Tag Archives: animation

Industry Night

For those in the Greater Toronto Area, Toronto Cartoonists Workshop is starting up Industry Nights.

“Are you working in the fields of Comics, Animation, Illustration or Design? Introducing Toronto Cartoonists Workshop’s Industry Night @ The Monarch Tavern (12 Clinton Street, south of College),an evening to socialize and network, the last Wednesday of every month and just minutes away from our College Street studio. Our first event takes place on Wednesday, April 27 at 8 pm.

Evenings will usually include a short presentation on an upcoming TCW workshop and we’re delighted to announce that Leonard Kirk has agreed to kick things off with a short presentation on his Penciling and Inking: Level I workshop slated for May – spots for this workshop and others are still available. See

http://cartoonistsworkshop.wordpress.com/workshops/ for details.”

Ty will be there–he might have a few words to say! There are still spaces available in his “Drawing the Human Figure from Memory” course–you don’t need any skills walking into the class…he’ll make sure you walk out with plenty.

Keiren


ANOTHER ASTOUNDING PIECE OF HOVERBOY HISTORY FOUND!!

I actually matched the day and the hero! Where's my cookie?

EXCITING BULLETIN:

Set your Bucket Dials to ADVENTURE! This is an actual still from the legendary PUNCH FORCE 5!

We’ve been given a lead on another lost treasure!  An episode of the legendary series, “PUNCH FORCE 5!” from 1976,  Charles Nutt’s last big Hoverboy project before his spectacular murder/suicide in 1979.  Episodes of the show are extremely rare, as the cartoon was taken off the air in a criminal negligence case that earned the episodes a rating of,  “NC-100, Illegal to display in public“.  We’re hoping the statute of limitations has expired, or the people who came up with the rating are dead.  (The only other  TV episodes to earn this rating were seasons 2-4 of NBC’s HEROES.)

Punch Force 5! co-star, Danny Bannon: The Pantsless Detective, and one of his trademark "strategically placed bits of rock".

PUNCH FORCE 5! was Hoverboy’s version of the Super-Friends, mimicking the style and premise shamelessly.  The series teamed Hoverboy with other Vigilance heroes, including, THE PANTSLESS DETECTIVE (a not-so private eye), THE LITTLEST SARGE (a tough NCO with the kind of blind patriotism only a 10 year old could embrace), and METALGUY, (a refrigerator-clad appliance repairman turned vigilante).

I don't have a screengrab with the Littlest Sarge, but here's his image from the cover of HOVERBOY #83

From their secret Allegheny mountain base, PUNCH FORCE 5! defended America from a seemingly endless parade of giant things.   In the ten episodes aired, the villains were a giant robot, a giant alien, giant insects, a giant Russian woman with a mop, a giant oil monster, a giant snow monster, a giant rock monster, a pair of giant rabbits, a giant Russian alien insect monster, and a giant robot shaped like a rabbit. One can only wonder what exciting variations season two might have brought.

Vigilance Comics ill-fated, and clearly not-well-thought-out hero, METALGUY

Unfortunately, the character of Metalguy inspired a group of Idaho children to sneak into a junk yard and climb into abandoned freezers in an effort to fight crime.  Unlike an episode of PUNCH FORCE 5!, this was a misadventure, with no happy ending, except, I suppose some free publicity for the junk yard owner.  The resulting civil lawsuit bankrupted what was left of Vigilance Pictures as a viable studio, and the criminal negligence case destroyed much of Nutt’s savings while he worked desperately to stay out of prison.

Not only was PUNCH FORCE 5! taken off the air, but it also took down the live-action HOVERBOY/METALGUY ACTION HOUR from a few seasons earlier. making episodes of both shows impossible to find at conventions, on youtube or even the most violent porn sites. There are rumours that PUNCH FORCE 5! episodes are used to train members of Delta Force.  It’s also claimed they go into combat yelling the familiar catchphrase,  “Littlest Sarge, Small But Large!”  If someone knows a Delta Force guy, please find out if this is true.

A black and white image of Littlest Sarge #1, taken from an ad on the back of Hoverboy #91.

The  screengrabs throughout this article were sent in by Richard Fader, a Hoverboy fan from Ft. Lee, New Jersey.  We have asked for some better scans, or a copy of the show, but were met with a request for a ridiculous amount of money.  At least that means the show exists!  And that means we’ve got a LEAD!  So stay tuned, Hover-fans…we might be able to upload the WHOLE show soon!

Your Hoverboy Museum Curators,

Ty the Guy, Rick Green, and Marcus Moore.

