Friday, July 29, 2011

Moving forward

      Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward. -Victor Kiam



Comic con ended on Sunday. Last Sunday.  Finally.
I have all these photos of people in crazy costumes, giant inflated cartoon characters, unusual statues of characters from various movies and TV shows sitting quietly inside my camera just waiting for me to upload them.... I'll get to it. I think.  Though with my kids out of school and home all day thinking gets harder to do, and doing anything productive is even harder than thinking so we'll see.



If you missed me at comic con and were hoping to get a promotional copy of my book "The Horribles", -not to worry, like most things in the world these days you can still buy it online.  It's right HERE!

This week's article I wrote for the Examiner was approved and published yesterday (YAY!). It's called "Exploring The Magical Circle".  It's about a beautiful sculpture garden called "Queen Califia's Magical Circle"-an amazing place I visited with my family last year on my birthday.

In other news our web comic "The People That Melt in The Rain" is doing a special recap (reruns... I don't know) on Facebook all summer and fall as we prepare for the big graphic novel release. So if you're on Facebook it's a page a day from the very beginning for the next couple of months!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Back to the Red River...

Tomorrow morning at 12pm central time we go live again with "Art of The Red River"!
This month's guests should be a fascinating bunch!


    First on we'll have Alison Paul, originally a native of sunny California, who lived a comfortable snow-free existence until attending the Rhode Island School of Design. Even though she's graduated, she inexplicably remains residing in Providence, Rhode Island.  She's the author and illustrator of two children's books from Houghton Mifflin, her most recent book is pictured above.  She's also created animation and works with cut paper and collage.


Our second guest is Scott Johnson and yes, this parade ballon for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in NYC was one of many Spiderman projects he worked on! In 2005,  Scott Johnson became the first artist ever to sign an exclusive contract with Marvel Characters Inc. After four years of exclusivity he is now freelancing again, but his relationship with Marvel remains strong and he continues to create art for their products, among many other clients. Scott currently works from his home studio in the Chicago suburbs where he lives with his wife and 2 children.

Closing the show we have cartoonist, Ben Glendenning. He was born and raised in Evart, Michigan, where his dad inspired what would be his lifelong obsession with comics. Currently living in Arizona with his family, he's created and produced the successful mini-series “Skulljammer" and is the artist on the popular comic series "Zombies vs Cheerleaders".

In the meantime we're still wandering through the sea of weirdos (ummmm...errr... comic enthusiasts) over at the San Diego Comic Con.  Today I'm drawing for the benefit of The Cartoon Art Museum at booth #1930 from 12pm-1pm! I'm also handing out a copies of my comics, "The People That Melt in the Rain" and "The Horribles" (the latter of which can be purchased here if you aren't at comic con today!)

Friday, July 22, 2011

"Annie" onstage!

Well, the kids pulled off a great performance! It was a showcase so it only ran an hour.
This is in the opening at the orphanage...


Annie consoles Molly...

This is Grace (yes- that's Chloe!)  , Daddy Warbucks and Annie


This is called the N-Y-C scene on the streets of New York!

Here we have the radio show where they begin their search for Annie's parents...

And this is Mrs. Hannigan, Rooster and Lily, plotting to take the reward money, by posing as Annie's parents...


And close up...

One last picture of the mansion....
Finished this one in a mad panic this morning.

My latest article for the Examiner has been published.  It's called "Art in The City" and you can read it here!!!





Comic con begins, school ends, and "Annie" goes on... and on....

We went to preview night Wednesday night and it was the usual comic con madhouse.  The girls and I handed out comics and a woman rushed over and asked to take our picture.  I shrugged a yes and she snapped a photo.  Then she hands me a piece of paper and says, "I'm from XX1090am- sports radio! Your picture will be on the radio tomorrow!"   Sounded way too much like that old joke (you have a great face for radio).  Anyway she handed me a piece of paper, and there's the website..... Our photo is here!
(It's photo #33 -make sure it's the Wednesday 7-20-11 gallery).

