Monday, March 19, 2012

Anatomy of an Eimertoon: Shopping

So, sometimes (not often), I'm asked how do I create those funny little drawings that eventually become an Eimertoon?

Coincidentally, as I was digging through my boxes of stuff a couple months ago, I came across a perfect example of this process - a cartoon that I had published a while back complete with all of the images from ideation to completion.

Well, good for you, dear reader, you can now witness the true anatomy of an Eimertoon.

PHASE 1 - IDEATION
Judging from the below sketch, I would say I was in some boring meeting that anyone who works in an office space is forced to sit through during any given day. Maybe it was a meeting about eCommerce or the purchasing demographics of a Target consumer. Or maybe it was a meeting discussing HR health benefits. It really doesn't matter.

But, what matters is, I was bored enough to jot down this quick sketch (approx 3" x 5" in size) that, obviously, I thought was funny enough to remember:

PHASE 2 - CLARIFICATION
While there are a number of ways to get your images from your brain to the computer and out into the real world, I would say my process is half old-school meshed with half new-school - so to speak.

That night, or perhaps months later (I can't remember), I came upon the above sketch and tried to work out the minor details including art direction, placement of characters and, of course, an entertaining punchline or joke. That said, below is a slightly bigger (8 x10) pencil sketch of the scrap of paper you see above:



PHASE 3 - FINE TUNING
Most cartoonists or animators who I know (which is few), or have witnessed on various shows and publications (which is many), have some sort of light table, which is a table that has either a clear piece of glass with a light shooting out of the bottom so you can quickly create reproductions of sketches in a moment's notice.

I have two light tables at my house. One is a desk that my father and I made waaaaay back in the early 90's. Another is a smaller, portable light table (purchased at Pat Catan's).

With the light table on at full blast, I lay another sheet of white paper on top of the above sketch. Then I take an ink pen (I use a fine or superfine Faber-Castell PITT artist pen by the way), I trace over the above image, eliminating the rough pencil sketches and strengthening the overall drawing. Eventually, I get to the below image:


PHASE 4 - SHADING, CROSS-HATCHING
I have four favorite cartoonists: Sergio Aragones (of MAD magazine fame), Bill Watterson (of Calvin and Hobbes fame), Peter Bagge (of HATE fame) and Don Martin (also of MAD magazine fame). By hours and hours of trial and error and insane attempts at emulating these four cartoonists, I've created my own unique style. Trust me, your style will eventually just happen as well.

Sergio Aragones, who inked his MAD marginals and very own comic book Groo the Wanderer for a while, has this great freeflow inking style that I truly appreciate. I also love Peter Bagge's use of thick lines to capture the characters in their very own angst-ridden shells. Watterson and Martin, of course have a fun inking styles as well. (Google all of these cartoonists if you don't believe me)

In terms of cross-hatching, I idolize horror illustrator Bernie Wrightson and his work. Truth be told, I can't even emulate his style. If you want to see some of his fantastic pen and ink drawings, check out his website, and also do a Google image search. See what I mean?

Voila! With a tip of the hat to my favorite cartoonists, you have the final inked version prior to scanning:


PHASE 5 - COLORING
Finally, I scan the above document on any flat-bed scanner I can find (work, home, neighbor's house, cellphone), save as a JPEG file at 300 dpi, then open up in Photoshop and begin the coloring process.

Yeah, Photoshop, I know, I know. Illustrator is much better. Also, you can get better line quality with Flash as well. But let me explain. Harking back to my days as an animator/inker for a local animation company in Columbus, we used Photoshop for virtually everything. Truth be told, it's what I know. Eventually, I'm going to pick up some tutorials or take a couple classes to learn the basics of getting those hi-res vector images that can go transfer fantastically to t-shirts, bumper stickers and posters, etc. However, until I can grab ahold of that much-needed tutorial time, I'm sticking with Photoshop.

After about an hour of intense coloring, I finally decide on a punchline. During the punchline writing/ideation phase, I like to picture 10 of my closest friends, and, basically, write to them. They understand my sick sense of humor. So, if they think the joke is funny, then I've done my job. If I get anyone else to laugh, it's simply a bonus.

After completion, I save a final version at 300 DPI then I save another smaller version which I shrink the image size down to about 2" at 300 DPI (the best effective online viewing size in my opinion) then post onto Facebook, Twitter, this blog (and hopefully other places) for the world to see:



So, there you have it. A quick, down and dirty way to get your cartoons from inception to conception in less than a day. The entire inking, drawing, scanning and coloring process takes, on average, a couple hours. For bigger, more-color intense projects you can double the time.

