Sunday, September 16, 2012


I have joined the world of Twitter. I opened an account for the sole reason of following news sources that interest me. I plan on posting news, information, thoughts and photos from the subjects that most inspire me: filmmaking, toys and science. In one way or another, these subjects influence every decision I make for my job in animation (directing storyboards, art direction, writing, etc.).

I invite you all to follow me on Twitter. This blog has been hard for me to keep up with because of the time it takes for me to compose an entry and how little time I have during the day. I'm hoping Twitter will be a quicker and easier format for me to share information that's insightful to my work or relevant to my interests while also maybe enlightening you to something new. I still plan on updating this blog with work relevant entries whenever possible so check back here once in a while.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Would you like to know a little more about the Young Justice Watchtower and Hall of Justice? Well, here's a little info about the thought that went into their designs. 


On Earth 16 the Watchtower is a secret place so I couldn't design it in a way that might imply the Justice League hauled up loads and loads of building materials from the planet and put the thing together. There are too many eyes on the League. They're famous. There's no way they could build a space station without someone finding out about it.

In order to acquire some orbital real estate that met some very specific requirements I figured the League would have to turn to their most trusted outer space connections, the Green Lanterns. This led to the idea of the Earth 16 Watchtower being a decommissioned Green Lantern base station. It was towed to Earth by Hal Jordan and John Stewart.

One clue to the Green Lantern origins of the Watchtower are the designs cut into the rising elements of the Mission Room floor. Those designs are basically Green Lantern symbols. Also, the entire station is built for beings capable of flight. We tried to reflect this by designing a lot of vertical spaces with stacked ledges that don't appear to be easy to get to for pedestrians. There are elevators for pedestrian visitors but they're not highly visible.

The Watchtower's structure was carved into the body of an asteroid. Through the sophistication of the carving, the design aesthetic, and the implied technology throughout I hoped to communicate at a glance that the structure had not been constructed by human hands. I say "implied technology" because clearly the Watchtower has gravity, atmosphere, and cloaking capabilities that hide it from ground based telescopes and radar but no technology is seen performing these functions. Humans obviously have no such technology so advanced alien technology is implied here. The only exceptions to the alien tech are the few pieces of Earth tech (Zeta Tubes, etc.) that the League added to suit their needs. I had hoped to find a place in the series to explain all of this but we had so many other story elements to manage in each episode that the Watchtower back story fell to greater needs. We did manage to mention that the Watchtower has no weapons in the 20th episode of season one (Coldhearted).

The Young Justice Watchtower wasn't my first Watchtower design. Back when I was directing on The Batman I introduced the Watchtower in the final episode of Season 4. I sketched out a domed version of the Super Friends Hall of Justice that was built onto an asteroid with some extra structures beneath it. I pitched the idea, everyone seemed to like it, it went through the design department and ended up in the show.

I always liked the domed Hall of Justice look from The Batman's Watchtower so it became a starting point when I began working out ideas for the actual Hall of Justice in the Young Justice series. I think everyone knows that the Hall of Justice from the Super Friends was inspired by the Cincinnati Union Terminal, a beautiful Art Deco structure. I wanted to capture the spirit of that classic Super Friends Hall but because the Young Justice Hall is a modern building it made no sense to use the original Art Deco design. I sat down with Dan Norton (art director for Thundercats) and explained my design ideas to him. He whipped up an amazing assortment of designs for the Hall and we quickly finalized the version you now see in the show.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Joe Kubert

Joe, through your amazing artistry and leadership we all knew you as one of the greatest legends of the comic book industry. When you opened the doors of your school to share your passion with others many more of us came to know you as a teacher and a role model. During my stay at your school and through the years that followed I was lucky to get to know you as an employer, a mentor, a friend, and even a father. Thank you, Joe, for being such an inspiration to me and to so many others. Thank you for everything. You will be missed.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Season Two

Hey, folks. Been awhile. Been busy makin' a show. But things are winding down now. Greg and I are reviewing the last storyboards and designs for the last episode of Season 2 right now. Once that's complete my work load will be considerably lighter which means I might actually get to post on this blog a little more. We'll see.

Young Justice Season 2 begins airing tomorrow morning! We are very excited to share with you what we've been cooking up. We hope you'll be pleasantly surprised- unless you've been poking around the internet, discovering leaks and spoiling the surprises for yourself. Spoiled or not, I hope you enjoy watching the official premiere of Young Justice Invasion as much as we enjoyed making it.

The above image that many of you have already seen around online was the first pitch art I created back when Greg and I were pitching our Season 2 ideas to our bosses. It was really only meant to be rough pitch art but everybody seemed to like it so I polished it up a bit with the help of Peter Girardi and the next thing I know I'm seeing the image in packs of playing cards at San Diego Comic Con. At the time I drew this our cast had not been finalized and, of course, character designs were far from final.  I'm sure many of you guessed Robin and Blue Beetle from their distinctive silhouettes. That's Wonder Girl in the foreground. The rest I will leave to your imagination. Maybe at the end of the second season I'll fill you in on who they're supposed to be and why we did or didn't include them in the show.

Greg and I chatted about Season 2 with some really cool websites that have been kind enough to post about Young Justice. If you'd like to read about our thoughts on Season 2 then check out the links below. Some of our quote credits got reversed in a couple of the articles (a common occurrence in phone interviews) but you'll get some juicy behind the scenes info from us none the less.