Titmouse stageJay SchultzJay SchultzZack Keller and John Dusenberry

The Weekend Pilots Live at Titmouse Inc., a set on Flickr.

Photos from The Weekend Pilots Live at Titmouse Inc. Taken on Wednesday, December 12, 2012.

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Recap of The Weekend Pilots Live at Titmouse Inc.

The stage at Titmouse Inc. on the night of Wednesday, December 12, 2012.

I was informed via mass Facebook invite of The Weekend Pilots Live at Titmouse Inc., which was to take place on the night of Wednesday, December 12, 2012, or 12/12/12, the final day that three numbers will align until the next century. Discouraged by the ticket price and my lack of knowledge on the Weekend Pilots, I headed over to the band’s website to see what all the hubbub was about. After giving their debut album a listen, which is available for free, I was convinced. Snagged my ticket online, and, when the day came, left work early to join my West Hollywood animation studio neighbors (Fox TV Animation and Titmouse are practically ten minutes away from each other) for an unpredictable night of comedy, music, and mayhem.

Zack Keller and John Dusenberry, creators of "Duke of Fancy," giving a speech before a screening of shorts for YouTube animation channel Rug Burn.

Weekend Pilots musician Jay Schultz gave an opening speech before Dick Figures creator Zack Keller and animator John Dusenberry took the stage to talk about their new web series, Duke of Fancy, for YouTube animation channel Rug Burn. The first episode of Duke of Fancy was then screened, followed by Rug Burn shorts Axe Cop, and Dogsnack.

Jerrod Carmichael doing his stand-up bit at Titmouse on Wednesday, December 12, 2012.

Ron Lynch doing a stand-up bit at Titmouse on Wednesday, December 12, 2012.

Special guests Jerrod Carmichael and Ron Lynch were up for the stand-up segment of the night. Jerrod’s clever observation that being gay today is comparable to being black in the ’70s was a hoot among audience members, though Ron was clearly the top dog comedian, snagging the figurative trophy for inventiveness, as he employed microphone tricks to render his words nearly unintelligible, as if spoken underwater. Had this been a comedy standoff, Ron’s lip sync to a parody of Disneyland attraction “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln,” peppered with adult humor, would have been the coup de grâce.

The Weekend Pilots singing "Panty Survey" at Titmouse on Wednesday, December 12, 2012.

The Weekend Pilots were the final act, bursting into song with various wardrobe changes and flamboyant antics to rival that of The Mighty Boosh. Never-before-seen animated music videos of “Business Bear” and “Make A Wish,” with art by Henry the Worst, were showcased, with the former video having it’s own live accompaniment. “El Lobo” and “Panty Survey” were the last two songs of their stint, with Jay Schultz running out into the crowd to wave maracas in people’s faces, or ask unsuspecting ladies how many pairs of panties do they own. Dozens of panties were dumped onto the audience, obviously during the latter performance, and thrown around. Pretty much the start of a typical Titmouse party.

My favorite members of the "China, IL" crew: Sakari Singh, Ben Li, and David Reilly.

Speaking of parties, the after-party was a success, with most of the audience sticking around to converse with the artists of the night – and perhaps to take advantage of the free booze and cake pops, but only a little! As for me, I got to do what I always look forward to doing at Titmouse parties: hang out with my Titmouse buddies. In this case, it was my favorite members of the “China, IL” crew: character layout artist Sakari Singh, storyboard artist Ben Li, and fellow LMU animation badass graduate David Reilly.

Me and "China, IL" background supervisor Martin Lopez getting our picture taken with Ray Timmons of the Weekend Pilots.

I also snagged a photo with Weekend Pilots musician Ray Timmons and “China, IL” background supervisor Martin Lopez. God, I look so out of place standing next to those super-stylish men. What the hell!?

To see more photos of the event, check out the set on Flickr.

Figure drawings from Titmouse - featuring Miss Mosh!

My Canon G12 is out of commission at the moment, so we’ll have to deal with these crappy iPhone photos for now.

