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.