For antoher Anatomy of an Eimertoon T-Shirt Design, click here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

One-Sentence Movie Reviews - HardBodies Edition

As the temperature begins to rise, the rain begins to fall - and women from around the country flock to the nation's beaches for a week of sex, drugs and facebooking, I thought I’d do the lamest thing possible to celebrate and collect my movie reviews from this past three months and share them with you…all in one sentence or less.

Also, if you haven't seen Hardbodies, for Christ's sake rent it!!!

So without further adieu....

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
Jeez, I never realized that Hunter S. Thompson abused so many drugs!

Your Highness
EASTBOUND AND DOWN plus PINEAPPLE EXPRESS with a dash of Natalie Portman’s cute ass equals a fun, raunchy, AIRPLANE-esque LORD OF THE RINGS.

Martha Marcy May Marlene
The best movie about a girl joining and leaving a cult that you’ll see all year – complete with ambiguous ending.

Take Shelter
Holy tsunami, this is a grown-up, well-acted version of Donnie Darko, with a somewhat-ambiguous ending.

The Help
The feel-good civil rights movie of the year.

The Interrupters
So, after you watch this film, let's talk about your how shitty your life really is?

The Dead
You'll wish you were dead as you're viewing this film.

Real Steel
Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots and Stallone’s OVER THE TOP merge to create a mediocre movie.

50/50
This fantastic movie made me 50% laugh and 50% cry.

Drive
Albert Brooks as a bad ass and Ryan Gosling crushing skulls isn’t enough to make this good movie great.

Paranormal Activity 3
I opened a fortune cookie the other day that read: 'Combining ghosts with occult always turn to shit'.

I Saw the Devil
This South Korean thriller by Kim Ji-woon puts all American revenge movies to bloody shame.

Bill Cunningham New York
I can only hope to be this happy, joyful and alive when I'm 80 years old.

The Ides of March
It’s the exact opposite of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington…and almost as good.

Moneyball
I’ve never had this much fun seeing Brad Pitt’s character shovel boatloads of food into his mouth.

Bellflower
Beneath the shiny veneer of the above-par cinematography lays a good movie that is just dying to get out.

Warrior
It’s REAL STEEL for the Mixed Martial Arts movement - with a plot that would never, ever happen in a million years.

Margin Call
You’ll feel like a little pissed-off fly on the wall during the 2008 financial housing crisis.

The Future
If David Lynch were female and wrote a romantic comedy - this is pretty much what it would be.

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
Cool horror movie that’s sadly missing a third act.

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
Clever, fresh, interesting take on the 'college-students-in-the-woods-horror-story’.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
This is NOT another crappy Planet of the Apes movie.

The Hangover: Part II
Todd Phillips gets Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis in a room and says, "Look guys, we're going to do the exact same thing over again, but in Bangkok, with shittier jokes.”

Crazy, Stupid, Love.
I'm a sucker for smart, endearing comedies that don't insult your intelligence - like this one.

The Muppets
In what other movie are you going to see Academy-Award winner Chris Cooper rap to hand puppets?

Fast Five
The perfect film for washed-up high school quarterbacks, it’s OCEAN'S 11 mixed with THE ITALIAN JOB with plenty of terrible acting.

Beginners
A great romantic comedy for all sexual preferences.

Midnight in Paris
Can someone else besides Woody Allen please come up with an original Hollywood idea?

Page One: Inside the New York Times
Yep, working for a newspaper is as boring as this documentary makes it out to be.

Fright Night  (2011)
This movie works because it’s almost a sequel of sorts rather than a bonafide remake of the original.

A Christmas Carol
Another odd Zemeckis motion-capture animated film guaranteed to scare the shit out of your kids.

Harry Potter the Deathly Hallows: Part II
Finally, it’s okay to want to have sex with the actress who plays Hermione.


For movie fun, you can view older Eimer Debris One-Sentence Movie Reviews right here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Madonna…You Little Whore!

So, it seems that this lady Sandra Fluke has been getting a lot of attention lately.

In short, Fluke is a 30-year old college student at Georgetown who was bitching about the cost of birth control and wants the government to pay for her pills.

Although it's a little odd of a request, I guess it makes sense...sort of.

In any event, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh got wind of this story and went crazy.

