Thursday, April 28, 2005

Mixed bag

A mixed bag of drawings today. Below is a quick charcoal sketch of my dog Buster

A drawing of one of my students from our on-the-spot-drawing field trip to a local mall, done in prismacolor pencil and some other quick gesture drawings done while in the mall with my students.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Student Work

Here are a few snaps of some of my students work. Both the illustrators and animators have a common wall on the third floor at school where they display some of their work. I am currently teaching two classes, Figure Drawing for animation and illustration, both on Wednesdays. Recently we have been working on draping the figure, folds and drapery. One of the exercises was to draw the figure, then draw a "crash test dummy" next to it to illustrate the form and perspective of the figure underneath. We draw the figure first from life, like a manikin, and then 'dress it" to get the drapery and folds correct. There are only two weeks left in the semester and then the birds must fly on their own after graduation.

The wall can be a wall of shame, wall of pain or wall of fame. It's up to each student to decide that by the work they have to post weekly.

Monday, April 25, 2005


I hate geeks. I especially dislike comic geeks, the so called (by me) Babymen of America. Now I love comics as a craftsman, an artist. I love the medium and it’s history, but I don’t give a fuck about the fact Thor can kick the Hulk’s ass or that the Silver Beetle died without revealing his Bi-sexuality to the Atomic Chrysalis, how much Matter Master-eater Lad ate in issue 339. I don’t buy comics for stories, but I will for art. I can look at a poorly written comic for the art, but can’t read a comic story if I hate the art. I prefer both good art and story....but I digress. That hesitant, mouthbreather type, the yammering fanboy--too loud talking, spewing forth an constant dialogue of stupidity, It’s that corner of fandom I can’t abide for more than 30 seconds. Unfortunately much of the people left reading comics fall into this “mouth breathing” category.

Last weekend while hanging out on South Street in Philly with a pal visiting from out of town, we decided to venture into the comic shop a few doors down from Tower records.

I Was feeling pretty good, having swilled 3 pitchers of margaritas at the Coppa, across from Jim’s Steaks on South and 4th. My buzz was still in good effect as I walked up to the rack of new comics and proceed to find nothing worth buying, disgustingly flipping thru and the flopping back down the ugly, greasy-photoshop-rendered comics. Alas nothing worth spending beer money on. As I scanned the sheleves I was treated to the quintessential comic shop conversation. Quetin Tarantino couldn’t have written a better one himself. The conversation follows..

Comic geek: Do you have the trade where they bring back the new Green lantern?

Comic shop employee: You mean Silver-age Green lantern.

Comic geek: Yeah the real Green Lantern.
Comic shop employee: Well there is more than on real Lantern, you need to be more specific. The Silver-age Green lantern, he was always my favorite as he has the ultimate weapon.

Comic geek: Now way, Superman is the most powerful hero in the DCU.

Comic shop employee: Nope Green lantern is. He has the ultimate weapon as his ring is powered by his mind, so whatever his mind can imagine he can make happen. He could kill superman, he’s only limited by his willpower.

Comic geek: No way. He’s lame. He’s always making big shovels and stuff. Superman never has to rely on gimmicks like that. He could just move like the Flash and knock you out.

Comic shop employee: No that was the golden age Green Lantern and he was weaker because that just what his mind could think of. Big boxing gloves and clothespins. But the current Green Lantern could make all kinds of intricate and deadly weapons. And his weapons move at the sped of thought.

I could kill you in a blink if I had the Lantern’s ring. Oops sorry, I can’t because you are wearing a yellow t-shirt. Hahaha!

I had to get the fuck outta’ that place before my head exploded….

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Gesture, Gesture Burning Brite

A few more quick gestures done in my figure drawing class to show the students the process, and what I am searching for in a gesture drawing. I love rough sketches and drawings, they are always alive with raw energy and the creative spark, kenetic in a way a more serious or formal drawing often isn't.

BELOW is a layout for a page from the POWER of Shazam Annual I did about 10 years ago. The goal for me is to get the same kind of gesture energy seen in the sketches from LIFE I've been posting in my comic and stoyboard work. So often I get it in my roughs, and loose some of the juice in the finish. There is an egergy in a sketch, rough or sketchbook drawing that is raw and alive! It's always a fight to have the same vitality in finished work, and the more steps in the process, the more chance that energy will evaporate. the layout below drawn at print size has energy and despite some wonky or off drawing, I prefer it to the finiahed page.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Mall Rat Gestures

Here are some quick gestures done when I took my animation figure
drawing class to the mall Wednesday.

I wasn't able to do much, and my concentration was a bit scattered as I
had to do the rounds and keep up with the students, coach, teach etc. So
these were done in spare moments or to show examples. Everyone did much
better this time, the same class did this last fall and they could see
themselves the improvement in their drawings. Doing this often is one of
the best things a cartoonist can do.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

West world

A watercolor I did for a friend based on a pic I took out west last summer.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Photo Saturday

Art is everywhere.

Seem to be on quite a phot jag these days. I love my Canon Powershot 80. I bought it last summer when I bought my 17' Apple laptop. I'm still getting into figuring out all of it's myriad of functions. It's made snapping pics such a breeze. I take it with me just about every time I go out. You never know what will be there to SNAP ON.

One of lesson points I re-interate every week with my students is that art is all around you. It's everywhere constantly, 24-7-to the end of time, or this reality anyway. All you have to do is pay attention and notice it. I am struck by beautiful compositions everyday just walkinh down the street, or in the car. The sun will strike a wall at a cool angle, cast a shadow, I'll notice a really interesting person with a face aged with character, or a beautiful girl who moves with youth or grace. My dogs are both a constant source of humor and inspiration.

I snapped these pics walking back from school last wednesday along the two blocks I walk bewteen DCAD and the lot where I park my jeep in downtown Wilmington. Like Philly, Wilmington has lots of old decaying buildings and streets loaded with chram, decay and character. It's a city that is crack-house rough for a few blocks then suddenly it's a area which has been renovated. They seem to be trying really hard to bring it back, like many old eastern cities I hope that when they do bring it back they don't loose the character that makes Wilmington cool. The flava! I downloaded the snaps I took into my laptop and opened them in photoshop, and turned them into black and white photos then added a hint of sepia with the duotone filter to give that "old time flavor".

DCAD where I teach. This semester I'm teaching figure drawing.

Bigger version here

Bigger version here

Bigger version here

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Swimming finals

I'm posting the final set of pics from the Adult Swim party last Saturday. Inbetween the cabaret show of singers and strippers

featuring a lady detective

and her pet monkey


The Venture Brothers dancers featuring DR. Girlfriend

Dr. Venture

The Monarch

A drinking contest

A mermaid who sang a song about wanting a vagina

More Superfriend action!

After all this, plus airing of new episodes of Tom Goes to the Mayor, Venture Brothers and Sealab 2021 I headed back out into the cool Philly night and home to dream of strippers and their pet monkeys.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

South Philly Style

Like I said in earlier posts my brother Marc was visiting this week in Philly, so all three Manley brothers were once again united. Marc is shooting pics of my other brother Dave and his band, so we went to South Philly to pick up some more film for his camera after we had a nice lunch with John (Major Bummer, BPRD) Arcudi who also lives in Philly. It was a great day so I snapped some picks while driving along in the most colorful part of the city, South Philly, along Washington Ave where the South philly Italian Market meets and blends into East and Southwest with a large asian community, mostly Vietnamese (one of the largest communities in the US), Mexicans and central Americans too. A mexican resturant one corner, the next Vietnamese or Italian. A great place to visit and eat!

Swimming with Sharks

Here are some more pics from last Saturday's Adult Swim Party. While the Adult Swimmers went back stage to debate and argue bitterly amongst themselves to choose the winner of the pitch contest (aided by copious amounts of free beer in small plastic cups) the audience and your's truely was treated to a swell cabaret floor show of strippers, superfriends, monkeys and more like the Sealab 2021 Dancers!


Ladies and Gentlemen...BLACKLIGHTNING!

I'll spare you and me the next few pictures dear reader...

You're a mean one MR. Grinch!

More tomorrow!! Pics courtesy of my brother Marc Manley