Sunday, 13 July 2008

The Horror of the iPOCALYPSE

With 6 million iPhone users trying to update to the 2.o version of the iPhone firmware and most likely hundreds of thousands of new users trying to activate new accounts on a global scale, we have witnessed what Gizmodo has dubbed the iPocalypse.

That title had me rolling on the floor for a lot of reasons. First off, I'm an avid Apple customer for over 20 years because they make my life a whole lot easier. They always get it right and in the end we'll all see this is no exception. Yes, it is really frustrating right now, but I was in San Francisco last year and got my iPhone the first week it came out. I spent almost a week getting it activated and was really irritated by it all, but once it was up and running it was worth it. I use it for almost everything and it has raised the bar on mobile communications for me.

This brings me to the second point. When 6 million people come to depend on a device like iPhone users have(as in an integral part of their lives), a total bricking of that device when trying to update is in a way similar to the end of the world. Most of us have all our music, contacts, and a lot of other data on the iPhone, so what happened Friday could be seen as a global catastrophe.

Personally, I wasn't going to upgrade until later because I knew with that many folks trying to do the same thing around the globe, Murphy's Law is multiplied a few fold.

This will most probably all be resolved by next week and then everyone will be happy(I'm working on some stuff right now on that subject). I'm gong to contact those guys at Gizmodo and try to make some T-shirts with them to commemorate all this because once all the iphones are working it's going to be hard to remember the frustration.

The iPocalypse Commeth. Ha! Ha! That cracks me up.

UPDATE: I figured I would just put the rapture illustration in the same post, so here it is. I was going to do a whole survivors of the iPocolypse series, but figured "What's the point?". Apple is already getting it's servers corrected so I think these 2 illustrations say it all.

Monday, 9 June 2008

ABOUT "Run Street Artist Run"


Ok. I hate making web pages so I decided I was going to put all this info on my blog for those that are interested in the project:

Run Street Artist Run: The Film in 4 Parts

The short films follow 3 street artists around the world as they put up their art in various cities. They are: 1. European Street artist 2. Urban American Street Artist 3. Female Intricate Painter Street artist. They all meet in the finale 4th part of the film and go and a huge mission in New York City. All sorts of humorous and adventurous situations arise on their nocturnal missions which I have taken in some part from my own experiences and in other parts inspired by other street artists adventures. This is going to be a non-stop music driven fast pace narrative.

Themes explored in this film are gentrification, politicians that seem to hate street art and spend their time passing bills about outlawing it, but not being concerned about crime, homelessness and so on. Also covered are constant barrage of ads we get in our daily lives in public spaces and perhaps this project acting as a happy solution to this in a symbolic way(see below for more info).

The plan is to allow people to watch each part of the film as an intro to the game. Also put it out on various video sharing sites and such with the end goal of getting people to come into the 3d spaces and play the game. And of course submit it to all the festivals in it's entirety.

The following gaming aspects of this project are browser based, with there being a down loadable standalone version and I am investigating developing this game for the iphone as a multi-player kind of experience. Stay tuned for word on that.

The Casual Game

Basically, I'm making a multi-leveled game where you use your skills of evasion and street running to access areas where you can either spray paint, stencil, or paste up your artwork on walls, subway stations, billboards and ads. This is going to be like the streets...while you can upload some work to use as either stencils are big stickers you have to place them. Also to be provided are paint brushes and spray paint tools.

You must avoid the police, irate gang members, overly annoying yuppies and hipsters that have moved into your neighborhood, corrupt politicians, surveillance cameras, and a bevy of other characters like the mysterious Street art vandal(based on the infamous New York Splasher). There is no violence and we want to make this all very fun to play. Your only weapon will be a can of spray paint that you can use to envelope and confuse those that pursue you.

The Network Game

The idea here is to create a common virtual space where people can put their art up all over what amounts to a blank city. The free area of this space is a huge abandoned factory where I hope people will put works of art, drawings, stencils, and so on.

There will be ads everywhere except this free area. When you deface an ad you are actually painting on a layer over the ad. The plan is to have markers that you can put in your blogs, Myspace pages or whatever that will navigate to those locations you have defaced and people can roll-over to see what the ad was before you went to work on changing it. In a perfect world you should get paid for this because someone is seeing the ad. I'm working out how to get this done with some folks. I should know by next week if and how this is possible.

At minimum we will have a place where people can express themselves. Perhaps the ad aspect of all this will also allow them to make a bit of money. We just will have to see.

Most likely there will be a huge free game level that people can try out and if they want to get into the network they'd pay 9.99 one time on the apple iphone app store. I am weighing the possibilities.


