Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Winsor McCay Wednesday: Little Nemo

Winsor McCay was a pioneer in the field of animation and the graphic arts. Other than creating the first cartoon character (Gertie...see last weeks)he's best known for his Little Nemo comic strip (keep reading in the coming weeks)....and at one point he decided to take his little creation off the printed page and on to the screen. Heres Little Nemo from October 1910. Enjoy!!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Happy 75th Birthday Jim Henson!

Today we salute Jim Henson...I know I know this is a blog dedicated to animation and graphic arts, not puppets. But no one can deny the inspiration Jim had on countless generations of artists and animators. He also did a fare amount of drawing himself, sketching up multiple puppet designs to get them just right before they were built. I showcase some of the artwork of the iconic Jim Henson...enjoy!!!

Jim Henson's creations have also inspired countless artworks. From comics to movie posters to t-shirts, Jim's multiple creations pop up all over in the world of art. Here's a sampling.

Happy Birthday Jim are greatly missed..but your legacy lives on.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Little Tangled

I thought I would spend today showcasing just a bit of the amazing character design that went into Disney's Tangled. Even though this film was CG (computer generated) the majority of pre-production work was handled as if it were animated traditionally. The legendary Glen Keane lent his talents to the design of Rapunzel while Jin Kim worked on Pascal. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Winsor McCay Wednesday: Gertie

Today we start a new feature called Winsor McCay Wednesday!!! Every Wednesday (or most) we will be showcasing the talents of the incredible Winsor McCay (September 26, 1869 – July 26, 1934). His pioneering early animated films outdid the work of others of his day, and set a standard followed by Walt Disney and others in the decades to come. Thanks to his expressive graphic art style, his comic strips gained a wide fan following, despite an early lack of popularity, inspiring countless artists such as William Joyce and Bill Waterson. His best-known creations are the comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland, and the subject of our first Winsor McCay Wednesday, the first animated cartoon character, Gertie the Dinosaur.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

The Great Goofy Timeline

Goofy is by far the most changed character on Disney's roster. I created this handy dandy guide to the majority of Goofy's incarnations.

Until we meet again,

Brian James Fichtner

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Storm of Swords

With HBO's Game of Thrones a huge hit and the second season (based on the second book A Clash of Kings) is in production, I thought I would showcase some artwork from the limited edition version of George R.R. Martins third book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, Storm of Swords by the amazing Charles Vess. Vess is one of the all time great fantasy artists responsible for the likes of Stardust, Sandman, and Rose. These images came from his amazing book of artwork "Drawing Down the Moon," and were part of the limited edition of Storm of Swords released in 2006.

Until next time,

-Brian James Fichtner

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

5 Minute Marvels

Last week a wonderful family attended a few of my art classes and told me about their art blog that they have called 5 Minute Marvels. I have to tell you, this site is amazing stuff. Basically a loving father is spreading his love of comics and art to his two little girls. Each blog post involves a drawing of a famous comic character (like Thor or the Flash) drawn by Tim (Dad), his 8 year old daughter Grace, and occasionally 6 year old Cate. They're quick little 5 to 15 minute sketches of greatness. Anyone is invited to submit their collaborative art pieces as well and are often featured. I hope to do this with my little one on the way. Check the greatness out here.

Until next time...i am....Brian James Fichtner!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Don Bluth!!!

On this day in 1937 the animation legend Don Bluth was born. Don began his career in the 1960's working for Walt Disney where he helped to animate Sleeping Beauty, Jungle BookRobin Hood, The Aristocats, The Rescuers, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Pete's Dragon just to name a few. In 1979 he left and formed his own company where he would give Disney a run for their money creating films such as The Secret of Nimh, The Land Before Time, An American Tail, and Anastasia. As well as the games Dragon's Lair and Space Ace. He is often credited with creating so much competition for the Mouse that they had to try harder and thus led to the Disney animation renaissance that began with the Little Mermaid. Happy Birthday Mr. Bluth!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Porky and Daffy

There are many great comedy duo's in the history of entertainment, but none can compare to the amazingness of Porky Pig and Daffy Duck. Today, I present to you a series of animated shorts, starring the hilarious duo, but all by different directors. Check out how each director portrays them. Also notice how each director adds a bit of their own art style to the characters. On a side note, Tick Tock Tuckered is a remake of Bob Clampetts 1937 cartoon Porkey's Badtime Story with Daffy replacing Gabby (look him up if you would like, he's a long forgotten....kid).

That's all for now folks!
-Brian James Fichtner

Friday, September 9, 2011

Marc Davis

Marc Davis is easily one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. Not only was he a phenominal animator as one of Walts 9 Old Men, responsible for designing and animating the likes of Brer Rabbit, Alice, Tinkerbell, Malificent, and Cruella DeVille, but also a pioneer in the world of Imagineering. Marc was responsible for the character designs behind Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, America Sings, and the Country Bear Jamboree to name a few.

Until next time,

Your buddy,

-Brian James Fichtner

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Happy 100th Birthday Freddie Moore!

Today is the 100th Birthday of the amazing Disney Animator Fred Moore. Fred, or Freddie as he was known, is best known for his work on the one and only Mickey Mouse. In fact is was Fred that gave us Mickeys modern look when he redesigned the character for Fantasia. Moore was also responsible for characters like Timothy Mouse (Dumbo), Lampwick (Pinocchio), and the lost boys and mermaids from Peter Pan. For a brief time he left Disney and went to Walter Lantz where he redesigned Woody Woodpecker. He returned to Disney in 1948 and ended up dying due to complications from a traffic accident in 1952. Freddie's legacy lives on through all of his unforgettable characters.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day

In honor of Labor Day, I bring you the beautifully done Legend of John Henry from Disney American Legends.

Remember not to wear white after Labor Day...
-Brian James Fichtner

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Artist Spotlight: Jae Lee

Jae Lee is an incredible artist. He was the youngest professional artist ever to work for a major comics publisher and won the Eisner award for his work on Marvels Inhumans. His use of shadows is as astounding as his work is mesmerizing and beautiful. Currently he's busy illustrating Stephen Kings newest addition to the Dark Tower series. Something he knows quiet well after penciling the first several volumes of Marvels comic adaptation. Here is a small sampling of his amazing work over the years.

Until next time,
-Brian James Fichtner