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:

Friday, October 15, 2010

SNB on Torrance TV ( w/ Colman tutorial only here on blog!)

For more info on how this interview happened, see the post "SNB filmed for Torrance TV Sept 24." We love Torrance... and that post lists a lot of the reasons why. On our website, our "Visit our Showroom" page offers a list of area attractions... and a map with local restaurants and points of interest.

Also just in... LA Weekly names Torrance's own WILSON PARK TREE HOUSE as a "Best of LA 2010:"

Best Giant Tree House - 2010
Treehouse for All's Tree houses aren’t just for Bart Simpson and the Little Rascals. The Treehouse for All at Torrance’s Wilson Park is for everyone (though it’s especially popular with toddlers on the go ...). Dedicated in 2006, the 2,500-square-foot wooden structure is California’s first universally accessible tree house in a public space, according to the Annenberg Foundation, which funded it. It offers winding paths, whimsical roof lines and lots of quiet corners for relaxing.... It also offers views of the expansive public park, which houses basketball courts, a baseball diamond, a running track, a roller-hockey rink and a duck pond. The park also is home to the Dee Hardison Sports Center, named for one of the city’s former mayors; it hosts youth sports programs, a weekly farmers market and an old-fashioned Fourth of July festival. 2200 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance. (310) 618-2930. —Christine Pelisek

Our SNB - Torrance TV interview is now online. It's part of an episode of "Spotlight Torrance." This episode includes a walking tour of some historical homes. Torrance was founded in 1912... so you can visit parts of Torrance and see the development of Southern California right here in our little city.

To find the SNB interview... move the "seek" button to 18:30 on the clock. Our interview is about 4 minutes long. Our artist friend David Colman did a wonderful tutorial that day while making his drawing on the drawing board. I've added here on this post the little video clips I have so you can get a flavor of the tutorial since (sadly) this instructive glimpse into his creative process didn't make it onto the show.

I love how I make Stuart sound like he's 38 years old :)
Here's the link:


Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Get Inspired" post gets comment

This comment is about the "Art of Animals" exhibit.... FREE.. at Forest Lawn Glendale. See the August posts on this for pictures and more details. The show is open until January.

Get Inspired - The Hillywood Show meets Wendling Desk! UPDATED Sept 2011

Update: Sept 2011. Welcome world! This is the 2nd most viewed post on the blog... over 60 countries have visited "Behind the Scenes at Stuart Ng Books" and the vast majority of them come via links to this post, and 2 posts on the race horse Secretariat. I write a lot of posts about horses to encourage our local artist customers to attend events where they can get access to horses and sketch. 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.

I discovered the Hillywood show via their Twilight parodies and I'm a huge fan of the Hindi sisters and all they've accomplished. It was all the fun you can imagine.. and more.. to be their neighbors in the vendor room at the Oct 2010 Twilight convention held in Anaheim CA. There are 3 posts here on the blog about that con... enjoy!

It takes 3 posts for all the FUN we had at the Twilight convention... but it doesn't get better than this:

Not only were we in the same dealer room as the gang from the Hillywood Show... we were set up right next to them.!! What a thrill it was to meet our heroes.... just like the "old days" when we when attended conventions just as fans.

If you don't know these two sisters and their amazing movie parodies STOP NOW and check out (or click on the link at the home page of this blog). Don't miss out on their super-creative take on pop culture. I drifted into the world of Twilight because I loved their Twilight parodies so much. They do a lot more than Twilight too! New clip on You Tube, interview w/ Hillywood show
Print interview w/ Hillywood show: Fab interview w/sisters showing many of their characters:

The Hillywood gang is very busy at the Twilight conventions because they are the official hosts... bringing their characters "Bella" (Hillary Hindy), "Edward" (Jacob Jost), "Alice" (Hannah Hindy), "Jasper" (Drew Lorentz) and "Jacob" (Kyle Dayton) to life and adding an aura of Twilight live to the proceedings. In addition to their scheduled appearances and hosting duties throughout the weekend, they are often at their own table to meet fans and pose for photos. The Hillywood Show is not funded... all the work is the result of the sisters' creative passion and commitment. The results are so inspiring.. and it was wonderful to see them and thank them in person for all the great entertainment. Just read the comments on the Hillywood show website and You Tube videos..... folks all over the world are watching these parodies! They're an international internet sensation. Here's a super cute fan-made video of the Hillywood cast at Comic Con 2009

The entire Hillywood Show cast are so charming in person. They also fell under the spell of Claire Wendling... and as you can see in the photos... they are now fans of her too!
The whole point of setting up as Stuart Ng Books at this convention was to promote the exchange of creative inspiration. Thanks to the Hillywood Gang for being fab neighbors in the vendor room... and for being such sports about the fun photos (Special aloha to Emily... who I thought was a friend of theirs from college helping out... but turned out to be the Hindy sisters' Mom! You go girl!!!).