He proceeded call Fluke a whore, a slut or a prostitute. Maybe all three. I forget. For the sake of argument (and the title of this post), let’s just say whore, because – quite frankly - it’s funnier than slut or prostitute.
Now, after Limbaugh started to lose advertising dollars (including money from Cleveland Cavalier's/Quicken Loan's very own Dan Gilbert), the former Oxycodone addict had a moment of clarity and did a 180-degree turn on his 'slut’ talk.

According to dictionary.com, a whore is someone who 'engages in promiscuous sexual intercourse, usually for money'.

Sandra Fluke, my fellow reader, is not a whore. She’s just a woman who likes to rattle cages while, at the same time, have lots and lots of unprotected sex…FOR FREE. (allegedly).

However, I'm not sure I can say the same thing about Madonna.
In case you live under a roof, Madonna appeared during the SuperBowl halftime show in February. It was the perfect 15-minute commercial to kick off her North American tour.
As I sat there and watched the spectacle before my eyes (all in all this lip-synced production wasn’t bad and wasn’t good either), all of the women in the room - including my wife - started talking about the former Mrs. Guy Ritchie's upcoming tour.
“Oh, we definitely have to go!”
“I hear this is going to be her last tour!”
“Let’s get all of the girls together and make a night out of it!”

“Fine with me,” I grunted and scratched my hairy belly button. “You crazy bitches go ahead and spend your hard-earned money. I’ll be here at home having a nice relaxing night with a 40 oz. of Mickey’s Malt Liquor and a Texas Chainsaw Massacre-type horror movie.”
Concerning my above comment, I’m only half-lying. None of them are certifiably 'crazy'.
Truth be told, when I found out about the tour, I wanted to do something nice for my wife and thought this would be the perfect thank-you for letting me go on my annual hiking trips with my buddies. Wouldn’t it be nice to surprise my true love with two tickets to one of her favorite performers of all time? Of course it would, silly!

So, yesterday, I decided to visit Ticketmaster.com and get a feel for the cost of tickets to see Madonna at Quicken Loans Arena. And, knowing my wife, she doesn’t like nosebleed seats. She wants to be either on the floor or as close to possible.

Like a female version of Colonol William Prescott yelling to the troops on Bunker Hill, she’s not going to fire (i.e. spend money on a concert ticket) unless she can see the whites of the performer's eyes.

So, I logged on to Ticketmaster.com and my jaw dropped:
$760 fucking dollars for two tickets? Granted the two tickets are on the ground floor. But, let me toss that price out there again, $760 FUCKING DOLLARS.
You’re fucking kidding me right? Madonna, are you insane?

A couple years ago, I had the pleasure of seeing two of my favorite bands at Verizon Music Center in Indiana - Nine Inch Nails and Jane’s Addiction. For each tour stop, concert goers where offered an upsell to purchase standing room only seating (i.e. mosh pit) that placed you directly in front of the band.
The price: $125 for two solid shows. Front and center. I dubiously bought the tickets and, suffice to say, had a blast. But, let me just say, $125 is about as much as I will pay for any concert. ANY CONCERT I SAY!
So, who’s the real whore here anyway? I’m thinking Madonna.
I’m thinking this 50+ singer/performer is selling her body on stage for money. And I should note, I’m pretty certain, she’ll probably be lip-syncing her music as well. Where's the fun in that? At least Bono and Elton John sing during their concerts.
So, what else could I do with this $760 bucks. I decided to do some research online.
For $760 dollars, my wife could take someone (hopefully me) on a plane for a three night stay in Las Vegas for about the same price (hotel and airfare included).
Also for $760, I could pay for a monthly mortgage payment, or a car payment, or a nagging credit card bill or even our monthly gas, electric, cable, and cellphone bill combined.

So, let's say we picked the Vegas trip. Now let me ask you, what’s really going to be more fun? Call me crazy, but I’m thinking the trip. At the very least, it’s much more bang for your buck. And there will be quite a bit of banging going on - if you know what I mean. (heh! heh!)

Anyhow, I guess I’ve made my point. I’m not sure why these performers charge so much money for their tickets and, in the process, alienate their most die-hard fans who can't afford to spend gobs and gobs of money on tickets and merchandise for a three-hour show.
It makes no sense to me.
Well, gotta go, it’s time to have a talk with my wife and figure out a way to let her down easily.
Thanks a lot Madonna….you little whore!

On related note, I hear Dave Matthews Band is playing at Blossom this summer. I’m sure tickets will be much more reasonable for that show.
I guess it's back to Ticketmaster I go.