Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"clueless in seattle"

here is a little 'update', acknowledging the change of location -
a little more grey, a little more somber - but just as funny...

(if anything, the nose is even redder than before, because of the low temperatures)



Monday, October 19, 2009

are we there yet?

geez, that was quite the trip - six days on the road, a different hotelroom every night - not my thing at all, it turns out - but on the other hand, i got to see a LOT of the good old US of A for a change, instead of just staring at the monitor in front of me day in, day out...

i did draw a little while in the hotels, and got the computer up and running yesterday, so i finished the inks of this panel, finally - more to come, of course, but not quite sure when - this coming week is gonna be another crazy one...


Sunday, October 4, 2009

the next chapter

i'm not good at good-byes. i'm better at denial. perfect example is how, on my last get together with my awesome friends from heathrow, i got so drunk i don't remember much. i remember going on a bike ride with jason laureano, my best friend in our neighborhood. we rode our bikes to a bar and evidently didn't even leave at the same time. boy did i get in trouble, as i should have. it was irresponsible and totally out of character for me. but the truth is, i'm glad it happened that way because...i'm just not good at good-byes. like i said.

it's so convenient that things are super hectic when you have to move. you can always make excuses for not pausing and getting sad that you may never see certain people again. "hey man, wanna have lunch? we may never see each other again." "dude, i'd love to...but i've got a gazillion things to do right now." it's not a lie when you can't answer the phone when some friend calls to talk because you're in the middle of contacting the bank for a cashier's check for your new landlords. truth is, i like it that way. saying good-bye is NEVER the way it should be. it's awkward. you end up talking about the sports team in the new city you're moving to or what the climate is like or what the schools are like. when really, the whole time, you just want to say..."hey. i'm really going to miss you."

anyway, it's over now. i'm out here in seattle. right now i'm alone and car-less...so the demons can catch up. the denial can be lifted. i can reflect on what florida will mean to me.

funny thing...ends up i'm not going to miss florida all that much. truth is, the 6 years i lived and worked there really can only be described as me working there. i didn't have a LIFE. i was surrounded by great people and my family grew...but i wasn't a part of it. i was working. always working. working because i didn't have a choice. i think that's what bugs me the most. i look back now and i did everything i did because there was never a choice. never. i thought the dreamhive was going to afford me the choice one day...but, unfortunately, nothing came of it that was expected.

when it's all said and done, the only thing i'm really going to miss is the good friends i met. at least we have Facebook :)

i'm also going to miss that spark of hope i had all the way up until the end. the hope that the dreamhive could make a difference and be a place where the super talented folks we'd worked with in orlando would have a choice.

Sucker Punch is going to be awesome. the folks there are great. i can tell already. seattle is awesome. i can finally get back in touch with my outdoor nature and share that with my kids. i'm stoked that mathias will be working with me at Sucker Punch and i'm hopeful that tom will end up in the seattle area as well...but for the first time ever in my life, i'm afraid of being too hopeful.

i think that's why i'm bitter as i look back. something that i have always had throughout my life is a strong sense of HOPE. however, i'd be lying if i said in the past month...even though i've been thoroughly blessed with this new opportunity...my sense of hope has been slightly lost.

oh well. good-bye denial. good-bye florida. everything kinda sucked. i'm now hopeful about my LIFE and ready for the next chapter. i hope :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

attack of the clone...


here's another study of the 'faust clone' - see how much fun he can be? -

just to get acquainted with the character, to get a better feel for him...

i'll try to ink all of these tomorrow

onward and upward


Sunday, September 27, 2009

aaaaand another one....

this time, i decided to put a 'new' actor on the stage - i need two 'bad guys' to headline this one, and i decided to not use the little 'professor'-guy again, but rather cast a more 'die-hard' omnicorp-employee, one of the countless 'faust-clones', to better tow the selfish, destructive company line alongside shawanna - plus, he's very fun to draw, a little childish, very expressive

i also had to employ shawanna again as the main character, because she represents omnicorp at its worst, in an attempt to turn the everglades into omnicorp airport - yes, you read that right - INTO AN AIRPORT - (that was an actual plan back in the 1960s to build an international airport in the middle of the Everglades) - so i needed two corporate meanies to survey the land and explain how corporate greed usually overrules environmental issues - i.e how the interests of the few outweigh those of the many, and how shortterm concerns win over longterm strategies -

anyhoo, a great pair visually, here's a sketch colored in quickly to see how it'll work -
imagine them canoeing down the kissimmee river...

more to come soon, so stay tuned


Saturday, September 26, 2009

high as a kite....

ahhhh - back at the drawing board for a bit - and it feels good!

for this one, our heroes find themselves back here in florida, so this strip will be some sort of a swan-song, if you will...

the bird depicted here is NOT the bald eagle, but rather the snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus), found only in florida, and federally listed as endangered.
the snail kite relies on the availability of apple snails (Pomacea paludosa) which they pluck from under the water using only their talons. The U.S. population is non-migratory, though the birds will move in response to food availability. Thus Snail Kites are sensitive to droughts and/or other changes that impact the hydrology of their foraging habitat.

We recently saw some specimen on an airboat trip going down the kissimmee river, the northern entry into the everglades - so i decided to let that be the location of the hope strip right then and there

like i said, posting will be a tad sporadic (not like they haven't been already) due to 'life'...

keep on checking in


Monday, September 14, 2009

"Life is...

...what happens while you're busy making other plans"

(John Lennon)

"houston, we have a problem"

(James A. Lovell)

Apologies for the long silence - we've been thrown quite the curveball recently, and 'real life' immediately took over - nevertheless, i've had this new hope strip already in the works, and REALLY wanted to finish it, before the (*&)(&#@ really hits the fan for the next couple of weeks and gives my life a darker complexion.


again, the strip's topic should be self-explanatory - there seem to be several quasi-religious parties debating the amount of thawing in the arctic regions, whether it's a regular occurrence or a man-made one, and whether the polar bears are going to be able to survive, adapt or - surrender. as always, there ARE facts underneath all the noise, you just have to be willing to dig deep - and please, DO make up your own mind, it's important - you owe it to the kids.

artistically, this was a lot
of fun - i could bring the 'professor' back, who is towing the company line, but he's a great character: i love to draw him, but then again, i'm a little biased... ;)

i loved doing the polar bear, and just as with the bikinis last time around, i really enjoy putting hope in different outfits - and she gets a kick out of dressing up, too....
her snow-suit is loosely based on a dolce & gabbana creation from the winter 2006 collection - (mille grazie, giovanotti!!) fast forwarded to 2039 and filtered back to today through a looking glass infused with t
he smurfs, gaston and asterix and obelix...

bon appetit


p.s. please do stay put, there MAY be another silent period ahead, but i WILL be back - albeit from a different location (not that you will notice that, this being the internet and all...)

Friday, August 21, 2009

"the 'doctor' is (back) in!"

we liked him so much, he's earned himself a recurring role in the adventures of hope!

one of the more civil representatives of the evil multinational corporation 'omnicorp', he can play a bigger part in these strips than the more flashy bad guys, who fit much better into the action-adventure format that the property would assume as an animated show or a video game.

so, after a day in the sun, i'm sending hope to one of the coldest places on earth - the north pole!
let's see what happens to our little trouper there, shall we?

stay tuned


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

This just can't be summer love, you'll see...

This just can't be summer love, L.O.V.E

I can't wait to fall in love with you
You can't wait to fall in love with me

Finally, strip 4 is done - i wanted it to be done earlier, as always, but i underestimate the backgrounds every time. The characters go reasonably smooth by now, even though i'm still too picky about it and noodle every expression and every hand-gesture, which i need to learn to be looser with and let go sooner, so as to not refine it to death...

but see, the backgrounds aren't generic BGs with stock-buildings and stock-plants etc, but they are part of the storytelling for me and thus become SPECIFIC buildings and SPECIFIC plants and things, which need to be rendered with a certain amount of attention and love, and so they take more time than they should... BUT - the end result is worth it - at least I'd like to think so...

content-wise there's not much to add, i don't think - i'm just happy that our heroines are able to make the best out of what looks to be a very humid and boggy future for our children and grand-children...

