Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises, Savages, and The Drawn Festival!

Sorry for the long delay between blog postings – did you miss me?

I've been traveling, first to the San Diego Comic-Con, and then to Oregon for a big family reunion. I'll be posting a Comic-Con blog post later, but I want to catch up on a whole bunch of news.

I've seen a bunch of movies, and I'd like to give some quick reviews.

I just saw “The Dark Knight Rises” - I'm a big fan of Christopher Nolan, but this latest installment in the series didn't work for me. Too many plots, too confusing, too talky and too much unintelligible dialogue. Please, bring back Tim Burton. Although, my good buddy, Matthew Modine, was fabulous as the police commissioner.

The other film I saw that I want to mention is “Savages” by Oliver Stone. What I like about this film is the conflict and contrast between lifestyles. The Laguna Beach art colony surfer dudes vs. Mexican drug lords, led by Salma Hayek and the very scary Benicio Del Toro. I was riveted for the entire movie.

And the last bit of business I want to talk about is something Pat Smith and I have been working on for a while. It's the 2nd annual Drawn Animation Festival – it will be held at the SVA Theatre, 23rd St. & 8th Ave, on August 23, 6:30 to 9 pm.

If you live anywhere in the Northeast of the U.S., make a beeline to the SVA Theater for a great evening of hand-drawn animation! Also, a lot of the filmmakers will be there to talk about their craft. Of course, Pat and I will be there, plus I will hold a book-signing for my new Focal Press book, “Make Toons that Sell Without Selling Out” - and everyone who buys a copy will get a free caricature in their book.

So, tell your friends, and I hope to see you there.

Running Scared

Monday, July 30, 2012


Friday, July 27, 2012

Sketch from Cheatin

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Profile Sketch

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cheatin' Production Blog - Signe Part 02

In this continuation of my visit to Signe Baumane's studio in Brooklyn, we discuss the shading process, hand-made vs. CG, and distribution. More about her film can be found on her blog here.

Big Noses

Monday, July 23, 2012

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

I never read the book – although I love the concept. Plus, I'm a big fan of both Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov.
Well, I have to tell you right off, it's the weirdest, most fun film I've seen all year.
It would have been easy to really camp it up, with the railsplitter putting on a very tongue-in-cheek performance – wink, wink, look how ridiculous this concept is. But, no, Timur played it straight.

Our Civil War president found it very important to rid the South and the North of those evil bloodsuckers.

Timur used his usual visual pyrotechnics to keep the action scenes very eye-catching and original, just like his very original Russian film “Night Watch”.
Now, I must read the book to see what I missed in the film. Rush out and tell your friends to go see “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”. You'll love it!


Friday, July 20, 2012


As you are no doubt aware, I've been appearing all over the world with Alexia Anastasio's wonderful documentary “Adventures in Plymptoons!”.

Well, the culmination of the festival appearances took place on June 20 at the prestigious Museum of Modern Art. Alexia organized a wonderful reception at the Brasserie Cognac, where we shared drinks and conversation with Eric Gilliland (“Hair High”), Lloyd and Pat Kaufman (Troma Films), Moby and The Amazing Kreskin (if you've seen the film “The Great Buck Howard”, starring John Malkovich, then you know who he is and how he shakes hands).

 Then the whole party moved to MOMA for the big New York premiere of the documentary. It was a packed house, and the audience loved the film. We brought all the people who were in the film up on stage for a particularly raucous Q&A session – both Signe Baumane and Lloyd Kaufman brought up my sexual past.

We all hung out afterwards as I gave everyone in the audience a free sketch. Now it looks like Alexia is in the process of negotiations with a distributor. So you'll all be able to see it in your local cinemas or on DVD soon -
 Thanks, Alexia!

Donald Trump

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Man sketch 2

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Man sketch

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tommy Jones

Monday, July 16, 2012

Character Sketch

Friday, July 13, 2012

Guy Sketch

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Jake Sketch

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

TMZ Sketch

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cheatin' Production Blog Episode Five - Layout Demonstration

Cheatin' Production Blog Episode Five - Layout Demonstration from Bill Plympton on Vimeo.

In this episode, I expand upon my previous layout lesson with a drawing demonstration.


Monday, July 9, 2012


Friday, July 6, 2012

Sketch from CTN

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Head Sketches

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Guitar Player

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


(WARNING: plot SPOILERS below!)

After seeing the trailer for Pixar's “Brave”, I got very excited. The characters and animation look so great!

So, last week, I was able to catch an early screening of the animated feature in glorious 3-D. What a fantastic visual feast it was – it compares very favorably with one of my all-time favorites, “How to Train Your Dragon”. The character designs are by the great Carter Goodrich, naturally. However, while watching the film, my brain flashed on the thought “Where's the storytelling?” This is supposed to be a Pixar film – where was the vaunted brain trust? The story was a Disney story – very traditional and kind of conservative. Where was the genius? For example, the little princess' mother gets turned into a large bear, and then struggles to escape being seen – and as she races through the hallway, she bumps into the walls, knocking down pictures and pottery, over and over again. I felt like I was watching a bad “Three Stooges” film. Where's the wit?

Another example: the princess meets a witch who gives her the magic words to break the spell on her mother, and throughout the film I wondered when this little ditty will be utilized. It never was, they dropped the whole magic word thing and shifted to a sew-up-a-rug solution! What? But even more puzzling was the lack of a really emotional climax, like in “Toy Story 3”. I heard there were story problems throughout the production of the film, they even demoted Brenda Chapman because she couldn't resolve her own story – and to my mind, there still are story problems. I don't believe “Brave” will stand up to the high standards of past Pixar films. Do you know who the star of “Brave” is? It's the princess' red hair, that was what I was fascinated by the entire film. I couldn't take my eyes off of her red locks. I'm sure the film will make a lot of money, but their story department is falling down on the job.

Maybe it's the tragic loss of story genius Joe Ranft, or the fact that John Lassiter is spreading himself too thin with all of his projects to really concentrate on story. Whatever else it is, “Brave” is not a Pixar classic, unfortunately.

A Fly

Monday, July 2, 2012

William Macy