|My Daughter Krystal at our Artists Alley Booth at Emerald City Comic Con 2014 in Seattle, Washington.|
|I work with "traditional" media. That means when I create art there is a physical canvas, sculpture or piece of paper with me all over it.|
In answer to a number of recent inquiries here is my business pitch.
My idea of a "request" is a commission to create art for money (in US Dollars). Please do not ask me to draw something unless you are willing to pay for it up front.
My standard comic convention rates are as follows:
$10.00 monochrome sketch card
$15.00 color sketch card
$20.00 for 8.5 X 11 sketch
$35.00 for a "simple" 8.5 X 11 1 character color work
(all plus postage)
More ellaborate commissions are negotiated on a per case basis.
double @ price if you want "mature" content i.e. nudity
I do not do hard core or kinky stuff.
PLEASE VISIT MY ETSY ACCOUNT UNDER "LEXLOTHOR" FOR ART SALES.
THANX FOR ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PAGE VIEWS
As an initial side bar I would like to thank the DA community for 100,000 Page Views. It took five and a half years for me to reach this milestone. When DA introduced the "More Like This" feature, the rate of individual viewings of my pictures accelerated, but the frequency of visitations to my galleries went down. The last 25,000 took several years to accumulate.
And now for something you'll really like:
OBJECTIVE CRITERIA FOR RATING ANIMATED FEATURE FILMS
If you are a fan of animated films as I am, have you ever wondered if your favorites correspond to what the rest of the public likes? Or are you marching to the beat of a different drummer? Often the films that I like are not appreciated by others. I also find that many of the most popular films I consider to be crap.
I have devised this list of questions so that at least some degree of objectivity can be applied to rating cartoons made for the big screen. I have my own personal "Ten Best" list. However, when I applied the rating system that I present below to my own list it became wildly shuffled. Indeed, some films that I did not like as much as others came out higher on the scale due to more objective artistic and technical merits. Others might be better relegated to the category of "guilty pleasures".
So here are the test criteria. I invite you apply these to your own favorites. Try to be honest to yourself as you rate movies. The results may surprise you.
The test consists of 12 questions separated into 4 categories. These are:
Animation, Story, Performance and Production.
For every "Yes" answer to a question, the film under scrutiny gets a check mark. For every check mark, the movie gets a star. Obviously a four-star rating represents a perfect score.
When I applied these criteria to my own favorites list, it resulted in only one "perfect film". I was actually astonished at which one it was. In my next journal entry I will elucidate with a review of what I consider to be the true "Golden Age" of feature film traditional animation.
check the <> for each question if the answer is "yes".
Category I: Animation
< >1. Is the animation up to the standards of the time period in which the movie was made?
Is it of feature film quality? Is it 12 frames/second or better? Did the creators refrain from cutting corners? Did they avoid recycling sequences or use extended traveling still shots to save on production costs?
Example: Ralph Bakshi cut corners in "Wizards". He reused the same battle footage that had been rotoscoped from public domain sources several times. He also panned across Mike Ploog’s production drawings with a narration track in bridging scenes to save money.
Example: "Beavis and Butt-head Do America" was intentionally crude in its rendering. Little attempt was made to raise it above mediocre television quality.
< >2. Does the animation have a visual style that artistically distinguishes it from other films? Is the film innovative? Does it have a unique or special "look"?
Example: "The Yellow Submarine" successfully employed 1960's psychedelic artistic motifs.
Example: All Miazaki films have the indelible stamp of the director’s distinctive style.
< >3. Is there a technical development or visual innovation that is new to animated features?
Is there something in the film that had not been seen before in animation? Is there at least one "oh wow, how did they do that" scene?
Example: "Snow White" introduced the multi-plane camera to create the illusion of depth.
Example: "The Great Mouse Detective" introduced traveling orthography based on CGI raster graphics.
Category II: Story
< > 1. Is the story faithful to its source material?
Does the story still recognizably resemble the book, play, or fairy tale it is based on? Or if it is an original story, is it truly original or just a knock off of some other source material?
Example: "Anastasia" completely rewrote the history of the Russian Revolution.
Example: The animated "King and I" was almost unrecognizable as the true story of "Anna and the King of Siam".
Example: James Cameron’s "Avatar" stole its plot heavily from a number of sources including "Fern Gully".
< > 2. Is the story free of logical contradictions? Does the story flow smoothly without rough spots or plot holes?
Once a premise has been established, it is internally logical? Does the story permit you to "suspend your disbelief" of fantastic elements? Does the dramatic structure hold the audience’s complete attention or are there scenes that drag or gratuitously distract? Are there obvious gaps that ended on the cutting room floor? Is there a musical number that seems to have been "thrown in" just to qualify for a "Best Song" Oscar nomination?
Example: Why did mute Ariel who knew how to read and write not just pass a note to Prince Eric in "The Little Mermaid"? Du-uh.
Example: A completed humanizing sequence was cut out of "Tron" that rendered the leading lady little more than an automaton. Also in "Tron" a binary "Bit" that was supposed to be a dog-like companion for Flynn was introduced and then never seen again because of technical and cost considerations.
< > 3. Is the story engaging?
Do you actually care if the protagonist(s) achieve his/her goals? Are the characters’ motivations made clear and credible?
Example: Prince Adam is transformed into the Beast. He would do anything to be human again until he recognizes what his selfish motivation might cost others.
Example: Every little girl who sees "The Little Mermaid" can empathize with Ariel when Daddy trashes her personal treasures.
Category III: Performance
< > 1. Are the voice actors properly cast?
Example: Casting (hill)Billy Bob Thornton to voice a Japanese peasant in the English dubbing of "Princess Mononoke" may not have been the swiftest of moves.
Example: The entire cast of "Quest for Camelot" from Pierce Brosnan as King Arthur to Eric Idle and Don Rickles as a two-headed dragon is superb.
Example: Am I the only one who considers Gilbert Gottfried an irritating turd in the punch bowl in every role he voices?
< > 2. Do all of the principle voice actors "carry their weight" in the show?
Example: An otherwise delightful musical "Thumbelina" comes to a groaning halt when Charro sings as the momma frog.
< > 3. Are there standout performances that raise the entertainment value of the film?
Example: "Aladdin" suddenly jumps up to a higher octane level when Robin Williams first appears as the Genie well into the movie. Williams' performance carried the rest of the film.
Category IV: Production
< > 1. Does the musical score enhance the motion picture experience?
Example: From the very first musical bar that is heard in "Beauty and the Beast" an uncharacteristically bitter-sweet mood is maintained throughout the picture. The audience is happy when Belle is happy and sad when Belle is sad. The soundtrack has an immense subliminal presence in this film.
Example: In the original "Heavy Metal" the medium is the message. Without the heavy metal rock tracks the film would have been just a sequence of disjointed shorts.
Example: "Oliver and Company" would have been just another rehash of the old Dickens story had it not been for Billy Jole’s lively music.
< > 2. Is there at least one song or theme that is memorable?
Can you walk out of a movie and be able to hum a tune that you just heard for the first time?
Example: "Part of Your World" from "The Little Mermaid" was one of the most performed songs on American television and in the record industry in 1989. It became an overnight standard.
Example: Do you actually think that "Frozen’s" song "Let It Go" REALLY deserved an Oscar?
< > 3. Did you get your money’s worth?
In this age of ever increasing ticket prices did the movie meet or exceed your expectations?
Were you entertained? Would the film have been just as entertaining even without gimmicks such as 3-D?
Example: All the CGI in the world couldn’t save "Oz the Great and Powerful" from being a clunker.
Example: Test audiences who walked into closed screenings of the rough cut of "Beauty and the Beast" gave the unfinished film standing ovations, even though whole sequences had not been refined beyond the pencil test stage. The movie’s quality surpassed the medium. It was the first animated feature ever to be nominated for an Oscar in the "Best Picture" category.