Summer's over for the both of us {summer's over}
But that doesn't mean we should give up on love {don't give up}
You're the one that I've been thinking of {your the one}
And I knew the day I met you you'd be the one


Sunday, July 26, 2009

holiday in balconia

hey everyone

in hard times like these, when the economic crisis makes your funds melt away like butter left out in the sun, people re-evaluate everything, including what to do with their vacation: Instead of taking expensive trips to exotic locations - 15 european countries in seven days, for instance ;), they stay home more often, and enjoy the serene, luxurious AND CHEAP surroundings of their own picturesque backyard, shady patio and refreshing swimming pool....

home is where the grill is....

anyhoo, guess where hope and shawanna are going to take a few days off and relax from their stressful duties as comic-book characters?

stay tuned


Friday, July 17, 2009

"In the summertime..."

"when the weather is high......"

I can't get a decent tan!
Ever since i started spending my time exclusively in the dark in front of my computers, i burn waaayyyy too quickly to be able to spend any significant amount of time outside anymore, at least here in 'sunny florida'...

The little petbot, though - not so much!
Robots seem to be cut from a different cloth - he can't get enough of those UV-Rays, but he doesn't seem to change color at all -
still all pasty silver, as far as i can tell - robot-problems, sheesh...

the girls are talking about the weather, too -
hope, as always, has her own take on things...

sorry for the lack of posts, btw - we've been terribly busy, as always -
but please, keep on checking in, as i have a bunch of WIP-updates coming up...

closing out, as we began this post, with the words of the great philosopher Mungo Jerry:

"When the weather's fine
we go fishing or go swimming in the sea.
We're always happy,
life's for living, yeah, that's our philosophy."

thanks for stopping by



Sunday, June 21, 2009

the bee's knees


finally finished the third strip - this was a LOT of work on the backgrounds - but i think it turned out well...
the strip concerns itself with some hot topics: not only DON'T we really know how gene-manipulated organisms will affect our environment, the ecological equilibrium, in the future, we're also allowing big companies to basically own certain varieties or types, or breeds of fauna and flora that heretofore couldn' t belong to anyone, like flowers, corn, wheat, pigs, chicken etc.

yes, brave new world, indeed - no wonder that our protagonist, poor little hope, is somewhat overwhelmed by the self-confidence and intellectual brilliance on display by the representative of multinational food-supplier 'omnicrops', who reassures her that everything is under control...

but going by her intuition, she just KNOWS that, when someone tells you THAT, you gotta be doubly careful and get the hell outta dodge...


tune in next time!


Thursday, June 4, 2009

going places....

hey all,
here is a quick latenight sketch, done after our weekly studio meeting at the alehouse,
and then quickly colored in even later at night back home...

It was nice, for a change, to work somewhere in 'public', as opposed to the office at home day after day after day... don't get me wrong, i like my office - but this is, after all, a solitary profession: just you and your monitor - or drafting table, and it tends to get a little lonely at times.
It would be nifty if we had more 'european-type' places where you could be out amongst people but still had your privacy: eat, drink and work, like a german 'kneipe', an austrian 'kaffeehaus', a french 'bistro' or an italian 'trattoria', your studio away from your studio....

anyhoo, here is hope! Vacation time is coming, everybody is leaving on trips and going fun places, hope and me are gonna stay right at home... I'll be working, of course, but hope will catch a few rays and enjoy the great weather - global warming be damned
(this is a little development sketch for the strip after the next one -
yes, i know, we're getting a little ahead of ourselves here, but sue me)


stick around!


Thursday, May 28, 2009

panel discussion

here is the pencil stage of a panel for the upcoming hope strip...

i'm quite happy how it turned out - hope and the doctor work well together, i think:

he's getting all worked up, and she remains skeptical,
not convinced by all his (pseudo)-scientific explanations...

the work on the comic strip turns out to be very helpful in further defining the main characters of the hope universe:
hope, the girl thrown out of time, without the support of her real family or any memory of her past (our future) is the true innocent, a child in a world of run by adults. She is full of joy, wonder, and - well, hope... - much in the tradition of many classic childlike fairytale-heroes whose charm, unspoiled minds and childlike purity can be virtually disarming - certainly something that would easily drive any evil, highly motivated, narrow-minded corporate lackey up the walls...



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

quick and corny...

just a quick update:

one more study of a corn stalk in preparation for the backgrounds for the upcoming strip...

please stay tuned...



