My brother Frank was a huge part of Shamoozal back when we were doing our thing. He’s the reason Crapfest Force and How to Hook up the NES turned out really nice. He did tons of work on the GFGames series. Lots of people think all that stuff was me but there were times when Frank was doing possibly even more animation work on Shamoozal than I was. We were juggling lots of stuff at that point, like running the blog, the message boards, a podcast and god knows what else. It was crazy!
Anyway, for the last few months Frank has been putting some time into his YouTube channel simply titled Frank Summers Animation. There you can find his reels and other highlights of his professional work. However he usually updates it with some sketches that he does live called Wednesday Lunch Live and has even recently started to add Toon Boom tutorials.
Just wanted to follow up Steve’s post about DC characters with this little gem that was sent to me today. Its short and sweet, and features some really great character animation. Stick it out after the credits to see a quick interview with animator Robb Pratt about some of the art and ideas behind it. Personally, I’d love to see more of these. Awesome work!
The Hub is sort of my new favorite channel. Every night they air old episodes of the Adam West Batman series, G.I. Joe, and Transformers. I have the DVR set to record all of them every night, but lately my focus has been on Transformers. Back in the day I used to watch my fair share of Transformers, but I barely remember anything about them, so watching them again has been really fun in seeing just how ridiculous they are. It’s now into Season 2 of the show, which is actually very different from the first season in which Optimus Prime and his pals just fought Megatron over energon cubes all day. Season 2 episodes seem to focus on a single autobot at a time, and many times Optimus doesn’t even do anything other than issue particular bots to go help out with whatever the main bot is dealing with. These episodes have been my favorite so far because the ideas are just bat shit insane.
One trend I’ve noticed is that so far there have been many episodes about autobots being in love. One of the first “love” episodes actually dealt with Optimus Prime going back to Cybertron to save his lost love, which while goofy was somewhat acceptable compared to what I’m about to show you. In the episodes I want to talk about, the autobots fall in love with human women, and they in turn love the autobots right back. It’s weird. Like, really freaking weird.
In the episode “The Girl Who Loved Powerglide,” Powerglide rescues a bratty billionaire, Astoria, from a Decepticon attack during her birthday party. Despite spending most of the episode arguing (and Powerglide actually throwing her around like a rag doll) the two fall in love with each other. While Astoria has no problem admitting she loves Powerglide, he sort of keeps it to himself and has a special moment by himself at the end of the episode.
Next is the episode “Sea Change” in which the Decepticons are attacking a bunch of people on another planet and Optimus sends Seaspray a few others to go rescue them. This whole episode is just freaking out there in general, so it makes everything that much more insane. At the start of the episode Seaspray wishes upon a star and we quickly find out he was wishing for true love because when he sees one of the women that’s under attack he falls for her right away. She apparently falls in love with him quickly too, weird bubble voice and all. The fun part is when the humans jump into a magical lake that turns them into Mermaids. Seaspray wants to jump in, but because he’s a robot he’s not allowed to. Eventually though, he does jump in and he too becomes a mermaid. So while he’s swimming around with his love, they decide the best way to fight back is to become robots, so now he’s back to normal and now she’s a Transformer. After they chase Megatron off the planet (and trick Rumble into turning into a tree) she goes back to being a human. Seaspray is upset over the transformation, but the girl tells him it doesn’t matter how they look on the outside but feel on the inside. They then ride away into the night, and Bumblebee, all choked up, also wishes upon a star.
I seriously love that. It killed me when he transforms while hugging her and she yells as they ride off into the sunset.
But yeah, this show is just full of all sorts of weird shit like this. While unrelated to love, I was watching one last night where Optimus Prime was being hunted by a game hunter and his butler. Together the two of them captured like 7 autobots and were torturing them at the guys hideout. I thought to myself “how did this guy capture and defeat more Autobots than the Decepticons ever could?” The best part is, we see Megatron and Starscream seeing what’s going on and Starscream says that exact same thing to Megatron, which of course earns him a punch to the jaw. Meanwhile Optimus Prime is at the dude’s secret base and this happens.
Aside from keeping up with the films that come out of Studio Ghibli, I’ve completely fallen out of the anime loop. I had my fill of anime back when I was in high school, and I’m not sure what exactly made me drift away from it in the first place. Probably a combination of growing up, not caring, and anime’s tendency to usually follow all of the same formats and formulas. At the same time though, I think that familiarity is what sort of keeps me coming back and checking in here and there.
