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The Mysterious Connection between Indy 4 and Back to the Future!

But first, here’s a look at the finished Indy 4 Fan Shirt. Indy 4 the Movie was a disappointing failure on a variety of levels, but the Indy 4 Fan Shirt looks terrific!

Merry, my printer on these shirts, once again did an incredible job; and she’s great to work with. It seems I’m always on a tight deadline, I always have last minute changes; and she is always there to get me through it. Thanks Merry! And even though the movie wasn’t very good, you can still get the wallpaper version of my Indy Fan Shirt. You’ll find it on the sidebar under the pages heading.

Now, for the Mysterious Connection Between the flaw-filled Indy 4 and the flawless Back to the Future.

If you’ve seen Indy 4, then you remember the sequence of the film where Indy found himself in the fake town set up at the heart of the nuclear testing and has to hide in a lead lined refrigerator to shield himself from the blast?

Well, about five or so years ago, I read an early draft of the screenplay for Back to the Future, back before the Bobs, Zemeckis and Gale, had conjured up the storytelling solution of the lightning bolt, the clock tower and the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity to power the DeLorean.

In fact, the time machine wasn’t even a DeLorean in this version. It was a refrigerator and it was nuclear powered. Doc and Marty have to get the refrigerator to the only place where nuclear power is available back in 1952; the nuclear testing site out in the middle of the desert, where the military has set up…you guessed it, a fake town; complete with mannequins, to study the effects of an atomic blast. Marty has to climb into the refrigerator/time machine to get sent back to the future. There’s even a moment when Doc Brown is worried that it won’t work and hopes that the leadlined fridge will be enough to protect Marty from the blast…sound familiar?

Zemeckis and Spielberg are buddies, so I’m sure that it’s no coincidence, and it’s interesting to see an idea that wasn’t used get recycled twenty years later. And as I’m writing this, it occurs to me that they may have talked about this previous version in the behind-the-scenes extras on the DVD set…

Of course the clock tower and bolt of lightning are a much more elegant solution for Back to the Future. The clock tower, after all, gives them a visual representation of time; as abstract a concept as there ever was, and since Back to the Future is one of my favorite movies, it’s good to know that it wasn’t formed whole; that the Bobs had to write and write and rewrite to pound out such a beautifully flawless flick.

I wonder if there’s any other cinematic examples out there of unused ideas getting recycled into later films? I seem to remember a dream sequence that went unused in the first Toy Story, only to be revived for the sequel. That’s the beauty of working on a project, you soon have more ideas than you can use; allowing you to recycle your own stuff…

Anybody else have any examples of creators recycling their own ideas, cinematic or otherwise?

Adios.

Hokusai

This post is for my buddy Binh, who a few weeks ago, noticed this print while we were eating sushi at Ichiban one night. (As always, you can click on the image for a closer look.)

Binh asked me if I knew who did it and I had no idea; I assumed it was anonymous. You see it everywhere, so it’s not even something you think about.

It turns out, that this painting was done by the incredibly talented (and prolific) Japanese painter Hokusai, pronounced “Hawkseye.” The name of the print is, “The Great Wave off Kanagawa.”

The only reason I know any of this is because of Cartoon Brew, where they had a post about the short film, “Hokusai-An Animated Sketchbook” done by animator Tony White. White is a British Academy Award winner and the film is terrific; be sure to check it out.

And you know, I must have seen this image a thousand times and never noticed the boats before. And, just look at that sea spray. Do you see Mt. Fuji in the background? It took this Wikipedia article to point it out to me.

If you’re half as geeky as I am, you can continue to delve even deeper into Hokusai, here.

I love the internet.

Adios.

Work Doodle

Well, I reread the previous post, Hellboy Behind the Scenes Doodles, and it is not up to par. I should delete it, but I’m going to leave it up as a reminder to myself not to post late at night.

So, in today’s post I’m going to keep things short. Here’s a sketch I doodled in Photoshop during the last 15 minutes of my day at work. It’s one of the trees outside the window.

It felt really good to squeeze this drawing in today. I haven’t really been using the Wacom tablet for pure drawing; and I’m kind of marveling at how good it really feels.

Adios.

Hellboy Behind the Scenes Doodles

Hellboy: Behind the Scenes > Hellboy: The Movie. Look of the flick? Fantastic. Perlman and company? Terrific. Abe Sapien? Beautiful. The movie lacked creepiness and subtley. Kronen should have perfectly fit that bill. He should have been in the shadows the whole flick. And when you hear the ticking of the clock, you know that you’ll never see the killing stroke. Since the rules for sequels is bigger and louder, I can’t imagine Hellboy 2 will solve the problems.)

Anyway, here are a couple of doodles I made while watching the BTS last week:

I really like the little guy in the upper right hand corner of the second photo. It was worth a lot of crappy drawings just for him. Weirdly shaped head dudes are ok on the first one.

This latest header image, the monk, is my favorite so far, so I’m going to leave it up.

Epiphany

Coupla weeks ago. The comic book store; after a few pints. It’s the last place you’d expect an epiphany.

Buddy Don is scoping out the Star Wars action figures; I’m whining about work.