I am currently contacting advertisers to give me money to place their ads in the film and game to be defaced. Obviously we are looking for companies and people that have a good sense of humor about it and understand the potential of this idea to get their message seen while giving end users a say in the matter and being creative and in many cases adding or making the ad space more interesting beyond it's initial state.

Defacing in the films will be done by myself and will be in good fun where the viewer sees the ad and then sees the street artists work it over a new. A good example of this is one of my Spatz cartoons, seen here.

It is common knowledge that internet ads are not really very effective and this project is inspired by The Bubble Project.
Every time I have ever seen an ad with a bubble pasted on it I one got kick out off what random people would write in them and I also paid attention to the ad rather than just ignoring it.

I thought this might be an interesting exercise in a new way of having ads pay for stuff and allowing users to interact with those ads in a creative and fun way. The money from advertisers will go towards paying the programmers to get the gaming parts done and making the film and game assets as well as dealing with the networking part of all this.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

I have been given the assignment to re--image the 4 horsemen for an up coming project. I thought it would be good to place it on my blog so people could see my 3d work as Run Street Artist Run is going to be combining 3d with Flash. So without further hesitation, here is the first of the 4 which is WAR: The Red Rider:

"He is the destruction of all mankind through violence, rage, and conflict. Those who experience him and survive are changed forever for he is hell and horror.

He is undiscerning of who he takes. Warriors and innocent alike are one and the same to him.

Brutality, chaos, and infliction of misery are his virtues. in many cases he is the bringer of brief economic stimulus to those who enact him

He rides a horse made of all consuming fire which is adorned by the tools of butchery and destruction from times past, present, and future.

The mangled, maimed and bloodied flesh of humankind is his sustenance.

The tears of grieving mothers be his 'ale."

When I finish all 4 these guys are hittin' the streets!!!!!!

Run Street Artist Run

Run Street Artist Run from PrimeToonz on Vimeo.

Monday, 21 April 2008

The Street Art Animation Project

I am working on a short animated film about street artists.

Over the years growing up in New York and traveling I have seen graffiti and street artists do really insane and crazy things to put up their respective art works. Covert operations and daring do type things like sneaking into a zoo to paint the animals(Banksy) to climbing drain pipes and towers to put up a piece.

One of the most memorable things I have ever seen was a full animated half a minute animated piece on the no. 6 train line between Longwood Ave. and Hunts Point in the Bronx when I was a kid. Let me explain why this was so spectacular and probably the most dangerous feat ever: Whoever the artist or artists were, they climbed into the subway tracks ,walked down the tunnel inbetween the 2 underground stops, and with some knowledge of how fast the express train travels they painted a scene(frame by frame) of a woman dancing with a man at exact points on the wall under the tunnel lights. The amazing affect was that when you were on the train going by if you happen to be looking out the window at the right time you would see this long really detail animation play in real time. Half a minute= 30 seconds at 30 drawings per second (larger than life size) =900 drawings!!!! I can't imagine how long that took standing in a dark scary rat infested tunnel and standing in a crawl space as trains passed by. Hats off to whoever they were. Primetoonz simply don't got that kinda gusto!!!

My little film is kind of a tribute to the idea of street art and those who make it.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

5 Min. Comic Book Character Sketches

Yesterday I was in a neighborhood pizza joint. As I work from the house sometimes I need to get outside. I sit someplace and work on my laptop drawing away in some corner as I eat. Some kids came in and seemed interested in what the heck I was doing. I was working on a new SPATZ cartoon and showed it to them. They thought it was funny and recognized the character from seeing it around the city on the streets. They said they always wondered who did those and that they thought SPATZ was "wicked". For those of you over 30 "wicked" means cool. It made me feel good that some young teenagers got what I was doing with SPATZ. I hooked them up with some SPATZ T-shirts later that day and they were happy.

While we were at the pizza place one of these kids says he draws and is into comics. I showed him flash and let him doodle around with my Wacom drawing tablet. He was into it and I gave him the web address to download the demo. He definitely showed potential for a 13 year old kid, nice sense of balance in his characters. I also gave him one of my old tablets and a pen(I have like 6 wacoms and 14 of those stylus things and they're just sitting around). His mom has a new Mac so he'll be fine. You never know... he just might be the next Frank Miller. Even if he's not, it's nice to see someone want to express themselves and get really excited about learning. People helped me along the way so now I encourage kds like that when I met them.

While we were all talking at the pizza place they asked me if I could draw Wolverine from the X-Men as well as a few other characters. Spider-Man. Spawn. The Hulk. Below are the results of about 5 mins drawing of each(Spawn took about 10-15 because while I know what the character looks like I really wasn't clear of the details of his costume. The fact is I have grown up with these characters but I have never drawn them.