Anyway, Titmouse has these figure drawing sessions that are normally reserved for the studio’s artists only, but Ben Li was kind enough to get me in on last night’s gathering, which was seriously awesome because the stunning Miss Mosh was the model of the evening! I’ve been a fan of Miss Mosh ever since I discovered her on DeviantArt, so it was a mind-blowing experience to see her in person - you know, one of those “Oh, my God, you’re actually REAL!” sort of things. Sadly, I must admit that I’ve been out of practice in the figure drawing arena, so I wasn’t able to do her much justice in my drawings. No matter, I am sharing the best of what I could do at the time.

In a room full of eccentric animation people, you bet your life the night was fraught with hilarity. Effects animator Edward Artinian was the boss, timing all the poses and collecting payments, up until he had to bail, leaving Jeremy Polgar and Ben in charge, or as Jeremy put it, “I am in charge of making Ben in charge!”

When Mosh assumed the pose in the second photo against a drawing horse and counter stool, she had to adjust after a couple of seconds, complaining - and I don’t know if I heard this right - of pressure in her uterus! Cue laughter. When she apologized for the inconvenience, Jeremy said, “‘Ey! It’s alright,” prompting everyone in the room to burst out laughing once more. If you knew Jeremy, and his way of speaking, you’d understand why.

The last pose, a 10-minute one that I don’t have pictured here, was a request from Ben to have Mosh sitting with a twist to it. It was a pose that I knew right away was going to be painful for her in the long run, and my thoughts were proven correct, as Mosh trembled from the uneven distribution of weight, and, far more than once, straightened herself to take a breather from the pain. Five minutes in, my brain was already screaming, “For God’s sake! Someone please tell her to change the pose!” It was a beautiful pose, but it was difficult to watch someone be so uncomfortable.

Nevertheless, she got through it, and everyone applauded and thanked her, as they should have. And Ben apologized. It was very touching.

My night at the “Motorcity” premiere party

On the eve of Monday, April 30, my friends at Titmouse made animation history with the premiere of “Motorcity” on Disney XD. And what better way to celebrate this achievement than to have a premiere party at Cinespace in Hollywood? Before I get into that, though, here’s the basic story of the series for those not in the know: In the future, evil tycoon Abraham Kane has taken over Detroit by building a city of his own on top of it, Detroit Deluxe, and banning personal freedoms, such as automobile transportation. Now he’s got his sights set on the slums of Motorcity, but he’s going to have to get through Mike Chilton and the Burners first, a group of hot-rod riding teens who will fight Kane tooth and nail for their right to “live fast, live free.”

I never expected good things to come out of posting a simple drawing - you know, my “Family Guy” meets “Motorcity” deal with Lois Griffin as Julie. The retweet by the show’s creator, Chris Prynoski, was one thing. Then there was the invitation to the premiere party, which I honestly had no clue about beforehand, and as the guest of none other than THIS BADASS MOFO RIGHT HERE:

Yes, I went in with Ben Li, one of the animators on the show, and apparently, the right guy to be with at that time. As is evidenced by the cast on his left arm, he had gotten well acquainted with a sledgehammer at the Titmouse Smash Party over the weekend, damaging more than just machinery, and dubbing his injuries “Fractured Thumb of the Northstar” - by the way, you can see a video of him smashing away here at his blog. Everyone thought he was a champ for taking all of that in stride. Seeing all those people screaming his name as I followed him to the front of the theater was much like walking in with a celebrity, which was quite a rush, let me tell you. Even Chris commended him for his bravery during his speech before the screening.

The party began at 7 and ended after 10, though Ben and I ducked out during the beginning to grab dinner at The Waffle. When we returned, there was about fifteen minutes to spare for getting free drinks at the bar and mingling with friends and the Titmouse gang before moving into the theater for the 9 PM screening.

As we waited for the show to begin, there was a slideshow of fanart made for the series by both crew members and non-crew alike. Then a speech was done by some guy whose name I don’t know before Chris took center stage to thank the cast and crew for all their hard work. He also announced that he and his wife Shannon are expecting their first child together, their own “little animation fan,” as he put it. Awwww!

Episodes 1 and 10 were screened, with people cheering for their co-workers as their names flashed during the opening and closing credits. My friend Jeremy Polgar’s shining moment came when his scene of Mike Chilton taking down an Ultra Golem with a double-edged spear about five minutes into the first episode was received with much fervor. To see one of my heroes being rewarded for his hard work was nothing short of inspiring and exhilarating. I feel so lucky to know him.

There was a ten-minute break in between shows. During that time, I socialized with Titmouse/LMU friends, and discovered from one of them that Kel Mitchell was at the party! I didn’t know it before, but Kel is the voice of Dutch on the show. Being a fan of the old SNICK shows “All That” and “Kenan and Kel,” I couldn’t resist getting a picture with him. It was like reliving my childhood in a way.

The “Motorcity” premiere party was a blast. I got to know Ben a little better, catch up with my LMU animation alumni buddies, snap a photo with Kel, congratulate Chris on a successful premiere, and, ooh, free shirt! But alas, with the latter victory comes the bitter realization that the Dethklok shirts I saw at the “Metalocalypse” season 4 premiere party were also free. Dang it! I should’ve snagged one of those!

A chat with Chris Prynoski at the “Metalocalypse” season 4 premiere party

As some of you know, “Metalocalypse” is practically my favorite show on TV. I’ve actually done fanart for it in the past - just watch out, though, it’s pretty gay. So it was like a dream come true being able to go to the Season 4 premiere party at Edendale in Silver Lake last night. I didn’t stick around until the end, however, due to it being a Sunday night and having work the next day. Like, really… why does the show have to be at 12:15? 10 PM like “South Park” seems like a much more agreeable time.

While I was there, I got to have a chat with the founder of Titmouse Inc. and creator of “Motorcity,” Chris Prynoski, about, well…”Motorcity.” He had been working on the series for around ten years now, and finally got his big break. We both agreed that the long journey was rewarding, considering how far animation technology has come. Had the series been made when he first came up with it, it wouldn’t look as sleek and drop-dead gorgeous as it does now. Just watch it tonight, and imagine how it would look animated on cels. Yeah…

I was also able to express my gratitude over him retweeting my previous post of Lois Griffin as Julie from the series. It was really an honor to the both of us. He was thrilled that people were already making fanart for the series when it hasn’t even aired yet, and I was starstruck that the creator of the show would even take notice of my work.

I forgot to ask him if he’s a fan of “Family Guy,” but I did learn that he has been to Fox TV Animation a couple of times. He’s actually friends with supervising director James Purdum! I’ve worked with James a couple of times, and he’s a really nice guy, but very soft-spoken and business-like, so it’s really funny imagining him playing Dungeons and Dragons and cracking jokes with Chris. I like learning new things about my co-workers, haha!

"Motorcity" premieres tonight on Disney XD at 9 PM. I’m actually going to the premiere party tonight with my friend Ben Li, who is one of the animators on the show.

Something completely different

I heavily debated whether or not to put this up here for a few reasons, one of them being the possibility of scaring my supposed male audience away with its unabashed gayness. But after having my friend Jeremy Polgar parade it around to some of the artists at Titmouse, where it was received with a mix of amusement and obvious confusion, I figured what the hay? Into the blog she goes.

The hilarity of this being shared with the artists at Titmouse comes not only from its devastatingly homoerotic nature, but its relevance, considering this is a fan piece of one of their shows: “Metalocalypse,” the greatest TV show OF ALL TIME. Of course, I’m exaggerating, but I am being very honest when I tell you this is currently my favorite TV show. I own all three seasons, as well as the second Dethklok album, and have even attended one of their concerts. Toki is my favorite cartoon character in general, so it was a dream come true meeting Tommy Blacha, have him do the voice of Toki for me, and get a picture with him during one of my visits to the studio last year.

No one was lying when they told me he was a nice guy. He’s definitely one of the most personable industry bigwigs that I’ve met so far. But I digress.

So, yeah… I like “Metalocalypse” slash. This isn’t anything new for me. I’ve been drawing slash works for a few years now, posting some of them onto my soon-to-be-deleted art journal on Livejournal. In fact, this was originally posted on LJ for user nawazarrio for the 2011 Hearts & Guts “Metalocalypse” gift exchange. Waz requested Nathan/Pickles with brownie points to the artist if they could make “Pickles being… broken and [wanting] someone to lean on,” and I could only oblige.

Well, that answers the biggest question among the Titmouse artists regarding my submission: Why is Pickles crying? Not that they really cared so much about getting the answer to that one, haha!