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For more Hoverboy Fun, visit the HOVERBOY ONLINE MUSEUM, and tell ’em Ty sent you; you’ll get extra moist towelettes.
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Hoverboy Friday! On a FRIDAY!

It’s been a couple of weeks since Hoverboy Friday came near a Friday, and this is a good one, Bucket Brethren and Sistren.

The big news is that a retired animator/producer for Vigilance Pictures by the name of Santos McMillan has contacted me with a mountain of new Hoverboy video material to put on the Hoverboy website.  This includes a full episode from the HOVERBOY TO THE MOON series from 1961, part of an episode from the never aired Heroteam series from 1976, and a WHOLE SEASON’S worth of episodes from Hoverboy’s 80s epic kid’s series: GOD FEARING PUPPET TOWN!   I’ll try to get the videos up on youtube later this week, and link to them, but for now I can show off some of the stills and jpgs he sent along with the package.

First up, this is one of the few surviving style sheets from the aborted 70s show “HEROTEAM”, only featuring Hoverboy this time.  Santos had promised me the style sheets for SLAPMAN, DANNY BANNON: THE PANTSLESS DETECTIVEGOLDEN PLUMB and FEMININJA….he says he can’t find them yet, but not to give up hope.

For the life of me, I don’t know what M.R.M. means in the info box.  Any animators out there who can fill me in?

Hero Team, as Hoverboy fans should recall, was the series intended for CBS’s SATURDAY FUN ZONE in 1976, but was canceled when a highly inebriated Bob Stark threw up a meal of chili and vodka all over the desk of CBS producer Yasha Ezrin.  “I was willing to work with Stark,” Ezrin recalled in a VARIETY interview of that year, “But his constant drunkeness caused friction at meetings.  He would shout ‘NIXON WAS A SAINT!’ at odd times, or beg my daughter to remove her top.  That sort of thing.  It wasn’t a problem for me, really, but my custodial staff refused to clean up after him, and they went on strike.  I have limits to what I’ll put with in this business we call show, but a desk covered in chili and vodka that went uncleaned for eight days was the end of my rope.  It’s too bad, too, as hundreds of talented people had put in months of work to make it happen.”

Forgive the quality, this is a screen grab from an old video tape.

I’ve tried to clean up these images from the video I was sent, but don’t really work with video filters as much as I should, so I’m flying blind.

These are screen grabs from HOVERBOY TO THE MOON, the six episode cartoon series produced in 1961 in the SYNCRO-VOX technique first popularized by CLUTCH CARGO.  Basically, that meant that instead of animated lips, actors would supply the lip movement that went with the dialog.  There were meant to be more than the six episodes, but CAMBRIA PRODUCTIONS (the owners of Clutch Cargo) sued Vigilance for using their technique.

These are supposed to be my lips? They don't look right!

Now, obviously, you can’t own a technique of making cartoons, but Nolan Bridge, producer at Vigilance at the time, didn’t know that, and took his series off the air, rather than face yet another lawsuit.  (Vigilance was still paying off the damages on 18 wrongful death claims from the infamous “Day the Cartoonists Died” incident wherein weaponized anthrax toxins were accidentally mixed with the printing ink on paychecks sent out to Vigilance cartooning staff the year before. )

The syncro-vox idea was originally suggested because Hoverboy had no lips, and everyone figured it was a no brainer to animate him.  But the scripts for the first six episodes (which centered around supplying blankets covered in weaponized anthrax toxin to the moon men to get them off “AMERICA’S PLANET’) featured so many lines for the  moon men, and of course, Jimmy and Gleep the Monkey, that the cost cutting measure didn’t work, and folding when the lawsuit showed up was probably more of a blessing than a problem.

Sure, HE has no lips, but there are fifty-eight distinct characters in the story who do.

I don’t have any screengrabs of GOD FEARING PUPPET TOWN beyond this often seen promotional still, but it’s only a matter of me learning how to upload and embed this stuff before you’ll be watching the whole season.

Hey boys and girls.  Sesame Street is for COMMIES!  Pass it on.

Hey boys and girls. Sesame Street is filled with Commies. Pass it on.

God Fearing Puppet Town was a short-lived spin off of Sesame Street that aired only in Arizona and Utah during the early eighties.  The series was created as a response to what the producers called “an emphasis on colored people and socialist values” on Sesame Street, that simply didn’t sit well with viewers in Arizona and Utah.   The 22 fifteen minute episodes followed Hoverboy as he tried to understand bible verses and the prophecies of revelations, and how it all related to modern life in Utah.  Though it was a big hit for the year it was on the air, it was finally removed by the FCC who cited “clear elements of race baiting, religious intolerance, and puppet nudity” in almost all the episodes.  The story of Sodom and Gomorrah was returned to in almost every episode, and constantly referred to as “Hoverboy’s favorite part of the bible.”

