Meet IFBB Pro and Super Hero Model La’Drissa Bonivel

Posted by on Jun 27, 2012 in Comic Art and Comic Artists, Comics | 0 comments

If you’ve ever seen a body building competition on T.V. and thought to yourself, “Hummm, they would look like natural super heroes if they had costumes.”, then your intuition is spot on. La’Drissa Bonivel is an IFBB Pro (sculpted women of La’Drissa’s ilk aren’t called body builders they are called women’s physique pros) and she travels nationally for competitions. She also has gigs as a super hero model for a couple of characters, Diva Gold and Prodigy created respectively by Chicago indie comic book creators Joe McFee’s Xigency Studios and Joe Currie’s Strictly Underground Comics. I had the opportunity to meet her in person at Chicago Comic-Con 2011. Take a look at the video and learn more about her ventures in the world of comics and professional fitness.

La’Drissa is a multitalented lady as is evidenced by her other business endeavors. She calls herself a tri-factor as a skin care pro, yoga instructor & personal trainer. She’s also a motivational speaker. Check out her company Loyal Body and see if she can’t be of service to you in some way.

Her star is on the rise so I wouldn’t be surprised to see her competing on T.V. or beating bad guys on film some day soon.

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Kim Moseberry of Xigency Studios at Chicago Comic-Con 2011

Posted by on Jun 25, 2012 in Comic Art and Comic Artists, Comics | 4 comments

Kim Moseberry is one of the comic artists who works with Joe McFee, the founder and owner of Xigency Studios in Chicago. You’ll learn more about Joe in a future post but this one is about a very talented young lady who Marcie and I got a chance to talk to at the Xigency booth at Chicago Comic-Con 2011.

We had a good time talking to Kim and I even got a copy of the mermaid pirate print. She is a really talented artist. Check out website that she mentions in the interview and you’ll see what I mean. It’s a nice portfolio of work. Kim and the Xigency team are building up their name on the comic circuit. I look forward to great work from them.

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Who Are All These Grown People Playing Dress Up Super Hero?

Posted by on Jun 20, 2012 in Comic Art and Comic Artists, Comics | 2 comments

It’s the cosplayers. Fellow blogger Marcie Hill hung out with me at Comic-Con 2011 last summer in Rosemont, Illinois, one of the suburbs of Chicago. I think we were both equally fascinated with the costume players, affectionately known as cosplayers. At first I thought they were kinda weird. Why would adults dress up as super heroes or villains and not be thoroughly embarrassed? Well I guess when you’re in a building full of others doing the same there’s nothing to be embarrassed about right?

After taking in the scene for a while my artistic brain kicked in and I begin to appreciate the makeup and costume creating talents of some of the participants. I started thinking some of these people might be hirable for poses or short film projects. I couldn’t walk out in public like that myself but I began to enjoy the artistry and humor of it all. Fun bunch of people.

There’s no effort on my part to edit or compose this footage. I’m just sharing it with you as taken to give you the spontaneous feel of mine and Marcie’s presence in the crowd. Thus, the loose flow of it is simply as-it-was.



As you see people enjoy posing with the cosplayers and the players love obliging them. You can hear me egging them on in their antics as well. I’m seriously considering making this crowd an annual post unto themselves so look out for the  2012 rendition later this year.

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The Wrap Up For My ANI466 Cinema, Animation & Art Course

Posted by on Jun 18, 2012 in DePaul University CDM | 2 comments

I could try to explain the first class of ANI466 in the new Master of Arts in Animation graduate cohort but I wouldn’t come close to doing it justice do here’s the official description from the DePaul University College of Computing and Digital Media web site:

This seminar course focuses on animation and cinema from the standpoint of Modern and Contemporary art. Students study the major styles and themes of historical experimental film and video, and relate these topics to contemporary animation and independent cinema practices. Emphasis is placed on theory and criticism, and how it informs experimental work. Students are expected to discuss work and theory in a seminar setting, and to engage the class material in several research papers.

The course involved a lot of dense reading from our text, Art in Theory, 1900 – 2000. We read what theorists from around the world have written, analyzed and critiqued about the arts over the last century or so. It’s written by academics for academics so it’s not a light read you’d check out from the library for fun. It definitely elevated my vocabulary though.

Our professor Alexander Stewart took a virtual approach to our assignments this past quarter. In addition to the text, we had other readings that he had uploaded to our library’s e-reserves site. He also started a class blog in which a couple of students teamed up each week to write a post on the weekly reading assignment. The rest of us left comments on the post and we discussed the reading and the group comments during the following week’s class.

Each blogging team also had to write individual research papers on those subjects. The other virtual piece was the nature in which we submitted our term papers. Alexander had us submit our first and final drafts on a site named turnitin instead of our internal school assignment portal. My blog partner Lynda Rollins and I had the subject of Semiotics and this is my paper. (You’ll have to read it first or you won’t understand the purpose of the clip below.) This paper expands on the topic of our blog post presentation by researching three artists or filmmakers who relate to the original topic, semiotics. Fair warning, it’s written in egg-head-ese so you can’t be tired while reading it. Be sure you’re fresh and ready to think before diving in 🙂

Our final assignment on the last night of class was to show a short clip, 5 minutes or less, of a concept that we found fascinating during the term. I decided to stick with semiotics using the first subject from my paper. This is the video I put together to illustrate what interested me most. The first part is from the first subject I discuss in my paper and the second part is an animated short that I created in another class about a year ago. (You have to read the paper first or you won’t get the point of the clip)

I got a lot from this course including a number of ideas for future projects based on the subjects we covered and the topics the writers elaborated on. The book expanded my thinking on the arts in general and film in particular. I’d appreciate any comments you have on my paper especially if you’re a film fan or semiotics aficionado so fire away!

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Our Final Film for ANI440 Collaborative Short Animated Film

Posted by on Jun 14, 2012 in Animation, DePaul University CDM, General | 2 comments

“Masterpiece” is the final short film produced by my team of classmates for the first course of ANI440 Collaborative Short Animated Film. ANI440 is one of the courses for the first cohort of the Master of Arts in Animation program in DePaul University’s College of Computing and Digital Media. Our professor Meghann Artes grouped the class into teams based on our animation and creative interests. My team mates were Christal Charlery, Deborah Mathis and Petra Sobers and this is our final production.

My roles included drawing some of the first storyboards and creating the first draft of the animatic with those storyboard drawings, animating a couple of scenes (scrolling wall near the beginning and the reveal at the end), creating some of the character’s scene props (chisel, hammer, table, cardboard boxes, box of nails, picture frames, ruler) some of the foley (tools dropped on table, horse sculture tossed onto the floor, the box dropping on the floor, the sound of the wood touching against clothing, the sound of his hand stuck to the wood and popping off the wood) and some voice over in (the form of various vocal expressions including my French impersonation, “Bee-yue-tiful!”).

There was plenty for the four of us to pack into ten weeks and it was hectic. Our 3D software crashing on a regularly random basis didn’t serve to help us keep pace as we wanted to but we juggled the pieces amongst ourselves and brought it home. We got an A (and it gave a nice little boost to the GPA) and we’re down to the last two courses over the next two quarters in the Master of Arts cohort.

So what do think of our short film? Leave a few comments. I’d like to tell you more about it.

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S. Whitmore and the Crew of LOGOS at Chicago Comic Con 2011

Posted by on Apr 3, 2012 in Comic Art and Comic Artists | 0 comments

I had the pleasure last summer of meeting local film maker S. Whitmore at Chicago ComicCon. He was a vendor and had his team publicising his first feature, LOGOS, which was just past the post production phase. This was the first time I’d had the opportunity to talk to a film maker about taking a feature length film through complete production so take a listen as he tells us about it.

Although Whitmore had originally projected the premier to be at IKON Theater, at this point, they actually wound up having a successful coming out party at the Portage Theater Chicago in December 2011. Keep track of events like future screenings of the film on the LOGOS Facebook Like Page or on the film’s Twitter Page and assorted clips on the LOGOS YouTube channel.

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My Final Storyboard for Visual Storytelling

Posted by on Apr 2, 2012 in Animation, DePaul University CDM, General | 0 comments

I had heard the phrase storyboard before but I really didn’t know what one was before taking ANI425 Visual Storytelling from professor Devin Bell last winter quarter. Storyboards are the foundational story building tool before beginning a new film. Sometimes they are used to help pitch an idea and other times they are used to flesh out a film after it has been green lighted. In this course we made our storyboards into animatics, short films made storyboard style to give the gist of a film.

For my final in this class I expanded upon previous iterations of the project that I named “Famborted” (Family Aborted). It required a few more drawings to improve story clarity and continuity. The video shows how it all turned out.

The final was a good opportunity to include movement as well. After Effects has a 3D Layers feature that allows for key framed movement of images on multiple layers to help create the illusion of those images seemingly interacting with one another on one layer. In this animatic I use that technique in the sequence where my character slides next to each picture portrait. Those are a series of PNG files on 3D layers. PNG files are used because they have background transparency built in. This makes it easy to mimic 2D objects sliding in front of or behind each other in the way that 3D objects would do.

This is one of those classes I’m putting into immediate use in all my remaining courses as well as my personal projects. Who knows, I might even give it serious consideration as a career specialty. Give me a shout and tell me what you think of my burgeoning storyboarding skills.


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