While I was in high school I was pretty much into Charles M. Schultz and animation and sci-fi stuff. I found many of my male peers wanted to draw comic books. They would always draw these guys with huge muscles(so huge I couldn't imagine them moving) and women with really unrealistically large breasts. I loved reading comics and still do but back then I didn't want to draw like that. I had brought up the subject with Frank Evers on one of my weekly visits to the New York Daily News and his take was I keep learning and practicing how to draw realistically and then later I could really draw anything.

My life took me into cartooning, illustration and 3d animation among other things. What I found interesting was not only that i could draw these characters so quickly because they seem to be part of the American collective consciousness, but also that when asked o draw them I really thought about and knew who they were in their motivations, actions and ways of being. This is a huge testament to the people that created them and maybe a lesson to all creators of characters. No matter what their flaws we identify with them. Wolverine when he was first introduced to the X-men was like this really explosive, psychopathic and homicidal individual.
Spider-Man was just some kid that can't pay his bills and gets bitten by the radioactive spider and does the right thing but still can't pay his bills. And Spawn is this huge Shakespearean kind of story about a guy who at the end of the day is trying to redeem himself. That said I have always thought that Spawn was cool and at the same time kind of creepy. I have friends working on technology that will allow people to more easily tell stories. It would be interesting to see Todd McFarlane do a Spawn movie true to his vision of his character rather than one he has to make by dealing with the Hollywood system. Perhaps soon.

I suppose these characters are so compelling because as stated before no matter what their flaws they try and do the right thing. In addition, in a world that at some times seems so unfair maybe we all like seeing character that fight back against injustice.

At the end of the day it was cool sitting with those kids in the pizza place and seeing how into comics cartoons and other things they were. And I'm not gonna lie. I kinda had fun drawing Spawn and the others. Maybe in one of my tutorials I'm planning for youtube I'l do a chapter entitled "I didn't animate SPAWN, but if I did, this is how I would have done it"

Friday, 18 April 2008

The Sketchy Line Revolution

The image here is what most of my cartoons look like. However, I always start out with very sketchy drawings in everything I do. I am a trained artist and illustrator that loves cartooning. From going to an art high school and then Parsons in New York I was trained at an early stage to be able to draw with a continual line and never look at what your putting on the page. If you were drawing from life you observe and let your hand follow the forms you're seeing. Very much like an instrumentalist knows their instrument.

The woman that this picture is inspired by(Joaniqua in the 'hood) told me a while back that I should really explore this sketchy style more in the stuff I do. As of recent, I've decided to really take her advice and some of my street art as well as a current animation projects will be utilizing this method.

The next picture is where instead of cleaning up the picture I start to push the sketch to a place where I am basically sculpting with lines on top of lines.

The final image was done the same way. My sketch books are filled with images like this. I am currently working on 2 animation projects that utilize this style but with movement..will post when I finish the examples.

I kinda dig this style because it really is freeing the artist to push shape, light, and dark around. I think I'm going to do a few youtube tutorials about his technique and animating it all in flash for people that may benefit from it.

I really don't think that people realize the full potential of Adobe Flash. I pretty much do everything in it. From intitial character design, to animatics to full broadcast animation. I've done 3 broadcasts jobs with it, entirely by myself and numerous other projects working for post houses. I think my tutorials will go over drawing free in flash and then animating using Flash to act as an animation station.

When I started in the 3d animation industry back in the 90's I was amazed by the fact that many of the other 3d animators I was working with on major films with really could not draw! They were technical people that knew complicated 3d software like Maya and Softimage because they had the money to study at schools that were offering these really expensive programs in their schooling . That has changed now that high end 3d software is way more cheap. Never the less, anyone who wants to animate should really be able to draw their animations by hand if need be.

This should be fun

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Potter Puppet Pals

(UPDATE: April 20th:
This cartoon was a joke made last month. Personally I back JK Rowlings and hope she wins her lawsuit to stop the publishing of a Harry Potter Lexicon. It is not right that someone can make a guide to her world and characters without her having a say about it. If she loses then anyone that wants to steal a creators characters can do so. That simply is not right)

For those that don't know, some kids in Mass. came up with a very funny send up of Harry Potter called "Potter Puppet Pals".

I saw it a while ago and thought it was hilarious. Turns out they won the youtube award for funniest video a little bit ago. While checking out the huge coverage they got I saw on a blog somewhere that the Harry Potter community on the web (which is massive) were speculating when JK Rowlings and Warner Bros. would put a kabosh on their merry making.

