Friday, December 17, 2010

Creature designer Terryl Whitlatch UPDATED 8/26/11, UPDATED AGAIN NOV 2010, she'll be at CTNX


Terryl Whitlatch Creator Illustrator

Terryl Whitlatch Creator Illustrator

Terryl Whitlatch was born in Oakland, California, and started drawing at less than three years of age. Blessed with a mother who was, and still is, a talented artist-illustrator, and a father who taught biology, her fascination with animals started early. Countless weekends were spent visiting zoos, aquariums, and museums, and her father was constantly bringing home mounted skeletons, creatures preserved in jars, and living animals as well – chicken hatchlings, bullfrogs, iguanas, and insects.

After studying illustration at the California College of Arts and the Academy of Art University, Terryl began a career that has spanned over 25 years. She has worked with many major studios and effects houses as a highly sought after creature and concept designer. Clients include Industrial Light and Magic, Lucas Film Ltd., Pixar, Walt Disney Feature Animation, PDI, Entertainment Arts, LucasArts, Chronicle Books, and various zoos and natural history museums.

Terryl has acted as principal creature designer for Star Wars — the Phantom Menace. She designed most of the alien characters and creatures, from concept to fully realized anatomies and stylizations. Some of the significant characters include Jar-Jar Binx, Sebulba, the pod racers, the undersea monsters of Naboo, and the Naboo Swamp creatures. She also worked closely with George Lucas in the redesign of such pre-existing characters as Jabba the Hutt and the dewbacks.

For Disney Feature Animation’s Brother Bear, she designed bear, moose, and other animal characters, from highly realistic anatomical studies to fully branded characters.

She also is the creator and illustrator of three books: The Wildlife of Star Wars: A Field Guide, The Katurran Odyssey, and the newly released Animals Real and Imagined.

Terryl is currently working on a new cutting edge industry project that involves both real animal and imaginary creature designs simultaneously.

Here is blog post:
We were delighted to host a signing with creature designer and animal anatomist Terryl Whitlach.

And Pic added 4/11

Terryl graciously added the sketch above to our drawing board.... after several hours of signing and sketching in her new book "Animals Real and Imagined" for fans at the showroom, and numerous mail orders. As a bonus, we were also able to have the books signed by Gilbert Banducci, who edited the book. This signing was another lively event with lots of inspiring discussions between Terryl and our patrons who stopped by. Topics included a round of "3 Favorite Animals and Why." Terryl's extensive study of vertebrate zoology is evident in the wide range of work in this book. Images include detailed skeletal and muscle studies of both real and imagined animals. Her work illustrates her philosophy that embracing the science and study of real animals in real environments is the basis for creating fanciful creatures that seem just as "real" as the familiar animals we all recognize. If you missed out on the signing... we still have a few signed copies of the book in stock now. Thanks Terryl and Gil for stopping by and making this event so much fun!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Meet the Artists, Bill Stout and Fabien M, Dec 11, 2010

We were delighted to host another lively "Meet the Artists" gathering on Dec 11th. We welcomed direct from Paris, Fabien M., the artist of the bande dessinee comedy adventure "Tikitis", and Pasadena's own William Stout, signing his new book, "Inspirations."

A highlight of the event was when Bill and Fabien both looked through a Jack Kirby portfolio from our "rare books" shelf....and Bill, who knew Kirby, shared some insight into Kirby's work and life.... Here's Stuart w/ the "Tikitis" team, artist Fabien M, writer Jerry Frissen, and Humanoids Editor Bob Silva...

As usual, the artists were busy drawing sketches for the many mail orders for the event, as well as chatting with the patrons who attended that day.

Don't miss out on the next event! They are announced via Stuart's email... and on our website.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Family Fun & Get Inspired -- Printing Museum; Dickens festival every December!

POST UPDATED DEC 17... We had a BLAST at our first ever visit to the International Printing Museum located at 315 Torrance Blvd, Carson CA 90745 -- only 10 mins from our Showroom in Torrance... Here's the museum from the street....

and the entrance:

The museum was founded in 1988 to house the world famous Lindner Collection of Antique Printing Machinery. It's a cozy series of galleries that are staged as vignettes in a large room... showcasing machines and tools of the graphic arts. See the impact of print presses on history.. from printing blocks and Gutenberg's press... to Ben Franklin's print shop... and frontier newspapers...
The museum is staffed by volunteers who dress the part and explain the history and processes of printing.....
You can even print your own souvenir cards!
Printing holiday cards is a highlight of the annual Dickens Festival every December.

