Thursday, November 29, 2012

CTNX post mortem...

I felt I needed to blog a little bit about how it went at CTNX since I cajoled everyone into going.
This was my second year having a table and selling books and doing commissions and I know now that the first year wasn't a fluke. Not only did I sell out of my first two books (Expressions & Attitudes 1 and 2), but I sold quite a few of my new one, drew several commissions and got to meet a lot of very talented students and some old friends and fans.
This is easily one of the most professional conventions I've been too and that's even more impressive when you consider that this is only its fourth year. If you are interested in animation and want a chance to meet some of the big names (and not so big names like me) in animation, listen to lectures, see demos and check out art schools then this is the con for you. And if you want to try and break into the industry then you absolutely need to go to get advice from professionals and to get your portfolio reviewed by artists and studios.

Here are a few of the commissions I drew up at CTNX this year:

Sorry about the quality of these...I opted to use my phone instead of my usual portable scanner....

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Come to CTNX...

If you're interested in animation in any way - whether as someone in the business already, a student or just a fan - then this is the convention/expo for you. It's in Burbank (the heart of the animation industry) and all the info is available at this link

Animation expo

This convention has been a huge success and is easily one of the best I've attended. There's lots of great panels and speakers - something for everyone.

I'll have  a table there selling my sketchbooks (including my new one), prints (like the ones below) and original Convention Commissions.

SO, if you do make it to CTNX swing by my table (T108) and say "hi".

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Long time no post...

Yep, I know it's been a very long time since my last post, but since I post so often on FaceBook (and sometimes on Twitter) I feel like I've remained in contact with most everyone - more or less. And the longer I went without posting here the more awkward it seemed to do it, but I guess I need to just jump right back into the water and start again. I will make more of an effort and I apologize to any that have gotten annoyed with my lack of postings...

So here we go with a brand new post:

I've been very successful for the last few years selling my two sketchbooks, Expressions and Attitudes 1 and 2, but those have pretty much sold out and so I got together with the fine folks at House of Secrets in Burbank and we co-produced my next sketchbook which you can see below.
It's different than the last two in several ways. There's color in it and less emphasize on expressions, attitudes and model sheets, and it's cheaper! $11.95 for 60 5x8 pages (shipping is additional, of course)

Feel free to e-mail me or contact me if you'd like a copy and we can arrange it via PayPal.

BTW any of you that don't follow me on Twitter and FB probably should. My FB fan page is: and my Twitter account is: twitter@s_e_gordon

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A just fight...

...and a good cause.

I know it's been quite awhile since I last blogged and I will blog again to bring you all up to date a little later, but in the meantime this seemed somewhat time sensitive....

As many of you know (or have surmised by now) I've been an Edgar Rice Burroughs fan since I just about started reading. One of my favorite series of his was the John Carter of Mars series. This was even before I started to see Frazetta's wonderful and sensual depictions of the characters in these books. I first started to collect the books with the Abbett covers.

 It wasn't just the images that captivated me but the excitement and swashbuckling derring-do as well as the romance. If asked I'd have to say that ERB's sense of right, wrong and romance had a lot to do with shaping my way of thinking and treating women.
Over the years I'd tried my hand at drawing these wonderful characters and after entering the world of animation there always seemed to be plenty of opportunities to talk about the possibility of working on a feature based on A Princess of Mars. At one point I even worked out a Thoat run cycle that (if I recall right) was pretty decent and towards the end of production on Fire & Ice, Ralph Bakshi said he was in discussions with ERB, Inc. about producing a John Carter of Mars feature. Ralph said he wasn't interested in directing it (just producing it) so he approached me and another animator (my friend, Bruce Woodside) about directing on it. The budget was going to be minuscule and it all hardly seemed feasible. Thankfully, in retrospect, it all fell through for one reason or another. Even though it would've been exciting to do this (small budget or not), I suspect it would've been a major disaster and disappointment to ERB fans - including myself.
Since then I'd always kept the idea of a Barsoom film in the back of my mind and always thought it would make a great film if done right. Needless to say I kept track of all the various incarnations of who was currently working on developing it and when that would fall through and so on. So when Andrew Stanton finally took the project past development and to filming I was cautiously optimistic. Unlike many film fans (especially animation fans) I had issues with Stanton's Pixar films (Finding Nemo and Wall-E) and could argue to death why I thought they didn't work, but everything I read about his take on Barsoom gave me the feeling he was on the right track. Even the really bad marketing (or lack of ) couldn't deter me away from seeing this film when it finally premiered. I convinced my wife and oldest son to go with me using the lure of easy popcorn and candy.