Don picks up an action figure based on the Ralph McQuarrie concept art. The toys themselves look pretty chintsy, but most toys do. The packages, however; loaded with McQuarrie’s artwork, look terrific.

“The trouble with working at a tshirt shop,” I say, “all I ever get to design is tshirts. I don’t get to learn anything else. I’d like to try some package design.”

Don looks at me like I’m an idiot.

“Then design an action figure tshirt,” he says.

Epiphany: I am an idiot.

It’s up to me to learn what I want to learn.

Because I’m an idiot, a week goes by before I realize I need to scrap my idea for the upcoming art show and instead design a package for my Hulk Herocap, (Herocap origin for another day) and enter that in the show.

I start to take a closer look at the construction of boxes. I make a trip to Wal-Mart and pick up a Spider-Man Mighty Muggs. (The colors on the Mighty Muggs boxes are appealing; if a little flat. I love the top panel, with the close up of Spidey’s Eyes, but overall, the boxes are a little boring. Why have a static image of the exact same thing that’s in the box? The box design should be more than appealing; it should be exciting. But the packages do feel very solid, not at all flimsy, which I like.)

I do a little package design research online: to try and learn techniques for cutting the boxes so i get a nice smooth line; if I have to worry about the ink bleeding, where I can get a plastic mold insert to secure my Herocap in the middle of the box. I find a couple of interesting sites: The Dieline and Package Design Magazine, but I find little on the nuts and bolts of making your own boxes.

I am on my own.

I start drawing up templates for the box on graph paper.

You saw some of the artwork for the Hulk box last week.

I learn a lot from the box of a Dashboard Monk that Don’s brother Les gave me.

I learn even more from finally putting together a mock up of my own box.

Here’s the artwork. If you take a closer look ( by clicking on it), you can see that I don’t have flaps on the side panels, and you can see that I ran out of room on my graph paper; so I didn’t have a back panel, which was going to be fine, because I would cut it out when I cut out the cardboard backer.

Only, when I cut out the panel, I cut it out an inch shorter than it needs to be; so I end up with a, what, parallelogram? With the front panel one inch wider than the back panel.

After I put it all together, I color in Spidey’s mask with a magic marker so that it’s brighter. The cross shape is the graph paper glued onto a cardboard backer. What you can’t see is the giant glue glob resulting from my clumsiness. What you can see is that the box is just too big for the Hulk Herocap prototype. Don’t worry, I will be making up a Spidey Herocap.

The cardboard interior felt dark, so I added a sheet of paper to brighten things up:

You can see here where I had to trim the top of the box to run (semi) flush with the side panels.

I kind of like the box shape. I think I’m going to use it; just flip it around so that the small panel is in front…Failure is the perfect teacher and I learn a lot.

Design a smaller box. Set up a cutting and gluing station separate from your drawing table. Be sure of measurements.

Friday Night Photo

The last time I stopped by my buddy’s place, he had an inoperative microwave taking up space on his counter.

Last night I stopped by for a brief visit, to find that he put that microwave to good use:

Microwave Endtable! Too sweet.

Update: I turned the artwork for Jonesin 4 Indy into a 1024×768 wallpaper. You can find it in the sidebar under the Pages header.

New Feature!

The Custom Headers Viewer.

I added a page where you can view all of the headers that have appeared on screentone. It’s on the sidebar under Pages and About.

I took all of the pictures myself! Cropping the originals in this way makes them look way better than they are.

First Look

Ooh, all of you lucky dogs out there are getting a sneak peek!

I’ve been working on (well, not so much working on as, mostly thinking about) a new big project for the art show coming up June 7th.

Here’s a first glimpse at HERO CAPS…the future of uncollectable collectibles.

Don’t tell anyone, but this is a glimpse at the artwork for the limited edition ultra-rare Hulk Box. Just one of a kind. It won’t be like any other Hero Caps box!

If you look close in the upper right hand corner of the picture you can see I’ve started working on the real Hero Caps boxes. The Hulk Box was just a crazy idea….ooh, inside, I was going to have a puny Bruce Banner Cap, but it would be even cooler to have a Hulk Brain! Wonder where I could get one…

After taking a look at this artwork, I know that this is just a rough draft. The Hulk just doesn’t look ANGRY enough to me…he looks more confused, or astonished…

You can click on the picture for a closer look, you know, if you’d like.

Oh, and if you’re wondering why it is you’ve never heard of a Hero Cap, it’s because I invented it! My buddy Ryan came up with the name, and my pal Donnie (of penguin fame) helped shape the first Hero Cap with a precision-dependent heating system.

Boy, I can’t wait till I’m all done creating them. They’re the perfect collectible for keeping in the box!

News, Another Post from the Archives

I just got Binh’s Perspective shirt back from the printer, and boy, do they look terrific. (See below for a lengthy post on the process behind the design.

It was Binh’s birthday today, so I was able to put a shirt in his hands, which is a great feeling. And he saw the Short Round design, and really wants one, so I guess I’ll be printing up a half dozen or so of those after all.

I don’t have time for a longer post, so here’s another one from the archives.

I love the contrast of having a huge and bitter cap with skinny, young, and naive Spidey. The hopeless dreamer in me thinks this would be a great story, but when will I ever work on it?

Time to go see a movie! (See what I mean?)