Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Gotta get out of here but I wanted to put up a new Celeb Sketchbook image. This one is probably, honestly, one of the LEAST impressive drawings and probably one of the MOST at the same time! It's a sketch by FRANK FRAZETTA!

Long story short, during the earlier days of the Orlando MegaCon we, Disney Animation, started a nice relationship with them. The deal was that we would give exclusive tours of our animation department to guests of the comic con if those guest, in return, would do a Q and A with the artists at a lunchtime panel in our studio. AND me being one of the biggest comic book nerds in the studio I ended up MCing the panel discussions. I kinda loved that. Because of that, I met and became friends with many comic book professionals. Some of which, I still stay in contact with. (Like animators, they tend to be really nice folks. Though sometimes a little rough around the edges- like Tod McFarland.) Like I said, it was a sweet deal and the comic guys loved it too. Most of them were big Disney fans and in the beginning of our annual "program" we really gave them good tours.

This drawing came from the all time BEST year our our 'relationship' with Megacon. That was probably the second-ish year it was around and they had an incredible guest list. AND a lot of the artist that came and did the tour the year before must have told all their artist friends how cool it was. What ended up happening was that we had John Romita SR, Todd McFarlind, William Stout, J. Scott Campebell, a bunch of Image people, and way more that I can't remember! It was awesome! Then, without anyone knowing it, in walks Frank Frazzeta! You just don't see this guy often. He and the whole group were being toured by me so I ended up back at my office (of course) and showed them some of the experimental animation I was doing on the just being developed "Mushu". During the tour Frazzeta's "handler" would tell everyone as they came up that he MIGHT give an autograph but no sketches! I was giving the tour but thinking the whole time how was I gonna get a sketch! I would have been fine with an autotgraph, but I came up a plan. It was risky but once I saw that he was into seeing some of my animation and such, I quickly asked him to sign my sketchbook and handed him it and a drawing pencil. "Sign your sketchbook?" You don't sign sketchbooks..", he said. He got it right away. Then he asked for a thicker pencil. He said he hated drawing with thin pencils. (It wasn't that thin, it was probably a 4B pencil, but he liked huge pencils.) I grabbed him one quick and he did the drawing you see above. His "handler" said that he never does that and I better hang on to it. Like I woundn't. He ended up having a pretty massive stroke a couple weeks later. I heared he stopped drawing and painting after that. This may be one of his last sketches.

Because of all that, it's probably my most treasured drawing.

Sorry about the bad writting and mispelled things like Frazzeta and McFarland, I know they're wrong, I'm just trying to get this story out quick!


Randy said...

Ilove that you can see the John Romita Sr. drawing underneath!

Cool story, Tom! You people in the biz get all the perks. We meager students have to wait...

Sort of. We also have the advantage of pro artists like yourself blogging and sharing your wisdom with the world, so in the end, that's probably better.


UrbanBarbarian said...

Great story Tom! I met Frazetta a while back and he was kind enough to give me an autograph. I also own a few original sketches of his... He's the best!

Didn't know you used to attend MegaCon. I used to go to the Orlando Con as a kid. I met all sorts of great artists there like Will Eisner, etc. It was a really small show and I loved it!

Thanks for posting that Tom!

Leisl said...

Your stories are so awesome and inspiring, thanks for sharing them!

Miah Alcorn said...

Man... you and your great sketchbook.... darn you! Lookin' forward to seeing/hearing more great stuff. Later tater.

David Colman said...

Dude!!You do not know how jealous I am of this piece...
I am intrigued by your trickery too.. I hope you framed this...Its worth a ton!!!!

His stroke was unfortunate,and he then trained himself to draw w/his left hand.. His left hand drawings blow even my best sketches out of the water!

Alikins said...

Frazzeta is one of my most favorites! Very cool!