Somebody’s broken heart

Yo!  How are you all?  Having a good summer?  I’m taking advantage of Portland’s GORGEOUS but brief summer months over here.  Getting outside, doing some summer reading, eating lots of fresh vegetables…it’s a total treat.  I saw two great movies this week: A Cat in Paris and Safety Not Guaranteed.  Both good but the latter, in particular, I highly recommend.  Don’t read anything about it–just go!

Here’s some recent artwork: 
First off, a Korra fan art collaboration with Grace Allison.  I penciled this, Grace inked it and flatted the digital file, and I finished up the colors.  We’re doing another piece where our roles are the reverse, and I’ll post that as soon as it’s complete.

Next, some Lilo & Stitch / Wall-E fan art for a friend:

And last but not least, I posted a preview of this poster in early 2012, but I don’t think I ever posted the full thing!  This was for a performance of The Thrilling Adventure Hour that included the Hypercattle Overdrive episode of Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars.  I’ve plugged it here before, but if this is your first time reading about it, let me say that the whole thing is hilarious and awesome and you should start from the beginning if at all possible (all of the episodes are free on iTunes).

You’ll see the world like a bird

Sketch dump! :D I’ll be coloring some of these and posting them to my Tumblr, so be sure to visit.
I looooove gender-swapped fan art, but it really bugs me when people essentially just apply costume ornaments from a dude-character to a chick in a swimsuit.   That kind of fan art is about as true to the character as this is true to Santa:
“If Thor’s beefy for a man, he should be frickin’ beefy for a woman,” said Tally to no one.

That’s a little comic from my ALA Anaheim trip last weekend.  By the way, that was a good time.  I bought signed copies of Smile from Raina Telgemeier and July Diary from Gabrielle Bell, was surprised to sell out of books at my Image signing, met tons of awesome people, and even got to go to Disneyland.  I would definitely go to ALA again, and am considering the Seattle conference this winter.
People in L.A. show a lot of skin!  I had a bit of culture shock.  I feel really self-conscious when I wear a tank top.  Nonetheless it was nice being in that warm, predictable climate for a while.
Something weird happened on Monday.  I’d spent all weekend doing the convention and hadn’t had a chance to sketch for fun in daaaaays.  My family made a last stop before the airport in Huntington Beach, and I told them I wanted to just sit on an inconspicuous bench and draw people for a while.  5 minutes later, a nice woman asked me if I did caricatures!  I said sure and drew her, her husband, and her son for about 15 minutes.  She offered to pay me but we settled on her buying me ice cream xD  It was bizarre but also really nice to think that I might be able to survive if I was stranded somewhere with just my sketchbook and pencil.

And on with the DC fan art…. :D
My mental image of Catwoman comes from…
A) Darwyn Cooke,
 B) Adam Hughes
 C) Batman the Animated Series


Imagine living in a box

I did another series of movie reaction comics.  This time the film is Pixar’s Brave, in theaters today.  Here’s a spoiler-free text review before the spoiler-full comics:

This movie is fantastic.  If you think that our tastes are at all similar, or you have a heart or a mom, you should go.  The bottom line is: this is a well-crafted, beautiful, fun, surprising, and touching film.  It has been advertised in a cringey, slapstick way to get children into the theater, but don’t worry: this is not a lowest-common-denominator animated film.  It’s another Pixar masterpiece.  Quite a bit of the movie was withheld in the commercials, and it’s WONDERFUL.  You are in for pleasant surprises.  I recommend watching it in 2D; the film is a little too dark in 3D and some of the lovely details and textures faded out.

THESE COMICS CONTAIN SPOILERS.  Go watch the movie first — these probably won’t be funny unless you’ve seen it, anyway.

