Mar 16, 2018

The Rabbit approaches

The Rabbit, The Plastic Club's annual Spring festival and costume party with lots of food and entertainment is scheduled for May 19th.

I'll be curating and hosting again this year. The theme is The Royal Rabbit. This is a fundraising event for the club so there will be a modest fee to attend.

If you'd like to sign up to perform, please e-mail the title of your act and names of the participants to I'll add you to the list.

I'll be in touch as soon as I complete the image for the invites. A preliminary sketch:

While looking for source material, I found this short documentary recalling the Super Bowl halftime show in 2007, when Prince played Purple Rain in the actual rain.

Mar 10, 2018

Terror Train

Terror Train is now complete and online. It's also on my YouTube channel and my Animation page with a short making-of blurb. I figure it took about a month's worth of spare time to complete and it's just under a minute and a half long.

Mar 7, 2018

Keane's Oscar win

Glen Keane won an Oscar on Sunday for Dear Basketball, which can be viewed here. The animated short was written and narrated by Kobe Briant with music by John Williams.

What's great about this is that of the five nominated shorts, Dear Basketball is the only one that was animated in a traditional hand-drawn style. Whenever I see Keane's animation, I'm reminded of Disney's Tarzan and this documentary in particular.

Having seen it makes his work easy to spot, particularly in his recent shorts, like 2014's Duet. Aside from Tarzan, he also animated the beast in Beauty and the Beast, Arial in The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin in Aladdin. He left Disney in 2012 to start his own company. In this video, he lectures for a half-hour on his animation career.

Keane grew up in Scottsdale, Pennsylvania. His dad, Bil Keane created the long-running comic strip, The Family Circus. When Bil passed away in 2011, Glen's brother Jeff took over the strip and has been writing and drawing it since. Glen's son Max was the production designer for Dear Basketball.

Glen Keane's next project is the feature-length Over the Moon, which will appear exclusively on Netflix.

Mar 3, 2018


Tali is the Canadian animator of the quirky short Bus Story. Her films can be watched here on the National Film Board of Canada's Website.

Until now, I've had trouble finding any information on her, possibly because my searching has been in English. She appeared in this 2006 French Canadian documentary discussing how she makes her films. Even if you don't speak French it's worth a look to see the equipment involved in animating with a camera and painted cells.

Feb 27, 2018

Festival recap

The Philadelphia Independents 2018 animation festival was a blast. It was great to see the animators back at the club, cheered on by a large crowd of enthusiasts.

Terror Train went over well. I'm going to do some more work on it before I post it, just to tidy up the bits that were rushed to make the deadline. In the meantime, here are some highlights from Saturday.

Rusty Eveland showed his animated grocery carts and talked about animating in public places. Lynn Tomlinson discussed producing music for her films and her clay-painting technique.

Zoe Nowoslawski and Nichola Latzgo recalled the inspirations for their story ideas and Amy Hicks described her process of turning novels into movie flipbooks. Chris Ferrantello shared his animated collages and fellow club member Bob Moore was present to share his animated design work.

Karl Staven told us how he animated the shadows of a tree in his yard before it was removed. Oona Taper described her process of animating objects and rotoscoping. Samantha Gurry showed us animated trading cards for bowlers last year, and this year floppy disks.

There were music videos from Steve Meyer/Jack Kubizne and "art-rock" band Tulipomania. Sci-fi action was provided by Erik Van Horn.

Boxhead and Roundhead by Elliot Cowan were back with a new adventure. The pilot episode of Found Town was submitted from the other side of the world by Tokyo resident Ryan Gilchrist.

There was live-action with animated highlights by Chris McDonnell, kaleidoscopic footage of Philadelphia taken with a GoPro on a motorcycle by Lowell Boston, and a tale from Philadelphia's youth by John Serpentelli.

Curator and host Chris Magee has posted photos from the event. Many thanks are owed to Chris for making this festival possible and gathering the animators every year for the past five years. I'm glad to say I've attended all five and shown work in three. We now have a full year to animate something new for the next one.

Feb 25, 2018

Degas and Oldenburg news

Did you hear about this? A Degas painting stolen eight years ago turned up in the luggage compartment of a bus during a routine search for contraband.

Also, a private collector in Florida has donated a giant typewriter eraser by Claes Oldenburg to the Norton Museum in West Palm Beach, where it will be displayed prominently by their front door.

Claes Oldenburg's drawings
are a main influence on the look of my paintings. Philadelphia has more of his sculptures on display than any other city in the world. Four of them.

Feb 19, 2018

Animation festival

It's official. My latest animated short, Terror Train will premiere at the Philadelphia Independents Animation Festival this Saturday evening at The Plastic Club.

From the press release:

The screening is Saturday, February 24, 2018, from 6:30 PM to 10 PM.
Reserve your free ticket, as space is limited.

The Plastic Club is pleased to present the fifth annual Philadelphia Independents Animation Festival. Curated in collaboration with Christopher Magee of Philadelphia's University of the Arts, this one-night screening showcases new and in-progress works of local and visiting animators.

Stick around after the show for a Q&A discussion with the artists!

The Plastic Club, located on historic Camac Street, was founded in 1897 to promote the "plastic" (or "changing") visual arts through workshops, exhibitions, and community programs.

The Plastic Club Art Gallery and Studio
247 S. Camac Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 545-9324