Tuesday, September 29, 2009

more from creepfest intro

These are some background pictures I did in Corel Painter with a wacom tablet:

Pat Snow at Bare Hands

Here's something from our fellow SHC Pat Snow:


I have an art opening at Bare Hands Gallery this Friday, October 2nd, from 6-10.

Bare Hands Gallery
109 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. South
Birmingham AL, 35233

Hope you can make it by!


And he included a couple of teaser pics:

Monday, September 28, 2009

post-Sidewalk post

I told all y'all (here) that Bill Plympton was coming to town, and he did. Here's my report:

The talk he gave on Friday afternoon was plenty good. He showed several short films, talked about his history in animation and his general philosophies about it, and drew for the audience. There was a fairly sizeable group in attendance, which included several of our fellow SHC's (Tim Rocks, Brian Ratigan, Richard Haigler, and myself). I gave out handbills beforehand, publicizing our little club. Maybe we'll collect a couple new members.

After the presentation, Plympton drew on postcards for everyone who cared to wait to get their own drawing. Which was most everybody. He also had DVD's of his shorts collections for sale, and I picked up a couple of those.

On Sunday afternoon, I went to see Plympton's latest feature, Idiots and Angels. Plympton took a few questions beforehand, from the packed house. The film was well received. I liked it quite a bit, myself. I haven't seen all of his features, but here's how I review the ones I've seen: They have lots of funny bits, but as a whole, the storylines aren't cohesive enough. They kind of fall apart by the ending. Idiots and Angels, however, really stayed on track throughout. It didn't just have funny parts; it was a good feature film.

I had hoped to go see Brian Ratigan's short "Sunday" on Saturday night, but I lamed out and didn't make it. Brian, how was the screening? Perhaps you can tell us in the comments below. For those of us who missed it, it's airing on Final Broadcast, right? Will it be on THIS Friday, or when exactly?

Anybody else with good Sidewalk experiences, let us know in the comments here ... especially if it's anything to do with animation.

Friday, September 25, 2009

intro elements

These are some items I drew for an animated short a friend is working on. Limited animation, they're using After Effects software.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Salty 'Ham Slam 4 - planning stage

Hey all. I've booked the J for the next slam, on Sunday, October 25th, 2009, from 2 - 5. So mark your calendars now! More info HERE.

So far, at these get-togethers, we've welcomed the following talented cartooneestas: Shaun "The Weezel" Burnett, Chris Fason, Garth Potts, Stephen Smith, Hal Jones, Kirk Creel, Pat Snow, Tim Rocks, Ed Abernathy, Chris Rosko, Sam McDavid, Jamison Harper, Heath McPherson, James Hislope, Frank Cummings, Tim Spinosi, and me, Chris Garrison. And guest Nolen Otts. And ubiquitous gadabout Paul Godbey.

So if you'd like to meet any of them at the next Salty 'Ham Slam (or any other SHC members who we haven't seen yet), email them and invite them to attend on October 25th.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Third Tim's a Charm

Y'all already know our fellow SHC's Tim Rocks and Tim Hollis. Well now I've added a third Tim, Tim Spinosi. A lot of you probably already know him, too, because he's taught classes for aspiring comic book artists, all over the area, for years.

So now, welcome Tim Spinosi!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bill Plympton in B'ham!!!

Wow, I am SO, SO, SO there!


Thursday | September 17, 2009
Sidewalk and UAB present Master Class with World Renowned Animator Bill Plympton

First event of the 11th Annual Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival

The Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival and the University of Alabama at Birmingham's, Jane Beck Film Club and Jemison Lecture Series are proud to announce that world renowned illustrator and animator, Bill Plympton will lead a master class Friday, September 25 to kick off the 11th Annual Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival. Mr. Plympton's animated feature, Idiots and Angels will have its Alabama premiere Sunday, September 27 at 1:30pm at the Alabama Power Auditorium.

The master class will be held FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 at 3:00 pm at Heritage Hall in room 102, on the UAB campus at 1401 University Boulevard. The event is FREE and open to the general public with reserved seating for UAB students with valid student ID. EVERYONE who attends will receive a FREE Bill Plympton drawing.

"We are thrilled to have Mr. Plympton in Birmingham as a part of Sidewalk and are so pleased that UAB could partner with us to make this once in a lifetime opportunity a reality for the community," says Sidewalk Executive Director, Chloe Collins.

Mr. Plympton spent 15 years as an illustrator with his work gracing the pages of The New York Times, Vogue, House Beautiful, The Village Voice, Screw, and Vanity Fair. His cartoons have appeared in such magazines as Viva, Penthouse, Rolling Stone, National Lampoon, and Glamour. Moving from illustration to animation, Mr. Plympton has created 5 animated features, 33 animated shorts and 3 live action features. Two of Bill's animated short films, Your Face and Guard Dog have received Academy Award Nominations. The Tune, his first feature length animation, featured over 30,000 cels, all hand drawn by Mr. Plympton. As a means to finance The Tune, Mr. Plympton released several selections from the film as shorts. One of which, Push Comes to Shove, won the Prix du Jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1991. Beyond newspapers, magazines and film, his work is also known from MTV's popular mid-1990's show, Liquid Television.

His artistic successes have led to great commercial success as well, with countless commercial projects for clients such as Trivial Pursuit, AT&T, Nutra Sweet, Nike, Taco Bell and Geico. For more information about Bill Plympton please visit www.plymptoons.com.

To enroll in this FREE Master Class, click below.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Salty 'Ham Slam 3 - On Reflection

Our third get-together was a great time! We had several new and highly talented attendees. I brought a camera, but forgot to take any pictures. Darn it.

Let's see, there was James Hislope, Frank Cummings, Garth Potts, Tim Rocks, and myself, Chris Garrison. And guests Tim Spinosi and Paul Godbey. And later, there was -- Well, it's a funny story:

It came up in conversation that Nolen Otts (great local artist whom I've been courting for SHC this whole time) had died! I was shocked and dismayed; Nolen's a great guy, and I'd been worried about him . . . and now this. Ugh.

But as we continued to talk, it became clear that the reports of his passing were greatly exaggerated. The story was two years old, and I'd been in touch with him in the last month, so . . . Was this some awful rumor, or what?

Then, at about 4:30, the meeting broke up, and most of the guys left. As I was walking out, straggling behind as Tim Rocks helped me schlep the leftover snacks, Nolen showed up! He had returned triumphantly from the grave, newly engaged and looking in great shape. Unfortunately, he'd missed the festivities. But he vowed to make a better go of it for our next meeting.

From 2:00 to 3:00, we put some art out on the table that we could all look at, and just talked about stuff in general. At about 3:00, I talked about the issues facing the group, and everybody gave good input. I'll fill you in on this in an upcoming newsletter email.

I asked everybody to draw in my sketchbook. Frank Cummings created this smarmy fellow with our favorite brush pen:

James Hi-slope did this (autobiographical?) doodle:

Actually, I guess it's the guy from Blackout Drunk, but it sorta favors James, too.

Tim Spinosi drew this frazzled little man:

I gotta get that guy to send me some jpegs, so I can finally add a page on the SHC site for him.

And we passed around this goofy little comic jam:

Panel 1 by Chris Garrison; panel 2 by Tim Spinosi; panel 3 by James Hislope; panel 4 by Frank Cummings, who thought he'd completely derailed the storyline with his bizarre goo-goo man. But then we have panel 5 by Tim Rocks; and panel 6 by me, Chris Garrison. We rescued the plot, and now it makes perfect sense! . . . but not really.

People ate cookies and candy, and fun was had. So join us, won't you, for the NEXT Salty 'Ham Slam! (as yet unscheduled)

You can look back at previous slams, here: Slam 1, Slam 2

Friday, September 11, 2009

Stephen Smith at Artwalk

Our fellow SHC Stephen Smith will be at Birmingham Artwalk tonight and tomorrow, at

Brantley Visioneering
2401 2nd Ave N

Check out this painting from Stephen!:

Green Lantern Oil on Canvas 16" x 20"

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Plus One

Yet another new cartooneesta! The multi-talented Jonathan Hooks:

Monday, September 7, 2009

Salty 'Ham Slam - Reminder


Hey, everybody, don't forget -- Our 3rd Salty 'Ham Slam is scheduled for this Sunday afternoon, from 2 - 5, at the J! Click HERE for more details.

We've got a few new members who I'm hoping will make it, and a few old ones who I know want to come for the first time. And a few regulars I expect we can count on. So it should be a good turnout. But only if YOU arrive with bells on.

Read about the fun we had at SLAM 1 and SLAM 2, then imagine that only better! There will be handshaking, camaraderie, serious discussion, fun doodling, bowls of hot fudge*, rabid armadillos**, and naked Brazilians***! So,


* not guaranteed
** at participating Salty 'Ham Slams only
*** chance of 1 in 427,962,803

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Long Time Cummings

Finally! I've been meaning to nab Frank Cummings since I started Salty 'Ham Cartooneestas. I knew he had had something to do with JAB Magazine back in the day . . . and he had done some beautiful maps like this for University Graphics / Creative Concepts in the days before I started, and was very highly spoken of . . . and that he was now working on Blondie. But I didn't have a contact for him. I planned to hunt him down, but just couldn't get around to it, what with all the other cartooneestas I was turning up. But then I stumbled over Frank on facebook. So, without further introduction: Frank Cummings!

Near Miss

A few weeks back, I finally got in touch with Scott Stantis, editorial cartoonist for the Birmingham News and creator of Prickly City. He said he'd be happy to join SHC, so I was happy to be signing such an esteemed new recruit.

But then, after working here for nearly 13 years, he got a job at the Chicago Tribune! So he let me know, since he's moving away, that he wouldn't be signing on as a Salty 'Ham after all. I said he could become an Honorary Ex-Pat, like Mark Martin and Howard Cruse, but I haven't heard back. I can understand, because he wasn't from here originally. So it's sort of like he was just passing through.

So, goodbye, Scott! It was nice almost knowing you! And of course you'll always be welcome to join Salty 'Ham Cartooneestas.

Here's Scott Stantis' blog at al.com. And here's a nice collection of some of his best editorial cartoons throughout his stay. And don't forget to visit Prickly City.

Now who's going to fill the void? I've heard the paper will be looking for someone new, so . . . are there any applicants among you?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Here's Two More!

Talent just keeps bubbling up from between these Appalachian foothills, like black gold. Texas tea. Except in Alabama. And not tea, but talent.

Check out these 2 new cartooneestas --

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Animation at Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival

Not exactly Cartooneesta-related, but....
Come and see the world premiere our short film SUNDAY playing at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival! It is an experimental hybrid of live action and stop motion animation, and will be screened alongside other local shorts.

Saturday • Sept. 26 • 9pm • Alabama Power Theatre

Buy tickets at the Alabama Theater and then walk directly over to the Alabama Power Theatre [600 18th Street North]. Seating will be limited so please arrive a little early. Hope to see you there!


SUNDAY Trailer from ratigan on Vimeo.

Shameless self-promotion, I know, but these things can make you smarter.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

World-Wide Attention for Tim Hollis' Museum

Remember how Fox 6 recently ran that story about the museum in back of the house of our fellow SHC Tim Hollis? (blog post HERE) Well, it got picked up by my favorite source for animation news and cartoon rarities: Cartoon Brew! See their blog post HERE.

People are now watching Tim talk about a Yogi Bear combination shampoo bottle and bank, from every corner of the planet earth.