Wednesday, February 13, 2008

a guy making cool things

My friend John Bergin had a story to tell. It's called "From Inside" and it has had a few incarnations over more than a decade. It first appeared as a story in black and white in a 'zine (kids, ask your grandparents about 'zines). Then it was expanded into a big full color graphic novel. John is the kind of guy who wants to tell the story his own way, so when a producer offered to make it into an animated movie, John sat down and taught himself how to make an animated movie. And he and his computer basically didn't stop for two and a half years. Now he is in the final stages of the movie. He had some help from a few crucial people, but mostly it was a one-man operation. It is based on his artwork so closely (way more than Sin City or Beowulf or 300) that he rightly calls it an "illustrated movie."

Why tell you this? Mainly because it is so cool that he did it. But also because of my tangental connection. I am sure I wasn't the only one, but when I first saw the story in its embryonic 'zine form, I urged him to keep going with it. Make it bigger or longer or something. It was too good and too strong to just exist in a form that so few people would ever see. And I wanted to go deeper into the story too. Also, I kind of got to be in the graphic novel, and it looks like I made it into the movie too. Here is a still John posted on his movie-making blog:

This image is based on a photo of me from a long time ago, which John aged to make me look like a decrepit old religious nut. I am quite disturbed to see how much it actually looks like me now. It's like I am the Gertrude Stein to his Picasso.

Want to see more? Go here to see stills and the first three minutes of the movie. Remember, one guy did this.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Pardon me?

Here are two sketches I did last week for the NYTimes op ed page. The piece was about the number of requests for presidential pardons and the current administration's minimal effort when it comes to dealing with them. Art director Brian Rea provided the layout with the "hole" and I worked my sketches to fit.

Here is a detail of the final art, which appeared on Monday, Feb. 4. Click on the image to, like, WAY enlarge.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Stop the commotion with stop motion

Here's a movie we made when a few college friends got together recently. Shot in istopmotion, a really easy animation program to use, and edited in imovie.