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

inigo

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.

Alexander and the Pretty Good Movie

Science class goes awry for Alexander in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
© Disney, all rights reserved.

Judith Viorst’s 1972 children’s book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, has been transformed into a new film from Disney, and the adaptation actually works pretty well. 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.

Meet the Cast of Alexander

The cast of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day assembles to meet the press.

The cast and producers of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day assembled at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills last week to discuss their film. Director Miguel Arteta, Producers Dan Levine and Lisa Henson, Writer Rob Lieber and actors Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Dylan Minnette, Kerris Dorsey, Ed Oxenbould and Bella Thorne answered questions about their work on the film. 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.