In addition to activities at the museum, you can purchase tickets to a live, interactive presentation of "A Christmas Carol"... learn how to play "The Minister's Cat!"... and enjoy a Victorian era lunch... Here's the flyer from the 2010 festival...
The museum is open year round... Saturdays from 10AM - 4pm... and Tuesday - Friday by appointment. There are working guided tours of the galleries every Saturday... and workshops and classes offered through the Museum Book Arts Institute.

The educational programs include "The Ben Franklin Gallery Tour," "The Constitutional Convention Tour," "Franklin's Colonial Assembly," and "The Book Arts Tour."

Admission is $8 for adults and $7 for students & seniors. There is free parking.

This museum is a real delight... small enough to enjoy in an afternoon... but lots to see and learn if you want to explore more of the options available.
Learn more at or call the museum at 310-515-7166 for more info!

PICS FROM FAV SKETCHBOOKS Tiger Bee, Round Robin etc. NEW APRIL 2011

AT LAST, I've updated this post with photos!.....Check out these amazing sketchbooks by a trio of gal artists: First up is "Tiger Bee" byKaty Wu . Haunting and lyrical graphic story of a little girl overcoming her fears. Includes pages in the back of the book that explain the artist's process. Here's a page from the book: Here are one of the "process" pages:
Next up... Round Robin (on left). Don't let the plain vanilla cover fool you:
Each copy is signed w/ a sketch by each of the 3 artists: Daniela Strijleva, Katy Wu and Jennifer C. Chang......
and inside... each artist continues a lively word and picture game. So fun!!!

Completing the trio is "Collected Sketches" by Daniela Strijleva (cover on right).
Inside, inspiring glimpses from a real working sketchbook....
people, places & more....
Lovely landscapes....
We see it all the time at the showroom... how do the best artist get that good??? They are ALWAYS drawing.... and finding inspiration in the world around them, and in looking at the work of others. Find these books at our showroom... and on our website.

Friday, November 26, 2010

SNB on Yelp, review posted Nov 1, 2010

The list of places to find Stuart Ng Books on social media and the internet gets longer..
Here's the link to a review for SNB on Yelp:

Can't resist sharing these thoughts from the review:

"Stuart is always friendly, cheerful and kind......The staff are really chill and cool - You feel that they just love art & animation and want to share. Search on their website if you're looking for something in particular. They ship everywhere and if not, check out their store hours (limited) or find them at the next WonderCon / APE / ComiCon in San Diego / NY / Seattle and other conventions.I love Stuart Ng Books!"

Monday, November 22, 2010

CTNX 2010

We saw so many friends at CTNX (Creative Talent Network Animation Expo) in Burbank Nov 19 - 21st. Another smash year for this show that's only 2 years old, but already on the radar as a "must" for attendees and exhibitors alike. Stuart picked up a number of exciting new books at this event. Great event to meet artists... not only at their tables, but attending the variety of programs, doing demos, etc....

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dreamworks artists' "Moonshine" Signing Nov 13, 2010

THANK YOU!! We were thrilled at the great response to this event. The local South Bay newspaper.. the Daily Breeze... included our press release in their weekend calendar.... and we welcomed new patrons from the area as well as those knew came to the signing because of our newsletter and website:

What makes our signings different is the low-key, personal interaction that happens... not only between the patrons and artists.... but between the guests and their friends and colleagues.

In the tradition of an "artists' salon," there is an amazing exchange of information and inspiration. Here are Christophe Lautrette and Devin Crane in conversation with Dean Yeagle...

And here are Marcos Mateu-Mestre and Nicolas Weis...

At the end of the evening, Devin Crane contributed a sketch to our drawing board...

Here's Stuart with Devin and Nicolas...

A Big Mahalo to everyone who came out to visit.... especially all the friends and family who came along and added to the party atmosphere at the showroom. It was great to see everyone..... like a big luau. So come see us in Torrance soon.... your little oasis of Hawaii AND France right here in So Cal!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Holidays at the Happiest Place on Earth...

AS IF... Stuart Ng Books isn't enough of a reason to visit Torrance... we're also only 45 Mins from DISNEYLAND! Enjoy these views of the holiday themed attractions!

And of course... the Haunted Mansion gets the Holiday treatment too!

This snap is special.... the ride stalled out right in front of Jack and my hero.. Zero!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Get out and vote! Then click this link for a musical treat:
"I am the very model of a Modern US President"

Monday, November 1, 2010

SNB at APE, pics of Stuart & Steve

Here's Stuart at our table at APE....

And this is Stuart's brother, Steve..

