Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Happy Birthday, Jim Garner!


 I kept it simple for this year's tribute to my favourite actor, Jim Garner, just drawing one more caricature of him as Jim Rockford from TV's The Rockford Files. However, I thought I'd also give you all some insight as to how I go about creating one of my celebrity caricatures. As I've noted in past articles, I don't rely on just still photos to draw my subjects, preferring instead to study and sketch them from video so as to get more of a sense of their overall design and inner life and personality. But additionally I will go back and pause on a few freeze frames in order to study the structure and surface details in greater depth. Lately I've also been using my digital camera to grab a few reference pics directly from my TV screen. Here are some samples I took to develop this new caricature of Jim.

This first pic gave me the overall pose I wanted of Rockford with his familiar crossed arms looking very casual:


I rather liked this expression, where Rockford is looking a little concerned as to whether they've got a solid case against the guy he suspects is a hired killer who's attempted to kill his client:


I took this shot specifically for the mouth position showing both sets of teeth and tongue as he's speaking. Also the head angle is closer to the one I'm looking to draw:


Another pic that captures some of the overall expression I'm looking to depict in my drawing:


Like I mentioned before, I am also watching the video in action as I first gesture out my sketch, as that's the only way I can get a real feel for the personality and inner life of my subject. You can also see from my rough sketch how I start by gesturing and blocking in very loosely with a light blue pencil, then defining the forms with a soft black pencil while always thinking of it as "sculpting" the form as opposed to just drawing outlines. That illusion of solid structure remains an integral part of the process for me. Sometimes I find I have to do a few sketches, cobbling together elements from several in order to arrive at the final sketch, but this time I was able to get it all done in one shot:


Finally I use a lightbox to lightly trace the image in pencil onto a sheet of Bristol board, then tweak it a bit until I have the refined pencil art that is then ready for the fun part - the inking with my brush!


Once the line art is inked up, I scan that into my computer to colour it up with Photoshop resulting in the final full colour caricature of Jim Garner that heads up this post. Although I did decide to consult other photos through Google Image Search to select the colours of his shirt and blazer, as I've always preferred those 70's earth tones that Rockford wore rather than the grey outfit he's wearing in my reference photos above.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Truckers For Freedom!

 Generally speaking, I had not intended to use this blog for political talk, but I'm finding that it's my only real outlet at the moment because I have been suspended for another 30 day stretch on Facebook, my 5th such 30 day suspension since last February. I think it's wrong for Facebook to silence users for expressing their conservative views, all the while allowing those on the left to have free rein despite many of them being far more incendiary in their speech than I would ever be.

At any rate, I've decided to make a few points about the trucker convoy that has made its way across Canada from BC to its destination earlier today in Canada's capitol city, Ottawa. The primary reason for this convoy is the recent vaccination mandate for all truckers to cross in and out of Canada and the US across our shared border. This is the latest directive from our tinpot dictator, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and there are many of us who support the truckers' decision to fight this inhumane directive that could result in many of them losing their jobs for not complying against their will. But it goes beyond that, as there are many of us, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, who see these vaccine mandates as government overreach, especially since these Covid mRNA vaccines have left many unfortunate recipients physically and neurologically injured, to the point of being permanently disabled and no longer able to enjoy a quality life or work at their livelihoods. And yes, some recipients of these vaccines have died as a result, yet no political leaders, medical "experts", or their lackeys in the mainstream media or social media want that important distinction to be heard, instead preferring that only the official mantra of the vaccines being "safe and effective" be allowed to be published and promoted.

Well, these truckers are boldly standing up to make their voices heard, and I and many others want to show our full support for this. So here are some news clips to show what is going on. Lets start with the biased and deliberate misrepresentation of the truckers by the dictatorial Justin Trudeau, who sneeringly denigrates their motives in this speech clip. Personally, I think Trudeau is running scared, as he has now "conveniently" claimed he has been exposed to Covid and therefore must isolate for five days, thereby avoiding having to meet with the protesters. (Update: he's now been taken to a "secure" location, out of some unfounded fear that his safety is at risk from this rally):




Next, lets look at the false claims by Canada's national broadcaster, the CBC, who are trying to make out that there are sinister undertones to this event, suggesting there are extremists in attendance who mean to cause trouble, despite there being no real evidence to support such skewed speculation. See what they're saying in their opening segment from this full broadcast. Please also take note of how CBC does not allow comments on any of their YouTube uploads:


 

Here's an article featuring more denigrating speculation from the CBC. They really want to cloud this event with their doom and gloom propaganda in order to discredit its participants. Also, here's a screenshot from their Facebook page that links to the above article. Please note how they also do not allow comments on any of their FB posts:



Only a few online news sources can be trusted here in Canada, including True North News and Rebel News. Here is Ezra Levant, head of Rebel News being warmly welcomed by the crowd of a few thousand gathered so far at the event in front of Ottawa's Parliament Hill. This is the reality of the peaceful protest with happy freedom loving attendees that CBC, CTV and other mainstream sources would rather you not see:



And finally, please watch this clip of Global News being chastised by this boldly honest lady named Gina, who was among the throngs of Canadian patriots gathered along the highway route to cheer on the convoy of truckers. She's clearly savvy to the way the mainstream media will try to falsely spin this story, based on their long history of doing so:




I hope that those who truly seek the truth will take a look at what's actually going on at this event, and not blindly go along with what CBC and the rest of the liberal propagandist media would have you all believe.

*ADDENDUM* - All day today, CBC and CTV have been claiming that protesters were "dancing on the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier" or otherwise "desecrating" it. That's a real stretch of what happened, verging on being an outright slanderous lie. Here's an article from CTV News where they're making that claim, yet check out the video within the article that shows what actually transpired. The young woman has stepped onto the monument (where countless tourists have likely also posed for photo-ops over the decades), where she simply stands, raises her arms and yells "FREEDOM!" before stepping back down. No "dancing" and no "desecrating" whatsoever.

Frankly, in no way does this equate to mocking or being disrespectful of the monument. Quite the opposite in fact, as I believe this young woman fully understood that the significance of this monument is that these brave men had fought for the very same freedoms from tyranny that she herself was helping to fight for today in her own small way. I say more power to her, and shame on the lying mainstream media out to falsely vilify and misrepresent her.





Thursday, September 23, 2021

Our Dire Situation




I have been periodically re-posting on Facebook this article from Free North News that appeared in October 2020. Since that time, at least a half dozen of the items on the list of this purported Canadian "Game Plan" have now transpired, one of the most odious being this vaccine passport that debuted here in Ontario yesterday, with many other provinces about to introduce one also. We have also been hearing a bit about Universal Basic Income (UBI) being rolled out on a trial basis at some point in the near future. At this point, I don't think this purported leaked memo can be easily dismissed as "conspiracy theory", as a lot of it has become fact.

I know my conservative friends have read this and taken it seriously, while my liberal friends (if they are actual friends) have mostly turned a blind eye to it, likely continuing to ignore what it has to say (and contemptuously adding their "laughing emojis" to any suggestion that this might be what's actually going on). This is why we are in this dire situation now, is because the Covid Cultists out there would rather slavishly believe everything our corrupt leaders tell them without questioning any of it. I really don't know where we go from here. https://freenorth.news/2020/10/14/canadas-global-reset-plan-leaked/?fbclid=IwAR2EUnQLK7-fUyrgqfMH8p59F369h4yTbxNMBIlCS8cUy20iz-o1Pdxczkk

Also linked to within the article is this open letter to former President Trump from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano (also from last October), which warns of the same very specific checklist of what these globalists are planning under what they call "The Great Reset". It is horrifying to see just how far reaching this plot is across the globe, and equally horrifying to see how unresponsive more than half the populace is about it, preferring to just bury their fool heads in the sand and deny what's going on all around them!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/10AKCHufapI6tujYYG1ng4S87rHTgbDHe/view?fbclid=IwAR0e_jW_PWVQYa5x32uMKrOMQhNkaLPoz80urI9XHjQW7Ya0itIibDJtSe0

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Happy Birthday, Jim Garner!


