Sunday, March 25, 2012

Emerald City Comic Con

Next weekend is the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, WA!  
I'll have a small sketchbook available, with a silly title.  It'll have the regular Billie, unicorns, banana cat sketches, and Harpy Gee, a failed cartoon pitch.

I'll be at table D-17 in artist alley for whoever wants to bug me.

As for what Harpy is...
"Harpy Gee" was a personal project I started towards the end of working on "Teen Titans".  I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but I was having fun drawing Harpy the green haired elf, and her group of friends she went on adventures with.
Harpy is a young elf, who has the handicap of being unable to fly or use magic, which she learns to use to her advantage in a world full of magic users.  She runs away from home, and gets a job working at an item shop in a small village, and begins taking on all the local jobs that no one else would ever want to do.  Be it teaching the local brats, or defeating the stinkiest and meanest  barbarian.  She also has an indestructible pet goblin cat named Pumpkin, who devours and keeps any tools she may need.  Just like a real cat!

A few years back when I was having trouble finding work, a shorts program started up at Cartoon Network, called the "Cartoonstitute".  Feeling like there was nothing to lose, I pitched Harpy, and found those running the program very supportive!  I had to brave one of my worst fears: STORYBOARDING.  I made a clunky animatic on my tired old Dell computer, music gratefully used with permission from "The Oneups!"
In the end, the shorts program went in a different direction, and Harpy was shown around to a few other studios.  I don't think it'll ever happen, after being told, "Make Harpy a boy", "put her in highschool on Earth", "it's too scary", "it's too cute", "boys won't watch it", "make her an animal"... but I learned a lot from pitching, and have a good idea on how to put a presentation together.  I'm not bitter, but I don't think I will pitch something original again for a long time.  It's seems like time is better spent making a book, or making a film and putting it on youtube.  Hopefully there will be some free time this summer, it'd be fun to draw these characters again and try making a Harpy mini comic.
Much learned from pitching Harpy has been useful in current projects I've worked on, especially much of the DC Nation shorts.  As scary as making a cartoon is, if I have to storyboard, I know I can do it.  If I have to direct, I can do it.  The production won't catch on fire, people won't lose their limbs, asteroids won't come tumbling to Earth, and zombies won't come out of a dark closet and eat my brain.  It'll be ok!
Hard work and guts!

I'm also curious how the next few years are going to be for female characters in animated tv shows.
"Legend of Korra" just started on Nickelodeon, and is amazing!  Lauren Faust did an excellent job with the current "My Little Pony" and "Super Best Friends Forever" shorts.
I've been really happy getting a chance to work on Amethyst too. Sword fighting magical girls is right up my alley!

Now that I'm starting to have a life again, it's time to figure out what the next book will be about.  Banana Cat, Smudge, or Harpy?

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Sea Foam

Quick doodle, life will be returning to normal soon.  ^u^

Oh, and I'll be on a podcast tomorrow, 9:30am Pacific, 12:30pm Eastern.

...with Dan Mishkin and Jerzy Drozd!