Here are two recent reviews of my books, The Towers of Numar and A Search for Meaning: The Story of Rex, posted on the National Center for the Study of Children's Literature. I always get a bit nervous when reading reviews of my work, but these were nicely favorable, so that made me happy!
Michel Gagne and Fuelcell Games Bring Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet to Xbox Live
March 29, 2010
Seattle, WA, March 2010 – Michel Gagne and Fuelcell Games are pleased to bring their independent video game, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, to Xbox Live® Arcade.
Michel Gagne and Joe Olson, CEO of Fuelcell Games, met in 2007 in Seattle’s Fremont district where they discussed the possibility of bringing feature quality 2d animation to the gaming world in a classic side-scrolling adventure. Shortly after, a production team was assembled and Fuelcell Games was born. Their mission: bring the vision of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet to life.
“This is one of the most thrilling projects of my career”, said Gagne. “I love working on ITSP with Joe and his team. It amazes me to see how they’re able to expand on my concepts and animations and create such a memorable interactive experience. Simply put, this game is going to rock!”
The Fuelcell team has been busy building a studio infrastructure and quietly working with Gagne on ITSP while exploring partnerships to develop the game. After months of negotiation with several entities, it was decided that Microsoft and Xbox LIVE Arcade was the best possible home for the project.
“The team here at Fuelcell is incredibly excited to be starting production in full force on Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet”, said Olson. “We’ve assembled an extremely talented, dedicated, and passionate group of people around this unique project. The combined forces of our team of game industry veterans, Michel’s unique artistic style and vision, and Microsoft’s expertise in the downloadable game space is sure to make for a lasting impression on 2D gaming.”
“Microsoft is thrilled to have Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet heading to Xbox LIVE Arcade”, said Saxs Persson, Senior Director of Xbox LIVE Arcade. “We look forward to helping Michel and Fuelcell realize their creative vision, and continuing to support independent developers looking to drive innovation on our service.”
Catsuka is the first French television program entirely devoted to animation. Each episode features news, clips, short films, studio spotlights and artist profiles. I was honored to be the featured artist on the just released episode five (segment starts at 5:00). The episodes are in French but each one is filled with enough eye candy to keep your interest even if you can't understand the language.
The Last Two Flights
February 27, 2010
Kazu Kibuishi has announced, "The next couple of years will mark the end of the Flight series. We will be wrapping it all up with Flight Volume Eight."
It breaks my heart to hear this. I saw Flight as a perfect playground for my concepts. I don't have time to be a full time graphic-novelist - I can only do so much in a day. Creating an installment of 40 pages a year is doable. That's why an outlet like Flight was so amazing for me. Also, being part of such a great group has challenged me to become a better artist and storyteller.
Flight 7 will be coming out in July. The work I've seen so far is phenomenal. I applaud Kazu's decision on Volume 7, to have text in every story. It certainly took me out of my comfort zone. I had to figure out a way to integrate prose into the Saga of Rex, which up until now has been completely silent.
All previous volumes are gorgeous and can be ordered on Amazon.com.
Fun Times in Barbados
February 20, 2010
Nancy and I had a great time in Barbados where I was invited to present a workshop at the Paint Me Barbados art festival. We enjoyed being part of the event, as well as meeting and hanging out with some of the other artists, Alcina Nolley, Robert Fionda, and Brian Stewart and his wonderful lady companion, Joanne. The people from the island were nice and the Caribbean Sea and white sand beaches were gorgeous.
My many thanks to Susan Phillips (whose vision made this event possible) and Grace Husbands (a talented singer and a classy lady) for taking care of us. Extra points for the Barbados rum. Hmmm, that stuff was good!
The workshop went well with over thirty attendees in an intimate setting. The class reacted with enthusiasm, making comments and asking questions throughout most of the presentation which lasted over three hours.
Barbados has an amazingly efficient transport system. There are busses at your disposal every couple of minutes and the rate is very reasonable. You can choose between either the larger Transport Board buses, or the smaller privately owned buses or vans.
The ZR vans (pictured on the left) are the most frequent and they were our favorite! The driving is fast and furious and as many people as possible are crammed in. I ended up sitting on somebody's lap a couple of times! It's not for the faint-hearted, that's for sure, but it's a good way to meet the natives and a fast way to get around.
Paint Me Barbados
February 8, 2010
From February 12th to February 21st, the Creative Artworx Design Group in Barbados will be hosting Paint Me Barbados - The Ultimate Artist Experience, where several international artists will be giving workshops and lecturing about their respective fields of expertise. It should be a great time for all who attend. I was asked to be a part of the event, and I'm pleased as punch! My presentation will be on February 13th from 3:00 to 6:00pm.
I will give an overview of my art career and discuss creating animation and special effects for movies; designing characters for animated films and television projects; visualizing videogame projects; creating comics and graphic novels.
I will share my philosophy about creativity and give insight on how to be successful as an independent artist. The presentation will include several video clips and images showing my process and approach to various assignments ranging from mainstream Hollywood movies to personal fine arts.
I am excited about this trip. Besides the lecture (which I hope will be inspiring to those who attend), I look forward to meeing the people, visiting the island, swimming in the beautiful ocean, and reading some good sci-fi books!
Those in Barbados who think I still look like that picture above might be a bit disappointed, though ...hehehe.
Click here for a full schedule of the events.
The Toon That Changed My Life!
February 3, 2010
To celebrate their 200th issue, Animation Magazine asked some of their favorite animation artists to tell 'em about the movie/TV show or characters that made them realize they wanted to work in the toon business. When asked, I chose the four animated films I felt had a biggest impact on my youthful years. Read the article here.
Over the past two years, I've designed well over a hundred characters for various movie and television companies. Hopefully, I'll be able to post some of them here in the future.