Thursday, March 30, 2006

Lost Cartoons "Puss Gets The Boot"

Thanks to the crazy Mammy character, this classic short and first appearance of Tom & Jerry won't be seeing a wide release on DVD any time soon. Originally Tom was named Jasper and Jerry was named JInx though he wasn't called by his name onscreen. Initially Tom torments Jerry, until Jerry learns that he can torment Tom by attempting to break every glass, porcelain and ceramic item in the house. I really like how furry and cat-like Tom looks in this one, but the real treat for me is Jerry. He's so damn cute and lovable yet he's a total asshole! Not only that, but we cheer him on because he's tormenting Tom the bully.

The torturer becomes the tortured!

Who knew this cute little rascal was such a dick?!

Enjoy the show!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

First Threadless Submission

My first t-shirt submission to Threadless is up! Please check it out and vote for me. The Flash file got a little messed up so go here to see the other color options. Thanks you!


My design was axed early because 'after 24 hours of voting, it received a low score and a low number of "I'd Buy It" requests'. If you'd honestly like this as a shirt please leave a comment saying so and what color and size you like. I think if enough people say they'd buy one I'll do a limited run of shirts and sell them myself. I'm also considering die-cut vinyl stickers.



Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Lovely Ladies

Here are some lovely ladies for you folks! The first person to post a comment with the correct identity of all four fabulous females gets the original art. Don't say I never did anything for you!


Here's a color version I whipped up in Photoshop! I knew some of these likenesses weren't the best, but I thought they were fun drawings. Hopefully the color will aid in revealing their identities.

The contest is closed to my family and 'non-internet' friends.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Brian Romero Dot Com Launches

My portfolio site is finally up! So head on over to and check out my work. There's twenty four pieces up now with more work being added this week. I'd like to thank my friend Mike Essl for taking time out of his busy schedule to hook me up with the code. The fact that I haven't had a proper site for so long has been an ongoing joke and source of ridicule from my friends. My portfolio site was becoming a personal 'Chinese Democracy'. Fortunately I beat G N' R to the punch while taking less time! In your Botox'd face Axl Rose!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Lost Cartoons "Russian Rhapsody"

Sorry for not posting much of my own work lately. I have a few projects I'm working on plus I'm trying to get my portfolio site wrapped up!

Anyway, on to another lost masterpiece! This 1944 Warner Brothers short directed by Bob Clampett has the best cartoon depiction of Adolf Hitler. Rod Scribner does an amazing job as usual with the animation. Below you can see some frames that really capture what a nut job Hitler was while giving his speeches. The poses, expressions, movement and voice characterization are all hilarious.

Check out this series of close up frames. WHAM!

I love this sequence of Hitler crawling along the floor with a dagger, chasing the Russian gremlins. Hitler's reaction to the Stalin mask is great too.

I pray WB will release this on DVD soon. Until then you'll have to make do with the version I uploaded to YouTube.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Jim Phillips

I've posted about my cartoon influences quite a bit here, now it's time for a post about some one who had a large impact on me from outside the cartoon animation world. Until a few years ago I didn't even know that it was one person who guided the illustration and design of Santa Cruz Skateboards in the mid to late 80's. Jim Phillips had been working in the surf and skate scene before then, but it wasn't until his Santa Cruz work that I became familiar with his imagery.

His grotesque illustrations and wild custom type immediately resonated with my young adolescent brain. I found his demonic detailed artwork to be pure eye-candy. My skateboard, notebooks and schoolbooks were all plastered with Santa Cruz stickers. The fact that these stickers pissed off my parents, teachers and other authority figures was also appealing to my rebellious nature.

Vintage Santa Cruz Speed Wheels Shirt:

From the Rob Roskopp Series:

My own Roskopp Reissue with vintage Slime Balls wheels:

Check out the insanely detailed lettering on the wheel graphics:

I never felt like he skimped on the effort he put into his graphics. Everything was obsessively detailed and bold. The gross out factor has always appealed to me as well... I'm sure it's part of the reason I was also attracted to the disgusting close up paintings on Ren & Stimpy.