Perhaps I was primed to like the film anyway (though I was braced for major disappointment), but I did find this film to do everything I had hoped it would. I was ecstatic and willing to see it again and again and that's something I can rarely say about any film. I was surprised to find that my wife really liked it as well and wouldn't mind seeing it again - this is really not her type of film at all.
I'm not saying the film is perfect in every way (what film is?), but it gets so much right that the minor flaws are completely overwhelmed and not even worth dwelling on in my opinion. The most important part is they got the TONE right. The feel of a pulp adventure with a sense of wonderment and romance. They also got the most difficult part right: Dejah Thoris. Even though she is an iconic character that every fan-boy worth his salt has an opinion on I hardly expected her to really work. But she does. In spades. If you need an excuse to see this film, Lynn Collin's performance is reason enough. Her acting is absolutely worth the price of admission alone. I hope Ms Collins gets an Oscar nomination, but I rather doubt the acting branch will acknowledge what she accomplished here.

Anyway, enough of the long-winded fan-boy prelude and time to get to the meat and bones of why I'm posting this and titled this post as I did.
Disney so screwed up the marketing on John Carter (in ways too numerous to discuss here), as I'm sure all of you know by now, appears to be a flop in the domestic Box Office and the chances of a sequel being made are pretty slim. So a bunch of fans that are as equally ardent as I am (maybe even more so, if possible) have started a Face Book page called Take Me Back to Barsoom and a petition to try and persuade Disney into greenlighting the planned sequels to John Carter.

Here is the link for the FB page  - if you're a fan, and on FaceBook, I encourage you to join this group. There's lots of good people and discussion (as well as bellyaching) there.

And here's a link to the petition which was created to help show Disney the fans' desire for sequels to be made  - it only takes a second to sign.

feel free to post your own thoughts here if you'd like, but I'd rather not get into any arguments if you disagree with're obviously wrong and I don't have the time to educate you (just kidding, of course).

Monday, March 05, 2012

The winners are...

...Jim McClain and Blaze Rocket who correctly identified the original inspirations for the character designs for three of the X-Men: Evolution characters. Jim correctly guessed Rogue was inspired by Xenia Seeberg from Lexx and Wanda was inspired by Fairuza Balk of the Craft and Return to Oz. Blaze Rocket correctly identified BoomBoom's original inspiration as singer Gwen Stefani of No Doubt fame

For all their effort I promised to do a drawing of a character of their choosing. Blaze Rocket chose Wanda and Jim asked for a drawing of Jean in her normal uniform and what she would look like if she had ever turned into Phoenix on X-Men: Evolution. Before the questions or misunderstandings start I want to make clear that this design is just something I came up with to respond to Jim's request and was not something that was ever considered all those years ago on XME

So congratulations and thank you to Jim and Blaze Rocket for playing along. I might try this again sometime in the future since there were many more characters that were inspired by celebrities in XME as well as on The Ultimate Avengers.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Who's that girl....

This is a commission I'm working on of the XME bad girls. This is the first rough drawing for it and the tight rough that I transferred to an 11x17 board. I'll also post the next steps as I finish them.

I posted this on Facebook the other day and it received a lot of attention and a few curious people asking who they were. I'm sure everyone coming to this blog recognizes them so that's not an issue. I'm also sure many of you have heard me discuss the fact that many of the XME characters were based on actual people - celebrities to one degree or another. I then asked if anyone could guess what celebrities these were based on ...and I was surprised no one really tried to guess. So I even offered up a clue: One's from an old Sci-Fi show (I think BBC), one was an actress in 2 iconic movies and the other was based on a popular singer.
Of course, you need to keep in mind when XME was on TV, but at least one of the celebrities is still somewhat in the public eye.
Anyone willing to venture a guess?

Just to sweeten the pot I'll do a sketch for the winner of any XME character they choose and post it on this Blog. 

And just for fun here's another commission I'm working on as well of Rogue and Gambit.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Take 2....

At the suggestion of my Art Director, Michael R. Hudson, I did a little tweaking to the colors of the promo piece for The Eternal Savage and added some more fauna and such. Definitely looks better, eh?
THE ETERNAL SAVAGE will be a Graphic Novel Adapted by Martin Powell and illustrated by me. Authorized by Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. Coming your way soon from Sequential Pulp/Dark Horse Comics

What do you think?

And here it is with the appropriate log and credits.