SDCC 2011 Day 1

The actual first day of San Diego has come to a close, and as an animator today was that first wave of creative energy and inspiration that comes over an artist amongst not only his peers, but also the fans of the medium.

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When it comes to SDCC, I’m definitely more of a panel person, more specifically the smaller ones and the ones that deal with my interests. Today my panels were the CCI-IFF film school series: pre-production and screenwriting, Alex NiƱo, How to use CG in comics, Bill Plympton, Classic Cartoons: Tom & Jerry/ Looney Tunes, Robert Rodriguez, Jon Favreau & Guillermo Del Toro, New Generation of Spike & Mike Animation, and Kung-Fu films…

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I won’t even attempt to go over each and every panel I went to, but I will give you some of my main points I took away:

Film is an art (duh), start small and practice your craft, know your tools and how they can make your workflow easier, I have a deeper appreciation of Tom & Jerry more so than before, Guillermo Del Toro likes to cuss, and I really need to re-watch Police Story starring Jackie Chan.

The highlight of my day was the Spotlight in Alex Nino.

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It was like listening to my Filipino Uncles tell stories, except this uncle was into drawing, inking and comic books. I asked him about the restrictions of being an artist during the Marcos Regime in the Philippines and his thoughts on the difference between the animation medium and comic book medium. His answers were brief yet insightful. He recalled his censorship of his artwork during martial law, and he waxed poetic about his freedom as a comic book artist as opposed to the team environment of animation.

If I had some regrets, it was that I didn’t have enough time to chat with these panelists afterword. SDCC is so huge now, it seems that someone is always just more aggressive than I am, plus when I have limited time to jump to the next panel it makes it even tougher. I think next time I’ll try to leave a larger gap between panels esp. with the folks I really want to meet.

It was a good and inspiring, yet tiring 1st day of SDCC 2011. I’ll definitely need more of these tomorrow…

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SDCC 2011 Preview Night

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San Diego Comic Con 2011 Preview Night. As a professional animator, my goal for SDCC is to not only make valuable contacts within the industry, but mostly to stay inspired and let my creative juices flow with all the geekiness around me.

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Most of the contacts and info will come from the panels in the days ahead, preview night is all about inspiration, getting a lay of the exhibition floor, and shopping!

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And I got a chance to finally pick up the kotobukiya Psylocke I’ve wanted for so many years:

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And thanks to Daps1 for braving the line and picking me up one of these:

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And lastly, probably the purchase that felt the best, were these plush yoshi dolls that got for my nieces.

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Because above all, even though I go to SDCC to geek out and generally think about ME, the reason I stay inspired and the reason I animate is for all the folks out there, and that especially goes for me family.

I haven’t written here much, but stay tuned… I plan to try to blog about many things animated that are happening at SDCC 2011 from panels to costumes to artists, etc… I might even attempt a Capt. America review.

Have fun!

Congrats Animation Mentor Graduates!!!… Now What?

Congrats to my fellow Animation Mentor graduates! We did it!

Yes many of us have been done since either last summer or this past fall, but the ceremony, show, and pomp & circumstance all happened this past weekend. For an online school like Animation Mentor, these events are even more thrilling, as we finally get to meet-up with all those folks we’ve seen only through the eyes of a lowly webcam. It amazes me, that even though we’ve never met in “real” life, I can start up a conversation with them like I had known them for years.

The events of this past weekend are a definite high, but the real question comes after. Like coming back from a conference, or an expo, the quintessential thing we must ask of ourselves after all this is… Now What?

There are some graduates out there that already have found themselves a job, and for them they have answered their “Now What?” I’m proud of them, but I’m also proud of everyone else that graduated that will either now or later attempt to do something that not many people ever accomplish… Realize a dream.

For me, I’m not going to stand still through this high. I’m going to go back to where my inspiration lies:

It’s time to give this piece an animated facelift that I have always envisioned it to have. After about 2 years, I think I owe it to all those organizations that fight for social justice, especially those I organize with, to do something positive for the people. And hey, if I get a job in the industry at the same time, even better.

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I know my fellow AM graduates have other shots they’re working on as well, and the main thing, like I’ve always stated each in week in my videos to them, is to keep inspired and most of all, HAVE FUN!


Yes for some it’s a struggle, but that’s why we’re here. Yes we observe life in order to create the illusion of it, but at the same time by animating life, we can change it as well.

If you want to know who we are, WE ARE REVOLUTION!

Congrats once again AM Graduates!

Filipin@s: Ricky Nierva

Speaking of the First Quarter Storm, I thought this would be an appropriate time to bring back my Filipin@s post. This time I would like present Ricky Nierva. Yet another Pixar important person, he was a story artist on Toy Story 2, the character designer for Monsters Inc., the art director for Finding Nemo, and the production designer for Up.

Click here to hear the Spline Doctors podcast with Ricky Nierva

So the best run of animated movies since the 90s Disney movies and a Filipin@ is involved in much of the look and design… hmmm….

First Quarter Storm: 40 Years Later…

Yesterday marked the 40th Anniversary of the First Quarter Storm in the Philippines, which was a series of protests against a corrupt and unjust Marcos Regime. The significance of which was the catalyst that eventually started the People Power Movement and the ousting of Ferdinand Marcos.

Now how does this relate to animation, comics, and cartoons? Well, the First Quarter Storm also produced a creative spark that artists have been feeding off of for the past 40 years. I know its inspired me, and has also other more well renowned artists. And its something I WE keep in the back of my OUR mind(s) as something that drives me US as I WE progress (slowly) through my OUR (neverending) process of learning animation…

For now, I present to you a video of a poem by Carlos Bulosan called “If You Want To Know Who We Are.” Produced and voiced by Ron Antonio (yes the same dude from here)

I have talked with many folks who feel that its best if politics stay away from art/ animation/ cartoons/ etc. NOT ME, as far as I’m concerned, no matter what, politics is always involved, and that makes the art that much more powerful. But you know what, I’m always down for dialogue.

Will Draw For Food: Compare Your Life To Pixar

In this current world of iPhones, reality TV, instant streaming, and basically instant gratification, I think many of us forget that the things we want to accomplish in life take time and perseverance. I think fellow artist Josh Mirman nailed it on the head with this animated piece:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I think its time to do some work! Check out his site and artwork here.

Thanks to the homie, Aimee, for pointing out this video to me.

MLK Day: A Message to Animation Students….

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and I got many hits for my previous Bootleg Classic post about it. Well, I decided that I had to say a message to not only animation students, but anybody else that wants to listen about the importance of yesterday, and the vital dialogue and work needed to fully realize Dr. King’s OUR dreams.

I kept it vague, and I probably could’ve added more of my own commentary, but I think folks are smart enough to have their own opinions…

I only hope that folks are listening…