Archive for September, 2007

The Big Pitch (Pt. One)

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

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Well, as promised here are some “keystoned” digital photos of two cel set-ups from “It’s ‘The Cat'” for sale. They are $100.00 apiece, matted, original hand-painted and inked cels with colorscan backgrounds. I will post more images of cel set-ups next week, please keep checking itsthecat.com for more cel set-ups next week. Greg promises that he will post some on the site at that time. The color is much better than what I have been able to photograph. I have to hold the set-ups at an angle to the lens to avoid reflections. I would scan these, but the scanner isn’t big enough to accept these cels.

The KK strips this week are all pretty much gag-a-day. I love 12-1-1938; Ignatz being hung up to dry just struck me funny. 12-2 shows a rare comment on contemporary “swing” music from Garge, evidently he didn’t hold the music in high esteem. I am continuing to post “Lane Allen’s Diary”, even though it gets no comments. I just love the drawings! In a few episodes you will see the influence of Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” on the strip.

Cathy and I are continuing to paint on location. We were in Huntington Beach last Thursday, participating in the local Plein Air Festival.  We painted the pier and the Ruby’s restaurant at the end of it. There are some good painters entered, such as Michael Situ, Alfred Tse, Val Carson and more. The big opening festival is Friday Sept. 28th at the Huntington Beach Art Center. That costs $25.00 per head, food and wine provided. There will also be a free public viewing of the paintings on Saturday, Sept. 29th. We will all be painting outdoors near Main Street that day.  Come on down and meet Cathy and the other painters! The Art Center is at 538 Main Street in Huntington Beach, Ca. 92648. Their web site is www.surfcity-hb.org/visitors/art_center. We also went to the beautiful Crystal Cove State Park, where the famous cartoonist Roger Armstrong once lived. There are some ramshackle beach cottages there that almost beg to be painted. They were all once privately owned, but the state threw all the owners out. Now the state has control of the land and cottages and has some of them available for rent at a reasonable cost. It isn’t easy to get them, however, they book up in advance! Cathy and I were there on Sunday, Sept. 23rd, along with many members of the Oil Painters of America, such as Val Carson. Cathy did a beautiful beach scene, and I did mostly close-ups of the ruined and restored cottages. I think I was the only watercolorist there that day! There is a store nearby that sells some oils by such notables as Jason Situ, Ken Auster, Jeff Horn and many others. All these people are good painters and it is an honor to be around them.

Santa Barbara and Komics

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

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Cathy and I went to Santa Barbara on Sept. 14-17 for the opening of the Oil Painters of America West Coast Regional Small Works show at the Waterhouse Gallery on State Street. Cathy’s small oil painting: “Koi Talk” was accepted into the show. She was thrilled! It’s quite difficult to get into an OPA show, very competitive. If you want to see an image of “Koi Talk”, just click on the link to her website. (It’s listed as “Catherine Hill, fine art page”.) We stayed at an inexpensive motel in town and did paintings of the Santa Barbara Mission on Sunday. When you’re out painting, you lose all track of time, I don’t even know what day it is anymore. I always love painting with my wife; I recommend that you go out and paint with someone you love.

I’ve posted six more KK’s, 11-21 to 11-26-1938. 11-23 and 11-24 feature one of Garge’s beloved scotty dogs that shared his home on Miravilla St. in the Hollywood Hills behind what is now the Hollywood Bowl. In an ideal world this home should be a Herriman Museum and shrine, instead it is still in use as a private home. At least they didn’t tear it down! I remember when one of Garge’s fanciful wooden windmills still decorated the roof, it’s gone now. I’ve also posted the next chapter of Lane Allen’s Diary, and my first attempt at drawing “the cat” on the computer. I used the “Corel Draw” program, it really makes you feel “wall-eyed” to draw with the mouse. Imagine, it took a “mouse” to draw a cat! Although I’m not too fond of the drawing, I kind of like the purity of the color, especially the magenta nose.

I did some DVD commentary for two Oscar honored Tom and Jerry cartoons today over at New Wave Entertainment. They are for a new DVD coming out featuring about 40 Oscar nominated and winning animated shorts. Amid Amidi and Jerry Beck also did some commentaries, and some on-camera interviews. These of course, are the shorts that Warner Bros. has access to, no Columbia or Universal material that I know of.  It’s a good sales hook to put a collection of Academy honored shorts together, but if you have studied the short subject, often the best and most original short films were left out in the cold at Oscar time.

Don’t forget to buy a cel from “It’s ‘The Cat'” for your holiday gift-giving. These may be the LAST production cels offered in this all-digital age in which we find ourselves. I will post some photos in the coming weeks of a few set-ups available for purchase. See you then!

Komics, and a Pitch

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

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Here are the Kats from 11-14-1938 to 11-19. This whole week’s storyline is about Ignatz using the “think system” to feel rich. Sort of like Prof. Harold Hill as a money manager. My favorite from this week is 11-19, not so much for the gag with the Income Tax man, but the little sign on the wall, “El Ajo Cosquilloso”. In English it means, “The Ticklish Garlic”, a charming bit of Herriman’s whimsy. Maybe he picked it up from a Mexican on Olvera St. in Los Angeles or one of the vaqueros at the Wetherill Ranch in New Mexico.  The “Lane Allen’s Diary” page this week is from Jan. 6, 1957, the first clear date I’ve seen on these. I love the snow angels gag; I would have had a super size crush on Miss Castle if I were Lane Allen, or Ray.

The watercolor for this week was painted over at the San Gabriel Mission, founded Sept. 8, 1771, the fourth of the California Missions to be built. Our group showed up early the morning this was painted; most of the artists did the bell tower outside, but I was more intrigued with the Mission Gardens and courtyard, so I painted this sunny doorway. I don’t think the door is as old as 1771.  Cathy couldn’t be there that day, so it was one of my rare times representing both of us with the group.

All the artwork from “There Must Be Some Other Cat” has now been sent to Greg Ford in New York for ink and paint and final photography. Maybe soon we will be able to display some color sketches from the film on this blog. It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly ten years since I started this little picture. If any of you kind readers would like to help us with the production, please buy a cel from our first cartoon: “It’s ‘The Cat'”. The cels for sale should be on the website: itsthecat.com, but you can also purchase them direct from myself or Greg Ford: mkausler@earthlink.net, Fordcoink@hotmail.com. By all means write to Greg and bug him for cels, let’s all goad him into fury!

Your Komic Section

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

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Here’s the Kat from 11-7-1938 to 11-12-38. The plot thickens with the mysterious mash note from Mimi the French Poodle. She has almost as impenetrable an accent as Krazy! Herriman’s French characters are very strange, I wonder if he liked or loathed the French? Also here is the next episode of Lane Allen’s Diary, still looking for some info on this strip. Can’t make a long post today, Cathy and I have a lot of plans for this week involving painting! I’ll report on this in the next post.