Tuesday, December 12, 2006

bumped... again..

I drew this chicken 5 minutes ago.

It's pretty bad, but I had fun with it. I missed some of the real subtlety of true chicken-ness. Oh well. I think, tomorrow for breakfast, I'll try to draw a chicken again.


So, I had a pretty spectacular long weekend. Mandy and I took a long deserved vacation, and donated some money to a credit card company of my choosing. We saw some giant trees and took photos with lots of orbs. We drank tropical drinks at a variety of tiki bars and ate way too much food. We got to see old friends and made a few new ones. It was definitely a solid weekend.

I want to send an internet wide thank you to our gracious hosts, Nate and Crystal. You guys are awesome. Thanks again.


On a side note, I was reminded that over a year ago I wanted to 'blog' about the differences between a "Pixar Burger" and a "Lucas Burger".

I can't remember all of the intricacies of the essay I wanted to write, but what I do remember is that the "Lucas Burger" won, hands down. It was no contest really. I was told that all of the produce served at the Skywalker Ranch was grown on the grounds and that the meat was farmed locally. I mean, c'mon, how can you compete with that? Plus, that burger was eaten overlooking the majestic "Lake Ewok".

But don't count the chefs at Pixar out yet. They serve up one mean "Pixar Pepperoni Pizza". And we all know how much animators love their cured meats. Right Gweelok?

good morning,

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sunday Comics 11-14-06

This past friday marked my last day on "The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy". It was an awesome experience, learned a lot, and made a ton of new friends. (I still hate you Alex ....and Mike Diedrich). But that's enough about me. Let's talk about Buddha.

As per cousin Stephen's recommendation I went ahead and picked up the first part of Buddha by Osamu Tezuka. It was going to be my post Billy and Mandy / unemployment treat. The plan was that I was supposed to wait until I finished my last day working on the show, and then I would sit down and blaze through it.

Well, two days before my last day I cracked, sat down and flew though the first 200 pages in one sitting... leaving the remaining 200 pages for my post B&M / unemployment treat.

And a treat it was. The story is really fun, with a great mix of adventure and fantasy. With some pretty serious drama as well. It gets a little strange to read at times because it will change tones so quickly. In one scene you are learning from a doctor that one of the main characters may die, but Tezuka adds a fairly zainy element by changing the design of the doctor 3 times in nearly subsequent panels. He changes from a fairly straight forward doctor design, to the doctor scientist from Astroboy (i think) to a caricature of himself (which, interestingly enough, he actually was a medical doctor). Strange..... I wonder if he was intentionally trying to break up the seriousness of the moment, or maybe on that particular day he was drawing those pages, he felt a little wacky. You know how wacky those Osamu's get.

What I really love about the story is how much it feels like it's borrowing from ancient myth. Yet still keeping the characters fresh. And if it's not actually borrowing, Tezuka has done a wonderful job creating a world that feels huge with beliefs even larger. There are so many things happening and themes to keep track of that at first I thought i would surely have to reread sections out of pure confusion, but never did I feel lost or confused.

I give this book a star on the scale of square to 7. Buy it.. and tell those Amazon's Uncle Phil sent ya.

Oh yeah, and the cartooning is masterful.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Unused Billy and Mandy Design

This is a design I did (and was not used) for the forthcoming Billy and Mandy feature. I think it's going to air on Cartoon Network sometime next year, and will (if nothing has changed) be available on DVD shortly after it's air-date. It has lots of Fred Willard and some pirate zombies.

I think the design is okay, though it gets a little flat in places, but oh well. It's based off of a Maxwell Atoms board panel and I think i was able to keep most of the feeling he intended. The design in the film is closer to what my art director was thinking and looks a little more serpentine than these.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Daily Sketch

What started as a normal warm up drawing became something that I would revisit for a few minutes throughout the work day. I think I might keep up with these and try to make a little series out of it. I have so much fun working with just straight brush pen on paper. I feel like I'm ice skating, lot's of clumsiness, a few falls and collisions with walls, and the occasional moment of grace.

fax me,

How is it that mom's chicken soup has super healing powers. Thanks mom.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Billy and Mandy Sketch.

This sketch came out of a conversation with Mr. C.H. Greenblatt. We were talking about how much we both enjoy Aaron Springer's Billy. I was trying to remember his treatment and did this sketch. They're totally all me, but the influence of Carl's boarding and Aaron's have rubbed off on me a bit. You should really see the way Aaron draws him, it's pretty funny.

I guess I'm writing because I wanted to mention my favorite part of designing a board-driven show. (I think it may also be the hardest part for me personally.) I love getting boards that are full of great cartooning and drawings that are not necessarily "on model" but are definitely in character. Sometimes I feel like as a designer all I'm doing is totally watering down funny drawings by trying to bring them more "on model." I'm supposed to be plus-ing them, but I find that I'm walking a pretty thin line at times. Some days I wish i could just blow up board panels and just clean them up as is. Leaving in all of the oddities that are particular to a specific board artist. I think that kids will still know that Billy is Billy, even if in the first half of the show he looks like Alex's and the second half like Carl's.

I think that one of the most amazing things about animation is that artists can leave such a personal mark. A mark that on some productions is supposed to be ironed and hammered away, into whatever on model / cookie cutter standard designs exist for the show. I know that there are some exceptions. Some shows do embrace stranger drawings more than others, and some may require a more standardized look for whatever reason. I don't even know if I have a point to make, but I guess that I'm just starting to really realize how much I appreciate it when the artist isn't removed from the art.

Or maybe I'm realizing that I want to be a board artist.

I dunno. I'm tired, and miss my cintiq.


feeling: like the Apple Pan did me wrong today. bad apple pan.
listening to: my tivo asking if it can change the channel. good tivo.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

******* ***.

The ******* *** pilot I worked on has surfaced (and sunk) over on Myspace Videos. It was a great project to work on, but unfortunately the network gods have passed on it. Maybe through some interweb white magic, it can surface again. The pilot is good, but the additional boards done by both Andy Suriano and Stephen DeStefano really made the show something different. Maybe Stephen can post some of his favorite sequences on his blog (don't think he can anymore).... oh yeah... Stephen has a blog!

real quick- I met Stephen while working on the Venture Bros (literally the day his interview in Draw came out). He was kind enough to give a total n00b like me some pointers, and began schooling me in the ways of the cartoon gods of christmas past. He's a great friend, amazing artist and teacher, and does a world class impersonation of Nien Nunb. Go to his blog.

here's the pilot (here was the pilot)...

and a few of my favorite designs..

i hope ya dig,

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

what I've been up to

I've had a crazy month and this is one of the highlights.

photo by C.H. Greenblatt (back row L-R) an Anna Chambers' Proboscis Monkey, a blurry Gweelok, AJ "Nothing but net" Spalinski, your favorite uncle, Randy (Emmy Mug x2) Myers. (middle row L-R) total package Kristina, Little C, Billy. (front row L-R) Stephen of Stefano.

My Grandma (Little C) spent a week with me here in LA. That same week, Pete 'Gweelok' Browngardt, Grandmaster Stephen DeStefano, and myself met with development here at Cartoon Network. Our meeting went well, well enough that we should be busy on some pretty sweet stuff for at least the next few months, and hopefully will eventually lead to even more sweet stuff.

The pitch process was really quite the thrill ride. This was my first experience pitching traditionally and will definitely not be my last. I was lucky to be involved in a development cycle at Nick Jr. in New York. But that experience was much different, and all of our (Mike Oviedo, Rhada Blank, and myself) ideas were submitted on paper. We would receive feedback in person, but we never got to talk through our ideas with the people making notes. It felt cold at times, and the notes tended to contradict themselves, but it was a great learning experience that I was lucky to have... and our show made it fairly far into the process. Oh well....