Here are Stuart's own comments about APE from our Facebook page: "Back from APE with goodies! Dreamworks story artist Dave Pimentel's excellent art & instruction book Evoke was a hit at APE and is in the store now. And we've just received two big pallets of French imports to unpack! Somewhere in the pallets are Blacksad volume 4, the new Moebius Arzak graphic novel, Pierre Alary's Sinbad volumes, and Jordi Bernet 50 Years. "

And details on the EVOKE book from the "New Arrivals" page on our website: David Pimental. EVOKE. [SN29533] $30 David Pimentel, 2010. 1st. 31 cm., 100 pages, b&w illustrations, pictorial boards. VF. Signed by the artist. A great collection of David's art, accompanied by brief lessons such as "Egg Heads and Egg Shapes," "Caricature Is Essential," "Tapering Body Shapes," "Hair Tip," "Long Lines" and more. Foreword by Don Hahn.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

POV Shot - Secretariat & The Black Stallion.. the winner is...(updated Nov 2016)

NOV 2011 UPDATE, a few new pics plus some video embedded....
NOV 2016 UPDATE, links to articles about equine star and behind the scenes

THIS POST UPDATED OCT 2011: Welcome world... Two of my all-time favorite horses are Secretariat and theBlack Stallion. Obviously, I'm not alone.... as searches for Big Red and the Black have helped bring 24,000 page views and 80 countries to "Behind the Scenes at Stuart Ng Books." For more horse posts here on the blog, please also check out my "Horse Show" posts; you'll find them every year in Sept. for the annual charity horse show near us. You might also enjoy the Sept 21 2011 post on pony artist Norman Thelwell. For more on this blog and our bookstore, see the post "Your Guide to Behind the Scenes at Stuart Ng Books." I update the "Guide" post frequently; you'll find it on the home page for the blog.

Why so many horse posts on a blog for Stuart Ng Books? We sell art books to artists... and there's a long partnership between art & horses. From cave paintings to modern works as well as our niche of illustration, animation & comic art; the horse has been an inspiration and a challenge for artists. I'm always encouraging our artist patrons to visit the horse events here in the south bay to do sketches and life drawings. The wonderful images in "The Black Stallion" film are terrific reference for artists.... and the movie is one I recommend to film buffs as well as horse fans. Enjoy!

THIS POST UPDATED 11/1/10. No dark horse upset here.... Big thumbs up from me on (Oct 2010 Disney Film) "Secretariat." Made me want to rush home and re-read lots of my books about him. I didn't see "Blind Side" but this film feels tailored for the same audience. I appreciated Diane Lane... and how the film gave insight into Secretariat's groom Eddie Sweat and jockey Ron Turcotte.

Still... in a way I'm happy to report... to me, the best horse film ever is 1979's "The Black Stallion". Here's the Breyer model horse for "the Black", along with film program book and photo "picture book" from the film:

From the program:

see the "wild" black creature here in the harness, tamed by the boy.... is it just me... or is there an homage to this sequence in "The Black Stallion" in one of my current favorite films.. "How to train your dragon".....

More stills, here from the "picture book"...

A review by one of my favorite writers!

End papers from the "picture book" with moments from the famous 20 minutes in the film where it's just the boy and the horse on the island... no dialogue.. all images

For more on the film, here are links with insightful review and commentary on the film from TCM:

2015 article:
"11 Things you Never Knew about the Making of the Black Stallion:

And these gems from You Tube:

Tribute to real life horse Cass Ole, who played "the Black" (yes, he had white socks & a star; his markings were covered up for the movie)...

Here's You Tube clip w/ footage of Cass Ole..... Click arrow to watch video...

Below is clip of match race scene from the end of the movie.... watch for the moments at 4:40, 6:33, and 7:52:

As unmatched as the race footage is in above clip... this sequence doesn't include the best part of the movie.... the 20 mins. on the island! Let me tell you... "The Black Stallion" in the theaters when it came out was something amazing. It holds up fine on DVD.... but on the big screen, with these images, breathtaking sound and mythic, lush score... it comes the closest ever to capturing the magic that happens when you are actually riding a horse. Great work by everyone on this film... especially DP Caleb Deschanel (dad of Zooey) and score by Carmine Coppola (Dad of FFC and granddad of Sophia).


Below are some pics from the island sequence...

You Tube has many clips with real-life horses that trace back to Cass Ole... Here very charming interview with all-grown-up Kelly Reno recalling his experiences making the movie. He's interviewed with Tim Farley, current author of the Black Stallion series, and son of the original Black Stallion author, Walter Farley. The footage isn't edited, so you get all the pauses and asides, but that adds to the very natural and relaxed tone of the clip...

Let's not forget that "The Black Stallion" started as a book... and is still a successful series. Author Walter Farley was in his late teens when he started "The Black Stallion" and it was published when he was only 26 years old! Here's a link to the author's bio on the official Black Stallion website: