After finishing Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, I pretty much concluded that the time had come to start migrating away from Animo—a software I had been using to create animation since 1993. Not only, did I use it, I actually helped develop it. I even spent time in Cambridge, UK, working with the programming crew. I used Animo for Prelude to Eden, Sensology, The Iron Giant, Ratatouille and many more.
A few years ago, Cambridge Animation, who developed and supported Animo, went out of business. I still had my portable license of the software but knew that the end was coming. I didn't want to switch software during the production of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, so I kept working with Animo for that project. When ITSP was completed, I devoted my time to finishing a 280-page graphic novel (which will be coming out in the near future). And then, in early July, I was faced with deciding what to do next. I knew that this was the perfect time to face my animation software dilemma
While doing development for Pixar's Brave, production designer, Steve Pilcher, asked me to create a series of short animation tests. These were usually done over Steve's own pre-production paintings or color keys. The assignment on this one was to animate frost magically covering the landscape using Celtic patterns. This particular test was all animated in Adobe Photoshop. Camera move and compositing were done in Animo.
One of my assignments on Pixar's Brave, was to create a series of line drawings depicting various animals rendered in a celtic/pictish style. After doing some research, I came up with a whole menagerie. Although I didn't see any of these designs being used in the film, I was glad to see some of them being chosen for the Art of Brave book. Below you can see the line drawings next to the photographs that inspired them. More designs here.
I'm back home from San Diego Comic-Con and I had a blast. A huge thank you to all my friends at Image Comics, Fantagraphics and Bolt City Productions, where I signed books and chatted with friends old and new. Here are a couple of pictures.
From left to right: Dave Roman, Me, Johane Matte, John Green and Raina Telgemeier having a hell of a time at the Boltcity Productions booth.
Signing at the Fantagraphics booth and chatting about comics with two Fez wearing chaps.
I'll have some other goodies with me but if you plan to visit and have a request for other items or books (see ordering page from my website) you'd like me to bring (and dedicate), send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) before the end of Wednesday, 11th, and I'll do my best to bring it for you.
I just wrapped up ZED: A Cosmic Tale, a 280-page graphic novel.
I self-published 10 issues of ZED in comic book form over the course of 11 years, and for the past five months, I’ve reworked, redrawn, re-scripted and expanded the whole series into a proper graphic-novel.
I sent the files today to digital print on demand service, Ka-Blam.com, so that I could get a nice mock-up of the book to send Image Comics.
Image did a good job publishing The Saga of Rex and I’m hoping they will be publishing ZED: A Cosmic Tale as well.
Now that the graphic novel is completed, I feel a little bit like ZED, on the last page of the story (see below).
In early 2005, I met Amy Tucker
at the Emerald City Comic-Con. She pitched an idea to me about
a game where you would teach kids (and adults) about ecology and
species: a trading card game with a social conscience.
The whole thing revolved around a made-up mythology called Xeko
zeekoh). I loved the concept and immediately decided to collaborate
on the project.
that first meeting, I've designed many of the aspects
of the game including setting a visual style, doing a huge number
for the cards (with additional art from Travis & Jordan
Kotzebue, Edward Pun and a few others), as well as designing
several of the
games components (icons, borders, box and packaging elements,
A couple of years ago, Xeko fell into financial hardship and it seemed like the game was going to go the same way as the animals it was trying to bring attention to: extinction. But thanks to Amy's relentless determination, Xeko is about to be making a comeback in a new digital form. To help realize her dream of bringing back Xeko from the brink, Amy has launched a Kickstarter campaign. Follow this link to find out more about the project and the campaign to revive it.