I was destined to be a cartoonist from the first popularity of a Charlie Brown Christmas. Discovering my eighth birthday present hidden by my mom on the top shelf of the hallway linen closet sealed my fate; Eight fawcett crest charlie brown paperback books she probably bought at the local grocery store. I thought I owned Charlie Brown. I drew him and his peanuts gang constantly. Add twenty years of collecting mad magazine. Listening to and emulating every Disneyland storyteller album my allowance could afford. Add a lot of pen and ink attempts to copy the technique of Goya’s Los Caprichos, Frank Frazetta’s first ‘art of’ book, and a BA at one of the most ad hoc studio art programs in the country, and my art education was complete.
Like all of us, I wanted to be in animation from the first time I saw a Disney Cartoon, but I wanted to be a storyboard artist the second I learned there was such a thing. Since then I’ve been living the dream, being a storyboard artist for over 35 years, with long stops at Disney TVA and Video, Warner Brothers, and Hanna Barbera, with lots of one to two year stints at many other places.
I’m a cartoony guy, with storyboards ranging from classic Preston Blair type cartoony like Mickey and Minnie and Tiny Toons, to semi real stuff like Scooby Doo and Sofia the First. There’s some flat out pre-school cute cute cute like Winnie the pooh, Angelina Ballerina, and Sheriff Callie’s Wild West. And some slightly more stylized UPA looking stuff like Jetsons, Flintstones, and Yogi Bear. And there’s some idiotic side trips like Annoying Orange, for which I pointlessly drew twice as many acting panels as anybody else and laughed my head off doing it.
In interviews, directors often ask what if there’s anything I’m especially good at or like doing best. I would say I’m best boarding comedy, cartoon comedy. I’m also good at cute, funny, whimsical, charming, comedy action. I also tend to like doing songs. And I seem to have some affinity for main titles and end titles. You can see a morphy, abstract end title for ’sheepish’ in the feature storyboard section.
For all the storyboarding I do, I actually started in character design for Bob Singer and a little development for Iwao Takamoto over at Hanna Barbera. I designed lots of cartoony shows, mainly smurfs, and lots of retreads of classic Hanna Barbera stuff like Jetsons, Flintstones, and Yogi Bear. I like to say we buried every great classic series HB ever did.
I’ve also written a little bit, with writing credits on Toonsylvania, Casper, Tasmania, Tiny Toons, and other shows. you can see some sample scripts in the script section.
Much of the writing is poetry or lyrics, which I would say is one of the special things I bring as a writer. I wrote all the lyrics for the Disneytoon video, mickey and the three musketeers. I even won a best song lyrics award that I’m sure you never heard of, sponsored by Variety. But you can see some of my lyrics, some song storyboards, and how the songs ended up sounding in the song section.
I’ve also done development art, character design, and writing for Warner Brothers on a Marvin the Martian series proposal, the Marvin Chronicles, and Michela Mouse, an original segment idea. And for the DreamWorks show Toonsylvania I created the segment Melissa Screetch; I wrote all the scripts, song lyrics, and poetry, designed the characters, and storyboarded as many episodes as the schedule would let me. You can see some of my original thinking, design, and storytelling, ‘from soup to nuts’ as they say, in the animation section.
I’m known to be really hard working, really fast, really funny (on the drawing board anyway), and really really cooperative in giving directors what they’re trying to get out of a sequence. Ask directors Jamie Mitchell, Donovan Cook, Eliot Bour, Hank Tucker, Keith Baxter, and Bill Kopp; they’ll probably say some nice things about me.