But yeah... pitching at CN was awesome. Sitting besides Stephen and Pete was great enough, but sitting across from Craig McKracken, Rob Renzetti, Heather Kenyon, and Alex Manugian was the real icing on the cake. A handful of my animation heroes in one room, listening to us talk about know-it-all mechanics, pete's love of older men, the lack of good soap operas, uncles, uncles, and more uncles (coincidence, i swear). My only regret was that Little C wasn't in there with us, but then again, she was pretty busy cooking meatballs. And delicious they were.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sunday Comics 07-16-06

You guys sick of Guillermo Divito yet? I'm not. Here are a few originals from my collection / obsession ....

gotta get back to my Sunday,

listening to: a Scandinavian typing an ad to sell his couch in NYC.... anyone need a couch?

feeling: like a million ducks

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


July 5th marked my 1 year anniversary in Los Angeles. It's been a wild ride, and I've had the pleasure of meeting some really great people. I miss New York, and the people in it mostly, but my old friends in LA along with some new ones have really helped me make it feel more like home.

Thanks everyone.

pumping the mega-mix,
Uncle Phil

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

sketch dump 06-20-2006

Day 8 of 8

I can't believe it. I actually made it through 8 days. Small goals, baby steps, the path to success. Someone buy me an icecreams.


oh, and Andy's t-shirt is being printed at Threadless! Go buy one for the whole family.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

sketch dump 06-18-2006

Day 6 of 8

My first non-post-it drawing of the potential side kick for my Kosmonaut. Some personality is missing, but it was the first.

feeling: sunburnt and sleepy
listening to: the song-like whisper of a new air-conditioner


Saturday, June 17, 2006

sketch dump 06-17-2006

This lovely lady is actually inspired by a kid I went to high-school with. Between classes he would walk outside of the building in front of a section with large windows. He would collect any birds that had accidentally flown into the window, and take them home to practice his taxidermy.

Last I heard, he is now in Pennsylvania and has a large collection of (live) exotic animals.


Friday, June 16, 2006

sketch dump 06-16-2006

Ever feel like you're straddling the brink of insanity?


feeeling: waxy

Thursday, June 15, 2006

sketch dump 06-15-2006

Day 3.

.... That was a good question Mike. The truth is, I have no clue were my style is going. I'm just making sure I enjoy the ride. I feel like I've definitely come a long way, and that keeps me going. As a designer, I think my greatest strength is my willingness to work in a very wide range of "styles" and aesthetics. This keeps work really fun, but I think that I stumble when it comes to my own work. I find myself asking the question "How should I draw this?" instead of just drawing, and allowing for my stuff to evolve naturally. So yeah, I have no clue where my work is going, and as long as I'm having fun, I really don't care. Both Mike and Albert probably have a better idea than me of where my work's headed, just because you guys know where I've come from (Oral Hi-jinx *cough* *cough*).

see you when I see you,

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

sketch dump 06-14-2006

Day 2.

Gotta love post-its.

... And it's my little sister's birthday!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

sketch dump 06-13-2006

I was going to post a bunch of drawings, but I thought I could stretch them out over a few days.... 8 days to be exact.

Day 1.

This is what sketch pages of mine typically look like (...like you care). It's 100% completely unaltered. I find that these drawings are actually less about the "finished" drawing, but more about enjoying the liveliness of brush pen on slick copier paper. Lots of happy accidents occur, and it's a great way for me to experiment with design ideas and different types of mark making.

I also updated my links. They're completely unorganized, but they've been long over-due. The whole blog's going to be a-changing soon, so hold on to your pants.

I'm done. See you tomorrow.

listening to: The Raincoats, Black and White

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Hey, hey, hey. Hey ladies.

