Monday, December 2, 2013

Is it December Already?


   Holy crap, it IS December! This year has gone by so fast and so much has happened since the beginning of this year. We've begun production on PCPai, released 
Elements of Light on a regular basis and laid down some groundwork for Peter & Company. Certainly alot more than what we put out last year. Thanks for sticking around with us, even though I missed last week's update.


Kuki Krumbles, more troublemaker than self-proclaimed best friend.
  
Sometime back I think I teased Kuki Krumbles (above) and Aggie Magnus below. I definitely wanted to toy around with a possible villain with some healthy nods to the older Sailor Moon franchise with the other female characters that'll show up in PCPai. However, I also wanted to do something a little different than simply having rival sorcerers stand in our heroes' path so I made Kuki and Aggie more like family to start things off.

While Pai may be about the weakest witch around, Kuki does her best to look out for her though starting out only slightly more experienced. Aggie herself stands as among the most powerful youths in the city of Hocus Pocus Heights. Of course Kuki doesn't exactly look the description of being slightly above par does she? So far, she's one of the characters Im having the most fun writing.

Aggie Magnus, the newest magical prodigy.

That's not to say I dont enjoy writing Aggie either. Surprisingly enough, I came up with the idea of her name overhearing my coworkers chatting about witch titles awhile back. 

Lady Miasma, Pai's Grandmother runs a household of young, orphaned witches and Aggie was the first to be taken in by the wise old sorceress. As such, Aggie has not only learned the newer, more peaceful ways of learning magics but also the older, more violent methods of magical conjuring, thanks to her studies with Pai's mother, Anima. I have a few storylines in mind for her already and once hers and Kuki's designs are a bit more solidified, she's sure to be among the more important characters in the series.



Speaking of villains, Vaporotem has given us a very strong redesign of our villain for our upcoming short film. I mean, LOOKATHIM! The Craven-King returns a bit more streamlined but much more lively than before. 


I know alot of people are watching Kill la Kill at the moment (rightly so since it's fun and Studio Trigger just rocks all over the place). But The Legend of Legendary Heroes (currently streaming on Netflix) was surprising to say the least. It's a bit heavy-handed (though to be fair, a lot of fantasy-based anime are) and not everything about this show sticks, but there are a lot of fine points I've come to respect.

The story focuses on two characters actually. The first Ryner Lute (Mr. Brown Hair up there), a powerful mage cursed with a set of eyes that allow him to not only decipher most magics in his unwilling journey serving his kingdom but also grant him a highly feared (though kinda cliched) berserker mode. Ryner himself has a couple of cool moments mostly because of his modern personality which constrasts the more proper, medieval-speaking cast. Though he starts out as a lethargic do-nothing who doesnt lift a finger to help his friends until later, he does grow to become a likeable, more-grounded protagonist. Then, there's Sion, the white-hairded pretty-boy above.

 I won't reveal much here about Sion and surely he doesn't ooze the laid-back charm that Ryner does. However, the struggles he endures as the King of Roland slowly take hold of his soft-spoken yet noble ideals, forcing him to become a weaver of destruction in his own right. It's not the most original device to turn a protagonist into an antagonist of sorts
(see Code Geass) but this show pulls it off very subtly and effectively. It's a tad haunting really since Sion's change is actually very well-intended for his own people, in some way fooling the audience using gleams of stained glass whenever Sion himself is met with a life-or-death decision which would influence the progression of his kingdom. 

I gotta hand it to the creator Takaya Kagami and anime director Itsuro Kawasaki for this nice little gem. Can't get those incantations out of my head now: "I offer up this contract, to unleash the magic beast of light which dances through the skies!"

"What I seek is thunder! EAT YO PEAS!!"

~ Christopher Wade
Founder/Creative Director




 



Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

         It has been a little while since I've posted a nice substantial update. With some changes going on with some our internal properties, (which should be detailed sooner than later by Tyrone) today I decided to post some early PCPai designs I had in mind for an eventual series which will later go on it's main page.


Pai's mother "Anima", codenamed Cespool at the time.


I remember toying around with a few early concepts for our young witch hero, Pai Hex-Haggle and her family. I did like the idea of how she would have wicked step-sisters that would torture and demean her because she could not control magic but I knew from jump it'd be cliche. I fiddled around with their dynamics a bit more, taking some elements from my own upbringing and giving Pai a parent with anger issues and a overly-mothering grandparent as a counterbalance. 