Saturday, May 23, 2009

le prochain post

salut - it's me again, mathias
sorry it took me so long with my follow-up post, but we're always soo busy -
and then life gets in the way, and another week has passed
- i promise to post more often, really...

here is the the character i talked about in the previous post - the 'evil doctor' character, but not in the 'dr. evil vein' - this one is not out to rule the world or extort 'one hundred billion dollars', but he is more one of the cogs in the big wheel of a multinational corporation, meddling with the genetic makeup of the world that surrounds and sustains us, doing what they tell him is right, - a sad, pathetic little guy, really....

... but i wanted to make him funny, on top of him being a bad guy you could feel sorry for!
so, for inspiration, i keep going back to the stuff i read while growing up back in germany, the franco-belgian comic-albums of franquin, peyo, will, roba, morris, and of course uderzo. we're talking about the fathers of asterix, lucky luke, the smurfs, the marsupilami and gaston, and dozens of other great characters. All of these artists are masters of the funny book, working with a comic-dynamic line, themselves inspired by US-american cartoons and the comic-book work of milton caniff, carl barks and walt kelly. In their work, they were always after dynamic poses in an effort to evoke motion on the static page, and facial expressions supporting the storytelling as much as possible - as a result, any one of the pages of these types of BD's - bandes dessinees, large format european comic albums - are a joy to look at and are extremely funny as drawings, even if you don't speak a single word of french - and believe me, i should know....

a bientot



(oh, and the corn will provide the background for this upcoming strip, so i need to make sure it also fits graphically within that world...)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

hello internet!

mathias here...

i've kept quiet for the most part, and let my colleagues toot the horn for the dreamhive (and they've done a darn good job at that, too) but being the creative director here comes with some responsibilities, and so from now on i'd like to keep you updated with a lot more WIP posts concerning not only our ongoing work at the hive (as far as i CAN actually show you stuff - some of it may be hush-hush, so bear with me there) but also my own little corner of the net, mathias' matte, where i'll be attempting to regularly put up a comic strip set in the "hope" universe, but commenting more on current events (two previous installments are already up on this blog)

and that is also what i'm starting with, a little teaser for the upcoming strip - even though these strips are set in the "hope" universe, i find myself having to introduce new supporting characters as needed - so in this case, here is a first look at a scientist in the employ of omnicorp, and yes, there will also be corn - genetically engineered corn, to be precise

(btw, any possible similarity to persons living or dead is not necessarily purely coincidental)

don't go anywhere, we'll be right back....


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

SNOOD Redood!

man...see? this is what i get for being too busy to blog. i WAS planning on blogging about how The Dreamhive is teaming up with our ex-Naughty Dog cohorts, Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin to turn the casual gaming world on it's ear. i WAS going to tell you guys all about them founding Monkey Gods and how we're moving into 2009 with our sole focus being flinging some awesome fun around with them. i WAS going to tease everyone with what Facebook and iPhone fun we were planning with these guys and all that jazz.

THEN i was going to hit everyone with the news that our first gaming project together since i worked on the Jak series at Naughty Dog was going to be one of the most popular games on the web.

that will teach me to let work get in the way of my blogging because today Monkey Gods flung the whole shabang out there and announced Snood for iPhone:

Monkey Gods Blog

so, there you have it Snood is ReDood and Monkey Gods is born. ironically enough...on my birthday. how sweet is that?

i'll start with the mini-version of us teaming up with Monkey Gods in 2009:

while our current contract with a great returning client is super fun...it will be our swan song for the service based side of things. upon completion of that project, which we will be talking about at some point because it's so cool, we're hanging up that hat and putting on our game development hat with a group of guys who know how to make the fun happen. we can definitely tell you that Snood is just the tip of the iceberg of what will be flung by the Monkey Gods and developed within The Dreamhive.

now on to Snood:

there's still some surprises we want to keep under our hats, but i can tell you that what we are affectionately calling "Snood Redood" is just that...a new vision of the beloved characters that have been the addiction of many casual gamers across the globe.

mathias came up with an awesome new look for the Snoods and even came up with a brand new "magic" snood that we're sure everyone is gonna think is da bomb. jason rubin designed close to 100 fun puzzles for Puzzle Mode. i wrote and animated a fun story that reveals the REAL Snoods and "why" the game was created while you play through puzzles that tom angus designed for Story Mode.

man it was a blast and we can't wait for folks to play it!

one other feature in Snood ReDood is the ability to play with the classic Snoods that we know millions out there adore. while stoked to re-make these guys and give them our unique brand of fun...we truely are Snood fanboys and we knew that people would miss the original crew...so we brought them along for the trip!

anyway, i could go on and on because i've been DYING to talk about this stuff. however, we are still a busy bunch of bees here at the hive and i've got to get back to work.

if you read this and you're a Snood fan, comment and let us know what you think. if you're on Twitter, mention Snood and this blog and it will pop up on http://www.monkeygods.com. post this on your Facebook profile and spread the word...


