Monday, July 19, 2021

Space Jam: A New Legacy

As most of you who follow my animation blog may know, I'm proud to be a good buddy of the brilliant animator/designer Mike Smith.  A few years ago, I was visiting his studio and he was in the middle of making artwork for a new "Space Jam" movie.  I guess maybe I was living in a bubble, but I wasn't aware at the time that there was a new "Space Jam" movie, starring LeBron James, in the pipeline.  In any case, yesterday I took my 8-year-old son to see the new version, "Space Jam: A New Legacy".  There didn't seem to be too many people in the audience, although it was a 1 pm show.

The film takes a while to set up the characters and plot.  And to me, it all got bogged down in techno-geek talk - but I guess a lot of young kids are fascinated by that stuff.  As in the previous film, it doesn't really get exciting until the appearance of Bugs Bunny and the "Looney Tunes" crew, and then of course there's the climactic "big game".  

As before, the entire film is a Warner Brothers marketing ploy.  In the final game, the entire audience is made up of WB characters, like Batman, Superman, characters from "The Mask" and "Harry Potter", etc.  I don't blame them for pushing their own brand when they're trying to compete with a mega-studio like Disney.  I give the film a C+ but my son, Lucas, gives it a B+

Also this past weekend, we went to visit the so-called "Little Island" at Pier 55 in Manhattan, a public park built as an artificial island, with funds contributed by Barry Diller and the von Furstenberg family.  This experience felt like I was back in DisneyWorld, or maybe Middle Earth from "the Hobbit".  It's a very cute habitat with a cozy ampitheater, unfortunately we missed that days' musical performance due to scheduling conflicts, but it's a great place just to spend the day in your own little fantasy land.  Plus, it's right in line with the also tourist-friendly High Line - so if you're ever in NYC, be sure to check out those two attractions.  


Bill P. 

Friday, July 9, 2021

Heritage Auctions results

I don't know if any of you fans out there followed the results of my big Heritage Auction that took place June 25-27.  Anyway, it's exciting that my artwork is now becoming so collectable. The auction centered on "Cool Animation" so I was happy to be included. 

I've just received the results of the auction and I'm always interested to see what the biggest bidders were interested in.  Of course, there was a lot of interest in any of my "Simpsons" art - whether it was Couch Gag art or the art that was designed for the DVD collection of the 19th season.  

Also, there was hot action for some of my Kanye West art - I read somewhere he's now one of the richest entertainers in the U.S.  I guess his rich fans are collecting anything with his name on it. 

But believe it or not, the items that drew the biggest prices were illustrations and caricatures that I drew before I even became an animator.  Two went for really big money - my illustration of "Fat Elvis" went for $1,400 (as Elvis would say, "Thank you very much...") and a composite illustration of Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Carly Simon, Debbie Harry and Diana Ross, titled "Heartbreakers of '82" also sold for $1,400.  

Being an independent animator, it's always nice to have alternative sources of income - and I never realized that selling my original art seems to be a great way to help pay my bills and keep my studio open between projects.  

If you're interested in collecting any of my original art, please contact me by e-mail or via Twitter or Instagram, or watch this space to find out about the next Heritage Auction of my art - or be sure to follow me on social media or get on Heritage's newsletter list so you can get some advance notice.  I'll also have a table in Artists Alley at this year's New York Comic-Con, which takes place October 7-10 at the Jacob Javits Center.  Yes, I'll be selling art there too.  

Thank God I never went into computer animation, since I now have boxes of valuable original hand-drawn art on paper that I can share with all you animation fans!  Thanks for watching, now below is this week's gag cartoon.

--Bill P.