In her early stages, Anima (above) had hands and feet that she could transform into any sort of animal/plant life she wanted, earning her the nickname "Were-Witch". These powers however, only had implications in action-scenes so later I began thinking of some practical uses for them, rather than just "MY HAND IS NOW A GIANT COYOTE CLAW! BUSTER-WOLF!!" So yeah, she'll be going through a bit more changes. Anima's disgruntled demeanor towards Pai (her daughter) still remains and her attitude/worldview are the prime reasons Pai takes off on her own in the short film in the first place. In her day, Anima was widely disputed as the most powerful Sorceress so imagine her frustrations when she realized her own daughter was unable to conjure anything without assistance. Other misfortunes occurred way back when that has stripped her of rank and public respect but I'll reveal those details another day.



Miasma, also known as "The Magical Happiness Grandma"

    Miasma was directly inspired off my own Grandmothers and is Pai's biggest fan. Miasma's early design is a little more sneering and disappointing than I currently have in mind for her character but where Anima puts Pai down, Miasma takes out the time to lift her granddaughter up. She actually has spent much of her life strengthening her community and now runs a home taking care of five other children that technically are not hers by blood. She can be absurd, senile and even tenacious, especially in her unorthodox methods of creating magics and spells, breeding insects as magical energy conduits. Miasma is incredibly spiritual and believes strongly in a "higher power" and that everything exists to replace and improve upon "what has been put before us". She's not pleased with the verbal and somewhat physical abuse her daughter Anima bestows on Pai from time to time and does her best to correct it. Though it mostly falls on deaf ears, Miasma takes great pride in Pai not for her magical prowess but for her own strength of character.

I think next week, Ill post some images of the more anticipated Kuki Krumbles and Aggie Magnus. Until then, back to the animatic of PCPAI. Ill just leave this here since I've just NOW started listening to NightWish. This is how late I am to the Internet. 

Also, CONGRATULATIONS to Bee and Puppycat for making it's Kickstarter goal! 





-- Christopher Wade
Founder/Creative Director





Monday, November 11, 2013

SSSHHHHHH!!

You didn't see anything.....
    It's a secret! Pay no attention to the man behind the thinga-ma-bob.... to the man in the corner.... or.... ugh. Okay, Ill be honest. I didn't exactly retain the The Wizard of Oz. Probably because I was too busy watching this... or f--king THIS. Personally I found those versions to be a lot more colorful, cohesive and dammit, more entertaining than the original, as classic as it was. However, among the three, I remember how awestruck I was by the production and atmosphere by the Return to Oz. As I work through PCPAI tonight, I might just cut it on. It was probably one of the first films I fondly remember watching as a kid.. yknow, besides all the Don Bluth stuff I found myself watching-WOW, I am way off topic here!

As you can see, Button Mashers seems to be making a comeback. Keep an eye out because we (may or may not) have a lot in store for you all. I was aiming to have a site of some kind ready tonight but other obligations kept that from happening. Wish I could make one of those cool Square-Enix countdowns. Anyway, we hope you all are enjoying  
Elements of Light so far. It's been quite the ride as Aydan and Monroe strut their stuff in our anime-themed webcomic. 

I think by far this has been my favorite page


 By all means, check it out if you haven't yet. I'm not talking like it's the end here either. We've hit deep pockets of emptiness before, we know, but Tyrone, myself and a number of other artists (the Banerjee Bros. in particular) have been hitting a nice little stride so far. We don't intend to stop anytime soon, even if I might miss a post here and there ;)

Speaking of anime, one series that has caught my eye has been Monty Oum's RWBY. I've finally been able to catch it. It's surprisingly well-crafted in the dialogue department and even though the 3D-character models can be stiff sometimes, the staging for characters, the fight-scenes and the plot-developments are very imaginative, even if paying homage to anime. I think it's cool Western creators are taking a stronger look at anime (much like the Airbender series) and RWBY is no exception. The world and fight-dynamics are incredibly fun especially in regards to certain characters like Nora and the growth of side characters like Blake and Jaune have been particularly note-worthy. If for nothing else, watch it for the fight-scenes but that's not the only thing this show has going for it.


Let's see, what else? I think that's it on my end today. I have two other film-related projects I've been helping out with recently. I hope you all are excited about the PS4!