One of the non-satanic Jeff Grosso decks:

I highly recommend picking up his excellent book, Surf, Skate & Rock Art of Jim Phillips. It's filled with all the great stuff from his Santa Cruz days as well as his earlier and later works.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Figure Drawing

On Wednesday I went to SVA with my pal Eben for a three hour figure drawing session. Since I haven't done any traditional figure drawing in years it was like going to the gym after not exercising all winter. It hurt... bad! These are really horrible and I assure you I can do better (and will next Wednesday). Most of these are two to three minute poses with a few that were twenty minutes. You'll be able to spot those because I'm not into rendering, so I get bored after a while and resort drawing the other people in class. At the very bottom is some 'cartoon life drawing' that I did this morning. I even managed to make drawings from a Tex Avery short look bad! Hopefully I can get on track with drawing this weekend.

Lost Cartoons "King-Size Canary"

This is one of my favorite Tex Avery cartoons. I love all his MGM shorts from the 40's but this one sticks out in my mind. The bulldog design and animation alone cracks me up. Take note of the backgrounds, they're not very exaggerated but they look great and add to the mood (especially in the opening night time sequence). The whole concept is absurd and told in a hilarious way that only Tex Avery could deliver. Wondering why it's filed under 'Lost Cartoons'? Since it's out of print on VHS, Laserdisc and never been released on DVD in the USA, I figured the 'Lost' title was still appropriate.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sugar High

Even though I consider myself a cartoonist and illustrator, I have other creative interests that I like to play around with. Photography is one of my favorites, though I haven't really done anything recently. So today I'm posting some photos for a series I did called 'Sugar High' back in 2004. My lady and our friend Arielle were hanging out talking about how fun it would be to collaborate on a piece, when the idea of gorging on candy came up. We all immediately liked the concept and wrote down ideas for props, costumes, makeup and hair. The photos were taken at Leah's mother's house in the magical land of New Jersey. These haven't been retouched or Photoshopped in any way other than resizing and compressing the pictures for the web. The original images are 3072 x 2048.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Weekend Sketches

Here are two pages from the ol' clipboard. I stole the whole 'clipboard as a sketchbook' thing from Shane Glines. It really makes it easier to work with. No spine getting in the way, no fear of leaving a crappy drawing in the nice bound black sketchbook, easy to scan, etc...

Friday, March 10, 2006

Lost Cartoons "Mysterious Mose"

I'm sure a lot of you cartoonists and enthusiasts have seen this one, but I still find inspiration every time I watch it. I love the surreal gags that you don't find in modern cartoons, like Betty's toes trembling from fright. The expressions and poses in the first part of the cartoon when Betty is singing is fantastic. Tons of personality and funny drawings! Take note of Betty's 'dog ears' in this cartoon.

I have no idea why a complete Betty Boop box set hasn't been released on DVD, but at least you can get a taste of these cartoons online. Be sure to head over to YouTube to watch other Betty Boop classics like Old Man of the Mountain and Minnie the Moocher.

I also recommend checking out the music video for The Squirrel Nut Zippers version of the Ghost of Stephen Foster which does a very good job of capturing the early Fleischer Studio vibe.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Digital Inking

I've been experimenting with digital inking some more. The top image is all vector art done in Adobe Illustrator. The bottom is the original sketch which I posted last month. I think it looks pretty good and gives a lot of control not to mention the hundreds of undoes you won't get with a Windsor Newton Series 7 and india ink. I'll be further experimenting when my new Wacom arrives on Friday. I think it's a promising start!

Monday, March 06, 2006


I think drawing likenesses and caricatures is starting to click more for me. While these aren't amazing by any means, I think the persistence is paying off. Nothing works better than plain ol' practice. Can you tell who they are? Oh yeah? Post your answers smarty pants!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oops! I did it again...

I was doing some sketches of the rather plump Britney and Leah begged me to post one. If I wasn't so tired I would've tried to push the drawing more, but I wanted to post it before I fell asleep.

The Jude Law Challenge

John Kricfalusi has challenged his blog readers to attempt the impossible... draw Jude Law's perfect head! After eight drawings I finished the one that I found to be acceptable for human consumption. Enjoy! Bask in the glory that is Jude Law. Don't stare for too long, you may go blind from his stunning rays of perfection!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Girls Girls Girls

What red-blooded-heterosexual-male-cartoonist doesn't like to draw girls? So here are a few sketches of some girls. Lately I haven't been drawing them much but I ran across these this morning while shuffling through the pile-o-sketches. Maybe this weekend I'll try and whip up some new girl drawings.