Sunday, September 16, 2007

I Love Cartoons!

With all of the layoffs, the executives, the egos, the scuttlebutt, the politics, and the frustration involved...
I'm ashamed to tell you all that in recent years, I sometimes forget!
I forget that cartoons are a wonderful invention,
and that we're incredibly lucky just to get to watch them, let alone work on them.

To be more specific:

I love watching Freddy Moore's Mickey flirt with Minnie,
dance around foolishly, or do just about anything.

I love any time any director allows their characters a little breathing room.
When handled carefully, an 'awkward silence' can be just as effective as any great big dramatic
moment or explosive action scene.

I still love watching all the scenes with the Genie.

I love the way UPA was able to make a radio broadcast of a western every bit
as exciting as the old west itself!

I love the dynamic between Marc Anthony and Pussyfoot.
He may not know exactly what he's gotten into, but his care and concern for her
is always present. It comes across in every single drawing.

I love how right after this he goes,
"No; I'm uh-"

I love that Tex Avery never had it in him to underdo anything.

I love that when we watch a Bob Clampett cartoon, it's like we're taking a seven minute rollercoaster ride within his very id.

I love watching Ren casually pick up a Zippo lighter with his foot and light himself a cigarette ---as though this were something anyone could just casually pull off.

I love that Stimpy is 'all head', 'bends like Bratwurst', has a nose that appears to be directly inspired by UPA color, and can do almost as many voices as Billy West!

I love the sibling rivalry of Dexter and Dee Dee,
especially when it's carefully supervised here in the States.

I love Chris Shea as Linus and Cathy Steinberg as Sally.

I love everything about "The Incredibles".

I love that cartoons can take us to places we've never been,
and places we all have been ...often at the exact same time.

And yes, I can't deny it: I even love Spiderpig!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

More From the Isle of Manila

There were these guys named named Mike Cook and Tim Turner. They published something called the 24-7 Artzine out of Providence, Rhode Island in the mid 1990s. It was a modest xeroxed rag, dropped off in the doorways of comix shops and record stores and filled with lots of weird poetry and art reviews. I used to send in little drawings like this one.

Brooding paintress Lora Shelley is easily the most prolific of all correspondents I've had the pleasure of knowing. Her letters are full of doodles, sketches, and unabashed introspective personal nuance. This envelope here is in my coveted Envelope Hall of Fame... I'm saving up for a helium-filled glass case to house it in! You can buy prints from Lora here.
Oh, and here's an envelope drawing for Lora from several years ago.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Ah yes, Spring! When a young man's fancy turns to... SQUINTING!

Here are some caricatures of various people squinting.
All of the reference for these came from a 1980 yearbook
I bought years ago at one of my favorite used book stores,
the World Famous BOOK ALCOVE.

I'm not sure if this foxy lady knows what squinting is,
or even how to squint,
but she was just too good to pass up, so here ya go.

Oh yeah, and here are all my sloppy sketches, too.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Dan Izzo and 'Uncles on the Moon'

I was an Uncle long before I was ever an uncle.

Daz Izzo runs the Improv Inferno out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, but before that, he did lots and lots of improv teaching, including at Second City in Chicago.

Improv is the art of literally making something funny out of nothing, so it should only go without saying that Dan has a TON of patience. His ability to see the good in the work of myself and my fellow students never ceased to amaze me, and he aways did so with great positive support, wit, and energy. When we had worked with him for several terms, we rewarded Dan with a giant poster-sized caricature of himself that we had all autographed, featuring Dan saying several of the stupid things he would repeatedly say. At first he looked as though he might die of embarrassment... and then as though he were going to kill me personally! I had only meant to pay tribute to a great talent and mentor, but somehow my intentions were misconstrued. Dan has been nice enough to allow the art from the poster to be reprinted here, so I guess he's not all that upset after all.

Later many of the gang from the aforementioned classes got together and put on some shows for the general public.

We called ourselves "Uncles on the Moon" because so often in improv, the audience is asked to shout out locations and relationships for possible sketch ideas. Inevitably someone would shout out "Uncles!", to which Uncle on the Moon
Patrick Mene would proclaim, "Uncles is not a relationship!
It's just two guys!!"

Sunday, April 08, 2007

More Envelopes!

(Gift to Marc A. Crisafulli,
lawyer with similar name as myself,
who found my portfolio site online
and was kind enough to buy art from said site.
8.5 X 11". Ink with Prismacolor Pencils. 2004.)

(Gift to my sister the scholar, Michelita Conchita Crisafulli-o.
(Congratulations, Michele!)

9 X 12". Gouache with ink. 2001.)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Envelopes to Friends and Family

Ever since I could lick a stamp,
I've enjoyed the fine art of correspondence.
Decorating the envelopes with a mostly-improvised vivarium of imagery
became compulsive in the mid 1980s,
when addresses of the like-minded
were found in the backs of comics books,
and the internet was just a gleam in a young nerd's eye.

So while I figure out just what to do next with this blog,
I thought I'd share some of my more transient doodles with you.

(Gift to Frank Crisafulli, father. 8.5 X 11". Gouache with ink.
Mailed about two weeks ago.)

(Gift to Mary Cahill,
New York City photo editor. 9X12".
Ink and Prismacolor® Pencils.
Mailed over ten years ago.)

Check back soon for more fun with manila!