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Shining up Flakes

October 13, 2014 at 11:37 am




In 2006, I made an animated film called “Flakes” (with a little help from my friends).  We rendered it at 720 pixels wide, which in those days seemed like a nice, reasonable resolution. These days, 720 wide looks like a postage stamp. So, I’m re-rendering it at 1920×1080 (“HD” resolution currently). While I’m at it, I decided to mess with the lighting, the shadows, and I decided to add some details to the mountains and clouds in the background. Although I liked their devil-may-care simplicity when we first made the short, they looked hilariously unfinished to me in the new HD rendering. So I made the change.

So, a Work in Progress, above. 2006, top; 2014, bottom. Spent the weekend getting shot 1 to look good. Soon, I’ll show you the whole short.

Dr. Magnifico – now in color!

August 29, 2014 at 2:14 pm


Oh – should have mentioned – the comics are in color at Doctor Magnifico now. I’m going through and coloring the archive, and all the new strips are color going forward. Cuz, it’s a colorful world, baby, and so should the comics be!



What’s that? You’re not reading Doctor Magnifico!? Get over there and read, already! It’s free. And you will like it.

Oh, did I mention it’s free?

Kao Jai Coffee, Round 2

August 28, 2014 at 11:57 pm




Kao Jai Coffee, Round Two: my friends at Kao Jai will soon be carrying a dark roast. Here is a glimpse of the new label we made together.

The new Kao Jai label features one of the Thai farmers that grow and harvest the coffee. You may have seen this drawing under construction at my Facebook page, (if you haven’t already done so, you should “LIKE” the page so you can keep up with the latest and greatest Steve Ogden Art) and you can see the drawing pretty far along, above.

Below, this is how it came out, and how I used it in the design.




Medium label for the Medium roast, dark label for the dark roast. The client REALLY wanted black in this one, and I so didn’t, because I know there’s an even darker roast coming eventually, and where do you go after this? But I’m glad they pushed for black, because I think it says “Dark Roast” in a way that my deep browns weren’t cutting it. And as for what to do for the next, darker roast? Meh. We shall set fire to that span once we reach it!




This whole project has been – and continues to be – a great collaboration with some very fine people.

More info: http://www.kaojaicoffee.com/

Bikes, Planes and Rocket Ships

July 13, 2014 at 12:03 pm





InfoGraphicSMYou know that old movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles? Well, this is like that, except… yeah, different. Fun little illustrations I got to do for Bully! Entertainment. We recently used them in an infographic about Augmented Reality, a pretty neat-o technology we work with. Want to learn more about it, click the icon to the left (or this LINK)…

Five minute comics

June 8, 2014 at 1:53 pm


The idea was, what would a five minute comic look like if I drew it? Well… this. *shrug*

Oh, also… it amuses me.

Calvin and Pearls

June 8, 2014 at 9:48 am


Big news in newspaper comic circles this week, as Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson came out of retirement (sort of) to draw a few panels of Stephen Pastis’ Pearls Before Swine. (Details about the guest spots and links to the strips themselves at Pastis’ site). As I’ve sort of seen Doctor Magnifico as Calvin-meets-Pearls, I thought a drawing was in order. So, there you have it!

Doctor Magnifico

May 30, 2014 at 10:17 pm



Oh, have I forgotten to mention Doctor Magnifico here at the blog? How irresponsible of me! Well… I’m drawing this comic called Doctor Magnifico. It’s the story of an artist, his two cats, and a loose grip on reality.

Samples below, and a boatload of comics at DrMagnifico.com! See you there!







Kao Jai Coffee

May 30, 2014 at 10:06 pm

OK, a little story with this piece of art. I go on a service trip to Appalachia every year – repairing houses with my sons in the south eastern US through the Appalachia Service Project (ASP). One year, I almost blew us all up using a wrecking bar on what we all though was a particularly stubborn rock in a hole we were digging for some footers. One of the youth leaders, Kyle Ducharme, stopped in mid conversation as he heard me smashing away at this “rock” and said, “WHOA WHOA WHOA! That’s metal on metal!” Sure enough, there was a very large metal conduit for gas running through the yard. Kyle saved my life, and I’ve been somewhat fond of him ever since.

Flash forward. Kyle and his fiance Megan went off to Thailand on a mission trip last year, helping teach English, and helping out a poor village in simple ways. You know, fixing huts, befriending people. Starting a coffee company with them. Oh, what’s that last thing? Yeah. They’ve started Kao Jai Coffee, a very people-based company that supports service projects like ASP here in the US, as well as funding startups in poor villages in Thailand (all while paying MORE than Fair Trade Pricing, what Megan and Kyle call “Farmer Satisfied Price”).

I designed a little label for their coffee bags last week because, as I told them, I can’t go off to Thailand for a year like they did. Going to Appalachia a week each year is about all I can manage. So, I can’t do that. But I can do this. I can draw their friends’ hut, and I can design a label. Sort of the very least I can do, but we all have a part to play, and this was mine.

I designed it last week, and this week, they already have the labels printed and are packing the coffee up in bags! Amazing! Now, go check out their amazing coffee!


Happy Vernal Equinox!

March 21, 2014 at 12:17 am


So, this happened today, at least where I live. As you may know, I love winter. I love snow, I love snowmen. I’m Calvin, all grown up, and even then, not so much. So this almost endless winter of snow snow snow in the mid-Atlantic has been bliss for me. Not so much for most of my friends and co-workers, who would love nothing more than Spring to come in and banish Winter until sometime around Christmas 2014. And so Spring came in today, and it was lovely. “And Stay Out!” would be a good title for the above picture.

For those who like the behind-the-scenes, the inks for my little Spring picture, below. Enjoy!

Just calling your process “Agile” doesn’t make you agile

March 12, 2014 at 8:11 am


Software development management lost in the weeds:

So, you’re disorganized and your process is all over the map. You have too many meetings with too many people in them, and the wrong people, and usually after small problems have become big problems. You know something’s wrong, but you don’t know how to Fix It. So you hop onto the Agile bandwagon, assured it will solve your problems.

Beware – you may find yourself 100% Buzzword Compliant, but you will still not have fixed your development problem, because your problem is that you’re disorganized and your process is all over the map. Waterfall wasn’t like that; you made it like that. Agile isn’t like that, but you’ll make it like that, too, if the problem is your tendency toward Crisis Management and a scattershot approach.

Instead, try having fewer, shorter meetings with the right people in them. Have them earlier. Try to focus on developing working software instead of standing around talking about Process. And for God’s sake, you have a staff: delegate. They may not make the same decisions you would make, but if you empower them to, they will make decisions, and the product will get out the door. You can have Veto Power, if you’re that convinced that only you have the right answers and your staff is incapable of achieving your level of brilliance, though trust me, that is probably not the case. Until then, you are the problem. You are in your own way, and your company’s.

Above, my thoughts. But for more, HERE is a link to an interesting article about how one of the guys who developed “Agile” development feels it is time to retire the word and get people to adjust their focus. I wish you Happy Developing.