Lately I’ve been watching plenty of the Funimation channel when the wife and I are feeding the kids. I’m going to say that I hate 90% of the shows on there, yet I usually leave them on in the background as background noise, and once in a while one will hook me, despite hating it. The latest is Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple a comedy about a whimpy dude training with a bunch of fighting masters and slowly learning how to kick ass. I can say with certainty that I hate this show, but like any soap you watch enough of them and suddenly find yourself wanting to see what happens next. Not that I’ve been watching every episode of Kenichi, far from it, but when it’s on I find myself watching the entire episode. It’s one of the most loud and obnoxious shows ever, with zero redeeming qualities, yet I’ll leave it on and watch it. I’m not quite sure what’s wrong with me.
I’ve also been leaving on Sengoku Basara, the anime adaptation of Capcom’s video games of the same name (Sengoku Basara 3 hit Wii and PS3 in the Fall, and I’m assuming bombed completely). It’s so bad. There’s this one guy walking around with what looks to be a gathering of giant marshmallows around his neck with rabbit ears. We as the viewer are supposed to take this guy seriously. How? How can we take him seriously? I’ve only half payed attention to this show the few times I’ve had it on recently so I honestly can’t comment on the story, but from what I’ve seen, it’s about as terrible as you’d expect.
There are some decent ones I’ve come across recently though. I’ve watched two episodes of the show Eden of the East, which currently seems interesting enough to the point where I’ve actually set the DVR to pick it up. From what I can tell it’s a modern day sorta drama about a bunch of people that have had their memories wiped (or at least the main character) and wake up with a phone that also acts as a credit card. The credit card has a few million bucks on it and they’re required to spend all of it in a set amount of time, which is leading me to believe they need to spend it on things for the greater good of Japan. The phone dials into some person that will grant them whatever request they make from killing people to ordering food. There were some 9/11 references at the start of the show and it was kind of interesting to see Japan’s take on the historic day in this series. The main character is also a film buff and speaks about lots of Hollywood movies, something else I kind of liked. So far I like it enough, but I’m wondering if it’ll keep my interest past the interesting premise.
That’s the one thing that kills me about anime. Many of the shows do sometimes have interesting premises and ideas, but they generally devolve into the typical tropes anime is known for.
Anyway, this post really doesn’t have much of a purpose beyond the fact that while I mainly don’t like anime, I’ll still watch it. Old habits die hard I guess.
Saw this and was floored. This is a pitch idea for a feature film done by Headless Studios which I believe is a small group of artists located in Barcelona, Spain. Its all hand drawn and has a ton of vitality and character. It’s a great chip, and I wish them luck with it. Check it out in full screen mode to get a good look at it!
This beautiful piece was done by Ryan Woodward. Mr. Woodward has been working in the animation and film industry for fifteen years now. This is his latest work combining his love of 2D animation and the study of the human figure. It relies on rotoscoping of live action dancers, but pushes the meduim into expressive holds and flourishes of limbs of its two main characters. Head over to his blog to read up a bit more, and please check out the HD version of it on Youtube. It’s well worth it!
Been wanting to get this short up into the new episodes page for quite a while but finally had the chance to do it today. At least I managed to do it right before Halloween officially ended!
Anyway, I feel like I’ve talked about Candy Corns at length by this point. For this release I scaled up the old standard def version to a full 720p HD version. I kind of wish I was smart enough to do that with my renders of Ninja and Crapfest Force. Anyway, the fact is, Candy Corns is not very good, but it’s where we started from so I feel like I need to include it. Five years later has really shown its age, and like any artist (or, any artist not in love with themselves) I basically hate Candy Corns by this point in my life. It also reminds me of how much I’ve come to dislike Grey somewhat recently. He is in dire need of a serious overhaul as a character.
I found Toby Shelton’s personal blog the other day and was floored by a bunch of great model sheets done for some famous Disney series from the late ’80-early 90’s. Toby served as a character designer for Rescue Rangers and Darkwing Duck, and he was gracious enough to post his original designs for all to admire. You might recognize a lot of the above poses as most were used directly in the show in some reguard. However, in most cases Toby’s craft and appeal have some how been zapped out of them from an overseas production house. As such, its a pleasure to be able to see these original drawings of some of your childhood’s favorite characters.
Head on over to Toby’s blog to check out more of his work which includes a few more model sheets as well as a few storyboard panels from “How To Train Your Dragon”. It’s great stuff.