I hid eight of these snails in the layout of Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo (Amazon.com link here, Abrams page with trailer here). Can you find them? On the printed page they are only about a quarter inch wide. Be one of the first three to send me the correct page numbers where they are hidden and I will send you some micro zines and a sketch of whatever you want.
I made some new sketchbook comics recently, get into them all over on my Tumblr doodle dump. Also, speaking of comics, this comics show with multi-Meathaus-multi-Philly-area-comics artists’s art opens tonight (Facebook event page) in Old City, Philadelphia at the AIGA Philly space. See you there for some complimentary beverages and comics watching.
I just found a small stash of these. Check out this gocco print James and I did back around, oh, I don’t know maybe 2004 plus or minus a couple years. I can remember the “Meathaus Meltdown” show (oh man it was 2003 I’ve been saying 2004 for 10 years) we did at Meltdown was around Valentines Day 2003, and we collaborated on another kick-butt poster for that. But I can’t place when we did this small Gocco thing. I think we took these to A.P.E. with us the one year Celia, James, Jay, Jim, Farel and myself were all there for some reason. Good times. Never mind I found it on this very blog, wow. 2006 archive, month of April. Anyway, remember when Print Gocco was all the rage for a bit there? All the comics people found out about them over the course of a few years and everyone was mail-ordering these things from Japan. That was before everyone got digital duplicator machines. Yeah the Print Gocco was a great tiny home print-making unit, but they stopped making the flash bulbs and photo-sensitive screens I think. One of those things. I probably have enough for one or two more screens. You can probably guess who drew what on this print.
There are a load of exactly 300 Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo books with signed and doodled book plate stickers available now exclusively at Think Geek. Here is a blog post about it where you can see a shot (also above) of a few of the three hundred unique doodles that I made for you ready to place in books. Obviously the people who took the shot took special geeky pleasure in showing off some of the weird alternate Finn versions that I drew every once in a while. Will you get one? I don’t know. I think I remember drawing a Hello Kitty-Finn, a Hobbes-Finn, a Heathcliff-Finn, a Garfield-Finn and then just a bunch of weird Finns and some Jakes. See the spread of just some of the book plates above.
Popping up online today you can expect multiple websites to be previewing their own sets of exclusive artwork from the new art book Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo. The book publishes in one week on the 14th. Here is a link to the book on Amazon.
Many Meathaus associates have connections to the show. Tom Herpich is one of the early designers and then storyboard artists who helped to shape the show. Jesse Moynihan has been a storyboard artist on the show for most of the seasons so far. Brandon Graham has contributed boards to the latest season. Pen Ward, Phil Rynda and Rebecca Sugar have all been featured in our Go For the Gold! sketchbook anthologies. I wrote and designed this book.
Let’s take our own exclusive look at just some of the piles of concept artwork featured in the book by Tom Herpich.
At the top of this post you’ll see some fashion concepts for Marceline, and everywhere else a slew of wild visual designs for Mannish Man the Minotaur from the season one episode “The Enchiridion!”
The book is full of exciting work like this, often paired with insights from the artists themselves, such as this quote from Tom regarding Mannish Man:
“I think this might be my very first character design—maybe from my first day working on the show. Definitely within the first couple weeks. I didn’t really have much of an idea of what the job really was yet, plus there were some hiccups in the production, so we had a lot of extra time on these first couple episodes. So I think this stuff came from Phil just telling me to go nuts and have fun. I didn’t realize at the time that all this stuff was impossibly complicated, plus strayed so far from the original storyboard drawings that it would’ve all had to be reboarded to use these designs. I think even the final one, after all the far-out stuff had been shot down, ended up being too complex and too far off-board, and needed a lot of retakes in the animation later on. If I got the assignment now, he’d end up looking a lot closer to how he does in the board, for better or worse. This was the problem, this superfluous inventive energy, that eventually got solved by my doing tons of concept drawings for episodes in the works.”
Here is the jacket cover of the art book that I wrote and designed, Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo. It has an introduction by Guillermo del Toro. It was edited by Eric Klopfer at Abrams, which is the publisher. Cartoon Network, Pen Ward, Adam Muto, and the whole crew were involved in its creation. Here is an amazon.com referral link: Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo that you can click and pre-order it with so that I can earn some extra change and go out for some pizzas. It is still on a super pre-order sale as of right now. The very reasonable $35 cover price (this is a 352 page book), is currently 29% off … so that’s about ten bucks off, which makes it $24.92. Get into it! It publishes this fall. Look out for more previews and images soon.