There are two great sets of posts going on right now, both dealing with great drawings of women. First is on Blackwing Diaries; there are a ton of Freddie Moore drawings, most of which are his signature appealing women. This guy's amazing in my opinion. His girls are solid as hell, but delicate as lace... that's good drawing.

Secondly, on Eddie Fitzgerald's Theory blog, he talks about his theory of 'woman are just men with long hair and boobs'. Supported with some amazing examples of hilarious cartooning. Don Martin and Milt Gross to be exact.

So tonight I watched England and Hungary play a friendly pre-World Cup match and decided to plop myself in front of my tv and draw some girls. Here are a few of them, with some self indulgent grey-tones.... well, actually, I think the drawing's themselves are pretty self indulgent. They're not quite as sensitive as I would have liked, nor do they really illustrate any idea or emotion. Oh well.

These are much more in the Fred Moore school of drawing versus the Milt Gross. I think I'll sit down tomorrow and try to grow some balls and do something funny.

Hope ya dig.

...and go buy the Venture Bros Season 1 boxed set.


.....i'm not kidding. buy it.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Sunday Comics 05-29-06

Here is a Guillermo Divito original scanned for your eyes only. This guy aint half bad.


awesome dudes

Part Greystoke, part Barbarian, part Hulkamaniac. Completely awesome dudes.
what was I thinking?

more stuff to come in a much more timely manner.


Sunday, April 02, 2006

space mechanic sketches

here are a few quick Kosmanaut sketches. be warned, some a pretty ugly. like the top right one on that first page. i don't even know what i was thinking.

can you smell the C.H. Greenblatt influence on some of these? I can, and it smells like bromance.


Sunday, March 26, 2006

long time no blog

It's been a wild ride over the last few months, both professionally and personally. I'm not going to get all emo-blogger, but I'll say that the last few months had some of the most powerfully positive and negative moments of my life. That's enough about that.


I've tried to make it a personal goal not to include any of my professional work on here, but today I'm going to fall back on my word. Last week, Cartoon Network ran a slew of new Billy and Mandy episodes. To celebrate that, I wanted to share a design I was (I see nothing but mistakes now) quite proud of. His name is Mighty Moe and basically he's an elderly man with an obsession for fitness. So Grim can't do what he does best. The episode he's from is called Major Cheese and was boarded by Brett Varon. I never really got to speak with Brett much about the board, he preferred working from home. But I always enjoyed the insanity of his work. It made for some very funny moments and were a load of fun to design.

Jimmy Swinnerton is a pretty amazing cartoonist. His drawings are cute and bizarre all at once. This book was a sweet find on the Heritage Auction site.... don't go there, I don't want to be outbid on anything.
Here are a few pages that I think people should see.


Drawing for myself has been a little slow-going lately. My mind has been in a million places. I did these drawings after meeting someone that had a sweet future retro leather jacket. ...just stuck in my head

Drawings of girls with guns really isn't my thing normally, but changing it up never hurts.


I went to the UPA screening at the Egyptian earlier tonight (or is it last night by now). It was awesome to say the least. The films were all incredibly entertaining and each were unique in design, execution, mood, and story. The idea of "UPA style", which is something in animation we hear quite regularly, is almost non-existant. The most common trait amongst all of the films was that they were treated with style. Not a repetitive style, but each film was timed with style, designed with style, scored with style, etc. That was some really ballsy stuff those guys were doing. Balls that I dream of.... that sounds awful.

One of the highlights of the night was seeing one of my old teachers from SVA, Howard Beckerman. His history of animation class was one of my favorites, I just wish SVA had a better room for the class. There were poles down the center aisle, so there were 2 small screens instead of one decent one. The rows of seats were incredibly close together so you pretty much had someone's legs around your head and yours around someone else's. Not to mention that Sammy (the awesome... well... I was going to say camera booth guy, but he isn't. He's more like the lord of the amphitheater)..any way... Sammy kept the room's climate set to exactly the conditions of the womb. Simply put, It was a tough viewing experience. But it was good talking to Howard for a few minutes.

