I recently finished "Digital Painting Techniques with Bobby Chiu" on http://www.schoolism.com/ and it was a terrific class! For my final project I did a painted version of my Fluff#01 cover featuring Thom Cat who will soon be appearing in 2008's Random Cartoon series on Nickelodeon (my painting is above, the original book cover for comparison is below), and I was very happy with how it came out (especially since I know I can still do a lot more to it that he taught that I did not have a chance to implement for this piece! I highly recommend this class to anyone who is interested in painting digitally, it was well worth it! --Mike Gray
Monday, December 10, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
My brother Doug and I were lucky enough to join CAPS after being recommended by our good friend (and legendary artist) Stan Sakai (who is always inspiring to talk too)! A terrific banquet and presentation in honor of Stan Lee (co-creator of Spider-man, The Hulk, Fantastic Four, Thor, Iron Man, X-Men, and too many more to list!) took place at the Porter Valley Country Club last night. The event was set-up for CAPS by Stephen Silver and his lovely wife Heidi, who did a fantastic job making a wonderful evening for everyone. Stan Lee was great, talking with everyone, taking photos, signing autographs and just being the incredibly entertaining personality that he is. We also got to meet June Foray, the well-known voice talent behind such classic voices as Granny and Witch Hazel from the Warner Brothers theatrical cartoons, and Rocky the Squirrel and Natasha from the Bullwinkle series! I flew down from Northern California for the event, and it more than exceeded my expectations... I highly recommend joining the CAPS organization if you can no matter where you live, you will be greatly inspired!!
Friday, November 02, 2007
Ape Escape is going great, and the whole team has a lot of fun joking around! Karl Toerge (head of storyboard) and Kevin Kolde (producer/owner Project 51 Studios)especially love to harass me about my love of Fedoras (see two post-its drawings by Karl, one of me, and one of the monkeys dressed as me). I made the fake "Sinatra" album cover (above)to send to them as a prank before heading down for the 2nd recording session. --Mike
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I am having a great time working as Head Writer/Story Editor on the new cartoon series,
"Ape Escape!" Last Friday October 5th, we had our first recording session at Salami Studios in North Hollywood, and it went terrific! From left to right in photo: featuring our extremely talented voice talent: Annie Mumulo (voice of Jimmy and Natalie!), Greg Ellis (voice of the villian, Specter!), Mike Gray (myself), Eric Bauza (Monkeys, Professor, and the creepy Hot Cross Bun!).
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I have been thinking of making a limited edition vinyl toy to be sold by myself, and hopefully vendors such as my good friends at Cardboard Spaceship (a terrific toy/original art/prints/t-shirts, etc. shop) in Santa Cruz, CA www.cardboardspaceship.net One of the owners, Jamey, was kind enough to post this thread on the Kid Robot discussion forum to help me choose the winning design http://forums.kidrobot.com/viewtopic.php?t=80773 Please leave your comments, either on this blog or through the link provided, I am very interested in everyone's opinions! Thanks! --Mike
Sunday, September 09, 2007
I love finding old books of cartoonists, especially if I had never heard of them before. This book I found for $5 at the De Anza Flea Market in Cupertino, CA, and it even had an original sketch from the author in it! It is a 1950's collection of nun cartoons that are not as funny today as they probably were back then, but I enjoy the art style of Bill O'Malley and the sketch is great!
Saturday, August 18, 2007
I started a caricature class on August 1st taught by the great Stephen Silver (designer on Kim Possible, Danny Phantom, Clerks) on the website www.schoolism.com! The class is terrific, and the one-on-one critiques are really helpful, I highly recommend this class, and the schoolism classes in general (I've signed up for the Bobby Chiu Digital Painting class in Sept as well). The caricature of me was done by Stephen at Comic-Con 2007 last month in San Diego, he did it in just a few minutes! ---Mike
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
This is a fantastic stuffed toy of my character, "The King of the Dogs," created and hand sewn by the fabulously talented Michelle Ritchie, and who graciously gave it to me as a gift! Check out her work here, you won't be disappointed!: http://alteredboxes.deviantart.com
He now hangs next to my computer and drawing desk, and brings me good fortune!Thanks again Michelle!
Friday, August 03, 2007
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
This year was as inspiring as ever!
I was lucky enough to meet Jeff Smith (in photo with me on the right), creator of Bone, and show him the cartoons I recently finished for Nickelodeon on my iPod ("Thom Cat" and "The Infinite Goliath"). I also got to see and show my cartoons to the fantastic Stan Sakai (creator of Usagi Yojimbo), Sergio Aragones (creator of Groo), Stephen Silver (character designer of Kim Possible, Danny Phantom, and Clerks), and Chris Sanders (Creator of Lilo and Stitch) who was selling one of the great buys at the con, a great vinyl figure of a Hula Girl with a black skull dress (that you can still get through his website, I believe)! We also took the time to go see Avenue Q. in downtown San Diego at the wonderful Spreckels Theatre, which was hilarious, if you have a chance you must see it! I ran into some good friends such as Melissa Wolfe (Director of Development at Cookie Jar Entertianment), Nickelodeon Executive Claudia Spinelli (who gave me some great advice), and Larry Huber (who I only saw for a split second as he was running into the con). It was great to meet Bill Presing, and be one of the lucky few who got one of his special edition books with a spectacular watercolor bookplate in it!