Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How Serendipity Works in Toontown

On my office wall I have a Who Framed Roger Rabbit animation cell which Disney gave me as a thank you gift after the movie came out.  The cel is from the scene in which Roger and Jessica are hanging from the ceiling of the Acme Warehouse.  This scene is one of the few from the movie in which Jessica and Roger appear on-screen together.  My cel is autographed by Steven Spielberg, Bob Zemeckis (the movie’s director,) Dick Williams (the Academy Award winning head animator,) Bob Hoskins, Charlie Fleischer (voice of Roger Rabbit), and Kathleen Turner (voice of Jessica Rabbit.)

A few months ago, I was reading a Facebook posting from one of my animation friends, Tom Sito.  Tom worked as a lead animator on the Who Framed Roger Rabbit movie.  He’s gone on to award-winning success as an animator, lecturer, and author.  One of the comments on Tom’s posting came from Jacques Muller.  Jacques also worked on the Who Framed Roger Rabbit movie. He was working at the Disney animation studio in London, so I never got to know him well.

Jacques’ profile picture was the Roger and Jessica scene I have hanging on my wall.

I had to “friend” a guy like that.

When Jacques accepted my friend request, he told me that he was the artist who had animated that scene.  He sent me his portfolio which included some of the most astounding animation artwork I’ve ever seen.  Jacque asked if I would like him to draw a picture of Roger for me.

“Funny you should ask,” I wrote him back. “We’re currently looking for a Disney-experienced artist to do the cover artwork for my new novel Who Wacked Roger Rabbit? Are you interested?”

Jacques got back to me so quickly with his “Yes!” that the force of his internet reply nearly blew a hole through my computer screen.

Jacques and I worked together with my editor and the publisher’s art director to come up with a really great concept for the book cover.  Stay Tooned to my blog post, and you’ll be one of the first to see what we came up with.

Jacques is now working to visualize some of the incredible new characters in the book.  I’ll give you a peek at those as soon as he’s finished.

And that’s how things happen in Toontown, where you never know what, or who is waiting for you just around the corner.

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