August 30, 2012

More Fester Fan Art

Here are some cool pieces of fan art I got recently, in the wake of "Fester Makes Friends":

 This one's by Kevin Arsenault on DeviantArt.

Fester graffiti by "Cormic IsNobody" or "Dick & Balls" as he likes to be known on Flickr

And here's this "Pocket Fester" sewed by my friend Jane Archibald.

Finally, here's a piece by Jesse Oliver.

If you've drawn any Fester Fish fan art, send it to me and I'll post it!

August 27, 2012

Better version on Vimeo

Here's a higher quality version of Fester Makes Friends on Vimeo. It also fixes some minor technical issues that are in the earlier Youtube version such as certain scenes being one or two frames out of sync, and a couple of camera shakes where the edge of the background is visible. I noticed them before I uploaded the initial video but didn't have time to fix them. You might find it a little funnier now that the audio is more precisely synced up, for tighter comic timing.

I've been working on Bakerman, watching Samurai Champloo and Shin-Chan (I've really started to like that Funimation dub of it, as different as it is). Oh, and re-watching the first two seasons of Trailer Park Boys. I think that show went downhill later on, but the early years are still wonderful.

August 23, 2012

Fester Makes Friends

Aaaaand here's the third Fester Fish cartoon, finally! Did I say it was coming out on the 22nd? I meant the 23rd. I just kept making typos, you see.

From rough idea to finished short, this took me about a year. The story of Fester going around town trying to do good deeds and make new friends came out of a desire to expand the character's world and introduce some supporting characters, since people kept telling me to pitch Fester to a network but all I really had was him and his girlfriend. I don't know that any of the new characters in this short are interesting enough to bring back, but anyway, that's what initially led me to develop this story. There is some familiar ground being covered here, with another Tex Avery 'homage', but Fester being on the opposite end of it makes it different enough from "Fester's Nephew," at least in my mind.

A couple of people have asked me if the household objects are really supposed to be alive, or if it's just in Fester's mind. YOU be the judge!

August 21, 2012

Fester Makes Friends Playlist

Here's what I've been listening to while I worked on Fester Makes Friends:

Beach Boys - Friends and 20/20 (Break Away is an underrated gem, right up there with the best of their 60s output)
Talking Heads - Remain in Light
Frank Zappa - Hot Rats
Stereolab - Chemical Chords
Various Urusei Yatsura soundtracks
Dynamite in the Brain podcast
Comedy Bang Bang podcast (my favourites are the episodes with Paul F. Tompkins, James Adomian or Neil Hamburger)

1 Day Left


August 20, 2012

2 Days Left

Everything's going well and the cartoon should be ready for Wednesday as planned. I'm definitely going to be working on it up to the last minute before I upload it, but I think I've given myself the bare minimum amount of time needed to finish it properly. Which is exactly the kick in the pants I needed to get it done, so I can move onto my other jobs and projects.

In less about 48 hours, you will get to see Fester meet a lady on a street corner with disastrous results in FESTER MAKES FRIENDS!

August 19, 2012

Catsuka page on Masaaki Yuasa

Taking a break from the Fester Fish countdown to post something I found really cool, and infinitely inspiring.

I'm sure most animation fans are already aware of Catsuka, but until recently all I looked at on the site were the model sheet pages. Recently I stumbled across the "Focus On" pages, which are fantastic galleries and collections of videos related to specific animators. And there's one for Masaaki Yuasa! The site's mostly in french, but it's still pretty easy to navigate through. There are MADs of his animation, and a whole whack of concept art that I'd never seen before. There are even some awkward early drawings he did as a teenager. I found the page really inspiring and thought I should share it.

I also recommend the Hiroyuki Imaishi page and the Tatsuyuki Tanaka page. The Tanaka MAD is gold. I wish Tanaka would return to that looser, more high-energy style he used in stuff like Green Legend Ran and Download, before he entered that more subdued but equally impressive Toujin Kit/ Canabis Works era. Don't get me wrong, I love all of his work, but as any reader of this blog will know, I'm a big fan of wild, cartoony animation.

3 Days Left

Here's a scene from "Fester Makes Friends" where Fester meets a sad little girl. Why is she so sad? You'll have to find out on August 22!


August 18, 2012

4 Days Left

4 days till the new Fester Fish short comes out! In case you forgot what Fester looks like, it's something like this!


August 17, 2012

5 Days Left

Here's a background drawing of Fester's house to remind you that there are only five days till the new Fester Fish short "Fester Makes Friends"!


August 16, 2012

6 Days Left

6 days till Aug. 22 and the new Fester short! Here's a GIF of Fester driving in his car.


August 15, 2012

7 Days Left

Here's a background (or at least, the main layer of the background) from Fester Makes Friends.


August 14, 2012

Release Date for New Fester Short

I've only got a few shots left to animate, and a bunch of audio stuff to do. Other than that, this muthaclucka is pretty much ready to go. Fester Fish will return on August 22, 2012 in "Fester Makes Friends." It'll be about seven minutes long. I wanted to make it shorter because, you know, people don't watch anything over two minutes on the internet, but I just couldn't decide what to cut. So it's all in there! It's an epic tale of friendship (or lack thereof), heartbreak, home invasion and more. It's a transcendental meditation on life and death. It's a tear-jerker that will have you busting out your extra-absorbent hankies! As a wiseau man once said, "experience this quirky new black comedy... It's a riot!"

Mark your calendars!
Warn your neighbours!
Drink your milk!
AUGUST 22!!!

I would've made a teaser video like I did with the other two shorts but I'm too busy animating. So instead I'll be posting non-spoiler stuff from it to whet your appetite, like an advent calendar but with production art and GIFs instead of chocolate. So let the Countdown to Festercy begin, with a walk cycle from the new short, available in two sizes, suitable for avatars and such!


I suck at making GIFs, so the colours got messed up. Oh well.

August 06, 2012

Drawing Without Reference

At the latest comic jam we played a fun game where we try to quickly draw cartoon characters from memory. Often with disastrous results:

This is the beast from Beauty and the Beast.

BABAR, KING OF THE ELEPHANTS (I just realized that name sounds like the title of a bad 50s B-movie, especially if you shout it)
 Everyone's favourite gay bananas
Krillin from Dragon Ball Z as Charlie Brown, complete with his spinning energy disc thing. I should've drawn him throwing it, and then it coming back to hit him and knocking all his clothes off.
A California Raisin who looks more like a crack addict than I intended.

August 01, 2012

They All Look the Same!

I went over to the comic shop yesterday, hoping to find some art that would inspire me with character designs I'm working on. I didn't bother looking at superhero books because I wanted something more cartoony, so I focused on indie comics and manga. Every time I saw an interesting character on a cover, I'd flip through the book and think "hey wait a minute, EVERY character looks like that first one."

I'm not going to name any comics in particular, but I had forgotten just how many comics have a single original character design which they then repeat over and over. The exact same heads, features and bodies, just with different hair and clothes. Often that particular design will be kind of interesting and unlike any other comics, but the problem is I want to see a whole bunch of different designs in one place. So I ended up getting one of those "Meathaus" group sketchbooks.

I also picked up "Angura - Posters of the Japanese Avant-Garde" which has a lot of neat design ideas.