And all of the talk about changing your fate (“You can rise to meet it if you choose”).
And the closing gate and trying to escape into the woods.
And the misty, forested mountains.
And the animal mom protecting her human child. 
And the animal mom at risk of becoming an actual demon.
Horses, in my mind, are this feminine symbol of freedom and power and grace.  …I thought that was a well-documented thing, but apparently it’s just an association I have.  I was looking around the internet for any writing that had been done on it, or a catchy name for the trope or something, but came up empty.  ANYWAY, women riding horses = overwhelming ‘FUCK YEAH’ response in my head.
One of my friends pointed out that the triplets are always trying to steal buns/cakes from Maudie that look like boobs, complete with berry nipples.  And now I can’t unsee that subtextual subplot wherein the triplets are on a quest for Maudie’s goodies xD
LOOOOOOOVED THIS.  Commanding a dead silence by walking?  So cool.  And that austere expression on Queen Elinor’s face?  Just…GUH. PERFECT.
And then Merida demonstrates how much she has grown and come to understand and appreciate her mother (and the power she wields) by performing it just like her.  asdf;ljk.  One of those moments that is so perfectly foreshadowed it’s shocking you don’t see it coming.  PERFECT.  PERFECT!
Also, Merida…even I can sew better than that.  I mean really.
Cool/funny things that it would be repetitive for me to draw because they were done perfectly in the film:
-”Legends are lessons.  They ring with truths.”  (And so do Pixar films)
-Little Merida!  Especially the teeth–somehow they captured little-kid-mouth just right in her design and expressions
-One of the triplets lip synching perfectly with his father during the bear story
-The crow.  Just delightful.
-Every single instance of Queen Elinobear moving in an effeminate way despite her altered stature 
-”I’ve decided to do what’s right and break tradition.”  SO much love for that line.
-Merida going toe to toe with her father in a sword fight and winning?!
-Cutting his peg leg out from under him!
-Momma bear getting superbear strength when her daughter is in trouble 
-Mor’du’s spirit rising from the back of the rock
-Naked triplets!  Perfect timing, comic relief

I just added a donate button to this blog.  I am by no means starving, and I appreciate your traffic on its own merits, but if I raise a few dollars on these review posts it will help justify continuing to make them.  Thanks again, everyone!

You are so precious to me cute as can be

New fan art for Dumbo. I was in a mood and watched the movie for the first time since childhood. I did NOT remember it being so sad….! Also, it was very strange how much this clip made me want babies.


Here is a list of everything currently for sale.

She loved that man who died here yesterday

Sketch dump!

The man in black from LOST. I love this actor’s face.

I loved Tangled and the character Rapunzel, but her design kind of terrifies me in some shots. It’s like, her eyes are so big I feel claustrophobic when there’s a close-up.

I really want to do a pin-up along these lines of Buffy with the BAMF axe. The truth is, Jo Chen already nailed it (below), but it’s too fun to not attempt myself.


Random OCs.

I like this silhouette for spring–blouse tucked into floofy skirt.

With your feet on the air and your head on the ground

Reading Peggy Orenstein’s 2006 article What’s Wrong With Cinderella?:

“On the other hand, there is evidence that young women who hold the most conventionally feminine beliefs — who avoid conflict and think they should be perpetually nice and pretty — are more likely to be depressed than others and less likely to use contraception.”

HAHAHA. No, no, it’s serious…I just like the way that it’s phrased xD;

“I recall a headline-grabbing 2005 British study that revealed that girls enjoy torturing, decapitating and microwaving their Barbies nearly as much as they like to dress them up for dates.”

Rofl. I’m going to keep updating this as I find quotes that I like.

“If nothing else, pink and Princess have resuscitated the fantasy of romance that that era of feminism threatened, the privileges that traditional femininity conferred on women despite its costs — doors magically opened, dinner checks picked up, Manolo Blahniks. Frippery. Fun. Why should we give up the perks of our sex until we’re sure of what we’ll get in exchange?”

Sad. I’m still conflicted over whether or not to let a guy pick up the tab. It’s a nice gesture and I don’t want to belittle it, but I think it sends the wrong message to accept that more often than you offer it.

Comic-Con 2009: WB, Disney, Pixar, and Miyazaki

One of the best parts of the trip was the Friday line-up in Hall H (the largest room in the convention center, holding 6,500).

I wanted to see Hayao Miyazaki at the Disney/Pixar panel at 12:45, but to get a seat in the room, let alone a decent one, you had to go very early and sit through whatever panels came before it, since they didn’t empty the room between presentations.