I took some pictures of us painting yesterday on the NYC backdrop at "Annie" camp...

These are some of the camp counselors. They love working on it.
Detail of buildings.
More detail... Sorry about the shadows of the trees. We also finished the orphanage and got really far on the mansion, but I haven't got photos yet.

Yesterday was  Naomi and Phoebe's last day of school.  After school they went to a friend's house where Naomi, rather conveniently, lost her report card.... hmmmm.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Annie" in a week, and the craziness begins

I'm working at the CYT Theater camp this week, where we're putting on an entire musical ("Annie" -in case you didn't notice that in the title) in one week.  It's very intense, for all of us.  The kids are constantly rehearsing, and rehearsing, and rehearsing some more.  It's really more like a theater marathon!

Anyway I thought I'd share my sketches for the backdrops…

Here we have New York City, which I drew while others traced with markers, yesterday onto the backdrop. We started painting today. I'll try to get some photos but the camp has photo restrictions.

This is a rough drawing of the orphanage… It looks much better on the backdrop. We finished this one today.



And This is Daddy Warbuck's mansion, which we will start on tomorrow...


Speaking of things starting today, San Diego Comic con begins tonight.  Here's an article about it (Mike and I were interviewed a couple of weeks ago by The Reader)!  Anyway we're in it, of course this isn't my first appearance at SDCC like they say it is, I just meant I usually have a "Exhibitor" badge.

This is another article.  This one I wrote for the Examiner. It's about The U.S. Open Sandcastle competition, which is happening this weekend as well. So traffic will be mad crazy here in San Diego with hundreds of thousands of people driving to these insanely popular events!! Happy trails!







Friday, July 15, 2011

Harry Potter- The Phenomenon

Chloe was in this morning's paper (The Union Tribune)...


Nelvin C. Cepeda • U-T 
 This is a link to the article: What Harry Potter Means to me 
After 3 days of begging I let her go to the premiere of the new movie last night with the youth group.  When I dropped her off at the mall it was a mad house.  People in Hogwarts robes sat in long lines around the mall.  A booth was handing out butterbeer and many booths had prizes like chocolate coins and bracelets.  A radio station had a big stage set up and was calling out "winners" every few minutes!  She had a good time, but she sat with a friend who burst into tears every time Fred Weasley walked onscreen. As the final credits rolled this massive crowd of Harry Potter fans raised their wands (or twizzlers if that's all they had) and called out "Mischief managed!!" in chorus.
 
Yesterday was a difficult day for me though.  I learned through Facebook that my cousin Scott Weber, was killed in a bicycle accident on July 4th.  I wasn't that close with him, but there are childhood memories that will be all I ever have I guess.  It's devastating for that part of my family and my heart breaks for them. May you find peace, Scott.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hello Kitty is so big!

This is my new painting. It's called "Hello Kitty is so big, for some reason". 



Today Chloe is attending theater camp. She is upset, because the part she got in the play is an old man named "Grunt".  I think it's kind of funny though. :P

This week my first article for the Examiner was published!  It's called "San Diego Comic Con, The Gathering of Artists".  If you're planning on coming to the convention, it's full of useful (hopefully) advice! 

We also had a review of our comic, The People That Melt in the Rain,  come out on this site!  Which is great.... Except it's in Greek and I don't really know what it says.  I did the  "Google translator" thing, and it seems to be a positive review, but many phrases are odd when you use one of those things.  Anyway, if you're able to read Greek or want to practice, here it is on Comicdom!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Don't Drop the Microphone!



I only say that, because well I did.  This week as we rehearsed for "Get in on The Act", and I learned my job as assistant backstage manager, I dropped a mike onstage.  I  also smashed my headset and slammed the lid down on the piano while swearing... onstage.  So much for a silent and stealthy tech crew. I also designed this program cover....

I made it more graphic than the logo for the poster since I knew it would be printed with a photocopy machine.   As you can see from this though, the big show was last night.  My kids sat in the front row, while Mike sat a few rows back (in a reasonable spot).  Anyway they said it was great!

 Naomi took some photos for me.  This is our M.C. Roy Attridge in the beginning of the night....


We open the show with Dorothy Gale singing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" (played by Kelly Mustain)- She did an amazing job and was also the musical director.


Unfortunately it's a blurry one.  The kids really started having fun when the mentalist, Jeff Marcus, called them onstage for his act. He was apparently quite hilarious....


After this Naomi forgot about the camera, and just watched the show, which included a gypsy violinist, a belly dancer, variety of singers young and old, swing dancers,and an amazing light show using batons (which Mike said was worthy of "America's Got Talent") .  Anyway they were great, I wish we could send them all on to Vegas!  

As for me, I discovered how intense it is to work backstage.  All night was one nervous performer after another (one of them actually started to back towards the door when I opened the curtain for her).  I had to track each act down and make sure they were present for their intro, and move a piano without swearing or even being noticed. At least I kept my headset intact all night!



Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Buried in Ashes...again.


On June 4th  while we were celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary, down in Chile, a volcano called Puyehue erupted  and sent an ash cloud 6 miles up into the sky. Unfortunately San Carlos de Bariloche is only 62 miles downwind... 

Photograph: Francisco Ramos Mejia/AFP/Getty Images
This is the famous hotel Llao Llao, a few kilometers outside of town.

According to reporter Laureana Fuentes, "It turned dark from 4pm (1900 GMT) and a kind of rain started.  We can hear thunders and you can't see anything in the streets.  There is a two to three centimeter ash accumulation"
Photograph-Sofia Sandor
Ashes covered everything.  My friend Sofia shared this photo of her father's car with me.  When we lived there in 2008, I posted this. It was the first time ashes had rained down on the city in either a long time or ever, but since then it has happened three more times.

Photograph: Alfredo Leiva/AP





It was obviously quite a mess to clean up.  It also closes the airport, and puts a huge damper on the city's tourism (their whole economy is based on it).  I remember my friend, Betina was worried back then that this one would erupt.... Only 60 miles away she said forebodingly.  It's really such a beautiful place, such a shame to see it turn gray!

 On a different note, we are busy preparing to visit San Diego Comic Con.  I just received confirmation today that I'll be drawing at The Cartoon Art Museum booth again this year, and I will also be reporting on the event as a new writer for the Examiner in the "San Diego Artisans and Crafters" section.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July begins!


For the 4th of July we went to Hollywood again and used our pass to visit Universal Studios.  It was hot.  Really hot, and crowded (mostly with people from out of the country who don't celebrate the day we sent the English packing).  However, we had fun. We stopped in on shows we hadn't seen and went on rides we enjoyed in the past.  Then after dinner we drove home through L.A. while the city exploded with fireworks around us.  It was an amazing ride with some explosions happening right overhead and in front of us. I've never experienced anything like it!

Chloe has been home from school on her summer break (her sisters don't finish for a couple more weeks), and noticed in the paper that they were soliciting essays about "What Harry Potter means to me", as a send-off to the big movie release.  So she wrote one and sent it in.... They LOVED it!!  Now a photographer from the Union Tribune is coming by to do a shoot on Thursday!  In the mean time Phoebe has managed to set up a summer job for herself.  She'll be tutoring our 5 year-old neighbor in reading and writing.  Not bad for a nine-year old. :)

Tomorrow is my first rehearsal for "Get in on The Act".  The variety show from Looking Glass Theatre.  I'm working backstage, which reminds me... I need to go shopping for nice black shirt.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Humungous Box

I just got my order in from Dick Blick art supplies....


I was very surprised. Mostly because it was so very big.


Not so surprised that it was so very light.


Because all I ordered were 2 colored pencils! 

"People are willing to take these extraordinary chances to become writers, musicians, or painters, and because of them, we have a culture. If this ever stops, our culture will die, because most of our culture, in fact, has been created by people that got paid nothing for it--people like Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent Van Gogh or Mozart."-Kurt Vonnegut

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