Wednesday, May 31, 2006



I'm going to break my usual (arbitrary) self- imposed no animation talk on my blog to promote a new pilot I painted the backgrounds last year. It's coming out on Adult Swim on Saturday night at midnight. I want people to watch it so I have something fun to work on again. It a Barbarian show done right with loads of violence, sex and urination. It's directed, written and designed by a funny cartoonist friend of mine you may have heard of by the name of Aaron Springer. Genndy Tartakovsky produced and did animation timing and generally was a strong backbone for Arron. The backgrounds were layed out by one of the best young background artists out there right now Justin Thompson. I did some final paintings and some rough keys, here is a selection along with a fake title card. The big bar pan was cut for time so this will be the only place you will see it.


Blogger Shawn Dickinson said...

Wow! Hey, Bill, these are amazing!!! These paintings are so different from the backrounds I'm used to seeing you do. Everytime I think that you're the best background painter in the world, you go and do something like this, and convince me that you're best background painter in the galaxy!
...not to kiss your ass TOO much.

Hope the show becomes a success.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Mike Hawthorne said...

Bill, this is just beautiful! You always amaze!


5:05 PM  
Blogger Rich Faber said...


These are gorgeous! WOW!

I love the incredible depth you brought to these backgrounds. This show will look stunning, if you continue to have anything to do with it! Nice job!


9:04 PM  
Blogger BoneDaddy said...

Wow, I was already totally excited about seeing the show, now I REALLY can't wait! Helluva good job on these paintings. How did the line go?--"Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!"

9:05 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Thanks Shawn, but Scott Willls is better. He's so good he's to proud to have a blog.

9:18 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey Mike,

Nice to have you here. As you know I think your one of the most exciting young comic book guys out there. One of the few than makes me miss doing comics.

9:21 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Thanks Rich,

Thanks for responding to the call. Everone Arron has involved is top notch... Including Genndy Tartakovsky is helping him with timing and producing it so you know it will be good.

9:26 PM  
Blogger glamaFez said...

Bill, your cartoon paintings are one of the things that inspired me to paint again after 25 years of inactivity!

7:00 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

That's the first time my art has brought someone out of a coma. I'll have to use that on the testimonials on the back of my book.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Miles Thompson said...

i love all the textures - give the eyes a rest already!!!

seriously beautiful stuff and i can tell you had a blast splishing and splashing these out


11:14 AM  
Blogger Jay D Smith said...

looks amazing!!

got any clips online yet?

12:07 PM  
Blogger Urban Barbarian said...

....KICK ASS WORK!!!!!

Can't wait to see this one!

3:07 PM  
Blogger Clive said...

wow,classic bgs, lovely washes. your own work is succulent, georgeous, luminous, I don't need to tell you that. my first visit.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Jamar said...


You got the Motts, my friend.

10:06 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Yes Miles, it was good times. Justin made it easy.

11:46 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Jay! Not that I know of. I'd love to see Cartoon Network plug it more. They have an ad on TV, but forgot the internet.

11:48 PM  
Blogger william wray said...


We will not let you down.

12:01 AM  
Blogger chia said...

goddamn!! I want to see more of this on adult swim and less of the saved by the bell.

1:24 AM  
Blogger Jesse said...

Splendid! I have always fancied your backgrounds.

5:14 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

Thanks Clive. I feel the same why about your watercolors. I mentioned you in the watercolor section of Wet Canvas so you may get some blog traffic.

11:13 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

Erich, this could be the time to tear yourself away.

11:14 AM  
Blogger JeffNevins said...


Acrylic paint? Or digital?

I especially like the overhead shot, except for the tacky words.

3:27 PM  
Blogger justinpatrickparpan said...

Man,I had no clue you worked on this show. I was excited before, but now I'm keyed up beyond belief!

7:05 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

thanks Jessie.

9:24 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Sean Szeles said...

Man I can't wait to see this! Great work Bill! I like how the paintings feel raw and emotional and aren't so perfect and techincal. I'd like to get some of that into my work. I guess I just have to start paingting more to begin with.

12:19 PM  
Blogger Ryan Kramer said...

simply awesome!

3:12 PM  
Blogger william wray said...


90% Cell paint with some small digital enhancement. Mostly contrasts and soft light. Drove everyone crazy because everyone is convinced the Koreans can't understand that concept (including Koreans.) One of my goals in life is to drag them into the digital age.
Mixing the two saves so much time and give you so much more. I print the drawing out directly onto Water color paper and paint them up fast and sloppy for the vigor of it. Then I fix the slop and enhance on Photoshop. In a pinch in the end I just took the pencil directly into Photoshop and I think they look a little graphic , but still good.

3:58 PM  
Blogger william wray said...


I understand what you mean, but you have to get the suff right to do it wrong.

4:45 PM  
Blogger Kevin Langley said...

I've been really enjoying your landscape painting, they're beautiful. But I gotta say it's great to see some new backgrounds from you. I hope this show gets picked up, can't wait to watch it tonight. Good luck.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Pedro Vargas said...

Hi Bill. It was because of you I was inspired to make some of my own paintings. Just looking at your blog makes me wanna paint alot more. I love how you handle your brush work and the techniques you use look so beautiful. I've got to stop talking and paint some more. These paintings look great by the way and when I saw your name in the Korgoth credits I immediately rushed here. And low and behold I found the backgrounds you did for the show. Looks incredible by the way. I hope it becomes a hit so the whole world can see your paintings.

Your huge fan,


1:49 AM  
Blogger Jenny Lerew said...

Beautiful BGs, Bill. : )

11:34 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

Thanks Ryan,

I'd have never guessed your age by that vest.

7:29 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey Justin ,
I hope you enyed it. the Koreans did a preety bad job on the backgrounds, but that just kind of added to the joke of the show. ( I have to tell myself that anyway) ;-)

7:32 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

thanks Klan, Now we get to wait.

7:33 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Glad you liked the Show Pedro, hard not to with that much violence.

7:40 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

thanks Jenny, Keep the Fred alive.

7:41 PM  
Blogger roque said...

Awesome! Thanks for posting. I saw the pilot this weekend and I'm hooked. There's something about good writing, great drawings, and beautiful bgs in one show. What a concept...

And can you please elbow Scott Wills to start a blog?

12:02 PM  
Blogger David Colman said...

lovely!!! great mood in the bottom piece

5:02 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Thank you Roque. Yeah Scott could have the best blog of all time. He's the best and kept everthing. Problem is he puts in long hours and spends the rest of his time with his family. Turns out he's a good Dad. Who knew?

6:38 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Thanks you David. Cute little animals you do.

6:39 PM  
Blogger rs said...

Korgoth - Yes!

11:07 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

rs-- It worked out yes?

11:32 PM  
Blogger Chris Battle said...

Just watched Korgoth last night: Hilarious! Loved it. You really nailed the old pulp paperback cover art look in the BGs. I was amazed by every establishing shot; Not surprised to see your name in the credits. Great job, Bill

Now when can we get CN to show PERIWINKLE again???

11:54 AM  
Blogger rs said...

My favorite BG was the establishing shot of Korgoth and band approaching the floating castle.

But it is the unfettered humor; blood, guts and gore exposed (i.e. not the violence completed off screen a la "Hollywood's" moral code).

And the writing is superb. Cliches were properly warped.

Lastly, poor Korgoth is badly rewarded for his unflinching courage.

I hope the show gets the cult following similar to the Venture Brothers.

4:12 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey Chris-- thanks-- Perry may see the light of day as a feature, but to be honest I'd rather do Korgoth.

8:21 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

RS I think Korgoth will break out bigger than that. It needs to, it has a real budget and frankly is a lot better.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Sam L. said...


12:20 AM  
Blogger william wray said...


1:24 AM  
Blogger Sam L. said...


9:22 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

Hey Will. Great job on the show. I was really blown away by your work. Really cool stuff. Any idea on if or when the show got picked up. Have you been working on more Korgoth stuff. In other words, are we going to get to see more of your awesome work?

12:31 AM  

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