animation

Tumbleweed.

First new drawing May 2020 bb

I have been sitting on this a while. I wanted to bring this out specially for Dana Petty’s birthday(I am friends with her online), and I’m afraid I am about to explode so I will get it out a day early(also in case I don’t have a chance on the actual day).
Back in ’89, when Full Moon Fever came out, I wrote to Tom Petty, and you of course have all heard about my populating the letter with the rooster character I made of him, and little bird characters of the Heartbreakers and the Wilburys, and he sent me my guitar pick. Well, what I never have revealed was the third of three TP characters I have: Tumbleweed the Winged Mustang.
Tom was very into westerns, and it seemed like such a perfect, perfect character for him. Storylines I envisioned involved Tumbleweed swooping in to save other horses from mistreatment out in the West, or showing a lost human traveler where to find water, etc…

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I have included a photo of me with a very overpainted tee shirt I did way back then at a puppetry festival; Tumbleweed existed as a puppet back then and I had him on my shirt and on my arm and I was quite proud of him. The likeness between the puppet and the drawings weren’t too spot on, but, I was getting there. Anyway,I included the shirt (on an obviously very young Liz) so you can see just how old this character is. Compare, of course, with the new, updated drawing.¬†
Tumbleweed was in some of the margins of that original letter, so if Tom read my letter, which it seems to be proven that he did, he saw him. That still thrills me to no end, even if this never got anywhere. See, back then I was pretty ambitious and I was determined..DETERMINED to produce an animated short featuring Tumbleweed, and I wanted Tom to perform his voice. No other would do. I didn’t know how I would contact him or pay for it. How, how how???
I did get a few animation jobs and as I gained skill the more I thought about making the short. Then Tom did the voice of Lucky on King of the Hill and I remember thinking, “OH, god, that is THE voice, too! His hillbilly voice! I gotta do this!!”
But, obviously, it never happened, and I left the fandom for a while for weird reasons.

When I hear “Into the Great Wide Open” is when I most visualize little Tumbleweed, flying down and observing the weird things humans do, sitting on rooftops and fenceposts. “Learning to Fly”, one of my ultimate favorite songs in the catalogue, plays out a video in my head of how he GOT his wings—it happened magically.


I bring this out for you, my Dearest D, on your birthday, a bit early,but with the utmost love and affection for such a beautiful man. My Golden Boy, my Tumbleweed.

The Secret Stash!

My husband and I are big fans of the show Comic Book Men. We recently went to visit his family in New Jersey, and our destination was not terribly far from Red Bank, where the store that is the home of the show is located. So, last Saturday, we piled ourselves and the mother-in-law into the car for a trek to The Secret Stash, workplace of Walt,Bryan,Mike and Ming.

Mike Zapcic was the only one out of the group in attendance that day; we will know to inquire first next time, to see if more of the guys will be working. Mike also pointed out that if people are coming specifically to visit Ming, he will break speed and sound records from wherever he is to get to the store.

Red Bank turned out to be a very pretty place, and it was a gorgeous day. We had wanted to really enjoy the city, but I think we were pushing Steve’s mom’s endurance as it was, so we made the most out of our time in the store! My main mission was to ask the guys about “My First Comic Book”–specifially, what they would recommend to a person who has not grown up on comic books but was¬†now interested in taking the plunge into them. Specific questions were dealt with–do I prefer Marvel or DC, and I am definitely a Marvel gal. I also like Spiderman, having watched the cartoon after school, and getting to meet Spidey at Six Flags in the 70’s.

Mike, who normally is the quieter personality on the show, was an absolute powerhouse of conversation and one-liners while we were there, and went straight to a comic he thought I would enjoy as a beginner–Spiderman: Death of the Stacys. Yes, rather morbid startup material, but I read it all while we were on vacation and I really enjoyed the writing style.

 

Thanks for making our visit so special, Mike, and we hope to see you and the rest of the guys again next year!

Gus from “Partly Cloudy”

A friend of mine just loves Gus, the little dark cloud character from the Pixar short film Partly Cloudy:

So she asked if I could make a toy or plush out of him:

Think I did okay?

Now that I look at him,finished,I think he should have been squattier, but the customer is crazy about him, so we’ll leave him like he is.:)

“Once you cross that bridge,my friends,the ghost is through–his power ends!”

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I think it’s time for a tribute to that¬† Headless Haunt, that Creep without a Cranium, the one, the ONLY,Headless Horseman.

First, a delightful little video done to the Disney song “The Headless Horseman”, sung by Thurl Ravenscroft.You might know him as Tony the Tiger,but I remember him best as one of the Singing Busts at the Disney parks’ Haunted Mansion attraction. Sit back and listen to the fantastic bass revelry that is Thurl.

Next up is the classic animated sequence from The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, released in 1949 by Walt Disney and narrated by Bing Crosby. Both hilarious and terrifying,this film truly brings The Headless Horseman to life in a way that no live action film ever could.

Then we have the 1999 period horror film Sleepy Hollow, directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp(surprise surprise).The Headless Horseman(with head) is played by Christopher Walken with fiendish intensity, His stunt and swordfighting scenes are brought to clashing life by Ray Park(head removed in post-production). It’s a movie lashed with gore and draped in period costumes;a real feast for the eyes. Depp shines as the nervous and quirky Ichabod Crane.

Leaping back to things more safe, the “Boo to You” parade that takes place twice during the “Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party” held at Walt Disney World has a rather unusual Grand Marshall to start the festivities:

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tribute.

Just remember, you can’t reason with a headless man.:)

Want to know just HOW awesome my husband is?

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My husband Steve is an animator–that’s how we met, back when we both worked in animation at Stone Mountain Lasers. He taught me almost all that I learned on-the-job; I had a basic knowledge of the concept of animation, but had never had any hands-on experience except little experimental films. We worked at Turner Studios together as well; he is still there and going strong as a lead animator.

He has worked on countless Cartoon Network  and Adult Swim projects, but his main claim to fame is being Lead Animator on the Adult Swim show Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. I had the joy of working with him again for a few episodes of this program(I was prop designer), and it was a wonderful experience. Great director, animators, and a hilarious script.

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Care to see some of Steve’s best work? Step right this way… (more…)