Shane Glines interview

shane-profileI made it! I got an interview from Shane Glines! Shane is one of my favourites artists, he worked on many of the cartoon’s show that I had watched and loved that we all had watched and loved( Batman, Superman and Justice League)  and he worked with many of the greatest names of the animation’s world (one for all Bruce Timm)! I Took the courage to ask him this interview after I read his name as Lead Characters Design for the brand new Flintstones Movie: The Flinstones and the WWE Stone age Smackdown and he said yes! If you love animation and want to know more about Shane and about the animation’s world… well, go on and read it! (qui la versione italiana)

Hi Shane, before start talking about your work on the new Flintstones animated movie, I would like to talk about you, I mean your backgrounds and your Cartoon Retro.

  • Which are the artists that mostly had inspired, and inspire, you?

Owen FitzgeraldThere are so many, too many to mention.  I’m obsessed with cartoonists and have spent most of my life collecting, researching and studying them.  Some of my favorites are Frank Frazetta, Kiraz, Ronald Searle, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Chuck Jones, Owen Fitzgerald, Bob Tupper, Roy Nelson, Roy Crane, Earl Oliver Hurst, Bruce Timm, Glen Murakami, and so many more Illustrators, painters, designers, cartoonists, comic book artists, sculptors…

  • I would like to know more about your Cartoon Retro site?

Cartoon Retro was a subscription site that I ran for about 8 years.  I used it to showcase my own drawings as well as work from the great cartoonists and illustrators of the 1920s through the 1960s.  I retired the site in 2011

  • Back to the past, you first job was in Spumco, am i right? What did you do for them?

Spumco was my first job in animation way back in 1991.  I sent them a fan letter and they ended up inviting me to come work for them.  This was about a year after the show Ren and Stimpy was taken away from them and they were working on a variety of projects including comic books, paint sets, commercials, and other odd jobs.  It was a great experience.  I mostly did inking and clean-up and tried to learn as much as I could.

  • How did you started to work for Warner Bros?

Shane Glines Poison IvyI met Bruce Timm at the San Diego Comic Con in the Summer of 1994.  I just happened to run into him,
introduced myself and showed him my sketchbook.  He liked how I drew girls and a few days later hired me to work on the new Superman series that was just starting.  I stayed for the next 10 years working on Superman, Batman, Batman Beyond and Justice League.

Now let’s talk about your work as characters designer for The Flintstones and WWE Stone Age Smack down.

Beware of the Batman

  • How did you get “hired”?

I had finished work on the cgi Beware the Batman cartoon and the Flintstones project was just starting up.  I was very excited to work on a more “cartoony” show after several years on Batman, which was a very difficult project.  It was my first time working for cgi and there was so much to learn and it was technically challenging.  Flintstones was a nice change of pace. I love the early 1960s Hanna-Barbara cartoons and the first season of the Flintstones has some of my favorite cartoons.  I was also happy to be working with designs created by Ed Benedict, my favorite animation designer.

  • You did a lot of characters designs for WB, but mostly with a more realistic and superhero’s style, what was your approach to a classic style like Hanna-Barbera’s design?

The FlintstonesI have a lot of reference for the 60s H&B style, many books, comics, old toys and merchandise and I’ve watched the cartoons hundreds of times so it wasn’t a difficult style to slip into.  My own personal style is closer to Hanna Barbara than it is the superhero shows anyway, and it was nice to be able to do more fun, exaggerated shapes.

  • Did Warner bros gave you some limits, for the restyling?

Very little!  I was happy that the directors Tony Cervone and Spike Brandt, wanted to go back to the style of the early episodes.  They were great to work with and requested very little changes.  It was a little more difficult with the wrestlers, and there were quite a few revisions requested by WWE but overall I’m happy and surprised that they allowed us to be as exaggerated with the wrestlers as we were.

  • A curios question it’s in my mind: which character you had drawn first and which one you loved most?

Wilma-model From the Flintstones?  I drew Fred and Barney first.  I liked drawing them all but I thought Betty and Wilma came out pretty cute.  It was also fun drawing all of the various Bedrock city people.  I went back and watched
the early episodes and based as many designs as I could on background characters that appeared in those first season episodes.  Most were designed by Ed Benedict and Dick Bickenbach and i tried to stay true to their designs.

  • Did  you got some regrets about some characters design for this movie? Someone that you would like to redraw?

I would like to redesign John Cena, I thought he came out too boring in the final cartoon.  Maybe more exaggeration in the wrestlers but overall I though everyone came out pretty well.  Fortunately, we had an amazing team of storyboard and layout artists that made the designs look even better.

  • Any futures’  projects that you could talk about it?

The project I’m currently working on is pretty exciting but it hasn’t been announced yet so I can’t say much about it.  It’s a superhero show and it will be the first show that I’ve worked on that is based on my style.

  • Looking at your profile seems to me, that you love old movies, horror or Sci-Fi movies mostly , there is a movie that you would like to make in animation, series or animated movie? (For me it could be interesting to see an animated series from Creature of the Black Lagoon, but probably in a humoristic key)

I love old movies, especially Film Noir.  I would love to do something along those lines in animation but there isn’t a market for it right now.  Something like Creature of the Black Lagoon would be cool, too.  I love the old Famous Monsters magazines, anything along those lines would be fun to work on.  Or 1950s science fiction.

  • If you could come back in the past, which artists would you like to meet?Bob Tupper

I’m been fortunate to meet and even work with many of my favorite artists.  It would be great to be able to talk with two artists that I’m researching for books: Roy Nelson and Bob Tupper.

  • You are an illustrator, an animator and a characters designer, you gained the “top” working for Warner Bros, what’s your advices for the “young artist” ?

Just to draw, draw, draw.  There are no short cuts, just start drawing and never stop.  Make it an obsession.  Develop your taste, study a wide variety of styles and always try to do your best work no matter the project.

  • Last question, what do you think about Italian’s animation?

I’m afraid that i don’t know anything about Italian animation but would love to learn more about it.

Thanks for your time Shane!

Thanks for the questions!

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