About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Word Nerd: On the Mantle

inigo-mantle

Today’s Word Nerd topic is one of those cases where a single word has split into two terms, with a difference in spelling to parallel the difference in meaning: mantel and mantel. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Word Nerd: Send Up a Flair

inigo-flare

Today’s words are somewhat similar, in that both are about drawing attention and both terms have to do with senses; one is a bright light, the other a strong smell. Flair and flare. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

GeekDad: The Formative Years III

formative-stuff-macq

Continuing in our ongoing series in which the GeekDads reveal the influences that transformed them into geeks, here are the Secret Origins of Jim MacQuarrie and Roger Mullins. I get to go first because I’m older. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

New CW ‘Arrow/Flash’ Promo Has a GeekDad Connection

arrow-flash-promo

This very cool “Superhero Fight Club” promo for ‘Arrow’ and ‘The Flash’ was just released by the CW this morning. Let me tell you about the GeekDad connection…. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Word Nerd: Defuse Light

defuse-head

This week’s Word Nerd subject is another of those cases where using the wrong one can result in a sentence that says almost the exact opposite of what was meant. Defuse and diffuse. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

RIP Stan Freberg

Freberg-underground

Stan Freberg, the man who made TV commercials funny and American history hilarious, passed away this morning. His son, Donovan Freberg, posted an announcement on his Facebook page today. Details are not yet known. He was 88. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Word Nerd: Accept for Me

inigo-except

This week’s Word Nerd topic is an example of that rare bird, the antonym, which is defined as “two words that are opposites,” which makes it a little comical to see this error in action. Accept and except. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Word Nerd: Amusing Antidote

inigo-anecdote

Here’s another Word Nerd pair that turns up with alarming regularity; is it possible that some people don’t know they are two different words? Anecdote and antidote. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Visiting Pixar and ‘Inside Out’

InsideOut-featured

Pixar is hard at work on its next film, ‘Inside Out,’ opening June 19. A short time ago, I visited Pixar’s Emoryville campus to interview Director Pete Docter and Producer Jonas Rivera. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

‘Comic Book People 2′ Kickstarter Campaign

Comic-book-people-2-featured

Last year, a successful Kickstarter campaign resulted in the book ‘Comic Book People: Photographs from the 1970s and 1980s,’ a well-received visual history of the first two decades of San Diego’s Comic-Con International. Now, author/photographer Jackie Estrada, administrator of the annual Will Eisner Awards (who is also, with her husband Batton Lash, the co-publisher of Exhibit A Press, which publishes Lash’s comic, ‘Supernatural Law’), has compiled a second volume covering the 1990s. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

New Hawkeye Images for ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

avengers-2-hawkeye

The latest round of posters and promotional images for ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ have been released, and as usual, the question I’m asked whenever Hawkeye shows up is “what about the archery?” So let’s take a look. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Word Nerd: Vice Grip

inigo-vice

Today’s pair of words is uniquely American; the British are sensible enough to spell both words the same way. We have vice and vise, but in England, it’s vice and vice. If you’re British, you can ignore this week’s installment if you like. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Impressive Archer Shows Real Skills

ferguson-golfball

YouTube channel Smarter Every Day has posted a video of Alabama archer Byron Ferguson demonstrating his skills. In contrast to some other archers, he doesn’t spend any time making grandiose claims about his own skills or offering insulting assertions about modern target archers; he just steps up and shows what good instinctive archery looks like. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Word Nerd: Viola!

inigo-viola

For today’s Word Nerd topic, we’ll look at a word we swiped from another language and have since abused mercilessly, including a whole lot of attempts at what the academics call “invented spelling.” Viola and voila. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Word Nerd: Illicit Response

inigo-elicit

Today’s Word Nerd pair actually makes it into print every so often, usually with amusing results for those of us who get it. This is a case where using the wrong word can really change the meaning of a sentence. Elicit and illicit. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

RIP Gary Owens

Gary-Owens

The last great radio voice has left us. Gary Owens, the voice of Roger Ramjet, Powdered Toast Man, Space Ghost, the Blue Falcon, and many more, died at his home in Encino, California, on Thursday. He was 80 years old and had been ill for some time. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Word Nerd: Guilty Conscious

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This week’s Word Nerd is one of those that actually surprised me; I thought that because the two are relatively harder to spell than most of our frequently-confused words, fewer people would mess them up. Of course, the fact that they evolved from different conjugations of the same Latin word may have something to do with the confusion. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Word Nerd: Heroine Overdose

inigo-heroine

This week’s Word Nerd is another that I’ve seen recently on Facebook, and it may be yet another autocorrect failure; perhaps your iPhone would prefer you discuss Wonder Woman rather than narcotics. It’s an example of that old nemesis, the silent e. Heroin and heroine. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

