The Cure for Mildew
September 11, 2008

Hi there! Long time reader, first-time commenter. Oh wait.

This is my blog.

Oops.

As I mentioned recently, I've been busily hustling and bustling to get my freelance site up off the ground and onto the web. I'm happy to announce that Oppositional Design is now more than a single splash page. I still need to fully draw up the gallery pages, come up with a good template for those pages and get all of that installed, but the basic site is up and viewable now.

But that's not what I wanted to talk about today. As those of you who've hung around here for a while know, I love animation and particularly love Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. I'm crushed that the show is over and I certainly wish they'd put out seasons three through six on DVD ASAP.

In digging around in the bowels of Foster's, I discovered Mr. Ben Balistreri, who had done some character creation for them. He's also worked on Danny Phantom (another show in which I really enjoy the art) and is now at Dreamworks. He recently self-published a graphic novel called Seaweed: A Cure for Mildew.

I got my copy last night and it's gorgeous. If you order the book through Balistreri's Salty Sugar site for a limited time, he'll autograph the book for you and add a little sketch to his signature.

The book is HUGE - I had forgotten that when I placed the order, even though he discussed it on his blog. It's a whopping 12"x 15" and its glossy cover reminds me of the big oversized picture books I loved as a kid. Of course, the art and storyline are NOT like those books, but that's just all to the better. The first 40 pages are printed on the typical high-gloss, weighty graphic novel pages and the back half of the book is on white, more rough, plain paper. That first half is the graphic novel and the second half is essentially the making of "The Cure for Mildew."

The art is everything I expected it to be and the sketchbook portion is just an incredible delight for a wannabe like myself. Whether it's a movie, a book or artwork, I just love getting the "behind the scenes" look at the process and decisions that go into the making of. Balistreri gives the progressive drawings as he designed the characters, shows us a few poor drawn souls who didn't make the final cut into the book. I love knowing that Balistreri uses F-C Pitt pens, some 005 Pigma Micron and Pelikan ink (of course!). I love knowing that he prefers to draw elements separate and then assemble them in the computer - a method I also prefer to use for the same reason - you can change things up on the fly far more easily.

$29.95 is a hefty price for a 40 page graphic novel, even in hardback. But I gotta say, this is a hefty book and I think Balistreri has made it well worth the price. (No, he's not paying me or giving me a discount to say these things - it's just an honest review.)

The story seemed a touch choppy at times, maybe just a bit too fast on the transitions, but it's an engaging story and I can't wait for part two. According to his blog, he's now finished the pencils for The Devil's Cookbook (the name of part two) and he's ready to start the inking.

Anyhow, if you enjoy comics or cartoons, go check out Seaweed - you won't regret it!

Now, I gotta get back to creating some gallery template pages ....

Posted by Red Monkey at September 11, 2008 7:58 AM | | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |

 

6000 said:

Just passing through.

Glad that you're all still alive and stuff.

Much love,
6k.x

September 11, 2008 9:26 AM

 

Tara R. said:

Shows you how attentive I've been, I didn't even know Foster's was off the air... that was a great show. I would watch it with the sk8er boy. Nice Web page, I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work.

September 11, 2008 11:32 AM
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