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HOVERBOY COMIC STRIPS

For those who have been following the Hoverboy reprints of NAZI ROBOTS OF FUTURE PAST, here are the latest episodes…

That’s it for today.  Scroll down for the KICK ASS CREATORS article all you kids are looking for.  And don’t forget:  Tomorrow is free webcomics, featuring the THIRD chapter of the ever-exciting LAST ROUNDUP ON THE SINISTER SPACECRAFT OF FORBIDDEN LOVE!

Ty the Guy

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PS:  I almost forgot.  The best issue of Bongo’s SIMPSONS comics to hit the stands in nearly four weeks is finally out!  And as a special bonus, there’s a possible chance of winning eleven million dollars if you buy the issue and find a special lottery ticket inside.

How can one comic be so funny?

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HOVERBOY FRIDAY ON TUESDAY!

Hoverboy Fridays return, with another stunning find in the world of Hovercheology.  (Yes, I just made up a word, so that’s ten dollars you owe me, Mr. Webster’s Dictionary people. We shouldn’t be doing your work for you.)

This week, it’s sketches from the never-aired, never-filmed and never-paid for “Hoverboy Away!” Saturday Morning Cartoon show from 1993, theoretically produced by BUCKET OF GLASS studios.  They never got much further than these preliminary sketches by Jean Paul Rive Gauche before the plug was pulled on the project due to a misunderstanding.  A bad phone connection (from a fairly new form of mobile phone at the time) had caused a programmer at CBS to buy the show sight unseen believing it to be the animated adventures of LOVERBOY, a stadium rock band from Canada whose hits include “WORKING FOR THE WEEKEND” and “TURN ME LOOSE”.  When the CBS executive realized he had bought a show about the superhero created by the maniac who had shot up a shopping mall in Michigan just ten years previously, he ended his relationship with BUCKET OF GLASS immediately and found a studio that WAS willing to produce a show about Canadian stadium rockers who fight crime.  THAT show, “LOVERBOY vs THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK” was cancelled after two very low-rated episodes.

Little survives of the HOVERBOY AWAY! project beyond these few sketches, where clearly BUCKET OF GLASS hadn’t settled on a final look for Hoverboy’s costume.  We fans of Hoverboy can only sigh and wonder what “might have been” if they had actually aired some of this series…what would have been Hoverboy’s EIGHTH TV show.

Jean Paul would be better remembered by both the animation and the cartooning industry in general, had he not been struck by lightning mere hours after creating these sketches.    Another great illustrator lost to the “final gig”.

For more information about some of the Hoverboy shows that DID make it to the air…go to Hoverboy on screen at the Hoverboy Museum online.

Ty the Guy.

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Animation by Ty

We (he and I) have done posts before about animated projects Ty has been involved with (goodbye, months of our lives gone to Dexter Early Cuts!), but yesterday’s post made me think I should just quickly gather ’em all in one place.  So, here, with no fanfare whatsoever…

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Zellers Law of Toyland commercials

featuring Joker

featuring Penguin

featuring Catwoman

featuring Riddler

(Ty did storyboards, layouts, full-animation for all the parts that repeat for each commercial and then, reveals for the Joker and the Penguin (coming out from the cash register.  He was less-involved in the latter two)

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Jerry Seinfeld and Superman for American Express commercials

“Hindsight is 20/20”

“A uniform used to mean something”

There’s a third one I have to hunt down…

(Ty did the still images that transform into the live action…if you have an eye for it, you’ll recognize his lettering for the titles)

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Dexter Early Cuts, “Cindy Landon” webisodes for Showtime

Dexter Early Cuts, “Cindy Landon”

(Ty did all the drawings–not for the credits–and the colouring for those drawings.  With an assist from Yours Truly. Animation was done by KTV Media.)

And Ty says this re-mix of the Batman commericals amused the hell out of him, so he asked me to put it up for ya (we’re still busy arguing about where it should go in this sequence…as I’m the one at the keyboard, I currently am winning, but at any moment he could shove my chair out of the way–it’s on wheels–and take over).

Holy Perplexity, Batman

Keiren

MY FIRST BATMAN CARTOONS ARE ONLINE!

How amusing to see what the internet can dredge up from its depths.