That one's for you, Al.


I'll leave you with my cats. (i'm the one on the left)

They're a mother and daughter I just adopted. They were named when I adopted them, Savannah and Josephine, but Jared, your suggestions are awesome; Gultar and Megatron. I feel a little funny renaming them. I even picked out some new names, but haven't used them yet. The new names I was going to use were Inca names, which my sister thought was just ridiculous.

She's right, I'm a pollock/wop from jersey.

I guess I'll just call them Tony.


Sunday, January 29, 2006

Life Drawing at the EAA

I did some life drawing at the Entertainment Art Academy on Saturday morning. It was a good time and the model was pretty great. I was standing and my easel was a little low, so I kept drawing figures with unnaturally short legs. Oh well.

Here are a few that I had some fun making.


feeling: prematurely sleepy
listening to: "Never Had a Dream Come True" Stevie Wonder (Sure, i'm more of a "Hey Harmonica Man" guy, but there are no lies on this blog, and that's what's playing)

Monday, January 23, 2006

Floating Donkey

I was brushing up on some flash and did this sketch. You'll be seeing a lot more of these guys on the blog in the future. They're for a project I'm developing, and I'm still doing a lot of soul searching to figure out who the characters are.


Sunday Comics - Divito -

I just got back from a research trip to Las Vegas. I didn't learn much, but I had a great time. One of my favorite highlights of the trip was eating a deep-fried Twinky in historic Downtown Vegas. I really dug Downtown, it was the Vegas that Hollywood put in my head. If you're going to visit, make sure you don't miss old Vegas.


It's been a while since a Sunday Comics post. So, BOOM, you get one today.

These are both scans of Guillermo Divito originals I own. Neither feature any of the lovely ladies he's recognized for, but I think they're cool none the less (here's a great example of said ladies Oscar Grillo posted on one of his blogs). I've always loved seeing how artists grow, so the black and white drawing from 1939 is really interesting for me. He was 25 at the time, and the artistic growth he would experience in just the next 5 years is really inspiring, let alone the growth through the entirety of his career.

I hope you enjoy.

Also be sure to check out Alberto Ruiz's "Process Junkie Blog". He's been posting some real cool stuff by illustrator Jorge Ginès.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Back from New York

I'm back from New York. After attending my first gallery opening with some of my own work on display, I've decided it was pretty sweet and I want to do it again. Thank you Liz for curating the show (and inviting me to contribute) and Stay Gold for having such a sweet space.

It was great to see some old friends out there and being back in New York just feels great. I miss it every day.

Here are some photo's from the night, taken buy Tennessee's own Jenna Adcock. "Do what?"

This is what the gallery looked like from across the street all night.

Inside was unbelievably crowded as well. I didn't really get to see the show until I went back the following day, I wasn't nearly brave enough to try and inch my way around the gallery.

Not 10 minutes after I had arrived, I heard that they had run out of free booze (coincidence i swear). I was extremely happy because I thought that pretty much proved that we had a successful turnout. But then I thought that everyone would clear out and that was a disappointing thought. Nope. People didn't leave, they just simply went to the bodega on the corner and bought their own alcohol. Pretty sweet indeed.

Here's a guy with a mohawk looking at my stuff. I don't know who he is, but I think I may have seen him earlier in the day at my Alma Matter, SVA. So thanks for coming.

The show will be up for the remainder of the month, so check it out if you can. It's worth it just for Christy Karacas's two pieces (and a little bit of new animation). If you haven't seen Barfight or Space War watch them now and then go to the show. And you can buy a strong man while you're there.


I'd like to retract my statement about the deviants at Warner Bros. Animation. I found my girly marker doodles, they were not removed from my desk. I am sorry if anyone's taste was insulted. I realize that if deviants were going to plot the theivery of girly marker doodles, they would take Bruce Timm's and not mine. I'm retracted.

see you when I see you,
Uncle Phil