Personally I think she has more to worry about than some kids making fan art(like somebody trying to create a guide to the Harry Potter world. A guide that she has not authorized.) But the idea was funny to me.

Warner Bros.(the House that Bugs built) is so huge and owns so many properties and characters including rights to make the Harry Potter films, Superman and Batman(and the rest of the vast DC comics world, The Matrix, and of course Bugs Bunny and all the Looney Tunes.

I thought an over the top cartoon of JK Rowlings and the Warner Bros. Legal folks having the young puppeteer arrested with a lot of Warner Bros. heavy hitters in tow would bring the point home of the extreme silliness of the notion and also underscore this: It's great when people love a character or story so much that they pay tribute to it through videos fan created stuff and so on. However just bare in mind: When you start trying to make money with some one else's intellectual property Bugs Bunny and a whole bunch of lawyers might come knockin' on our door. I really have to include some aspect of this in an animation project I'm working on(no warner bros stuff included of course) : )

Saturday, 22 March 2008

The Insane Loo Queen

A few years ago I was in Berlin. I was in a club and went to the bathroom. As I stood at the urinal I notice someone had scribbled in ballpoint pen an insane looking abstract queen say "Don't Stand there staring at me. Hurry and have a wee!" I broke out in uncontrollable laughter and it was hard to go to the bathroom as I was laughing so hard.

I took a picture with my cell phone but unfortunately it was lost and when I went back there a year or so later drawing was painted over.

I decided to interpret that piece in my own way because I thought it was very clever and a great example example of why street art is so cool. The simple act of going to the bathroom was made hilarious by some artist that scribbled a little cartoon. My queen was inspired by the queens in a standard deck of cards. I put these up in bathrooms from time to time. I continued the joke and added the second phrase. This second version goes into bathroom stalls and is my final foray into potty humor. I thought it would be appropriate to put them up as they are in the same vain as "laptop in the bathroom" which we also stick up in bathroom stalls here and there.

So if you ever go to the bathroom in an airport, club, or bar you just might meet The Insane Loo Queen!!!!!!

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Laptop to the Bathroom

More people do this than admit it. Hee hee hee.

This will begin my post a day of my art. I will be adding a link where people can buy a shirt of the days comic if they like.

Be on the look out for very large street art versions of the daily toonz in various cities around the world(I travel a lot)...the first person to send me a photo of a work in the streets will get a free t-shirt of that work.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Darren's Girlfriend

Isn't it interesting that when creative people try and make a living they are thought of as selling out, but when we don't have money and can't pay for things we are not responsible or unsuccessful or something to that effect.

Anyone that starts to get their career going deserves to do so. Now please go to my store and buy a t-shirt (wink)

Monday, 18 February 2008

Mama Capelli

This is one of the final gentrification cartoons I will be posting. Not that I couldn't do a jillion more but next week the Mechanics Plan will be posted and it will be interesting to see the reaction to a solution to this problem.

This toon was inspired by a fruit stand that used to be on Myrtle Ave In Brooklyn. There was a really old Italian lady that was there early in the morning arranging things. Her sons ran it and you could get deals like a dozen eggs for a dollar and fresh fruit. It really is sad to see family run things like this just vanish from places like New York, Boston and everywhere else.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Juan's Stoop

This pretty much describes the kind of attitude you find with many of the new people moving into Clinton Hill in Brooklyn as of late.

I think that those of us that were born there and still live there would not be so turned off by these people if they would just tone down on the entitlement.

There really is a mix of all kinds of people there. A lot own their houses and are not leaving so the new people might want to get use to diversity.

I love this gag by the way. Hee hee hee. The funny and maybe also sad thing is if you show this to a hipster or upwardly mobile person they might not really get it. Or maybe they might.

Happening in Boston

This was a cartoon I was inspired to come up with after watching a video on Youtube about what's happening over in Boston with all the gentrification.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Chrissy Comes to Bed-Stuy...

This toon is based on actual events. Incredible. Stay strong Bed Stuy.

The online Gallery of Primetoonz

The Spatz street art series was inspired in part by the work of The London Police. I did a very small piece entitled"Gentrification Spatz" as I saw the drastic change in New Yorks East Village but as this weird phenomenon start trying to push me out of where I live(unsuccessfully I might add) I started expanding it. These are some of the cartoons I came up with when asked to participate in the Mechanic's Project. Gentrification is not a great thing and it actually comes up in a few of the projects I'm involved in. New people should always be welcome into a neighborhood, but when you totally disrespect the people that were already there and then push them out because you view it as "your neighborhood" that's just not right.
Hope they give you a laugh.