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Monday, December 14, 2009

Getting Even with Shakespeare

Here's an illustration job I recently completed for a play called Getting Even with Shakespeare.  The production is an official selection in the Manhattan Repertory Theatre’s Winterfest 2010.  Here's the premise (from the website):

"Five Shakespearean tragic heroes are in a New York City bar...and they are pissed. According to the laws of metaphysics, Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet are required to "attend" every performance of the shows that bear their names.  When not reliving their horrible deaths on a nightly basis, the characters spend time at the bar where they drink away their sorrows, settle old scores, and partake in their favorite pastime - plotting revenge on Shakespeare, the man who put them in this very unenviable position.  The characters’ four century old routine is thrown into flux when Matt, a 30 year old lawyer and unsuccessful college playwright, enters the bar with an idea that may finally allow them to get even."

As you might guess, the tone of the play is very light and the hi-jinx of the characters is reminiscent of the follies of Wile E. Coyote trying to ensnare the Road Runner.  Therefore, the playwright, Matt Saldarelli, suggested we make strong allusions to the old cartoons by setting the Shakespeare characters in the desert.

The two images shown above will be printed out as post cards for promotional use. For the play's website, I drew a third panel to create a strip:

The performances are on Jan. 27th - 29th at 9pm at the Manhattan Repertory Theater (303 W 42nd St) and the $20 tickets can be purchased by calling 646-329-6588.

As the playwright says: "You don't have to know anything about Shakespeare to enjoy this show (i.e., there's a lightsaber duel between William Shakespeare and a Terminator)."  I can't wait!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Trip to New Zealand

Well, it's four months and I've finally found the time to throw together some video from our trip to New Zealand. Just before we left, I got a Flip MinoHD. It's small, portable, and extremely easy to use.

Unfortunately since it weighs next to nothing, every small shake of the hand is picked up by the camera. Even with Apple's iMovie video smoothing turned on, it still distracts you from the subject matter. This lead me to take a lot of "art shots" with my hand resting on an object, and thus, the music overlay...

Thanks to Christine and Janine for a fine vacation and tour of their wonderful country!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Michel Fiffe's Website

I recently designed and created a website for cartoonist Michel Fiffe.  Not only does the site feature some of Fiffe's great comics, he's got some fantastic interviews with other cartoonists.  Check it out.  I command you.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wedding Animation

Last summer, John Kuramoto and I were commissioned to make a short animation for a wedding.  The short was added to a surprise video for the bride and groom which was shown at the reception.  Our task was simple -- make a quick retelling of the couple's origins.

It was a typical story:

Boy meets Girl.
Boy and Girl go on a date.
Girl doesn't realize it's a date.
Boy surprise-kisses the Girl.
Girl gets mononucleosis.
Boy and Girl eventually fall in love.

All that shown in 35 seconds.  Looking back on it, I'd say we did a fine job.  The story boards and animation were done by John, and I did the drawings.

Bonus video that I had nothing to do with!
Here's another animation John recently did for the comedian Patton Oswalt.  The drawings were done by the excellent cartoonist, Brian Musikoff.  I had the pleasure of going with Brian and John to see Mr. Oswalt do a show not long ago at the New York Comedy Festival.  This bit was one of the highlights of the show, and I think the literal animation style makes it even funnier!  (Warning, this might not be entirely appropriate for your work since it contains cursing and some adult humor. Also it might offend your religious sensibilities...)