Christopher Wade
Founder/Creative Director

 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Teeny Tiny Living Space

As luck would have it, on the day that I wanted to tease a new website that is coming out soon, we lose access to our internet. Via my new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 im making this small update keep you all informed.

Don't worry, nothing is terribly wrong. I myself had a very hefty and hardworking weekend helping my girlfriend Serena move to move to another city. Also I've been looking for a 3rd roommate to move in with Tyrone and I soon.

As you might guess, I'm a little exhausted still and since I've been requested to help out with an additional short film for a friend (more details on that coming soon), my time has been cut short these past couple of days . However Tyrone and I will still push to get this week's Elements of Light comic out on Friday for you all to see. Again sorry for the delay, please be patient as we work with our technical difficulties. Thanks.

- Christopher Wade
Founder / Creative Director

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

All the Single Ladies and a Zombie


"If you click the image, the text will get big enough to read... promise!"
 Sooo there's a rumor goin around that Button Mashers may be making a return. A rumor started by me... the guy who made this series. Is the rumor true? Well, I can't say quite yet, BUT let's just say that perhaps these character descriptions weren't updated for shits and giggles and Nutella :)
 
"Step 1 - Click. Step 2 - Read....... You're welcome."
Also, please check out this fancy webcomic called SLACKJAW by my pal Greg Benge and
P.J. “Peej” Simmers, a very cool and interactive take on the whole zombie apocalypse concept! You might even find a small, yet undead special guest appearance by yours truly in the latest issue! 

You can click the word bubbles to play audio and animation!

Later Days!


~ Christopher Wade
Founder/Creative Director

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

BECAUSE WE LOVE CARTOONS, THATS WHY!

       

      OHHH BOY. This show has me super, incredibly excited with it's colorful cast, joyful music and joyous atmosphere. Like the pilot itself was surprisingly action-packed and witty. *sighs*, I love this generation of cartoons. Rebecca Sugar has definitely given us something wonderful and I can't wait until it finally lands on television (and inevitably the web). 

Late again? Yes, Im sad to say. Even later than normal really what with the PCPai animatics and all. However, that doesn't mean that's the only thing in the works. But that doesn't mean we've completely forgotten about everyone's favorite video game-playin' raccoon and green dog as they might be seeing the light of day again very soon! So just to warn you, keep your eyes peeled!


"Im shoving the crotch ice under the door!"


    Also, it seems Bee and Puppycat will be returning with your help! This show by the darling Natasha Allegri is just so whimsical and cute and OH MY GOD, MY FEELINGS WHAT  IS HAPPENING!?? If you can, please donate to the production of this neato show with it's Sailor-Moon and Superbook and Adventure Time references.

    
     Last but not least... POKEMON. Yes, dammit. Because the new X and Y games are pretty friggin' amazing. I've only played a little bit of it since I kinda sorta bought the game for a special lady of mine but from what I was able to play of the new 3DS games, Nintendo really pulled out all of the stops, essentially releasing a cool miniseries as a companion piece, featuring trainer Red and his relationship to Charizard that is more faithful to the Red and Blue versions of the Pokemon games.

I found out Production I.G. (the great studio who worked on Attack on Titan, Ghost in the Shell series) also played a large part on this, most notably the first and last episode of this miniseries.... and then I geeked out. Don't get me wrong, it's still a Pokemon cartoon so motifs of friendship, bonding, and believing in your friends are still abound but the violence has been blasted up a notch or two and it seems characters are less concerned with protecting a Pikachu and more concerned with fighting alongside their pocket-buddies (NOPE! IM STICKING TO THAT TERM AND I DONT CARE HOW WEIRD IT SOUNDS). It's a refreshing take and it's nice Nintendo realizes that veteran players of the old Gameboy run still have fond memories of the monster-fighting brand. I know I sure as hell do.

~ Christopher Wade
Founder/Creative Director








Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Substitute Teacher

Well, since Christopher is busy working to bring everyone magical awesomeness, I (Tyrone) get to step in and do this weeks update! *Insert evil laugh* HaHAhaHahAHAHahA {hack cough} Ahem...

As I completely make up this update on a whim, here's some random Spark-Flow information that I hope you care about.