‘It’s Dark Here': Every Parent’s Nightmare

dark_here_featured

This story does not have a happy ending. It’s about a film called It’s Dark Here, and it does get dark here. It’s a true story, and it’s every parent’s worst nightmare. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Director Gary Rydstrom Talks About Strange Magic

Director Gary Rydstrom talks about Strange Magic.  Photo courtesy of Merlot Mommy

Director Gary Rydstrom has a lengthy career in Hollywood, most famously as a sound designer at Lucasfilm and Skywalker Sound, working on films ranging from Saving Private Ryan to Wreck-It Ralph. Strange Magic represents his debut as a feature film director. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Danish “Archer” Demonstrates Gullibility of Audience

lars-andersen

You know that video making the rounds, supposedly demonstrating amazing “lost” archery skills? Our archery expert shoots it full of holes. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Elijah Kelley Discusses Strange Magic

Dawn (Meredith Anne Bull) and Sunny (Elijah Kelley) talk about love in Strange Magic. Photo courtesy of Lucasfilm.

For actor Elijah Kelley, playing an animated character was a new experience. “I’ve never done a voiceover, like, before in my life,” he says, explaining that his character, Sunny the Elf, was physically demanding. “I thought that it was gonna be so easy; I thought it was gonna be a piece of cake, but I would go in there and guarantee you, I would leave lightheaded and sweaty.” Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

8 Things Parents Should Know About Strange Magic

Photo © and TM, Lucasfilm. All rights reserved.

Strange Magic is a musical fairy tale; Marianne (Evan Rachel Wood) is a fairy princess who is engaged to be married to Roland, a preening, arrogant, self-absorbed creep of a knight. When Marianne discovers that he’s not particularly interested in giving up his other girlfriend, she breaks it off and gives up on love. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

George Lucas Talks about Strange Magic

George Lucas answers questions from the audience. Photo courtesy of Merlot Mommy

Strange Magic, the new animated film from Lucasfilm and Touchstone, carries the credit “story by George Lucas.” Following a screening at Skywalker Ranch, Lucas fielded questions from a group of 24 bloggers. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Strange Magic at Skywalker Ranch

The Technical Building, home of Skywalker Sound, reflected in Lake Ewok.
Photo by the author.

After Star Wars became a box office giant, George Lucas decided he wanted to make movies outside the studio system. He found a perfect spot on the coincidentally-named Lucas Valley Road, 40 minutes north of San Francisco, and set about creating Skywalker Ranch. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Word Nerd: Clearing Hurtles

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This week, Word Nerd looks at two words that are often mixed up; both are associated with speed, but in entirely different ways. Hurdle and hurtle. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Word Nerd: Weary of Change

inigo

The New Year typically brings thoughts of change and new beginnings. Sometimes people look forward to these things, but sometimes they approach them with hesitation, and when they do, some of them use one of today’s words when they actually mean the other. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

GeekDad to Visit Skywalker Ranch

Skywalker Ranch in Marin, CA, where magic is made.

I have been invited to represent GeekDad on a press junket to meet the makers of some upcoming films from Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Word Nerd: Grace Us With Your Presents

inigo

Merry Christmas! Today’s Word Nerd is holiday-themed because it seemed like a good idea at the time. Egg nog may have been involved. As it happens, both of these words apply to the holiday season. Presence and presents. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Word Nerd: Up a Creak

inigo

Today’s Word Nerd is not a terribly common one, though it pops up from time to time. Maybe it’s due to autocorrect, or maybe it’s apathy, but it’s one I’ve seen a few times online, usually in the form of people talking about “hearing the door creek” or “fishing in the creak.” Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

How Great Can This Day Be: Lori Henriques Makes Music for All Ages

HowGreat

When it comes to music, young children like simple rhythms, funny rhymes and repetition. A lot of repetition. They can listen to the same thing over and over forever. And they will. There’s a good chance you’ll find yourself listening to insipid drivel that will make you want to stab your eardrums with a pencil, unless you proactively seek out the good stuff. Lori Henriques writes the good stuff. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Word Nerd: I’m a Looser.

inigo

We’re back! And with three different illustrations this week. Here’s another one of those words that a lot of people get wrong simply because spellcheck doesn’t catch it, and it’s another of those in which the mistake typically only goes one way. People often write loose when they mean lose, but I’ve never seen anyone write lose when they meant loose. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.