Friday, March 27, 2009

game job hunter blog

some friends of ours from the ole EA days, paul teall and cory fabre, have started a blog that is a great resource for others in the game industry. paul discusses things to consider when looking for a job in the game biz and really puts a strong emphasis on studios outside of "the big four" cities.

it is definitely worth a peek.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Just for fun...

busy, busy, busy...but not too busy to treat our blog-o-philes to something extra special.

check out this comic by mathias. anything i'd say would just take away from your time to enjoy this awesome artwork. so, just check it out.

i will add that we're putting together some really cool ideas for a neat comic book app for iTunes. original stuff like this is what you can expect along with some other fantastic comics that are out there. we're also gonna be talking to some of our friends in the comic book community about letting us publish some of their indy project with our comic viewer. should be some cool stuff.

more to come about that so stay tuned.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Dreamhive: Origins and Year One

heya folks. sorry for the silence. we've been hella busy. to make up for the absence, we've created two new art reels. one that shows what we did before forming The Dreamhive, the other that shows what we did in our most excellent first year in business.

make sure to keep stopping by because we'll be posting Year Two very soon.

you can also see these videos in higher quality at The Dreamhive's official site.


love, peace, and hair grease!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Inside the Hive: iPhone Game Development

Squish Squash continues to turn heads and get great reviews. one group of folks who've taken notice is the Apple Business Partners at our local Apple store in Orlando.

they've set up the following event at their Altamonte Springs Mall location for people to get a look inside our development process for Squish Squash...
Event: The Dreamhive Animation Studio: Behind the Scenes of iPhone Game Development
Where: Altamonte Apple Store, Altamonte Springs Mall, FL
When: Saturday 24th, 2009
Time: 11am and 7pm

The Dreamhive Animation Studio takes you behind the scenes of Squish Squash, their latest iPhone /iPod touch game available on the iTunes AppStore. Learn how the studio fuses art and science to create engaging gameplay and stunning graphics on the iPhone and iPod touch. You’ll also have an opportunity to play the game and earn a chance to win a free copy!

if you're in the area, make sure to pop by and say hi and listen to wes talk about how we made Squish Squash.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Resistance Retribution Cinematics

we're happy to announce the marketing blitz has started for Resistance Retribution. the game will be coming out on the 17th of march on the PSP.

Resistance Retribution was a game that we were proud to lend cinematic enviroment and effects assistance to our buddies at Scratch Image on. it was an awesome collaboration that dreamhive's creative world director, tom angus, had a blast working on.

game trailers.com has released a Resistance Retribution trailer for the upcoming game that features tom's awesome environment and effects work.

stop by and take a peek at the trailer and come back here and let tom know what you think of his kick ass artwork. if you have a PSP, make sure to pick up a copy of Resistance Retribution around St. Patrick's Day. believe me, that's the best way to appreciate the hard work these guys put into the cinematics.

Monday, January 12, 2009

shake, shake, shake...

...is booty P.C. these days? whatever, shake it anyway.

just wanted to drop a blog on you guys so you wouldn't forget about us. hope is dancing with her pet bot because they are both so happy with how much stuff we have going on this year.

there's a bunch of stuff. can't wait to tell everyone about it.

no matter what, we'll make sure you guys have lots of eye candy to stare at while you wait:)

shake, shake, shake...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

iPhone Gems Review

check out a really cool review of squish squash on iPhone gems. jeremy really summed up the game and it's intent nicely with the following remark:

Smart developers find ways to create family-friendly versions of games in potentially objectionable genres. Dreamhive Animation Studio’s Squish Squash ($4) is essentially a first-person shooting gallery game, minus the guns.

anyway, pop on by and read the full review for yourself:
iPhone Gem's Squish Squash Review

i have to add here that for an old school arcade gamer like myself...it was awesome having the review of our game mentioned in a cluster with centipede!