Many years back, I worked on a series of animated Batman commercials, pushing the Toyland department of Zellers stores. ( Zellers is a Canadian version of K-Mart or Target, just a small step up from a Walmart.) I did storyboards, layout, background art and key animation for about 60% of these ads (more or less all the repeating parts, and all the villain “reveals” [except Riddler] are my work, and most of each commercial repeats quite a bit).  You can see how fond I was of Brian Bolland in the slavish imitation of his designs and style I followed.

This Zellers Batman gig, by the way, eventually led to my working on Batman: The Animated Series for about two weeks (where I drew nothing and wrote nothing), and eventually to my gig drawing and writing the tie-in comic (The Batman Adventures).  But that’s a story for another day.

As we only had video tapes to copy things onto back then, my copies are essentially destroyed–so degraded I can’t play them anymore, and I’ve wished I had playable copies for years.  But someone had copies and has uploaded ’em to YouTube.  Here’s a link to them , and here’s a link to an article over on Topless Robot that alerted me that these things were out there.

What blows my mind is that there’s remixes and dance versions of these things.  BWAH HAH HA HA HA HA HA!

It’s getting weird when the internet has better copies of your youth than you do.

Ty the Guy


SOMETIMES, THE ROUGH…and another of the increasingly late Hoverboy Fridays!

Clearly, I’m mad, I tell you.  MAD.

batrobinadv sketch 11

I’m one of those guys who spend their lives liking the rough sketch better than the final art.  It’s a curse.   I have a fondness for the scribbled, eccentric, humanistic and unembarrassed linework of a rough sketch.  There’s a lovely connection to movement and thought in the first contact with the image to muscles and paper,  often softened unbearably by turning it into a final illustration.   As a professional drawer-boy, I’m always fighting between “cleaning it up” and “letting it live”.

The Batman sketch from an old, old Adventures cover, (which I just found in a box yesterday, and hence this post) is less than three inches high.  It’s drawn in pencil and a thick pentel marker which was clearly drying out, as the background becomes less dark to the right. But the sense of danger, the monster, and the expressions on everyone’s face works for me in a way the final doesn’t.

harvey pekar rough to finishMy Pekar’s AMERICAN SPLENDOR work last year did the same thing to to me.  I was going for a very sedate, “realistic” Curt Swan type of storytelling for Harvey, since that was the basic feel of this particular script…but the rough layouts had a Kirby-like energy to them, with a lively and playful sense of proportion that I wish had fit the story.

( for more Harvey online, click here)

Again, these layouts are about three inches tall, and the final art is fifteen inches high…so the movements spideytorch 2 1 roughof your hands vs. the movements of your shoulders are going to be different.

I just got through reading an issue of Marvel’s new “STRANGE TALES” comic, with folks like Peter Bagge, and James  Kochalka doing very indy looking work on Marvel super-heroes.  Astoundingly great fun, and some of the pages have the same feel as my rough pages do…before I clean myself up.

If only I hadn’t seen so much Harvey Kurtzman while growing up.  I could rid myself of this demon of liking the roughs.

AND NOW—

FOR THOSE WHO DEMAND THEIR HOVERBOY FRIDAYS ON FRIDAY, I GIVE A FIE TO THEE!  A FEE FIE!

hovermuppetHoverboy Fridays continue to wander the calendar, and we find one barging into Sunday.  I’m only making this rare exception to move Hoverboy Fridays from its regular spot on Tuesdays, to this weekend, because the most recent update is topical!  It has to do with Hoverboy’s very tenuous connection to Sesame Street, which celebrated it’s 40th, or 45th anniversary this week, I wasn’t paying enough attention when Wolf Blitzer mentioned it.

Go to the Hoverboy museum and read more about this astounding connection between Kermit the Frog and The Boy Who Hovers.

www.hoverboy.com (for those who don’t hyper link well).

Ty the Guy.  AWAAAY!

DEXTER: The Early Cuts

A “behind the scenes” of Dexter: The Early Cuts was the featured video on youtube.com yesterday, and has some drawings from Ty.  He’s still busy drawing frames for the animation (and I’m still busy helping him colour them), but we’re pretty excited about it.  And Ty’s pretty happy with the company he’s keeping for this series.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ySl3InQS1g

Keiren

Ty has a new gig

http://www.sho.com/site/announcements-view.do?articleid=831

9519_302893835270_15526475270_9397665_1262464_n

I’m working on the third of these series…and I get to draw tied up people and chainsaws!  Who said this isn’t a good week?

Ty the Guy

(Poster by Kyle Baker)