Pumpk & Cham and Pai is progressing beautifully! I know, not as fast as you'd like, but progressing nonetheless. So much so that some storyboard animatics of scenes are already completed. Can you see it? NO! Sorry, that was mean. But what you can see are some art of the new scenes we'll be using for the film! Here you see the magnificent art of Monster Mash Mountain and it's city:






In other irrelevant, corresponding news, Elements Of Light is continuing it's weekly update every Friday. But because you stayed up all day and night waiting for this, here's an awesome preview of this week's page. We posted the pencils on Tumblr, but you guys the the newest update. Wanna stay up to date on EOL? Do it HERE!




Last, but not least:
For all of our fellow creators out there, one of our favorite local film festivals (it's probably our favorite because I'm the co-director...but I'm not biased at all) announced today that their submissions are officially open for screenings in 2014! To submit your film, I direct you to 
Soul 4 Reel Film Festival. This was the promo video from 2013.


I hope class wasn't too boring with substitute teacher! Maybe I should do this more often....anywho, have an awesome week everyone!

- Tyrone
Associate Producer/Creative Director

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Geekly Updates

   Happy Tuesday everyone! Very low-key update for today since Ty and I are pretty swamped. And since we're updating our respective websites with PCPai, EOL and Button Mashers (surprise, it's in construction) I decided to catch up on some of my favorite Internet things this past week, such as The Mighty No.9's super-exciting KickStarter!

  So, yeah! Capcom's Megaman series and it's 4 friggin' million dollar payday totally happened. Megaman's creator, Keiji Inafune knocked it out the park and really proved that this is a great time for Creators, Artists and Filmmakers alike! We tip our hats to you Mr. Inafune!                                   
 

Check out my friend Elaine Seward's video and narration from The American Chemical Society's informative on Breaking Bad. Also, Just Say No... uhh, to drugs? Or more accurately, just say no to being Walter White.

Lastly (for now), check out a video our friend Tony Marquez at EPK Digital he shot for our other friend, Antonia Naglieri and her entry to Season 5 of Master Chef!  (Antonia also edited the video too :)

CONGRATLUATIONS to Ms. Naglieri and we wish you luck in your audition!

~ Christopher Wade
Founder/Creative Director



 








Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Peter & Company: Update #1



      


   Well, hello there everybody! It's been a long week for us with some commissions, website updates for the new PCPai blogspot and other assignments so we thought we'd sit down and show off a project we've been tasked to create, an animated pilot for the webcomic Peter Company. Look at that handsome duck! I wonder who his voice would be ;)



    Created by Jonathan Ponikvar, this ongoing comic as been generating quite a bit of buzz and after it's successful KickStarter, we were tasked to begin putting together a pilot to pitch to companies for syndication. As you can see, we're in the pre-production phase, working to streamline character designs so they can be easily animated in Adobe Flash, as seen in our latest lip synch test.

  There's no planned release date yet though. We want to get things just right so we can't announce a definite drop-date at the moment but we will definitely keep all you lovely fans posted on our progress!

~ Christopher Wade
Founder/Creative Director



 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Legendary Legends that are Legendary

    So good friend and wonderful artist Alphatechnogoddess drew up some turnarounds for our loveable bastard Needles from Button Mashers, who was quickly a favorite among fans. But would you love him so dearly if you saw his early designs?


 Oh, the days when I would do my drawings in Photoshop while trying my best to skate away from the ol' Sonic styles and hope for the best. *cringe*

As much of a soft-spot I have for the Sonic franchise, the style itself can be pretty awkward (as seen in the greatest internet fandoms of all time, *hycuk-hycuk-hycuk*). But I do like how I was able to get away from it and design the duo to be a little more original looking (while still gracing the "furry" line, though why people still use it as an insult at ANY talking animal is beyond me). 

To be clear, I do love these guys and the road has been bumpy in getting them out the door. While the old drawings may not be the most delightful, they still inhabit a special place in my mind and show how much Ive grown not only as an artist but as a storyteller.
Like I stated awhile back, I do miss AJ and Needles. I've been thinking about their battle-heavy road-trip for quite a bit but I wonder what you the fans have to say about it?
 

Also, anyone with a PS3/XBox 360 or Wii should be playing THIS. Like, no joke. The art is wonderful, the characters are wonderful, your face is wonderful. Yes. I said this. Ubisoft has my money for awhile now.

UPDATE:
Aaaaaannnd here's AJ! Yknow, I hope Im not torturing you all.... LOOK AT THAT HAIR!! AUUGGHHHHHHHHH!!