Monday, October 4, 2010

SNB table at Twilight "Your Business Lesson for the Day" updated 10/14

Here it is folks, how my "experiment" in exhibiting evolved into this GIANT 12 foot table at the Official Twilight Convention held at the Sheraton resort in Anaheim, Oct 8-10, 2010: We had never done a Twilight convention before, so we learned each day how to make it work. The vendor room was right off the main lobby of the hotel. Admission to the vendor room was free to all, so we did have some folks wander in who were not attendees at the convention. When we signed up to do the show, my main questions were about the projected number of attendees (I was told 500-700 over the 3 days of the show) and the demographics (mostly female, teens and women). The demographics worked out as expected, but I suspect attendance was down. Based on the numbers I was given, I made 300 copies of a flyer I called "The WWW on Stuart Ng Books." The flyer had our logo and explained WHAT we were selling; WHY we were at a Twilight Convention; and WHO we are. We gave a flyer to nearly everyone who walked by our booth. Most of them stopped. A few made purchases. We distributed a total of 168 flyers. So here's the business lesson part: By reaching out to the Twilight attendees, my goal was to sell books (of course), but mostly to introduce our books and artists to a new audience. Did we succeed? I like to think so.... While the sales results for this con weren't what I'd hoped for, you sometimes don't find out until later the real impact of who you met or what you learned can have. All I can say for sure is that I had more FUN at this show than I can express. The camaraderie of the other vendors was exceptional. We made lots of new friends... I wish I had more pics of the vendors and the room, but here's a sample of what I have:

I had packed for a 6 foot table and planned to put the overstock underneath. When we arrived at the convention, we were given 3 xs more table space for FREE! We were able to display all the books. I'd brought the big banner from our showroom, but there was no way to hang it. With the extra table space, we could display the banner... and with it, all the images from the Wendling Chinese Zodiac postcard set: Our neighbors were the cast from the Hillywood Show. They had t-shirts, DVDs, posters and stills. While the convention contracts with stars from the Twilight films to appear... as we all know, scheduling conflicts can prevent celebrities from making it to the convention on their appointed day. Lucky for the Twilight convention attendees... the Hillywood show is there all 3 days, in character, so you can always count on them!!! They spend lots of time during the convention doing "photo ops" at their table w/ fans.
Here's a TV crew doing interviews with attendees:
We also enjoyed promoting the music and photos for the band 100 Monkeys. We even had a contest: Name all the band members in the unsigned photo and win a chocolate! It was harder than it looked :)
Here's a detail of our set-up. We learned it was important to have the sample books open for viewing:
As it turned out, our best selling items were the hand-assembled "Bling by Ng" offerings:
A portion of all the proceeds from sales of "Bling by Ng" funds donations to the following charities: Friends of the Torrance Library; Southland Collie Rescue; The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; and Rat Rescue.

And visit these websites to see items by our fellow vendors at this show: (amazing, award-winning wearable art necklaces etc). (gems and bangles with a Twilight theme) (part of the TwiMoms world)

Stuart Ng Books, Music & Bling at Twilight Convention Oct 8-10th

Here's a sample of the books we'll be be bringing (Just the books on the tabletop....not the shelves; I'm doing this show solo remember :) ......

In addition to books, we'll have other unique gift items:

And, music from 100 Monkeys. You can read about the band at
I got a phone call from the band's manager a week ago, and now we'll be the exclusive source at this convention for this catchy, quirky music with a Cullen connection....I didn't know the band before, but I've become a fan just listening to these 2 CDs. You can't pigeonhole the sound, but here's a hint... If the Coen brothers movies were musical comedies w/ happy endings, this band could write the songbooks. And there's more! Check out the cool drawings on the CDs... all done by Kelly Garrett Rathbone. I found more about her amazing art at:

Okay.... Why a Twilight Convention.... here's the info from the flyer I made for this event:

"Our table here is an experiment by the distaff side of Stuart Ng Books. Usually we prefer to operate "under the radar". However, we are so inspired by the creativity of the "Twilight" community that we wanted to come celebrate that spirit and bring along some items we hope you will enjoy and find inspiring as well. We will be donating a portion of our proceeds to some of our favorite charities, including Friends of the Torrance Library, Southland Collie Rescue, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Rat Rescue. Thank you for your interest and support."

More info on the Official Twilight Convention - Anaheim at:

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hoops & Yoyo plush tour our Showroom Oct 1st

Here at last! Hoops and Yoyo tour the Stuart Ng Books showroom. (For now.. in plush.. hopefully someday soon in person). They fit right it from their first stop.. our Wendling postcards of the Chinese Zodiac animals...

A meet and greet with Chicken Little....

Chris Sanders' Maile posed with them in her Hawaiian themed glass tower...

Oooh... things got scary after that with Pirates and Kuta.. Oh my!

Hoops and Yoyo engineered a "break out" at the toy chest....

Lots of "shop talk" followed between all these old pros.....

Hoops and Yoyo found more treasures on our shelf of Children's books!

And this special French title caught their eyes...

"Ovni" is a French import for everyone..... because it's all pictures.. no text!

They got to visit the rare items in the glass case...

Like the books we ship.... Hoops and Yoyo are a hit all over the world...

Life is sweet!

Come back soon guys! A big mahalo and aloha to Mike and Bob for making it all possible!
For more about Hoops and Yoyo, visit

Here are Hoops and Yoyo at Comic-Con....

More TV viewing - Secret Headquarters

We're not the only ones!!! Our good pal Dave, co-owner of the comic book store "Secret Headquarters" in Silver Lake, was recently profiled on local NBC news. Check it out: