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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 23 trips to carry that many people.
Weekend before last, I was informed that I was watching a genius create three masterpieces, LIVE!
As I watched the artist…perform, doing his best Criss Angel impersonation while throwing paint at a pre-printed canvas to techno music mixes, I gave some thought to some of the people in the audience, and supposed that the person who wrote this artist’s introduction and I had very different dictionaries.
Alice Davis was in that crowd. Larry Nikolai was there. Heck, Noah was there. I totally get “American Pie” now. Completely. And I’m dead sober. To compare Marc Davis’ Cruella to this…without even the slightest mention of Cruella’s creator – it just seemed wrong.
Now, I am not one of those Disney “fans” who lives to complain about how awful Disney is and how it was so much better when they were a child and mommy and daddy were together. The Motor Boat Cruise was actually not very interesting, the costumed characters looked like something out of a nightmare, and they played top 40 music on Main Street, U.S.A. There was good and bad then, there’s good and bad now. Also, there’s personal preference. I love SpectroMagic and consider a viewing of the Main Street Electrical Parade tantamount to psychological torture. I liked The World According to Goofy better than The Lion King Celebration. My husband thinks the corn dogs on Main Street are just so-so.
Nobody I know doesn’t like Trader Sam’s. There IS a reasonable limit, you know.
I learned a long time ago from John Krikfalusi’s blog, forgot, and relearned, that even the most stylistic artists – the good ones – first learn how to draw, how to look at things, how humans, animals and other things move, all of the nuts and bolts first, then they go on to find their style. There are people out there who can look at a childlike work of art and they can see by the staging, scale and use of color and light whether or not this person went to school to learn how to draw.
So the next time I look at a stylized piece of art and think “I could do that”, I’ll be sure to add: “…after years of study and hard work”.
The HERO Initiative raises money to help support the people that made comics in the past during their “golden age”. It provides, according to their website, a “safety net” for medical and other expenses, and helps find them work.
An artist (I use the term loosely) had been making the rounds at conventions selling tracings and copies of other artists’ work as his own. When this was discovered a year or so ago, there was a huge ruckus and much justified anger directed at the artist.
Most of the victimized artists decided that the best way to make this person go away would be to expose him, and then never write about him, the better for his name to fade into obscurity.
A fan gave artist Ty Templeton a hockey jersey he’d purchased from the plagiarizer, with the purpose of taking out his ire on the object. Instead, Templeton decided to use his powers for good – rather, to take the lemony situation with the plagiarism and make lemonade. He passed around the jersey to some artist friends, who drew pictures on it, and then, for good measure, signed each other’s work , which addresses the original problem in a humorous and constructive way.
From Ty Templeton’s blog:
Scarlet Witch by Khoi Pham (signed by Chris Sprouse)
Hulk by Ethan van Sciver (signed by Khoi Pham)
Wonder Woman by Agnes Garbowska (signed by Leonard Kirk)
Evil Ernie by Dale Keown (signed by Richard Pace)
Spider-Man by Ty Templeton (signed by Agnes Garbowska
Sandman by Richard Pace (signed by Ty Templeton)
Gorilla-Man by Leonard Kirk (signed by Ethan van Sciver)
Tom Strong by Chris Sprouse (signed by Dale Keown)
…and a hearty “Sit the @#?!!@ down!” by Ethan van Sciver (this one properly attributed!)
Way to take lemons and make lemonade.
James Silvani and Amy Mebberson, creators of some of the best Disney comics out there, appeared at D23 in a booth on the show floor. They saw their first conventioneer at 9:30, and by 11AM Mebberson tweeted that all requests for the day were sold out. As of 7PM, when the show floor closed, Silvani was finishing the last one, Dumbo holding a camera.
They had also drawn Stitch as Maleficent, Postman Mickey, Mickey in front of a StarSpeeder frowning at a mouse droid, and many more. I’ll leave those to the owners if they want to show pictures of them online. Silvani and Mebberson worked on the Darkwing Duck comics, Muppet Sherlock Holmes, and many more fan favorites.
After the Marvel presentation, all of Amy’s Marvel characters sold out. By noon, there was only one small picture of Storm as a princess left. Shortly thereafter, they were all gone.
Joe Quesada said in the Marvel “Cup of Joe” presentation that he has no idea what’s going to happen with the Disney comics once the contract ends with BOOM! Studios in a few weeks. I do know that the final decision of whether Marvel picks up the Disney comics is up to two gentlemen in Italy whom you’ll meet at a later date.
It’s a popular idea among fans – three of the eleven people who came up to the microphone to question Joe asked about Disney comics, specifically Darkwing Duck and Uncle Scrooge. The Duckburg characters are wildly popular in Italy, but here, after Gladstone and Gold Key faded into time, the comics sort of floundered until picked up by BOOM! Studios. Now, it looks like they might be going in for another swim. That would be a tragedy.
I really hope this can be settled, and soon, because The Disney Afternoon is an important touchstone to generations X and Y. Baby Boomers raced home after school every day to watch the original Mickey Mouse Club. These kids rushed home every day to catch The Disney Afternoon. It’s just as important, and just as large a part of the Disney legacy, to them.
(Part 2 Tomorrow)
|APPEARANCES BY FUNNYMAN CHRIS PARNELL AND AWARD-WINNING COMPOSER MICHAEL GIACCHINO HAVE BEEN ADDED TO THE EXCLUSIVE SCREENING AND Q&A SESSION FOR THE ANIMATED SPECIAL “PREP & LANDING: NAUGHTY VS. NICE,” AUGUST 19 AT THE D23 EXPO|
“Once Upon a Time” Exclusive Screening Will Be Followed By a
Q&A with “Lost” Writers Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz on August 20
Both Panels Will Be Moderated By “D23’s Disney Geek” Host Jeffrey Epstein
|Be among the first to watch ABC’s most anticipated new fall series and animated holiday special and to have a chance to learn the secrets behind how they were made. Fans will have those opportunities at the D23 Expo, where the entire world of Disney comes together, August 19 and 20, at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Get a jump on the holiday season on Friday, August 19 at 12:45 p.m. in Stage 23, as the D23 exposition unwraps Walt Disney Animation Studios’ festive new special, “Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice,” with an exclusive premiere screening of the latest, nicest and naughtiest adventure in this multiple Emmy Award(r)-winning program. Santa’s dauntless elves, Wayne and Lanny, find themselves up to their pointy ears in trouble, as they race to recover classified North Pole technology, which has fallen into the hands of a computer-hacking Naughty Kid. Their mission to prevent Christmas from descending into chaos has some riotous twists, turns and surprises. A special “Christmas in August” presentation and Q&A, moderated by “D23’s Disney Geek” host Jeffrey Epstein, will follow with Emmy Award-winning directors Kevin Deters & Stevie Wermers-Skelton and producer Dorothy McKim.
A special guest star appearance with funnyman Chris Parnell (“Saturday Night Live,” “30 Rock,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and award-winning composer Michael Giacchino (“Up,” “Ratatouille,” “Cars 2,” “John Carter,” “Mission Impossible-Ghost Protocol,” “Lost”) will take place after the presentation.
Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz — the esteemed executive producers/writers of “Lost” and writers of “Tron: Legacy” — bring you ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” a bold new series where fairytale characters collide with our world. On Saturday, August 20 at 12:45 p.m. in Stage 23, join Eddy and Adam for a Q&A, moderated by “D23’s Disney Geek” host Jeffrey Epstein, as well as a special screening of the show. Brace yourselves for a modern fable with thrilling twists and hints of darkness, brimming with wonder and filled with the magic of our most beloved fairytales. The series will premiere on Sunday, October 23 on ABC.
About D23 Expo 2011
The D23 Expo-The Ultimate Disney Fan Event-brings the entire world of Disney under one roof, providing attendees with unprecedented access to Disney films, television and theme parks. For schedules, live updates, interactive features and tools, polls and much more, check out the D23 Expo mobile app at http://www.D23mobile.com! To be part of the D23 Expo conversation, make sure to follow @DisneyD23 and tag your tweets with #D23Expo. For questions during the D23 Expo, get answers by sending tweets to @D23Expo.
The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his fledgling studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 88-year history. D23 gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication Disney twenty-three; a rich website at http://www.disney.com/D23; a new collectibles line, the Walt Disney Archives Collection; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year, highlighted by the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, August 19-21, 2011.
Fans can join D23 at http://www.Disney.com/D23, all Disney Store locations within the United States, select shops at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort and at http://www.DisneyStore.com/D23. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow us @DisneyD23 on Twitter and Facebook.
Disney to Donate $500,000 and 8 Million Disney Publishing Worldwide Books to First Book
Event Features DPW Best-Selling Authors Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson Together With Disney Junior’s Jake and the Never Land Pirates stars David Arquette and Corey Burton
ANAHEIM, Calif., Aug. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — A special event this Friday at 1 p.m. at the D23 Expo in the Anaheim Convention Center celebrates the power of imagination and the magic of Disney storytelling. Disney will donate $500,000 and 8 million Disney Publishing Worldwide books to First Book, a national nonprofit organization that provides new books to children in need. Disney’s enduring commitment to kids, families and communities will be front and center at the event, as Disney Publishing Worldwide and Disney Junior highlight the emotional connection that generations of kids and families have to Disney’s iconic stories and beloved characters.
The event features Disney Publishing Worldwide authors Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson reading excerpts from their new book,The Bridge to Never Land. The duo will be joined by David Arquette and Corey Burton from Disney Junior’s No. 1 series, Jake and the Never Land Pirates. The Never Land Pirate Band will also perform.
“We are pleased that our donation will help millions of kids and families discover the wonder of reading and explore Disney’s unparalleled storytelling legacy,” said Bob Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company.
Since its founding in 1992, First Book has distributed more than 85 million new books to children from low-income families in thousands of communities throughout the United States and Canada. First Book now distributes an average of more than 25,000 books per day. Disney Publishing Worldwide has worked with First Book since 1999, helping to get books into the hands of kids and their families. Last year, First Book distributed a total of 7.5 million books; the donation of 8 million Disney books—including titles for the youngest readers up through teen series—will help First Book double this number.
Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have fueled the imaginations of countless readers with their series of Starcatchers books, all prequels to Peter Pan. The Bridge to Never Land, their most recent collaboration, which hit stores August 9, takes readers on a new, contemporary quest involving Peter, Wendy and the Starcatchers. Helping to bring the story to life at Friday’s event will beDavid Arquette, who voices the role of Skully the lookout parrot on Disney Junior’s Jake and the Never Land Pirates, and Corey Burton, the voice of Captain Hook. As part of its ongoing commitment to kids and families, Disney Junior is collaborating with Radio Disney to help with upcoming First Book distribution events in communities around the country.
We invite our D23 Expo guests to take part in a fantastic journey into the Disney Story Vault, be captivated by the latest re-imagining of Peter Pan’s adventures, and celebrate this special donation with First Book President Kyle Zimmer. Audience members will receive a free book to help bring home the magic of Disney storytelling.
Tickets to the D23 EXPO are available at http://www.D23Expo.com. Admission includes access to all experiences and entertainment at the D23 EXPO and can be purchased for single days or for the full three days of festivities. Admission is $42for a one-day adult ticket and $32 for children 3-12. Three-day passes are $121 for adults and $91 for children. Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will receive a discount for up to four admissions, as well as early entry to each day of the D23 EXPO for themselves and their guests.
About D23 Expo 2011
The D23 Expo—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings the entire world of Disney under one roof, providing attendees with unprecedented access to Disney films, television and theme parks. For schedules, live updates, interactive features and tools, polls and much more, check out the D23 Expo mobile app at www.D23mobile.com! To be part of the D23 Expo conversation, make sure to follow @DisneyD23 and tag your tweets with #D23Expo. For questions during the D23 Expo, get answers by sending tweets to @D23Expo.
The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923, when Walt Disney opened his fledgling studio inHollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 88-year history. D23 gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication Disney twenty-three; a rich website at www.disney.com/D23; a new collectibles line, the Walt Disney Archives Collection; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year, highlighted by the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, August 19-21, 2011.
(But the Hollywood Tower still has it beat with thirteen – Fab)
DISNEYLAND HOTEL EARNS PRESTIGIOUS FOUR DIAMOND AWARD FROM AAA
Two Disneyland Resort Hotels Now Represent Anaheim’s Only Four Diamond Properties
ANAHEIM, Calif. Aug. 17, 2011 – AAA has bestowed its coveted 2012 Four Diamond award upon the landmark Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California making it the second property at the Disneyland Resort to secure such a high rating.
The designation was announced in a recent letter to the resort. The announcement noted that only four percent of the 31,000 hotel properties AAA reviews achieve this enviable distinction.
“This is tremendous news, especially for the 1,000 Cast Members who work at the Disneyland Hotel and create magical experiences for our guests,” said Tony Bruno, vice president resort hotels and Downtown Disney. “The award underscores our continued investment in the guest experience and all our ongoing work, which has transformed the Disneyland Resort and Anaheim into Southern California’s world-class, multiday tourist destination.”
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa also is a AAA Four Diamond award winner and is home to yet another AAA Four Diamond recipient: the popular Napa Rose restaurant.
According to the Auto Club, AAA’s Diamond rating program is the only hotel and restaurant review system in the nation that uses specially trained full-time field representatives. As part of AAA’s national network, the Auto Club’s own staff reviews establishments without prior notification using objective and detailed rating procedures.
“North America’s AAA Diamond Rating System is a long-time trusted systematic method of rating lodgings and restaurants,” said the Auto Club’s Approved Accommodations Supervisor Patricia Marenco. “Southern California’s hotels and restaurants that earn the AAA Four Diamond award maintain a very high standard of service in their hotels and restaurants in order to continue pleasing their guests.”
Earlier this summer, the Disneyland Hotel marked a milestone in the property’s major “re-imagination” project with the opening of a new courtyard, restaurant, bar, pool and water play area.
“This exciting renovation extends the immersion and magic of our park experience to this classic hotel,” said Bruno. “We’ve woven important pieces of Disneyland park history into the Disneyland Hotel, particularly with the reopening of the pool and courtyard area. The Disneyland Hotel now features some one-of-a-kind enhancements as a result of the property-wide program.”
The hotel’s three guest room towers have been renamed for some of Disneyland park’s distinctive lands: the Adventure Tower, Frontier Tower and Fantasy Tower. At the entrance of each tower, large marquees will feature classic artwork of Adventureland, Frontierland and Fantasyland identifying each building.
The hotel’s beautifully remodeled guest rooms now feature exquisite Disney touches woven into the décor, including a stunning new headboard with an artistically carved representation of Disneyland park’s famous Sleeping Beauty Castle. The background on the headboards uses fiber optics to create a magical skyline with fireworks – bringing the immersive park experience into the room.
The Disneyland Hotel also features a unique collection of suites including the Mickey Mouse Penthouse, and the Pirates of the Caribbean and Fairly Tale suites. The newest additions include the Adventureland Suite, which offers guests a two-bedroom hideaway complete with a grotto in the master bathroom that simulates — through light and sound effects — a rain forest and African savanna. The Big Thunder Suite hosts up to six pioneers and immerses them in luxurious rustic accommodations inspired by Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland park.
The new results at the Disneyland Hotel are a part of a larger expansion project underway throughout the Disneyland Resort. Disney California Adventure park is undergoing a multiyear expansion project that includes new experiences, attractions and nighttime spectaculars, culminating in 2012 with the opening of Cars Land. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa also underwent an expansion in 2009 that added 203 hotel rooms and 50 two-bedroom villas that are part of the Disney Vacation Club, marking the club’s West Coast debut.
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Economy-minded vacationers will find plenty of choices for delicious dining that won’t break the budget. Think beyond hot dogs and hamburgers. Here are some interesting picks for inexpensive dining ($10 or less) at the Disneyland Resort:
At Disneyland Park
- Bengal Barbecue in Adventureland (bacon-wrapped asparagus, vegetable, chicken or beef skewers)
- Rancho del Zocalo in Frontierland (four cheese enchiladas with red chile sauce)
- Carnation Café on Main Street, U.S.A. (a bowl of loaded baked potato soup)
- Golden Horseshoe in Frontierland (fish ‘n chips)
- Hungry Bear in Critter Country (grilled chicken Caesar, veggie burger, turkey club)
- Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port in Tomorrowland (slice of veggie pizza, tomato-basil pasta)
- Royal Street Veranda in New Orleans Square (gumbo in a sourdough bowl)
- Tomorrowland Terrace (grilled veggie sandwich, fresh fruit plate)
At Disney’s California Adventure Park
- Wine Country Trattoria in the Golden State (caprese salad, chef’s soup)
- Lucky Fortune Cookery (Asian rice bowl with beef, chicken or tofu)
- Pacific Wharf Café (Santa Rosa corn chowder, Vallejo vegetarian chili served in sourdough bowls)
- Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill (tamales and tacos)
- Taste Pilot’s Grill, Golden State Condor Flats (three large pork ribs, fries and slaw)
At Disneyland Hotel
- The Coffee House (chef salad, ham and cheese sandwich)
- Tangaroa Terrace (all breakfasts, salads, flatbreads, fish & chips and most burgers) – Fab
- Trader Sam’s (most pupus, including tacos and wraps) – Fab
At Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel
- PCH Grill (one-third-pound Angus burgers, club sandwich, grilled chicken breast sandwich, skinny melt with beef or turkey patty on bed of grilled zucchini and caramelized onions)
At Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
- White Water Snacks (veggie burger, nachos, personal pizzas) – Fab misses the Beef Dip.
- Storyteller’s Café (at lunch, corn chowder, chicken quesadilla, sticky ribs with soba salad)
At Downtown Disney District
- House of Blues (chicken shrimp gumbo, crispy catfish nuggets, spicy calamari, chicken quesadillas.)
- La Brea Bakery Express (soup in a sourdough bread bowl, various sandwiches and salads)
- Napolini (paninis, baked pasta, pizza by the slice)
- Rainforest Café (buffalo wings, chili con queso)
- Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Express (jambalaya, gumbo, po’ boy sandwiches)
- Tortilla Jo’s Taqueria (tacos, burritos, nachos)
On the other end, there’s Steakhouse 55. When Goofy’s Kitchen has a long lunchtime wait, they open their lounge and serve light lunches there, including one of the best burgers we’ve had in our lives. It’s more than ten dollars – but well worth it.
Steakhouse 55 A Cut Above With Indulgent Angus Beef, Award-Winning Wine List
ANAHEIM, Calif. – With an vintage Hollywood ambience that includes classic photos of Walt Disney dining with movie stars, white linen tablecloths and servers in old-fashioned bowties, Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel is an upscale-yet-comfortable culinary indulgence.
“My goal is to capture the feeling of a traditional steakhouse, but with our own flair, and to celebrate a great steak,” said Chef Jason Martin.
The “55″ is an ode to 1955, the year Disneyland opened, an era when a night on the town was a glamorous experience. Start the evening with cocktails in the cozy adjoining lounge before settling in at a curving banquette or table in the handsome, 108-seat restaurant with touches of oak and etched glass, and an impressive wine cellar.
Beautiful, thick Angus steaks are the star, from the signature 18-ounce bone-in ribeye with steakhouse rub to a flawlessly broiled 7-ounce filet mignon. The ideal sidekick is Martin’s potato stack au gratin with countless layers of thinly sliced potatoes baked in decadent butter and cream.
If you prefer surf to turf, tuck in to the cold water lobster tail, broiled Atlantic salmon or the Chef’s sustainable fresh fish selection. Start with a taste of the sea – shrimp cocktail, Dungeness crab cakes or chilled ahi. Beyond other cuts of beef including New York strip, prime rib and a generous porterhouse, meat entrées include herb-crusted rack of lamb and free-range chicken breast.
Steakhouse starters such as Seven Onion Soup with Parmesan Crisp, “wedge” iceberg lettuce with Gorgonzola, Caesar salad or the Steakhouse Salad with bacon, tomato, cucumber, and cheddar pair nicely with any entrée choice.
Most of the servers, as well as Chef Martin, are sommeliers, and they happily will offer a taste or two or offer a vintage from the award-winning selection. When he’s not too busy in the kitchen, Chef Martin said he enjoys a visit to the restaurant’s wine cellar with guests.
“I enjoy sharing the celebration of fresh, vibrant food and wine, and introducing guests to new flavors,” said Martin.
Steakhouse 55 has been awarded “Four Stars” from the Orange County Register and a Golden Bacchus from the Southern California Restaurant Writers Association. Zagat rates the restaurant “amazing,” “a gem,” “elegant” and “the best ribeye in town.”
Prix-fixe and children’s menus are available. The private Oak Room may be reserved for parties of up to 22.
Breakfast feels like a special occasion at Steakhouse 55, where guests tend to relax and sip lattes and cappuccinos – or maybe a hot chocolate with whipped cream. Specialties such as buttermilk pancakes with warm Bananas Foster or French toast with warm berries are an indulgent way to start the day, or fill up on eggs Benedict, omelettes, huevos rancheros or a hearty breakfast burrito. Splurge with the 7-ounce Angus steak and eggs, or behave with granola, yogurt and fruit or the Smoked Salmon and Bagel platter. For kids, Mickey-shaped pancakes, scrambled eggs or favorite breakfast cereals are on the menu.
My old friend Doug collected Disney pins. In 1993.
Ten years later, an enterprising sharp pencil person decided that they could make a sub-industry out of “trading pins”. They released pins for the sake of releasing pins, and collectors gobbled them up. Every possible event was capitalized upon with a pin release. Lanyards became the normal wear for Disney fans around the park, and new customers were lured in with snazzy “starter sets”.
Is buying every rare pin that comes out just for the sake of owning it collecting…or is it more like hoarding?
Beanie Babies were quite the rage at the time. Disney took part in that, too. The Beanie Babies that people tore each other apart over, paid thousands of dollars for, are now going for about three dollars each on eBay.
And now there’s “Vinylmation”. Bear-shaped…oh, sorry…mouse-shaped generic figures stamped with different Disney-themed designs, let’s call it an “homage” to Medicom’s Bearbrick series. People who know nothing about Urban Vinyl are snapping these up by the blind boxload because Disney merchandising told them it’s the “next big thing!”
Let me introduce you to a very nice man from Hong Kong – big Disney fan as well. Michael Lau. Since the late 90s, “The Godfather of Urban Vinyl” has been creating vinyl figures based mostly on street culture, but also occasionally popular culture as well.
I hear he’s going to be doing something with Disney soon. Ah, the Circle of Merchandise.
As I said in “Miehana, Youhana…” Disney-based art is best when done by people who know and love it, instead of corporations whose collectibles can bring in synergistic revenues. So it’s good that we have Kevin and Jody. It’s good that Disney is working with Disney fan Michael Lau and other Disney fans.
It’s also important that people in the studios and Imagineering – people who are part of the history and culture – are recognized for their art as well. People like Larry Nikolai (who has a little something or other in the D23 auction this week, by the way), who have hands-on (and hearts-on) experience with Disney.
Don’t buy something because it’s a collectible – it might be worthless later on. Buy something you love, and no matter what eBay says, it will always be priceless to you.