 
As is my annual tradition, I always like to salute my favourite actor, James Garner with a new caricature on the anniversary of his birthday. Many times I have based it on his TV series, The Rockford Files, but I also like to acknowledge some of his film roles from time to time. This year, I decided to draw Jim from his 1966 epic racing film, Grand Prix, a film I've enjoyed numerous times over the years. But the main reason for this choice is because I'd also like to pay tribute to Jim's co-star in that film, the beautiful Jessica Walter, who has sadly just passed away in recent weeks at the age of 80.

Jessica Walter really hit it big on the screen in 1971 when she starred opposite Clint Eastwood in Play Misty For Me, in which she memorably played a psychopathic stalker who is fixated on the radio DJ portrayed by Clint. When she'd had a prominent role in Grand Prix just five years prior, it was really only her second film of note, having appeared in The Group earlier that same year. Up until that time her career had consisted mostly of TV guest star roles.

In Grand Prix, Jim Garner plays Pete Aron, an American race-car driver who's driving for the Jordan-BMR racing team. At the beginning of the film, Aron's car is having gearbox problems, which leads to a horrific accident that sends the car of Aron's British teammate, Scott Stoddard (played by Brian Bedford) crashing into a cliff wall resulting in critical injuries. Jessica Walter plays Pat Stoddard, Scott's wife, who has already long felt neglected by her husband who has obsessively been competing with the memory of his dead brother, also a racer, killed earlier after a highly successful career of major victories. With Scott in hospital painfully recuperating, Pat finds herself smitten by the American driver and the two find themselves in an adulterous affair. Fact is, Pete Aron is still a pretty decent man who does not want to add more torment to his teammate, as he feels at least partly responsible for Scott's accident, so he ends the tryst with Pat before it gets out of hand.

The entire film plays much like a soap opera set against the Formula One racing circuit, with lives touched by pain, obsession, sex and in one case, a deeply felt love. In fact it is that subplot of the tender love that blossoms between the French driver, Jean-Pierre Sarti and an American magazine reporter sent to cover the Grand Prix for a fashion magazine, Louise Frederickson that is really at the heart of the film. As much as I like Jim Garner, I have to admit that the most poignant role in the film is that of the Frenchman, Jean-Pierre Sarti, played by the singer and sometime actor, Yves Montand. I really think he's terrific in it.

As I mentioned before, I've seen the film numerous times and the racing scenes were state-of-the-art for their time and continue to impress today. Grand Prix also has the distinction of being the only film I can think of that stars two actors that I had the pleasure of meeting in real life: James Garner and the British actor, Brian Bedford, who is famous to Disney fans for having voiced the animated title character in 1973's "Robin Hood"!

The caricature of Jim Garner and Jessica Walter is based more on publicity shots I've come across (like the one pictured above), as opposed to a specific scene from the film, mostly because I wanted to depict Jim in his racing uniform and he never appears alongside Jessica Walter dressed like that in the film. Here is a segment from the film that covers most of the characters I've described. At this point, Garner's character, Pete Aron has been removed from the racing team after the horrific accident and is trying to stay in the loop by (temporarily) taking a job as a reporter covering the rest of the racing season:



Monday, December 28, 2020

Meanwhile In Mississauga...


"Our Lady of Perpetual Lockdowns", Mayor Crombie has decided that we cannot have any joy this year.



Saturday, September 26, 2020

Happy Birthday, Marty Robbins!