Christopher Wade
-- Founder/Creative Director

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Favorite Stuff and Hidden Fluff


    A bit of a small update this week since Tyrone and I have been going full-steam ahead on Elements of Light and PCPai respectively.  But you'll be please to hear the E.O.L is at #65 on the official WebcomicList.com! Granted there are literally thousands of webcomics on this site so being ranked in the double-digits is a pretty wicked feat. Thank you all for viewing and checking us out! Also, applying the code "September04" to our "Storyboarding Basics and Scritwriting with Celtx" course on Udemy.com will grant the next five subscribers free use of those videos! Better get 'em while you can! If you want more coupons, well YOULL HAVE TO CATCH ME FIRST, WHEEEEEEEEEE!

 Animatics have become a very fun step for me for the past couple of months. Of course, being late on updates isn't among those favorite things. The days of me being full-time Designer and Freelance Animator is very time-consuming. Still, it feels good to come home and apply some "Scratch Tracks" to Adobe Premiere. For those playing the home game, Scratch Tracks are audio tracks that are made to be played through roughly at first, so other musicians or actors have something to work with, and can play to support the other parts.

    Motion Graphic Designer, Elaine Seward helped apply some of her fun, vocal talents to our next set of moving storyboards in the form of scratch track. This way Pai's later actor will know some of what to say and how to say it during her script read; same goes for Pumpk and Cham's actors after their Scratch Tracks have been applied. As for our short film for PCPai, I've been in some chats grabbing some music files to use from some very talented musicians from Australia so laying down and editing music is going by like a breeze.

Ever since I was young, I've always had an affinity for talking animals, poetic imagery and pompous, world-scraping fantasies with silly-looking creatures. From DuckTales to Pokemon. Eek The Cat to Transformers Prime. From Foster's Home to Attack on Titan  (the last episode of which was like, BANANAS) these are just a few of my favorite things.

It'll take time but making cartoons is something that has always felt "right" to me. With Animatics, it feels invigorating to see these things start sprouting to life. In the meantime, please take a look-see at KICK-HEART, a perfect example of poetic imagery in motion.



-- Christopher Wade
Founder/Creative Director



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Boarding Up For The Main Event!


     Well it took some time (especially since we missed yesterday's scheduled update) BUT here we have a sample of some storyboards for the Pumpk & Cham and Pai short movie! In contrast to the last few installments, this version's boards have been revisited and agonized many times over. Pai will of course finally be making her animated appearance and the Craven-King will return as well. This version will have no time-skips or gaps awaiting continuation. Only one vibrant and explosive, high-flying adventure! Only a few hundred storyboards to go! You can find MORE storyboards at our PCPai Facebook page!

Man, Google Blog has the WEIRDEST formatting. I just spent the last half-hour trying to adjust these pics so they wouldn't be solely centered (a graphic design no-no). For the time being, it'll have to do.



Monday, August 19, 2013

GOTTA FINISH MY DRINK!!



     Have you ever had a story idea that's just been kinda sitting there for lack of time, inspiration, or whatever? Tell us your tale!

    I must confess, Im not much of an online gamer. Maybe it's the introvert in me that would rather keep his friends tangible and, dammit, friendly. Online matches can angry up the blood fairly quickly. So having dived into the depths of Dragon's Crown a few weeks ago have left me rather.... uh, torn? It's a fun (albeit, obnoxious) game, one that I hope to mindlessly abuse my time with having first picked the Dwarf. But Ive been itching to try out a match with my friends Jonathan Ponikvar from Peter & Company fame and a few of my other friends as well since they now own copies. 

Speaking of games, the character sheets from Button Mashers have been on my hard drive for a long time now so I thought Id drop them here! Ah, AJ The Raccoon. I do miss AJ and crew being in my head so often. To be honest, AJ & Needles were in my head far longer than the crew from PCPai were and actually had a big, action-packed setup for their adventures. I do like the idea of Button Mashers and how it turned out initially but it really wasn't the concept I originally wrote AJ's story to be. Button Mashers was actually our entry into Mondo Media's pilot series contest about a year or so ago. It obviously wasn't chosen but we were strongly encouraged to continue working with the idea and coming up with others. 

While I only have enough time for.... well, one thing at a time (PCPai, Tutorial-Mode and some EOL marketing here and there), it'd be nice to carry these guys through with the story I originally wanted to ride with. Maybe I'll go back to it one day. A crazy road-trip full of explosive shenanigans still intrigues me to this day.

Also! Last week I posted The Craven-King early designs on our FB page for PCPai! I was very happy with how this thing eventually came out and I can't wait to begin animating him for our short film.



-- Christopher Wade
Founder/Creative Director

Monday, August 12, 2013

We're Good For Your Brain!

   New update today! First up, sorry we missed last week's update. I got hit hard with work at CACI, (my day-time gig) while Tyrone was busy getting things set for the live release of the EOL website page, WHICH YOU CAN FIND HEEERRREE!

"What's that", you ask? "That", you say? "Look at that up there", you exclaim? Well, that thing above is a link to CartoonSmart.com, a superb tutorial site for all you aspiring animators out there! Our Screenwriting tutorial just went live there today and the host, Justin Dike is quite excited about it! So, while Ty and I continue on with PCPai and EOL, perhaps you should take a look if you want to brush up on your cartooning skills! Oh, it's still on Udemy.com too!

Also, I would like to personally thank everyone who has shown their enthusiasm by contributing to our KickStarter. We've got 3 days left until it ends and while we certainly would appreciate a certain boost in backers, I believe now is the time to say thank you to whoever shared the link, inquired or donated to our webcomic cause. That isn't to say that we will not try again; I wager we certainly will! But for now, kudos to all of you who stood by us, even when the odds were against us! We've got a long way to go but this was a great way to meet a wealth of new fans and to get one of our big ideas out of our brains and into your eyeballs...... that sounded a lot more poetic in my mind.

I'll be back later this week with an update to PCPai as well!

-- Christopher Wade
Founder/Creative Director
 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

New Project with a Kick!

Hello Friends!

For the past several years (6 actually), I've been in pre-production of my comic book "Elements Of Light" and it's finally taking off! The last leap of faith is always the most treacherous, but I'm hoping with some help, it's will be a minor stepping stone.


"Elements Of Light" is nearing it's final production phase, and is almost ready to print. That's where you come in. I've been running a Kickstarter Campaign as a crowd fund raiser to help the book reach it's goal. What is that goal you may ask? $3,000. It's not the largest number I've seen, but it's still too big for myself.


If all of my friends can pledge $25 (or more if you're feeling generous!), Elements Of Light can be hot off the press. I only have TWO WEEKS LEFT! Becoming a backer gets you some pretty awesome incentives other than good karma though, such as: special artwork, the original script of the comic, your name credited IN THE BOOK, of course the book itself delivered to your doorstep, and many others. I've even included some sample art from the book to show you the awesome quality of work being put into this, plus there's more to see on the actual Kickstarter campaign website. Please follow the link below. I hope you can help me make this dream a reality!


http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/975557664/elements-of-light-comic










Monday, July 29, 2013

The More You Know!



    For today's update, we're spreading the word on our new ongoing tutorial series featuring yours truly! There's a TON of new things in film and cartoons every day so it can be tough to figure it all out in a short 24 hours. So I decided to create a series of video tutorials that range from storytelling basics to animation and film production! Also, I like hearing myself talk, go figure! The first tutorial is for those of you who are getting your feet wet with storytelling and would like to apply these new newfound powers into a scriptwriting program. The popular standard is Final Draft but I personally use Celtx becuase of it's ease of use (and it's free)!

Also, just about all of these tutorials will have some sort of free version to check out for a limited time, like this one here! And if you'd like to purchase the full version of these tutorials, check out my profile at Udemy.com! Our partnership with CartoonSmart.com is still going as well so keep an eye out for an update there too! 

 

 Happy Learning, ladies and gents! See you at the movies!


-- Christopher Wade
Founder, Creative Director 

Monday, July 22, 2013

New Fan Art Contest for Kickstarter Backers!!!!

      
     With only a few weeks left in our Kickstarter, we're getting our backers and fans involved! Our goal this week is to get to $1000 by Sunday! All of the fan art will be posted via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and the Spark-Flow Studios website. 

However, THE BEST fan art will be featured in the book itself!    Here's the catch, it must be appropriate (no yaoi or hentai please) and you must be a backer! Can't wait to see this artwork!

All fan art entries can be sent to eolcomic@gmail.com

--Tyrone Selby


Monday, July 15, 2013

The last piece of the Pai!

            Finally, after MUCH designing and refining we present to you the much-anticipated, last member of our star trio, Pai Hex-Haggle!  

            It's taken quite awhile to really balance out Pai's personality visually. She's a very adventurous and geeky girl, almost equaling Cham in clumsiness... almost. But as an amateur witch, Pai carries a very large burden on her shoulders and will face choosing between the uncertainty of new friends, scarecrows Pumpk & Cham or the popular but destructive beliefs of her own people. However, taking time to decide won't stop her from getting to know a certain little scarecrow with ridiculous sleeves.


         We went through a great deal of designs and artists for Pai, beginning at 
talented Shannon L. Henderson among a few and finally settling on a balance between designs from good friend, Alphatechnogoddess (establishing the more serious expressions and poses) and faved artist Vaporotem (drawing out Pai's silly and haphazard-y nature). 
Also, Pai was voiced originally by the energetic and talented Michelle Allegra Murad and we hope that she'll be reprising her role once the budget finalizes for the PCPai Short Movie.

         As we reveal details of the PCPai Short Movie, we will toss out more character designs both old and new to get all of you awesome people acquainted with how these characters have grown. We also have a new Facebook page for our new comic, 
Elements of Light which you should, like, totally check out if you're into Anime (and KickStarters!!) and all that jazz.

Thank you all for being so patient with us so far. We've more to come so please stick around!

-- Christopher Wade 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Cham-Chaminy, Cham-Chaminy, Cham Cham, Charee!

  


       "A sweep is as lucky as lucky can be!" Gotta love the classics! Another big shout-out to one of my favorite artists, Vaporotem for putting together a few of these awesome expressions from everyone's favorite smart-mouthed scarecrow. 

        I'm just going to gush for a second and say that Cham has to be one of the most fun characters to write and animate. I know it's a bit conceded to just go on a happy rant about one's own characters, but you know what? I also created Pumpk and while he's also very fun to write, he has been a pain in the ass to animate up until recently. I've always found a happy medium with this kid's smart-mouth, adorable design and clumsy demeanor. 

        When I created these two, I felt inspired by the old Hannah-Barbera duo setup such as Quick-Draw & Baba-Looey. And as I got to know Pumpk & Cham, I built a little family dynamic between them. As I finish polishing the shot list for the PCPai short film, the reboot of Pumpk & Cham and Pai, My hope is that their evolution from that original inspiration will become apparent onscreen while still playing an entertaining homage to those classics.




      As we continue delivering you guys updates of our productions, I'd like to tell you a story (bends down real close to your face....... and just breathes). O_____O

      A long time ago, Tyrone and I challenged one another to create different versions of an enchanted, homeless guy as a character. Yes, seriously, a magic hobo competition! Not long afterward, I came up with a couple designs of two vagabond travelers looking for work wherever they could find it and scarecrows seemed the most fitting; their home is always outside and their line of work forces them to scavenge about as much as the crows they're tasked with scaring. 

     Among the new changes to the series, you'll also notice that Cham is classified as "Lorefolk" rather than the more generic term monster from the first PCPai installments. 

     Okay, writer's mumbo-jumbo aside, if you'd like to check out Tyrone's work in creating an anime-inspired story, Elements of Light is the project for you!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Let's Try This Again, Shall We?




  
      Well it sure has been quite some time since we've seen... well, anything hasn't it? I myself have been a bit hard at work creating tutorials that will soon be on sale at Udemy.com and our good friends at CartoonSmart.com. I've also been helping Jonathan Ponikvar lead the charge in updating Peter & Company's pilot episode. However, it's just not cool for me not to update on a regular basis. NAY I SAY!
  
     Which is why I put this model sheet together, thanks to the combined efforts of the mighty Peter Heydt and the ever-so-talented Vaportem! Behold, ladies & gents, a revamped PUMPK 'ERE NICKELE, a theatrical, bumbling but valiant ham who acts as more like a stage-performer than a proper scarecrow, specializing in an assortment of flash-bombs to ward off all manner of crows and fiends!



    So, what does this new model sheet mean? Well you're gonna have to wai-NO! NO DAMMIT. Not this time. You all deserve to know this at least.

    After a long hiatus, I've put our flagship property, Pumpk & Cham and Pai back into production after being retooled several months ago to incorporate feedback from some animation professionals (including Joe Murray himself). With the changes we've made to the designs and storyline, PCPai will now return in one rebooted standalone episode, premiering first as a short film! 

    Why not continue on with what we have thus far on YouTube, you ask? To be honest, while the feedback from fans on PCPai has been stellar, as I began obtaining feedback from professionals in the animation industry, I realized that PCPai, as well as the rest of our products require improvements. There were aspects to the characters' world and storyline I also felt needed to be fleshed out more and my current schedule at the time could not handle another load of fixes as I discovered I needed to rewrite the story once more, hence the serious downtime. 

   Our staff of freelancing artists has worked very hard on our ideas as well and will continue to do so. I thank them all for their help, past and present. Tyrone and I have been hard at work getting these franchises prepared for you all, as well as some new additions to the roster. So my goal now is to update you all every Monday with some progress, no matter how big or how small. It won't be easy but you all have been so kind and awesome, how can I not? That said, thanks for sticking around, we'll have more for you soon! 

See you all next Monday!

-- Christopher Wade



Monday, February 25, 2013

Rhythms of Blue

    


     Well, the Oscars were last night! Brave picked up Best Animation, though personally I was rooting for either ParaNorman or Wreck It Ralph to nab that title. Even Paperman scooped up an award, even if given a slightly embarrassing afterthought with paper airplanes and security guards (REALLY, OSCARS?). It was certainly a hell of a night.

    However, my primary focus isn't exactly on Pixar's (albeit predictable) win. I'm much more concerned with what is happening to the VFX industry in Hollywood. In a nutshell, 
Rhythm & Hues, the studio behind Life of Pi has filed for bankruptcy. FUGGIN. BANKRUPTCY. Now, VFX studios come and mesmerize us and go belly up all the time. But, these guys... the guys responsible for some of today's most memorable films (mostly because of their visual effects)? What went wrong? Poor business management? When a studio reaps Oscars for such an acclaimed film such as Pi and is in danger going under, isn't it time to begin asking questions? Nearly 500 VFX artists "protested" outside of the Oscars to raise awareness on the disturbing trends of VFX. Something isn't right guys.

   What's that? "Go to a VFX studio in a different country where cost of living is cheaper and where all the animation jobs are going", you say? I see what you're doin', and Imma let you finish, but let me stop you right there. Say you wanna be a 3D Texture Artist and you say "Screw Southern Cali and their RULES... Im going to muthafuggin London to work for Base Black". Well, that's not a bad idea! Go for it-DOH, now wait a minute! You better be a good enough 3D Texture Artist to be earning about $60K a year. How else are you going to afford that one bedroom apartment that costs $2,123 within the city's centre? Nah, it's cool. I'm sure your meager rent of $1755 wasn't that big a deal. God forbid cost of living isn't higher elsewhere.

"What about India? You could learn a new language and-" STOP. Just stop. Because learning a new language is insanely challenging; ON TOP of being a good enough artist to stay on top of growing technologies and competing against an older method versus a newer, you're now suggesting that I leave the country of my birth to work for cheaper wages, possibly uprooting my family, leaving my friends, just to learn a new language for a job that may or may not work out (because honestly, jobs on theatrical features last only for the contracted duration, like say a year or two)? OH YEAH, not to mention I have to learn new customs and adjust to whatever political situations are happening at wherever new place Im in?


I don't mean to sound cynical but these are the arguments people, (and a few Hollywood execs) are proposing in contrast to actually trying to fix the problem right here in our country. Not that I have anything against other countries and their wonderfully talented artists. Hell, if it weren't for them, we wouldn't have some of our greatest CGI films, sitcoms that provide in-betweens, and Anime, all of which generate large revenue through crazy franchises.
SO.... why not just build small studio factions here in the US versus in a country thatrewards cheaper work wages but still has high costs of living? Why not hire a small army of freelancers vs. a large fleet of visual effects artists? Have Producers double as Directors or Artists to help with the workload (though Im sure the best do all ready).   

The answer isn't easy. It isn't as cut and dry as COMPETE AGAINST THE PEOPLE OVERSEAS either. They deserve a shot to express their creativity for a decent wage too. But that shouldn't discount the artists who worked so hard on Life of Pi and are quite frankly, still waiting to be paid for their work. 

So by all means, make your voice heard and your thoughts known. I'll be attending the Animator's Roundtable in DC tomorrow evening. Hopefully, this will be a topic of discussion.





Ive Got Some Explaining To Do

This is a long one so please buckle in. Its been four years since my last blog post and four years since Ive assigned any serious freelance ...