This fun mash up comes to us from artist Mark Crilley. Looks like Woody and Buzz are all ready for the Blu-ray release of The Incredibles! We thank Mark for contributing this great image and invite you to read more about the artist in his own words.
Name: Mark Crilley
I currently live in…Southeast Michigan.
I consider my hometown to be…Detroit.
My Favorite Pixar Movie is…
I think the greatest Pixar achievement is still The Incredibles. I remember watching it and getting to a point midway through where I was thinking, “This isn’t just one of the best animated films ever made. It’s one of the best films, period.” The storytelling is impeccable, the number of different sets is staggering, and the attention to detail in both the art and the writing is, in my opinion, the gold standard of the industry. To name just one example, look at the character of Edna Mode. “E” is by any measure a side character, but she is as fully realized as any animated being ever put on film. She has a backstory, she lives and breathes: we feel that we know her. And you can say that about pretty much everyone in the whole film. (Plus, I’ll be darned if Brad Bird doesn’t steal the show from everyone else in the production in terms of voice acting!)
I have a soft spot for Ratatouille, though– I feel it’s terribly underappreciated– and the Toy Story trilogy is just a masterpiece from first frame to last. Heck, many of the Pixar shorts are more worthy of serious attention than the best feature length output of some of the competing studios.
My Favorite Pixar Character is…
Wow, that’s a tough one. Though I do love Edna, I’m going to have to go with Woody. Especially now that we have the third film, you’ve got to acknowledge him as maybe the most richly-developed animated character ever. Some of the stuff you see Woody doing in Toy Story 3 has to be regarded as real award-worthy acting, I think. Tom Hanks’ voice and the skills of the animators have come together to deliver a performance that is truly as good as (or better than) that put on screen by many real life actors. They did a similar thing with the college-aged Andy. You really see him thinking, making decisions. That kind of thing has got to be incredibly challenging for the animators. But boy, did they knock it out of the park.
Tell us about your piece:
Something inside me just wanted to see what these guys would look like in Incredibles costumes. Especially Buzz. It was a blast replicating the details of his costume but altering the colors so that we could imagine him as part of the Parr family (or at least a close friend). The characters in the illustration were created with watercolor, colored pencil, ink, and white gouache. The background and logo were done in Photoshop.
I’m a big believer in learning from others. I was first published as a comic book creator in 1995, doing a series called “Akiko.” Even then I was always challenging myself to do tribute pieces, much like this one, honoring the work of various illustrators I admired. Doing a careful study of someone else’s work will always teach you something: you ingest it somehow, and little touches will find their way into your own work later on.
I’ve certainly come to a deeper appreciation of both Woody and Buzz in terms of their character designs. The balance of all the various components has been worked out so carefully. You can tell these guys were drawn hundreds if not thousands of times to refine them into their current forms. It’s inspired me to take more time with the design of my own characters in the future.
One of the upsides of doing this illustration is I have now pretty much learned how to draw an authentic Buzz and Woody from memory. Getting this illustration right required studying the details of the originals so obsessively that I kind of burned all of it into my brain. That is great because my four-year-old daughter, Mio, loves Buzz and is very pleased that I can now draw a halfway decent Lightyear at her command.
Who/What inspires you?
Well it goes without saying that Pixar is a huge influence. I think they’re the Beatles of animation: Phenomenal innovators, but always accessible, and with an almost superhuman level of consistency and quality control.
Beyond Pixar my influences are other such creative forces: Bill Watterson, Nick Parks, Hayao Miyazaki, and, since childhood, Monty Python. People remember the silliness of the Python team but they too often forget the way their work crackled with intelligence. You had six very highly educated men there, and it came through in almost everything they did.
Recommend something, anything to our readers:
Well, if you love Pixar make sure you’re listening to The Pixar Podcast by Derrick Clements (also available on iTunes). I’m a big fan of film-related podcasts in general, and my top two are Filmspotting and the /Filmcast. Be warned: Once you start listening to these, you may become as thoroughly addicted as I am.
Anyone who never saw The Iron Giant should definitely view that immediately. If you missed Chicken Run or any of the Wallace & Gromit short films, you should see those for sure. If you’ve not seen My Neighbor Totoro or Kiki’s Delivery Service you’re missing out on two of animation’s greatest masterpieces, though I would strongly urge you to see them in the original Japanese. (My vote for most underappreciated Ghibli film, though, goes to Whisper of the Heart.)
This may be a weird thing to put into a recommendations section, but I’d say that anyone who has ever considered teaching English overseas (or taking any opportunity to live overseas for a prolonged period of time) should definitely pursue that dream. I taught English in Taiwan and Japan for five years and it truly changed my life.
Well, my latest book is the second volume of my graphic novel series from Dark Horse Comics, called “Brody’s Ghost.” It’s on Amazon, as is the first book, and can be special ordered at your local bookstore if you don’t find it on the shelf. My previous graphic novel series, “Miki Falls” is similarly available for those who seek it out, and my “Akiko” graphic novels and chapter books are out there as well. (I once received positive feedback about my Akiko comics from Michael B. Johnson, who now leads the pre-production engineering team at Pixar!)
I do “how to draw” videos on YouTube and in the On Demand section of Comcast, and coming soon I’ll have a “how to draw” book from Impact Books tentatively titled “Make Your Manga Better.”
Probably the best part of my job is doing live drawing demonstrations and speaking at schools and libraries all across the country. I’ve been invited to 400 different venues since 2001. There’s nothing better than getting kids fired up about writing, illustrating, and making full use of their own creativity. If I could speak at a different place every week I’d do it.
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