Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Spidey Hits the Shelves

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Hey everybody! Run run run out today and pick up your copy of The Spectacular Spider-Man Animated: "Attack of the Lizard" on dvd! This is the first dvd release, and weaves the first 3-episode story arc together as a feature-length movie. I think there's a bit of extra footage as well-- a few of the dvds will have a little animation that was cut for tv. So you get all that, plus great dvd sales help make the case for more episodes! :D

Joeymason Spidstreet

Here's a painting I did back in the early days of the show. This is painted in Photoshop, over a line drawing that was provided by our killer layout department, Vince Toyama, Kenny McGill, Art Morales, and a few freelancers. Not sure who drew this one, but I will give credit on ones where I do know!

Generally, background painters do a number of key paintings like this that the overseas studios use as reference, when creating the hundreds that go into each episode. For The Spectacular Spider-Man, we send about 40-50 paintings for the average show. (about half of those are new, others are reuse locations)

Space in Space

Joeymason Space1

Here's a little print I drew up for the Comic-Con of '08!
This might have been done in Illustrator but in fact I painted it up in Photoshop. The plan is to do a series each with its own genre...


Sunday, September 07, 2008

Coming up for Air


"...the pains of producing pictures will have taken my whole life from me, and it will seem to me then that I have not lived."

-Vincent Van Gogh, in a letter to his brother Theo, 1888.

I've been pretty M.I.A. for the last year, a big thankya to those of you who've still checked in from time to time. As much as I meant to be cranking out the personal work, it was time for me to lay low and focus for a while, I guess. Around this time in 2007, I was just settling in as a background painter on The Spectacular Spider-Man; and it's been an amazing, overwhelming, trying, growing, but ultimately rewarding year.

On the one hand, this year has been a test... The hours got long, the budget was tight, and the schedule demanding. All part and parcel I guess-- although by all accounts Spidey's been one of the most challenging productions to date. Throw in moving to a new city, having co-workers for the first time in years, learning a new job with lots of extra hours... and I end up feeling a bit like ol' Vincent did in 1888.

But, I should also point out that the undertone of his letter was that the struggle was worth it.

As tired and burned out as I've been, I have to agree. In the past 12 months I've gained years-worth of hands-on education, been there as brand new processes are implemented, and met and worked with a group of people who (although many days I felt too swamped to really hang out with) were welcoming and inspirational. I'm very proud to be part of a crew that put their all into their work and created something that I think, down the road, will seem like a little leap ahead in tv animation.

To Sean ("Cheeks") who recommended me and encouraged me to send in my work, thanks for the nudge in the door buddy! And to Vic, who was open to hiring some illustrator from 3,000 miles away, thanks for giving me a shot... I'll always be grateful, you guys.

To the new friends -- awesome artists and production crew who helped me learn the ropes -- I'm in your debt and happy to be part of the neighborhood. The freelance clients I've held onto, thanks for your incredible patience. And to family and old friends I've lost touch with, I haven't forgotten and really do miss you... the time it takes to write an email can somehow slip away when you let yourself get this consumed.

As things are wrapping up for our first 26 episodes (keep your collective fingers crossed for more!) -- I guess the best I can pass on is this: If there's something out there that you want or feel led to do-- don't second guess, just let yourself be ready for it. Years ago I decided animation wasn't the way for me, decided that it was too controlled, too under-appreciated, too corporate, and sometimes it is all of those things. But so far (for me) it's also been an opportunity to be a part of something really meaningful and fun-- and I'm glad to be along for the ride.

Next time, less talk, more art, promise :)

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