Friday, October 09, 2015

"Hail, Caesar!" Movie Trailer

The Coen Brothers, along with an all star cast (Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson, Jonah Hill and Frances McDormand), spoof old Hollywood in this trailer for their new movie "Hail Caesar." Looks like fun! Scarlett Johansson as an Esther Williams-type is worth the price of admission!

Roger Bollen 1941-2015

"Animal Crackers" comic strip cartoonist Roger Bollen, as well as prolific children's books creator and TV producer ("Handy Manny" and "Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century" among others), died on Saturday at Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. He was 74.  He had suffered a stroke in April and seemed to be recovering according to his daughter, Melissa Ellsworth. 

Bollen, who lived in Chagrin Falls, was a prolific creator who started out in newspaper comic strips and went on to illustrate more than 50 children's books with his second wife, Marilyn Sadler. He later created shows for the Disney Channel that included "Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century," "Handy Manny" and an animated version of "Animal Crackers." 
He was a private person. His listing on IMDb (Internet Movie Database) does not include a picture of him. 
"He ate out at restaurants in Chagrin Falls every day and no one knew he was a television producer," said his daughter, Melissa Ellsworth of Rocky River, who has his work on her Facebook page. "He never wanted his age to be known because he didn't want anyone to think he was too old to work. That is just how he was." 
Within the past weeks, Ellsworth said her father told her he was doing another series with the Disney Channel.

Debuting in 1967 Animal Crackers centers on a group of animals — Lyle Lion and Eugene the elephant, among them — in the fictional jungle of Freeborn. Bollen, a Cleveland native, drew the strip until 1992, when he moved to television (the strip has continued, drawn by Fred Wagner). Animal Crackers soon moved with him, airing as a television series from 1997 to 1999. Bollen also collaborated with his second wife Marilyn Sadler on more than 50 children’s books, including the Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century series.

I liked this story that fellow Ohioan Tom Batiuk told the PD:

Tom Batiuk, creator of the Funky Winkerbean comic strip, said Bollen was a friend and inspiration. 
"When I was in college at Kent State, I got his phone number," Batiuk said. "I called and said I wanted to meet him and ask his advice on the comic business. He refused. I called again and he refused. I called a third time and he said okay. He later told me he always turns down people the first two times to make sure they are serious." 
Batiuk said Bollen offered excellent advice and became a good friend.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Some #Inktober Drawings

This is Inktober (or #Inktober if you are on Instagram or Twitter) and during Inktober, people who draw are voluntarily doing up one ink sketch a day. I've been drawing something every day. Just a little stream of consciousness drawing. They are all in ink, they are all drawn with no penciling. Sometimes I just start drawing and I just see what happens. These are supposed to be fun. They are then colored with watercolor. The whole process is under ten minutes. Here are my first seven:

Mike on Twitter
Mike on Instagram

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

New SHERLOCK Trailer Released Today

Jerry Lewis at the Friar's Club

(Above: an ad for the Jerry Lewis picture THE BELL BOY nicked from the Miami Archives blog.)

Jerry Lewis was at the Friar's Club and chatted and told jokes this past Monday. He's 89 years old now.

Love this one:

A police officer comes across an old man crying in a park. The man explains that his wife has died, and that he has now taken up with a younger woman who pleases him with all manner of carnal delights. 
So what’s the problem? asks the officer. 
“I forgot where we live,” the old man replies.

Here's the story from the NY Times: Jerry Lewis Holds Sway at the Friars Club

FILM FILM FILM (1968) Animated Short

How are movies made? This 19 minute animated Soviet era short shows you:

Hat tip to Steven Thompson.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Hy Eisman POPEYE NYC Gallery Show October 2 - October 1

If I was within 100 miles of New York City this Friday, I would hightail it over to the Van Der Plas Gallery at 156 Orchard Street for the POPEYE exhibit reception. Shaking Hy Eisman's hand means that you have shaken the hand of a comic strip artist legend -- and a heckuva nice fellow to boot.

I urge everyone to see this rare showing of Hy Eisman's original POPEYEs!

New STAR WARS Web Comic by Hong Jacga

There is a new STAR WARS web comic by South Korean comic artist Hong Jacga (known for "Hwa Ja, Dorothy Band, and The Cat Funeral -- the latter two works having been adapted into musical and movie form respectively"). 

It's a new take on the original movie trilogy, told from Luke's point of view. There are two updates a week, every Thursday and Sunday

Friday, October 02, 2015

You're 65, Charlie Brown!

The syndicate sales pitch for PEANUTS was that the strip was simple-looking (able to withstand shrinking and still be legible). It was also stackable. In other words, the layout person at the newspaper could run it as a strip, a tall column, or stack it, like the above.

Form aside, today it's the 65th anniversary of PEANUTS newspaper debut. The first strip is above. A strip that is perhaps the most famous comic strip ever. It's all due to its creator, Charles Schulz, and his ability to draw warmth and humor from life. But you don't need me to say that. You already know.

Happy birthday, Charlie Brown!

Thursday, October 01, 2015

"Who reads cartoons in newspapers these days?" NESCAFÉ Cartoonist Fired

In this Nescafe India commercial, a young cartoonist is fired from the newspaper where he works because, "Who reads cartoons in newspapers these days?"

So, the cartoonist loses his job and goes home. When he gets there, he drinks his instant coffee and gets ideas for more cartoons.

This is a fairy tale of a commercial, telling us that ideas can come from Nescafe and that putting your work out there for free can result in lots of "views" and "likes."

Does Nescafe understand that the Internet does not pay?