Thursday, June 28, 2007

Dean Martin and Phil Harris

Just for fun, here's a neat video clip from the old Dean Martin Variety Show featuring Dean having "tea" with guest, Phil Harris. Both these guys had a reputation as boozehounds, though this was more of an act than reality. (Dean claimed the "booze" in his glass during Rat Pack Vegas performances was really apple juice.)

Phil Harris is famous to animation fans for being the voice of Baloo the bear in "The Jungle Book", of course, and the character had so much of his persona that the result was one of the most charismatic characters created during that era. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Moore Power To Ya'!

This weekend will see the release of the latest Michael Moore documentary, "Sicko". I've seen all of his films thus far, as well as several episodes of his "The Awful Truth" TV show, so I'll certainly be seeing this latest film too. To be honest, though I generally like Moore and his principled stands, I take some of what he says with a grain of salt. In order to make his arguments, he sometimes ignores facts that don't support his case, while also making points from things that seem tenuous at best.

For instance, in "Bowling For Columbine", Moore finagles his way into Charlton Heston's home and, after a bit of conversation to soften Heston up and get him with his guard down, proceeds to confront him on his NRA presidency and a rally that was held very insensitively immediately after the gun-related death of a little girl. While this may be a fair attack, given Heston's longstanding, gun-loving, Second Amendment stance, I felt it rather uncalled for when he similarly ambushes Dick Clark on a matter that seems like he's really grasping at straws. He accuses Clark of being partly responsible for the gun use of a little boy whose mother was a worker in a Dick Clark owned restaurant chain, and therefore not at home to look after her son when the incident took place. As far as I could surmise, Dick Clark was guilty of nothing more than being involved in a government program meant to wean people off of welfare by giving them work in participating places of employment. I'm sure that Dick Clark was participating in this program in all good faith, hoping it would give people a leg up to a better future. As such, I felt Moore had overplayed his hand and was looking for any scapegoat that made for good melodrama in his film.

However, as I said, I generally applaud Michael Moore for his efforts. There are a lot of contentious issues in America that should be addressed and I'm glad a guy like Moore is out there to shine a spotlight on them. Here then is my caricature of Michael Moore in tribute to his efforts.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Last Time I Saw Paris

I hear that Paris Hilton was just sprung from the Big House. She's coming home, she's done her time, - tie a yellow ribbon 'round her chihuahua's neck to let her know you still love her. But seriously folks, give the kid a break. She's had a tough time in the slammer. If you see her on the street, have a heart and spare her some change. She needs your compassion as she adjusts to life back on the outside. But if you see her in some dingy dive with the other lowlifes, knockin' a few back, just make sure she doesn't take a lunge for your car keys. That is all.

(I just added this caricature, sketched this evening while watching Paris being interviewed on Larry King. When I finished the pencil art, something seemed odd about it. Then it hit me: Paris Hilton has pale blue eyes with tiny pupils, yet on Larry King's show they were very dark. I suspect she was wearing brown contacts but I could be wrong. Anyway, I consulted some photos online and adjusted the eyes when I inked it up. Hopefully it sort of resembles the gal.)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Just Curb It...

Just to keep up some momentum on here, I'm going to post another caricature. Though I make no bones about my preference for entertainment personalities of the past, there are some folks in the biz I really like today, too. As I am an avid "Seinfeld" fan, it should come as no surprise that I also get a kick out of the show's co-creator, Larry David. Here then is my take on Larry and his TV wife, Cheryl Hines, from HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm". Perhaps my admiration for Larry David is largely because I identify with him too much. I too am a bit of a neurotic curmudgeon who ends up in dilemmas of my own making, so I can well sympathize with Larry's plights of fancy.

Interestingly, though I think I've done okay with the likeness of Larry, I'm still not totally satisfied with the caricature of Cheryl. Her features remind me a bit of the young Joan Rivers, though she's much cuter in my opinion. (Yeah, I think she's hot!) There is often a tendency in caricature not to want to exaggerate the features of attractive women, but instead to flatter and play down those features. I find myself really having to fight to overcome that obstacle, but I do want to get an honest likeness to the best of my ability. This final likeness of Cheryl came after several attempts, whereas the caricature of Larry just fell into place quite easily. I'm often at odds to understand that phenomenon of why some people are just easier to caricature than others. Ahh well...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Shameless Plug

Hey, I might as well use this blog to help sell stuff I've worked on. This is the cover of the latest volume of "Walt's People", a labour of love put out by Didier Ghez, an avid Disney historian. (See the link to his "Disney History" site on the sidebar). I hope the books do well, as they contain an absolute wealth of wonderful interviews with various Disney creative legends conducted by the likes of Mike Barrier, Brian Sibley, Jim Korkis and many other noted biographers. I appreciate Didier having asked me to be the cover artist on this series, as it's a great venue for my caricature work. Go to right now and buy them all, okay?

Well, I've finally gone and done it!

Yes, after hearing from many bloggin' buddies on how easy it is and why I should have one, I've decided to start my own blogsite. Being somewhat of a technophobe, I reckon I won't catch on to everything right away but I'm going to learn this sucker as I go along.

First of all, let me explain the reason behind my blogsite name: "The Cartoon Cave". I reckon that the more the times keep a-changin', the less I feel like I'm a part of it all. As my profile explains, I'm still revelling in nostalgia for a better past, at least as far as popular entertainment goes. Therefore, being as out of step with contemporary tastes as I am, I sometimes feel like a caveman, stuck in a 1960's time warp. Movies, TV, and most certainly, popular music are all far more to my liking from that era - An era when the radio airwaves were ruled by Italian-American baritones who snapped their fingers as they sang their swingin', breezy tunes. Here then is my first image post to celebrate that wonderful era: my caricature of Frank, Dean, and Sammy as they appeared in the 1964 film, "Robin and the 7 Hoods".

So, welcome to The Cartoon Cave. The blogsite that time forgot...