 Remembering the great Marty Robbins on his birthday today. I was fortunate enough to get to meet Marty backstage after his performance at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa back in 1982. I was there with my Mom, as we were both huge fans of Marty, and he was so gracious in chatting with us for about 15 minutes or so, even giving my Mom a kiss on the cheek! He was quite taken with my caricature of him (I painted up two originals so I could present one to him as a gift), and he even asked us if we'd like to watch his second show from the wings backstage, which we took him up on for several songs before we had to head home. Tragically, I heard the news just later that year in December that Marty had died of a massive heart attack, having had a history of heart problems throughout his life. I was absolutely crushed, as I'd have to rate my meeting with Marty as one of the most cherished of any of my celebrity encounters. He was a very kind and elegant gentleman, and remains one of my favourite country singers to this day. Here's Marty singing his classic, El Paso, one of the greatest western ballads of all time!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The Sad State Of Academia And "Cancel Culture"


Mostly on this blog I talk about the things I like, particularly entertainment from the past that I admire. Only occasionally do I get political on here, but this is one of those exceptions as I think it's too important not to address.

Within the last couple of weeks a situation happened to a friend of mine that very closely resembled what I too had experienced in my last year or two of teaching college until my resignation in 2015. (Perhaps I'll finally tell that story in the near future). Cristy Maltese is a veteran of Disney feature animation, having most notably painted backgrounds for The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast and several other features through to Home On The Range, for which she was background supervisor. In short, she's got a lot of talent and some pretty impressive credits to her name, so she knows her stuff. Recently, Cristy had also been teaching Visual Development in the Animation program at Laguna College of Art & Design in California. That all came to an end last week after a ridiculous situation that Cristy writes about here. Please read her account first before continuing on to what I have to add to it below.

https://medium.com/@cristymaltese/how-laguna-college-of-art-design-is-dealing-with-its-racism-88505daf4a87

The following is Cristy's original letter to LCAD that she also copied to her teaching colleagues, including Larissa. These segments are from Larissa's Facebook page, so you can also see the snide comments in response from she and her followers:



Now, here is Larissa's initial response to what Cristy had said:



She then followed that up with this letter of rebuttal that was sent to LCAD:

https://www.facebook.com/larissa.marantz/posts/10158563054098234

As well as airing her views about Cristy on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/LarissaMarantz/status/1276886456481398791

As you can see, Larissa went to great pains to paint herself as a “victim” of “racism”, when it was really all much ado about nothing , i.e.  a hashtag that read #AllLivesMatter issued by one of the staff at LCAD. Yet when Cristy tried to show just how benign that statement from this well-meaning staffer was (as he was actually writing in support of BLM), Larissa decided that Cristy must also be publicly outed for not kowtowing as she was supposed to when it came to all things related to the Black Lives Matter movement (a dubious organization hiding behind a title suggesting noble intent). Anyone who has actually read Cristy’s original letter can plainly see how it was only meant to calm things down and is not “racist" in the least, as Larissa falsely claims it to be. Yet Larissa decided to write a spiteful screed in response that deliberately mischaracterized Cristy’s words while also ginning up her followers on both Facebook and Twitter, all of whom added their own vitriolic comments likely without ever having actually read Cristy’s letter in the first place. Just take a read through those comments to see how hateful they are.

The end result was that, after this debacle and the pressure that Larissa and her followers (including other faculty and students) put upon the college through a signed petition, Cristy received a phone call from LCAD letting her know that she would not be called back to teach in the next semester. In short, she was another casualty of today's "Cancel Culture".

The fact is, I know only too well how such radicals operate, having been subjected to much the same vindictive experience a number of years ago myself. As such, I know how to recognize their insidious and dishonest tactics intended to ruin the reputations of others. Teaching can be a very satisfying experience when one has students who are willing to learn, as well as colleagues and administration who are tolerant of different viewpoints. But it can devolve into a nightmare when those who are steeped in “outrage culture” are looking for any opportunity to take phony offence and seek to destroy their target by whatever nefarious means they can. So long as this intolerance of alternative views and practice of “Cancel Culture” continues, our colleges and universities will lose their brightest and their best teachers and professors, and will end up with mediocre people remaining to indoctrinate and cow their students into submission. This does not bode well for the future of higher learning or for society at large.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Happy Birthday, Jim Garner!


