James Bond and the Prisoner of Skyfall

We saw Skyfall yesterday with some friends and on the way home, Troy wondered how the MI6 will be now that Voldemort is in charge. So, this is my response… It had to be done really. I present the next Bond sequel!

7 is a big number in the Harry Potter universe and so much of the other imagery (flying cars, stags, Scotland) begged to go together like a puzzle.

While working on this spoof, I looked at a lot of old James Bond posters and was amazed by the amazing illustration on some of them. I am not sure why they only use photos now. Is it that illustration has gone way out of style for this type of marketing?

This one in particular is stunning…

Here are more… Enjoy!

Star Wars 2015 in the Disney Universe

This is my reaction to the Disney purchase of Lucasfilms… I would so go to see this movie.

It is funny because I loved these old Disney movies. I even read the Escape from Witch Mountain novelization. I am not sure many remember The Cat from Outer Space, but I liked that so much at the time that I made a beaded collar for my cat Piewacket (I named her after the cat in my other favorite movie at the time, but spelled it wrong-no internet back then or DVDs) so she looked like the cat in the movie. She did not appreciate my efforts and had it torn up in a day (she was notorious for her rather irascible personality, being named after a witch’s cat was appropriate).

There are a lot of weird parallels between the Witch Mountain movies and Star Wars. They even have Christopher Lee in common…

I have done a lot of Star Wars art in the past for West End Games back in the 90s, too bad they did not have a Return from Witch Mountain module…
By the way, if you think the Bette Davis thing is a stretch, they are currently recreating dead actors digitally so who knows who will appear in these movies…
UPDATE: I saw these today on Design Taxi from the Conan show:

Game of Pumpkins

My husband and I have become HUGE Game of Thrones fans. Our friend Jennifer introduced us to the books several years ago and we listened to all the audiobooks (great for long road trips).

I also love the Inn at the Crossroads site where they create recipes based on the books. At this year’s April 1st HBO premiere, we had a pot-luck dinner where everyone referenced recipes from their cookbook or medieval ones. It was good fun.

This is an odd idea that struck me. When I described it to Troy, he said the idea was not funny. Maybe I described it badly (I hope).

I have always been a big fan of Peanuts comics, although despite a big licensing push lately with the property, I have wondered how kids these days feel about the strip. They recently re-branded the local amusement park with Peanuts characters from the cool Nickelodeon ones. It seemed like an odd choice… Do kids really like or get Sopwith Camel jokes? I see they are working on a movie for 2015. I am curious how it will be received after reboots of comics like Tin-Tin. (A comic I also love…)

Anyway, it works great with Game of Thrones… Right? Right?!

Happy Halloween!

The Fairy Godfather: Part II

Fairy Godfather Page 2 of 10

One of the fun things about redoing some of the pages I started long ago for this story is that I can sprinkle in some Lord of the Rings/Mordor imagery. Watching too much Game of Thrones led to the little heads on pikes around the evil castle. You may be barely able to see them, but they are there…

We Interrupt this Program…

We just got back from vacation last week from the Northeast. The purpose of the trip was to go to my Godmother’s daughter’s wedding in Vermont.

The bride had an amazing dress (she is also very tall so could model dresses really) and I asked her where she got it. She lives in Brooklyn and told me she got it at Kleinfeld of the infamous “Say Yes to the Dress” fame. I have seen the show many times but the name of the actual store had not had not sunk in.

I realized the name was like Seinfeld, one of my favorite shows ever and this comic concept was born. I am almost done with the next Fairy Godfather installment, but this concept kept haunting me and I had to draw it. One of the great things about a webcomic like this is its whole purpose is I can do whatever I want. (That also applies to the format. I am not restrained by page size so it I want to make a super-tall comic, I will.)

A note about the ending: It appears I cannot write a comic without blowing everything up at the end. It goes from zero to mayhem in one panel. I talked to my husband Troy about this disturbing tendency and agreed the only explanation comes from the famous Monty Python line: “It’s a fair cop but society’s to blame…”

Spoiler Alert: The Fairy Godfather does not end that way because it was written by someone else.

So, I present you with Skleinfeld!


The Fairy Godfather: Part I

This has been a looooong time coming. In fairy tale jargon one could say, “Once upon a time…”

Since 2003, I have dipped my toes in comics by contributing to Slam Bang The Comic Anthology for my friend Allen Freeman. As I was just starting to illustrate children’s books, I became interested in illustrating a fairy tale story.

Allen suggested Chris and almost immediately he cracked out this comic script. Unfortunately, when I got this in 2005ish, I also got caught in a wave of book deadlines that lasted years. I was able to do 4 pages of the 10 page story and then it came to a halt. Occasionally, Chris would write a nice email asking if I was ever going to finish… In intervening years, Allen had themes for each issue that this story never seemed to fit into or I was completely slammed.

When I started Pop Smoothie, I decided to make this my own personal Mad Magazine. In recent issues of Slam Bang, I had done mashups and humorous comics I enjoyed so much, that it seemed like a perfect way to start my web comic.

The Fairy Godfather completely fit the creative brief so perfectly, it was as if Chris was psychic. The only snag was the art I did in 2006 did not seem to fit with how my comic work has developed.

Redrawing these pages really has made me appreciate how funny the writing is. I love this first installment.

(After this series is finished, I will show the original 4 pages, maybe…)

Cosmos by Seth

This comic kind of came out of a visit to the movies. We were going with a group of friends to see Moonrise Kingdom ( I am a huge Wes Anderson fan).

As I was in the process of handing the cashier the money for the tickets, Troy suddenly said,”Ted is starting now! I am seeing that instead!” He grabbed his ticket and was gone like a character in a Warner Brothers cartoon. He is more lukewarm on Wes’ work and had been watching the trailer for Ted all week and showed it to anyone who came to the office.

On the way home, we got into a discussion about what the new Cosmos series will be like with Seth MacFarlane producing it. I am lukewarm to Seth’s cartoons and I do not really seek them out but Troy is crazy for them. Of course, I probably do not have to seek them out because he has them on a lot of the time, especially late at night. I do find that I laugh a lot at the jokes when it is on, but I rarely watch it when I am channel surfing. Must be a female/Three Stooges thing…

Cosmos on the other hand, I have always loved. I have read many of Carl Sagan’s books and he is even in the dedication of a children’s book I illustrated about another famous astronomer, Annie Jump Cannon.

Maryline and a Wizard School in Scotland

When I was a kid, the Madeline series by Ludwig Bemelmans was a favorite. I adored the books.

Recently, when I was looking at a Facebook post by the Society of Illustrators, I saw they were inducting Bemelmans into the 2012 Hall of Fame.

It got me thinking of how the premise would totally work with a Harry Potter theme. The idea rolled around my brain for a while and I finally succumbed to the temptation to do this cartoon.

It was interesting to work in a style slightly like Bemelmans; drawing all in loose brush strokes with the simple mostly flat colors. Of course, he also had color plates in the books with the addition of pastel and pencil, but I like the simple images more. I am working on a couple books with fairly complex illustrations, so this was a great palette cleanser.

So the result is this homage. Serendipitously, while I worked on this yesterday the last Harry Potter movie was on HBO. There is something satisfying in the end where all the main characters stand up against the death eaters in a big way. That kind of explains how I ended this little comic. Although one could say it is merely just another case of me ending a story by blowing things up; it just worked out especially well in this case.

I should note that I did not get to enjoy Harry Potter when I was young. I know I would have absolutely loved it since I was a fantasy addict. As an adult, the series has been a wonderful experience, but there is something about reading something like that as a kid that is tough to duplicate.