July 25, 2008

Longing for San Diego...

It's that time again! The annual San Diego Comic-Con is this weekend, and yet again, I am not there! Too bad for me, I guess. The best part of attending these massive conventions isn't all the exclusive action figures you can purchase or meeting thousands of other equally enthusiastic fans - no, the best part is seeing people all dress-up in wacky costumes (like this guy, above, Cobra Commander, bumbling arch-villian of the elite team known as G.I. Joe). Here's some of my favorites...

Space explorer and hero Adam Strange (above), from the DC Comics universe, eating a banana...

Wonder Woman - the pre-teen years (above)...

...and Lego Star Wars characters, Princess Leia and Darth Maul (above). Cute, huh?

I, of course, secretly wish I had the nerve to do the same - but I think it'd be a little difficult to stomp around in a Megatron constume (for those of you who don't know who that is, he's the evil leader of the Decepticons from the Transformers).  


Visiting A Legend

While I was in Hong Kong last week to oversee the production of one of our upcoming titles I was fortunate enough to visit an old friend. Bruce Lee. Few people know that I am crazy about martial arts movies and Bruce Lee was the most iconic presence in the genre. His skill and physical feats are legendary. Each visit to the city I try to make it to the Avenue of the Stars on the boardwalk of Kowloon to see the statue of Bruce Lee.

This occasion was more somber than usual since it was the 35th year anniversary of his untimely death on July 20, 1973. Bruce Lee is one of Hong Kong’s favorite sons and he is missed by all the world. So watch Game of Death and have a moment of silence for a master in martial arts.

- Kyle

4 out of 5 dentists prefer...

I went to the dentist today, which is quite a big deal since I haven't been in years. I thought I might try to find a pop-up book about the dentist... and this one won my vote! Animals brushing and flossing? That's pretty cool. But learning about cleaning your teeth? Even better! I just wish the dentist office had a copy... maybe going to the dentist could have been fun!

Hooray for toothbrushes!


July 18, 2008

Fun at Home Shopping Network!

Just got back from a little trip to the Home Shopping Network studios in Tampa.  I have to hand it to those hosts on HSN, they have to keep talking for hours without any rest.  They are amazing!  I could barely keep up.  Everyone at the studio makes fun of me when I appear on television - nothing new there. Here's a clip  - I thought it went quite well. The kids on camera are definitely having fun...


July 16, 2008

A studio filled with toys for big kids...

There are many toys at the studio - they help us think, give us inspiration or just plain distract us when our work gets frustrating. We've modified this monkey-faced bank - now he's an evil monkey-faced bank. Note the mustache, fangs and angry eyebrows.

Today, I decided to go around the studio and see which toy each designer was most fond of. Kyle chose a little wind-up gyroscope. It's kinda complex but mildly educational, much like Kyle.

It was tough for Shelby to pick between the wind-up caterpillar and the wind-up fire-breathing monster - so she chose both.

Robert picked the solar powered birds that sing when you put them in the light. Robert is all about energy conservation! They came from Japan and they kind of make a "cheep - cheep" sound when you get close to them.

Jess loves the Hello Kitty/Mickey Mouse marching figures from one of Robert and Matthew's trips to Japan. When you push the button, they all dance to a song.

Matthew chose…… well, it is hard for Matthew make a choice since he's such a big toy collector - so he just picked his entire collection of Star Wars figures and Transformers robots! None of us are ever allowed to touch them.

I chose the drumming monkey because it's awesome and also because it's a monkey.

- Simon A.

July 15, 2008

Cutting Edge Technology!

I just got back from overseeing the production of one of our books in China. Even though I’m hazy with jetlag and desperately want a nap, I’m here to share with you the newest item on my Christmas list. Behold, the automated steel blade die forming machine! (I’m a sucker for new technology.) In all my visits to the various manufacturing plants my favorite part of the factory tour is watching the workers hammer and bend the die blades like some sort of medieval blacksmith. It is an art form and requires a lot of patience and skill. And now in place of a worktable stands a machine that crimps and cuts steel die blades, which are fed from a reel in the rear. The machine translates my digital die lines in the CAD software and that means I can get perfectly formed die blades that match any intricate design. Coupled with a calibrated laser mounted plotter to cut the die mold and you have a winning team…that is until laser cutters get faster and cheaper and carve up the printed sheet without leaving scorch marks. If Moore’s Law holds true, I’d say we have about ten years to go. In the meantime, I’ll keep watching the workers bend steel like Superman.

- Kyle

X-acto Master!

Now here's someone who can handle an X-acto blade, our tool of choice here in the studio. This girl does really impressive cut paper art. I'm still blown away that some of these pieces are
bigger than me! Check it out here!


Hello, Shelby!

Shelby may be the newest person in the studio but she's been here before! In 2005, she interned with Sabuda & Reinhart while attending Pratt Institute. She took a break from school to spend three months as a Graphic Designer on a humanitarian hospital ship off the coast of West Africa. After returning to the US and finishing school, Shelby worked as a Graphic Designer for a year before returning to the Sabuda & Reinhart studio this month as a Paper Engineer/Web Designer. Having done origami from a very young age, Shelby loves to cut and fold paper!

July 7, 2008

Jessica's First Pop-Ups

Thanks to the Paper Engineering class I took at Pratt in 2004 (it still exists and Kyle Olmon teaches it now), I am now able to make V-folds rise and much, much more! The All White Card (above) assignment was my very first design - and the top of the wave even rotates to 'engulf' the surfer. Radical!

For the next assignment, we were to choose holiday and create an appropriate Holiday Card (above). I chose Talk Like a Pirate Day (that's September 19th just in case you don't know) and, oddly, I was the only one who celebrated it in my class - yargh! what a bunch 'o land-lubbers.

The last class assignment was an pop-up advertisement. Pout is a cosmetic store
in NYC that had opened up at the time. The hand of the pop (above) rotates over to the lips as they open to apply the lipstick. And a small side pop of the store front opens up to give you the address.

...and those are my first pop-ups!


July 1, 2008

Cool Book Alert! ABC3D

Here's a preview to an amazing new pop-up book by Marion Bataille from Neal Potter Books / Roaring Brook Press.  The book features 26 innovative and elegant interpretations of each letter.  A brilliant book due in October 2008 - can't wait for it.