Psst… hey kid. Yeah, you with the 22 bucks. I got a hot tip for yous. Even though we don’t have final cover art selected for the book yet, the Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo book that I wrote and designed is listed on amazon.com and they are pre-selling it at 36% off for some crazy reason. So if you pre-order that massive 352 page book now, you get it for only $22 something, plus tax and shipping. Cover price is a reasonable $35. You’ll be hearing and seeing a lot more about it from me through the spring and summer before it publishes in the fall, but yeah. Hot tip.
Featured image above is a page from the just aired “Lemonhope: Part 2” episode, storyboarded by Tom Herpich and Steve Wolfhard. OK well that storyboard is not in the book. But there is 352 pages of other kick-butt art in the book.
Everywhere but on Meathaus (and my personal websites for some reason) I have been posting daily comics from my sketchbook that are part of this ongoing story, Lenny’s Summer Job, Chapter 1. If you were wondering what those pages were or looking for a place where they were actually in order, I put them here too with some background info. I have been posting a page daily at most, with occasional chunks of no updates during which I am penciling a buffer of new pages. So it is a bit slow developing. Maybe check back every few months to get a good eyeful all at once. The characters haven’t even been able to interact yet some 20-30 pages in, oof. So what is the best way to show off comics online anyway? One of those webcomic plugin/themes for WordPress? Just a slideshow type interface? Or a big-ass vertical stack?
EDIT: Since I just posted this up here and had one more page in my pencil buffer, and have now executed it, I’ll slap it here:
Chris McDonnell is not only one of the original progenitors of Meathaus (more than a decade ago, we gathered in his Greenpoint apartment to draw issue #1), but he has been the driving editorial and production taskmaster for each issue and sketchbook collection, as well as the man who has kept this blog running and chock full of exciting posts day after day for many years. On top of that, he is an accomplished animator, published author, college-level teacher, father of two boys, and a great person to bounce creative ideas off of. He’s been taking a much-deserved break from daily posts on Meathaus while he focuses on some other work, so it seemed like a great time to virtually poke my head into his Philadelphia home and see what’s cooking.
Chris! Send us a photo of your workspace/work area/work cubicle. Is it in your home or in a studio?
I have a designated home workspace, which means I can work that extra hour before everyone else gets up.
If you could change one thing about your work environment, what would it be?
A designated synthesizer station. A decade or so ago, I visited Rodney Alan Greenblat‘s home studio in SOHO and he had a midi synth always ready to be jammed on. I have an old one, on the shelf. Almost living the dream.
Do you work better in the nights or mornings?
What are you reading right now, comics or otherwise?
I have Brandon‘s Catmaster collection going on in the studio toilet, True Grit on the downstairs toilet and a small stack of recommendations from friends that I asked for a year ago and am still working through interspersed with animation and filmmaking books and business magazines.
What are you working on these days?
I’m animating short segments for a some upcoming TV shows (an as yet-unaired HBO show, as well as bits for Adult Swim’s Eagleheart that just aired a few weeks ago) and designing books. When I catch a break, I’ll be back on Meathaus and working up some personal projects.
Do your two kids inspire your work in any way that you didn’t think they would?
Kids are fun and yes, they do all those “Family Circus” things, but I don’t go and make comics about them. Not directly anyway. In a bit of self-analysis, I realized that the disturbing, transformation and body horror comics that I created for Meathaus S.O.S. and Go For the Gold! 4 both coincided with the final months of my kids’s gestation and then birth, which are monumental experiences that alter one’s brain lobes permanently even when you’re not the one doing the birthin’. The main way my kids influence my new work I think is that because of them I’m re-immersed in children’s literature and stories and remembering how deeply the imagination works as a child. My older son is also drawing really cool monsters now that he is four, and I find his designs to be innovative–so he is inspiring me directly in the monster arena.
Any big art/work plans for the rest of 2012?
I want to record more doofus music with Jungle Ben, put out another Meathaus zine, and get my time lapse video set up for HD with better lighting so I can experiment with shooting and animating paintings as I work. I’d like to come up with another photo shoot idea like the lasers and fog machine one that is an excuse for a party again. I want to keep making pitches to cartoon studios and publishers, and I want to catch up on my daily drawings. Also, I’m going to Alaska for the wedding of my ancient friend Ben, who I’ve known since kindergarten.