I was planning on going early Friday morning, since seeing Miyazaki was the single Comic-Con event I was most looking forward to and I wanted to be sure to get in, but I had a panic attack on Thursday night, imagining a line forming as I was eating dinner, and my chance to see him slipping away, so decided to just camp out overnight to be safe.
I joined a line of about 10 people that had formed by 11pm, and slept out there overnight until they let us in the next morning at 9. Over that time I met some fun people, including a group of boys behind me in line who were saving on hotel costs by camping out each night in whatever line was forming for Hall H. They knew how to do it in style! Airmattresses, a hooka, and fireworks, lol. They made the experience much more fun, and let me use their airmattress for about 6 hours of sleep. :) And actually, they are the reason I got such a good seat inside, because some idiot in the front row would not answer me as I stood in front of him asking, “Is this seat taken?! Is this seat taken??!!” while the room was filling up around me. They saved me a seat in the second row, and I am eternally grateful!
Joelle and Jamie heard that I was camping out and came over to see me, despite having partied and probably being in the mood to crash in the hotel room. They were so sweet!! They brought me a pillow and blanket and were like, “Seriously, text us if you need anything!!” Terry brought me coffee at like 8:00 in the morning, too…such good friends I have!! What would I do without them?

So the first presentation, which I did not initially care about but had to sit through to keep my seat for Miyazaki, was by Warner Brothers at 10:00. It actually turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the whole weekend. They screened about 10 minutes of new footage for each of the films they were promoting: Where the Wild Things Are, Jonah Hex, Sherlock Holmes, The Book of Eli, Nightmare on Elm Street, and The Box. There’s a nice summary of it here.
What I personally enjoyed so much about this panel, though, was the star-studdery! Robert Downey Jr., Rachel McAdams, Megan Fox, Mila Kunis, Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Cameron Diaz, and James Marsden were all great, and it was so surreal to see them in person. Being in the middle of the second row, I was about 20 feet from each of them in turn, and I was just shocked by the experience of seeing celebrities in person (hur hur hur, Oregonian moment). The lighting must have reached the first few rows, too, because I could make eye contact with the people sitting on stage when they scanned the audience. It felt really cool!
Oh, and the actresses were gorgeous! You can tell yourself it’s lighting, the makeup artist, and photoshop, but they are all truly beautiful, even in a very normal environment.
Robert Downey Jr.’s announcement made the crowd scream, stand up, and surge toward the stage, and his presentation during the panel really stood up to that anticipation. He’s very funny and quick-witted, and it was really fun listening to him answer crowd questions.

Then, finally, came the Disney/Pixar animation panel! (Matt Goldberg has 2 good posts up describing the panel) They showed previews of Beauty and the Beast in 3-D (nice glasses provided by Dolby), Toy Story 2 in 3-D, Toy Story 3, The Frog Princess, Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, and Prep and Landing, and there were many talented creators there to present and discuss the films. Miyazaki was the big name, though…you could tell by the crowd reaction and the fact that they saved him for last. He came out very modestly and reluctantly, and conducted his interview in a very understated fashion. He used a translator for the interview and Q&A, and I felt kind of bad for him seeing how he wanted to know what was being said but having to wait for it to be passed on to him, and then feeling pressure to answer quickly when he might have wanted to think it over. Can you imagine addressing a room that big in a foreign language?? Blegh. Anyway, it was truly worth waiting for, and the single highlight of my trip to see and hear him in person. I recorded the entire thing on my camera, which was evil and never quite focused on him, but which I will post anyway soon enough. Again, I was so close to the stage that I could see the seams in his clothing, and it was really, really special to see him looking out at the crowd and at me occassionally. He would watch the crowd as footage played behind him on the big screen, and I tried to look animated and appreciative for that. :)
The Ponyo footage was very exciting–we saw a clip embodying the original and difficult portrayals of the ocean in the film. This scene created an ocean of teeming fish, which looked like it was hell to draw. I also got a preview of Tina Fey as the mother, and saw a bit of her character in the film. All in all, I am very excited to see it. On the negative side, though, I was admittedly a little disappointed by the backgrounds in the clip. They were sparse and…hmm…drawn plainly with colored pencil? What? Tell me this will make more sense in the context of the film…I mean, does it work as an embodiment of the main characters youth…???
I was a little concerned.
Oh, but the Frog Princess is looking great–we got to see the entirety of the classic Disney bad-guy song, and it was awesome!!! So much more excited about that movie than I was. :)
And of course, Toy Story 3! So stoked. But I was already.

Copyright © Natalie Nourigat