Monday, December 27, 2010

2010 highlights pt.1

2010 has been quite a year for me and I've enjoyed it immensely, I hope it's been good for you as well.

I'll break these three year end posts into pre-CC, Comic-Con, and post-CC. If that makes sense. It falls right in the middle of the year and I spent so much time working up towards it that it makes a natural break. Sort of, it'll conveniently make three posts at least.

With both my professional work and my personal work I feel like I was able to make a few strides that passed previous years. Here are some highlights I wanted to revisit, in pretty much chronological order.

The end of 2009 saw my Sendak tribute project, Terrible Yellow Eyes concluded. TYE exploded with more art and more contributors and more visitors than I imagined, it was amazing. From the Gallery Nucleus show to getting to meet some of my contributors in real life at conventions, it was a joy to put together and I miss it.

December 31, 2009 saw TYE end - January 1, 2010 saw "bit and run" begin. Press start.

This time last year I was on a crazy busy project. It was a short animated film that is not yet released. I was working something like 18 hours days for close to 7 days a week for 2, 3 months. It was madness and I couldn't sleep even when I went to bed. Long story short, I found that if I played a little Mario, good old Mario, for a few minutes before bed I could instantly decompress. This bizarre lack of sleep and late night Mario binges coalesced into what became my "bit and run" webcomic.

Two volumes, one animated short. "bit and run" helped me not only stretch my comic sense a little but working through them made me faster with digital, something I've always felt a little slow with, and made me feel that if I simply sit and think about a problem I can crack it. There were several comics over the two sets that I had a joke for but couldn't think how to play it or what was the punchline even for some of them. I found if I just sit, don't worry about it, I could get it.

Mario's Ladder racked up close to 300K views between Youtube and Vimeo. At one point it made the front page of Vimeo.

I was kind of amazed to see the response to Mario's Ladder, almost as amazed as when I learned that the clouds and the bushes are the same. It made the rounds on the internet, from Entertainment Weekly to Cartoon Brew, I really couldn't believe the attention it got.

"bit and run" was so much fun to do. I would love to make a third volume at some point.

Here are a few of my favorite comics from Volume One.

Also, the 4 page "bit and run" 9 which featured the only comic with a title, "IT CAME FROM WORLD THREE." Click to see a small Goomba cross worlds to avenge the girl he loved.

More on "bit and run" when Volume Two returned in August. That'll be for part 3 of the year end retrospective.

* * *

January 2009 saw the publication of my Oliphaunt painting for Highlights.

I was honored to be able to join the ranks of Tolkien illustrators, even in this very small way, and for such a wonderful client as Highlights.

* * *

Also in January was my DRAWING GIVEAWAY. For one week, everyday, my lab partner and I posted about science and I gave away stuff. For the complete collection of science, please click here.

* * *

2010 has been the year of charity art auctions for me. I love what I get to do and I'm happy to help in some way. Here are some from the first half of the year.

Quite possibly the greatest independent video game of all time, Cave Story saw a release on the Nintendo WiiWare service in March 2010. It was originally created and developed by one person, "Pixel" otherwise known as Daisuke Amaya. That's incredible, I don't know what else to say about it other than I have the utmost admiration for that. The game was 5 years in production and it has since gone on to become one of the most respected and beloved independent games ever created.

Several months previously, I was asked by a top member of the WiiWare release development team to create a piece based on the game. I decided to do two, an iconic "hero" piece and a recreation of a moment from the game.

I was pretty freaking excited when I heard that Nintendo of America was going to use two pieces as printed canvas art to send out to reviewers in the media. One went to my buddy Kevin over at GoNintendo, the site I partnered with to release my "bit and run" comics. I was glad to see that.

* * *

The middle of the year leading up to Comic-Con, as far as personal work, was my Alice.

Check out any post from March 2010 - July 2010 and it's chock full of Alice development. From the roughs, to color studies, to drawings, I pretty near documented the thing to death.

Earlier in the year I showed several small Alice pieces in the Gallery Nucleus exhibition "Curiouser and Curiouser"

What I am most pleased to see is the jump from this piece I did in February,

to this, that I made for my show in October.

2010 has been a huge year for me, between getting to work on a ton of great personal projects, as well as some incredible client work ranging from picture books to animated work for documentaries, I've loved it. I hope it was good to you as well.

My Alice book was the main goal for SDCC and I'll have more about that next time.

Next post, SDCC : Alice, Flight 8, and more.

1 comment:

Ryan Andrews said...


You really did have an incredible year artistically. Thank you for all the inspiration you've given everyone. Can't wait to see what you do this year!