my personal thanksgiving

 Posted by on December 26, 2016  My stroke
Dec 262016
 

On December 26th 2012 at about 11am, I started to slip away as my brain and body both began to gradually shut down. A tiny blood vessel had ruptured in the left thalamus of my brain like a bomb blast in my head, and 4 years later I'm still living in the ruins of that explosion. Every day gives me ample illustration of all that I've lost, but today, on the anniversary of what could easily have been my death, I prefer to ponder all that I still have, and any advancements that I've made. Boxing Day has become my very own personal day of thanksgiving.

A major goal of my rehabilitation has been somehow getting back to work in a body that no longer operates properly. Having a useless drawing arm has been very challenging for a cartoonist, but despite this I'm happy to say that 2016 was a work milestone. Firstly, Thanks to the recommendations of old friends ED BELL & STEVE LEE, I had three months teaching 3 seperate classes of 2D animation at Academy of Art University. I had never tried teaching before, but settled into it when I saw each class as a creative team with a creative goal that we worked towards together; a process that I have a great deal of experience with.

I've been retraining to draw with my LEFT hand ever since losing dexterity in my trusty RIGHT drawing hand, and those efforts recently paid off when I landed a 7 month storyboarding gig just after my teaching assignment finished. My old friend JIM CAPOBIANCO took a chance on me, and I storyboarded on an animated sequence within a live action film (the new MARY POPPINS) under Jim's direction. I had to make up for my lack of left-handed drawing speed by working long hours each week, but I was happy to do it. The chance to make myself useful as a professional cartoonist again was an absolute joy.

Since waking up in a hospital bed 4 years ago, half paralysed and 220k in debt (due to an insurance SNAFU) I had a powerful motivation to think of some new way to make a living, but although I wracked my damaged brain as hard as I might, I simply could not think of a viable PLAN-B career. Being a cartoonist is all I've ever wanted to do, or been half way good at. There is still a lot of uncertainty, but that has always been the life of a freelance cartoonist. My recent medical travails have highlighted it perhaps, but adapting to change was always a big part of this career I chose for myself at the age of 17.

Like living in a half ruined house, some things still work in this ramshackle body of mine but many things don't. Some damage may be repaired one day, some damage may be permanent, and it's often hard to know the difference. But with the help of dear colleagues & friends believing in a slightly shop-soiled cartoonist, I'm extraordinarily thankful that, professionally at least, I'M BACK.

Nov 262016
 
WALL-E: VisDev

This is some visual development for WALL-E drawn back in early 2005 while I worked under the great production designer RALPH EGGLESTON in the Pixar ART department, before working in the story department on the same project. In its very earliest incarnation, WALL-E started as an idea developed by PETE DOCTER, but when it went into production the [..READ MORE..]







The Year Of The Rabbit

 Posted by on October 18, 2016  Comics, Lefties, Projects
Oct 182016
 
The Year Of The Rabbit

Since 2001 or so, I’ve occasionally published silly comics about ROCKET & PROFESSOR, but I’ve doodled the characters even longer than that. The few comics I’ve actually completed belie the fact that I’m always drawing the characters, and thumbnailing & planning stories. Real life sometimes got in the way of following through, but lately I’ve been trying to [..READ MORE..]







Aug 052016
 
Pear Cider & Cigarettes

I've worked in many studios, but will always have a special fondness for MAVERIX STUDIOS, the place where I first created my own ideas, rather than merely being a cog in someone else's machine. All other members of the Maverix collective explored their own creative visions too and it was constantly chaotic, nutty & fun, as such stimulating places often are. Studio founder Robert Valley [..READ MORE..]







Animation Teaching

 Posted by on May 19, 2016  Pencil-Jockey, Updates
May 192016
 
Animation Teaching

For the past few months I've been teaching 3 seperate classes in 2D hand drawn animation at Academy of Art in San Francisco, filling in for faculty teacher Daisy Church while she was out on maternity leave. Here is a photo of my final class, which was held just this morning; Traditional Animation 3 . (Sadly I did [..READ MORE..]







SEPHILINA the Nauti Girl

 Posted by on February 20, 2016  Comics, Projects
Feb 202016
 
SEPHILINA the Nauti Girl

It's not easy being a member of the ugliest species in the known universe! Thankfully, SEPHILINA, like all other SQUOIDS, can shape-shift and appears as a cute-ish blue girl in green tentacle dreadlocks.







Seattle 2015

 Posted by on January 25, 2016  Lefties, Location Sketching, Travel
Jan 252016
 
Seattle 2015

In the final days of 2015, we flew to Washington State to celebrate Julia's birthday (which is also known as New Year's Eve in the rest of the world). Although it was quite chilly in Washington (by Californian standards anyway) we were blessed with some beautiful sunny weather, and Julia and I both did a little sketching near [..READ MORE..]







CHICAGO 2015

 Posted by on January 3, 2016  Lefties, Location Sketching, Travel
Jan 032016
 
CHICAGO 2015

In summer of 2015, Julia and I went to Chicago to visit her family and enjoy that great city. We both did a lot of sketching on that trip, but I only just scanned mine recently and here they are. Julia's Sister and Brother in Law were attending an out of town wedding and we volunteered to hang with [..READ MORE..]







80 @ 51

 Posted by on January 2, 2016  My stroke
Jan 022016
 
80 @ 51

Jan 2, 2016 8:10pm– When I was 48, I turned 96 years old. From someone who ran on a treadmill a few times a week and regularly walked miles across town, I became a doddering and feeble geezer overnight. Paralysed, confused and unbalanced, I struggled with the simplest of tasks, both mental and physical. Three years of exercise [..READ MORE..]