don't know about you but I love to listen to carnival barkers, Shamwow salesman, racetrack announcers, auctioneers, streetcorner preachers, medicine show pitchmen....anyone who can entertain with the quality of their voice alone. I just came across a forgotten file of a carnival barker's it and see what you think. The setting is a sideshow on Coney Island.

Yikes! That was kinda' hard to read, wasn't it? Like it was underwater. Sorry about that...It was an old file and I must have done a bad job of scanning it. Anyway, keep's worth the effort. 

The barker sets the stage by shooing away the kids in the audience...only there were no kids...then he resumes:

Haw! None of these pictures gel with the text but I thought you'd like to see them anyway. I love the jaded look on this barker's face (above) and the determined look on the woman's. It's hard to imagine nowadays, but a tattooed woman was once a shocking novelty. Anyway, back to the text....

Great, eh? Boy, it makes me wish I'd run away to the circus and been a barker!

Monday, April 20, 2015


Yep...again! I have a friend who has an employee's Silver Pass and when he calls, I'm always up for it. Anyway, this time we decided to concentrate on Frontierland. The land is so big that even with an entire day to spend there we had to pass up a lot.

The first thing to do in Frontierland is to take a ride on the paddle-wheel steamship. The whole boat is a work of art.

Past the heavy traffic area the river is surprisingly intimate and quiet. Surprisingly authentic, too. You'd swear you were in the backwoods of Tennessee or Missouri. The landscapers did such a good job that when you come across examples of human habitation like an Indian village they seem a little jarring and out of place.

As the ship approaches civilization again we begin to see artifacts of human habitation: Narrow gauge railroad tracks (above) and a pier. The tracks are decorative but they'd work great for a small, real-world, suburban railroad.

After the steamboat ride we headed for the canoes. This simple ride is one of the most fun things you can do in Frontierland.

Those X%&*@ two cute little girls behind me shoveled at least a gallon of water down my back.

A duck family paddled almost right up to the boat. They seemed to have had no fear of humans.

A quick peek (above) into the nearby Golden Horseshoe Saloon. Wow! Imagine how great it would be to have a local dinner theatre like this!

Next stop: the magesterial Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. If you visit Disneyland don't pass this up. In photos it looks like other theme-related small rollercoasters you've seen and you figure you can safely pass it up.  N-O-T   T-R-U-E!!!!!!! The ride is absolutely unique and is not to be missed...even if you have to stand in line with crying children for an hour to ride it.

The ride should really be in Tomorrowland. It's the urban transportation of the future, not the past. Ride it and you'll glimpse the dazzling world of 2040 when the concept of a City of the Young will hopefully have taken hold.

What the ride has to offer isn't visible in pictures, it isn't even visible to people in the park who watch it without riding it. It's the Art of Experience which may turn out to be the primary artform of this emerging century. The ride combines motion with carefully controlled 3D spatial awareness and sound. You'll have to ride it to know what I'm talking about. It incorporates advances in psychology as well as engineering. I'd like to know the name of the genius who thought of this.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


I confess to getting carried away with the "Bad Side of Town" concept on the video game I worked on. I figured a bad side of town ought to LOOK like a bad side, thus the buildings took the shape of rioters battling with the police.

How would a skateboarder navigate through this 3D jigsaw puzzle of a city? I got a start on the problem (above) but I had to put it aside. I was after all supposed to be working on a Hong Kong Level, not a crime city.

No problem. Hong Kong turned out to be tons of fun.

I had so much fun on the prop end of what I did for that game that, when I was finally laid off, I briefly tried to sell myself to mainstream studios as a prop designer.

Haw! What a disappointment! Nobody but Spumco was interested in this (above) sort of thing.

At first I didn't know whether the Jungle Level was supposed to cover Central and South America or Africa, so I did both. Here (above and below) are some African huts.

Lots of quick sketch stuff.

I threw in some Micronesian designs, too. It all seemed to fit together somehow.

These Africans worshipped Tiki gods. 

There had to be some kind of danger in the Jungle Level and I had a chance to try out different things.

I also did more trees. Who'd have thought that trees would be so much fun to draw?

Here's a black musician pyramid. It wasn't approved, maybe because it was too far off topic. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Here's another film that I saw at Steve's recently. Don't confuse it with a different film made two years later with the same name. You want the one with title lettering that looks like a tattoo artist or a biker did it. 

Ask ten people what the film's about and you'll get ten different answers. For me it's about the way the world really is: the chaotic way our senses actually perceive the world before our brains have a chance to process the information and make a pleasing story out of it.

The film takes place on a New England fishing boat but it could just as easily have been about a walk in the park. Wherever we are life bombards us with a cacophony of sound and images which our brains filter through algorithms. Those algorithms create for us a  three-dimensional map and a sense of what's in that map and how it can be used to enhance our survival.  It's amazing that we can do that.

It's scary to think that we might have been visited by intelligent space aliens many times in the past but they simply failed to notice us. Their own algorithms might have attached more significance to that rarity in the universe: the radiation protected, surface ocean. Or maybe the cacophony of all the splashing droplets and weather might have overwhelmed their senses. Maybe their image of the Earth is of a baffling place of loud white noise. Maybe they were glad to have left it.

Anyway, here's (above) a trailer for it. To make its point the film has to be immersive so widen the picture to full screen mode and crank up the sound. If you see the whole thing, try to see it in a theatre rather than on a video at home. Or better still, if you live near L.A., see it at Steve's house next weekend. Contact him at: