Thursday, April 18, 2019

"Pour 585" animated short by Patrick Smith..

My 2018 short film "Pour 585" was released online yesterday, after an extensive year of festival screenings, please check it out and let me know what you think. It's always nice to see a film land in it's final resting place.  Great review by from Anthony L Tjandra..

"It’s been quite rare to see a short film that is entirely 2D animated in a hand drawn fashion that is similar to older cartoons in the 90s. But makes no mistake, Pour 585 is a modern short film that tackles one of the current era’s issues as its moral lesson."

What can I say? I'm a product of the 90's!

"Pour 585" was animated last year over the course of 2 months, every day for 10 hours.  Quickest film I've ever done. More info is available on the vimeo page, or my website Thanks for watching!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Cartoons on the Bay, Torino, Italy

I was very happy to be invited to the Cartoons on the Bay Festival last week to receive the prestigious Pulcinella Award for lifetime achievement.  Also receiving an award was the great Michel Ocelot.

Receiving the Pulcinella Award
Unfortunately, the weather was wet and rainy, but happily, this helped make my Master Class a big hit.  I had a packed, standing-room-only audience.

Lucca Raffaeli, the famed animation and comics historian, took a few of us VIPs, including my Italian producer friend, Marco Milone, to the famed Museum of Cinema, just a few blocks from our hotel.  It is a spectacular piece of architecture, very similar to the Eiffel Tower.

The tower part is called "The Mole Antonelliana", which was a decorative structure build on top of the original Jewish temple in 1877.  It's quite remarkable, because the whole inside of the structure is hollow, so you can see up to the very top.  In fact, they have a free-hanging elevator that takes you up to the top for a magnificent view.  Then, like the Guggenheim Museum in NYC, you can walk along a spiral path down to the bottom, looking at an exhibition called "Comics to Film", with pieces from Winsor McKay and Tim Burton's "Batman".

They have quite an extensive exhibition on the pre-history of cinema and then the very early years of cinema - Edison, Méliès, Lumiere.  They say it's the largest museum of cinema anywhere in the world.  In fact, Torino was where Italian cinema production began and it's still a center for filmmaking.

With the great animator Bruno Bozzetto!

The name of this film festival doesn't make much sense, because there is no bay nearby - Torino is right next to the Alps.  However, the festival began years ago in the beautiful harbor village of Positano - but they eventually moved it to Torino because of the cinematic history of the town.

I want to thank RAI TV and the entire staff at the Cartoons on the Bay festival for a great time.

If you have a new film that you want to show at a festival, definitely submit it to Cartoons on the Bay!  Enjoy this week's gag cartoon, and I'll talk to you next week!

--Bill Plympton

Friday, April 5, 2019

The Webbies

They're back again, and I can't get rid of them - the BOTS!

I just learned that my "Trump Bites" series has been nominated for a Webby Award - and these days, since the internet seems to be where most people get their news and entertainment, that's pretty important.  So my thanks to the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

By the way, I think it's very cool to be nominated - I can add it to my list of awards, like my Cannes Jury Prize, two Oscar nominations, Emmy nomination and Pulitzer Prize nomination - Wow, that's like the Full Monty.

In fact, "Trump Bites" is nominated for TWO Webby Awards, because it's nominated in the category of Video: Video Series & Channels: Animation, and also there is a Webby People's Voice Award, selected by the voting public.  Winning either one is a mark of internet excellence, and would also allow me to attend the star-studded awards gala, held on May 13 in NYC.  So I'm anxiously awaiting the results of the voting - the winners will be announced on April 23.

If you want to take part in the voting, and I encourage you to support my battle against Trump, please vote for my series "Trump Bites" (co-produced with 110th Street Films), by going to:

Voting is open until Thursday, April 18 at 11:59 pm. So please vote for "Trump Bites" in the category of Video: Animation

However, there's a serious downside - to represent the series on their site, the Webby Awards chose a still of Trump on a date with Putin.  As you may know, when that "Trump Bites" short originally played on the New York Times site, this activist started a campaign to smear my name and call me out as an alleged homophobe.  Naturally, all the Trump fans and Russian Bots all piled on with hundreds of threatening e-mails and messages -

Of course, now it's happened again.  Apparently the activist is back and now his re-tweet of our tweet is getting hundreds of hate messages in response.  And some of them have bad language and syntax mistakes, so it's obvious that a lot of them come from fake accounts overseas.  Or maybe just high-school kids.

In a way, it's kind of thrilling - to have a lot of responses, positive OR negative, is always the goal of a political cartoonist.  When I did my political cartoon strip in the 1970's and 80's, I'd be lucky to get one comment a week.  So to have this kind of response, even if most of it is negative, is such a compliment to my artwork.

So, if you want to support my battle against Trump and the Bots, please register to vote for the Webby Awards, and also the 2020 election, while you're at it.


Bill P.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

"Gun Shop" in Annecy..

Much to Bill's dismay, I've been working with object animation for the last year.  After my film "Pour 585" I needed a break and I was searching big time for a new way to convey ideas.  If you're attending Annecy this year, I hope you'll be able to see my first of several object animations "Gun Shop", and also say hi.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019


As most of you know, I've been working on a number of music videos this past year - one of the most exciting projects is for a song from the great Tim Grimm, one of the best folk singers around.  A few months ago, he asked me to create some animation for his new song "Gonna Be Great".

You may recognize the title from an expression used by our current leader.  Tim asked me to keep the man in the background, so I zeroed in on the gangster side of politics.  It's very 1930's Warner Brothers gangster-type animation.  I believe it's one of the best things I've done.

Anyway, it's premiering on the Curve channel at DittyTV at 10 pm CDT on Wednesday, March 27 and then rebroadcast at 10 am CDT on Thursday, March 28.  You can find it here:

I hope you can all check it out then.  If not, watch for it on-line or on Tim Grimm's web-site or wherever you watch music videos these days.

More great News!!! I found out I was just inducted into the "Cartoon Character Hall of Fame" and I'm in some pretty fast company - Joe Grant, Eyvind Earle, Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, Conan O'Brien, Milt Kahl, and more.  I don't know how they came up with the list, but I'm not complaining. It's a total honor to be accepted in the cartoon hierarchy.

You can find the Cartoon Character Hall of Fame here:

Instead of a gag cartoon, this week I'm including a bunch of design ideas for one of the prostitutes in my new work-in-progress film "Slide".  You probably already know my films aren't generally meant for children - well, this one is certainly adult fare because it includes are trio of brothel-workers who sing like the Andrews Sisters.  I can't wait to get started with the film.  I hope you like the sketches -

--Bill P.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Trip to Omaha Film Festival

I've just returned from a trip to the 14-year old Omaha Film Festival in Nebraska, where, to my surprise, there was two feet of snow piled everywhere.  Despite this, the film fans were everywhere and my two appearances had large and enthusiastic crowds.  In fact, for my evening event, I needed to get in early to set up for my show, but the waiting crowd would not let me through.  Of course, they didn't know what Bill Plympton looked like (animation directors rarely get recognized).

When I arrived from the Omaha airport, my driver took me on a tour of the city - we drove past Warren Buffett's modest home and we saw a very large number of churches.  My driver remarked how Omaha citizens are very religious and very friendly - they call it "Nebraska Nice".  But when I tried to get through the crowd and enter my show early, the "Nebraska Nice" had disappeared.  As hard as I pushed, I couldn't get through them.  If they were so determined to get into my show, then screw "Nebraska Nice", I guess.  Of course, once they realized I was Bill Plympton (and I wasn't going to steal a seat from them) they apologized profusely and we all laughed at it.

Between my shows, I had some free time to play - there was too much snow to really walk around and explore the city, so I decided to catch up on my movie viewing.  I'm a big fan of the "How to Train Your Dragon" franchise, so decided to watch the new (and final) release in the trilogy, subtitled "The Hidden World", directed by Dean DeBlois.  In this sequel, Hiccup and Toothless are grown up and taking care of the village.  The story is very emotional and exciting - the only boring part was the scene where Toothless (the Black Dragon) romances the white female dragon.  It was too long and didn't really use the humor and sensitivity available from the situation.

Still, the visuals were just overwhelmingly beautiful!  I often found myself swooning at the gorgeous imagery and design.  A lot of the style and the look of the film was advised by the famous cinematographer Roger Deakins.  What eye-popping visuals!  I give the film an "A".

The other film I wanted to see was "Captain Marvel", from the Marvel comic franchise, starring the great Brie Larson, who was also in "The Room" (one of my favorite films).  I saw it in the same cinema where I saw "How to Train Your Dragon" but the difference was literally night and day.  "Dragon" was alive, sparkling, and colorful, while "Captain Marvel" was brown, muddy, dark and difficult to watch, and that feeling followed through to the story.

I could not get excited about the story, in fact I fell asleep twice.  All the scenes took place in two boring locations that had no visual excitement.  I must confess I don't have a lot of background with Marvel Comics or Captain Marvel, but the character seemed very bland and I never was able to understand exactly what super powers she had, and why sometimes she used them and sometimes she didn't.   I give "Captain Marvel" a "C-".

But my office manager, John Holderried, who's a big Marvel Comics fan, also saw the "Captain Marvel" movie this week, and I've asked him to chime in here with a dissenting opinion.  So, take it away, John:


Well, unlike Bill, I do read Marvel Comics, but I don't usually read the "Captain Marvel" series.  I only know of the character because of her on-and-off history as an Avenger, and her appearances in the company-wide crossover books like "Civil War" and "Infinity Wars".  She's been around since the 1970's, only she was formerly known as Ms. Marvel, the girlfriend of the original "Captain Marvel", who died of cancer.  (In fact, Marvel has had EIGHT characters that have gone by this superhero name, Carol Danvers is the most recent, but also one of the most successful.)  Later Ms. Marvel lost her powers and memory, but gained new powers and called herself Binary, then when she got her old life back she went by the name Warbird, then finally landed on Captain Marvel when the name was free, and the editors could stop the writers from creating new characters calling themselves that.

There was a push in the 1970's by Marvel to create new female characters, but usually they just ended up being female versions of the already-popular heroes.  So, after Spider-Man took off, they created Spider-Woman.  Do the fans like Hulk?  Then, they'll love She-Hulk!  More recently, Thor's ex-girlfriend Jane Foster became Lady Thor for a few years (as if that's not a contradiction) and then they created a female Hawkeye (also stupidly called Hawkeye) and now an Iron Man female knock-off called Ironheart, among others.  Yes, it's silly, cheap and a blatant attempt to double profits and market share, but it not only reaches the female comic-book fans (yes, they're out there) but works to redress the traditional unfairness that's been around since the early days of comic books.  It's very rare when an original non-knockoff female character becomes a hit, like Black Widow or Squirrel Girl.

You see, back in the early days of Marvel, only 20% of the original Avengers and X-Men were women, and only the Fantastic Four fared better statistically at 25%.  Things improved slightly during the 1970's and 80's, especially among the X-Men, with the introductions of Storm, Kitty Pryde, Dazzler, Rogue, Psylocke and many of the New Mutants, but the top-respected teams like the Avengers and Fantastic Four remained mostly a boy's club.  In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they fell into the same trap, with only one female member on the "Avengers" team at the start. (see also "Guardians of the Galaxy")  When nearly 50% of the movie audience is female, why should women be only 16% or 20% of the heroes?

But finally, there's a game-changing Marvel super-heroine movie, following, of course, on the heels of DC's smash "Wonder Woman", and Disney/Lucasfilm making the lead role in the latest "Star Wars" trilogy female, and isn't it about damn time?  I expect "Captain Marvel" to do for women heroes what "Black Panther" did for African-American ones.  And if you want to be ready for "Avengers: Endgame" then you simply MUST see this movie if you want to start to get an idea about how the Marvel heroes are going to ultimately manage to defeat Thanos.

I'm not sure exactly why Bill found the movie so boring - maybe because most of it took place back in the 1990's, and there were no Avengers or other super-villains yet, and in fact there was no internet or smart-phones or Sony Playstations, so maybe the world was a little more boring back then.  Nick Fury wasn't a cynical renegade agent who breaks the rules, he was just a regular old government guy who followed orders.  If anything, he and Phil Coulson reminded me of the leads from "Men in Black", especially since they were suddenly forced to deal with not one but TWO races of aliens invading the Earth.

And when "Veers" (the Kree soldier with the mysterious past) finds herself on Earth, and starts finding evidence that she might in fact BE an earthling named Carol Danvers, she's got to piece together what happened in her past to figure out what's so important on Earth that both the Kree and their enemy, the Skrulls, both want it.  Usually I hate films that are this flash-backy, but here it sort of works, because the audience learns Captain Marvel's origin at the same time she does.  Perhaps everything that she's been told about herself, the Skrulls and the whole Kree Empire is a mountain of lies.

And that's where "Captain Marvel" becomes relevant for today's audience, even though it's set in the 1990's, and also was clearly developed before the 2016 election, which I think somebody assumed would go the other way. (Why else would the Supreme Intelligence appear to Carol Danvers as an older woman with blond hair, wearing a pants-suit?  JK...)  And it turns out that her Kree handler has been training her NOT to use her powers, just to keep her in check - plus they've been torturing her with memories of every time that she's failed or fell short at something during her entire life.  (Bill, this is why she didn't always use her powers, the Kree Patriarchy was keeping her down...)

So, really, what we've got here isn't just the first Marvel solo superheroine, she's the first #metoo superheroine.  Both the Earth society AND the Kree society have been telling her all her life that she shouldn't play sports, shouldn't become a pilot, shouldn't use her powers.  She's been lied to, marginalized and manipulated for years, and finally she determines, rightfully so, that she's had just about enough of that, the gloves are coming off and the power she has is there to be used.  So if I were you, I'd get out of her way.

While this isn't a perfect film - I'd rate it a "7" where I gave "Black Panther" an "8" - if it connects with an audience, male or female or both, I predict it will be a similar success.   --John H.


Well, there you go.  Now here's a new gag cartoon for you - see you next time!

--Bill P.

Monday, March 11, 2019

What's Happening

As you may know, I'm now in the middle of creating my ninth animated feature, titled "Slide".  As usual, I ran out of money last fall - and I was freaking out because I was afraid this time I'd be forced to give up my studio.  Fortunately, the animation gods came through and I got the "Trump Bites" job, and then shortly after that, I got a big commission design job (because of all the lawyers I'm unable to discuss the details yet).  So, thankfully I'm now able to pay off my mountain of bills.

Now that the bills are almost paid off, I'm about to get back to work on "Slide".  It's a simple story about a good man (a slide-guitar musician) who drifts into a corrupt lumberjack town in the Northwest, run by two obese brothers.  The charm of the film, for me, is the use of Hank Williams/Patsy Cline-like music.  "Slide" is going to be like one long country & western music video - Oh my God, I'm in heaven!

So far, I've animated about 20 minutes of the beginning of the film, and I have to tell you, it looks fantastic.  All the art is being created using a normal ballpoint pen.  I love ballpoints, they look great - also, if I make a mistake, it can't be corrected.  And I love to see drawing imperfections.  That makes it look like it was created by a human and not a machine.  In fact, the key word I'm using for guidance in this film is "Bent" - you're going to see a lot of distortion and bending reality in "Slide". So buckle your seat-belts, it's going to be a bumpy ride!

Occasionally I'll be releasing images and storyboards here on Scribble Junkies, just to keep you updated on the film's progress.  Meanwhile, it's back to the drawing board for me - here's a new Trump drawing and a piece of art from "Slide".  I hope you like it!

--Bill P.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Academy Awards 2019 re-cap

What a breath of fresh air!  Or maybe I was drunk on the rum and cokes - but the Oscar show was so great!  I was on the waiting list for the Academy viewing party and I got very lucky when a couple of the confirmed attendees had to cancel, and Sandrine and I were able to get tickets at the last minute!

First the show kicked off with some classic rock from Queen - and it felt like the Oscars were on speed.  The awards and highlights kept on coming, and it was fun.  Someone told me that they thought they should dump the performances of the songs in competition, but to me that was the strength of the show.  Bette Midler performed "The Place Where Lost Things Go" from "Mary Poppins Returns", David Rawlings and Gillian Welch sang "When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings" from the excellent film "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs", and then of course, the hit of the decade, and some might say the best Oscar moment ever, the Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper duet of "Shallow" from "A Star Is Born".

But not only all that, the show hummed along at a quick pace, yet never felt rushed.  I could argue with some of the choices for the nominations, like for Best Actor, but that's out of anyone's control. However, I was disappointed in the wins for both Best Animated Short, which I thought was a little too cute and sweet for my taste, and Best Animated Feature, since I fell asleep during the screening that I went to.  In my opinion, "Animal Behavior" and "Incredibles 2" should have won in these categories.

And surprise, surprise, the show ended right on schedule after three hours, so I actually got to bed at a decent hour.   So it seems maybe we don't need a big star to act as an M.C. - although I still miss Bob Hope, he was so Hollywood.

I'm very busy right now with numerous projects - so I'm always juggling artwork - sometimes it gets very confusing and I often accidentally put the wrong background to the wrong animation - or use one color for a different animated scene.  You should see my couch, it's stacked high with different folders from different commissions and my own personal work.  It's mayhem!  Plus, as I color or draw I always have my TV on - of course, I'm watching CNN to follow the latest Trump scandal, so occasionally I'll get caught up in the cavalcade of corruption and totally screw up my coloring or animation.  See how Trump is messing up the world?  If my next film fails to win an Oscar, it's Trump's fault!

But I must admit, I'm addicted to the whole Trump fiasco - it's like a great detective film.  It begins with the tragedy of the 2016 election and we follow all these clues and oddball characters, hopefully to a happy resolution.  It's filled with tragedy, irony, hyperbole and humor, but not a lot of romance. I'm sure it will end up being the subject of many movies.  I only with that Mel Brooks could write and direct.

One last thing, I spent last weekend with my Scribble Junkies partner, the great Pat Smith, and we talked all about the Oscars and the current state of animation: hand-drawn vs. computer, what's happening with Disney taking over Fox Studios, and the ramification of that sale - I pray to God that Disney would also take over Plymptoons Studio, that's what I need.

Anyway, Pat's working on some new shorts that are fantastic - watch out for them.  I can't say any more, they're secret - but just to let you know, they're in a very different style.  And below is my weekly cartoon -

Later, Scribble fans!

--Bill P.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Oscar Month, UCB & Valentine's Day

February is Oscars month - and it's time now for me to vote for my favorite films of the year.  Most of the nominated films are wonderful - although for me, some of the "top" films aren't particularly exciting.  I guess it's kind of a bland year.  But I want to spotlight two films that I felt should have received more publicity, and perhaps even Best Picture nominations.

The first one, which I've written about before, is "Mortal Engines", a wonderful sci-fi super fantastic film from New Zealand, written and produced by the great Peter Jackson and his wife, Fran Walsh.  This amazing film was directed by Christian Rivers.  The story takes place in a dystopian world where cities are movable warrior states - it's very cool and should have been a bigger hit, if you ask me.

My other favorite film was "Destroyer", starring Nicole Kidman.  This film totally blew me away. Again, it didn't get much press or distribution, perhaps because it was so dark and mean - but boy, the script was just terrific and the acting by Nicole was relevatory.  Credit also to the director, Karyn Kusama - it's about a loner cop who holds a grudge for years and becomes a rogue cop, waiting for her revenge.  It's unforgettable.

Two nights ago, I made an appearance at New York's Upright Citizen's Brigade on 44th St.  This gig was very fun and novel - they had me tell some stories from my life and then the crew of 8 improv comedians did an hour of gags and improv based on my pathetic stories.  But the cool thing was, I was able to create drawings on stage, illustrating the wacky stories.  The audience seemed to like it, and so did I.  So, if you get a chance, please check out the UCB in your neighborhood.

with the cast of ASSSSCAT at the Upright Citizens Brigade, which included Dan Fogler (Fantastic Beasts, Balls of Fury)

Now, since it's almost Valentine's Day, I'm including a Valentine-themed piece of art from Sandrine:

And since Valentine's Day falls on a Throwback Thursday, here's some art from my short film "Horn Dog", too:

Also, I'm including my newest Trump cartoon -

Wow, what a blog!  Tell your friends, and see you next week -

--Bill P.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Matthew Jaffe - "Wicked World"

I have exciting news - last month I created a music video for a wonderful new musician named Matt Jaffe, the name of the song is "Wicked World".

I'd never met Mr. Jaffe before, but when he contacted me, I checked out his live performances on-line and I was blown away by his incredible talent for songwriting and performing.  And, he's only a young kid!  He's gonna be the new Justin Bieber, I can feel it.  Look out, Justin!

So I was delighted to make his new music video.  Anyway, he just released the short online - so please check it out, I think you'll fall in love with the video, and the talented Matt Jaffe.

And I have another bit of exciting news.  You probably are aware that over the last few years, I've been creating and distributing a film I co-directed with the great artist and animator Jim Lujan, called "Revengeance".

My thanks to everyone who supported our successful Kickstarter campaign to get the film made. Well, now we've fulfilled almost all of the rewards and we're finally able to release the DVD to the world.  The movie itself had a limited but very successful theatrical release, it won a bunch of festival awards and got some nice reviews.

I've watched the film myself numerous times in theaters and I'm still blown away by the look and humor of the movie.  I think it's one of my favorite films I've worked on during my long career as an animator.

Now that the film is available on DVD and BluRay, please purchase the film from my web-site so we can continue to make more animated films that are unique and very different from your typical Hollywood crap.

People say that DVDs are a dead format - but I disagree. This DVD is packed with goodies, commentaries, art galleries, documentary extras about the making of the film and various conversations between Jim and me.  It's a very cool DVD, and the BluRay looks even better!  So I encourage you to support independent animation. 

You can get the DVD or BluRay from my web-store here:

Thanks so much!  Now, here's this week's gag cartoon - enjoy!

--Bill Plympton

Friday, January 18, 2019

"Mortal Engines" and S.F. Sketchfest

I've been a huge fan of Peter Jackson since seeing some of his early films - my favorites were "Meet the Feebles", "Forgotten Silver" and "Bad Taste".  I felt he was one of the few filmmakers to use outrageous humor to tell wonderful stories.  Of course, he made his biggest success with the "Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings" trilogies, where he seemed to leave his subversive humor behind.  I guess that shows where outrageous humor can take you.

He now has produced a new film called "Mortal Engines", directed by Christian Rivers.  I hadn't read much about this film, so I actually saw it by accident because I liked the title.  In any case, I immediately was stunned by the visual flare and imagination.  It's kind of a steam-punk dystopian story, yet it's clearly very different from your normal steam-punk film.  Although I must admit to loving "The Wild Wild West".  The cool concept of "Mortal Engines" is that in the future, all cities will be mounted on huge tank treads and will move around the globe, gobbling up smaller cities (capitalism run amok).

Peter has such a dramatic flair for visual storytelling and action sequences, the film totally blew me away.  To me the cast was largely unknown, except for Hugo Weaving, who played the bad guy (a Donald Trump-like character).  But the star of the film was the visual design.  It's the kind of film I want to watch over and over - I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to see some breathtaking storytelling.  I give it an A-plus.

I just returned from San Francisco, where I attended and presented at the 18th Annual Sketchfest - it's basically a Comic-Con for stand-up comedians.  And even though I'm not a stand-up comedian, I felt totally at home with the organizers and audiences.  In fact, my show was sold out and the audiences went crazy for my new short films.  If you live in the Northern California area, I highly recommend it.

This week's gag cartoon is more of a Zen cartoon, not particularly funny, but more of an observation, I call it "Aging". 

--Bill P.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Bill at San Francisco Sketchfest on January 12!

Dear readers and fans,

I hope you all had a great holidaze season.  I call it "holidaze" because all of the parties and events leave me in a daze!  Also, I wish you all a wonderful 2019.

There's an event coming up real soon that I want to let everyone know about.  This coming weekend, Saturday January 12 in fact, I'll be in San Francisco, performing at the famous Sketchfest, as part of the San Francisco Comedy Festival.  Apparently, it's a really big deal.  Other luminaries who have attended: Billy Crystal, Conan O'Brien, Gene Wilder, Spinal Tap, David Byrne (he's a comedian?), Fred Armisen and many others.  And it's been going on for 18 years now.

So you can guess that's it's basically set up for stand-up comedians - so it's very rare that they invite an animator to this august event.  Since I'm not a particularly funny guy in person, I surely hope that this audience is not going to be waiting to hear me tell jokes.  BUT I believe I can make them laugh with my drawings - so I'll be showing some of my classic cartoons, plus some brand new ones.  I have a couple of new "Trump Bites", plus the world premiere of my brand new short, "Sex & Violence III". 

Plus, I will give everyone who comes a free sketch of one of my popular characters.  So I hope anyone and everyone who lives in the Bay Area can make it - or if you know people who live nearby, please send them the information.  My event is on Saturday, January 12 from 4 pm to 5:30 pm, at the Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th Street in San Francisco.  For tickets and the full schedule, please follow this link:

This week's cartoon is fairly timely, I think, now that we're all throwing out our Christmas trees.

See ya,

Bill P.

Monday, December 17, 2018

The Oscar Race

I'm now heavily in the middle of catching up on all of the Oscar-eligible and contending films released in 2018.  This means going to a lot of VIP screenings, but also there are still a lot of DVD screeners turning up in my mailbox. It's very tough on my schedule because I'm also very busy trying to finish three projects before the end of the year.

So far, I've seen a lot of repetitive Hollywood crap.  But I've also seen a few nice films and three real classics.

The first one I loved is "A Quiet Place", starring John Krasinski and Emily Blunt.  The script is very original, and it's directed by Mr. Krasinski himself.  I'm generally not a big fan of horror films, but this one has deeper meaning and some truly psychologically frightening sequences.  I recommend it to everyone, unless they have a weak bladder.

Another live-action film I truly loved was "Green Book" starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali.  This is essentially a reversal of the classic "Driving Miss Daisy", as here a white Italian-American bigot has to drive a black classical pianist through the 1950's segregated South. 

What's so special to me about this film is how rich each character is - Peter Farrelly did a fantastic job in bringing out all the facets of each character and how they interact in such confrontational situations. 

And my third recent favorite is from Hungary, it's called "Ruben Brandt, Collector, from 61-year old Milorad Krstic.  It's a heist/mystery film set in the art world with a chase through Paris.  But the real attraction is the look - it's a mix traditional 2-D animation and 3-D CGI.  The way that Milorad plays with people's faces and angles is just delightful.  Sometimes the characters have five eyes, or three mouths, or a nose stuck in their hair. 

It's like watching a feature film based on my Oscar-nominated short "Your Face".  But it works, it's so surprising yet satisfying to see these mutant humans in a detective film.  There are a number of exciting chases throughout the film and as the characters jump through rooms and locations you'll see billboards with jokes about art, or pictures referencing classic films.  It's so full of cultural in-jokes you'll have to freeze-frame the film not to miss anything. 

I'll be watching a lot more films soon, so when I find a favorite or a big loser, I'll let you know. 

A little bit of trivia - if you see the Empire State Building on Dec. 17, you'll see it's all yellow - and why are they lighting this famous skyscraper this color?  Because it's the 30th anniversary of the first episode of "The Simpsons' - how about that?  Thirty years, who would have believed it?

Today's cartoon is about that fan favorite director, Wes Anderson - Happy Holidays, everyone! 

--Bill P.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Exciting News

Dear Readers and Fans (hopefully)...

I've just received a shipment of our brand new DVD of "Revengeance", the animated feature created by my genius buddy, Jim Lujan, and myself.  It bugs me when people say they don't buy DVDs anymore because they can get movies for free or really cheap on the internet. 

That drives me crazy - first of all, I selectively release my films on the web, and we don't plan on releasing this film via a streaming platform until later on.  Negotiating with streaming services is very tricky - we had "Cheatin'" on Netflix for a while, and we're still waiting to get the rest of the money that we were promised for that. (Something tells me it may not be coming...)

But a DVD often has a whole bunch of goodies that are unavailable when you watch a film on a streaming service, like director commentary, interviews, plus "making of" footage and other background information.  On the "Revengeance" DVD we'll have all that, plus images of the character designs, so you can compare them to my final animation and see how the characters evolved.  These items are very important to get a real feeling about the production of a film.

On the "Revengeance" DVD, you'll also get 2 Jim Lujan shorts, "Party Warriors" and "Booyah" that are like little prequels to the main film.   Plus you'll learn how Jim and I met, and an interview with us at San Diego Comic-Con where we were promoting the film's upcoming release. 

And best of all, you get something you can put in your video library that lets you watch it at any time.  I've heard that stuff disappears from Netflix all the time, with very little warning. 

We will be releasing the DVD of "Revengeance" very soon - first we have to send copies to our Kickstarter backers as rewards.  We're late doing this because we thought we might try to qualify the film for an Oscar, and having the film out on DVD before an L.A. theatrical screening is a big no-no.  I want to apologize to our very patient backers - I think some of them might have given up hope that we were ever going to make these DVDs.  Once we mail out these rewards, we'll start taking orders on my web-site.  And then in January there will also be a Blu-Ray version available. 

Attention, Kickstarter backers - I think we might be really close this time.
My staff just finished sending out a lot of "Trump Bites" Kickstarter rewards, now they've got to jump right over to the "Revengeance" campaign and mail those out too.  But check it out next week in my store, it would make a great Christmas gift.  Plus we'll work out something so for an extra $50 you can receive an amazing piece of art from the film.

By the way, I just saw "Green Book" by Peter Farrelly, starring Viggo Mortensen.  What a wonderful movie!

 This week's gag cartoon is Christmas-based, now that the holiday season is here.  I hope you find it amusing.

--Bill P.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Two icons pass away...

Although I wasn't a big fan of Marvel Comics when I was growing up (I preferred the funny ones, like Daffy Duck and Donald Duck...) I was certainly aware of the characters.  But I dismissed them as entertainment for little kids.  However, in the 1990's, when Marvel moved into feature films, big time, I realized their legitimacy. 

Stan Lee, along with his favorite artist, Jack Kirby, created some wonderful stories and amazing icons.  Spider-Man, Black Panther, the Hulk, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Black Widow, Iron Man and Daredevil -

Well, Stan, as you know, just passed away at the age of 95.  (Why is it so many cartoonists live long lives?)  While I was doing the early years of Spike & Mike's "Twisted Animation Show", Mike Gribble introduced me to the finer points of the Marvel gang and I finally had much more knowledge and appreciation for what Lee and Kirby created.

He was a superstar at all the big Comic-Cons, and rightfully so. 

The other God of cartoons who just passed away was Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants.  When the show first premiered in 1999, I was an immediate fan.  Then, when my son Lucas was born and he became addicted to the show, I realized how great the show is.  I feel that SpongeBob was as good as the best of the early Warner Brothers and MGM cartoons.  In fact, I believe that Stephen was really influenced by Chuck Jones, Tex Avery and Bob Clampett. 

He started out making independent shorts and would also make appearances at the Spike & Mike shows, in addition to various festivals.  And that's where I first met him.  I became such a fan of his work that I even visited him on one of my trips to L.A., like a true fanboy.  We hung out a bit and I told him how much I loved his show.  He was a very modest and self-effacing guy, and he said he was influenced by a lot of my films from the early days. (That was nice of him.)

I believe his show and "The Simpsons" are the two greatest TV shows of our generation, and, just like the old Looney Tunes cartoons, they'll be popular forever.

Before I sign off, here's this week's gag cartoon:

 --Bill P.