Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Master Josh Billings has tagged me, so I've got to jot down seven facts about myself, and tag seven others to do the same. Here goes!

I. My screen name, Munchanka, comes from a clan my friends and I formed in Sunday school of the most wise and courageous fourth graders (all three of us).

II. I've been a coffee drinker since fourth grade, the sign of a true Munchanka.

III. My favorite artist in any medium of all-time is John Williams, and my favorite work of his is the score for A New Hope, though his best single track has to be the Jurassic Park Suite.

IV. I cut in line for housing three of my four years at CalArts, unfairly depriving students of dormitory housing (not very Munchanka-like behavior).

V. I've had teeth knocked loose on several occasions, once when hit by a car and once while dressed in full Darth Maul attire.

VI. I didn't get my driver's license until the ripe old age of twenty-two because I took animation courses instead of driver's training in high school and mooched rides off of friends through college.

VII. The greatest gifts I've ever received were a Jurassic Park gate that my brother made for me out of scrap wood and fireplace matchsticks (it was much better quality than it sounds like) and a pair of animation cels from the Mr. DNA sequence in the actual film.

Now that you know more about me, it's time to get to know a few of my friends! Hmm, who to tag...

I. Heidi Gilbert
II. Diana Lafayatis
III. Hwang Nguyen
IV. Vi-Dieu Nguyen
V. Jeremy Spears
VI. Daniela Strijleva
VII. Nate Wragg

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


This day in history, exactly ten years ago, Pixar released A Bug's Life. Of all Pixar's films, this has to be the most underrated, there's some brilliant animation on Hopper, and Tuck and Roll are just plain hilarious.
Now everyone at Pixar's hard at work on the upcoming Pete Docter film. You can check out the new trailer here.
Happy 10th Anniversary to A Bug's Life, and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone else!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gandalf wins by a nose...a long, crooked wizard nose!

Thanks for your votes, readers. You've elected Gandalf the Grey as President of the...wait a second, that's not Gandalf, it's...RON PAUL??

Make sure to vote in this week's poll: What would make the greatest pet?

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I'd like to see how Clark Kent explains showing up for work with a broken arm the same day Jimmy Olsen turns in this photograph for the front page of the Daily Planet.

That's assuming Clark Kent shows up for work ever again...

I had a lot of fun drawing Zod. Some friends and I are going to take another week to explore him and his goons, Ursa and Non. Let me know if you have a version of the Kryptonian rebels that you'd like to share.

Other followers of Zod:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Voyage of the Obyrith, Chapter II: The Fallen
I started doing these pseudo-comic covers for a DnD campaign I'm running to get the players pumped up for each game. Here's the 'cover' for our second gaming session:

The dark of night holds many secrets,
The dark of night tells many lies,
Beware the things that shimmer there,
They may be friends, they may be spies

More cool art at Dungeons and Shenanigans.
For you gamers out there looking for good, atmospheric music--check out E.S. Posthumous. You may recognize some of his tunes from trailers, but the full unedited songs are really epic, intense, and all-around top notch!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Justin Wright on Wikipedia
Someone was kind enough to set up a wikipedia page for my good friend Justin Wright, who passed away earlier this year. Aside from being one of my best friends, I owe a lot of what I know about story and filmmaking to Justin, and it's great to see his legacy living on. There are links to Pacific Union College, CalArts, Pixar, and the Make-a-Wish Foundation from his page, so I am sure his story will inspire and empower others. If you're ever on a wikipedia binge, please swing by Justin's page and give it a read!

"It's funny out there, make sure to laugh."
--Justin Wright

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fictional Presidential Campaign, Part II
Looks like Gandalf is ahead of Xavier in the polls. But the X-Men aren't about to give up that easy. Xavier's campaign has its first attack add ready, and it brings some interesting points to light!

Who is Gandalf the White? Two films ago, he was promoting the Grey agenda, why the sudden switch? And why does he want to sneak WMDs back into enemy territory?

Gandalf holds council with Saruman of Many Colours: a known terrorist, anti-environmentalist, and leader of orcs. Can we trust him with our forests?

When he isn't paling around with terrorists, Gandalf smokes pipeweed with halfling thieves. Irresponsible; not ready to lead.

Gandalf is confused and out of touch. He doesn't know what the internet is, and couldn't even find his way through the mines of Moria.

Gandalf the White: not ready to lead.

"I am Charles Xavier, and I approve this message."

Friday, November 07, 2008

Fictional Presidential Campaign, Part I

Tied at a measly five votes each, Gandalf and Professor X are the top contenders for fictional President of the United States. Personally, I'd vote for Santa Claus--the guy can traverse the entire planet in just one night and knows where all the naughty people live. Bin Laden: check!

But the people have spoken and these our your candidates! Will it be the telepathic genius whose platform is tolerance and education, or the powerful wizard known to work across the aisles to unite many races against a common foe? Get back to that poll and make your fictional voice heard!

While I'm on the topic, a belated condemocratulations to President-elect Obama! Whether you support his policies or not, it's exciting to live in a nation where opportunity is truly available for all. It's also pretty fantastic experiencing in one of those positive-feeling "Where were you when...?" moments I've heard about all my life. God bless America!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Michael Crichton
(Oct 23, 1942-Nov 4, 2008)
If you know me, you know that my favorite film of all-time is Jurassic Park. Aside from Star Wars, I'd say Jurassic Park is the main reason I wanted to become a filmmaker. Steven Spielberg's directing, Stan Winston's dinosaurs, Gary Rydstrom's sound, and Dennis Muren's effects are all astounding, but Jurassic Park would be nothing had it not been for the imagination and scientific curiosity of Michael Crichton.

I remember reading the book in third grade and being absolutely scared out of my gourde. The way Mr. Crichton spelled out the science behind bringing dinosaurs back from life and his descriptions of the theropods' predatory behavior, it was very clear that these weren't monsters or mutants, but actual animals--very real, and very dangerous! I recall having to periodically glance up from the book just to remind myself that I wasn't being stalked by voracious Velociraptors through the black jungles of Isla Nublar. I haven't read as thrilling of a story since!

It's heart-breaking to hear of Mr. Crichton's sudden passing from a private struggle with cancer. Sixty-six is fairly young, and he was still very active as an author, filmmaker, and speaker. I am grateful for the amazing worlds he gave us and the way his stories would tantalize the imagination of the right side of our brains while challenging scientific assumptions of the left side of our brain. As a scientist and an artist, Michael Crichton was quite a human being, and it is the least I can do to salute him on this blog.

So for all of you artists and filmmakers out there, please take an interest in science; it will only inform and inspire your work. And for all you scientists, remember to let your imagine challenge your preconceptions about the world around you. Finally, for Mr. Crichton, thanks for the magnificent scares, sir, and please say hi to Tyrannosaurus rex for me!

Michael Crichton on Charlie Rose

Michael Crichton on Environmentalism as a Religion

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Hope you guys all had a fun Halloween. Looks like it's back to the crypt till next year!