As is my annual tradition on The Cartoon Cave, here is this year's new caricature to honour the late, great Jim Garner on his birthday. Though I've drawn him in a number of his film and TV roles over the many years, I must admit that I always prefer to return to his familiar role as Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files. This time, however, I also wanted to showcase Jim's co-star and longtime friend, actor Stuart Margolin, in his semi-regular role as Rockford's former cellmate and professional grifter, Angel Martin, whom Jim still inexplicably remains buddies with despite how often Angel takes advantage of his good nature. For no matter how many times Angel behaves like a despicable little weasel, somehow Jim not only tolerates him but seems to genuinely like and care about the guy. So does the audience, for that matter, and it's all due to Stuart Margolin's ability to imbue the character of Angel with such a manic, yet likeable, personality.

One of the recurring situations that will be familiar to all fans of the series is when Jim and Angel are confronted by gun-wielding heavies and, while Jim attempts to calmly talk their way out of the dilemma, Angel will desperately say anything he thinks the bad guys want to hear in the hopes of saving his own skin, even if it means selling out Jim in the process! Yet somehow Jim's wits (along with a sucker punch or two) manage to eventually get them both out of the scrape and back into Jim's gold Firebird to go burning up the pavement to safety.

I based my caricature on such a scene from the episode, The No Cut Contract, but here is a similar scene (and perhaps the definitive one!) from another episode, Chicken Little Is A Little Chicken. Enjoy!



Friday, March 20, 2020

Happy Birthday, Jerry Reed!




I'm afraid I haven't been too active on this old blog for quite some time now and I do really miss it. Anyway, here's a new caricature of my favourite country singer, that crazy rascal, Jerry Reed, who had quite a successful career on both the country music charts and onscreen alongside his buddy, Burt Reynolds.

I watched a number of Jerry's performances available for viewing on YouTube before settling on this one as my main reference in developing this caricature. Here's Jerry singing a medly of songs along with the great Marty Robbins in this clip from Marty's syndicated TV show back in the late 70s. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Happy Birthday, Jim Garner!


As is my annual tradition here on The Cartoon Cave, I have created a new caricature to honour my favourite actor, James Garner on the anniversary of his birthday. This time around I decided to portray Jim in his role from his lesser known TV series, Nichols, which ran on NBC in the 1971/1972 season. This was a series that I had never seen in its initial run, nor had I ever found it available in syndication since that time, so I was entirely unfamiliar with it until several years ago when it was released on DVD.

Fact is, I've only gotten around to watching the series in the last few months, and am only about a half dozen episodes in, so I certainly make no claims to being an authority on the show. Although a western, it is certainly not a traditional western by any means, as it is set not in the 1800's but rather in 1914, when the automobile was first arriving on the scene. After a stint in the army, Nichols arrives back in the fictional border town of Nichols, Arizona, which was named after his grandfather who founded it. The town is now being run by a rather unsavoury clan called the Ketchams, and after some run-ins with the bullying, corrupt son, Nichols finds himself coerced into reluctantly accepting the position of sheriff by the family matriarch, a sly ol' gal called Ma Ketcham.

By the third episode, Nichols has imported an early motorbike, which he tools around on in lieu of a horse in his pursuit of lawbreakers. When doing so, he often wears the cap and goggles pictured in my caricature in place of his more standard cowboy hat. James Garner had high hopes for Nichols and was disappointed that it didn't catch on. I must admit, from the episodes I've watched thus far, though very good, they just haven't appealed to me in the same way as The Rockford Files had. But I still need to finish watching the series before I can make a final judgment! The series did have the distinction of being an early role for the actress, Margot Kidder, before she would go on to great fame through the Superman films. It also introduced the pairing of Stuart Margolin as a shifty deputy to Garner's sheriff, which would be a chemistry they would enjoy to much greater effect when Margolin became the equally shifty Angel Martin in The Rockford Files.