Wednesday, April 27, 2011

2011 Will Eisner Award - Voting Now Open

2011 Will Eisner Award - Voting Now Open - Finding Frank and His Friend Nominated for an Eisner- Curio and Co. Curio & Co. - by Cesare Asaro and Kirstie Shepherd

The 2011 Eisner Award voting is now open. So if you are eligible make sure you cast a vote, you will need to register here.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Finding Frank and his Friend -2011 Will Eisner Award - Nominee

Curio and Co. Curio & Co. - by Cesare Asaro and Kirstie Shepherd - Finding Frank and his Friend nominated for Will Isner Award 2011 - Best Graphic Album — New

I figured I should take the time to pass on the good news. Heck it's some kind of honor and an incredible boost for the moral, I'm sure many of you, like me, tend to work long hours on projects, which tends to pull us away from a healthier social life. Sadly enough it's not so easy to share one's work with the public, yes even with the internet, I'm talking about seeing one's reaction to the work. It's extremely rewording to go to trade shows (we just came back from Wonder Con one week ago). There, is where you really see if what you've been working on really has a back bone. Why am mentioning all this, well as you probably read from the title of the blog entry the book that Kirstie Shepherd and I made Finding Frank and his Friend got nominated for an Eisner Award 2011 in the category of Best Graphic Album – New. A news of this kind is a real good battery charge of a unique type. I can't tell you how happy I was to get such good news. Specially after having spent the majority of the time since Comic-Con 2010 dealing with business stuff: budgets, proposal, funding application... practically paper work. Setting up a business is a challenge and even more so when it is something like Curio & Co. every thing is make belief, so we give our best in dealing with details: logos, characters, back stories... the fun part really but just as intensive as the paper work. I can live with the deadlines but the budgets are the horror and I think that goes for the majority of creatives. I know I managed to ramble on, but heck I'm taking a break and I'm sharing my excitement.

We are presently working on a new product, a booklet, in the sci-fi fiction genre, (hope you bought your tickets the day they went on sale). The sketches for the logo are done, I just need to digitize them and pick one. As soon as I get done I promise to post the chosen one. We'll present the product at the Comic-Con this year July 21-24, 2011, we'll be in the Small Press section again but at P-5 this time (we are looking to get a booth for the 2012 Con).

Naturaly this new idea also lives in the same alternative time line as Spaceman Jax and Frank and his Friend. By the way I uploaded some new drawings of Spaceman Jax on the Curio & Co. site, which introduce the Mantagons an alien race of army for hire, all they really know how do is fight in combat, every day they have a new president almost at random, in some case one of the poor mantagons get's votted into office without it's knowledge. I have more drawings that I previewed at the Wonder Con, those include some other character of the Mantagon's race, as soon as I get some time I'll upload those too. I should mention that the characters were developed with Luca Fattore AKA Philip La Carta in the Curio time line. It goes without saying that we had a blast working with him.

Now, back to work...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Some More "Frank and his Friend"

Curio and Co. Curio & Co. - by Drawing by Cesare Asaro as Clarence 'Otis' Dooley - Frank and His Friend
Been working like crazy on a database for the company (Curio & Co.). Last night I managed to do some sketching... For those of you that don't know... We'll be at the Wonder-Con in a couple of weeks, we have a booth in the Small Press section (the booth is under the company name)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mr. Green is back in Town

We are starting to see some life again, and there is a little something in the air...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Rest

Drawing by Cesare Asaro

Been working like crazy learning how to build a database robust enough for - It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyways. Man, I miss drawing. My task today: DRAW, draw till I get a hand cramp, and then some more. Happy Sunday!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Looking at Chris Sanders

Drawing by Cesare Asaro

Been looking at Sanders' work for a long time, he's got a really nice sense of appeal. This one is a sketch I did while referencing his design style

Saturday, February 12, 2011

80's ducks

80's Disney's duck - by Cesare Asaro

I looked at some model sheets of Disney's 1980's tv series like Duck Tale. There are some really nice designs...

Friday, January 07, 2011

Curio & Co. - That's What I've Been Doing

Curio and Co. Curio & Co. - Design by Cesare Asaro logo

It may look like I fell of the face of the earth and that was that. Not really, I'm writing the post, right… All this silence on the blog was due to the incredible amount of work that my significant other, Kirstie Shepherd, and I have undertaken since the beginning of 2010. We established Curio & Co. ( What is it? Here is a brief description:

Curio & Co. retails entertainment collectables and memorabilia. Then you say loads of companies do that. Ah… and there is the difference. The memorabilia and collectables that we retail are based on our own entertainment ideas, practically we are building an alternative entertainment history.

Curio and Co. Curio & Co. - Design by Cesare Asaro - Spaceman Jax logo

Curio and Co. Curio & Co. - Design by Cesare Asaro Luca Fattore - Spaceman Jax model sheet signed by Philip La Carta

Let's take the Spaceman Jax product line that we just Luanched (Jannuarry). Spaceman Jax and the Galactic Adventures is an Animated TV Series from 1961 (our 1961) it ran 2 season and was produced by pud film. We built the back history of the TV-show, the production studio the people that owned the studio what kind of studio it was (Warner Brothers or Hana Barbera, UPA, Disney, or Friz Freleng), the artists that worked there, why was the name chosen… and of course the show it self. The thing that really got me exited with Spaceman Jax was that I finally got to collaborate with a Luca Fattore (Philp La Carta as his know in our world) on the design of the show. It was just such a wonderful energetic experience, he took my initial designs and revamped them, bringing in some really interesting new idea, then we went back and forth until we chiseled the style that would fit the show, spirit and time period. It was great talking with him about the design decision that would need to be implemented. Luca is an animator by trade and has worked on loads of features in Europe in many different positions, I mentioned this because it was important that the design of the characters be functional not just visual candy or empty calories which ever way you want to say it. Naturally because it's animation it was loads of work, but the results… take a look!, we are all proud of it. Becaouse things worked out so well we are presently working on other characters of the show. I'm fully jazzed about how they are looking (shhhhh). Getting back to what I was saying about Spaceman Jax as an example, we now have Giclée replicas of the Jax model sheet and original "production" drawings of the TV show. There are other things in the pipeline for the Spaceman Jax brand, which are are other then drawings and prints, but I don't want to give things away.

Curio and Co. Curio & Co. - Design by Cesare Asaro - Clarence 'Otis' Dooley's Signature
Curio and Co. Curio & Co. - Design by Cesare Asaro and Kirstie Shepherd- Finding Frank and his Friend by Clarence Otis Dooley, written by Melvin Goodge

The first product that we Curio & Co. introduced was the The Finding Frank and his Friend book that debut at the Comic-Con 2010, (we were in the Small Press section). You can see some of the development work here on the blog. In this case I was responsible for the illustrations and design of the book, and yes I'm Clarence "Otis" Dooley. Kirstie is actually Melvin Goodge, she wrote the book's text and there was a considerable coming and going of ideas during the illustration stage. I couldn't have finished the book without her support. In this case just like with Spaceman Jax we had to build the back the story of the Artist, and the writer. The general premiss of the book is that these are 52 never before seen illustrations of Otis prior to his success with the syndication of Frank and his Friend. These works were found in the family garage, and since Otis did not deem them good enough they never saw the light of day. The book presents the work as if you, the viewer, know all about the Frank and his Friend, so what you are getting is glimpse in the production process; the book has the sketches one the left pages and the final illustrations on the rig, and some little glimpse and trivia about his life. The book was designed with little hints of "future" entertainment ideas (brads) that will be joint the Curio & Co. family as a matter of fact there a reference to a brand that will be entering Curio & Co. in the next quarter.

Having said that the first product was the Frank and his Friend book I should also mention that Curio & Co. is in itself a persona in our world. The company is run by Elmer Druthers, and his trusty office manager Margie Trundleberry is key to daily business operation and making sure that all of the departments in the company Archives, Sale, Acquisition, and Research have all they need for a productive day. The company's person is that of an art dealer which primary focus on retail of entertainment memorabilia, reproductions, and collectables. As such the site is in character as well. Naturally we had to build the back story for the company as well, when it was founded how many generations it goes back, how many people work at the company and so on.

As the entertainment ideas that are in development/production enter the family all of their back story as Curio & Co.'s will slowly see the light. My goal is for the site to be a wiki of our world, and granted we need to make a living so the shop will need to be an integral part of the site. Never the less I'm hoping to have a dialog with our audience and allow them to give suggestions to what they would like to see. Like a Spaceman Jax on box of Kellogg's cereal (I've been wanting to that one for a while), or perhaps Spaceman Jax had a really catchy theme song and there are some 45's in the Curio & Co. vault that are ding to get out. To stay in character with the company spirit we decided to make sure that all the product are as eco as possible, archival quality (acid free and all that), and since the company retails official collectibles it's only fitting that Curio & Co. issues a certificate of authenticity with every item.

All this to say that I'm having a blast working on Curio & Co. it is a heck of a challenge managing the business and the creative all at the same time, yet it's been so rewording seeing what was done in the last year. The company guidelines, and CI, the Frank and his Friend book, the Spaceman Jax design, the site, a product roadmap, and we also moved apartments (no small task let me tell you). I'm really looking forward to collaborating with more artist and designers on some of our ideas that is such an energy boost for me.

As a little aside we will be at the Small Press section of the Wonder-Con 2011 on April 1-3, 2011 and at the Comic-Con 2011 July 21-24, 2011 booth P-5. Hope to see you there.